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Subject: Why would I ever build a Gatehouse over a Wall? rss

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Jeff Thornsen
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Nottingham
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just can't find a good reason for building a Gatehouse.

The Gatehouse itself costs 8 resources (and 2 metal at that, which is harder to obtain). Assuming you also pay 3 Gold for the Gnome, that's spending 11 Resources to get 2 houses on the board with no other benefit (no income from Gatehouse).

You can get almost the exact same thing by building 2 Walls (costs 12 resources), except that you don't need Metal, and you don't even have to build both walls (and one wall is cheaper than the Gatehouse). Plus if you build 2 Walls, they don't have to be in adjacent districts, and can even be in the same district. Alternatively, building a Keep for 10 resources also gives you 2 houses, AND gives you income, so it's obviously better than the Gatehouse.

It seems the only time I would want to build a Gatehouse is if all the walls I wanted were taken and I had nothing cheaper to build in my hand. The only other reason I can think of is if I have a Tower and need more spaces to put Gnomes in. Both of those can almost always be avoided by planning better. So when would I ever want to build a Gatehouse over a Wall or pretty much any other card?
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Ben Friedberg
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Winona Lake
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< weak answer >
perhaps it just works out in terms of the cards that you have in your hand? ie: you have two metals...
< /weak answer >
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Matt Lindhout
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100 Mile House
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For 6 resources, plus a gnome, you get 2 buildings into a district which most of the time is going to give you majority, or let you steal majority, and therefore points, from another player. It would cost 12 resources to build 2 walls for the same effect in a district.

oops getting buildings confused. my REAL answer is that, still for the relatively cheap price of 6 resources and a gnome, you get 2 buildings, though in adjacent districts. My favorite time to play it is early game to secure a couple second place majorities in districts. Or to reinforce 1st place, and get second place in the other.

It all comes down to whats going on in the game at the time, but it can be a very worthwhile move. Just not one you can plop down without thinking about it
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The Dave
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I build a gatehouse for two reasons:

1) To get one of my buildings on the board

2) As a threat to swoop in and take another spot in the adjacent district. Sometimes my opponents over-build in a district where I have an empty half of a gatehouse. The mere threat of building in a spot that they cannot block me from is sometimes enough to cause them to build additional buildings in that district, meaning that they build fewer buildings in other districts.

Sometimes I'm interested in said district, and want to reserve a spot there for later. Other times I have no interest whatsoever, but want my opponents to think I do, especially if I built there earlier, but now am probably over-matched.

I don't think Gatehouses are the best building, but I do think they have some pretty good uses.
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Jason Rupp
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Another positive of the gatehouse is that you get 2 houses out of a single card. Don't forget that building cards are a resource as well.
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Martin Stever
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I generally build the Gatehouse only on the last turn. So it's easy to figure:

--Can I build the Gatehouse and/or walls with the resources available?
--Which is likely to give me the most points based on area control?
--Might I score points on Gnomes?

On the last turn I'm also happy to make an inefficient resource trade to get metal that I wouldn't like to do earlier in the game.

Metal is easier to get as the game progresses because of the Blacksmith, so on the last turn not as big a factor as turn 2.

There's no need to save gold for the next turn, so blowing 3 gold on a gnome on the last turn doesn't have the same trade-off as on earlier turns. It may be the very best use of gold on the last turn even if I can't score Gnome points.
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Seth Jaffee
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Tucson
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There is some value in reserving a space (which you can obtain later by putting a Gnome on the Gatehouse), and in splitting up the payment between building the Gatehouse and buying the Gnome. But more importantly, a Gnome Slot is somewhat valuable because Gnome majority is worth points.

Also, there are only 2 Walls per district.

Gatehouses have proven to be very strong buildings in all of our playtesting. But by all means, if you prefer Walls to Gatehouses, then build them! There's nothing wrong with that!
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Chris Linneman
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Gatehouse costs 6 resources, not 8: 2 wood, 2 stone, 2 metal. Granted, you might consider metal to be twice as valuable as the other resources, which would bring the effective total up to 8.

Gatehouse does cost a property card, which costs 1 gold (1 resource), so if you include the Gnome that costs 3 gold, you could consider it to cost as many as 12 resources (if double-counting the metal). However, as Seth pointed out, Gnomes have a residual benefit in that they are worth points. Moreover, sometimes you have a way of generating Gnomes more cheaply (e.g., Tower, which, if you have no other place for them, could make you really glad you built a Gatehouse).

I definitely think the income on other properties makes them better earlier in the game, but Gatehouse is a fine way to get a couple houses down, especially if you have spare Gnomes late in the game. I don't think they are really any better than walls, objectively, however they aren't worse either. Their are well-balanced for their cost in my opinion.
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