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John DiMaggio
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So as the title suggests, I was wondering when people think it is a good time to make this kind of switch? The reason I ask is that while it makes sense that the first half of the game should be for infrastructure (food, ore, science, military, etc.) and the second half for points, in reality it seems like you can still go for points gradually and still work on infrastructure. So my first question would be this, when do you make the transition from infrastructure to points (1/2 way through age II, beginning of age III or mid/late Age III?)

And secondarily, I was wondering if people knew of reasonable early "point-generation" strategies that don't compromise your military? One recent example stems from a game on boardgaming online where a Michaelangelo/hanging gardens/basilica player develops a large point lead, or a Cook player doing the same with colonies. I have not seen a good shakespeare play similar to these and was wondering if anyone knew of any other good "early" point strategies besides these two?


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Len
United States
Austin
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You'll get alot of different answers, and most of them will contain a bunch of "if's". "If you are behind on military...", "if your have more strength....", "if you've developed alot of science....", "if you went heavy library or theater", "if your opponent has this or that and is ahead....", if if if if....

If the answer were simple, this would be a boring game.

Why not play and develop your own strategy? That's the fun of playing the game Just remember to watch your opponents and stay ahead or ramp up your military strength if you get behind devil



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Chris Berger
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Volo
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Simple answer: by the start of Age III.

Correct answer: it depends.

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Eric Phillips
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Greensboro
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TTA is all about serendipity. Successful play is opportunistic play. Get your points when and where you can, without making yourself too weak in another area. Sometimes (or often, depending on your play style) that will mean ramping up hugely in Age III, but that's by no means the only way to win.

As for early point strategies, you don't need HG _and_ St. Pete's to make Michelangelo good. I'll take him with either if I have a good opportunity. As for Cook, he's really not an early game strategy. Even if he comes out early in Age II and you already have a couple of colonies, that's mid-game, really. Shakespeare is hard to use well, as you mention. That's because it's hard to get Theaters _and_ Libraries both going in Age II without committing suicide elsewhere. Also, since he's Age II, he's like Cook: not really an early Leader.

Genghis Khan is occasionally a good early point scorer. You're unlikely to get more than +3 or +4 culture-per-turn from him, but he also increases your military strength, so that's a good trade-off. Same basic idea with Homer, though the details are different. The combination of a Drama and St. Peter's (with or without Mike) is quite respectable for early culture too, in those games where you can justify making an early Theater.
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Pablo Zamalvide
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I'm a baaad player, but I don't always find the shift that traumatic. If I am able to get away with some early culture without sacrificing much, I'll do it (such as picking Michelangelo for one action with hanging gardens or basilica in play).
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Ira Kalina
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Deerfield
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Fortuna wrote:
Shakespeare is hard to use well, as you mention. That's because it's hard to get Theaters _and_ Libraries both going in Age II without committing suicide elsewhere. Also, since he's Age II, he's like Cook: not really an early Leader.


I don't think it's suicide. I almost always pick up printing press early to add science before I upgrade. When the bard comes up, I've been successful in grabbing him and drama and building a pretty good lead. But like everything above, it's opportunistic and a question of whether the other players get the cards to take advantage of your soft spots.
 
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Eric Phillips
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Kalii wrote:
Fortuna wrote:
Shakespeare is hard to use well, as you mention. That's because it's hard to get Theaters _and_ Libraries both going in Age II without committing suicide elsewhere. Also, since he's Age II, he's like Cook: not really an early Leader.


I don't think it's suicide. I almost always pick up printing press early to add science before I upgrade. When the bard comes up, I've been successful in grabbing him and drama and building a pretty good lead. But like everything above, it's opportunistic and a question of whether the other players get the cards to take advantage of your soft spots.


I didn't say it's _always_ suicide. Sometimes you can get away with it. A good rule of thumb for most games, though, is "Libraries OR Theaters, not both." And when you're talking about getting them both out before Age III, that goes double.
 
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Ira Kalina
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I think that is a solid rule of thumb, unless you can grab the bard early...but I would agree its a nail-biter. whistle
 
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Greg Jones
United States
Washington
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1. Sid Meier

2. Culture? Just beat the crap out of your opponent(s). Yes, you can't always beat them at the military game, but often you can keep them so busy that they don't score any culture to speak of either.

3. When you have more resources than you can spend on the available infrastructure. I.e., your farms, mines, and labs are already maxed out at the level you have discovered or even drawn, and Opera is there for 1 CA and you have the science, population, and resources available.

4. Never. Score your points from Age III wonders and Impacts.

Also yes, Michelangelo, Cook, and Shakespeare work. For the first two, they just score culture points off of things that are already valuable for infrastructure. With Michelangelo, don't go too far building up happy faces just for the culture. They will become superfluous when Age II ends, and also you can fall behind. Shakespeare works best with Printing Press and Drama, because they score lots of points for cheap. The catch is those are usually gone from the card row before Shakespeare appears. If you happen to have drawn one of both because you had nothing better to do when they went for 1 CA, then you can go for Shakespeare. I've made it work with Journalism and Opera too though.
 
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Riku Koskinen
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Kalii wrote:
Fortuna wrote:
Shakespeare is hard to use well, as you mention. That's because it's hard to get Theaters _and_ Libraries both going in Age II without committing suicide elsewhere. Also, since he's Age II, he's like Cook: not really an early Leader.


I don't think it's suicide. I almost always pick up printing press early to add science before I upgrade. When the bard comes up, I've been successful in grabbing him and drama and building a pretty good lead. But like everything above, it's opportunistic and a question of whether the other players get the cards to take advantage of your soft spots.


The problem with Printing Press is that it's hard to allocate works to it. Unless you forego building the second lab (not recommended) and go with low military (which is way too risky if your opponent(s) ha(s/ve) the usual 4 units by the end of age I), there really aren't enough workers available.

In the rare occasion where I build a Printing Press I usually have Hanging Gardens to free up the worker that would otherwise give happiness somewhere, or I get a lucky Columbus into yellow token colony.
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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Las Vegas
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I use printing press when someone else grabs alchemy and I have an Ideal Building Site lying around. Honestly, to me the best thing about printing press is that it can be upgraded. I can't tell you how many games I've moved into Age III with multimedia and an Efficient Upgrade. Without Printing Press it sucks. With Printing Press its easy.

That being said, for the most part my 1st library is generally journalism.
 
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