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Catan: Traders & Barbarians» Forums » General

Subject: Harbormaster and 11 VP rss

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Eric Pietrocupo
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I also intend to use the harbormaster in every game I play, but I don't like the idea of needing 11 VP to win. I don't see why it would be that necessary.

Did anybody tried playing harbormaster at 10 VP?
 
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Geert Vinaskov
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I tried. The harbourmaster can be powerfull, especcially combined with the fisherman expansion


With the harbourmaster, it's easier to get two special bonusses (getting +4 points), since there are three ways (knight, roads, harbours) to get them. So you'd basically need 7 points from towns and cities, and 4 from the bonusses.

This allows for this strategy that involves rushing to become harbourmaster and owner of longest road.

Start with one city in the center of the board, and one town at a port (place the porttown so that you can easily reach the next port). (3points)

Build two extra towns upgrade to cities, and make sure they're connected. (5points)

Build to the next port, and place a town there. (6points)

Upgrade one of your porttowns to a portcity. Now you'll be harbourmaster, and people usually don't compete for this bonus. (9points)

Since you're situated at the coast, it's a lot easier for you to form the longest road. With some luck, you may already have the longest road (11points)



I like this strategy, and I don't think it's a bad one. If you would only play to ten points, this strategy would become more powerfull. Many things ofcourse depend on your playgroup.

On the other hand, the game will be faster, which may be a good thing.

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Eric Pietrocupo
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I thought that since the harbor master forces people to move outside the center of the board, they will have access to less resources, so the 2 extra points would compensate for that lack of resources.

Combined with fisherman would be too powerful.
 
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Geert Vinaskov
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larienna wrote:
I thought that since the harbor master forces people to move outside the center of the board, they will have access to less resources, so the 2 extra points would compensate for that lack of resources.

Combined with fisherman would be too powerful.


Well, in my experience, players start normally in the middle of the board, and get their 2 extra points when they need them to win: thus only at the end of the game they will develop at the coast.

I haven't found the combination harbourmaster + fisherman too powerfull. My group likes this, because it speeds up the game, gives people options, enables different strategies to be pursued, ... This is more important than a slight shift in game balance.

But again, game-groups differ. Catan: Traders and Barbarians can be played in so many ways that the best thing to do is to have fun trying lots of different combinations, and finding out what works best for your group.

And that's why Traders and Barbarians is my favourite Catan expansion. You have lots of options, and can mix and match to create the perfect Catan experience.
 
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Ben Wang
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larienna wrote:
I also intend to use the harbormaster in every game I play, but I don't like the idea of needing 11 VP to win. I don't see why it would be that necessary.

Did anybody tried playing harbormaster at 10 VP?

I always play catan with Habor master and fisherman at 10VP. It is well balanced.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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I have not tried fisherman yet. I understand the 11 VP because it's easier to get 2 bonus cards at the same time. Still, in a 4 player game, there is a chance that 1 or 2 player has access to no bonus cards making it harder for them.

So an alternative could be that 1 card is worth 2 points, but 2 cards is worth 3 points. Just a random idea.
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Jörg Baumgartner
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The point of raising the VP total for a win is to avoid the game finishing before it has really begun. Theoretically, 10 VP are possible with two cities on harbor sites connected by 5 roads and 3 knights - theoretically possible spending 25 resources, two of which would form the starting hand.
 
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