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Subject: double build with Tax Collector + Builder start rss

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Alan Kwan
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From the Book of Board Game Arena, scroll #1170147.

Players:
Alan Kwan (green)
skappax (blue)
lukkas (red)

Round 0:

It was another of those New Year gatherings for the Emperor with the three princes. And the new year's readings by the Royal Fortune-teller is just part of the routine.

"I recommend that this year's Tributes be collected in the summer months," said the Royal Fortune-teller. "The other pairs of similar events will be quite spaced apart, with the Mongols coming rather late in the year ..."

Events:
Peace - Peace - Drought - Festival - Tribute - Contagion -
Tribute - Mongols - Festival - Contagion - Drought - Mongols


Prince Alan paid close attention to the contents in the "..." part, and noticed that the Droughts were spaced really wide apart, in the third and eleventh months. "This one is a double-builder's year," he observed. He was especially conscious of this point, because he had just overlooked a double-building opportunity (with the Droughts in the 9th and 12th months) in his last year, after just returning from a long break away from princely duties. However, the other princes apparently were not paying attention to the later part of the Fortune-teller's speech, and might have missed this point.

The Emperor ordered the princes to select their starting persons.

Prince lukkas simply looked at the first events after the first two months of peace. "I choose a Farmer and a Pyrotechnist," he said. "And in that order."

Prince Alan looked deeper. "The event type for which the second of the pair comes out the earliest is the Tribute, so I'm taking a Tax Collector for that," he muttered. "And this double-building opportunity is not to be missed. Hence a Builder."

Prince skappax, being the least experienced ruler among the three, was feeling a bit insecure. "I am choosing a Pyrotechnist and a Healer, to match prince lukkas's seriousness."

"Interesting choices," commented the Emperor, eyeing prince Alan slyly in particular. "Now head back to your respective province, and do your best as a ruler for one year."


Starting persons:
lukkas : Farmer + Pyro = 9
Alan : Builder + Tax = 5
skappax : Pyro + Healer = 9

Round 1

The first month; the princes acted.
"The Drought is near," said skappax, who harvested for one rice.
"That is certainly a mistake," Alan thought. "The most serious prince's first action should almost always be either a large privilege or build. And never a single rice."
"The stars don't favor building, and I am not comfortable with spending all my cash on a large privilege with those Tributes in summer," lukkas said, "so I'm getting a couple of Fireworks now."
"Fireworks are weak in this year, with one of the Festivals so late," Alan thought. "He could be conveniently overtaken by then. Should have got a privilege after all, perhaps a small one if he isn't comfortable with emptying all his treasury." Alan looked at the stars, and felt amazed that he could be given a free choice between privilege and taxation despite being the least serious. "I'm collecting tax now so that I will be able to carry out my double-building plan smoothly," he explained. "In any other year, I would have gladly grabbed the large privilege."


The first month; the princes recruited new persons.
Skappax and lukkas both recruited a Tax Collector, in preperation for the coming Tributes.
"I will have lots of palaces, so I will need Farmers," said Alan as he recruited an elder Farmer.

skappax : Tax = 12
lukkas : Tax = 12
Alan : el Farmer = 6


End of round scoring:
everyone scored 2 VP for their two starting palaces


Round 2

The second month; the princes acted.

Lukkas said, "Let me get my Rice now, when I don't have to pay for it. I'll need it next month."
Skappax, being inexperienced as he was, panicked as the stars also denied tax and Fireworks (the two actions for which he had supporting persons) from him. "Errr ... I guess I need to tax," he said as he paid $3 to tax for $5, gaining only $2 net.
Alan was baffled to be offered a free choice between privilege and build. "I build now, and next month I'll harvest," he announced. He made a new palace, and then contemplated before putting the other storey. "Since I will be harvesting next month and I already have the Farmer with me, I have leisure to attend that other aspect of princehood," he thought, and decided to add a third storey to one of his starting palaces, knowing that his new palace was going to house a person he would not part with, and hence a second storey was not needed for it.


The second month; the princes recruited new persons.
"A second Pyrotechnist will discourage unwanted competition, while also giving me a good amount of seriousness," said prince lukkas as he employed another younger Pyrotechnist.
"I am not to be left behind," said skappax as he followed suit.

"I welcome my Lady," said Alan as he proceeded with the plan he made a moment earlier. "A pretty one of course, since that is effective." The purpose for which she was 'effective' went without saying.

lukkas : yn Pyro = 17
skappax : yn Pyro = 17
Alan : Lady = 7


The second month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
skappax : 2 pal = +2 : 4
lukkas : 2 pal = +2 : 4
Alan : 3 pal + 1 Lady = +4 : 6


Round 3 (Drought)

The third month; the princes acted.
"I need Rice for the Drought," said skappax as he harvested for one Rice. His inexperience was evidently showing: he had not done anything really useful nor got any really useful persons up to this point, and he would even lose a person this month to palace room shortage. His first three actions were two single Rice and a taxation for net $2.
Lukkas might have wanted to build, but the stars didn't favor that, so he collected three more Fireworks. "This will make sure that skappax can't surpass me in the Festival next month," he said. But Alan remarked, "That's overkill. Taxing for $5 would be much more useful." And he dutifully harvested for the Rice he would need for the Drought, paying $3 for the star ritual.


The third month; the princes recruited new persons.
"The Tributes are coming ... They are coming ..." skappax spoke with a trembling voice, and recruited a second Tax Collector (spending a joker card). As his palaces were full, he released a Pyrotechnist to make room.
Lukkas's palaces were also full, and he was planning to build next round. "I'll take a Builder," he said confidently.
"The first Drought will be past, and my double-building shall begin," claimed Alan as he also took a Builder.


skappax : Tax = 20
lukkas : Builder = 19
Alan : Builder = 9


The third month; the Drought struck.
The princes were well-prepared for the Drought with adequate Rice in their warehouses, and no one starved. "Too well-prepared," Alan thought. "The others should have begun building already. Dismissing people due to palace room shortage is just as bad as starving. From the ruler's perspective, that is."

The third month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
skappax : 2 pal = +2 : 6
lukkas : 2 pal = +2 : 6
Alan : 3 pal + 1 Lady = +4 : 10

Round 4 (Festival)

The fourth month; the princes acted.
"My palaces are full," skappax realized, and he built a new palace.
"Ditto," said lukkas. He had to pay $3 for the star ritual, but he got an extra storey thanks to his newly-hired Builder.
Alan wanted to double-build, but seeing that taxation was freely available, he chose that instead. He felt that he could run more smoothly that way.


The fourth month; the princes recruited new persons.
"My palaces are still full," skappax continued with his recent realization, and recruited a Builder.
"I need more money for the Tributes," lukkas said, and recruited a second Tax Collector.
"I am going to be double-building from now on," Alan decided. "So I should take my elder Healer now. I need many persons to keep my palaces occupied, so I can't afford to let them die to the disease."

skappax : Builder = 22
lukkas : Tax = 22
Alan : el Healer = 10


The fourth month; the Festival was held.
Lukkas was the only one to have any Fireworks. In fact, he put out an extravagant display of 5 Fireworks, and earned 6 VP for it. (He spent 3 Fireworks, and was left with 2.) The other princes just watched.


The fourth month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
lukkas : 3 pal = +3 : 15
skappax : 3 pal = +3 : 9
Alan : 3 pal + 1 Lady = +4 : 14



Resources at end of round 4:
lukkas : $3, 2 Fireworks
skappax : $8
Alan : $13


Palaces:
lukkas (5/6) = yn Farmer + Tax / yn Pyro + Builder / Tax +1
skappax (5/5) = yn Pyro + Tax / yn Healer + Tax / Builder
tarot (6/6) = Builder + el Farmer / Tax + Builder + el Healer / Lady

[to be continued]

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Alan Kwan
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double build with Tax Collector + Builder start [2/3]
Round 5 (Tribute)

The fifth month; the princes acted.
Lukkas, with his two ardent Tax Collectors, levied a heavy $8 from his subjects. The people groaned and complained, but lukkas made the excuse that he was forced to do it for the Imperial Tribute.
Skappax proceeded with building two new storeys. The stars were unfavorable, and he had to pay $3 for the star ritual.
"Double-build time," Alan proceeded with his plan. It was probably the first time in skappax's career to see anyone doing the double-build, and he watched Alan's act in amazement. Alan made a new palace, and then immediately made another new palace with two storeys. This month's recruit would occupy the first one, while the second one would decay one level, but it would be occupied next month just in time (before it decayed entirely into dust). This way, Alan could make two new palaces with one action, which was highly beneficial for his prestige.

"But this way you lose a floor to decay," skappax questioned.
"It's intentional, and I don't mind that," Alan answered. "It doesn't affect my prestige."


The fifth month; the princes recruited new persons.
"The Contagion will strike next month," said lukkas as he recruited the last elder Healer.
"I need to prepare for the Contagion, too," said skappax. Since the elder Healers were no longer available, he could only get a younger one. Yet that was probably good enough for him, since he had started the year with another one.
Alan counted his treasury. "I have $10 now, which will become $6 after paying the Tribute. Which is not quite enough for my double building star rituals plus the next Tribute. Hence I would soon need to collect taxes again." With that plan in mind, he recruited a second Tax Collector.


lukkas : el Healer = 23
skappax : yn Healer = 26
Alan : Tax = 13


The fifth month; the Emperor collected his Tributes.
The princes were as well-prepared for the Tribute as they were for the Drought earlier, with adequate money in their treasuries. The Emperor was very pleased.


The fifth month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
skappax : 4 pal = +4 : 13
lukkas : 3 pal = +3 : 18
Alan : 5 pal + 1 Lady = +6 : 20


Round 6 (Contagion)

The sixth month; the princes acted.
"I can't afford to fall behind Alan in the building," remarked skappax as he built another new palace. He now had as many palaces as Alan.
"Ditto," said lukkas as he followed suit.
"Lucky, I get to use my newly recruited Tax Collector immediately," cheered Alan, who exploited his poor subjects for $8. His excuse was even lazier than lukkas's: "Lukkas was doing the same, so it's just common practice these days."

The sixth month; the princes recruited new persons.
"We will prevail over the disease," proclaimed skappax as he took a third Healer. That also put him at 7 PP above lukkas, thus ensuring that he could not be blocked from collecting taxes next month.
Lukkas said, "We are going to enter the later half of the year, during which research would be fruitful." And he picked up an elder Scholar.
Alan looked at his palaces. He had all low PP persons, and he felt reluctant to lose anyone to the disease. And if he was to continue with the double-building, every new recruit would be going into a new single-storey palace, so they wouldn't be available as fodder either. "I'm immunizing myself against the disease too." He played a joker card for a younger Healer. In retrospect, an elder Warrior would probably be a better play, though.

skappax : yn Healer = 30
lukkas : el Scholar = 25
Alan : yn Healer = 17


The sixth month; the Contagion spread.
It didn't spread far, though, with an abundance of medical workforce in the lands. Only lukkas suffered a minor loss of a Pyrotechnist.


The sixth month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
skappax : 5 pal = +5 : 18
lukkas : 4 pal = +4 : 22
Alan : 5 pal + 1 Lady = +6 : 26


Round 7 (Tribute)

The seventh month; the princes acted.
Skappax taxed his subjects heavily for $8. For his excuse, he just lazily combined lukkas's and Alan's.
"I have to do some catching-up with my palace building," lukkas said and built another new palace. But then Alan jumped ahead by performing his second double-build.


The seventh month; the princes recruited new persons.
Skappax and lukkas smartly recruited elder Warriors to repel the Mongol Invasion next month. Alan cursed himself for not being quick enough. Seeing that everyone was building many palaces (himself especially), he secured a second elder Farmer. Now he could get 5 Rice per harvest, which would be worth 10/3 VP even if unused during the Drought - about as good as researching with a Scholar.

skappax : el Warrior = 33
lukkas : el Warrior = 28
Alan : el Farmer = 18

The seventh month; the Emperor collected his Tributes.
The princes were again well-prepared for the Tribute this time, and the Emperor was again very pleased.


The seventh month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
skappax : 5 pal = +5 : 23
lukkas : 5 pal = +5 : 27
Alan : 7 pal + 1 Lady = +8 : 34


Round 8 (Mongols)

The eighth month; the princes acted.
Skappax built again to keep up.
Lukkas took the opportunity to research for 4 VP.
This left harvest open for Alan, who promptly put his newly-recruited Farmer to work and harvested for 5 Rice.

The eighth month; the princes recruited new persons.
Skappax had 6 palaces but no Farmers, so he evidently needed one. Unfortunately, Alan had just taken all the elder Farmers, so skappax could only get a younger one.
Lukkas already had a Farmer, so he took the opportunity to seize an elder Monk.
With the Festival coming up next month, Alan played an elder Pyrotechnist.

skappax : yn Farmer = 37
lukkas : el Monk = 30
Alan : el Pyro = 21

The eighth month; the Mongols invaded.
Skappx and lukkas sent their elder Warriors to the empire's aid and earned 2 VP each. Alan did not have any Warriors, so he sent a Tax Collector instead. But though the Tax Collector could demonstrate enough might to extort taxes from civilians, he was not proficient enough to stand up against trained professional soldiers, and he never returned from his first battle.

The eighth month; Alan enjoyed the nights.

End of round scoring:
skappax : 6 pal = +6 : 31
lukkas : 5 pal = +5 : 38
Alan : 7 pal + 1 Lady = +8 : 42


Resources at end of round 8:
skappax : $5, 2 Rice
lukkas : $0, 2 Fireworks
Alan : $7, 5 Rice


Palaces:
skappax (9/11) = yn Pyro + Tax / yn Healer + Tax / Builder + el Warrior / yn Healer +1 / yn Healer +1 / yn Farmer
lukkas (8/10) = yn Farmer + Tax + el Monk / Builder +1 / Tax + el Healer / el Scholer +1 / el Warrior
tarot (9/10) = Builder + el Farmer / Builder + el Healer +1 / Lady / Tax / yn Healer / el Farmer / el Pyro

[to be continued]

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Chad Ellis
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Alan, you're clearly one of the best Year players around on the Geek and your strategy articles are fantastic but it seems like a lot of your session reports feature very weak opponents. Neither of your opponents chose build or privilege on turn one, despite being in shared first, one of them virtually wasted all three of his early actions and with both of them competing for the lead you still tended to get first-pick of your actions with no need to pay.

The flavor makes it all fun, but as a session report it feels like solitaire. (Or a Chess session report between a Master and someone who brings his queen out on the second move and thinks Knights are worth more than Rooks.)

I'd love to see a session report where you faced strong opposition.
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Alan Kwan
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Good suggestion, Chad.

I need to get into such a game first, though. I was looking at #1156635, but the opponent's 2nd turn Fireworks seemed doubtful; I would have passed if in his position.
 
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