A Tale of Two Strategies
Tony Chen
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I've noticed that many decent games have dual strategies. In some cases, they are independent strategies where a player can pursue one and more or less discard the other. In other cases, they are not so much two sperate strategies as they are inseparable and interactive aspects of one single strategy, and the player must strive to balance the two. While by no means a requisite for a good game, the duality of strategies can make a game very interesting. This list examines those strategical dichotomies.
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1. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:370]
Tony Chen
Taiwan
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-playing a first card to a stone; committ loosely on many stones
-playing a second card to a stone; committ heavily on fewer sontes

or alternately

-win 5 stones
-win 3 consecutive stones
 
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2. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:203]
Tony Chen
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-race to surround the queen
-unit depletion
 
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3. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:140]
Tony Chen
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-managing cash flow: have enough cash to buy bonds
-managing bond value: move country one has (or will have) majority holding in up on power level
 
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4. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Tony Chen
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-building monuments
-external conflicts

I don't count internal conflicts because they are often used to gain access to monuments or more favorable external conflict positions.
 
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5. Board Game: Nine Men's Morris [Average Rating:5.37 Overall Rank:14951]
Tony Chen
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-completing mills
-mantaining mobility
 
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6. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Tony Chen
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-commodity scoring
-linked palaces scoring
 
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7. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1136]
Tony Chen
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-color scoring
-village completion scoring
 
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8. Board Game: Tower of Babel [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1316]
Tony Chen
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-area majority
-disc collection
 
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9. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Tony Chen
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-shipping
-cash and building
 
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10. Board Game: ZÈRTZ [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:476] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Tony Chen
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-capture by jumping
-capture by isolation
 
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11. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:133]
Tony Chen
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-merchant and capital buildings
-missionary and colonising
 
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12. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Tony Chen
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-treating
-curing
 
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13. Board Game: Phantoms vs Phantoms [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2255]
Tony Chen
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-capturing
-escaping
 
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14. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
Tony Chen
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-aristocrat bonus
-blue building points
 
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15. Board Game: Octego [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:10840]
Tony Chen
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-black grid
-purple grid
 
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16. Board Game: League of Six [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1186]
Tony Chen
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-people points
-straight up points
 
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17. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Tony Chen
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-ore: cities and development cards
-wood and brick: settlements and roads
 
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18. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Tony Chen
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-cities
-roads
-farms

Oops that's three. Maybe that's why this game sucks.
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19. Board Game: Blackjack [Average Rating:4.57 Overall Rank:15298]
Tony Chen
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-donate money to casinos
-play blackjack at casinos
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20. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
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Munich
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- territory
- influence
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21. Board Game: 3 SPOT game [Average Rating:5.26 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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High score: getting 12 or more points, while forcing your opponent to get at least 6, but less than you.

Low score: getting less than 6 points, while forcing your opponent to get 12 or more quickly.

"Two strategies"-game in a nutshell.
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22. Board Game: Surakarta [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:10179]
Tony Chen
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-the outer loop
-the inner loop
 
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23. Board Game: Kaivai [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2789]
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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Delivering fish to yourself vs. delivering fish to opponents. That is, festival VP vs. building VP.
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24. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Alex Harkey
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Violet Buildings + City Hall
Production Buildings + Guild Hall

There are presumably quite a few other strategies, but these were the two dominant strategies that came to mind.
 
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25. Board Game: Neue Heimat [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1557]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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In our session yesterday, one player (who does NOT play regularly or very intensively) decided soon for an extreme strategy, and I immediately thought of this list.

You can:

- Bid regularly, getting two colours, invest your money and try to get a good score ...

- ... or bid on nothing first, hold some auction for stuff other people really want and need and held an amount of money after that for bidding for the only really important pieces late in the game (nobody has the money to outbid you): The "special building permits". Making all rows longer, nothing will be finished in the end, and all players end with a negative score. All but you. So you win!



 
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