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Subject: The Gate after several plays (finally used it) rss

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Michel Condoroussis
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Ok, I know this has been discussed and the use of the Gate topic might have been over done already, but after reading most of the posts, I still did not seem to want to use the Gate ever.
I have played several games, with some pretty intense gamers and no one ever used the Gate, I mean not one.
But yesterday, I played and I actually used the Gate three times and it was very useful. I am not sure if anyone has stated this before, I am sure someone has, but here is what I did.
I wanted to place my worker on one of the buildings near the end of the track, about 2 spaces before the Provost. The problem was that no one had place a worker one the Guild yet, so I was not sure if the Provost would be moved back on the track and therefore would waste my worker. So I placed him on the gate. At the end of the worker placement, I saw that still no one was on the Guild, so I can move my worker to a building near the Provost and there would be less chance of someone moving the Provost back to prevent the activation of my building, since I had money to move him forward. It paid off; the building I placed my worker on was activated.
The same thing happened two other times and since someone had used the Guild and I knew they would move the Provost back, I placed my worker somewhere else. And both times, had I placed my worker on the further building, I would have lost him, since the Provost was moved back and the last few buildings were not activated.
Needless to say, when I first placed my worker on the Gate everyone kind of laughed. But then when my planned paid off, we all finally saw that the Gate was useful. Still though, three uses out of maybe 20 turns is not a lot, but it does come in handy.

Pezpimp
 
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Bob McMurray
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I guess I consider myself a pretty intense gamer and I have always included the gate in my choices when placing workers. I definitely consider it useful.

I have used the gate just as you have described and I also use the gate if I don't already have a lot of resources in my possession yet I will be acquiring enough during building activation to either build a batch in the castle or build a building(s). I can wait by placing a worker in the gate and see if I can get the batch favor by going to the castle vs. what my options are with buildings. In other words it allows me to be more opportunistic with castle favors particularly if I can "steal" one from the 1st castle builder by building two now. If no one ends up in the castle (maybe due to early worker price escalation) I can cherry pick the favor.

I think people who don't even consider it an option are missing out - it definitely can help you now and then.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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And thats not even counting the times it couldve been useful to the others, when they werent even considering it.
 
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Jay Little
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It's good to hear your results of using the gate. In 4 face to face games and 4 BSW games, I have yet to see a single player place a worker on the Gate... If you're concerned about a building on the end of the chain andthe guildhall is open (or whatever you move the provost with), folks plop it down there instead of letting someone else gain that advantage -- that keeps folks off the end of the track just as well.

I can see theoretically its use for jumping in on castle building if you have a resource advantage and can outbuild others there in a turn, but so far that's never come up in the games I've played.

It's interesting to see how other people have viewed or used the gate. I'll probably be a bit surprised if I see it used in a game, and will wonder what they're up to... so knowing how other people value it is helpful.
 
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Kevin Chamberlain
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I would have to say that the gate option can be voted as the all time worse option in any game. The fact that a few people use it does not give it validity. The only way it would be a valid option was to make it so that when you activated that gate, you could place your worker on any other building and have it immediately activated so you could take the new building's resources or action. But as it stands, the gate is the most useless of all options in a game.
 
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mike tauman

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I finally played my second game of Caylus last night. I played my first with my girlfriend and we played a nice friendly game (we didn't stick each other with the Provost movement we just wanted to have fun, not kill each other) and we didn't use the gate. I posted a thread here saying that I couldn't even imagine a use for the gate, and there were many replies and I started to see how, in a more competitive, cutthroat game, the Gate could be useful.

Last night my dad and I played head-to-head. He is very competitive and has a win-at-all-costs for every game we play. I didn't use the gate much, but I did use it maybe 2-3 times and he used it once although it didn't help him to use it.

Our game was very quick because after the first couple turns which we spent screwing each other with the provost, I saw that he was not bothering with production (one turn we pushed the provost back to the first building after the bridge, so there was no production at all) or the castle, so I started pushing the provost forward to get the bailiff up to score the castle sections. All in all he wound up getting no batches for the dungeon and, believe it or not, the tower! I won by more than the 6 points he lost, but still its not easy to get locked out of 2 sections in a 2-way game!

Anyway as for the gate, I used it mostly to hide my intentions. So I would take the provost (guild hall? I still forget the building names) and the gate and my other workers were close to the bridge. My dad had no idea if I would be pushing the provost forward or back, but had to assume I would push it back since I had no workers there, so he was reluctant to take buildings down the road near the bailiff. Then as we were running out of workers I could place one near the bailiff and use my gate-worker for the castle or vice versa.

I still want to play with more than 2 players, and I think with 4-5 players the Gate would be useless... since almost every building will probably be filled the "hiding your intentions" wouldn't work since there would be nowhere for the gate worker to go but the castle (which is a good strategy as well for the gate, being LAST in the castle), but at least I got some use out of the Gate and saw it in action.
 
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Chris Trimmer
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Better a sometimes useless building than a gamebreaker. Let's be realistic.

That there isn't a great reason to pick it every time doesn't make it invalid. It's greatest strength is flexibility and hidden intentions. There isn't always a direct translation of these strengths into VPs which is why so many ignore it.
 
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Marc Hartstein
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I had a player in a three-player game last weekend use the Gate very effectively in combination with the Merchant Guild to lock down the buildings near the provost. With the Gate, he didn't need to play a worker out near the provost (signalling to other players that it was safe to play out there). If the other players played in outer buildings, he could move the provost back to hurt them and put his Gate worker in another useful (although not quite as exciting) building. If we all stayed away out of fear, he could move into that nice outer building and get its use without having to allow other players the nice buildings nearby.

It seemed to be an effective midgame strategy. I don't know if it would work in a full game, or in every game, however.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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BooChihuahua wrote:
I would have to say that the gate option can be voted as the all time worse option in any game. The fact that a few people use it does not give it validity. The only way it would be a valid option was to make it so that when you activated that gate, you could place your worker on any other building and have it immediately activated so you could take the new building's resources or action. But as it stands, the gate is the most useless of all options in a game.


Wow.

In 2 player, there are many MANY times, mostly in the midgame and engame, where once the obvious best moves like 2-3 cubes produciton building and gold mine are taken, that the gate becomes the best pick.

This is because it can be used as the 'build last at the castle' pick, which is not otherwise possible.


These positions occur freqnetly in multiplayer games as well, just not quite as often.


In addition, there are often times when the flexibility of the gate option makes it valuable. For example, if I play on the gate, the provost mover may still be bad for my opponent, because I can move that gate guy to a safe square. If my opponent never takes the provost mover, I go on teh good suare near the end. If they do, I go on a safe square, and they used up a worker placement.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Put another way:

If you have two highly skilled, and equally skilled, 2 player Caylus players, and one of them is forbidden to ever use the gat,e and the other is not, I believe the one who can use the gate will win most of the games.
 
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Jorge Montero
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In most cases. The gate stands for 'Build last at the castle'. When you have the biggest stack of cubes in hand, and there is little risk of filling up the castle section being built, you can force your opponents to either let you get a favor for castle section, or buy multiple castle sections that won't get them a favor anyway. Sure, sometimes you might be able to place the last guy in a late building, but I think that situation should be pretty rare.
 
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Michel Condoroussis
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Quote:
The only way it would be a valid option was to make it so that when you activated that gate, you could place your worker on any other building and have it immediately activated so you could take the new building's resources or action


As TrimChris said, it is better to have a building not be used very often than have one that is way better than any other building. Many people have mentioned that it should have been placed furthur down the road and allow you to use previous buildings, which may or may not be a good idea (I would have to play it that way a few times to know). But to be able to use any building, would be way too strong. It would always be the first building used, since it would be able to activate any building and that building would be chosen after everyone else has placed their workers.
I personally like it where it is, now that I know how to use it.

Pezpimp
 
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Seth Jaffee
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pezpimp wrote:
Quote:
The only way it would be a valid option was to make it so that when you activated that gate, you could place your worker on any other building and have it immediately activated so you could take the new building's resources or action


As TrimChris said, it is better to have a building not be used very often than have one that is way better than any other building. Many people have mentioned that it should have been placed furthur down the road and allow you to use previous buildings

I wholeheartedly agree that the notion of allowing it to use any building (especially if that includes buildings occupied by others) would be rediculous. I think perhaps the poster meant placing the worker in any UNOCCUPIED building, even one beyond the Provost. That would still be too good, imagine placing on the Gold Mine from turn 1.

I do believe though that the Gate would be more appropriate if it occurred after the Provost-Mover. I firmply believe that seeing the provost location before teleporting would not be too overpowered, as you're still at the mercy of whatever's left over.

However, the more and more I play the game, the more I believe that sure - the gate would obviously be better after the Provost-Mover... and I still don't think it's way too overpowering that way, but it's still pretty good where it is. I'm starting to see that it might actually be more interesting the way it is now.

This is coming from someone who likes the gate very much, and uses it a lot (maybe even more than I should!)

- Seth
 
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Alex Rockwell
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I find the gate would be worse in 2 player if it occurred after the provost mover.

Because I sometimes use it to threaten to go to the provost moer. Its like: "haha, here is this worker that could go to the provost mover and screw you, even afte I pass. Would you like to choose the provost mover, so I cant do that? Thanks ,now that you spend an extra $ on that, I will move that worker somewhere useful."
 
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Richard Smethurst
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I think the gate is useful for 2 players, but for 3-5 players it is pointless most of the time. I am starting to think that the designers only put it there for 2 player games.

I think if the gate appeared after you pay to move the provost (bridge) in 3-5 player games it would be useful, but it still need to appear at its normal spot for 2 players to remain worthwhile. I'm not certain it wouldn't cause balance issues though after the bridge.

Our group seldom uses the gate, and never with any great success.I would be interested to see if being placed after the bridge changed that attitude.
 
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Chris Van Auken
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My group recently adopted a house rule for the gate when playing with 4 and 5 players(the only number I have played with so far). It has been very popular with the group and appears to be very well balanced relative to all the other possible choices during worker placement. The change is that a worker placed at the gate is discounted by 1 denier i.e. it is free if placed before anyone has passed. It costs 1 denier after the first person has passed etc. You can refer to my post in the variants section for some additional comments, but agreement within my groups has been unanimous. If you are looking for even more legitimate options during the game you might want to give this a try.
 
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(Chuck Singer)
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Quote:
The only way it would be a valid option was to make it so that when you activated that gate, you could place your worker on any other building and have it immediately activated so you could take the new building's resources or action


I think this instant activation could work if:
A) it is an unoccupied building. The gate is activated after all players have played their moves, so this still could be useless if all buildings are occupied.
-and-
B) it is before/on the current provost position. So buildings before but close to the provost could be activated before the provost is pushed back.

I think this makes a nice compliment to the provost-fear imposed by the guild hall and forcing the other players to take the buildings near the provost to stop some Gate-fear.
 
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Matthew M
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The instant activation would make the Gate/Provost-mover combo more powerful than it is already. As it stands the combo makes other players wary of playing near the provost because they could get screwed, leaving good building options for the worker on the gate. However another player could still venture in the area hoping that the gate worker will join him and thus make the play safe.

With instant activation the gate worker goes to a powerful building near the provost and THEN the provost moves backwards anyways. Not cool.

-MMM
 
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