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Subject: Played 2-way again last night - still undefeated! rss

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mike tauman

New Jersey
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Well undefeated as in 3-0, one game against my girlfriend who isn't really into heavy strategy games and 2 games against my dad, who is a competitive player and a smart guy, but as these long games drag on and on he sometimes loses focus a bit... actually I do too especially when we each have 15 cubes in front of us with the bailiff racing for the tower scoring square our minds get a little muddled trying to think of what we are doing and what the other guy is doing and who can make how many batches etc. But I bet that using the word 'undefeated' got you to click on the thread! On to the session.

The first game my Dad and I played was on Sunday. I knew from prior games that he plays a very cutthroat game, always looking to take his opponent down rather than build himself up. So I took advantage of this. In early turns we each were shooting the provost back, sometimes all the way to the bridge. Since I knew, before worker placement, that this would wind up happening (know thy opponent!) I made sure I was on 3-denier building and the joust and the castle a lot so I didn't have to worry about the provost, and I only got cubes when I knew I already had the provost space.

In any event that game wound up fairly close until the last couple turns, when I really started pouring on the points with favors and prestige buildings. I probably won by maybe 20 or so but I only had maybe 75 total to his 55. Again it was a game with very little production or scoring early. My dad had almost ignored the castle completely and didn't seem too interested in the favors. I tried to tell him... but what can you do?

So going into last night's game I knew he would change his strategy. Building all those wood buildings for a couple points at the expense of favors and castle batches would not win... ever. The first few turns things were fairly even. I took the joust whenever I could if I had the cloth. My dad started doing that as well. He still was a little too focused on the provost space (merchant guild? still dont know building names). Many times he took it and I would place on the building the bailiff was on anyway, knowing that he would have to pass before me, and knock the provost ALL the way back AND spend deniers to prevent me from activating... plus he had a building or two right behind me. There were times that by screwing me over, I would screw him over right back, so when the merchant guild activated he would just push the provost FORWARD - meaning he essentially wasted his worker and 1 denier to place there. He learned this lesson the hard way when I had the building on the bailiff (a wood production building I believe) and he had the 2 buildings behind me (1 production and 1 carpentar), and he shot the provost back thinking I would just spend to move it forward, instead I moved it BACK 2, costing him 2 buildings to my one (and he needed the cube for the castle as well!).

Anyway the game was somewhat even for quite awhile. I was ahead on the favor tracks, focusing on getting batches into the dungeon for the favors and the 5 PP, and then a favor at the scoring, but he caught on and it was pretty close. We both go heavily into the Building favor track, which seems clearly to be the best track there.

I had no intention of making the mason, figuring I will build all my stone buildings through the favor track, and with a 1-stone discount to boot! My dad didn't create it either. Once the dungeon was scored things really heated up. I was going first and took the joust right off the bat. I wanted to build a stone production building before he could. However at this time he had a lot more cubes than I did. During that turn he was able to snag the favor at the castle. I thought I would be in trouble, as we each built a stone production building (I built the 2-food/1-cloth one, he built the 2-stone one which I think comes with a cloth or is it wood I forget?), but next turn HE WOULD GO FIRST! He had cloth and cash and I figured WITHOUT A DOUBT he will place his first worker in the joust and build that 3rd stone production building.

Error #1. On his turn he placed on the provost. With a puzzled look I immediately placed on the joust. We talked about it and as soon as I mentioned it he realized that he probably had made a mistake. My dad does not hit this website, but to be fair I do try and pass on what little I learn here to him so that our games will be fair. I told him even before Sunday's game that the building-favor-track is the way to go, that favors can make the game for you, and that the castle is important. He ignored me and somehow Sunday's game was close... this game had been fairly close but it was about to become much less so.

From this point on my dad continued taking the provost. Maybe I had it once. The thing is all 3 stone production buildings were near each other. If he would screw me by pushing the provost back, I would push it back even further if I acted last on the bridge so we would each lose an equal amount of cubes. Furthermore, the 1 stone production building he had was the 2-stone one, but during the game we each only had built 1 residence until about 2 turns from the game's end, and even that came after the dungeon scoring. Stone is great if you want to build a lot of prestige buildings... but you need to build residences first! And I owned the lawyer, so I got an extra PP here and there from him.

Our stone production buildings were just 1 off of the gold mine. My dad focused on gold, but a couple times, in his attempt to bring me down with provost movement, he had to move the provost behind the mine! So when I lost 2-wood/1-cloth he would lose a gold, and I already was building a lead, and the only way he would stop me was with prestige buildings. I didn't get my first gold for some time.

I don't remember it turn for turn, but what wound up happening was that my dad spent 4 batches at the castle the turn the walls were about to be scored, depleting his resources... he wanted to get to 5 total for 3 favors. I spent behind him 2 batches to get to 3 total for 2 favors. He may have gained a favor on me but you can't use those 3 favors on the same track! We each took a building and money... and his extra favor earned him a food cube which would not help much.

At this time, since I had the early favor lead, we each had the buildings at column 4 but I also had the coin favor at 4 while his was I think at column 1. This was the clincher.

We were both a little foggy toward the end and the bailiff was 4 spaces away. I wound up building all but 2 of the stone buildings (all through favors, and including the Jeweler Tile which I created... how do you buy the official one?) and those 6 PP just kept adding up and up and up. My dad started passing on the favors and hoarding stone and doing anything to get gold... too bad that once he built a second residence, a small prestige building (forget which one) and the 25-pointer he was still about 15 points behind me. But these last couple turns changed everything....

My dad was low on cash. My last favor the previous turn, I passed up on a building (with the stone buildings gone the wood buildings are not as many points anyway) and took 7 deniers from the favor track so that I could influence the provost and not worry so much about money. I placed in the castle, my dad was focusing on production, I grabbed a production, he grabbed another... and then I realized... he was down to 2 coins! We both had a decent amount of cubes but he had more and was producing more this turn... but if I PASSED he would NOT be able to place in the castle this turn! In 2-way they bump the cost from 1 to 3 right away. I passed, he threw a guy into one of his own buildings and passes.

I got a fast favor and was able to bump the provost up since I had cash and he was down to 1 coin, forcing the bailiff up 2 (hopefully 1 turn from game over!) and that turn pretty much did it. The NEXT turn... since his residences were now non-income earning prestige buildings... he had just 3 coins! He took the joust (cost another coin!) and I immediately took the trading post (3 coin) so he could not get it (that was error #2 or maybe 3 since he hurt himself by being short of funds the prior turn) and then he took the provost to make sure the game would last at least one more turn... but that turn I placed my 6 guys all over the place mostly in my own buildings for 1 and 1 guy in the castle, uncontested again, for 3. Another easy favor in the castle and more coins, which I converted into PP on the stone building that you convert deniers into PP. I also converted my remaining 2 cloth into 4 PP. On the final turn, I was already running away with it and we just went through the motions without much thought. My dad was disgusted with himself at this point and just saying "its over it doesn't matter" and flicking his deniers into the stock with each worker he placed. I had so much I wanted to do that turn even though the end result was already predetermined because I wanted to see how many points I could actually get but he was miserable and it just turned 11pm so I made a few quick moves made a few batches and spent a few favors (had 6 batches in the tower) and my final score was probably in the 130-140 range.

It was surprising that it was such a blowout. The first game we played I thought would be a blowout since he had ignored favors and the castle, but his buildings got him a decent amount of points and he hung in there. This game we took on similar tactics until midway through and then he made one mistake and it all went downhill.

Hopefully I can get him to play again or find some other people that want to play. I have a lot to learn in Caylus and I made a couple minor mistakes myself but so far I have thoroughly enjoyed the game.
 
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Shawn Low
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
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Why don't you try 3 player.

Oh, and try playing with 'gamers' too. That should give you some challenge.
 
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Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
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Hey, 2 player rules. Its very challenging with a good opponent
 
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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shawn_low wrote:
Why don't you try 3 player.

Oh, and try playing with 'gamers' too. That should give you some challenge.


Well I won't say it isn't challenging. I may be winning but still I make mistakes like miscounting how many batches I will have for the castle because I am spending one at the joust or lawyer, or realizing too late that when I get my castle favor to build something I am out of food or cloth and only have stone or wood and I really wanted to build a particular building. Heck I'm in my early 30s but my mind is already getting old! A few years ago I was able to see stuff like this and had a crystal clear memory. As it is now I count my cubes + potential production like 4 times per turn and still screw it up hehe.

I want to play 3 way badly but my girlfriend doesn't like games like this. Puerto Rico she likes and she still likes Settlers but this game is just too long and too much hardcore strategy for her to stay interested.

Definitely would like to play with some good gamers and get my butt whipped a bit. Its the best way to learn.
 
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