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Princes of the Renaissance» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Opening moves for PotR? What to try? rss

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Jay Little
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One of the problems I keep running into with PotR is the intimidation factor. There are so many options from the get go that it's hard to know where to begin. All the city, event and troop tiles are available -- so where do you start?

In several games I've played, especially the most recent game, there's a distinct arms race as folks snatch up all the high value troop tiles (especially the ones that also generate influence income). In fact, this often goes on for several rounds in a row...

The city tiles start out pretty darn expensive, and locking yourself into one of your three cities doesn't seem all that valuable, except for perhaps a few of the tiles (veto a war, gain +2 influence per turn, etc). So it's hard to decide when to auction them off, and which ones to start with.

The event tiles have middling initial power, since the VPs awarded are fairly low... But I suppose you could snatch them for pretty cheap. But are you giving up too much by ignoring something else?

It's incredibly hard to have any basis for your decisions. It gets much easier in the 2nd and 3rd decades, where some game context has developed and you can better evaluate the players' positions and the relative value of auctions based on their more immediate returns... But that first decade is agony -- and invariably takes much longer to play out.

Any suggestions? What's a good area to focus on? While tiles do you find to be the most valuable? What are some good early game strategies to work toward?
 
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Sean McCarthy
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You definitely want to get at least one troop, so that you are allowed to fight in wars. Get either a cavalry, if you are going for laurels, or an infantry if you are planning on losing battles. You might want to get more than just the one cavalry if you are doing the win battles thing.

Now you will notice that the players who bought expensive troops have less money. This makes it better for the other players to auction off valuable tiles, like the condottiere discount ones. These tend to go for a lot, and suck even more money out of the game, making the remaining players' money more valuable. The fighting players will lose the most money.

At this point, if you have a lot of money, you will have the opportunity to get some cheap tiles. Good ones to get include any tile that gives a free action (steal 2 influence, veto war), tiles that provide multiple influence (doge, the reroll-dice guy) and merchants (with the merchant event). If you are going for merchants, you ideally wait until people have spent influence on wars before auctioning the merchant event.

In the first decade, I haven't seen it work to try to end the decade early by auctioning all the events. It's better to capitalize on the temporary poverty of the fighters by buying cheap city tiles. And the fighters have to spend a lot of actions buying an initial army and fighting wars.

Once people start getting city tiles, starting wars becomes one of the best actions available. Since the attacker usually wins, you can use wars to manipulate ranking and prices of tiles.
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Brad Miller
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The Doge is so totally sweet. Get him for cheap, and you're on your way to a win. He tends to be expensive. Wait till a second or third time around to put him up for auction. Perhaps you can drive down Venice's value before you put him up for bid. Helps a lot if the other players can't pay for him...
 
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James Faulkner
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You don't need a big army to win this game, it is just one possible route to victory. I have won several times with just 1 military unit. If all the other players are going for large armies the strategy of not doing so is even more effective. You have more money to spend on other things than they do, they split laurels between them and you can still influence the movement of city values by fighting on the side you wish to lose.
 
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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Although early in the game you have no idea which are going to be the most VP rich cities, nevertheless I would advise going for city tiles that you want early on (when you feel you stand a decent chance of winning the auction). Why? Because unless something really weird happens, you're never going to have as much money as you do at the start of the first decade, and city tiles are so stinking expensive. Likewise, if you're planning to go for city tiles in subsequent decades, try to go for them early, before your money has been absorbed by troops and treachery. Many thanks to Sean McCarthy for his wisdom on the subject!
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James Ludlow
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Windopaene wrote:
The Doge is so totally sweet. Get him for cheap, and you're on your way to a win.


I also like to use him as bait to get an ally in Venice. If I'm planning to run Merchants, I'd like to have at least one other player with a vested interest in red. Putting up the Doge early means that you're either going to drain money off the table and gain a potential ally or you get the Doge cheaply. Either outcome is usually a good thing. Just be careful that when you do this you can actually afford the merchants, because if not, you might be acting as a puppet for the player to your left.

 
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no armies in th whole game, just buy all merchants. I know it sounds stupid but one of our group did it and won the game. Since then we dont play that game anymore.
just keep in mind, you can afford to pay any price for a mercant, you need none for an army.
 
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