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Subject: Coyotek4-vs-montu, Report #3 rss

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Mike K
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Another day, another 2pl game on BSW against an old friend and foe ... montu.

(Recall that, of the two other games against him that I wrote about, he won the first while we tied the second.)


This one started off slowly, with neither of us getting into the castle on the first turn; on the second turn I took the gate and decided after we both passed that, as I did not wish to compete in the castle, I decided to go for the carpenter (a move I normally shun). I decided then and there to stray from my usual strategy of hitting the building track; instead, I built the wood quarry (two stones), with the intent of building the mason shortly thereafter. For his part, montu took cash for his favor.

Next turn (as is wont for him to do), montu, placing first, went for my quarry. However, with the provost/baliff on that same spot, I decided to take the Guild; net result, I get a point for a coin (the one I had to spend to guarantee that he could not use it). In retrospect, had he taken the Guild first, I was set to take the quarry so he couldn't get it; in that instance, I save a coin but lose the point. (A similar circumstance happened next turn; again he grabbed the quarry, and again I took the Guild; that time, though, I allowed him to pay to get it, and he did.)

What amazed me, though, was montu's second favor (which was taken after the mason was built); contrary to most games he plays, he went for the build track. He would later build the wood marketplace (a move I often do myself when using the strategy), while I went for the points track with the favors I accumulated. At the end of the dungeon phase, he had a small cube lead while I enjoyed a few extra points.

The middle phase really sent us in different directions: during that time, montu got more favors from the castle (getting a total of five batches) and parlayed them into buildings such as the wood peddler, church, bank and alchemist. At the same time, I milked my mason to get all three production buildings, then enjoyed a steady stream of cubes (both when I grabbed those buildings, and when he did). By the end of the wall phase, he had started the point track, was as far as possible for the money and building track, and had a residence up (with some gold in reserve); I was at the four-level for points and money, and (after forcing his hand on the last turn of the round in the castle) enjoyed a large cube advantage (including two gold, though no lawyer and no architect). Despite the shortage of castle batches, I had the lead on the board from all the times he took my buildings.

The beginning of the third phase saw me go all-out for buildings, getting the lawyer and architect out on one turn. This worked well for me, as I eventually grabbed the 3wood/2gold Prestige building for 19 points (14 + 5 for the favor). For his part, montu got the 4stone/2gold Prestige building (which he used to get a couple points and more cash). He also grabbed a second residence, and had a healthy supply of stone and gold while I began to catch up in the castle. At one point near the end, I had a 123-98 lead, with montu holding enough cubes to build the 5stone/3gold 'behemoth' cathedral (25 pts). Though I still felt comfortable with my position, I figured it would be a close finish.

Last turn of the game: I grabbed the joust for 5 points, the mine for 3 points (i.e., the gold cube), the mason for 6 points (what I got for the other architect), the first spot in the castle (for, I had hoped, 2 batches and another favor), and the lawyer (which turned out to be a mistake, as I would not have had enough cubes for the two batches I felt I needed to make in the castle; I ended up not building a residence). However, montu grabbed enough cubes to actually beat me in the castle that round, though I still earned a ton of points going into the final scoring. (montu built the tailor for 6 points for the favor he beat me to.)

Final favors: he had three, and I had two. He built the cathedral (and still had two gold to spare), took 3 points from the point track (which was as far as he got with that), and 2 points from the cash he accrued. I got 5 for the point track, 2 for the cash, and had one gold left over. (We both had a meaningless cube at the end.)

Final score: Coyotek4 150, montu 149.

(A single mistake can make all the difference, I can't help but think about the slight mistake montu made during the first phase.)

This now makes three 2-player games I have had against montu, where the final difference in points was one or less. And of the three, we each have one win, one loss, and one tie. To say the least, I think we're evenly matched.

(Personally, I think I needed it more; just before that game, he had won three straight 4pl games of Ra.)

Well, until the next memorable game ...
 
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Alex Bove
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What was my slight mistake? Going for the quarry right away? I'm not sure how much it cost me as I still got cubes that turn and you had to spend for the provost-screw. But it might have hurt me more than letting you get it. I think a much bigger mistake on my part was not jousting right away in the last turn. That would have denied you 4 VP and earned me quite a few (VP track probably, as I was cube-short).
 
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Mike K
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montu wrote:
What was my slight mistake? Going for the quarry right away? I'm not sure how much it cost me as I still got cubes that turn and you had to spend for the provost-screw. But it might have hurt me more than letting you get it. I think a much bigger mistake on my part was not jousting right away in the last turn. That would have denied you 4 VP and earned me quite a few (VP track probably, as I was cube-short).

The first time you went for the quarry, the baliff/provost started on that square; your first move was to grab it, and my first move was to take the Guild. Those moves cancel out, but I gained a point since you went into my building. I did have to pay a coin to guarantee that you could not pay extra to get it, but a coin for a point is a trade I will gladly make. Now if you take the Guild first, and I take the quarry to stop you, I don't get that point.

As for the last move, I don't think it was as big a mistake as you claim it to be. Remember, you were taking tons of cubes instead ... cubes that I'll get if left to me. Going into that round, you only have stone and gold; by the time the castle came around, you have enough to make three batches (beating my two) AND retain enough for the cathedral. If you joust first, it's almost certain that I will make more than 2 batches and/or you make less than 3. That means that I get the favor, and so it's a wash.
 
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