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Subject: Possible combo? rss

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Seth Jaffee
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When we started playing Caylus, we were removing all buildings from the game when a residence was built on them, not just the pink ones. It came to my attention recently that the Brown and Gray buildings are supposed to go back to the supply and can be built again. I thought that sounded kinda strange, as one tactic that my friends and I sometimes employed was building the Mason and then turning it into a residence (after maybe using it first), making it difficult for other players to build Gray buildings. Especially useful if you're on the building track and opponents are not - they have to either not build Gray buildings anymore, or start using their favors on the building track.

I never thought this was a particularly broken dynamic, it seemed just as fair as anything else one could try to do in Caylus. Returning the buildings to the stock takes this strategy away almost completely.

Losing that strategic option isn't so bad, but I wonder if there isn't something else wrong with that rule. Is there room for abuse? The first thing I thought was that a player could build a 6vp gray building, knock it down, and then build it again. A diligent player might be able to do that all in 1 turn, denying anyone the ability to use the building, which may be desirable if you don't want your opponents getting Gold, or building Blue buildings or something. But there are so many 6vp buildings that it seems silly to do it that way. Then it hit me...

What if you built the Church over and over? 3vp and a favor, which could be used for money (which could be spent at the church if you time it right), or maybe for VPs, or even the cubes to help keep the cycle going. Seems like cycling the Church could be a nice strategy... at least in line with building and removing the Mason as described above.

I have yet to attempt this strategy. Last night I was going to try it, but managed to play the worst game of Caylus ever and didn't even come close. I suspect this plan might work in well with a Money+VP track strategy, in which you want to build the church anyway, and you can really use favors for big chunks of income or VPs at a time.

I suppose this strategy could be disrupted fairly easily, by another player simply building the Church... but in that case you're not really out anything.

Any thoughts on this strategy? Have you tried it? Is it worth it? Is the rule better or worse than simply removing the building from the game when it's replaced with a Residence?
 
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Marc Hartstein
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I had a setup to do this in my last game, where I owned the church and the mason was immediately after the lawyer on the path. I had four turns in which the move was theoretically available to me, and I didn't do it a single time. I just couldn't justify the expenditure of two cloth, a stone, and three denier that way when there were important castle deliveries to be made.

Of course, this game was somewhat unusual in that it was very resource-poor. Every single wooden building was built before any of the stone ones, and a couple of the 6-point stone buildings were built before the stone production buildings. There wasn't a single stone production building before the gold mine. I think this made the strategy both more attractive (when half as much happens per turn, 5 points, another point of income, and a favor are a bigger deal) and less feasable (it was hard to come up with the 2 cloth and 1 stone while preserving enough money to be able to pull this off).

I'd also be curious to know if anybody has found themselves in a position to make this happen and felt it was the correct move, and how it worked out for them.
 
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Philip Thomas
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I thought Residences could only be built on Wooden buildings? (and the Pink uns, of course)
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Philip Thomas wrote:
I thought Residences could only be built on Wooden buildings? (and the Pink uns, of course)

... You thought wrong.
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yschiew
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look at Phase 5 under c) the lawyer

"The lawyer allows the player to transform a neutral building or one of their own craft buildings into a residential building."
 
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David Chapman
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sedjtroll wrote:
What if you built the Church over and over?


Ah, the Moorish Gambit. I was just thinking of writing something up on this, but you've saved me the trouble.

One way to run the Moorish Gambit is in the mid-late part of a two-player game while playing the Build favour track. Building the CC farm and the CCF factory is vital, as it gives you an almost guaranteed 3 cloth per turn. You'll also generally need access to the Lawyer, or the Castle favour. In this variant of the strategy you'll build a Residence, then the next turn use the Joust to rebuild the Church and the Lawyer to tear it down again. The favour from the Church can be used for PPs, money (which buys another 5PPs with change) or cubes. Stock up on cloth as much as possible before you start to remove the need for workers every turn, and it should be possible to clear 8-10PP each turn from 4 workers and 1 cloth. The remaining workers contribute to castle builds.

I don't know if it's a gamewinning strategy, but it's fun.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Ok, so in what sense is the Church a Craft building, follks?

Maybe I'm not the only one who thinks wrong
 
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David Chapman
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Ok, so in what sense is the Church a Craft building, follks?


In the sense that it can be built with the Mason, which builds "Stone craft buildings" according to the rules. The only brown or grey building that cannot be overwritten by a residence is the Lawyer itself.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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KANDANG wrote:
look at Phase 5 under c) the lawyer

"The lawyer allows the player to transform a neutral building or one of their own craft buildings into a residential building."

Someone beat me to this, but yeah... the Brown and Gray buildings are all "craft buildings". Wood Craft buildings, and Stone Craft Buildings.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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If you want to ensure your opponent can't disrupt your 'combo', you probably want to end each turn with the Church in play. That way you don't have to knock it down unless you can build it again the same turn. Also, this way you get to use the ability as well.

The best way to go about it is probably to run up the Building track as well as putting the Mason into play, so that you have 2 spaces to knock down the Church, and 2 places to build it (Joust + either Lawyer or Mason). Then each turn you could be buying 5vps at the church, and looking to build a Residence as well as a Stone building - which will score you another 2+3 points and a handful of cash or maybe extra VPs.

If this strategy plays out like I suspect it might, it could be feasible to be high on 3 different tracks - money, building, and VPs, by the end of the game. So early favors go to money, mid game favors go toward building track and more money, and late game favors go toward VPs... With income from the track as well as many residences there should be no cash problem.

My biggest question is... what does the early game strategy look like if you are going to pull this off? What do you do for the first few turns, and when do you aim to build each of these buildings (Mason, Lawyer, Church for the first time)?
 
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Jasen Robillard
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I've tried this strategy a couple times on BSW in 2er games and it isn't broken by any means. In games where I've pursued the strategy stubbornly, I remember losing a tight game, winning a blow out game and finishing an exciting high scoring game in a tie. I've also used the church recycling in opportunistic one-off circumstances with some success but it's certainly not something I'd attempt as a singleminded strategy in a 4- or 5-player game.

Seth's misgivings about the inefficiency of using the cubes on the church and residences likely reflects some inner truth about the church recycling "combo": I'm sure it isn't a very efficient use of resources (I'm sure Alex has some thoughts on this...) That being said, winning tons of favors and recycling the church sure is fun to play. In ideal circumstances in 2er games, it's competitive and can win you the game but it's in no way a game breaker.


Initial layout of the pink buildings will certainly have some effect on the church recycling strategy. In all cases however, the critical thing is to control the flow of cloth. If you can somehow engineer some type of near-monopoly on cloth, then you're well setup for the church recycling. Ideally, you want to monopolize cloth early so that you can quickly go up the building favor track via the castle and the jousting field. With no mason in play and an opponent behind on the building track, I'd recommend building either of the stone buildings that generate cloth. Once you have at least 1 source of secured cloth, you can proceed to building the lawyer and the church. Use the turn order to the best of your ability in order to maintain domination in cloth, and at the jousting field. Only bulldoze the church if you can guarantee that you're the only one who will be able to rebuild it this turn or next. Ideally, by turn 6 you should be able to generate 1-3 favors per turn.



 
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Philip Thomas
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Ok, I am indeed the only one who thinks wrongblush

So every turn you need to occupy the Lawyer and the Mason. Although I suppose you can take the Joust field as a supplemental. You also need however many cubes the combo costs. I would have thought in a multiplayer game other players might start taking Lawyer and Mason, especially if they grasped your plan.
 
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Marc Hartstein
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Philip Thomas wrote:
So every turn you need to occupy the Lawyer and the Mason. Although I suppose you can take the Joust field as a supplemental. You also need however many cubes the combo costs.


2 Cloth, 1 Stone, 1 denier, plus the cost of occupying the Lawyer and Mason.
(If you use the Joust, add another Cloth and another denier, and remove either 1 denier or 1 Stone, depending on how you do it. Timing gets trickier here.)

Philip Thomas wrote:
I would have thought in a multiplayer game other players might start taking Lawyer and Mason, especially if they grasped your plan.


Take the Lawyer before the Mason. If another player takes the Mason, pave over a neutral building instead of the church this turn and let them build something else. You're still doing fine. There's probably something else good you can do with the worker who would have otherwise been building the Church.
 
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David Chapman
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MarcMagus wrote:
Take the Lawyer before the Mason. If another player takes the Mason, pave over a neutral building instead of the church this turn and let them build something else. You're still doing fine. There's probably something else good you can do with the worker who would have otherwise been building the Church.


Note also that you really need to build the Lawyer before the Mason is built. That way you can create a cycle in one turn and keep the Church in play so nobody can favour-build it.

I also wouldn't recommend the Moorish Gambit in anything other than heads-up games. It's too hard to assemble with more than two players.
 
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Retired Hurt

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"The only brown or grey building that cannot be overwritten by a residence is the Lawyer itself"

I don't see what in the rules makes the Lawyer so different from other buildings. To the contrary, it's a subtle trick if you're playing on the Building favor track and others aren't.
 
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Thomas Cauet
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Merrimac wrote:
I don't see what in the rules makes the Lawyer so different from other buildings. To the contrary, it's a subtle trick if you're playing on the Building favor track and others aren't.


You want the Building favor track to be stronger?
 
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David Chapman
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Merrimac wrote:
"The only brown or grey building that cannot be overwritten by a residence is the Lawyer itself"

I don't see what in the rules makes the Lawyer so different from other buildings.


You need a notarised document to rezone a commercial building as a residence. The only person who can draw up such documents is the Lawyer. Do you really think he's going to help you kick him out of his offices and convert them into flats?
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Merrimac wrote:
"The only brown or grey building that cannot be overwritten by a residence is the Lawyer itself"

I don't see what in the rules makes the Lawyer so different from other buildings. To the contrary, it's a subtle trick if you're playing on the Building favor track and others aren't.

It's the sentance that says "You cannot replace the Lawyer with a Residence". That's what in the rules makes the Lawyer so different from other buildings.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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I'm glad to see there have been other attempts at this combo... I will certainly give it another go sometime. Thanks Jason for chiming in... in your games, when you first build the church, about how far down the raod is it? Before the Gold mine? After it?

Also, let's address the other side of my initial post... would it be better or worse to simply remove the buildings from the game in all cases? Why do you suppose the rules put them back in the supply? Would you like to be able to build and then destroy things like the Mason and Architect, or does that just make the building track even more powerful?
 
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mike tauman

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I have a question, and I don't remember the rules clearly, but it pertains to this combo.

I vaguely remember a rule that says if you convert a building to a residence but that building has a worker in it, then it will not be knocked down until the end of the turn, or was it end of the phase? Something like that - basically the meaning that the worker in the building will still get to activate that building.

So the question is... CAN you knock down an already built church, and rebuild it, during the same turn?

Say the order of buildings is lawyer-mason-church.

You have workers in the lawyer and mason. Your opponent is in the church.

With the lawyer, you convert the church, which you own but do not currently occupy, into a residence. If I remember correctly this can't really take effect until either end of phase or until that building is activated but somehow, some way, the worker in the church will get to activate it prior to it becoming a residence.

Now on to the mason... church activation hasn't happened yet... what happens? Can you build ANOTHER church, and just "remember" that you will move the stone tile there at phase end?

Or would building the church be an illegal move, since currently the church tile is still technically on the board?

Also, would it matter if the church was occupied or not? Is the flavor of the rule (depending on what the rule says - I didn't memorize them ) that you cannot rebuild a torn down building in the same turn, or same phase?

Anyway any insight would be helpful. I really want to use this just for kicks the next time I play but my dad can be a real rules lawyer (and we are always on opposite sides of the fence) so I want to know how it works before I attempt it.
 
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David Chapman
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blakjaks wrote:
Say the order of buildings is lawyer-mason-church.

You have workers in the lawyer and mason. Your opponent is in the church.


It doesn't matter who's in the Church - you can't convert and rebuild it using the Mason in one turn if it's occupied. You can, however, rebuild it with the Castle favour. Preferably, though, you'll raze it with the Castle favour then rebuild it with the Joust or the Mason next turn - one opponent can't stop you getting both those spaces.
 
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Marc Hartstein
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Dangerous. They may not be able to stop you getting both spaces, but they can sure get the Joust in front of you and rebuild the Church themselves.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Jedit wrote:
Preferably, though, you'll raze it with the Castle favour then rebuild it with the Joust or the Mason next turn - one opponent can't stop you getting both those spaces.

But they CAN beat you to the punch with the castle or joust favor by building the church themselves...
 
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mike tauman

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Ah ok I see. So you can do this combo just not all at once in the building activation phase (phase 5 I think).

Cool. Can't wait to try it.
 
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John McGeehan
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gte910h wrote:
Why exactly does it being occupied mean you can't build it?

Perhaps I'm missing a timing issue here.


Haven't played Caylus in a bit, but I believe if a building is occupied but you want to pave over it with a Residence, the building isn't replaced until after that building is activated. So if the Church is at the end of the building track (likely if it keeps getting rebuilt), it won't be destroyed and be back in the supply until it is activated, which will be last.

Thus, since the Mason would inevitably be activated before the Church, the Church would not be available to be built that turn (but could be build the next turn, or with a castle favor).

T.
 
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