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Subject: Using hideouts - Are you definsive or OFFENSIVE? rss

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John Heder
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I play Wyatt Earp with two fairly distint types of players. What seperates them is how they use the Hideout Sheriff card.

Though there might be better terms, these two usages I will call Offensive and Defensive, and I find that I have to alter my method of playing to match their "styles."

A Defensive player is one who uses the hideouts to help themself by cutting another player out of a reward that both are involved in capturing, thus increasing the amount of reward they will collect. A Defensive player will also use a hideout to prolong the game, playing it on the player in the lead in the later rounds, or on players who threaten to take over the lead. To a Defensive player a hideout is a pretty good card to discard in early rounds, prefering to hold on to outlaws, photos and even stage and bank robbery cards - cards that will increase their CPs and reward money.

An example. Player Bob has previously played a Photo of Belle Starr and two of her outlaw cards, biving him a total of 8 capture points. He can capture her all by himself. However Player George was the one to "open" Belle up with three of her outlaw cards and has successfully played a Bank Robbery on her for 8 CP of his own. Player Bob as a Defensive player, will attempt to play a Hideout on Player George's Belle Starr CPs so as to collect the entire reward for himself.

Another example. In round three or four, Player Bob has collected at least $20,000 and is in the lead by 7 to 12 thousand. He is in danger of running away with the game. Players George and Ralph combine their strategies by playing hideouts on Bob's outlaws that will give him the biggest rewards so as to stop him from collecting the last few thousands he needs.

An Offensive player is one who will collect hideouts off the discard pile instead of pulling two new cards, or even use a Wyatt Earp card to pull one out of the discard pile when they don't use it immediately. An Offensive player will use hideouts to stop other players from collecting a reward even if they are not "in on" that outlaw - when it doesn't increase the reward money that they are collecting. An offensive player will aslo tend to collect cards, particularly outlaw cards, sot hey can play many of them at one time when they feel the round is about to end or when they wish to end the round themselves - like going out in gin.

An example. In round one, Player Bob plays a Photo and three outlaw cards on Bob Dalton, then discards a hideout. Player George, even though he is in need of several different outlaw cards picks up the hideout an plays it on Bob's Bob Dalton cards. His entire turn is taken up and he has not improved his position, and since he still has to discard something, he may even be in a worse position.


I myself tend to be more defensive. I like to discard hideouts so I can hold on to what I feel are better cards. I will keep them if the game is in the later rounds and I feel I need to stop someone else, and in those cases I feel it is better to use than discard. This way if thge shot is not successful, the hideout is not the top card on the discard pile.

However, when playing an Offensive player, I have learned that I shouldn't discard hideouts if at all possible, especially when he or she is immediately to my left. I also tend to collect cards in my hand rather then play them when I'm able, as any cards played become hideout targets for any or no particular reason.

At times if I have the required three outlaw cards and the Photo for that outlaw, I like to play the outlaw cards and keep the Photo in my hand to see if I can get others to add to the reward for me, then bump them out by playing the photo and collect all the reward for myself. But as Offensive players often hold on to cards till the end, they don't tend to fall for that little trap. Photo cards actually tend to foul up Offensive players as the one sheriff card per turn can keep them from playing all their cards at once, so Photos are often discarded.

Basicly in my experience, the most successful players tend to be a little more defensive than offensive, unless one defensive gets caught in a grip of offensive and doesn't alter his strategy.
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Seth Jaffee
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I'm one of the "Offensive" players to which John's referring. I don't think 'offensive' and 'defensive' really convey the feeling you are trying to relate, but I also can't think of better desciptors at the moment. Perhaps 'aggressive' and 'conservative'?

Or perhaps you think my plays are offensive to you because they make me win! (that's a grammer joke, I don't know how well it'll go over the internet.)

More seriously, even a 'defensive' player like you describe would do well to hold onto Hideouts, so that later in the round they'll have an opportunity to use them. As for the motivation to play a Hideout when I'm not in on the money is simple - and it's especially true in a 2-player game (though can hold in a 3-player game depending on the situation)...

You scoring and not me is far worse than you NOT scoring and me also not scoring. I'd MUCH prefer a pile of money be left on an outlaw, where I have a chance to try and get it next round, then to simply let you have it. In a 2-player game it's a zero sum - if I don't get the reward than you do (eventually) - so I obviously don't want you to get it. In a multiplayer game it's still similar - I'd rather hae a fighting chance at the reward than watch it go to a single opponent.

As for playing cards all at once vs as they come up, I haven't figured out just what I think of that yet. There's an obvious advantage to going out all at once... your opponent doesn't get to get in on your outlaws, or play their next Photo, or use a Hideout on you. However I think there are (situationally) subtle reasons to 'meld' outlaws early. One of them you mentioned, to bait people to add to the reward before shutting them out with a photo. Another reason is having a bunch of Photo cards in hand, you can only play 1 per turn, so you want to get some guys out there early and play your photo cards (or bank robberies, etc). The last reason I can think of off the top of my head is sharing the reward. If you have 3 outlaw cards and don't want to take the time to play Bank Robberies on them, maybe your opponent will help capture the outlaw and you'll share the points.

I think the key to being a successful player is knowing when to be aggressive and when to be conservative. And by all means, you don't want to hand your opponent the means to shut you out of points!

- Seth
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