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Elasund: The First City» Forums » Strategy

Subject: church ONLY strategy - works with 2! rss

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Jared Wilson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
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tonight I sat down with my wife to play Elasund.
The game is a bit too vicious for her and she has expressed her distate for it rather loudly. I told her I had read here how to make it a bit more friendly and so we went about setting the game up with the city walls out a bit (3 player) though we could still only build 4 city walls for 2 gold, and the extra windmills now visible were not in play. So, basically, we just had a little bit more room to build "friendly" (without having to build over one another) which turned out not to matter.

As we started to play I noticed my wife's strategy developing. At first it frustrated me, as I thought she was "quitting". But I played it out - and really, it did make me curious to see what would happen.
To make a long story short, she never once played a permit! She ended up building 4 city walls (which included a vp) and 8 pieces of the church, before I could finally pull out the victory. She would have won on her next turn!
I was amazed that with all my buildings on the board, and her 2, that she was able to keep up with me. I realized that on any roll I was getting a resource or two - and occasionally she would too. But my resource production, though I thought it would give me a significant advantage, it was all but neutralized by her continually taking 2 gold instead of playing any permits. Every third turn she built a piece of the church, so in one sense it was like I was playing against the clock.

I figure this strategy would not work with 3 or 4. A persons production would increase with more players rolling and she would still only get the 2 gold on her turn and the occasional rare production on the rolls.

But for two players - it's a viable strategy!

By the way - on my last two turns I was carefully watching to see if I should finish my vp building strategy or jump in on the church to force her to play some permits or more city walls. Turned out, I didn't need to...

Has anybody else seen this or done this - or is my wife the first?!
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Jim Cote
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If you see this happening, can't you simply build a couple of church tiles before she gets to 6? Once that tactics gets cut short, she's going to be sadly behind on the rest of the board. Note: I've never played.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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You don't mention the pirate ship (rolls of 7). I would have assumed her hand might have lost 1~3 cards with the pirate ship hitting her victory cubes along that row. So is it perhaps a case where a lack of the pirate ship aided and abetted her cause?
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Jared Wilson
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1. Yes, I could have jumped in on the church and forced her to play permits and buildings (or, more walls) and I was about to do that near the end if I needed to. I just felt that during the course of the game a building vp that also gives me resources is better than an expensive church piece, and as long as she wasn't getting in my way to build all the buildings I could then I would continue to go that route. Perhaps I should've done a church piece earlier, but I just didn't think she would be able to keep up with me. Turns out, she could keep up with me, and did! And now that I've seen it, it makes perfect sense (IN A 2 PLAYER GAME!) that this strategy works. I guess that's the point of my post.

2. It happened a number of times that I would roll a 7 and force her to discard 2 or 3 cards - but it didn't phase her. She was mainly using the cards to turn in sets to get an additional 2 gold, so she would just pawn off the cards she didn't need for those sets.
 
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d peruzzini
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cheektowaga
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do you think with 2 players you might have to wait until a certain goal is met to allow the start of the church building? maybe so many victory points or so many buildings built by the player that wants to build the church? after all in keeping with the theme of the game the stone curch wouldnt be built before a certain number of lesser buildings were crafted
 
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Seth Howard

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My wife has tried this tactic before. While it has yielded a close game, it is by far, not a good move. In response to a church build up, I tend to construct buildings and place permits with little conflict. Knocking down her buildings and taking trade spots, she tends to either have little money left from the church tiles and few ways to continue gaining resources. She can collect 2 gold a turn, but this means she would go 2-3 turns without doing anything. Not, in my opinion, a great tactic.

It has been useful when we're down to our last 4-5 cubes and we're generating decent income.. Then a major church grab can make you sweat.
 
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Alan Kwan
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I don't think the Church-only strategy is strong, and that doesn't depend on the number of players. The building costs are designed with the acknowledgement that you are sacrificing the opportunity to get 2 Gold when you place a permit. So, with other buildings, you should be spending about as much as the Church builder to get VPs, but you get much more income and also trade points. And pirates create a problem for the Church.

She may be able to knock out some of your buildings, but if you are aware, you shouldn't lose more than 1 or 2VP's of buildings to that, and your income and other advantages should more than compensate for that.
 
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patrick slyman
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rockport
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My wife also tried that strategy . . . she lost in 28 minutes. Not recommended!
 
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Ryan W
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I thought of that strategy several weeks ago, and finally tried it in a 4 player game. I came within 1 turn of winning the game. The other players were busy smashing each other, weakening their positions. Finally, one player was going to build a church piece to at least make me build 1 well, but then he was able to get the 10 points right before my turn and grab the win himself.
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Sebastian
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Hürth
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I won an Games for Geekgold Lottery with 0.09% Chance of winning. You sure you wanna mess with me?
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I don't think this is a good strategy.
ESPECIALLY in 2 Player when the second player is left alone with no competition on the rest of the board.

2 Victory points out of the curch cost 14 gold (7 turns without income).

Building a 6-tile building cost 3 permits (3 gold for 0,1,2) and 5 gold. 3 Turns for placig permits + 4 turns for 5+3=8 gold. Also 7 turns.
Placing that building at the harbor will generate 3 trade points also worth at least another victory point

Building a 4-tile building would take 2 turns for permits plus 1+3=4 gold. Meaning 4 turns for one victory point plus 2 trade points plus income.

All these combined with the rising pirate-thread built up by the church makes me think winning by church-only would need a lot of luck.

Also you need the will to discard most of the games strategic elements.
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