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Subject: Is a money based victory possible? rss

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Edward Wendt
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Usually counting the money is a step which doesn't add much to the totals at the end. I suppose it could decide a close game.

Has anyone ever tried a money based strategy towards the game, maybe with a combination cards such as gaming guild, gambling den, Rome/Ephesus, Midas, Croesus and Berenice.

Midas and Gambling Guild together would make every coin with 1 VP, and discarding every card, except where it gives money would mean around 60 VP at the end of the game, which can be enough to win.

Has anyone tried it?
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Raithyn
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While I won't say it's not possible with the official expansions, it's certainly easier with El Dorado from the Lost Wonders and/or Yerushalayim from Empires. (Both are fan expansions.)

 
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Michael Young
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It is feasible but think of the alternative costs involved of discarding cards. By age 3, cards have a higher average value. I think if you went after the most valuable card for your opponents you might be able to compete but your hoping that you pull the gaming guild in age 3, open hand. If I saw your strategy, rest assured I'd bury it if I pulled it.
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Sam Link
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We had someone top 100 pts with a primarily gold based win. He had both point-for-coin cards, and kept getting gold from various yellow cards and neigbors buying his resources.
 
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I think with just the base game, money can hardly be called a strategy in its own right, it is mostly only a means to the end of buying resources from your neighbor and score a few additional points at the end.

With Leaders this changes. If you draft Midas in the beginning, you can well plan a strategy around him - particularly if you have a wonder that generates a sizeable amount of money (most of all Ephesos B) or one or even two other leaders that can generate additional coins. The Gamer's Guild can help as well, of course, but because you won't know until age III if you can build it (or if it is even in the game), you can hardly plan for it. So if you don't have Midas, you might emphasize coins a little more than usual because you know you might get a Gamer's Guild, but it shouldn't change much of your strategy.

In any case, you'll never simply want to discard every (non-coin-yielding) card for 3 coins as you seem to suggest.
If you play a money based strategy around Midas, you'll want to build considerably more yellow cards (and also black cards when playing with Cities) that generate coins than usual. Building more brown and grey cards than you otherwise would can also be a good idea because they often result in your neighbors giving you coins (which is why the particularly resource hungry Gizah B usually has lots of coins in the end).
Yellow, brown, grey and black cards are also the cards which have a corresponding card in age III giving 1 VP and 1 coin per card of that color (although the black one isn't necessarily in the game). So the cards of these colors can yield you additional coins.
But you'll usually want some VP from other sources as well (blue, purple, red or green). In most cases, there is something better to do than discard for 3 coins even with Midas. Remember that 3 coins only give you 2 VP with Midas and 3 VP with Midas and Guild. 2-3 VP for one card isn't that good, at least in ages II and III. You can often do better. Playing a money-based strategy with Midas just means that you'll discard a little more readily than usual on a bad hand or when you badly want to deny a card to your neighbor. At least in ages II and III, in age I with less valuable cards your propensity to discard may rise more strongly with Midas.

I like it a lot that Leaders introduced money as a strategy type in its own right! (I also like it that discarding everything is never the way to go, that would be boring.)
 
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Edward Wendt
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I wasn't really advocating any particular strategy, it just seemed as an interesting possibility. What I do, and probably what most people do is to make an assessment of their hands once they start, and I was just wondering if anyone ever met the conditions enough to just go for it with money. It would be a pretty rare set of circumstances though, but then again, this game is played a lot and so a lot of hands might show up.
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Scott Douglass
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My brother once ended a game with 46 coins, the guild that gives a point for every 3 coins, and the leader that gives a point for every 3 coins. That was 45 points right there. He had about 90 points total, and won handily. Is this going to be common? Probably not. And it certainly works better with some expansions thrown in.

-edit: Although he didn't discard for coins much if at all. He mostly got coins through mercantile cards and his wonder, which are much more efficient sources of coins.
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Blake Douglass
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I have not yet done the math on this, although i want to, but i am fairly sure it is possible, not likely, but POSSIBLE to get over 100 points with just coins. This strategy would only work if you play with both expansions. You do not get ANY of the brown or gray resource cards. Starting as Roma you start by getting the leader that gives coins for building merchant cards, you then play all 3 merchant cards (assuming only 3 players, play the fourth merchant card if 4 or more players). Also get the black card that lets you trade for 1 resource for 1 less coin each turn. You then start building the wonder stages by trading with your neighbors for free, getting 4 extra leader cards and paying 1 coin in order to get the second stage to get the leader that makes it so whenever you trade with a player, you get 1 coin. Next you build the wonder stage that gives you another leader to get the leader that gives you a coin every time you would get a coin. That ends the round.

For the next leader you get the leader that gives you points for merchant cards. In the next age you build every merchant card, both resource cards as well as both of the cards that give you coins for resource cards you and your neighbors have, and then the black card that gives you a free resource of any kind you do not have. You then start building the most expensive cards possible, getting 2 coins per neighbor you are trading with.

For the last leader you play you play the leader that gives you a point per 3 coins. You build every merchant card, the lighthouse being the last one if possible, as it gives more coins the later you build it. Note that building a merchant card, even if it does not inherently give coins gives you 2 coins from the precious leaders you have played. Also build the merchants guild, then start building the most expensive cards you can, up to and including the palace for only 3 coins, but gaining 4 in the process.

This is VERY unlikely to actually work, for one thing you need the perfect set up of leaders, as well as requiring the merchant's guild to not only be in the game, but also that you GET it. But it will also generate an absolutely ridiculous number of coins, and thereby points, while at the same time frustrating your neighbors since you have no resources they can trade for.

I have not done the math yet on how many coins this would generate, but by quick approximation i have gotten over 100 coins, plus the points from building the most expensive cards possible in Age 3.

Please note, i have actually done the no resource strategy as Roma, and it does work, but i did not get close to actually winning the one time i did it. So yes this does actually work, and it is hilarious to do, although it is hard to win using this strategy. I could not stop laughing the whole time i was playing as my neighbors cursed my name every turn. And yes, i did build the Palace for only 3 coins.
 
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Timothy Nesbitt
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I don't know how she'd do it but I used to have a friend who played heavily coins. Every game she would end with 60 to 80 coins... And a lot of the time she'd win.
So yes, it's possible.
 
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6element
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Nestle wrote:
I don't know how she'd do it but I used to have a friend who played heavily coins. Every game she would end with 60 to 80 coins... And a lot of the time she'd win.
So yes, it's possible.

How is it possible?
 
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Nico
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6element wrote:
Nestle wrote:
I don't know how she'd do it but I used to have a friend who played heavily coins. Every game she would end with 60 to 80 coins... And a lot of the time she'd win.
So yes, it's possible.

How is it possible?


I would also like to hear an answer to that.
And another question: Why don't you hate draft the important buildings for this strategy?
 
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Sam Phillips
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Yes, it is definitely possible but you will need either Midas or the gamer's guild, preferably both. As you cannot rely on the gamer's guild being in the 3rd age you really need to have Midas if you are going for it at the start - the leader that gives an extra coin each time you take coin from the bank (I forget her name) is also useful. The best way to do this is to go resource heavy early on (so you never have to pay for anything and your neighbours pay you for your goods) and will allow you to buy all the powerful 3rd age cards that come your way to supplement your coins points. If gamer's guild come up, grab it but more than likely people will see what you are doing and will discard it or use it to build a wonder (or stifling as my group calls it).

With just the base game I can't really see how you would make it work and you are better off with one of the usual routes to victory like science or civilian, which is basically why I think the game is so much better with all the expansions.
 
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Josh Mass
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By my calculation, if everything went EXACTLY correctly, it's possible to achieve a money focused victory. You end up with 137 points, and use Rome as your Wonder. I can post pictures later for analysis. This uses both Leaders and Cities.

EDIT: I forgot some costs of buildings. You get so used to free "upgrades" that you end up not paying for some things you should. 131 is the actual score.

EDIT #2: I have the actual cards you'd be playing, your total money, and points now. By way of preface, this strategy uses both the Leaders and Cities expansion, and would be almost entirely diminished without both of them. I will also mention four assumptions that I will be making for this strategy. The first is that at least one of your neighbors will be producing at least one of the following resources: Brick, Wood, Stone, Ore, and Silk over the course of the game. The second assumption is that you will be able to play all of these cards in this order to maximize the amount of coins and victory points you would gain. The third is that no one will be playing any of the cards or Wonder effects that will cause you to discard coins that were included in the Cities expansion. The last assumption is pretty minor; it just assumes that both of you neighbors build military in the first age. This is about the perfect, shot in the dark, one in a million game where everything goes exactly your way. Here it is:

Roma (B)
Start with 6 coins
Age I
Leaders: Xenophon
Pick 1 - West Trading Post: +2 coins (+2 from Xenophon)
Pick 2 – Marketplace: +2 coins (+2 from Xenophon)
Pick 3 - 1st Wonder Stage: +3 coins, four additional Leaders (-2 for resources + 5 from stage itself)
Pick 4 - 2nd Wonder Stage: -3 coins, play Bernice (-3 from resources)
Pick 5 – East Trading Post: +3 coins (+2 from, Xenophon + 1 from Bernice)
Pick 6 – Tavern: +8 coins (+5 from Tavern + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice)
Pick 7 – Gamblers Den: +7 coins, +1 coin to each neighbor (+6 from Gamblers Den + 1 from Bernice)
Military: -2 VP
Total Coins: 28

Age II
Leaders: Xenophon, Bernice, Vitruvius
Pick 1 – Vineyard: +6 coins (+3 from resources + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice)
Pick 2 – Bazar: +5 coins (+2 from Bazar + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice
Pick 3 – Forum: +5 coins (+2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice + 2 from Vitruvius)
Pick 4 – Caravansery: +5 coins (+2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice + 2 from Vitruvius)
Pick 5 – 3rd Wonder Stage: -1 coin, play Diocletian (- 1 from resources)
Pick 6 – Gambling House: +12 coins + 2 coins to each neighbor (+9 from Gambling House + 1 from Bernice + 2 from Diocletian)
Pick 7 – Consulate: +3 coins, abstain from Military (+ 1 from Bernice + 2 from Diocletian)
Military: N/A
Total Coins: 63

Age III
Leaders: Xenophon, Bernice, Vitruvius, Diocletian, Midas (-1 coin to play Midas)
Pick 1 – Chamber of Commerce: +2 coins (- 1 from resources + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice)
Pick 2 – Haven: +4 coins (- 1 from resources + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice + 2 from Vitruvius)
Pick 3 – Arena: +10 coins (- 2 from resources + 9 from Arena + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice)
Pick 4 – Lighthouse: +17 coins (+ 12 from Lighthouse + 2 from Xenophon + 1 from Bernice + 2 from Vitruvius)
Pick 5 – Gamers Guild: -3 coins (- 3 from resources)
Pick 6 – Embassy: +3 coins (+ 1 from Bernice + 2 from Diocletian)
Pick 7 – Secret Society: +8 coins (+ 5 from Secret Society + 1 from Bernice + 2 from Diocletian)
Military: N/A
Total Coins: 103

Scoring
Military: -2
Coins/Debt: 34
Wonder: 6
Civilian: 0
Commercial: 15
Scientific: 0
Guilds: 34
Leaders/Cities: 44
Total: 131

I guess this is more of a "Commercial Structure/Cities" Strategy, but its entire focus is to earn money, which is where the bulk of your points come from. And the score is absolutely insane.
 
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