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Subject: Advantage of Age I Double Resource rss

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Michael Sass
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I'll preface this by saying that I have very much enjoyed about 45+ plays of this game, about 5 of which with Leaders.

In recent games, my group has observed that among experienced players, those players able to secure an age 1 "double" resource card (i.e. wood/ore) almost invariably attain to first or second place. I feel this may have something to do with the extreme flexibility of these cards, even though they may not act as both resources at the same time. This flexibility comes in quite handy both early on and in later ages. The result has been when a player finds one of these cards in his opening hand, It becomes an auto-purchase, practically regardless of what else is available.

My question is this: Has anyone else found that the players to receive such double resource cards in age 1 are at a measurable advantage?
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Max DuBoff
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I'm not an expert, but doesn't it depend on what your neighbors get too?
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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I haven't paid attention to this correlation, but I can tell you that I always get the double resources when I can, and I don't think I win all that often.

Checked my logged plays; I've won 11 games out of the 25 I've logged, so maybe there is something to what you're suggesting. I'll try to remember to pay attention to this when I next play.
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FWIW, my groups have called them "slash resources". "Double resources" implies the Age II brown cards such as 2 ore, 2 wood, 2 stone, etc.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I do know vets ALWAYS build them, only exception I know is if you get a science you can build on turn one and doing some sort of "extreme science" approach. AFAIK, if other players can get what they want anyways (e.g. no wood/ore, but access to both anyways via their own or commerce), then they should be able to come out on top.

Ditto with the Age 2 cards... Cannivassary (1 wood OR stone OR ore OR brick) and Forum (1 glass OR cloth OR papyrus)


EDIT: Thought one thing, and typed the other with Forum and Cann.!
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M. B. Downey
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ackmondual wrote:
Ditto with the Age 2 cards... Forum (1 wood OR stone OR ore OR brick) and Cannivassary (1 glass OR cloth OR papyrus)


Other way around. Forum provides the manufactured goods and caravanssary the raw goods.
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This topic has already been discussed quite extensively in this thread (*click*).

My bottom line: Yes, the brown either-or-resource cards in age I are pretty strong on average, but I have given many examples of situations in which I think that it is optimal to build something else.

ackmondual wrote:

Ditto with the Age 2 cards... Forum (1 wood OR stone OR ore OR brick) and Cannivassary (1 glass OR cloth OR papyrus)


You mixed up the effects of Caravansery and Forum. And I strongly disagree about the Forum (which is the one which gives you Glass or Loom or Papyrus). The main difference in attractiveness between Caravansery and Forum comes from the fact that you frequently need more than one of the same raw material, but (pre-Babel) you never need more than one of the same manufactured good except with some rare wonder stages. So the Forum is only a strong card if you haven't yet build any grey cards (which you often have by the time you get the Forum on your hand in Age II). If you have built exactly one grey card, the Forum may still be worthwhile but isn't particularly strong. If you have already built two (let alone even 3) grey cards, the Forum is usually very weak. (If you really still need to produce the third manufactured good, you'd rather take a third grey card in games with 4+ players to profit from a Chamber of Commerce in age III.)
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Chad Miller
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I have never seen anyone win, and maybe not even seen someone get "better than last place" after passing a dual in the base game. I don't think it's because they are that strong, though; I think it's because you don't pass them if you understand the game. That said, it's far from an insurmountable advantage. Between chaining, the single-resource browns, and money-based resource engines there are ways to stay in the game.
 
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Darador wrote:
This topic has already been discussed quite extensively in this thread (*click*).

My bottom line: Yes, the brown either-or-resource cards in age I are pretty strong on average, but I have given many examples of situations in which I think that it is optimal to build something else.

ackmondual wrote:

Ditto with the Age 2 cards... Forum (1 wood OR stone OR ore OR brick) and Cannivassary (1 glass OR cloth OR papyrus)


You mixed up the effects of Caravansery and Forum. And I strongly disagree about the Forum (which is the one which gives you Glass or Loom or Papyrus). The main difference in attractiveness between Caravansery and Forum comes from the fact that you frequently need more than one of the same raw material, but (pre-Babel) you never need more than one of the same manufactured good except with some rare wonder stages. So the Forum is only a strong card if you haven't yet build any grey cards (which you often have by the time you get the Forum on your hand in Age II). If you have built exactly one grey card, the Forum may still be worthwhile but isn't particularly strong. If you have already built two (let alone even 3) grey cards, the Forum is usually very weak. (If you really still need to produce the third manufactured good, you'd rather take a third grey card in games with 4+ players to profit from a Chamber of Commerce in age III.)
I agree about requiring duplicate premium/processed/gray resources. If you choose a wonder side that requires it, you're already at a marked disadvantage.

However, when you build a Forum, you're not building it for the duplicates. You're building it again for the flexibility. Oftentimes, having that alone will enable you to build most of the cards that require 1 or more gray resources since many of them only require one of the gray resources (I didn't count them out... I just did a quick scan with my companion app).

While you should have a gray card or 2 (especially doing science), Forum still goes a long way towards covering any missing gray resource, as having access to all 3 of them provides much more choices in building. Getting shut out of even one of the 3 can be annoying. This really only becomes a genuine concern if you can't commerce what you're missing. You're even set if you can commerce them with a Marketplace's discounts.

Last but not least, the Forum chains into a Haven, which can synergize since it's not atypical to find yourself with a lot of brown.
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Scott Douglass
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In my last game of 7 Wonders (base game) I passed on 2 hands with dual resources in favor of getting an early lead in science and military. The science investment didn't pan out as well as I hoped (it didn't help that 2 other players dabbled in science, one of them inefficiently, so I couldn't complete my second set), but I still came in 2nd in a 4 player game. I only built 2 resource cards that game, one a grey card, the other a double resource from age 2.

That's not to say that dual resources aren't good, and I usually take them when available, but there are other things to invest in during age 1.
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M. B. Downey
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sdougla2 wrote:
That's not to say that dual resources aren't good, and I usually take them when available, but there are other things to invest in during age 1.


One of the people in our group usually goes with a no resource strategy. He almost always does better than most of the rest of us and wins frequently.
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Craig Johnson
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downeymb wrote:
sdougla2 wrote:
That's not to say that dual resources aren't good, and I usually take them when available, but there are other things to invest in during age 1.


One of the people in our group usually goes with a no resource strategy. He almost always does better than most of the rest of us and wins frequently.


Presumably he uses chaining to get Age II and III buildings out, but why do people pass these to him instead of burying them, especially if he keeps winning?
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Going with no resources can be very effective if one of your neighbors gets an abundance of resources and you can get a trading post in that direction. You can discard early cards for coins, and easily have enough money to buy the resources you will need from the neighbor. Chaining also helps a lot. This kind of strategy is also good at doing science.

I usually play it like this (just because others in my game are always resource heavy) but I usually get second or third.
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M. B. Downey
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CraigRJ wrote:
Presumably he uses chaining to get Age II and III buildings out, but why do people pass these to him instead of burying them, especially if he keeps winning?


Sometimes, but he also uses Trading Posts and Clandestine Docks to get resources for free, and pairs them with cards like Caravansary and Forum. Either way he usually ends up getting you.

And every time we DO try and deny him those cards from the get go, he just goes resource heavy and does well that way.
 
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Bryan Doughty
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I play with a fellow who almost always tries to play a resource light strategy. He believes takeing resources is a lost opportunity to take cards worth points. Sometimes he wins and he points out how few of his cards don't contribute to his score. Sometimes he loses and he doesn't understand what he could have done to play more efficiently.

Another fellow I play with plays a resource heavy strategy almost always. Sometimes he wins and clearly it's because later in the game he was able to always take the best card. Sometimes he loses and it's because he didn't take a high enough precentage of scoring cards earlier.

I've played both ways and everything inbetween. Sometimes I lose, Sometimes I win. Resourcing is important, but there isn't in my experience an absolute best approach. Reading the actual game state, knowing your opponents, and being familiar with what will and can be available later is more usefull than a set strategy based on resources. Those in my play groups that do the best are those that adapt to the current game state better.
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Cameron McKenzie
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What your neighbors do is critical.

Usually, going resource light means going heavy money and buying what you need to build big cards that come your way later. But that won't work if your neighbors both went resource light as well.

On the other hand, if you go resource heavy, you should expect to pick up coins from sales which will create more opportunities and help pad your score. But, you won't get these coins if your neighbors are also resource heavy.

Usually you want to be symbiotic with a neighbor. Don't build a resource if the neighbor has a lot of it already. Build a resource if a neighbor has none of it. Gold will pass back and forth between neighbor who need something from each other, and they both will benefit.

You could also be parasitic, and count on your neighbor to build everything you need while you put up a trading post, but this is less reliable against experienced players who won't overdo it on resources, and won't just pass you all of the money cards you need to sustain it.
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I do slash resources to ensure I'll have access to all resources, including commercing (especially to make sure I can build my wonder). I'll work VP while doing that too if they present themselves.

MasterDinadan wrote:
Usually you want to be symbiotic with a neighbor. Don't build a resource if the neighbor has a lot of it already. Build a resource if a neighbor has none of it. Gold will pass back and forth between neighbor who need something from each other, and they both will benefit.
Unless your neighbor commerces with his other neighbor instead.
 
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