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Subject: When do you stop recruiting? rss

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Brian Fahl
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Brookfield
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I have about 10 plays in so far, all 2P games against the same opponent. Our games usually start with a mad rush to recruit the best cards for the particular engine we want to build. There are a lot of interpreter actions and cards are cycling through the Journal of Encounters quickly.

Then, by the fourth or fifth encampment, we are done recruiting and the game becomes all about building and executing your engine while trying to sabotage the efficiency your opponent's engine.

Part of the reason why we stop recruiting might be that the cards left in the Journal after the fourth or fifth encampment have not been particularly helpful. But at the same time, neither of us tried to cycle through the Journal to look for more helpful cards.


I was wondering if others tend to operate the same way we do (only recruiting in the earlier part of the game) or if you find yourself recruiting throughout the game?

Thanks!




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Ken Dilloo
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Good question. For me, it is hard to break out of the mind-set of just get moving and be as lean as possible. I have seen this lean, done recruiting by turn 5, game be pretty successful. Although, I have also seen games where people put tons of pieces in their engine almost to the end. This is usually aided by the fur discount and day saver infinity guys. In short, I am not sure if there is a rule of thumb here. Although, I am certainly no expert.
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bigloo33 wrote:
Good question. For me, it is hard to break out of the mind-set of just get moving and be as lean as possible... I am not sure if there is a rule of thumb here. Although, I am certainly no expert.


That's definitely a good mindset, but depending on board states, and opposing player hand states, maybe a late game card or two can't hurt. I think why this game still has staying power with me is that, while knowing how to put together a power combo is still probably the most important skill, knowing how to read the game state and adapting to that will definitely gain you the edge over other, similarly combo-skilled players.
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Adding some of my experience from playing many times online, I would say, strictly not until you are about to camp on that final stretch of ocean.

Its very situational, and usually by the time you are approaching the mountains, you would hope to have your engine in place. But sometimes, especially in highly competitive or multi-player games, you might still not have your mountain crossing set up due to others grabbing the cards you want, and are facing the terrible possibility of relying on your commander and horses from the Native American camp. Or your mountain guy does not synch well with your other cards/Indians/available boats. You see that card, you grab it, and things suddenly look rosy. If you had been in the mindset, I've got my cards and I'm sticking with them, you might have missed it.

A classic example of late(ish) recruiting saving the day was when through some mental blindness I confused Coboway (mountain x4 spaces) with the not really that similar sounding Concomly (moves 7 on the river). Convinced all was kosher I prepared to sweep across the peaks with ... Concomly? Imagine the horror! Fortunately George Drouillard was available in a middling card slot, and I was able to swap Concomly, and use the resources I'd gathered to buy George and power him through in triumph.

The point of this in particular is that even at a late stage, if you have some available furs, you can potentially swap a character who's no longer useful, or not synching, for another of a similar power, without losing much or (ideally) any time, and keeping your hand the same size. Even late in the game, someone like Nicholas Jarot, (Infinity move x2 per power) with the potential to kick in both sides of the short mountain stretch for no resource loss, could be a potential game winner. Or John Boley could be just the man to make sure you don't fall back that vital space before or into the mountains.

But of course, what you must not do is seriously halt your progress on the final stretch (unless you are way ahead, in which case why bother?) Ideally the swap should take no time, or 1 turn maximum, and produce a forward motion or time gain greater than any delay would cost (including making up for any necessary resources used on the purchase).
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