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7 Wonders: Babel» Forums » General

Subject: Halicarnassus Grows Stronger? rss

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Lance Cephile
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It seems that every expansion added to the game after Leaders indirectly ends up making Halicarnassus (and other discard resurrection) stronger. Cities was the first to do so - by making discarding for three gold a much more attractive option. Not by much, of course, but it was still something.

Now, we have the Babel expansion. Discarding can now be worth 2/3/5 VP, which makes discarding an early first age science or military to summon a useful Babel pie piece a very excellent play for someone using the Mausoleum B side. They would still get VP and benefits, and the card can then be fished out at a later time.

The great projects also seem to make Halicarnassus stronger by forcing people to discard on a failure. Certainly, most people will end up discarding their most useless card of that type, but even the most useless military or science (or economics!) can mean a pretty significant difference. While great projects certainly shouldn't fail that often, the ones that do fail are just sweetening the discard pile for the Mausoleum player.

A lot of this is still in speculation since I won't receive my copy until later this week, but do you think that the expansions makes the Mausoleum (and Great Wall/Solomon) much more powerful?
 
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Eagle-Eyed Superhawk
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Makes sense in theory.

In practice--almost always playing with Cities and Leaders--I have not found Halicarnassus to be strong at all. Science almost never gets discarded in the games I've played (hate drafters build their wonders with science). And military is pretty situational--when I'm winning conflicts I typically win by more and when I'm losing I lose by less. I assume it has some dissuading effect on my neighbors moving into red, but...Halicarnassus just has not felt strong to me.
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I would say particularly Halicarnassus B.

If you're talking about Halicarnassus A, probably not. The unusual 3 Ore for its stage 2, which gives 0 points by itself, would need to dig for a card better than 5 points to beat say, Giza A in head to head wonders.

If Halicanassus A gets say, a Statue, then it's inefficient, using a stage 2 wonder to get 4 VP. If it's a resource then uh ok. If it's a science that's hot sometimes, but least likely to happen, mainly because it starts with Loom, meaning it has the best shot of getting the Apothecary, meaning it gets the best shot at Dispensary, which in a 4 player game is the most frequent science card in age II.

Most likely A would get a double resource or two military shields. Anything less would seem suboptimal unless you really lack in say, a single wood.

I actually didn't think about great projects forcing a discard on a failure! I forgot since we discarded those face up and my plays didn't have Halicarnassus during a failed project.


The other amusing thing is that Babel tiles are most likely played as the last card, so Halicarnassus itself may want to do that instead ... or dig at the end of age, then use a Babel tile using the leader phase.

Halicarnassus cannot get a science discarded from a failed project because only Menagerie, an age III purple project can discard a green card. Project failure is AFTER all turns end, so this is impossible with the current Great Projects.

Other than Halicarnassus B's third wonder stage, usually you want to finish the first two by the end of age II, so for project failure digging, it'll be from an age I project. At this time, it would only be Factory (discard Gray), Cranes (Discard brown) or Belvedere (Discard red).

Okay I guess you could use Halicarnassus' second wonder stage to use your age III leader, in which you would see all the end of age II discards. Even then, the project discards are limited to Brown/Gray/Red/Blue.

Anyways to answer your question, yes Halicarnassus does get rather improved in this. It pressures opponents to reconsider what to discard with the Babel tile since they cannot simply discard "the best card they can't use". Halicarnassus also has a timing priority over all other sources (China/Mannekin Pis/Solomon/Courtesan-Solomon). It also allows you to make a key Babel timing, where you can be more aggressive, such as using a Babel tile that grants you Ore/Brick (to finish your own wonders) or another big play.

Unfortunately even with this luxury, you're taking a step back (discarding) to get a card slightly more conveniently. At least Babel does it with better progression than discarding for 3 coins.

If anything, I think Olympia A gets stronger just because the "Free Building" becomes much more useful when Babel tax, resource to coin conversion, and brown/yellow disabling happens. It also has the highest chance of building a 2nd wood, allowing it to not only tech the 1st wonder the earliest (and deny a key card), but also being in great position to get a Caravansary. Though Babel only makes Olympia seem less bad as opposed to being better.

Analysis could favor almost any wonder given the conditions.

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Hugh Mann
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I wonder if Babylon B also gets stronger with Babel. My group seems to think it is one of the weaker B sides because the last card is usually not especially useful and is often discarded for coins. But with Babel, the last card could instead be discarded to build a tower piece, which would make this wonder side more beneficial than before.
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DisasterRisk wrote:
I wonder if Babylon B also gets stronger with Babel.


Most definitely.
I would say that Babylon B gets much stronger with the Tower of Babel because of the reason you named. This is even increased by the fact that when you place a Babel tile with Babylon B's ability, you place it after all other players even if it has a low number.
I think this is a good thing because Babylon B used to be somewhat too weak. Just too bad that Babylon A, which was even worse than Babylon B, didn't get a buff as well. Now it is even weaker in comparison with Babylon B.

Wonder boards with fewer than 3 stages (particularly Manneken Pis B with its only 1 stage) also get somewhat stronger because with the possibility to place a Babel tile, you have more useful things to do with additional cards. On the other hand, the boards with even 4 stages (Gizah B and both sides of the Great Wall) get a little weaker.
 
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Unfortunately while Babel does make Babylon B more interesting, with just the base game it's still very unlikely to get the 2nd wonder stage finished in age I unless you seriously hamper some aspect of early build. If you make the wonder stages easy such as the free wonder tile (15), then it's equal among everyone.

So the most common move is either Babel tower twice at the end of the age, or tower + pick. If you don't make a tower at the end of age, there's nothing unique. I guess you can do a cute move like building a Babel tile to be able to construct your third wonder, if you find yourself somehow short.

On the other hand if you have Leaders, you can bum rush the tech for sure with like, a Forum tile. But then you would just race for sciences instead of going for a Lumber Yard AND a Timber Yard (Forest Cave requires 5 players while Tree Farm requires 6).

When you look at it another way, the 2nd wonder is definitely doable by the end of age II, meaning finishing all 3 babel tiles is very likely. In that sense, the second tech leads to at least 5 VP (building two babel tiles). And if you were somehow dropped really good last picks, then pick those if the net points are higher than Babel tiles.

Wait a second, can Babylon double contribute to the Great Projects with the "last two picks"?

My senses say yes. This probably never occurred because I never had a game where the last two picks were the same color as the Great Project. However, if the opportunity arises and a Babylon player got the Arena, contribution potential is definitely there.
 
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