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Subject: Tips for first play? rss

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Ben Holle
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Minnesota
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We are playing the first time on Friday. All five of us are new to the game. Any tips for our first play through? Any pitfalls to avoid?
 
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Dave Eisen
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bholle wrote:
We are playing the first time on Friday. All five of us are new to the game. Any tips for our first play through? Any pitfalls to avoid?


1. From a rules perspective, people seem to have a difficult time with the additional actions. All players get an additional action in each phase of every game turn (that is a total of 18 over the course of the game) regardless of whether or not they have any action tokens for that phase. Also, players are allowed to take any of the 6 additional actions whenever it is their turn in turn order regardless of their presence in any city sector and regardless of which phase it is: presence does not matter, but a tied plurality or more does mean that you can take the additional action without paying the $1 to the bank you ordinarily must pay to take it.

2. Be very aggressive in the auction. You are more likely to have a runaway leader by letting someone get something too cheap than you are to lose the game by overbidding on something. Think before doing this, of course.

3. Remember that when you win an auction you get the turn order marker placed with the bid. Turn order can mean a lot and this should be valued accordingly when bidding.

4. Budget more time than it says on the box. The game is pretty good at inspiring AP.
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Erich Schneider
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Don't get so hung up on building a magnificent (or even adequate) engine that you forget to score points. Corollary: keep track of situations that allow you or other players to score lots of points (for example, with the "election" city action).

Be very careful about locking yourself out of the fur-trading game - it's relatively easy to trade money for wood to build farmhouses to clear land (and score points) if you run out of wood, but much harder to get the furs needed buy ships (and score points) if you spend all of your trade goods and furs and have no way to get more other than the Black Market. This is especially true in the second half of the game, where all ships cost 4-6 furs.

Efficiency of action use is key. For example, if you're going to need to buy corn to support your businesses, try and buy multiple turns' worth with one special action - remember that you can then turn around and spend that corn in auctions just like money if you find you want to, and you want to pay the $1 surcharge for special actions as few times as possible.

Remember that you can mix regular actions and special actions in a phase in any way you like - for example, if you need corn before you buy furs because your trading post is far from the Lenape, you can use a special action in the trading phase to buy corn first, then do a trading action.
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Curt Carpenter
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After explaining the rules (or during), make sure you can rationalize all of the graphics on the board. They're very helpful.

You guys will have no idea what to bid, which is fine. But likely someone will end up on the short end of the stick. Of particular note are actions sets that include multiples of the same color, since they tend to combine really well. Especially white. An action set with two whites should be the highest paid bid by far, at least at the beginning of the game.

Don't ever build more buildings than you have a way to feed. Losing them soon after building them is no fun.
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Erich Schneider
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One more thing:

Avoid letting another player be the sole occupant of one or more districts in the city for multiple turns. Each of those potentially lets them earn 3VP per city action and an extra coin income per turn.
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Ben Holle
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Thanks guys!
 
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