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Subject: About empires selection rss

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tom tom
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Hello guys.

I've got to say there's something I'm not sure I understand as I am at present practicing for the History of the World tournament (the one organized in another thread).

I'm a Brief History of the World player and the weaker player (ie the one with less points) gets to pick his empire first, which means when the new epoch occurs he draws all the available empire cards and picks the best empire available, or at least the one suiting him best.

Now I understand this is different in History of the World, but here's the question: Is the card drawing purely random (you just get draw one and choose to keep it or give it to someone else)? Or is there a way for the weaker player to ensure he's gonna get better opportunities on the upcoming epoch?

I'm asking because in a game I played I was quite behind in points entering epoch 3 and I ended up with the Hsiung-Nu. Even playing 2 cards (allies and civil war) didn't give me much opportunities although they helped a bit.
The Romans are going to be played, and the Sassanids, and I can tell I'm going to finish well behind again.

There must be something I don't understand...
So thanks in advance for your help.

t.
 
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Chris Broggi
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Southwick
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In History of the World, the player in last draws an empire first and can either keep it, or give it away. It doesn't guarantee they get the best empire (like Brief History of the World), but improves their chances over strict random draw.
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tom tom
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Ok thanks for your answer.

So if you draw an average empire, is it better to keep it?

It's what happened to me and I gave it to a player who didn't draw yet so I thought: maybe if he draws a good empire he'll give it to me because he can't keep it for himself...
 
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Chris Bender
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I've found the way you choose empires in the original game to be lacking. I switched to the method from A Brief History of the World and it made this game a lot better.
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Roy Hasson
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Your choice of Empire should not only be based on empire strength, but also on what your board situation is and when in the turn the new empire will be played.

If you have a lot of units on the board and you draw an early playing but medium or low strength empire that gives you access to new regions, it might be more worthwhile to choose it as your old units will probably score again without much effort on your side.

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Dick Hunt
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I like the Hasbro version of History of the World, and in either version of the game, the most interesting part of it is the empire drawing round.

The toughest part about learning this game is knowing when to ignore the scoreboard and pay attention to what's on the map board. Someone who's in third or fourth place on the scoreboard might be dominating on the map, all set up for a huge scoring turn. Meanwhile, everyone's busy bashing the scoring leader long after his board position has rendered him harmless.

The worst rookie mistake I see is when the new guy dumps a weak empire on the game leader because it's weak, and he neglects that it goes early in the turn order. You've really got to balance empire strength vs turn order when you're deciding what to keep or pass.

Never give an early-in-the-turn-order empire to an opponent who has lots of his pieces on the map; you're just giving him a chance to score points (again!) for them all. You want to make anyone with lots of pieces on the map to go LATE in the turn order, even if it means giving him a strong empire. If you give him a late-and-strong empire like the Arabs, at least the rest of you get a chance to knock his already-on-the-map guys off the map before he starts adding the Arabs to it.

Conversely, of course, giving an early-in-the-turn-order empire to a player with few pieces on the map is a safe move. In fact, it's kind of mean! If I have just three or four pieces on the map, I'm not going to be happy with you dumping the Incas & Aztecs on me...

Middling empires--both in terms of strength and turn order--can be your friends. If you draw first and pick one of these, you're sometimes better off keeping it than dumping it off. If you pass it, you could get something far worse dumped on you! This is especially true if you're leading in the game.

If you think you're doing well in the game, never pass off a mediocre empire hoping someone will be forced to give you a better one. Ain't gonna happen!

A friend of mine caught on to a neat strategy: avoid passing empires to opponents who have already selected-and-passed. Since they've already selected a card, they obviously can't do anything either for or against you. They passed an undesirable empire away hoping someone would reward them for it, and you don't usually want to do that. Instead, give that empire you don't want to the next guy who will select one. You could be forcing him to give a good draw to you! Of course, if there's a crappy empire no one has drawn, you could incur his wrath and get that crap dumped right back on you. In that sense, the empire draw can be a real crap-shoot. In general, however, if you have multiple yet-to-draw-cards opponents picking cards after you, dump the empire you don't want on the one who's earliest in the turn order.

And like any poker game, you've got to play your opponents. If the two guys drawing ahead of you both eagerly slam down the cards they drew as keepers, chances are that you're not drawing from a pile of great empires. That might be a good time to keep a mediocre draw rather than passing it off in hopes of getting a better one. Of course, if they eagerly dump their draws on other players (especially the leading ones), that means you're probably drawing from a pile of decent empires; that's a good time to pass off mediocrity...

Want to have some fun while sticking it to an opponent? Make him wade through his own troops in order to score points. If he's already strong in China, you can really hose him while handing him a Chinese empire that will require him to wipe out his own guys in order to score any points. Of course, this is far less effective against a foe who has guys all over the map in addition to his Chinese possessions...
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tom tom
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Thanks for the replies, and for the great insight thumbsup
 
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