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Subject: The new temple round scoring tile (2015 mini expansion) rss

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Space Trucker
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Hi,

at Spiel 2015 Feuerland has released a new round tile for Terra Mystica (top right):



Yesterday the tile has been added to terra.snellman.net and is avaiable as an option when creating a new game, so it's time for some strategic thougths on this one:

Basicly the new tile has two very strong aspects:

1) 4VP for building a temple
This is very likely 4VP, as most factions can and will add in a temple, and can sometimes be 8VP. Building two temples in one round requires some planing and some economic considerations (at the cost of 10 coins and low coin income for the next round, missing the TPs). Building 3 temples in one round is technically possible, but requires a lot of coins and an upgrade of the initial temple to SA (it's probably not very likely that a player can upgrade three TPs to TE but has never built a TE before). Affording 3 TE in one round is easiest for Engineers, but probably they want to have their special 2nd TE with 5pw income before.
Therefore in mid- and lategame the new tile is a good scoring opportunity (4-8VP) that one should try to use to some extend, but it's possibilties are lower than especially SPADE>>2 and TP>>3.
For the 1st round the tile is pretty game changing. I'm pretty sure that we will see more openings with 2TE now, as scoring extra 8VP with a solid opening is huge (solid if you pick at least one income tile). Until now I've almost exclusivly seen 2TE for Engineers, but effectivly most other factions which do not need their SH early can execute this. This basicly means not likely for Alchemists, Giants, Nomads and Swarmlings. Darklings and Chaosmages would both like to built 2 temples, but affording them will be pretty hard (darklings) as well as almost impossible (CMs). There's also not really a reason to pick Auren instead of witches when you do not plan to built your SH early-ish.


2) 2C when passing for each priest on cult spots

This can possibly can be a lot of coins. Obviously it favors factions or game plans that tend to gather some priests early enough and send them to the cults instead of using them for multiple upgrades.
Sending priests early to grab good bonuses and get some coins before/afterwards should be a strong move. Later in the game it can easily be 8 or more coins.
Popolar TW3 becomes even a bit stronger when the priest may meann extra 2C later.

Balancewhise it's a bit sad that some weaker (or weaker rated) factions may not really like the tile:
- Auren have their SH that neither is a TE, nor sends priests to cults - which dwarves the number of games where one whould possibly pick the over witches even more.
- Alchemists might have a sweet spot for TE-scoring in the midgame but they neither need coins very much nor do they have many priests to send to cults early.
- For Fakirs a 8VP 2TE start is a really nice option but in the later game they will not send many priests to the cults.
- Giants cannot start 2TE (even one TE is more like experimental), tend to get temples relativly late and also need some shipping most of the time.

Your thoughts? Maybe I'm wrong somewhere or you'd like to add something?
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Marc Bennett
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is there a way to get a hold of this? will it be available in the BGG store?
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Space Trucker
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Klaxas wrote:
is there a way to get a hold of this? will it be available in the BGG store?

See here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1449249/availability
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Michael Young
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Klaxas wrote:
is there a way to get a hold of this? will it be available in the BGG store?


I'd expect leftovers to be tossed on Feuerland Spiele's website...but Frank mentioned that Z-Man optioned to print it. Given the fact that it's all the promos to date, I'd think if they pushed it to retail as a single sheet expansion, you could expect a $10/$15 price point. Earliest I would assume is Spring or Summer 2016.
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Matthias Reitberger
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SpaceTrucker wrote:

Building 3 temples in one round is technically possible, but requires a lot of coins and an upgrade of the initial temple to SA (it's probably not very likely that a player can upgrade three TPs to TE but has never built a TE before).


Upgrading TE to SA and building 3 TE is something that I can only imagine doing last round, can be quite attractive considering cult advance with favors and town construction with SA upgrade and FAV5.
10w plus 21coins are doable considering that you had TPs ond the board for some rounds.

Building 3TE maybe round 4 is even more likely. I had some games with Mermaids, starting with 5D + TP after first round and then continually adding dwellings and trading posts for the next rounds. This strategy is good for construction an early town that can bring 6c, adding one or two act4/bon3 together with TP income can easily get you the 15c by round 4.
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Space Trucker
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1869 wrote:
Upgrading TE to SA and building 3 TE is something that I can only imagine doing last round, can be quite attractive considering cult advance with favors and town construction with SA upgrade and FAV5.
10w plus 21coins are doable considering that you had TPs ond the board for some rounds.

One can also upgrade to SA before, maybe in a SA>>5 or TOWN>>5 round, so 6w+15c would be enough.

1869 wrote:

Building 3TE maybe round 4 is even more likely. I had some games with Mermaids, starting with 5D + TP after first round and then continually adding dwellings and trading posts for the next rounds. This strategy is good for construction an early town that can bring 6c, adding one or two act4/bon3 together with TP income can easily get you the 15c by round 4.
Yeah, probably strong with early D>>2 and TP>>3 tiles. Three temples is probably pretty extreme.
The downside is that you'll have zero priests in cults when passing at the end of the round. You'll have 8-12VP (for two-three temples), a standard player will maybe have 4VP and sth. like 6-8coins without adjusting his play much.
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Robert
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To make most of the round bonus, it's good to build temples before the round to gain priests and send them to cults. To make most of the scoring bonus, it's good to refrain from building temples before the round and only build them when the tile offers VP. So, in a way it's balancing because you can benefit either via delaying temples to the particular round (and gain VP, but probably get few if any coins for priests in cults) or by building them as early as possible to get priests which you put in cults (and gain coins, but probably don't want to build another temple, and certainly not more than one).

The TE>>4 aspect is interesting in that I'd expect most players to use it once, so building a TE in that round won't give a player an advantage, but rather avoid a disadvantage. Building two or even three TE will certainly be an advantage, if it can be timed into the flow of building up and out without too much pain.

Having a TP>>3 round followed by a TE>>4 round will provide great opportunities for scoring.

The coin aspect is going to be a huge incentive for early placement of priests in cults, just like the SPADE>>2 scoring tile usually results in significant early investment in the Earth cult because the money reward is so helpful. Like Space Trucker wrote, if putting priests into cults is rewarded twice (once for the cult advance and the potential power gain, once with coins from the tile), factions which have good use for priests elsewhere (Darklings, Fakirs, Halflings, Ice factions) will have an even harder time to use their priests outside the cults. Unfortunately the balancing aspect described in the first paragraph doesn't work for these factions, as they need early sources for priests anyway, so probably cannot affort to delay temple construction until the TE>>4 round, but will have good use for the priests elsewhere.

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Mikael Johansson
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I agree with your analysis in most parts. I personally think 2) 2C when passing for each priest on cult spots will have a bigger impact on the games than the points for building temples will, as usually most players will build just one temple that round anyway, at least early rounds. The coins for priests on temples on the other hand will boost BON8, ACT2 and TW3 early game quite alot, as well as players/factions who like spending early priests on cult tracks (Acolytes is the primary faction that comes to mind, the tile should be very good for them).

SpaceTrucker wrote:

For the 1st round the tile is pretty game changing. I'm pretty sure that we will see more openings with 2TE now, as scoring extra 8VP with a solid opening is huge (solid if you pick at least one income tile). Until now I've almost exclusivly seen 2TE for Engineers, but effectivly most other factions which do not need their SH early can execute this. This basicly means not likely for Alchemists, Giants, Nomads and Swarmlings. Darklings and Chaosmages would both like to built 2 temples, but affording them will be pretty hard (darklings) as well as almost impossible (CMs). There's also not really a reason to pick Auren instead of witches when you do not plan to built your SH early-ish.


Personally I doubt that a 2TE start will be a hit even with the new bonus tile (exception: engineers of course, as you mention). I have never done it other than with engineers myself, and I cannot remember I have seen others do it effectively either. Instinctively it should cost you too much resources/power and income compared to building 1-2 dwellings instead of the second temple, and four extra points should not be enough to compensate this. But I would happily see anyone prove me wrong in this!
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Robert
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IIRC from my opening analyses, a 2TE opening is only a relevant option for engineers. A 2TE opening for most other factions implies that they start round 2 with just 1w income upon already spending two extra workers taken from somewhere for the 2nd TE. It almost forces them to take the +1w +1pw favor to avoid an engine breakdown (yes, I know that one or both priests can be used as workers ).
 
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Space Trucker
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mikaeljt wrote:
Personally I doubt that a 2TE start will be a hit even with the new bonus tile (exception: engineers of course, as you mention). I have never done it other than with engineers myself, and I cannot remember I have seen others do it effectively either. Instinctively it should cost you too much resources/power and income compared to building 1-2 dwellings instead of the second temple, and four extra points should not be enough to compensate this. But I would happily see anyone prove me wrong in this!

I'm pretty sure that 2+ more dwellings (TE+3D or rarely TE+4D) is indeed the stronger opening. When I can get two spades or build two dwellings with one spade I'd just go for it. I'm not so sure for TE+2D.

I think a 2TE opening is most likely for factions that start with low power and are therefore less likely to get a spade power action or maybe factions that can not built two more dwellings with 1 spade. Maybe you get no Bon1, maybe you can get ACT5 or ACT6.
Speaking for the basic map, that's basicly Cultists, Dwarves and Fakirs who are the most likely candidates (excluding witches as they may use a shipping start as well without digging).

With Dwarves I've used a SA+D start from time to time, which worked reasonably (SA>>5, BON6) - so with the new tile and no Bon6 maybe 2 TE could work, too.
With Cultists I've used 2TE at least 2 times so far (here the SA is expensive and therefore less attractive for R1, and 2TE also means 4 possible cult advances). Here's one of the games (the other one is still running, so I don't want to discuss it too much at this point):
http://terra.snellman.net/game/ST30
(here I could have picked act5 early - I don't remember why I did not... Maybe I hoped for ACT6 to get TE+3D, as I could not connect to another brown hex with 1 spade, and then was 1 pw short, or maybe I was in an experimental mood, or sleeping... Not an exceptional score and only one highly ranked opponent, but it worked reasonable)

I haven't tried this with with Fakirs so far but it should be worth a try if you dare picking them without bon1.


DocCool wrote:
IIRC from my opening analyses, a 2TE opening is only a relevant option for engineers. A 2TE opening for most other factions implies that they start round 2 with just 1w income upon already spending two extra workers taken from somewhere for the 2nd TE. It almost forces them to take the +1w +1pw favor to avoid an engine breakdown (yes, I know that one or both priests can be used as workers ).

As fav7 is a strong tile I think there is nothing wrong with being forced to take it.
In your opening statistics you list the 2TE opening with Cultists with a good margin, maybe that's why I tried it out (see above).
 
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Robert
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SpaceTrucker wrote:
In your opening statistics you list the 2TE opening with Cultists with a good margin, maybe that's why I tried it out (see above).
Indeed the margin is good, but with just 16 games using that opening, I wouldn't call it statistically sound evidence. Now of course you fared well with it too, so ...
 
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Jan B.
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The cultists don't have the worker problem as much as other races, as they can afford to convert a priest to a worker from time to time. But that doesn't translate into this bonus tile, because you need to send the priests to the cults

I think this bonus tile is a mixed bag: in later rounds it will be awesome for races that have many resources at hand, like Nomads, Yetis or Alchemists or for the Ice Maidens that want to build some extra temples in late game. Additionally the Auren seem to make a lot of sense, as they have bonus tile from their Stronghold already and can afford to build a temple a little bit later.

But when the tile comes earlier, it benefits clearly the races that generate priests early with a temple opening and that have less need to invest priests into shipping, digging (advancement) or flying. In addition to the already mentioned Chaos Magicians and Acolytes the Dwarves come to my mind. I play Dwarves usually cult heavy. Mermaids need to manage their priest income with the need to advance shipping. And again I would like to point out Yetis. They can afford some early priests easily.
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Space Trucker
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kent_bro wrote:
The cultists don't have the worker problem as much as other races, as they can afford to convert a priest to a worker from time to time. But that doesn't translate into this bonus tile, because you need to send the priests to the cults
(...)
Additionally the Auren seem to make a lot of sense, as they have bonus tile from their Stronghold already and can afford to build a temple a little bit later.
For Cultists: I don't really understand your point here - I mean when the tile is in R1 nobody will have sent priest earned by temples to the cults and hardly anybody will convert them to workers? When the tile is not in R1 they won't have a worker problem?

For Auren: I'd definitly prefer witches here for most situations (Tile in R1 to R5). Auren do not send priests with their SH and therefore will get way less money for the passing actions. In R6 it doesn't matter anymore (no round bonus).
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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mikaeljt wrote:
Personally I doubt that a 2TE start will be a hit even with the new bonus tile (exception: engineers of course, as you mention). I have never done it other than with engineers myself, and I cannot remember I have seen others do it effectively either. Instinctively it should cost you too much resources/power and income compared to building 1-2 dwellings instead of the second temple, and four extra points should not be enough to compensate this. But I would happily see anyone prove me wrong in this!


I've done it with Ice Maidens
http://terra.snellman.net/game/iconoclasm

It's an option if spreading out first round fails, i.e. you only can build a dwelling with a 3w dig, because act5 and act6 are already gone and shipping won't help. Usually it's a bad start but you can compensate income with Fav7 and Fav8.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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DocCool wrote:

The coin aspect is going to be a huge incentive for early placement of priests in cults, just like the SPADE>>2 scoring tile usually results in significant early investment in the Earth cult because the money reward is so helpful. Like Space Trucker wrote, if putting priests into cults is rewarded twice (once for the cult advance and the potential power gain, once with coins from the tile), factions which have good use for priests elsewhere (Darklings, Fakirs, Halflings, Ice factions) will have an even harder time to use their priests outside the cults. Unfortunately the balancing aspect described in the first paragraph doesn't work for these factions, as they need early sources for priests anyway, so probably cannot affort to delay temple construction until the TE>>4 round, but will have good use for the priests elsewhere.


It depends on the round it shows up.
First round is great for Darklings and Yetis, they can send up to 3 priests to the cults first round. For Darklings it's often the better start to send priest to cult than use it for digging, for Yetis it is a valid option to build SH and then use act2 3-4 times. Darklings will still gain 4VP, while Yetis miss out on this.

 
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Jan B.
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SpaceTrucker wrote:
kent_bro wrote:
The cultists don't have the worker problem as much as other races, as they can afford to convert a priest to a worker from time to time. But that doesn't translate into this bonus tile, because you need to send the priests to the cults :)
(...)
Additionally the Auren seem to make a lot of sense, as they have bonus tile from their Stronghold already and can afford to build a temple a little bit later.
For Cultists: I don't really understand your point here - I mean when the tile is in R1 nobody will have sent priest earned by temples to the cults and hardly anybody will convert them to workers? When the tile is not in R1 they won't have a worker problem?

For Auren: I'd definitly prefer witches here for most situations (Tile in R1 to R5). Auren do not send priests with their SH and therefore will get way less money for the passing actions. In R6 it doesn't matter anymore (no round bonus).


Cultists: My statement was in reference to a heavy temple opening to maximize point output from the bonus tile. Sorry to not be clear enough.

Auren (and other races that got mentioned for late game point maximization for the round scoring: In this case, the cult bonus from the temple round scoring tile might not come into effect (round 6), which was the reason I mentioned races that don't throw a lot of priests into the cults but have lots of resources to maximize scoring output.
 
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Silly Words
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I like it. It completes the game, in the sense, that TE was the only building that you couldn't get VPs for.

I don't think it will change the game dynamic in any major way. As Space Trucker pointed out in the initial post, the losers are going to be SH centric factions like giants and alchemists. Swarmlings should be alright, considering their cheap path to TEs.



 
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Matthias Reitberger
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Example with Bonus in round 4, a round where focus changes from Income to VP-generation.

http://terra.snellman.net/game/gpc134/max-row=238

Bonus points none for Mermaids and Witches, 8VPs for cultists, 4VP for Engineers, income between 6 and 8 coins.


The scoring is quite inferior because you can't combine it with a Favor or Bonus. A TP bonus in this round can be very important, while TE scoring isn't. Anything above 8VP would need to center your game around this tile which isn't worth it.
Income is nice but more than 8 coins are problematic because you often want to keep 3p left for income, getting only 4 or 6 coins is not so problematic because money BONs and ACT4 might be less important for some players after this round.


 
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Space Trucker
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The strongest aspect of the tile is probably that you can often line up multiple cult bonuses quite easily. Send a priest to X to earn a bonus of that cult and get two extra coins from the temple tile on top in the round before/after.

Here's an extreme example where the temple tile in round 2 results in 8(!) temples on the board after round 2:
terra.snellman.net/faction/Kole4p/
 
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Robert
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SpaceTrucker wrote:
Here's an extreme example where the temple tile in round 2 results in 8(!) temples on the board after round 2:
terra.snellman.net/faction/Kole4p/
http://terra.snellman.net/game/Kole4p

Funny - only three of the eight TE were built in round 2 for VP. And even though the five TE built in round 1 resulted in four priests as income, only three of these priests ended up on the cult track for round scoring coins, as the Swarmlings saved their priest to become 1st player in round 3.
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C TK
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I'm not sure Space Trucker's example is that extreme...here is another game with round 2 temple scoring that had 8 temples by the end of R2:

http://terra.snellman.net/game/Offseason/max-row=159

Scores at the top were quite close with 1st-3rd all between 147 and 142 VPs at the end. I thought the Cultists erred by putting off both of their temples until R2, and they may have...but 142 points with no fav11 (fav10 though) and no points from network is impressive nonetheless.
 
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Luke J
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I have started games as Dwarves with 2TE more than once. It was never something I wanted to do, but sometimes I don't get any leech or spades through bonuses or power actions and the additional cost of dwellings is prohibitive. Full cost dig + dwelling would eat up 4 workers (TP + TE also uses 4 workers, but I can't remember if this was before or after deciding to try for TE+ TP + D). Tunneling is also extremely expensive at two extra workers.

2 TE works out reasonably well as a last resort (and yes, usually with the 1w + 1pw favor).
 
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C TK
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mikaeljt wrote:

Personally I doubt that a 2TE start will be a hit even with the new bonus tile (exception: engineers of course, as you mention). I have never done it other than with engineers myself, and I cannot remember I have seen others do it effectively either. Instinctively it should cost you too much resources/power and income compared to building 1-2 dwellings instead of the second temple, and four extra points should not be enough to compensate this. But I would happily see anyone prove me wrong in this!


Cultists can be extremely effective with 2 first round temples if there is at least coins early in earth cult. Four upgrades plus fav11 and fav7, plus the 1 cultists start at puts them at 8 on earth in round 1. I have done this with great success a couple of times (note though that cultists are by far my most successful faction in general).

http://terra.snellman.net/game/4playQuick/max-row=102
http://terra.snellman.net/game/4pLeague_S10_D6L10_G5/max-row...

I also tried it in this game and at the beginning it looked equally strong, but want of coins created a difficult middle game resulting in a weak second place.

http://terra.snellman.net/game/12242015/max-row=111

Based on the above, I wouldn't try it without the 1E->1C bonus in one of the first three rounds, but if there is cult coins early I think it's very strong especially if black is in the game preventing a "2 hexes for 1 spade" on the eastern continent.

 
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C TK
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Here is a game where the Halflings were able to get 12 VPs from the scoring tile in round 6:

http://terra.snellman.net/game/0117201609/max-row=318

Disclaimer: I messed up my favour tile selection pretty badly in round 6, I recommend not to play Terra in sharp positions on a phone while working outdoors . This doesn't really affect what I discovered about TE scoring in round 6, but I figured some on here might be quick to say "You should have picked favour so-and-so."

Anyway, first it must be noted that I ended up in a position to take advantage of the TE bonus almost by accident, I didn't go out of my way at all to make it happen. I will explain why this is important later.

The issue I came to realize is that in round 6, favour tiles are often bad. If you're upgrading all your trading posts to temples, then FAV12 is of little or no value. If you don't need FAV5 to complete a town (I didn't), then FAV5 is useless. If you're already dropping 15c and 6w on 3 temples, you probably aren't going to make much use of fav10 at that late stage. That leaves you FAV1-4 and FAV6 since the income tiles are useless. And those favours are only useful for the cults that are still in contest (this is where I erred). So to get any value at all from the favour tiles, you need to be in contention on the cults having only had 1 priest income all game (exc. darklings and swarmlings but they each have other reasons why this is a problem). So to score 12 points from TE->4 in round 6, not only do you need to walk a delicate line to get there from an economy perspective, you also need to be in a position where fav1-4 is useful, which is often a dangerous situation to be in as there is only 1 of each and missing it can easily put you in 3rd in the cult (2VP) instead of 1st (8VP), a critical swing.

Without getting benefit from the favours, the only reason to do it is for the points. It's round 6 and points are good right? Who cares if the favour tiles are weak?

The problem is 12VPs on it's own is not sufficient compensation for 15C and 6W. At the most basic level, 15C and 6W automatically converts to 7VP if you have nothing to do with your resources. So getting 12 due to round scoring means you're only getting 5VP more than if you just passed at the start of round 6. If you're holding fav7, you're better to pass and convert the resources. If you're halfings those 6w are worth 6VP (dig) and the coins are worth 5VP meaning you actually only gain 1VP compared with doing a "dig 6." and passing the coins - assuming the spades are worth more than the favours you're probably better to do this even if you somehow don't have a use for your coins. Alchemists are similar - they can convert 6W to 6 spades, get 12 power income (6 power), convert that 6 power to 6c and then they have 21 coins that they convert to 10VP rather than 12.

The point is, even if you nail the round perfectly, unless you happen to need the favours you are getting a very small benefit for your well-balanced and significant pool of resources compared with just passing. Chances are, you can invest those resources into something more worthwhile. This is very, very different than nailing a late dwelling or TP round because those rounds have synergy with favours, faction abilities, and network expansion.

So, earlier I said I didn't go out of my way at all to set up the TE round it just kind of happened. Even just sleepwalking into it I nailed it perfectly (from an economy perspective) and was very underwhelmed. Literally the only thing I did "differently" because of the TE scoring in RD6 was I didn't build a temple for FAV10 in RD5 (which may have been a mistake but neighbours was an issue for building many TPs and expanding my network in general). Now imagine that I had gone out of my way to accommodate the TE scoring for 12VPs, when realizing after the fact that 15C and 6W (for halfings) passively converts into 6 spades and 11VPs at very worst.

A bare-bones town with FAV5 (2D and 2TE) costs 14C and 8W from scratch, not counting the spades (possibly significant depending on faction). With fav11 and fav10, even without any round bonuses, the town will earn you 14VPs PLUS the town VPs PLUS the town income (5c or 2w or p or cult steps etc). The value in building a town is well over 20VPs for a similar amount of resources, and this only goes up if you get resources you need from the town, go up a place in network, or can align the dwellings or TPs with round bonuses.

So in conclusion, some posters earlier expressed doubts that one could feasibly get to round 6 in a position to build 3 temples that round. I disagree, but, I argue that even if you do get to round 6 with the means and board to build 3 temples, you should find something better to do with your resources because it's not worth it just for the VPs.

In my game above, notice that I built my third temple only when the Darklings and Witches were committed to their lines and TE+fav6 (for the power) was the only way I could avoid a tie for 2nd.
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Jan B.
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I had a game where TE scoring just made sense. Take a look at the round scoring: http://terra.snellman.net/game/Stefan21

Round 4 SH/SA, Round 5 TP, Round 6 TE.

So I build a SA in Roud 4, lots of TPs in round 5 and then upgraded the TPs again for temples. As round 5 meant that I can built dwellings again, I also did that in round 6. Granted, it was 3 player and I was able to secure all scoring favors whenever I wanted. But still, depending on the setup, it can make sense to just follow the round scoring with the building plan.
 
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