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Subject: Best Starting Point on the Rondel? rss

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Peter Evett
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Has anyone given detailed analysis on where the best place to start on the Rondel is? The start of the game seems pretty big, when just a few dollars can really make a difference. Ideas? -- PAE
 
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J C Lawrence
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paevett wrote:
Has anyone given detailed analysis on where the best place to start on the Rondel is? The start of the game seems pretty big, when just a few dollars can really make a difference. Ideas? -- PAE


The pattern of your investments versus the pattern of other player's investments is far more significant to the game than the starting location for a country.
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Flying Arrow
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First four turns... Production-Maneuver-Taxation-Factory
 
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J C Lawrence
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FlyingArrow wrote:
First four turns... Production-Maneuver-Taxation-Factory


For a slow peaking steady earning start given reasonably safe borders, a significant majority and a cash rich country:

Factory/Production/Maneuver/Investor/Import/Production/Maneuver/Taxation/Factory...

For a fast start given an unstable dominance, quick milk:

Factory/Investor/Production/Maneuver/Taxation/Production/Investor...

Roughly equal investment across players:

Investor/Production/Maneuver/Taxation/Maneuver/Investor

Offence, especially for shutting down factories:

Production/Maneuver/Investor/Import/Production($2)/Maneuver/Production($2)/Maneuver...

Late turn order slow peak offence given a related short-term position that you're defending before flipping focus:

Import/Production/Maneuver/Taxation/Factory/Production/Maneuver/Investor/Import/Production/Maneuver/Taxation...
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Henrik Johansson
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Is it just me who thinks that the stongest initial rondel pick generally is Investor? As has been stated before, the objective of the game is primarily not to command a specific nation militarily but rather collect the most profit for yourself. The only move to get personal economic momentum early on is Investor. For sure, the country/countries you initially control would probably fare better if you picked for example Factory but it is important never to forget what your job is.
An initial Investor move in a 3-6 player game will almost always get me $4 million due to having the $9 million bond. Some other player might get $2 million, and the rest get no money. Now, when I get the Investor card I am much better prepared for purchase; I have at least $6 million instead of just 2. This gives you a lot more options. Of course, this means that my currently controlled country seldom is the best buy since it has been drained of cash and has no extra factories. I would rather buy my initial bonds in a country that has invested in a factory. Someone could object that I have the most to lose by draining the country I initially control since I have $9 million invested there and instead should make this investmment grow as much as possible by investing in that country but since you often end the game with several 10's of millions in bonds you should really not stick too close to those initial investments; $4 million in your pocket early on is far better for you than an extra factory in a country. Better to invest that cash in another country that has an extra factory or a good map position.

An early Investor also often sets up nicely to an early Taxation via Import/(Production)/Maneuver. If you manage to conquest at least 2 minors you will get extra cash here. Then, just move on to other countries....
 
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Chuck Parrott
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Quote:
Is it just me who thinks that the stongest initial rondel pick generally is Investor?


Depends a lot on if you are using the basic setup or the experienced setup and playing with or without the investor card. I assume from your post you are using basic setup with the investor card and my comments are in regard to that.

An early Investor action might be a decent choice if you start with the investor card or sit to the left of the investor card. Otherwise I wouldn't think so. While you are correct the focus of the game is net profit, early on the only way to ensure a good return and/or good cash flow for investment is to manage the country you control well. The 9M bond has to reach 3x OR pay out 3 times (or a combination of the two) in order to reach a net profit. An early investor will take needed cash out of the country's treasury and pretty much assure it will fall behind others that are expanding first by starting in a build up/maneuver/tax cycle.

But it is a viable strategy if you intend to raid the treasury in order to secure an early bond in another country you want to control. However, I think it's still a risky choice given that the early game has the countries in a relatively neutral position and it isn't until late early to mid-game that the more lucrative investment choices start to appear.

Chuck
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David Norman
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kingen wrote:
Is it just me who thinks that the stongest initial rondel pick generally is Investor?


It depends. And that's one of the great things about this game - there are no hard and fast rules...

kingen wrote:
The only move to get personal economic momentum early on is Investor.


No it isn't...

Note, in the following quote, I've corrected "Taxation" to "Investor"...
kingen wrote:
An initial Investor move in a 3-6 player game will almost always get me $4 million due to having the $9 million bond. Some other player might get $2 million, and the rest get no money.


That is true. But compare that with, if you open with Import, Production, Manoevre, Tax, then given the right country, the taxable value will be $11m, so you'll get a $6m bonus.

Similarly, if you open with Factory, Investor, Production, Maneouvre, Tax, then you'll get $4m from the Investor and $4m from the Tax, giving $8m in total.

kingen wrote:
Now, when I get the Investor card I am much better prepared for purchase; I have at least $6 million instead of just 2.


That is true. But it's completely irrelevant until you get the investor card.

I played a 6-player game once, where the initial flags around the table went Aus, Ita, Fra, Eng, Ger, Rus - i.e. exactly the same order as they go around the board. So I opened to Factory. Everyone else went to Investor (with the Investor card in front of them when they did so). This left me with the Investor card. Then I went to investor, got the $4m, just like everybody else had, plus I now also had the $2m from my minor power having paid out first, plus I had a factory in the country I controlled, so I later got an extra $2m when we all got to tax. Compare that to what would have happened if I'd gone to Investor immediately...

Like I said, it depends. It depends on what order the flags are around the table, what the other people do, what other investors there are in the country(s) you control, how many players are playing, etc.

If there was a simple answer, it wouldn't be such a good game...
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J C Lawrence
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DavidNorman99 wrote:
That is true. But compare that with, if you open with Import, Production, Manoevre, Tax, then given the right country, the taxable value will be $11m, so you'll get a $6m bonus.


Your numbers don't work. Each country starts with a tax base of $4 (2 factories). Import & Production without an additional factory can add a maximum of of 5 military units (3 for import, 2 for the factories). Assuming perfect conditions and a single maneuver, that means a maximum of 5 new tax markers placed on the board (one per unit), giving a total tax base of $9 ($4 + $5).
 
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Henrik Johansson
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Quote:
Note, in the following quote, I've corrected "Taxation" to "Investor"...

Corrected, sorry

Quote:
Depends a lot on if you are using the basic setup or the experienced setup and playing with or without the investor card.


Yes, I've played mostly with the basic rules, including the Investor card. Perhaps I should also have mentioned that I have mostly played the game with three or four players. The few games I've played with six players felt somewhat different with a lot more downtime for some players.

Chuck;

You might be just right in your last sentence; early on the differences between the countries are just too small to justify draining the coffers and invest in the best faring country. I also agree that my postition related to the Investor card also matters a lot. If I play AH in a six player game, it seems like a bad idea to "rush" with an early Investor; it will still be a long time before I get to buy bonds and by then my advantage will have been nullified.
Another advantage, however, with draining your own country is that it makes the other players reluctant to invest there, leaving you with control of a slightly less developed country for the cost of $0 million.

David;

Quote:
But compare that with, if you open with Import, Production, Manoevre, Tax, then given the right country, the taxable value will be $11m, so you'll get a $6m bonus.


Here, your position relative to the investor card is all important. The problem with this opening is that by the time you reach the cash influx phase of this opening, someone else (me, perhaps )might have bought sufficient bonds in your initial country for control just in time for Taxation. That leaves you with a strong initial country, controlled by someone else, and no cash.

Quote:
Factory, Investor, Production, Maneouvre, Tax, then you'll get $4m from the Investor and $4m from the Tax, giving $8m in total.


This seems strong. Might be my standard opening if I start with the Investor card far away.

I totally agree that everything is dependent on the situation. That is IMO the great attraction of this game.

I thank you for your comments. They will help me improving my play!
 
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Conny Gustafsson
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So you are simply abandoning your traditional opening strategy of pillaging one of your countries just so that you can use it as an early suicide bomber and drag one of my countries down with you right from the start?

Excellent.

 
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Henrik Johansson
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Cogust wrote:

So you are simply abandoning your traditional opening strategy of pillaging one of your countries just so that you can use it as an early suicide bomber and drag one of my countries down with you right from the start?

Excellent.



Who? Me? arrrh
 
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K K
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cparrott wrote:

The 9M bond has to reach 3x OR pay out 3 times (or a combination of the two) in order to reach a net profit.


Isn't that true only if you never receive a dividend from the country landing on investor? The 9M pays a 4M dividend, so after you hold it for three investor space landings (3x4M = 12M), it has more than paid for itself, no?
 
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David Norman
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kkrieger wrote:
cparrott wrote:

The 9M bond has to reach 3x OR pay out 3 times (or a combination of the two) in order to reach a net profit.


Isn't that true only if you never receive a dividend from the country landing on investor? The 9M pays a 4M dividend, so after you hold it for three investor space landings (3x4M = 12M), it has more than paid for itself, no?


Yes. Hence it said:

cparrott wrote:

... OR pay out 3 times ...
 
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John Sloan
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Investor might well maximise your initial return in many cases, but be aware that you are also giving money to any other shareholders.

Say the 1,2,3,4 shares are out in a 4p game. Invest nets you 4m, yes, but only 3,2 and 1m more than your opponents, so your net gain is only 3m.

Whereas if you tax for 3m bonus, you gain that 3m over all other players.

Now of course that extra 1m might let you buy a share you really need, which is why it's not just a question of total worth, but it means there isn't a hard and fast 'best' initial roundel option.

Heck I've even started countries on 'tax' (when they didn't have the cash for a factory) though I agree the circumstances for that to be correct have to be kinda strange (I'm not sure they ever have been, even when I've done it)
 
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