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Subject: Spice Cowboys rss

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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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First game last night and one of the more interesting quirks was one playing trying to exploit the spice trade as he saw it.

- Place merchant ship cube on Spice
- Score 7vp and a gold
- Reclaim merchant cubes in current age
- Place merchant ship cube on Spice
- Score 7vp and a gold
- Reclaim merchant cubes in current age
- Place merchant ship cube on Spice
- Score 7vp and a gold

It felt that this shouldn't be allowed, Scoured the rules to see if you could actually retrieve merchants from the current area, but couldn't see a reason not, but then the more and more I thought about it, the shallower a strategy it felt it must be. Obviously costing a cube per go, and a lot of actions, and whilst getting a nice immediate point hit, seemed to lose him a lot when it came to going into area 5, where the additional cubes he could have put on a different good spot would've earned him 5 points anyway. This was being done in conjunction with him having only 1, or 0, ships on the track.

So to me it was a fun and novel idea, esp for a first play, but ultimately not a good plan - especially if / when we work out actual strategies that progress you in multiple ways, not just raw points. Mind you, this was tried by a guy who recently ran a half marathon carrying a mattress on his back so comapred to that, very tame!
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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I thought about it, but dismissed it soon after.
It's not only the fact that you lose cubes (which will bite hard at some point) or the action cost (which is high), it's also the fact that retrieving merchant cubes from the current era means you're losing points by doing so. Even if you rebuild the spice, you could also have built something else for additional points.

Not a good idea at all.
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James Clarke
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tublefou wrote:
Not a good idea at all.
It makes as much strategic sense, as running a half marathon with a mattress on your back.

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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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Highland Cow wrote:
tublefou wrote:
Not a good idea at all.
It makes as much strategic sense, as running a half marathon with a mattress on your back.

Yeah, he didn't even win the race... shocking. That said he probably made 4 times as much money for charidy... soo.....
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Michael Noakes
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My one try at a spice strategy failed--I sent merchants into four spice areas, and replaced the four lost cubes with Lloyds of London, but the 28vps and net 3 gold wasn't a good return on effort, especially as spice tends to be a bit scattered, making retrieval inefficient. The Spice Islands might be a good strategy, if prepared for it. I lost that game.

On the other hand, the other player who nabbed two Spice boxes won, and who is to say the 14Vps and 2 gold wasn't part of that?

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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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Weloi Avala wrote:
My one try at a spice strategy failed--I sent merchants into four spice areas, and replaced the four lost cubes with Lloyds of London, but the 28vps and net 3 gold wasn't a good return on effort, especially as spice tends to be a bit scattered, making retrieval inefficient. The Spice Islands might be a good strategy, if prepared for it. I lost that game.

On the other hand, the other player who nabbed two Spice boxes won, and whose to say the 14Vps and 2 gold wasn't part of that?

Yes Lloyds was nabbed by him to make it feasible.
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Michael Noakes
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I suppose the other problem with trying to spam a location is that you're forced to open it to other players. Theoretically, I guess you could plunk down two cubes in the Spice Islands and retrieve them with your free action cube. And then try to re-exploit the islands again when your turn comes around. But what are the odds you'll still be in the same area by your next turn? Or that someone else hasn't nabbed them, and are happy to grab the points for scoring the area?

Dunno, seems like a pretty silly strategy. Though possibly useful if trying to stock up on a precious resource--say, food in area 6--before the big push into the rest of the world...?
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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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Weloi Avala wrote:
I suppose the other problem with trying to spam a location is that you're forced to open it to other players. Theoretically, I guess you could plunk down two cubes in the Spice Islands and retrieve them with your free action cube. And then try to re-exploit the islands again when your turn comes around. But what are the odds you'll still be in the same area by your next turn? Or that someone else hasn't nabbed them, and are happy to grab the points for scoring the area?

Dunno, seems like a pretty silly strategy. Though possibly useful if trying to stock up on a precious resource--say, food in area 6--before the big push into the rest of the world...?
We didn't get to "Rest o/t World" (what a silly abbreviation), which I was expecting initially but soon saw the way we were guessing was most effective meant expansion was slow. But seeing the dead last player get 28 points somewhat unexpectedly from area 6 to jump to 2nd, certainly highlighted what *really* matters. I won with about 120 points, I'm pretty surely that'll be a dead last player score in a few games times when you stock up on black cubes and money and food for the last hurrah in area 6 or 7.

Thanks for your other session reviews and thoughts BTW, very interesting.
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Weloi Avala wrote:
I suppose the other problem with trying to spam a location is that you're forced to open it to other players. Theoretically, I guess you could plunk down two cubes in the Spice Islands and retrieve them with your free action cube. And then try to re-exploit the islands again when your turn comes around. But what are the odds you'll still be in the same area by your next turn? Or that someone else hasn't nabbed them, and are happy to grab the points for scoring the area?

Dunno, seems like a pretty silly strategy. Though possibly useful if trying to stock up on a precious resource--say, food in area 6--before the big push into the rest of the world...?
You have to start your turn by retrieving the cubes and the place them. This way, you get exclusivity of the spots.
Doesn't change the fact that it wouldn't work.
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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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tublefou wrote:
Weloi Avala wrote:
I suppose the other problem with trying to spam a location is that you're forced to open it to other players. Theoretically, I guess you could plunk down two cubes in the Spice Islands and retrieve them with your free action cube. And then try to re-exploit the islands again when your turn comes around. But what are the odds you'll still be in the same area by your next turn? Or that someone else hasn't nabbed them, and are happy to grab the points for scoring the area?

Dunno, seems like a pretty silly strategy. Though possibly useful if trying to stock up on a precious resource--say, food in area 6--before the big push into the rest of the world...?
You have to start your turn by retrieving the cubes and the place them. This way, you get exclusivity of the spots.
Doesn't change the fact that it wouldn't work.
Oh yes, he was only leaving it empty mid turn.

I think I just liked the strategy as it's so tangential to the main flow of the game, yet totally legal and fine.
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James Clarke
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I think I just liked the strategy as it's so tangential to the main flow of the game, yet totally legal and fine.
Like running a half marathon with a mattress on your back.
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