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Viticulture» Forums » Variants

Subject: Using Two workers as a Grande rss

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Leif Smart
Australia
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Not sure if this counts as a real variant but all to often me or my friends have been blocked out of a critical action without having our Grande's available. Usually when we have plenty of spare workers too. So we've often joked that we wish we could use two workers like a grande.

It probably doesn't work out and ruins the balance, but might be worth trying out sometime to see how it changes the game.
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Jamie Vantries
United States
Woodbury
Minnesota
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That sounds kinda interesting, but it kinda defeats one of the major points of worker-placement games- blocking other players from taking a spot.
 
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Tomello Visello
United States
Finger Lakes region
New York
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Being shut out is part of the game. The Grande is an override capability to balance that out. But you're looking for even more override ?

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Tomello Visello
United States
Finger Lakes region
New York
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leifsmart wrote:
Usually when we have plenty of spare workers too.
This makes me wonder if you are playing somehow differently than what I expect. What number of players ?

Why would you have already used the Grande so soon? Or why/how are you so richly acquiring spare workers?
 
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LudoH LudoH
France
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TVis wrote:

Why would you have already used the Grande so soon? Or why/how are you so richly acquiring spare workers?
I guess the OP is targetting the last few turns because at this point everybody want to do the same actions and has a lot of workers.

While the idea seems interesting, I am also worried about the balance, in particular it seems that this would remove most (or at least half) of the interest of the yoke ... no?
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Juan Crespo
United States
Washington
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For me it kind of ruins the balance. A big part of the game is the tense decision of whether using your workers in early seasons or saving them for future winter actions. Sometimes you save them, just to being scooped by other players and ending up with unused workers. But that's part of the risk you take for passing on early season actions. If you want to guarantee a future action, you save the Grande.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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I agree with Juan, Matthew, and Tomello. It's a creative idea, but I think the game is best played as the rules indicate.
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Joshua H
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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If you're regularly getting shut out of actions that you need with plenty of workers left, are you making good use of summer/winter visitors? They're good for boosting actions, but they're also great at just giving you a hedge towards completing an action.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that winter is starting, you need to fill a wine order, but you used your grande worker in summer for some other reason. It's a four player game and you're last in turn order. If you have the advanced workers from Tuscany, the winter visitor deck is twenty cards, four of which allow you to fill a wine order (Advanced Master Vinter, Advanced Merchant, Jack of All Trades, Advanced Marketer). If you've built a cottage and draw two winter visitors from a full winter deck, you have a 36% to draw one, 49% if you took wake up slot #5 for another draw. Since there are two fulfill wine order slots and two play winter visitor slots, it's impossible for you to get completely locked out if you can fill an order from a visitor.

Now, in a real game the odds are messier (odds are the other players have been drawing, so the deck is smaller, but they might have taken one of those cards). That's why keeping a couple key visitor actions is a good hedge; it gives you an out, AND it helps you deny your opponents. If I know you need to fill a wine order, and I'm sitting on two visitors that let me fill wine orders, I'll strongly consider taking the fill order slot in the hopes that you don't have one. (Of course, if I can fill two, I might be better off playing both visitors in one action, but that's the game).

Also, in my opinion, it's important to know when to stop buying workers. I rarely feel like it's worth buying all of mine; each worker is a pretty heavy investment. It's a normally at least one action to buy one (barring visitors, in which case it may be a half action). But you also need money; if you're spending money early, that's money you can't spend on structures to help diversify your options or boost your scoring capacity, and if you're spending it late from residuals, you're not getting as much return on investment since the game will end soon. It's pretty rare that I feel like I have six productive actions to take each year, especially if I'm able to get a few 2/3/4-for-1 actions by playing key visitors. If you can get a leg up early by using actions productively and spending money on your villa, your opponents will have more trouble catching up at the end of the game when there are only a few actions that are really worth taking.
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