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Subject: Money isn't everything. War on the other hand... rss

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Niclas Matikainen
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With four players, we were given two civilizations each to choose from. My options were Giza and Olympia. Wanting something more than a race for victory points, I went for the latter.
With my leaders drafted, Xenophon hinted at a focus on yellow cards (which has worked for me in the past), Hatchepsut (with help from my first wonder) made sure I could ignore production to some extent, while Hiram wanted a race for Guilds in the final age.

I started with Xenophon, and with a bunch of yellow cards at my disposal I was soon swimming in money. In fact, I got 14 points from left over cash.
I held my own in warfare, drawing with the player to my right, and defeating the player on my left every turn. The player across me crushed everyone though. It would turn out his leaders supported this very effectively…

In the end game, my gameplan stalled. The above mentioned warmonger stole all the guilds, while the player on my right used one (that scored points for yellow cards!!!) for his last wonder. And none of my neighbours built a guild, making my last wonder useless.

Even with that disaster of a finish, I was able to get 54 points for second place. Previously mentioned warmongering guild-thief won at 62, with the last two players ending at around 50 points.
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How did your resource distribution look like?

Since you were stacking Xenophon and Hatshepsut, clearly you were intentionally going light on the brown resources. Since yellow cards don't need more than one advanced good, a Forum covered all your needs (or a Marketplace using that logic too).

This leads your Haven to suck. If you did have adequate browns for a good Haven, then Hatshepsut trading wasn't that useful. There's also two Havens. How good was your Lighthouse? Probably 5-6 yellows.

Although Arena got the full effect, I didn't really get why you went with Hiram when you were planning to copy a Guild.

I don't know if you had 3 Gray resources, but even though that would make Bazaar and Chamber of Commerce groovy, unless people were trading you for those resources, Olympia doesn't have much use for them other than Pantheon and Palace convenience. The only guild that takes all 3 gray resources is the Traders Guild which is totally what your neighbors would rather have.

Actually why did you want your neighbor to play the Traders Guild? Your Olympia copying would only count what yellows your neighbors have, which is probably trivial considering you had most of them.

Seems like drawing with the player to the right was a bad idea. Literally switching one good yellow with a military card in age I or II would have potentially shifted your points by 8. The loss of VP from 1 less yellow card would not have been 8, and you could have negated the Hiram blunder by discarding him for 3 coins or wait until the very end to build (or not build) your wonder.

... wait nevermind you might have built your wonder predicting your right neighbor to build traders guild. But his 3rd wonder was probably 7 VP which is better than traders guild. He has no incentive to have your Olympia gain any copying guild points, even if his Trader's Guild gives 8-9 VP (it might have required a trade or two).

Said warmonger probably got Strategist's Guild. Did he have Caesar or Pericles? Alexander supposedly works given the dominance.

In theory I suppose even one good guild would have tipped things in your favor. Like, Gamers Guild.

Too bad you didn't have a Midas, a neighbor with Gamers Guild, or play Courtesan to copy a Midas, or Olympia copying Courtesan to copy a Midas.


Anyways the general problem with yellows is that it requires other conditions to be optimal. So even if you get an awesome 6 coin 6 VP haven or chamber of commerce, you had to draft at least 3-6 (actually more) cards just to enable it. So you end up either not maximizing the VP per card or the resource itself, since yellow cards are among the least resource intensive. Yellow cards don't work too well together either if you mix trading discounts with Caravansary/Forum while drafting brown/gray.

Even Gamers Guild and Midas only end up being an "equalizer" of sorts for VP even if you score a whopping 10 - 17 VP on coins alone.
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Niclas Matikainen
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My answer to most of you questions is "I'm a beginner (fifth play) and I don't know what I'm doing. Hopefully I'll learn from my mistakes".

Having these questions asked helps a lot though, certainly helps with evaluating the choises I made. So thanks for that!

I had a minimum of brown cards, just the first stepping stones to get started on my wonder, and then traded for the rest.
With that being said, my neighbours didn't get all the resources I had hoped for, so the lack of trading possibilities did limit me. Like you said, yellow does require other conditions...

I have to admit that it was a boneheaded move to get Hiram. I can't remember the choice I had left, but I think the discarded option was actually worse. That being said, I should've dumped him for the cash.

Traders Guild: My bad. I thought it would've helped me if it had been past to me. Didn't notice that it only worked with neigbouring cards...
 
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Ah that makes more sense.

Another irony with yellow is that you want coins to come to you, meaning you actually want to collect more resources.

I would imagine that brick was lacking, and possibly one gray resource or a 2nd ore.


One thing to note is that if you go for gray cards in a 4 player game, you could inhibit the player across from you, since there's only two copies of each card in the game.
[Though if the warmonger got Forum then this point is moot.]

There's 6 purple cards in age III. I can imagine the Warmonger getting the two best ones, but the fact that *none* of your neighbors got purple is something.

I'm not sure what happened, but when you were *struggling* to get the right resources, going for Guild cards that are the *most resource intensive* in the game seems kind of difficult XD

Well I guess Olympia is balanced in that sense. Keep up the strategies and find the opportunity to win (sadly yellow strategies need at least a 2nd option like military success)
 
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