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Subject: Strength of bookkeeping track? rss

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Steve Austin
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Celtic wrote:
ejones307 wrote:
... alleviate the distress and confusion I always hear when teaching, about not getting the rewards you bypass.
I think a very minor tweak to the book track rules which would help would be to make the reward from any one of the books passed over. It would give a wee benefit without being too overpowered.
How about rewards from 'all' books passed over. Going to try this.
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Alexander Pfister
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junesen wrote:

I think there needs to be some additional boost to the bookkeeping track or pretty much it'll die. It is pretty much unanimous among our group (~10 players, 2-5 plays each) that bookkeeping is more trouble than its worth.
I think there is some group thinking going on in your group :-)
If you made all 16 books, you would get 60 pounds at game end. So a book is worth on average about 4 Pounds. If you manage to make 2 books with a bookkeeper, this gives you 8 pounds at game end. And 2 books is not much. Plus you get the reward of the last book minus the opportunity costs of 1 pound per book. Lets say they are equal. But then you also get 2 bookkeeping points (worth at least +2 pounds)from your bookkeeper. Therefore I would say: If you manage to make 2 books with your bookkeeper, your wealth increases by 10 pounds. Even if you assume 3 pounds per book at game end (because you don't reach the end), the bookkeeper will give you 8 pounds. The reward will increase, if you manage to make 3 books with your bookkeeper. This is very difficult in the first few rounds, but easy when you have 1 additional slot and owning better good cards.
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AlexP wrote:
junesen wrote:

I think there needs to be some additional boost to the bookkeeping track or pretty much it'll die. It is pretty much unanimous among our group (~10 players, 2-5 plays each) that bookkeeping is more trouble than its worth.
I think there is some group thinking going on in your group :-)
From the tone of this thread, it looks like most everybody is experiencing the same group think :-) Perhaps it is the inexperienced players. I know several people who tried bookkeeping and just couldn't get everything lined up to take a single bookkeeping action: they would forget a requirement, or forget to line up their discards to get the correct cards, or they line up everything only to have someone else take the vital additional action card. So I think there has to be a decided advantage in the bookkeeping track for people to try to do it. I don't know if 8 pounds per bookkeeping action is worth it. If there is 25 card actions per game, then 8 pounds per action is pretty good at 200 pounds per game. However, there is overhead in setting up bookkeeping actions so maybe a bookkeeping action really costs 1.5 actions, then you are looking at a score of 150 which is probably average.
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Alexander Pfister
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With 200 points you would win most games. Additional: You don't only have 25 cards to play but also 14 bonus marker over the course of the game. So I would say an average card action is worth about 4-5 pounds vs the bookkeeper 8-10 pounds.

Or in other words: I would never ever play without bookkeeper because as mentioned above: After you unlocked your 4th slot, it becomes very easy to advance several books at once (better good cards and 4th slot). For me it's only a matter of how intense I will use the bookkeeper.

However I totally agree: It's more difficult to play an extreme bookkeeper strategy than any other strategy.
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Brian M
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Really curious to give this more tries and see how the bookkeeping plans out. In our one game so far at BGG.Con, Lisa went heavy on the bookkeeping track and clobbered us; IIRC, she was lining up fairly large bookkeeping moves with each action. On one hand, we were all completely new to the game, so maybe we just weren't playing well. On the other hand, maybe it just takes the right sort of skill to get it to work well.
 
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Brian M
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StormKnight wrote:
Really curious to give this more tries and see how the bookkeeping plans out. In our one game so far at BGG.Con, Lisa went heavy on the bookkeeping track and clobbered us; IIRC, she was lining up fairly large bookkeeping moves with each action. On one hand, we were all completely new to the game, so maybe we just weren't playing well. On the other hand, maybe it just takes the right sort of skill to get it to work well.
And...oops!
I misread the rules when I taught for that play; I had us getting the bonus for every book we past, not just the last one we landed on.

blush
 
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Eric Jones
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I would say that the average score to win is around 180-200, with the highest I've seen about 230 so far (using the E track, maxing diamonds and getting 5 slots for the last 2 turns as well as winning the stock value game). The winning score definitely varies by how strong the leading stocks are.

Reading another thread, a good point was brought up that books get worse as you have less competition. Which is weird, but I think true, because other people are likely to prioritize different goods than you, allowing unwanted books to cycle out. As it is, the only unwanted goods that cycle out are the ones people pick up because they have free money on them. So, as books become less popular, they should become worse.

I have seen someone get real lucky, and I consider it exceptionally lucky to get 4 tiles to line up using only 2 goods, I felt that was an extreme aberration. The chances of that especially if you don't have help are slim.

I tried a "House Rule" of you just get one pound for EACH book you complete (even the flipped ones and the one you land on), in addition to the normal reward you will gain. I thought it was simple enough and I wanted to make it less confusing. It was well received, I declined to go for books, but one of the other players managed to get not only their 4th, but also their 5th action by turn 4 (for turn 5) before I got my 4th action (on turn 5 with diamonds, but I already have a 3rd action token).

I bring this up because even though he gained quite a few more actions as well as points, and even additional "House Rule" points, while it was surprisingly close, I was still able to win (albeit by only 15 points). While completing the book and diamond tracks so quickly, he was not as competitive in the stocks and had not purchased as many cards. He ended up having to play out the 1 point commodity cards and the 1 point explore in the extra action spaces as a result. So even though he had more actions than I did, my actions were still generating the same level of effectiveness. Which brings up the hidden opportunity cost of gathering the books and planning out even a "Super Move" to make the jump on books. I had better cards and was able to buy 6 extra cards with stock values as opposed to his 4 by the end of the game.

If you're motivated, you can get to the 8th diamond as fast as turn 2. Its pretty easy actually if you get the A diamond card and buy the diamond merchant for turn 2. I would think turn 3 would be the earliest you can reasonably expect to do 4 books (and hit the double diamond space once).

On a side note... A friend of mine played an interesting game where he essentially just focused on the cards. I'm not sure if he ever played a hat, but if he did, it wasn't until at least turn 5. He dis play 3 banana cards on turn 2, 3 coffee cards on turn 3 and 3 cotton cards turn 4. It was interesting. Sadly he didn't do so hot, and ended up in 3rd with about 160 points. The problem with the strategy is, the cards don't really give you points if they can buy other cards, and he never got a 4th action to really play them all.
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