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Subject: What's losing got to do with it? rss

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Ken Bush
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Have you ever tried to co-op play Caylus? I mean, see how high the losing score can be.

I found an old thread about playing Caylus Solo (Solo play?). In it they are attempting to find the maximum solo score (they say around 370) using the same rules as for multiplayer Caylus. This puzzle intrigued me. But I was thinking that Caylus was meant to be a multiplayer game with more unknowns and interaction with players contributing points and resources to each other via those interactions. I wondered if in a 2 player game scores could be as high as the single player thread. Then this got me thinking about the highest combined scores, and then highest losing score.

So I did a two player run through myself, tracking carefully the resources, money and points for each player. Scores at castle scoring sections: 1st, 31-36; 2nd, 112-102; and the final score, 277 to 278. In the pictures below I hadn’t added the points for gold yet.

My game overview:
I started with the Mason, then Lawyer using a builder to produce them, then the 3 stone farms from the mason. Each player going to the castle 3 times. I ended up building the market and peddler with Castle favors, then after all the stone buildings had been built (also used the Jeweler tile), used an end of 2nd section favor to build two wood farms near the end of the road. Didn’t start overbuilding wood or stone buildings with residences until very late in the game as wanting to place 12 workers causes you to use all the buildings until the spot after the second castle scoring marker. Built all the prestige buildings. Used all the castle spots in the 1st and 2nd sections but each player only had 5 castle builds in the 3rd section. Kept track of the points each player gave to the other for building use, amounted to 53 total points. Ended up with 1 denier each and 2 cubes each and some gold (converted into points at end game).

Pictures: Top) End-game condition board state, Middle) end game player reserves, Bottom) game tracking sheets.

Now I’m sure there are higher scores possible, and 2 heads would do better than one so I’m wondering if anyone else is up for the challenge? Can your losing 2 player score beat 277? Optimizing this will likely be similar to optimizing the solo play, but with the addition of using other players buildings. I’d like to try with a real person someday on BGA or BSW!
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Rollo Tomosi
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It is my humble opinion that a solo or 2P solo play of Caylus cannot possibly include the fullness of the Provost dynamic-thus all such plays need to have an asterisk or some similar.
 
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Ken Bush
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Yeah, I almost posted under Variants, because it really isn't the same without the Provost. But I have a lot of friends who won't play anymore. Some because early game errors are fatal against good players so you can tell early on that you aren't going to win and some because of the provost. So as a huge fan of Caylus, who doesn't get to play enough, this still has an appeal for me.
 
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Game Guy
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klbush wrote:
Yeah, I almost posted under Variants, because it really isn't the same without the Provost. But I have a lot of friends who won't play anymore. Some because early game errors are fatal against good players so you can tell early on that you aren't going to win and some because of the provost. So as a huge fan of Caylus, who doesn't get to play enough, this still has an appeal for me.


Do I understand correctly, that you are simply playing without the Provost? Big ol' asterisk for that!! I would think that in Solo/Co-Op play, the Provost's role would be very important since it determines not just building activations but game length. The tension between the two would be huge in the early game. Shorten the game or leave workers off the board?
 
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Ken Bush
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TerrapinStation wrote:
klbush wrote:
Yeah, I almost posted under Variants, because it really isn't the same without the Provost. But I have a lot of friends who won't play anymore. Some because early game errors are fatal against good players so you can tell early on that you aren't going to win and some because of the provost. So as a huge fan of Caylus, who doesn't get to play enough, this still has an appeal for me.


Do I understand correctly, that you are simply playing without the Provost? Big ol' asterisk for that!! I would think that in Solo/Co-Op play, the Provost's role would be very important since it determines not just building activations but game length. The tension between the two would be huge in the early game. Shorten the game or leave workers off the board?


NO, still playing with the provost, but trying to maximize both players scores. In which case you want as many turns and worker actions as possible, so moving the provost would most likely be a negative except possibly on the last turn.
 
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Rollo Tomosi
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If you are simply trying to find score max(es), then failing to move the Provost at all is most certainly a short-coming. What you want to do is push the Provost as far down the road as possible each turn (or are they called "rounds"?) so that the maximum number of scoring spaces will be used each turn.

klbush wrote:
TerrapinStation wrote:
klbush wrote:
Yeah, I almost posted under Variants, because it really isn't the same without the Provost. But I have a lot of friends who won't play anymore. Some because early game errors are fatal against good players so you can tell early on that you aren't going to win and some because of the provost. So as a huge fan of Caylus, who doesn't get to play enough, this still has an appeal for me.


Do I understand correctly, that you are simply playing without the Provost? Big ol' asterisk for that!! I would think that in Solo/Co-Op play, the Provost's role would be very important since it determines not just building activations but game length. The tension between the two would be huge in the early game. Shorten the game or leave workers off the board?


NO, still playing with the provost, but trying to maximize both players scores. In which case you want as many turns and worker actions as possible, so moving the provost would most likely be a negative except possibly on the last turn.
 
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Ken Bush
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Dark_Knight wrote:
If you are simply trying to find score max(es), then failing to move the Provost at all is most certainly a short-coming. What you want to do is push the Provost as far down the road as possible each turn (or are they called "rounds"?) so that the maximum number of scoring spaces will be used each turn.

klbush wrote:
TerrapinStation wrote:
klbush wrote:
Yeah, I almost posted under Variants, because it really isn't the same without the Provost. But I have a lot of friends who won't play anymore. Some because early game errors are fatal against good players so you can tell early on that you aren't going to win and some because of the provost. So as a huge fan of Caylus, who doesn't get to play enough, this still has an appeal for me.


Do I understand correctly, that you are simply playing without the Provost? Big ol' asterisk for that!! I would think that in Solo/Co-Op play, the Provost's role would be very important since it determines not just building activations but game length. The tension between the two would be huge in the early game. Shorten the game or leave workers off the board?


NO, still playing with the provost, but trying to maximize both players scores. In which case you want as many turns and worker actions as possible, so moving the provost would most likely be a negative except possibly on the last turn.


Hmm, seems to me you have a hole in your logic, Using that logic you would only get a maximum of 6x9 worker placements per player in the game, whereas if you don't push the provost you get 6x18 worker placements per player possible. Seems to me more worker placements would equal higher scores.
 
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Rollo Tomosi
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The only "hole" here is in your understanding of the rules.

By pushing the Provost to the max (all players using the +3 AND all players paying max $ to push it further still) you are going to make all of the spaces from the Bailiff to the Provost active each round-and these buildings can be big guns. If you never touch the Provost-nothing from the Bailiff forward will be active.

klbush wrote:
Dark_Knight wrote:
If you are simply trying to find score max(es), then failing to move the Provost at all is most certainly a short-coming. What you want to do is push the Provost as far down the road as possible each turn (or are they called "rounds"?) so that the maximum number of scoring spaces will be used each turn.

klbush wrote:
TerrapinStation wrote:
klbush wrote:
Yeah, I almost posted under Variants, because it really isn't the same without the Provost. But I have a lot of friends who won't play anymore. Some because early game errors are fatal against good players so you can tell early on that you aren't going to win and some because of the provost. So as a huge fan of Caylus, who doesn't get to play enough, this still has an appeal for me.


Do I understand correctly, that you are simply playing without the Provost? Big ol' asterisk for that!! I would think that in Solo/Co-Op play, the Provost's role would be very important since it determines not just building activations but game length. The tension between the two would be huge in the early game. Shorten the game or leave workers off the board?


NO, still playing with the provost, but trying to maximize both players scores. In which case you want as many turns and worker actions as possible, so moving the provost would most likely be a negative except possibly on the last turn.


Hmm, seems to me you have a hole in your logic, Using that logic you would only get a maximum of 6x9 worker placements per player in the game, whereas if you don't push the provost you get 6x18 worker placements per player possible. Seems to me more worker placements would equal higher scores.
 
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LudoH LudoH
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More turns also means more income phases

Yes I think the less you move the provost the higher the scores are (except last turn of course). Of course the computation is a little more complex: moving the provost = more powerful buildings, more worker placement on a single turn but less money and less worker placed globally
 
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Game Guy
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Ok, I understand now. As to the turns v activations, I would think that turns are more important. The turns you give up by advancing the Provost are end-of-game turns which are very valuable because every building you chose to build is active. Those turns are where the big points are.

However, I am not sure if you can actually use all of your workers on turn one. The gate is useless because you are not contending against the other player. The Merchant's Guild is of no value if you are not moving the Provost. The Stables are unnecessary since move order should not matter if players are cooperating. The Inn is pointless since both players are going to keep placing every round until they run out of spaces or workers. Joust is impossible on turn one and inefficient (I think) for the first couple of turns. Logically, only one player should go to the Castle per turn since early on it is best for one player to build one castle section per turn to gain one Favor (and then fill up each section on the last turn of the phase).

Again, the first turn moves are a lot less powerful than late-game moves, but there is the present value effect: Things you accomplish on turn one and two keep on yielding benefits throughout the game. Plus, I cannot imaging that maximizing scores can be done while leaving any Phase One Castle spaces (5 pts each, after all) un-built.

I am also curious about your strategy. For instance, did you separate the two players into a Cloth/Taylor player and a Gold/Bank (the bank is the one which gives PP for Gold. I apologize if I got the name wrong)player? The cloth player would build the bank and any other Gold related building so as to gain PP every time the other player activated them and vice versa. Also, I am guessing that players would alternate taking the Joust and Castle so that each would gain a Favor every turn. Am I close?
 
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Ken Bush
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TerrapinStation wrote:
Ok, I understand now. As to the turns v activations, I would think that turns are more important. The turns you give up by advancing the Provost are end-of-game turns which are very valuable because every building you chose to build is active. Those turns are where the big points are.

However, I am not sure if you can actually use all of your workers on turn one. The gate is useless because you are not contending against the other player. The Merchant's Guild is of no value if you are not moving the Provost. The Stables are unnecessary since move order should not matter if players are cooperating. The Inn is pointless since both players are going to keep placing every round until they run out of spaces or workers. Joust is impossible on turn one and inefficient (I think) for the first couple of turns. Logically, only one player should go to the Castle per turn since early on it is best for one player to build one castle section per turn to gain one Favor (and then fill up each section on the last turn of the phase).

Again, the first turn moves are a lot less powerful than late-game moves, but there is the present value effect: Things you accomplish on turn one and two keep on yielding benefits throughout the game. Plus, I cannot imaging that maximizing scores can be done while leaving any Phase One Castle spaces (5 pts each, after all) un-built.

I am also curious about your strategy. For instance, did you separate the two players into a Cloth/Taylor player and a Gold/Bank (the bank is the one which gives PP for Gold. I apologize if I got the name wrong)player? The cloth player would build the bank and any other Gold related building so as to gain PP every time the other player activated them and vice versa. Also, I am guessing that players would alternate taking the Joust and Castle so that each would gain a Favor every turn. Am I close?


I didn't have a hard strategy, I did try to alternate turns into the castle, but you run out of cloth if you try to go into the joust every turn. You do not have enough spaces for all 12 workers until at least the end of the painted on wood building space. But I didn't use all 12 workers until the end of the first castle scoring space or so. I did under utilize the $2/1 cube space, there were 2 or three times that I could have used one more cube and had the money, but passed instead of using it. I'll try this again sometime with a real person to talk to at the time. This kind of exercise is good for figuring out what is good for scoring in competitive games too.

 
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