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Subject: Is there a specific strategy for 2 players? rss

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Ad Astra Per Aspera
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I haven't played this game a lot. Maybe 10 or so games over the past couple of months. Only twice have I played more than two players. One of those times I scored 97 points.

However, in my two player games my highest score is the low 70's. But my friend and I generally score anywhere between 55 and 70 per game. We leep trying different strategies. It seems in two player games we end up contesting for stone often.

My friend typically goes right up to six dwarves and spends a lot of time doing so. We don't buy many furnishings (maybe 3 each if you're not including the dwellings). Last game I tried ore mining with that furnishing that gives you 1 VP for every two ore. I had two ore mines and two ruby mines and four dwarves. I scored 71 that game and my friend (who tried an alternate method_ scored 72 points.

I understand that getting 100 points in a game is considered a "good score", but I'm at a loss to figure out how to do it in a two player game. We do well, but know we should be doing things differently to get closer to 100 points.

Are there any strategies specific to a 2-player game?

I hate asking for help and was looking forward to figuring this out for ourselves, but with two games a week for a total of 3 hours (including setup/take down) it's difficult. We generally know that we made some mistakes by the 6th or 7th round. And generally the last couple of rounds turn into a money-grab as we just do whatever nets us the most VP. However, I can't help but wonder what we're missing.

If there are any standard strategies you guys can lay on me for a 2 player game I'd love to hear them.

 
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Maddest Hatter wrote:
I haven't played this game a lot. Maybe 10 or so games over the past couple of months. Only twice have I played more than two players. One of those times I scored 97 points.

However, in my two player games my highest score is the low 70's. But my friend and I generally score anywhere between 55 and 70 per game. We leep trying different strategies. It seems in two player games we end up contesting for stone often.

My friend typically goes right up to six dwarves and spends a lot of time doing so. We don't buy many furnishings (maybe 3 each if you're not including the dwellings). Last game I tried ore mining with that furnishing that gives you 1 VP for every two ore. I had two ore mines and two ruby mines and four dwarves. I scored 71 that game and my friend (who tried an alternate method_ scored 72 points.

I understand that getting 100 points in a game is considered a "good score", but I'm at a loss to figure out how to do it in a two player game. We do well, but know we should be doing things differently to get closer to 100 points.

Are there any strategies specific to a 2-player game?

I hate asking for help and was looking forward to figuring this out for ourselves, but with two games a week for a total of 3 hours (including setup/take down) it's difficult. We generally know that we made some mistakes by the 6th or 7th round. And generally the last couple of rounds turn into a money-grab as we just do whatever nets us the most VP. However, I can't help but wonder what we're missing.

If there are any standard strategies you guys can lay on me for a 2 player game I'd love to hear them.


Far be it from me to dish out advice, not having played the game more than you, but I can still try:
Get either the extra dwarf or a weapon first.
Try getting furnishings that give you an income of sorts early on.
Try to find a balance between getting in your opponent's way yet still following your own strategy.
Do not be afraid to experiment. Try something different in your next game (for instance just having two dwarves, or going heavy on farming early on, picking a few furnishings that work well together and get them early on etc)
 
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Ad Astra Per Aspera
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I generally get the 3rd dwarf as soon as it's available. And generally ig my opponent goes farm heavy I'll build a weapon. We tend to stay out of each other's way except for stone. If he is doing his 6 dwarves farm thing then generally I'm doing 4 dwarves and one, sometimes two weapons. In theory it sounds like a sound strategy, but I know I'm missing something. Maybe there are a few furnishings we should always be getting? There are about 5 that we almost always take. Though I forget what they are.

If you go heavy farming then your cave furnishings seem to suffer. And vice versa. it's like there isn't enough time to do everything. And yet, it seems when my friend has his 5 dwarves he spends all his time getting those 5 dawrves and then feeding them. So he doesn't have a lot of time to do much else. Hence, low 70's as our best scores. When we try different strategies we generally dip into the low 60s.
 
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Andy Kerrison
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Getting 100 in a 2 player game is very difficult since you only play 11 rounds. However, I've scored in the 90's consistently and here are some thoughts:

Whichever player grabs the ore first is not going to get the first family growth. Try to capitalise on this, whichever side of the equation you are - if you got the weapon, take advantage of being able to furnish with blacksmithing as your last move. If you got the family growth, hoover up all the wood and accumulating animals spaces that your opponent simply doesn't have enough actions to be able to consider.

6 dwarves is not an easy play in any player count, if your opponents are sensible. After dwarf 3 your next move is to shore up your food engine before going for a fourth or fifth, otherwise you're going to be spending too many actions feeding them.

If you get more dwarves than your opponent, you want to be the player with the office since you can use those extra dwarves to lay a lot of extra tiles for a massive farm/cave.

It's perfectly possible for both players to score into the 80's. If you're scoring less than this it suggests you're fighting too hard for the same resources, which means you are undervaluing something else on the board
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Ice Man
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Maddest Hatter wrote:
My friend typically goes right up to six dwarves and spends a lot of time doing so. We don't buy many furnishings (maybe 3 each if you're not including the dwellings). Last game I tried ore mining with that furnishing that gives you 1 VP for every two ore. I had two ore mines and two ruby mines and four dwarves. I scored 71 that game and my friend (who tried an alternate method_ scored 72 points.

My one thought is to be as 'hard core' about your chosen strategy as you can.

Example - Want to do Ore and Ruby Mines? Consider only using Drift Mining & Excavation to set up the first one. After that, spend rubies to get pairs of single-tunnel pieces and laying Ore Mines over those. You can pack 4 of each Mine into your cave (without any overhanging tiles).
Get the Ore Storage and Miner tiles, then hit Ore Mining and Ore Delivery a lot. And/or get a couple kids and hit Ruby Mining and Ruby Delivery too.

Like Weapons? Make sure you don't miss Weapon and Supplies Storage. That's 14 to 20 points at the end. Need food along the way? Peaceful cave is a fun way to give up weapon points for food, right before you go on an expedition and get the points back.

And so on.

Of course, I have yet to break 100. Always manage to miss something or get a badly timed harvest/no-harvest late game. *shrug*
 
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Ad Astra Per Aspera
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I finally hit the 90's with a score of 91. It was done with one good weapon, 4 dwarves, ruby and ore mines.
 
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Dan Kuhlman
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After having played about 15 2-player games in the last month in addition to a handful of 3 and 4 player games, here's what I've come up with:

1) My best score in a 2 player game is 95. The loss of a round really kills your score, considering it's not unusual to average about 3-4 points an action on that last round. So, if I had a 5 dwarf strategy, that would be 110-115 in a 12 round game (yes, I know I wouldn't get the same tiles and have more competition... just go with me here. In my experience that's about right.).
- I would consider 90 in a 2 player game to be equivalent to a 100 in a 3+ player game. Maybe even 85. The rulebook should have added a sentence or two to this effect without much trouble.

2) Poster Andy Kerrison above has pretty good advice that I would echo.
- Getting 6 dwarves in 11 rounds is tough, and generally means you're sacrificing your score somewhere else.
- Do not do the same general strategy as the other person, or you'll both score in the 60s-70s.

3) Comparing 2 player to 3+ player, I would say it's a lot easier to follow a general strategy from the start rather than having to switch strategies based on what other players choose. So my game plans tend to include both a food source and points scoring that flow together well, such as beer parlor and lots and lots of field tiles.

My scores in the 90s have almost always included the same general theme:
- 4-5 dwarves
- most of the time I have 1 decent weapon, though have scored above 90 peacefully (other player was going heavy weapon, so it worked)
- I have yet to have a heavy weapon strategy score above 90 (2 or more weapons), mainly because my wife tends to get at least 1-2 weapons each game as well. I'm sure it's possible if the other person doesn't get them either.
- A great stable food source by round 6-7 (usually beer parlor or slaughtering cave)
- At least half of my 90+ scores included the Stone Carver (turn 1 or 2) / Stone Storage combination, as it's usually worth 10-15 points at the end and helps you build more easily early on. Maybe coincidence, maybe not.

Hope this helps!
 
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Soeren Mors
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Wampameat wrote:
Peaceful cave is a fun way to give up weapon points for food, right before you go on an expedition and get the points back.
[geekurl=https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1097605/can-you-trade-partial-weapon-strength-peaceful-cav]This discussion[/geekurl] seems to indicate that you are not allowed to do a partial tradein of weapon strength. Which is also the way we have always played it.
 
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