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Concordia: Salsa» Forums » General

Subject: Weaver (and vintner) too powerful with salt cities? rss

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Scott Godine
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In my first 4p game of Salsa, one player was already getting into cloth with an early double cloth city, when the Weaver card came out. As he already had three cloth, he was able to grab it from the most expensive slot. Other people promptly built on the other two cloth cities, but within a couple rounds he had enough money to build in them anyway. He was similarly able to buy his way into the salt cities, giving him a staggering 40 points off of a single card.

Should this be how this works? That many points on a single card means that the only defensive play is to buy that card before someone else does. However, it costs cloth, and the newest card costs 2 cloth, so if someone's already in cloth (making Weaver most attractive to them already), they're more likely to be able to buy it. Once they do, all the other players can do is build in the cloth and salt cities to drive up the cost, but it only takes a few prefect actions for the clot player to get enough money to build wherever they want.

I might be missing some obvious counter strategy but this play left a bad taste in everyone's mouths. It's worst on Weaver of course, not least because of how the card purchasing works, but it's powerful on any Minerva card. Are salt cities not valuable enough on their own? Maybe not getting Minerva points from then should be the trade-off for their flexibility?
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MC Crispy
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Aldrenean wrote:
In my first 4p game of Salsa, one player was already getting into cloth with an early double cloth city, when the Weaver card came out. As he already had three cloth, he was able to grab it from the most expensive slot. Other people promptly built on the other two cloth cities, but within a couple rounds he had enough money to build in them anyway. He was similarly able to buy his way into the salt cities, giving him a staggering 40 points off of a single card.

Should this be how this works? That many points on a single card means that the only defensive play is to buy that card before someone else does. However, it costs cloth, and the newest card costs 2 cloth, so if someone's already in cloth (making Weaver most attractive to them already), they're more likely to be able to buy it. Once they do, all the other players can do is build in the cloth and salt cities to drive up the cost, but it only takes a few prefect actions for the clot player to get enough money to build wherever they want.

I might be missing some obvious counter strategy but this play left a bad taste in everyone's mouths. It's worst on Weaver of course, not least because of how the card purchasing works, but it's powerful on any Minerva card. Are salt cities not valuable enough on their own? Maybe not getting Minerva points from then should be the trade-off for their flexibility?
You know how the Diplomat card works, right?
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Kelly Bass
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What is a double cloth city?
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Evil Roy
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It's very expensive to build in all the cloth and salt cities. In the time it takes to do that the other players should be maximising their points from other scoring categories and picking up more cards.

I agree that the Weaver and Vintner can be very powerful in Salsa but they aren't the only valid strategy.
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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chockle wrote:
What is a double cloth city?

I took that to mean an Architect turn in which the player built in two cloth cities.

Aldrenean wrote:
Once they do, all the other players can do is build in the cloth and salt cities to drive up the cost, but it only takes a few prefect actions for the cloth player to get enough money to build wherever they want.

But during those Prefect turns, the other players who have also built in those cloth cities also get valuable cloth, allowing them to better buy personality cards and pursue their respective strategies.

It's true that the Weaver card all by itself is immensely valuable in a cloth-based strategy. But that's one of the reasons that that strategy is in fact rather fragile. Contrast a "humble" strategy focusing on food and tools. Not only can you line yourself up for big Minerva scoring, you have awesome flexibility for getting more colonists and Mars scoring, and you can more cheaply extend your prospects for Saturn and Jupiter.
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MC Crispy
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Aldrenean wrote:
I might be missing some obvious counter strategy but this play left a bad taste in everyone's mouths. It's worst on Weaver of course, not least because of how the card purchasing works, but it's powerful on any Minerva card. Are salt cities not valuable enough on their own? Maybe not getting Minerva points from then should be the trade-off for their flexibility?
Salt cities do not generate Salt during a Prefect - unless you have a Villa there. And then everyone's Villa generates Salt. In the game, Salt is just a wildcard commodity, nothing else. At the end of the game your Salt Villas count toward one of your Minervas only. I have played a number of games with Salsa and have won even when largely ignoring Salt as well as by using it. I rarely go down the Weaver route and I'm reasonably happy with my success rate. Sure, it's usually a mistake to allow an opponent to get more Minervas than you, but otherwise I don't find them to be game breakers, neither do I find Salt to compound any "imbalance" or to introduce any.
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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Evil Roy wrote:
It's very expensive to build in all the cloth and salt cities. In the time it takes to do that the other players should be maximising their points from other scoring categories and picking up more cards.

I agree that the Weaver and Vintner can be very powerful in Salsa but they aren't the only valid strategy.


Yep, the last time I tried the cloth and weaver trick, I got completely whipped by the player going for Brick and Wheat cities (which were far, far cheaper to build) and cherry picking province and city end game cards.
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MC Crispy
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Karlsen wrote:
Evil Roy wrote:
It's very expensive to build in all the cloth and salt cities. In the time it takes to do that the other players should be maximising their points from other scoring categories and picking up more cards.

I agree that the Weaver and Vintner can be very powerful in Salsa but they aren't the only valid strategy.


Yep, the last time I tried the cloth and weaver trick, I got completely whipped by the player going for Brick and Wheat cities (which were far, far cheaper to build) and cherry picking province and city end game cards.
There are some lovely synergies in some pairings of Minervas. I'm particularly fond of the Mason/Farmer and the Farmer/Smith pairings. Obviously Mason complements any other Minerva, but it's particularly good with Farmer. Of course, with Salsa, Vintner/Smith is a minor synergy.
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Will Yum
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Weaver gives five points per Cloth and Salt city. To get 40 points, means that player managed to get a total of eight Cloth and Salt cities.

Is that possible? I didn't think that there were that many of those cities in the game that could show up on the board.

==

Also, there is no way for two Cloth cities to be in the same province/region. Was there any issue with that set up in the game?

I do not own the game and cannot check the count - sorry.

 
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Will Yum
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chockle wrote:
What is a double cloth city?


I was wondering about that as well. Maybe just having cites in two Cloth areas?

It's impossible to have two Cloth cities in the same province/region.
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Scott Godine
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If playing on the default original board, yes, there are 4 Cloth and 4 Salt cities.

By "double cloth city" I did in fact mean a single Architect usage to build two adjacent cloth cities -- they were in different regions for the setup, obviously, but still adjacent.

I appreciate the input, I think I'm just bad at buying cards in this game.
 
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Clement Tey
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I might be wrong on this but isn't the weaver in the B stack meaning it should not have come out early?
 
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Nikolai
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princemousey wrote:
I might be wrong on this but isn't the weaver in the B stack meaning it should not have come out early?


The Weaver is in stack II, but as there are 8 cards in stack I and 7 spots in the display area, Weaver can already appear in the most expensive spot after only 2 cards were bought, i. e. after a single Senator.
But even if the Weaver wasn't the top card of the 7 stack II cards and thus took a little longer to pop up, it may well not have taken that long until 2 or 3 Senators (or Diplomats copying one) were played.
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Chris Warr
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I'm coming to this same conclusion. It just feels off balance that other cards have maximum values of 10-15, and in the base game the specialist maximums are in a similar range, and yet with salsa the specialists can suddenly be worth double any other single card.

My proposed house rule is that each specialist can count at most one salt city for scoring.
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