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Clans» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Best First Moves ... rss

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Bill Buchanan
Canada
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I was wondering people that have experience with the game could suggest some good opening moves for this game?
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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There aren't any. Really. At the beginning of the game all you know is your own hut colour (and the rules to the game, of course). And that everyone else has a hut colour of their own, different from yours; and that you are all on an equal footing as far as this information is concerned. You can decide a little on your style of play, but that's all.

The more important moves arrive once everyone has had a turn or two. That's when you are able to see how the board is developing, and begin laying plans for subterfuge and confusion. Here is where you decide whether to piggyback on some other colour, or hurt your own colour on purpose while candidly making sure you capture a lot of era chits, or some other variation. Feeding a particular colour works well for example, but is risky as chances are ever increasing as the number of players goes up that you're helping someone else. The opponents then have to 'feel' that halting that colour's progress might be useful, causing the colour's owner to face a lot more opposition while then ignoring your own colour. Remember that it doesn't matter where your own hut colour ends in absolute terms: the crux is relative position. Don't ignore the endgame because the final moves are in almost all cases forced, leaving you few windows of opportunity to work your dark magic of confusion.

The above becomes less and less successful and more and more demanding as the skill of the players goes up. If everyone starts employing these and similar tricks, the game becomes quite opaque. I'm not yet sure if it survives such a treatment: the idea is that both deduction and induction processes are 'doable' to some extent, and that you and your opponents are susceptible to the above trickery... otherwise the results are utterly chaotic (in the mathematical sense). The greatest compliment you can obtain is a line like What in blazes is your colour?! I KNOW it isn't green... upon you can reveal with a smug face that your colour is, indeed, green.

In short, Clans is a game about encouraging your opponents to think what they want to think instead of what they ought to think. Anything to aid that process is allowed. In that respect it is a tremendously human game because there is a lot more involved than just simply moving around huts on a stylistic map.

Although it is not the answer you were looking for, I do hope you find the above useful.
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Bill Buchanan
Canada
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Any value in getting your color of hut out of the corners?
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Eventually, yes.

Personally, I'd not start with moving my own huts out of corners at the beginning of the game. It's too conspicuous as the game can still evolve in all directions; corners are really not that bad and may in fact aid in control of the timing of it all (i.e., you can pass off a corner move as a forced move arousing no extra suspicion); and players are quite attentive to anything the others do. There's not much else to focus on at this stage, after all. Later on, when various hypotheses start being formed and discarded, it's safer. That said, once the opposition realises this you probably need to adapt and perhaps risk a few moves with your own colour.

There are however no specific guidelines to be given here: it's very much a case of judging your opponents' abilities to ferret out trails and traps, and playing those.

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Bill Buchanan
Canada
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Thanks. Just picked up a used copy the other day, for a good price too ($25). Pretty happy about that.
 
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Jennifer Flentrop
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Just bought a copy never being played maybe once to try (the seller didn't know for sure) paid €3,50 for it. It looks brand new. Happy
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