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Subject: Opening move rss

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Barry
United States
Marion
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I'm still pretty new to Splendor, but I would think that the superior opening move would always be to grab 3 different chips vs 2 of the same color.

By grabbing 3 of whatever set of colors match the most options, you have the best chance of finishing a card in turn 2 or 3, regardless of what the other players snatch up. Building up your personal supply of chips before they can be blocked seems like a better start.

I'd love to read dissenting opinions and be proven wrong with an anecdotal replay of the first couple of turns.

Also reserving a card and grabbing a gold seems like a poor choice by comparison unless every tier 2 and 3 card requires X and the tier 1 that you just reserved is the only X available.
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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
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In general you only grab 2 of the same coin when you are going after a specific card and you need a bunch of that color.

Reserving a card on your first turn can be a very strong move if you are trying to win by getting big cards and a minimum of tier 1 cards.
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Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
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I have only played a few times. But in general I would say you are right. Early in the game quantity is more important. And taking two will probably telegraph your plans. So unless you are going to use them the very next turn for a very strategic card, three would be the best opening move.

Likewise reserving a card first turn would only make sense if you see a clear path to victory at the outset and it hinges on that card. Or perhaps if you want others to forget what you grabbed so you can whip it out at the end and snatch victory on the final turn. That would most likely be a third tier card though.
 
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Matt Kiriazis
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Canton
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I play primarily in 4-player games. I check the nobles to see if there is a color that is more common among them or if a color is less common to get those 3 PP. If you're the last player, the Tier I cards are going to change before you'll get to play so picking 3 different chips makes sense.

As for myself, in that last position, I'll go for my "No guts, No glory" play to reserve the top (unknown) Tier II card. No one has any idea what I'm going for and that gold chip can come in handy. I haven't been so bold as to draw 3 in a row from the deck, but one never knows.

While a Tier III card might be tempting, the number of chips you need to cash it in will often not be available in a 4-player game. The dynamics of a 2-player game may be different but you start with 5 chips per color and getting 7 of one color is very problematic.
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David Larkin
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Brighton
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I often reserve two gems of the same colour that count towards a row two card that needs 5 or 6 of the same gem, then another two if allowed, then reserve the card.
This could be blocked by someone reserving the card that I am saving for but as I have cornered the market on that colour gem it becomes less attractive. Of course someone could grab it just to block me but so far my opponents don't seem to be doing that, and I am not going to suggest it
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Max DuBoff
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It really depends on the position, but reserving a card is probably best in the majority of games. You don't have to get it immediately, but a good Tier 2/3 card (usually one that costs a bunch of the same color) is well worth having. If you take chips, someone can easily block you. It's better to take chips if there's no clear connection between the cards that are out, though, and in that case it's often better to take 3. Taking 2 I'd say is only best when there are a lot of cards out that require a lot of the same color.
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Brian Bankler
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A play I've had some success with is reserving the cheapest row 1 card (a 2/1). Since many row 1 cards cost 4 (and some cost 5), I get a gold, and I save a chip or two. Paricularly if that card helps towards a noble. If I get another cheap card I reserve it. Now I can grab 3 grab 3, play a card, grab 3. Having 2-3 gold gives immense flexibility in the end game.

Gold disappears quickly in our games.
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Mark P
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It depends on the strategy. I have only played 2 games at home (got this last night) and both were 4 player games. I won both through a "build the engine" strategy. Almost half the cards I bought in both games were "free" face up picks. Sometimes I may have used 1 gem to purchase, but in the 2nd game I had four turns in a row where I spent no coins and my card count kept growing. I had no prestige points until the last six turns of the game. The girl to my left figured out this strategy, but was slightly behind me. To her left the girl went for few cards in the Tier 2 and 3 rows, and the guy to my right was simply lost on any viable strategy.

But it seems to me the best opening play is to do 2 (or 3) turns of 3 variable coins each, and perhaps a subsequent turn to reserve a card for a gold or make an outright purchase if possible. Use your first purchase to hopefully determine subsequent ones if possible. In a 4 player game you simply can't count on face-up cards still being present by the time it is your turn again so being flexible is the best approach and one way to remain flexible is to have low tier 0 PP cards racking up free purchasing power for you turn after turn.

 
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