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Subject: How much of your betting is dictated by your opening hand? rss

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John W
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After playing this a couple times, I notice that a strong first hand (say, 3 of one creature card) will help you decide your secret bet - but I also realize that the vast majority of cards you get will be picked up after the initial hand.

So I'm wondering if experienced players make bets on favorite creatures that they don't even have any initial support for, trusting that they will pick up the card support later?

In an opening hand, there will likely only be 4 or 5 cards (at best) that help you decide what initial direction to go. And since you may not get any additional cards for that creature, it could even backfire on you.

I guess I'm at the point in this game when I see the strategies, and it's a bit disconcerting to realize that your initial bets are based on SO little information, compared to the vast amount of cards and unknowns that are to come in this game. Combine this with the fact that there are strikingly decreased returns on later bets, and it's a recipe for uncertainty.

The only strategy I can think of to buffer this uncertainty a bit is to wait until the late part of Round 1 to make your secret bet and first round bet. I used this last (2-player) game very well, by playing a couple cards and seeing what came up before I drew my 3rd Amazon card and THEN I bet my secret bet and then backed the Amazon with a bet and even ended up getting a 4th Amazon out of the 3 drawn cards.

So in that case, my initial hand helped me decide my initial bets.
Contrast that with a previous game when I drew 8 different creature cards. That really didn't help me make my crucial initial decisions much.

So my question is - which dictates your opening bids more:
a) your first 8-10 cards?
b) your game style, knowing what creature powers you like (and are good with), and what you cards you draw/keep/play during the reminaing 90% of the game?
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Michael Jordal
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Re: How much of your betting is dictated by your opening han
I think for me it is a little bit of both. I probably am not going to back a creature that I don't want the special power of, even if I have the cards. I will probably play a secondary bet on them later though.
 
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Joe Stude
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Re: How much of your betting is dictated by your opening han
I will almost never drop a secret bet on a creature I have zero support for, cus I believe doing so puts you completely at the mercy of the cards. If you get lucky and someone else has a lot of cards pertaining to that creature and decides to become their backer in the first round, you're safe. If not, though, and the cards are fairly evenly divided you could find yourself losing your secret bet in the first round. I usually wait until later in the first round too if I can help it, and will almost always make a secret bet on a creature someone's already backed in round 1. I've learned my lesson in that department - making a secret bet on a creature no one else cares about is often a recipe for disaster. Let someone else help you do the work!

That said:

1. First 8-10 cards: Usually this predominates, but I don't always base my secret bet on what I have a lot of. I prefer to do regular bets for those, jumping on a critter in the first round so I get to use the ability(ies) as often as possible.

2. I don't really have an overall style or favorite creatures, so this option doesn't really apply. I try to work with whatever cards I end up with. I often get a little ability-crazy though and end up spreading my bets too thin just so I can get as many abilities under my belt as I can.
 
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Chris May
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Re: How much of your betting is dictated by your opening han
Here are my method of choosing my secret bet, in preferred order:

1) If i have a handful of cards for the same creature, I will back it if the creature is a good one

2) I try to wait for a strong player to bet on a creature that I like, or that I have cards for and then secret bet on it. of course, the downside to this is that I will have to either bet on it in the next row, or hope to kill another of this player's creatures in order for me to be able to win.

3) If neither one of these is an option, I bet on a creature that has a good power that usually lives in our group, Amazon, Unicorn, Wurm, etc. Then it is purely luck of the draw!

 
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Michael Webb
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Re: How much of your betting is dictated by your opening han
Betting a creature requires that you have at least some cards for it in hand, but I am certainly willing to put money or secret money down on creatures that other players are busily supporting. I often use my secret bet when I have a couple of useful higher cards (i.e.: 4 or higher, enough to keep them alive) on a creature that someone else has publicly backed in the first round, because I know I will have an ally.

The thing about Titan that is interesting to me is that a "good hand" can be many different things, and the "good card" to have in hand is very situational. At times, a 4 card is just as good as a 9 card, as it will keep your critter alive, which is all that ultimately matters.

If you know you have an ally for a creature, then you have a decreased need to have a big mitt full of a given creature's cards, as I highlighted above.

I actually dislike having more than a few cards for a given creature, because I feel, past a certain point, it becomes a big liability, as there are more players who are shut out, hence, unlikely / unable to help you support the creature.
 
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Chris May
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Re: How much of your betting is dictated by your opening han
CortexBomb wrote:
If you know you have an ally for a creature, then you have a decreased need to have a big mitt full of a given creature's cards, as I highlighted above.

I actually dislike having more than a few cards for a given creature, because I feel, past a certain point, it becomes a big liability, as there are more players who are shut out, hence, unlikely / unable to help you support the creature.



I agree with this. If you are the only person keeping a creature alive it will be very difficult especially the more players you have in a game.

Another factor to consider in evaluating a good hand is that I like to have 0 cards for creatures in my hand, too. If you can time it out through the course of a game then you can usually kill off someone's creature and this usually helps you as much as keeping your own guy alive. Sometimes you can actively kill others creatures and your will stay alive by pure luck.

The only thing I don't like about this game is that I have noticed at the end of the game that the creatures that were killed first had all their cards at the bottom of the deck. At the end of the game if you look at the cards left in the deck you'll usually see the top 4 or 5 cards for the first or second creature killed. So, you have to know going in that this game has a lot of basis in luck

It's kind of like playing fantasy football. You can scout all you want to pick the best players. However, if your first and second round picks go out for the year, or play poorly then you can't do anything about it.
 
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Gary Bradley
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For your first turn, you MUST get backership of whatever you consider the most powerful creature in play, imo, even with zero or little support for it in your hand - at the very least you deny another player with support for the strong creatures from romping ahead utilising the best creature power every turn.

Your secret bet is probably best placed on a creature you have hand support for, and waiting till another player drops a 4 bet on it first is sensible.

 
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