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Subject: Building Tile strategy rss

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BJ from Board Game Gumbo

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Any advice for combatting the building strategy? Played a three player game with two new players. One saw that me and the other player went heavy whaling, so he went exclusively in building.

Without building a single ship, he scored 30 points. We scored in the 25-26 range with decent whaling hauls, and building a few buildings. (I only built the 5 pt VP building which is 6 points and figured I would get the rest from whales with little competition).

The other guy who was whaling built four buildings with no VP. He suggested that we should have recognized the winner's strategy around turn 4-6 and then combatted it with building a few buildings. We especially messed up letting him get all of the VP buildings.

But any other strategies? The straight building strategy in a three player game looks pretty powerful, since it takes random chance out.

 
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Barry Miller
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airlarry wrote:
We especially messed up letting him get all of the VP buildings.

How many VP buildings did you have in the game? Remember that there are 4 max, in each game. So yeah, if you let him get all four, then that didn't help!

But wait, you said you got the 5 VP building, which means he could've only bought three VP buildings. So if he built three VP buildings and didn't do any whaling, the max points he could've gotten from them is what, 12, or so? (+1 for each building = 15).

So if he got 15 VPs from his victory buildings, then it means he bought at least 15 additional buildings in order to sore enough to reach 30? That's some impressive play!

 
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Adam Pogatshnik
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I'm guessing what happened is that the whaling players couldn't pay for all of their whales, allowing the city building player to buy them up after the haul came in just by spending money. That is the only way I could think of that the building player could get so many points.

If this is the case, it's an easy mistake to make, and one I make sure I really hammer home and clarify when I am teaching the game to new players. It is really bad to come into port with whales you can't pay for, because it means that you did all of the work for those whales and somebody else gets to take all of the profit. You absolutely need to make sure you are spending some of your actions getting money so you will have enough cash to pay for whales when you get into port. Otherwise, yes, it's completely possible for somebody to score 10-15 points off of whales even if they never sent a ship out.
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BJ from Board Game Gumbo

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Yep, I built the Seaman's Bethal on the third round, and never built again, just worried about getting money for whales after that.

The second player built four buildings, none VP buildings.

The winning player built the other 15 buildings, and did not build a single ship. 15 points (buildings) + 7 points (Municipal office) + 4 points (Mansion) + 4 points (purchased whales when I could not pay the lay on two whales on the last round or maybe it was a whale and 10 coins) = 30 points

Looking back on it, I never should have whaled again. He was limited in 26 points plus coin points. I also should have bought a building or two, although I did score 6 points in buildings.
 
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Kevin Bold

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You could also try switching up the buildings available. If you have expansion set check out page 12 of the rules. The "Old Salts" combination includes 3 VP buildings that earn VP for collecting the 3 types of whales (although the "building" strategist might still purchase them to deprive the whalers key victory points). Also many of the action tiles also help in whaling endeavors: Tryworks, Wharf, Tavern, Refinery, Lighthouse etc.

Or if players you use a player draft of available buildings to reach the 20 building for the game, consider using a "reverse draft" where players can eliminate buildings until only 20 remain (4 of them being VP buildings). In that case try eliminating many of the low cost buildings and of course the Municipal Office.
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Enoch Wright
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It is crazy to see that anyone is successful in the building strategy, however I play 90% 2 player. I tried and built every building and still couldn't beat the player who whaled the whole game.

Either way, letting one person dominate building or whaling is a mistake of new players. I believe there is a balance of building/whaling to get the most points. Normal score for us is low 20's in 2 player.
 
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Dice Hate Me
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airlarry wrote:
Yep, I built the Seaman's Bethal on the third round, and never built again, just worried about getting money for whales after that.

The second player built four buildings, none VP buildings.

The winning player built the other 15 buildings, and did not build a single ship. 15 points (buildings) + 7 points (Municipal office) + 4 points (Mansion) + 4 points (purchased whales when I could not pay the lay on two whales on the last round or maybe it was a whale and 10 coins) = 30 points

Looking back on it, I never should have whaled again. He was limited in 26 points plus coin points. I also should have bought a building or two, although I did score 6 points in buildings.


I will easily say that winning from the "building strategy" is a bold challenge, and not easily done - although it can be done. This strategy mostly relies on denying the whaling players from getting most of the end-game points buildings, plus forcing a player or two from getting the coins they need to pay the lay on a few whales (primarily from denying access to the Bank and/or Lumber Yard) during the game. I'd say that you'll see the strategic weaknesses in this strategy on subsequent plays; some of which you'll be able to combat, and some that your opponent will still be able to take advantage of, regardless. That's the fun of the game - realizing that there are multiple paths to victory and trying to deny your opponents that victory depending on what they do!
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