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Subject: Scripted Play? rss

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Asa Swain
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I've heard a lot of great things about Yspahan and played the computer version several times, and I'm wondering how scripted the strategy gets over time. I realize that the computer AI is rather weak, but I noticed that especially with buildings, you pretty much follow the same order each time. I get the feeling that you are basically doing the same strategies every time to win, and even though the dice randomize it somewhat, but the end of the game, you gets a standard mix of good and bad die rolls. With real opponents how deep is the game? Do you find yourself tending towards a standard strategy? Thanks for the advice!
 
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Dan Rosewater
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I think there are at least 4 basic strategies:
- Bazaar strategy (the most common)
- Caravan strategy
- Cards strategy
- Destructive Overseer strategy (rare)

Of course you can mix some aspects of those.
Even if you take the Bazaar strategy it is not fixed which building to build first. Of course it will be most likely the money or camel bonus one.

However we use an house rule so that you need two camels to send a cube from your stock to the caravan if the overseer stops in front of you (one camel is to easy -> that way overseer is to weak). Sometime we even played with increasing costs; every week it costs one camel more. This spices the game up as the overseer becomes a real threat to other players.

Regards
Dan






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Dan Blum
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I certainly don't build buildings in the same order every time. If you are, that just means you have not tried other strategies.
 
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John W
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quartex wrote:

I've heard a lot of great things about Yspahan and played the computer version several times, and I'm wondering how scripted the strategy gets over time. I realize that the computer AI is rather weak, but I noticed that especially with buildings, you pretty much follow the same order each time. I get the feeling that you are basically doing the same strategies every time to win, and even though the dice randomize it somewhat, but the end of the game, you gets a standard mix of good and bad die rolls. With real opponents how deep is the game? Do you find yourself tending towards a standard strategy? Thanks for the advice!
Well, since luck plays such a big part of what you choose when, I don't see how the game is going to be the same. (with one exception * - see below)

I mean, when someone rolls 5 1's and 4 6's, that kind of affects anyone who's expecting to complete their souks with dice help. Since every roll is so vastly different, and each player's benefit varies greatly by their playing position, luck just doesn't "balance itself out" from a strategic standpoint - if someone gets better dice pulls than you, he'll likely win.

* Exception - the caravan strategy is too strong against newer players.
It is less effected by luck, and usually will score enough to outpace typical souk strategies. The entire caravan strategy is somewhat removing yourself from the vagaracies of luck, and playing a more strategic game of card exploits that get rewarded with caravan end-of-week points.

However, once people see the caravan being exploited, it wouldn't be hard for the others to prevent the majority of the caravan points. (I take this last statement on faith, since I haven't gotten to this point yet with a group)
 
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