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Subject: Sending cattle on a train rss

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Alex Webb
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The rules say you must send your cattle to a city via railroad once you have sold them at Kansas City.

I get that you can't visit a city where you already have a disc (except San Francisco and Kansas City). However, under the exception for these, it says you 'may' visit these again.

So, if I only have a breeding value of, say, 6, and I have been to the 6 city already, MUST I deliver to Kansas City, put a disc on and lose 6 points at the end?
 
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David da Silva
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Zebu_Alex wrote:
So, if I only have a breeding value of, say, 6, and I have been to the 6 city already, MUST I deliver to Kansas City, put a disc on and lose 6 points at the end?


You can also put your disc on Witchita (4) or Topeka (1) if there is no disc already. But if this is not possible because you were there before you have to put your discount on Kansas City and lose 6 points in the end! (and gain 6 coins immediately and one you free spot on your player board).
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Evan Dunn
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You can still choose to send it to Topeka (1) or Wichita (4) if you haven't delivered to those cities yet. If you have delivered to all the cities at or lower than your breeding value, then yes, you must deliver to Kansas City. The key point is that every time you reach Kansas City, you must place a disc on one of cities.
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Adam P
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We understood it as: if you fill up all the lower delivery spaces, and you cannot deliver higher, then you can only place another token in KC and lose more points at the end.

This made me realize that I should probably buy some cows next pass...
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Robert
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The best hand you can hope for without buying cattle is a herd worth 7 dollars (+ prestige). Assuming you pick up at least one prestige, you can make four trips to KC before you'll need to deliver to Kansas City itself (and take the 6point penalty), as there are cities for 1, 4, 6 and 8 dollar herds.

It's usually not difficult to completely avoid deliveries to Kansas City (0) and Topeka (1) altogether. Also avoiding Wichita (4) is harder and probably requires a bit of luck. Obviously, adding a cattle worth 3 (better two of them) to your hand during your first two trips helps a lot.

Note that buying cattle is a good idea even without the reduced chance for a forced delivery to Kansas City:
a) once the map fills with buildings, you'll appreciate 6/7 instead of 4 steps, and 5/6 instead of 4 cards, which requires you to get rid of "black" disks
b) purchased cattle gives points: with a few cowboys you can easily rake up 20+ points worth of cattle, and while 12 dollars for a 5-cow may sound a lot, it's worth up to 7 points, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better points-per-buck ratio than that without a special building at hand.
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Adrian Todea
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I have not played yet, but I would've thought that the -6 VP penalty for Kansas City would be more than negated by the 'biggish' cash boost you get from the action very early in the game.
I don't know what winning/average scores are but I'm sure the +6 coins will more than make up the minus VP loss on your first Kansas delivery.
(you get the cash influx and also get to rid yourself of a disk)

Now the only thing that is a bit blurry to me is at which point you stop delivering to Kansas City as the 6 coins will start to hurt more than its worth.
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Adam P
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tzutzy wrote:
I have not played yet, but I would've thought that the -6 VP penalty for Kansas City would be more than negated by the 'biggish' cash boost you get from the action very early in the game.
I don't know what winning/average scores are but I'm sure the +6 coins will more than make up the minus VP loss on your first Kansas delivery.
(you get the cash influx and also get to rid yourself of a disk)

Now the only thing that is a bit blurry to me is at which point you stop delivering to Kansas City as the 6 coins will start to hurt more than its worth.

Early on it's not a big deal, but later on if you don't buy any additional cowboys + cattle cards you will be hurt. You need to make those deliveries to the higher places.

Scores for our play were 24pts to 60+pts for 4 players.
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Robert
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adamredwoods wrote:
Scores for our play were 24pts to 60+pts for 4 players.
If things work out ok (fitting objective cards, decent cattle market situation), it's not overly difficult to achieve 100+ points. More if things work out really well.

See my new thread in the Strategy forum for details (initially I posted this here, but it's really about strategy, not rules).

On the topic of deliveries to KC: I don't think that the 6 dollars from Kansas City are worth the 6 points, but then again I haven't seen this being played as a strategy of "early money".
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Played my first two sessions of this last Saturday. In my second game I sent my first delivery to KC to great effect, as those extra $6 really helped jump start what turned out to be a killer cowboy strategy (I ended up winning with 89 VP).

You do get a limited number of deliveries during the game though, so I'm not sure how viable it is to send several deliveries to KC, as you may run out of time before getting some of those juicy VP for delivering to Albuquerque and beyond. I also got the sense that money devalues as the game goes on.

As an aside, the key elements of my cowboy strategy were: buying two cowboys early (duh), focusing on the double auxiliary action that lets you cull your deck (I removed five '1' cows by game end), and increasing my hand limit with my first black delivery. With my second black delivery I had to increase my movement as my opponents had clogged the board with buildings at that point while I had only built once. It is such an interesting game with subtle trade offs and interactions; I can't wait to play again!!
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