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Great Western Trail» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Sources for points rss

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Robert
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I posted this in the rules section, but I guess it's better to discuss my (probably premature ) opinions here.

====

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.

Look for synergies between the sources of points, e.g.
- valuable cattle are not only worth points themselves, but also allow you to get points from cities (e.g. 9 points for each 18 delivery to San Francisco, or 14 points for three deliveries worth 10+12+14), and allow to fulfill certain objectives (e.g. "3 cattle worth 3" or "delivery to San Francisco") without any extra effort (and of course you get more dollars too)
- removed hazards are worth points, and could also help towards objectives

Here's what I think would be the desirable minimum points from a game in each category, and you should have more in at least two categories (depending on your play style/priorities in the game):
- 6+ from buildings (significantly more if you went down this road)
- 12+ from cities (could be 25+ if you have a valuable herd)
- 3+ from stations (could be way more if your train moves around the bend and/or you grabbed some station master tiles)
- 12+ from hazards (easily more, and helping you twice if need them anyway for the objectives )
- 20+ from cattle (achieving 30+ is doable)
- 20+ from objectives (6+ fulfilled objective cards are doable and give 25+)
- 3+ from money and points on your player board
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I appreciate and share the enthusiasm for the game that made you post all these threads

But I think your minimums per category are quite arbitrary and slanted towards your style of play (clearly a heavy focus on objective cards and hazards!).

My initial (and equally uninformed) sense is that while a 'balanced' strategy is possible, you can also follow a more specialized strategy that will score a lot in some categories and little if anything in others. Positing minimum benchmarks for each scoring category doesn't seem right to me.
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Robert
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Yes, my minimum points numbers for hazards and objectives may be too high and should be reduced by about 25% each or so. Note that this is about 4p - the only player count I've played so far.

Of course there may be cases to win without taking any hazard at all by excelling in several other categories. It's going to be hard though - and I seriously doubt you can win without fulfilling several objective cards.

Feel free to score less in any of the categories. But will you win? My minimum per category is based on the desire to win.

I don't think you'll win against decent opposition if you don't collect some base set of points (which I tried to quantify) in all/most categories PLUS some extra points in whatever categories you focus your strategy. You can compensate for the shortcoming in one category by another, but you won't get to 100+ points by leaving multiple categories unused - you need the synergies between them.
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DocCool wrote:

I don't think you'll win against decent opposition if you don't collect some base set of points (which I tried to quantify) in all/most categories PLUS some extra points in whatever categories you focus your strategy. You can compensate for the shortcoming in one category by another, but you won't get to 100+ points by leaving multiple categories unused - you need the synergies between them.


With more plays under my belt I think this is just plain wrong- I have seen plenty of games won with 100+ VP where the victor had <5VP from cattle or <5VP from cities or <5VP from goal cards... you get the idea.

While it's true that synergies between certain scoring categories exist, I find that the game strongly rewards specialized strategies that focus on some areas and largely ignore others.

Clearly specializing in one worker type is better than diversifying- not only does having more workers of a given type make the corresponding action much better, but you also get 4VP apiece for your 5th and 6th worker at game end. Also the different strategies are very end-loaded in terms of VP- the lion's share of VP from cities comes from the higher valued cities, the best stations are at the end of the track, the highest valued buildings have dramatically better abilities than the lower valued ones... so to milk these opportunities you need to really focus on that particular path. Doing a little bit of everything seems like the opposite of a winning strategy in this game.



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Robert
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Yeah, in the meantime I also concluded that you may not need the complete diversity of point sources. However I cannot imagine to win a 4p game with <5 points from cattle against decent opposition.
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Mathue Faulkner
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DocCool wrote:
Yeah, in the meantime I also concluded that you may not need the complete diversity of point sources. However I cannot imagine to win a 4p game with <5 points from cattle against decent opposition.

Really?

I think you could do it with a good Engineer/Train strategy. I'd have to look at my scorecard, but I may have had around that many points in our last 2p game. I know you said 4p, but I still think it's very possible.
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Bart de Vos
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DocCool wrote:
Yeah, in the meantime I also concluded that you may not need the complete diversity of point sources. However I cannot imagine to win a 4p game with <5 points from cattle against decent opposition.


A friend of mine managed to pull off a majestic building+train (!) strategy in a 4p last weekend. He scored 128 points and less than 5 for cattle. He abused the building that maxes out the certificates. He got rid of all his discs (most from stations).
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Robert
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robertopellizini wrote:
DocCool wrote:
Yeah, in the meantime I also concluded that you may not need the complete diversity of point sources. However I cannot imagine to win a 4p game with <5 points from cattle against decent opposition.


A friend of mine managed to pull off a majestic building+train (!) strategy in a 4p last weekend. He scored 128 points and less than 5 for cattle. He abused the building that maxes out the certificates. He got rid of all his discs (most from stations).
Interesting - I'll have to try that.

Note however that I wrote "against decent opposition"... (just kidding, no offense intended)
 
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Marvin Hsiao
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Many viable strategies is the beauty of this game. You have to watch what others are doing and pay attention to the workers market.

The focus strategy can be very powerful for sure but it is also more risky. Take the much talked about train strategy for example, as soon as other players realize that is happening, they can pick up the remaining cheap engineers, catch up on the track and sneak in a few stations. Cowboys trying to end the game quickly also is a risk to some slow strategies. Love this game!
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Fabrice Dubois
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I have not played it yet (this evening will be my first play hopefully) but i am already haunted by GWT.

robertopellizini wrote:
A friend of mine managed to pull off a majestic building+train (!) strategy in a 4p last weekend. He scored 128 points and less than 5 for cattle. He abused the building that maxes out the certificates. He got rid of all his discs (most from stations).

What do mean by "majestic building" ?
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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mfaulk80 wrote:
DocCool wrote:
Yeah, in the meantime I also concluded that you may not need the complete diversity of point sources. However I cannot imagine to win a 4p game with <5 points from cattle against decent opposition.

Really?

I think you could do it with a good Engineer/Train strategy. I'd have to look at my scorecard, but I may have had around that many points in our last 2p game. I know you said 4p, but I still think it's very possible.

I actually had more points than I realized. I had 11 points with 3 purchased cattle, I believe.
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Erik Burigo
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fdubois wrote:
I have not played it yet (this evening will be my first play hopefully) but i am already haunted by GWT.

robertopellizini wrote:
A friend of mine managed to pull off a majestic building+train (!) strategy in a 4p last weekend. He scored 128 points and less than 5 for cattle. He abused the building that maxes out the certificates. He got rid of all his discs (most from stations).

What do mean by "majestic building" ?


I think he meant "majestic (building + train) strategy", not "(majestic building) + train strategy".
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Fabrice Dubois
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fdubois wrote:
I have not played it yet (this evening will be my first play hopefully) but i am already haunted by GWT.

I have played it yesterday evening.
I have wrote a (short) session report (it is in pending status).

BTW, the game is great, fun....deep and meaty
Love it !
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Jon David
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DocCool wrote:
Yes, my minimum points numbers for hazards and objectives may be too high and should be reduced by about 25% each or so. Note that this is about 4p - the only player count I've played so far.

Of course there may be cases to win without taking any hazard at all by excelling in several other categories. It's going to be hard though - and I seriously doubt you can win without fulfilling several objective cards.

Feel free to score less in any of the categories. But will you win? My minimum per category is based on the desire to win.

I don't think you'll win against decent opposition if you don't collect some base set of points (which I tried to quantify) in all/most categories PLUS some extra points in whatever categories you focus your strategy. You can compensate for the shortcoming in one category by another, but you won't get to 100+ points by leaving multiple categories unused - you need the synergies between them.


If you are using the B side of the cards and a random start, its possible that money will be so tight that no one will spend 7 for a hazard. In one game, the only person that got a hazard got it for free.
 
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