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Subject: Are factories requiring chemicals viable without chemicals production? rss

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Ludwig Seitz
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Continuing the side-thread from here: Re: 5 Player - Not So Good.

My (limited) experience was that running a Mine that required chemicals, without your own chemicals production, using the chemicals import, was not viable.

The reasons where twofold: At the start of the game, money was so tight, I couldn't pay for the import, later in the game, using that extra action every (second) turn was so painful (there are so many other things you "need" to do in order to not fall behind) that is also was negative.

What are your experiences?
 
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Peter Hazlewood
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Ludwig Seitz wrote:
Continuing the side-thread from here: Re: 5 Player - Not So Good.

My (limited) experience was that running a Mine that required chemicals, without your own chemicals production, using the chemicals import, was not viable.

The reasons where twofold: At the start of the game, money was so tight, I couldn't pay for the import, later in the game, using that extra action every (second) turn was so painful (there are so many other things you "need" to do in order to not fall behind) that is also was negative.

What are your experiences?


You could suggest that buying any business where you can't currently produce what's needed to run it was a bad move by this logic surely? I've not found the same issue with not producing chemicals. Obviously competition for places is fierce but you can always buy one resource for no VP cost; this, coupled with the importing, means it could be expensive to run on a regular basis but not impossible.

Once you get more familiar with the game you'll know what companies producing what goods are likely to come out and when. I've bought companies this round knowing that I'll need to wait for another certain type to come out later and it's usually worked out fine.
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Pantelis Bouboulis
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Let me do some math, to show you how we designed the buildings. (I hope you have the patience and read through this)

I will assume that I am the second player, so I have 24 credits in round 1.
I will also assume that in the first 3 rounds, I will only produce minerals. (just to get an idea)

Scenario A:
I choose to take Mines03 plus the basket 2e+2chemicals (at some point in the first two rounds). This will cost me 23credits and 2 VPs (+4VPs for the building - 6VPs for the basket). Thus, I will have 1 credit and 13 VPs. This building can produce 6 to 11 minerals (according to how many and how strong employees I can get). Let's assume that I will activate it two times only (in the first two rounds) and produce 7+8=15 minerals (an average). If I manage to sell them all (with contracts) I can get up to 15 VPs and 30credits. I will assume that I sell only 10 of those through contracts, 3 in the black market and I keep 2 in my warehouses. This will result in a total of 23 VPs and 33credits at the end of round 3. Note, that I am quite modest here. All these will require only 6-7 out of 12 actions in three rounds (1 building, 1 basket, 2 exports, 2-3 employees). If I choose to take some more energy and a chemical from the domestic industry, I can increase my income (both VPs and credits) even more. I can also buy more buildings, or get more employees which will boost my game in the future. I also get 1 manager icon.


Scenario B:
I choose to take Mines02 and 3 energy units so that I can operate the building three times. This will cost me three actions. Thus, I will have 18 VPs and 3 credits. Mines02 can give 2-7 minerals according to the employees I have. I will assume that I produce 3+4+5=12 minerals. If I sell 10 and keep the two (as before), I will finally have 28VPs and 23 credits. In this case I will need 8-9 actions in three rounds (1 building, 2 energy, 3 exports, 2-3 employees). No manager icon here...

In this particular example, the first scenario results in lower VP count, but more credits (the most significant resource in the first rounds). I also get 1 manager icon and I have 2-4 more actions to perform. One would expect that I can get more VPs and money from here, or get my engines prepared for the next rounds...

In general, the Mines03 building is harder and more risky to operate. If you can do it well (here, I also imply that there are a lot of minerals present in the contracts) then you will get a boost after round 3. If you see that there are no contracts for minerals available, then propably it is not a good idea to get this building.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I have followed this strategy many times (in playtesting) with 2, 3 and 4 players. Typically, I struggle in the first three rounds and get ahead after round 4.
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Sotiris Tsantilas
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TurambarGR wrote:
Let me do some math...




Do you know any good mathematician?
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Peter Hazlewood
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You two should do a double act

Are you working on any upcoming projects? I'll be first in line for anything designed by Pantelis and Sotiris cool
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Sotiris Tsantilas
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sneakypete21 wrote:
You two should do a double act

Are you working on any upcoming projects? I'll be first in line for anything designed by Pantelis and Sotiris cool


We actually do have something on the drawing board. whistle
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Peter Hazlewood
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sot07 wrote:
sneakypete21 wrote:
You two should do a double act

Are you working on any upcoming projects? I'll be first in line for anything designed by Pantelis and Sotiris cool


We actually do have something on the drawing board. whistle


Ooh...How about a teaser? I'll tell you about the game I'm working on...!
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Ludwig Seitz
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Pantelis, I thank you very much for this background information on how you designed the game, that was indeed very interesting to read.
 
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Ludwig Seitz
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TurambarGR wrote:
Let me do some math, to show you how we designed the buildings. (I hope you have the patience and read through this)

I will assume that I am the second player, so I have 24 credits in round 1.
I will also assume that in the first 3 rounds, I will only produce minerals. (just to get an idea)

Scenario A:
I choose to take Mines03 plus the basket 2e+2chemicals (at some point in the first two rounds). This will cost me 23credits and 2 VPs (+4VPs for the building - 6VPs for the basket). Thus, I will have 1 credit and 13 VPs. This building can produce 6 to 11 minerals (according to how many and how strong employees I can get). Let's assume that I will activate it two times only (in the first two rounds) and produce 7+8=15 minerals (an average). If I manage to sell them all (with contracts) I can get up to 15 VPs and 30credits. I will assume that I sell only 10 of those through contracts, 3 in the black market and I keep 2 in my warehouses. This will result in a total of 23 VPs and 33credits at the end of round 3. Note, that I am quite modest here. All these will require only 6-7 out of 12 actions in three rounds (1 building, 1 basket, 2 exports, 2-3 employees). If I choose to take some more energy and a chemical from the domestic industry, I can increase my income (both VPs and credits) even more. I can also buy more buildings, or get more employees which will boost my game in the future. I also get 1 manager icon.


Let's dwell a little on your example: I think the biggest difficulty lies in the fact that you need 23 credits and the matching employees to pull this of. If you want to be sure not to be toasted tax events, or to miss out on some really nice factory, you probably would like to take a loan on turn 1 or 2. Furthermore you'd like to have two engineers by turn two, one of which is preferably a +2 or +3 (alternatively a +2 worker/+1 farmer will do). This means you'd like to go first or second in turn 2.

Your actions for turn 1 are quite scripted in that case:

Turn 1:
1. Get engineer/worker
2. First player/Second player
3. Mine
4. Loan/Basket

Turn 2:
1. Get engineer/worker
2. Get engineer/worker (if available)
3. Basket/Loan
4. Sell

Turn 3:
1. Get worker/engineer (if not gotten in turn 2)
2. Sell
3. ???
4. ???

So this strategy leaves you with roughly 3 "free" actions the first 3 turns.

Risky, but I'd like to try that. I assume the competition for the Mine 03 wouldn't be ferocious, neither the competition for the 2e+2c basket, so we can take those actions late.

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Pantelis Bouboulis
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Ludwig Seitz wrote:

Let's dwell a little on your example: I think the biggest difficulty lies in the fact that you need 23 credits and the matching employees to pull this of. If you want to be sure not to be toasted tax events, or to miss out on some really nice factory, you probably would like to take a loan on turn 1 or 2. Furthermore you'd like to have two engineers by turn two, one of which is preferably a +2 or +3 (alternatively a +2 worker/+1 farmer will do). This means you'd like to go first or second in turn 2.

So this strategy leaves you with roughly 3 "free" actions the first 3 turns.

Risky, but I'd like to try that. I assume the competition for the Mine 03 wouldn't be ferocious, neither the competition for the 2e+2c basket, so we can take those actions late.


I think you are more or less right. In your example you used 3 employees (as I did). Thus, the production of 15 minerals is probaly a lower limit. If you get a +2 engineer or a +2 worker/farmer, the building can give you 18 or more minerals, which translates into more credits or some more VPs (it is unlikely that you will be able to sell so many minerals through contracts). Thus, (compared to scenario B) you can get a little less VPs, more money (+20credits) and one more manager icon with the same or less actions. You can use the extra credits to buy buildings and increase your VPs, and/or build a better engine.

As you say, we designed this strategy to be more risky. It usually pays off, if there are contracts for at least 16 minerals in the exports' section in the first 3 rounds. It can work with fewer exports but you need to buy quickly another building that that can use minerals to produce higher value goods. Of course, there are other more safer options.
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Ludwig Seitz
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Tried out a variant of that yesterday (using the heavy industry that produces industrials and skipping getting a mine). The problem was several of the contracts were among the 8 we had removed, but one was in the initial offer (tricking me into thinking I would be able to make more sales).

Luckily the other players did just as badly and the game crashed on round 3 so we could start over.

In the second game the advances factories came up in round 3, so no joy
(I won by one point with a more "standard" strategy).
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Pantelis Bouboulis
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Yes, there have to be contracts for the next two rounds. If there are no industrials then this won't work. However, If you manage to export more than 6 industrials (12VPs + 24credits), you can turn things around. I have done it many times.

There is another option though: You could sell a ton of industrials to the black market and get rich (no VPs). Then you can buy all the buildings you want and get the extra manager early and some valuable VPs to get you going. This might work (?) for larger player counts (4 or 5), where the goals are lower. I haven't done it.
 
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