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Fleet Wharfside» Forums » Rules

Subject: More than one card bonus at the same time? rss

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Chooch Mic
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I had 2 contracts providing me with a possible 2 extra cards every wharf visit. Is this a legal move...seems overpowered. My wife's two contracts were bonuses for buying contracts so couldn't be used at the same time.

Thoughts?
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Ben Pinchback
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Leonard
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It's legal.
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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contracts, context, strategic rhythms
Hi! No contract’s special ability is overpowered. Which is great. Contracts are all potentially extremely useful or somewhat useful or not optimally useful at all depending on context:

depending on your other contracts and resultant combinations;

on what’s swimming around in the wharf offers (always helpful to have a Carter’s or even two on hand, but the card can become quite limited when the wharves clog with one or two types of fish/shellfish, as sometimes happens);

on whether it’s early still or if you’ve already entered full-speed-ahead race mode in getting to five contracts/buildings;

and on the relative and ever-shifting marketplace value/cost of the contracts themselves balanced against your anticipated return.

Wharfside is an outstanding rhythm game. Every contract you take on is tapped and allocated to based on the next couple of contracts you’re eyeballing or hoping for on your way to five contracts/buildings. The contract that was extremely useful last game might make less sense to your strategic rhythm and pacing this time around.

In general, no contract is automatically incredible and no contract is inherently lousy. Which is how it should be. That contract deck is pretty brilliant. So many neat combinations. No matter how many times we play, we’re always tweaking and adapting our preferred strategies based on all of the above’s bevy of interdependent variables.

I do have a secret current favorite catalyst of a contract, though: Ralph’s.
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Ken Bush
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minorweaver wrote:
Hi! No contract’s special ability is overpowered. Which is great. Contracts are all potentially extremely useful or somewhat useful or not optimally useful at all depending on context:

depending on your other contracts and resultant combinations;

on what’s swimming around in the wharf offers (always helpful to have a Carter’s or even two on hand, but the card can become quite limited when the wharves clog with one or two types of fish/shellfish, as sometimes happens);

on whether it’s early still or if you’ve already entered full-speed-ahead race mode in getting to five contracts/buildings;

and on the relative and ever-shifting marketplace value/cost of the contracts themselves balanced against your anticipated return.

Wharfside is an outstanding rhythm game. Every contract you take on is tapped and allocated to based on the next couple of contracts you’re eyeballing or hoping for on your way to five contracts/buildings. The contract that was extremely useful last game might make less sense to your strategic rhythm and pacing this time around.

In general, no contract is automatically incredible and no contract is inherently lousy. Which is how it should be. That contract deck is pretty brilliant. So many neat combinations. No matter how many times we play, we’re always tweaking and adapting our preferred strategies based on all of the above’s bevy of interdependent variables.

I do have a secret current favorite catalyst of a contract, though: Ralph’s.

I disagree. The "draw and keep a card if it matches any card in the wharf are WAY more powerful than anything else. The odds of a match are pretty high. And since you score your largest set remaining in hand it's guaranteed points. If the 1st 3 I get are those contracts it's a sure win. I feel you should only get to pick 1 wharf not both to match.
 
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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Carter’s continued
Hi!

Hmm. Not sure what your sample size is for such categorical statements, but I’d say you gotta keep playing and keep trying out different permutations of contracts. I love Carter’s. It can be a fun catalyst. (Emphasis on “can be” because not infrequent 33 percent odds aren’t much to write home about. Plus you have little to no control over what you get.) But it’s not in the least overpowered, much less “way” overpowered. I’ve seen Carter’s-centric strategies, which tend to be less inventive and resourceful than others, get walloped & humbled by far more dynamic combos of Ralph’s and Ama’s and Co. And, in general, I’ve seen just about every permutation of contracts beat every other permutation, whether or not Carter’s was involved.

Carter’s, I would opine, is only the most obviously cool Wharfside contract. But don’t underrate the equally but more subtly cool Ralph’s and Ama’s, which give you far more control from round to round, and which you’ll grow to appreciate the more you play. Your Carter’s odds can dip in a hurry. Even when they don’t, you have no control over what you get or don’t get. With Ralph’s, on the other hand, I have complete control. My odds of getting that card I’m eyeing in one wharf, which I need to complete a crustaceous quartet to build a building? 100 percent. And with Ama’s, I know exactly what I can keep as I prepare to complete a contract. So I can use Ralph’s to build the building knowing that a round later I’ll finish Ama’s and keep the card I need to finish Ralph’s before the game ends. Woot. A crafted plan, insulated from fluctuating odds.

A Carter’s-centric strategy can end up at the mercy of capricious tides, with you crossing your fingers and hoping the ocean coughs up something useful. Meanwhile, combos of Ralph’s and Ama’s (and, sure, maybe a supplementary Carter’s thrown in) give you a ton of control over the course of multiple rounds. You aren’t randomly pulling in cards with a limited backup plan, but rather purposefully gaining extra cards within the context of a durable, rigorously-plotted, and carefully-executed multi-round strategy. (Spoiler: the latter strategy ran up the score and high-stepped back into harbor.)

Doubt I’ll convince you of anything, though! But definitely keep playing, keep experimenting, and don’t get locked into thinking Carter’s is king. It’s undoubtedly a nifty card. But, as a convenient crutch, it can also end up being the culprit when a player’s strategy, overly reliant on C’s seductive but pendular odds, stalls and stagnates.

And nobody beats Ama’s when it comes to responsibly-sourced seasonal menus.
 
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Ken Bush
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After a rules reread realized we weren't playing with the hand limit. People were getting 12-13 cards in hand. Now that I realize you can't have that many cards, it doesn't seem overpowered at all. Sorry about being "one of those" non-rules readers, but the rules print is so small I can bearly read it at all. That's my excuse and I sticking to it!
 
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Stefan Minor Weaver
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Carter’s concluded
God bless hand limits, which are to be savored.

That explains that. I actually had meant to write about your largest-set-in-hand example because it confused me as an example of over-powerment (to make up a word). Now all is clear.

And although the rulebook is indeed mini, credit to the designers and their publisher for delivering that rarest of board game commodities: Honest Box Dimensions!
 
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