The Signal Fire or Beacon expansion comes with two new cards (one for each player, or just one to be used in a solo game) that feature a signal fire on one quarter of the card. Players place this as the first card and are forced to place a follower on the signal fire as a scout. The scout scores by counting the longest sequence of watchtowers leading horizontally or vertically from the signal fire card, a nice thematic touch (basically: the signal fire alerts the closest horizontal/vertical tower, which then alerts another horizontal/vertical tower, and so on).
Here's why this expansion is both great and difficult:
As we know, watchmen are the key to a large score in Limes because they can double score (see my thread on tips for scoring 60+ in Limes for more on this). And getting top scores for watchmen inherently requires the line of sight spreading horizontally/vertically from their own tower to be largely free of other towers. And yet, populating this line of sight with other towers is how you maximise the scout. So the two scoring mechanisms are completely at odds with each other, and it's very hard to have them work in harmony even on different sections of the landscape.
After about 20 plays with the signal fire, my main strategic conclusion is this: it's almost impossible to actively try to maximise your scout scoring and still score 60+. Maximising your scout to sabotage up to four watchmen just doesn't make any sense. To get a high score with the scout, I think you need to virtually ignore it, maximise your other followers, and hope (with a bit of careful placement) that your scout still scores at least a respectable score. My highest raw scout score is 12 but this came at the expense of watchmen scores.
My highest score with the signal fire so far is 55. Click the spoiler for the image and score of that game.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Watchmen - 6, 8, 6, 7
Fishermen - 10
Farmer - 9
Scout - 9
Total - 55
I think this is easily the best of the expansions for Limes. The alternate start cards don't really do anything for me, and the lighthouse is cool enough but (a) doesn't come out in all games, and (b) can be so powerful that a really high score with the lighthouse 'doesn't count'. Basically, the lighthouse makes the game easier while the signal fire makes the game harder. After a few hundred solo plays, I was looking for something to inject some new life into Limes and this is it!
They call me Mister...
Thanks for this and your other comments about this expansion. I have one query: I just cannot see how your scout scores 9 in the photo above.
The most I can see is six but I'm still getting my head around how it works so I'm sure I'm missing something.
Could someone walk me through it? Here's a clearer zoomable version of the image.
EDIT: Ah, silly me, I see it now = North, West, South, East, N, N, N, W, S
- Last edited Sun May 14, 2017 12:52 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu May 11, 2017 10:19 pm