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Subject: Are Decorations a red herring? rss

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Chad Ingham
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My wife and I played Rococo last night again. Blowing the dust off on it a bit. We've played three times before.

The question we came out of the game with is: Is a decorations strategy viable? Are the decorations just a flat out inferior investment to making dresses?

We looked at the points you get for dresses themselves, the hall bonuses, statue bonuses, income, etc. and it just seems flat out that you're much better served by using that money towards making dresses. And if you have so much money you don't know what to do with, you're probably doing something wrong.

Now this question does not include buildings decorations purely for multiplying the value of dresses - because that's just building upon the "dress engine".

When looking at our game, it seemed that my wife's missteps were just made when she made a couple detours towards building decorations.

I'd like to be told that I'm wrong because I really like games where there are distinct strategic paths to take, not just efficiency variations along the same strategic path. Not that I don't like those (ex. I like Concordia) but they're not the ones that keep me coming back over and over again (ex. Voyages of Marco Polo).
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Denise Lockard
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Funny that you bring this up. I tried this strategy the last time I played and lost miserably. I think decorations are important but, like you, not sure you can win with this being your main focus.
 
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Chad Ingham
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I'm actually wondering now if the non-dress multiplier decorations are worth it at all. Wasted actions and wasted money that could otherwise be used towards things that make you many more points.
 
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Alejandro G.
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The statues and fountains, we felt, were a waste of time and money. I agree with you.
 
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George
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My feelings after a few plays (mostly 2 player, one 4 player) are similar, though I haven't aggressively gone for the Worker bonuses that reward decorations.

The 6 coin upper fountain is decent after you have grabbed a lower fountain spot. That will add 2 income every round.

We find the Statues super valuable. Of course these build off dresses, but if you've made all 4 types, that's 9 or 10 points at a very good money/point rate. In fact, we've felt like the Statues have sometimes been the decider in our 2 player games.

At first I thought the dress multiplier of the fireworks was super good, but really it's only an extra 2-4 points, which makes the money/point ratio not that great. (Having the promo 5 point dresses would help this.) So I've realized I care more about the majority bonus for fireworks than the dress multiplier. Of course, if you have the fountain space, then it helps. Maybe I'm being too down on the dress multiplier.

Musicians seem very marginal. Only worth getting if you really want to take the hall majority or have excess money.

So yeah, the decorations seem more like a "side thing" than a main strategy. I tried in a recent game to score points other than dress making and that didn't work out well at all. I didn't totally focus on decorations though. I think I was more trying to convert money to VPs with the worker bonuses, but I can't remember exactly.
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Gretchen Fontenay
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I only play solo but I find that the income from the fountain has been a nice boost, I'm always trying to beat the AI to the 3X fireworks spot (I do have the 5 point dresses and that does make a difference) and the musicians I will get if it looks like I might not get a majority or the all halls bonus.

Now, once you have the Jewelry Box, you definitely want to fund that! I'm whipping the pants off the AI when it doesn't fund the Jewelry Box- to the point I think I should make that automatic.
 
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Bruce
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Mostly they supplement other things. They are better at 3 and 5 player counts because there won't be enough dress spots.
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Chad Ingham
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Thank you for the insights, everyone!
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Nicola Bocchetta
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The game is about making dresses for the royal party, not about making statues, fountains etc for the party.
So yes, the decorations are quite situational, especially the musicians, that are usually taken to guarantee majority in a hall or to get early the all-rooms points.

The fountain is a must-go as it's the only way to increase your income (some cards might go around this, but I don't think it's enough).

Statues become important in the end game, as there are fewer and fewer opportunities to score points, and also the high cost of statues implies a running engine.

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