Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

The Oracle of Delphi» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Pre-Start Considerations rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Introduction

While Oracle is very tactical, there are some strategic considerations as well. Ultimately, as a race game, it’s about saving a turn here and a turn there to finish first. There are a very large number of areas to discuss, I thought I would start with the initial board setup.

Pre-start consideration #1

Once the board is ready, the first order of business is to look for the Tasks which are ‘long poles in the tent’. There are four types of Tasks that need to be completed:

- Shrines – Shrines are fixed in terms of their final location and players already possess the full supply to build (and thus no pickup) – there is no predictable inherent advantage to completing these tasks first as they do not take up room on your ship. Per a later strategy discussion, it may be of value to collect bonuses for discovering the islands, but it may even work against you to head immediately for shrine locations as you may not visit your own islands and may be adding travel turns to your game and helping others plan more efficiently.

- Statues – Are a long pole in the tent. There are two elements to consider. First, all Statue locations are at the edges of the board. Thus, visiting a pickup location in a part of the board you will not otherwise have to visit could be a grave waste of time. Second, there are fixed, known delivery locations depending on the color of Statue(s) you pick up. Again, an initial look at the board can help you identify delivery locations that are nearer the pickup locations that you can be first to exploit. An added reason for this is the two-item maximum for your ship, carrying around extra Statue(s) may prevent other pickups/drop-offs that would be more efficient. Finally, as there are no specific Statues required, there is some flexibility in player planning based on areas of the board that the player has additional reasons to visit.

- Offerings – May be the longest pole in the tent if you are not careful. Like Statues, Offerings have fixed, known pickup locations, though each color is scattered around the board. Unlike the Statues, Offerings have a single delivery location. In conjunction, all players have two COMMON Offering colors. As a result, being first to pick up those two shared Offerings closer to their delivery locations may force other players to travel farther afield to obtain the Offering and then double back to deliver. I believe Offerings, very much dependent on the actual random setup, may be a key differentiator in reducing turns to finish.

- Monsters – Like Offerings, every player in the game commonly needs two Monster colors. The Monsters are spread around the board and again, being forced further afield to defeat a Monster in a portion of the board that is not otherwise useful can be costly. Unlike Offerings, Monsters have no delivery point and are thus potentially less damaging than Offerings.

In summary, look at all four sets of Zeus Tasks, but on average, the order of potential criticality may be Offering, Statue, Monster, and finally Shrine. In addition, it is the planning across ALL FOUR sets of Tasks that is crucial. Optimizing for any one element may sub-optimize the entire twelve. Of course, in addition to the overall race to the finish, there will be individual races to fulfill any particular Task (For example, be first to pick up a specific offering cube near the start position). Among better players, don’t plan around someone else ‘not noticing’ a long pole and letting you beat them to it.

This game has so many interconnecting pieces that it is difficult to avoid an endless supply of caveats, but here is another. The rewards deserve their own article (maybe I will get to that later). In particular, some rewards circumvent portions of the race. For example, defeating a Monster can provide an equipment card reward that enables a player to “teleport” a Statue straight onto the boat. This eliminates at least one trip to the edge of the board to pick up a Statue. There are many such examples (the Gods are another). Ultimately, it is the most efficient overall plan that will win, incorporating a large number of puts and takes exceptions.

Cheers
2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for posting this summary.

I wasn't really sure what the "long pole" idiom meant. I looked it up, and found these explanations both helpful and amusing:
http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/68616/alternative...

tl;dr: long pole roughly means bottleneck or biggest problem (which is what I would have guessed from the context of how you were using it).

As for the game, I haven't played it, but it seems like the Poseidon god power that can teleport your ship is very powerful. It would allow you to plan 2 or 3 disconnected voyages, rather than one continuous loop.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, that's the meaning. And yes, Poseidon's power is one of a number of ways to circumvent having to travel a particular route. There are many, many such ways.. one reason I started by just talking about the tasks themselves and not strategy throughout the game..

Cheers
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.