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Subject: Collecting nobles: a winning strategy? rss

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Deiniol Williams
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Hi everyone,

Just started playing Splendor and it seems really easy to win if the strategy is to just hoard coins and collect the nobles one-by-one.

Is this a good strategy or are the rest of us just not playing it well enough?

Thanks!
 
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Andy Holt
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That is usually an unsuccessful strategy - but one skill in the game is to recognise when to do it (often when the other players are all using a high card strategy)
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Deiniol Williams
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What makes it an unsuccessful strategy? We’ve played a few times and when someone has used this strategy they’ve been by far the quickest to 15pts.
 
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Bill Eldard
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DLW19 wrote:
Hi everyone,

Just started playing Splendor and it seems really easy to win if the strategy is to just hoard coins and collect the nobles one-by-one.

Is this a good strategy or are the rest of us just not playing it well enough?

Thanks!

Are you buying nobles with the chips? If you are, you are playing wrong. A Noble can only be claimed when a player has the cards on the table to satisfy the requirement. Chips can only be used toward the purchase of cards -- never nobles.
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Matheus Affonso
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Because normally focusing on high-point cards will take you to 15 faster. Next time you play, try this:

On turn 1, check if there are any 7-cost 3rd row cards. If there are, reserve the one that will be the easiest to get to the 7 requirement.

From then on, only take the 1st row cards that allow you to pursue your reserved card. Reserve from the 2nd row when needed. Your goal is to purchase your first reserved card ASAP, taking other scoring cards when possible.

With that, I have out-paced most of my noble-chasing opponents.
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Andy Holt
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DLW19 wrote:
What makes it an unsuccessful strategy? We’ve played a few times and when someone has used this strategy they’ve been by far the quickest to 15pts.


Read some of the strategy articles in this forum - especially those on "high tier". Now this does vary with number of players but the most successful players that I know (including myself!) tend to concentrate on only buying cards that score points. I'll usually end the game with 7 or fewer cards and you need at least 8 to get one noble. (also I normally find that taking 2 identical gems when possible is at least as good as 3 different ones)
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Deiniol Williams
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Eldard wrote:
DLW19 wrote:
Hi everyone,

Just started playing Splendor and it seems really easy to win if the strategy is to just hoard coins and collect the nobles one-by-one.

Is this a good strategy or are the rest of us just not playing it well enough?

Thanks!

Are you buying nobles with the chips? If you are, you are playing wrong. A Noble can only be claimed when a player has the cards on the table to satisfy the requirement. Chips can only be used toward the purchase of cards -- never nobles.


Is that true?! We’ve been using total number of chips (including jokers) and cards at the end of a turn to acquire a noble. What you say would make a lot more sense!
 
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Adam Hostetler
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DLW19 wrote:
Eldard wrote:
DLW19 wrote:
Hi everyone,

Just started playing Splendor and it seems really easy to win if the strategy is to just hoard coins and collect the nobles one-by-one.

Is this a good strategy or are the rest of us just not playing it well enough?

Thanks!

Are you buying nobles with the chips? If you are, you are playing wrong. A Noble can only be claimed when a player has the cards on the table to satisfy the requirement. Chips can only be used toward the purchase of cards -- never nobles.


Is that true?! We’ve been using total number of chips (including jokers) and cards at the end of a turn to acquire a noble. What you say would make a lot more sense!


Absolutely true. Nobles are not purchased, they automatically come to you when you meet their requirements (counting only cards that you own), this does not take an action.
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Doug Stewart
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Instructions, page 3:

Quote:
The noble tiles are visible in the middle of the table. At the end of their turn, a player automatically receives the visit from a noble if that player has the amount of bonuses (and only bonuses) required, and they get the corresponding tile.
A player cannot refuse a visit from a noble.
Receiving a noble isn’t considered to be an action. Each noble tile is worth 3 prestige points, but players can only get a single one per turn.



Emphases mine. Bonuses are defined on page 4 (confusingly).
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Deiniol Williams
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zamoose wrote:
Instructions, page 3:

Quote:
The noble tiles are visible in the middle of the table. At the end of their turn, a player automatically receives the visit from a noble if that player has the amount of bonuses (and only bonuses) required, and they get the corresponding tile.
A player cannot refuse a visit from a noble.
Receiving a noble isn’t considered to be an action. Each noble tile is worth 3 prestige points, but players can only get a single one per turn.



Emphases mine. Bonuses are defined on page 4 (confusingly).


Thanks all! I suspected we were missing something!
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I win a lot of the games I play and I never ignore nobles. They can enable you to get two different bumps in your score on the same turn. If your opponent can;t do that at some point as well, you are in a position to win providing your card strategy is still sound. Looking at the initial board layout to see what color of gems might be the most difficult to acquire and focusing on a noble or two that doesn't require that color of card is a good strategy. In my experience of playing about 60 or so games of this, nearly every one has a single gem that hides in the deck more than the others.
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James
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DLW19 wrote:
Just started playing Splendor and it seems really easy to win if the strategy is to just hoard coins and collect the nobles one-by-one.


Another rule you may have missed if you are "hoarding coins", you can only have 10 in front of you maximum (that includes the gold "jokers").
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Rich Charters
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Also, note that the nobles have rectangles (indicating cards), rather than circles (which would indicate gems) printed on them. It helps to point this out to new players.
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Doug Stewart
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rickert wrote:
I win a lot of the games I play and I never ignore nobles. They can enable you to get two different bumps in your score on the same turn. If your opponent can;t do that at some point as well, you are in a position to win providing your card strategy is still sound. Looking at the initial board layout to see what color of gems might be the most difficult to acquire and focusing on a noble or two that doesn't require that color of card is a good strategy. In my experience of playing about 60 or so games of this, nearly every one has a single gem that hides in the deck more than the others.


Once you realize that the limiting resource in the game is turns, not coins or gems or bonuses, you realize that going for highly optimized point acquisition is a must. The efficiency of 7 gem third row cards at 4-5 points is impossible to beat, particularly in lower player count games. At 4, nobles become a bit more viable, but in all honesty, blitzing third row cards still remains the optimal strategy.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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zamoose wrote:
rickert wrote:
I win a lot of the games I play and I never ignore nobles. They can enable you to get two different bumps in your score on the same turn. If your opponent can;t do that at some point as well, you are in a position to win providing your card strategy is still sound. Looking at the initial board layout to see what color of gems might be the most difficult to acquire and focusing on a noble or two that doesn't require that color of card is a good strategy. In my experience of playing about 60 or so games of this, nearly every one has a single gem that hides in the deck more than the others.


Once you realize that the limiting resource in the game is turns, not coins or gems or bonuses, you realize that going for highly optimized point acquisition is a must. The efficiency of 7 gem third row cards at 4-5 points is impossible to beat, particularly in lower player count games. At 4, nobles become a bit more viable, but in all honesty, blitzing third row cards still remains the optimal strategy.


Since the game is a race to a certain number of points and not to the most points after a certain number of turns, I don't find your strategy all that encompassing or even useful in all games.
 
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Bill Cook
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Random Order wrote:
Another rule you may have missed if you are "hoarding coins", you can only have 10 in front of you maximum (that includes the gold "jokers").


Just to be super anal, you have at most 10 coins *at the end of your turn.* You can have more than 10 during your turn, but you have to give away coins at the end of your turn to get down to 10 if you are over.

Oh, and since this is turning into a strategy thread... one thing I've noticed is that new players tend not to use the "reserve" action. Not only is it an effective way to get cards for yourself, it's a great way to disrupt your opponents' plans.
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Dragos Burghiu
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The best strategy I've found after maybe 20 playthroughs completely forgets the nobles. The strategy revolves around reserving the highest point cards on the top and middle row. You want to make it so these rows only have 1 point cards on the middle row and 3 point cards on the top. Now your opponents get only expensive cards worth low points. You're also playing to control the gold chips, and always make sure you pick up chips your opponents need to slow them down. If you need a blue and white chip only, then grab a blue and white and then a chip an opponent needs. Also, this might seem counter intuative, but you'll often spend a turn or two trading chips in to get the seventh same color chip. I usually win games with 5 cards. I've also won a game with only 3 cards (and had 7 reserved cards in hand). If you like making your opponents salty, this will be the perfect strategy, and if your opponents have never seen this strategy, you'll destroy them, and probably make them hate the game because they'll realise nobles and the bottom row cards are almost worthless.
 
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Bill Eldard
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tuxedochimp wrote:
I usually win games with 5 cards. I've also won a game with only 3 cards (and had 7 reserved cards in hand).

The rules only allow a player to have a maximum of three cards reserved at at time. If you reserve a 4th card, you must discard one of 3 reserved cards to make room for it. CORRECTION: The only way to reduce the number of cards one holds in reserve is to play it to the table.
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Andy Burgess
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Eldard wrote:
tuxedochimp wrote:
I usually win games with 5 cards. I've also won a game with only 3 cards (and had 7 reserved cards in hand).

The rules only allow a player to have a maximum of three cards reserved at at time. If you reserve a 4th card, you must discard one of 3 reserved cards to make room for it.


Almost. You can only have three reserved cards, but you’re not allowed to discard one if you want to reserve a fourth. There’s no discard pile anyway. The only way to make room for more reserved cards is to buy one of the three you already have.
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Bill Eldard
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MercifulBiscuit wrote:
Eldard wrote:
tuxedochimp wrote:
I usually win games with 5 cards. I've also won a game with only 3 cards (and had 7 reserved cards in hand).

The rules only allow a player to have a maximum of three cards reserved at at time. If you reserve a 4th card, you must discard one of 3 reserved cards to make room for it.


Almost. You can only have three reserved cards, but you’re not allowed to discard one if you want to reserve a fourth. There’s no discard pile anyway. The only way to make room for more reserved cards is to buy one of the three you already have.

You're right. I forgot about that.

And that makes it even harder to deny cards to other players. Essentially once a player has reserved 3 cards from the middle and top rows, the player is stuck with those cards until played on the table
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