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Subject: How balanced is completing orders? rss

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Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
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I've played upwards of half a dozen times now, and in some games orders have been completely ignored, in others one or two players have gone for them with greater or lesser dedication.

And every single game has been won by players who ignored orders completely. Whether it's glass, or huts, or filling the warehouse, the game has been won in several different ways - except not buy a player who hunts out contracts.

It just seems that the effort in filling them (an action and coin at the market to buy a contract, then at least two rounds spent at the market fulfilling them) just isn't worth the uplift in points (and one free corn) you get for doing so. Allowing players to score the goods tiles that were used towards the contracts might well tip the balance in their favour (perhaps too strongly?), but as matters stand they don't seem like a great option.

What have others found?
 
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Jakub Suszek
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I think it is as important as other things. We always focus on missions as well as other scoring sources more/less equally.
Only thing that orders really affect might be lower number of goods you can put in your warehouse. You put them on orders = can't put into warehouse.
So seems you can fill less rows in warehouse and score points for it but at the same time fullfilling orders gives you 11+ VP so if you complete let's say 3 orders (it's how much on average we complete) its about 30-40VP. Plus you get 3 corns and usually we are able to fulfill almost half of the warehouse rows.
It's not always as easy as it sounds but compare how much work you have to put to score 19 pts from warehouse and how much does it take to do same from a single order? Especially in mid and late game when you have more options to get desired goods.

Probably setting your game to complete orders only isn't good strategy but I can't see why anyone would want to do that only...

Oh also you can technically buy and complete 3 good order in 2 turns (not counting extensions) if i'm not mistaken. You buy mission and while being on market you can put some goods on it right in your next action if you set required goods in planning phase before buying mission.

What is your average final scores and how many people play?

 
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Richard Dewsbery
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I've played from 3 to 5 players, and had winning scores as low as 79 up to as high as 178 (and the player who scored 178 - in a 5-player game) didn't have a single contract card.
 
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Jakub Suszek
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178 pts in 5-players game (without contract) basically means that other players played bad. Very bad. He must had either scored a lot from warehouse and goods and/or boats and houses. Which basically means no one was stopping him (by buying/producing goods he needed) from doing it. It doesn't prove missions are useless in my opinion. ~170 pts final score is for 2 player game...
 
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Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
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RDewsbery wrote:
I've played upwards of half a dozen times now, and in some games orders have been completely ignored, in others one or two players have gone for them with greater or lesser dedication.

And every single game has been won by players who ignored orders completely. Whether it's glass, or huts, or filling the warehouse, the game has been won in several different ways - except not buy a player who hunts out contracts.

It just seems that the effort in filling them (an action and coin at the market to buy a contract, then at least two rounds spent at the market fulfilling them) just isn't worth the uplift in points (and one free corn) you get for doing so. Allowing players to score the goods tiles that were used towards the contracts might well tip the balance in their favour (perhaps too strongly?), but as matters stand they don't seem like a great option.

What have others found?


Played once, I was the one who went for orders. Didn't win, but was in contention. Jury going to be out some time on this one.
 
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david landes
United States
oak hill
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Comparing scores has some value but is not really conclusive. Games can be shorter or longer depending on whether any one (or two) is 'rushing' the ending.. longer games result in higher scores.
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Richard Dewsbery
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Absolutely. We had one game where everyone rushed for boats and two players concentrated on fish - that was a VERY short game (scores all in the 70s or below). But if each player is doing something different and the extensions are bought sparingly, it takes a LONG time to empty some piles; the 178-point game finished when the extension row couldn't be refilled, but nobody had very many of them.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Played again, won - but it was my second game, others' first. Finished two contracts, making a decent contribution to my points - and I had a third I'm still not sure if I should have tried to finish or not (net gain 10 points, but did what I did instead score 10 points - too hard to tell).

That's beginning, on too little evidence, to feel like an option. Don't make them a big thing, but an opportunistic source of points on the every little helps principle.

(On a recount I won by two points. I preferred the earlier tied on points, won on tiebreak 1 coin to 0.)
 
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Martin H.
Austria
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it really depends on the orders...some orders want goods that don't bring points like alpacas or fish..if you cannot fill that row in your warehouse because you put it into an order...that is usually bad planning... i mean it can bring some points but it is not necessary to winning...but as money brings you no points..and storing those goods in the warehouse cost the same action..the opportunity cost is only that you need 2 actions for the orders instead of 1...but usually you should get the tile with for the additional spot so you can fulfil every order in one go...but usally you sell something and you deliver 1 good at the market
 
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Daniel Corban
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Contracts have been a large source of points in my games. A recent four-player game had myself with 41VP and another player with 49VP. To put that in perspective, my winning score was 148, so over a quarter of my final score came from orders.

One of my orders was two fish and a stone. This turns 1VP into 11VP plus a corn. Three goods for 11VP seems damn good. Another was wood, cloth, glass for 17VP. These goods are only worth 8VP on their own.

I just played another game tonight (with different players) and again, orders were a huge source of VP. Two orders gave me 24VP out of 130. I used four VP of goods (1 fish, 3 cacao, 1 ore) and turned them into 24VP for the cost of three market actions. The player in second with 129 earned 44VP from three orders.

Orders and the stone buildings are both key.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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KEW GARDENS
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You can definitely be competitive with contracts especially combined with cacao and strong coin generation.

Just finished with 127: 67 points from 5 fulfilled contracts, 18 from warehouse, only one hut, one boat, and the rest resource titles.

Winning score was 132: with a ton of boats, and a heavy warehouse focus filling all four of the highest scoring rows.

Only reason I didn't win was a couple of stupidly missed opportunities near the end game. (had the extension that lets me swap a drawn tile and forgot to use it... twice)

In most of the games I've played winners have fulfilled at least 1-2 contracts if not more.

RDewsbery wrote:
It just seems that the effort in filling them (an action and coin at the market to buy a contract, then at least two rounds spent at the market fulfilling them) just isn't worth the uplift in points (and one free corn) you get for doing so.


As with everything in this game it's all about action efficiency and timing. You want to be doing other valuable actions at the market at the same time as you're acquiring and filling your contracts.

The two-tile contracts are just a single visit. The three-tile contracts can be fulfilled in a single action with the extra tile space extension. Without that you complete the 3rd good while using the second space to earn 2-3 coins with cloth or silver.

When going for a heavier than average contract strategy you want to consider a market extension or two.

Between buying extensions, using market extensions, selling goods for coins, and activating my market extensions, in this game I was completing at least 2-3 actions in the market on every visit, and a few times four.
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United States
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RDewsbery wrote:
And every single game has been won by players who ignored orders completely. Whether it's glass, or huts, or filling the warehouse, the game has been won in several different ways - except not buy a player who hunts out contracts.


I think it depends on what other people are going for but I agree, the warehouse strategy is strong. Hitting resources hard and just flooding the warehouse by using extensions toward the end of the game. It also helps that goods double score for warehouse points and their own points.

I think in the first game I ever played, I went heavy into contracts, completing maybe 5 or 6 of them, and the person who went for filling up his warehouse won. Maybe I came in second, I can't remember. After that, I stopped going for contracts entirely and focused on high point good production, warehouse points, and house card points.

The game is player driven, though, so mileage with strategies may vary.
 
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