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Subject: First game rss

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Trevor James
United Kingdom
Norwich, Norfolk
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Had our first game last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Took a while before we were fully conversant with the mechanics, as always when playing something new. We ran out of gems very quickly and weren't sure what to do. But once we started to amass development cards and the balance was restored the game became more understandable and speeded up. Not sure how to cope with this slow start but hopefully it will play more quickly next time. I don't think there is any way that we will bring the playing time down to half an hour as stated on the box. What should our initial strategy be? Aim for the middle row cards? We tended to start with the lowest with no victory points.
 
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Joe Rogers
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Were players taking more than 10 gems? Remember 10 is the "hand limit" for gems. Our games have rarely gone more than 30 minutes. Once folks get accustomed to the 'flow' of the game, it's pretty quick
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Russell InGA
United States
Johns Creek
Georgia
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This should not be an agonizing AP game. Play fast! Early in the game, look at the board: Can I buy anything? If not what I am close to buying?

I am not going to talk strategy, but in general early in the game Reserving a card isn't that much of a benefit (as far as I am concerned) so don't even consider it.

As I said, this is not supposed to be an AP fest. Play fast, then mid-game start taking some more time.
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German Sanders
Puerto Rico
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So I played a game last night (not our group’s first time though) and it was about 40 minutes. When I play with my wife, it does usually take about 30 minutes but we play almost every night. As far as strategy, I’ve tried getting a lot of lower cards to get the nobles and higher ranking cards, but last night I did something different. I went straight for the high level cards with few low row cards and no nobles. Won with 15 points in 9 cards (4 white, 3 blue and 2 green, with only 2 having no points). The other players had 2 nobles each and a lot of different colors but didn’t have a lot of points. Maybe I was lucky with the cards that came out, but I felt a bit proud about finishing the game while they didn’t even realize it. They told me afterwards that they didn’t look at mine because I had very few cards, they just didn’t look at the points ninja

And yes, Splendor is a wonderful game! I’m really itching to try out the expansions
 
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Trevor James
United Kingdom
Norwich, Norfolk
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Thanks for these very prompt replies. Problem solved!! I forgot the 10 token limit rule, which would make a big difference. Thanks for this reminder, Joe.
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David Larkin
England
Brighton
Sussex
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There aren’t quite enough gems for everyone to be maxed out, which is good as it allows gem scarcity to come into strategies giving the game a bit more depth
 
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Doug Stewart
United States
Glenside
Pennsylvania
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GhostDM23 wrote:
So I played a game last night (not our group’s first time though) and it was about 40 minutes. When I play with my wife, it does usually take about 30 minutes but we play almost every night. As far as strategy, I’ve tried getting a lot of lower cards to get the nobles and higher ranking cards, but last night I did something different. I went straight for the high level cards with few low row cards and no nobles. Won with 15 points in 9 cards (4 white, 3 blue and 2 green, with only 2 having no points). The other players had 2 nobles each and a lot of different colors but didn’t have a lot of points. Maybe I was lucky with the cards that came out, but I felt a bit proud about finishing the game while they didn’t even realize it. They told me afterwards that they didn’t look at mine because I had very few cards, they just didn’t look at the points ninja

And yes, Splendor is a wonderful game! I’m really itching to try out the expansions


If a 7-gem cost level 3 comes out, snag it immediately, then work towards buying it out. Take level 1 cards only if it helps to potentially pay for that first card, then do some other strategic reservations, particularly level 2 cards that can be discounted once you pay for that high card. You can even potentially snag a second 7 cost card if no one else is paying attention. You'll go from 0 to 7-8 points before anyone else even has much of an engine going. Press for a couple more level 2s and the game will be yours. Again: ignore level 1 cards unless they'll pay for your level 3 if at all possible.

The mitigation against this is honestly either playing the Cities expansion or house ruling that you have to have at least 15 points AND have at least one noble to win. Otherwise, level 3 blitzing is very difficult to counter.
 
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James R. Gracen
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Oregon
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My wife and I play 2-player quite a bit and our games rarely go over 20 minutes.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
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bcoot9 wrote:
What should our initial strategy be? Aim for the middle row cards?
So one strategy is to build cards in all the colors, getting two or more of every color. The advantage of this is that if the game runs long enough, you'll soon be able to build green and yellow cards almost for free or just outright for free. It'll start to snowball and your purchasing power will be huge... if the game lasts long enough. This is good when the cards on display are locked up and stuck on one or two colors that don't match the nobles as that'll be a longer game.

Another strategy is to focus on the nobles and primarily focus on getting cards to claim one or more nobles. This works well if there is overlaps between nobles and especially if some of the blue cards match the noble colors as getting the right color cards will help you towards all those goals. Unfortunately if multiple people try this it is less effective and you can end up hampering each other. A player who goes for the "off suit" noble or ignores nobles altogether might profit when other players compete for the popular nobles.

Another strategy is to focus on buying high point value cards. This strategy tends to buy fewer cards, but hopes to chain the few cards they do buy to be able to get one or more blue cards. If there's some synergy between the yellow cards and blue cards, you can try this focused strategy. It can be harder to pull off, but when it works it can be quicker than the other strategies.

Of course, how the cards break will have a huge impact on gameplay. Sometimes the cards don't support one strategy or other players try to do the same thing you are and there's too much competition for that strategy. You have to be tactical and flexible and roll with the punches.
 
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Trevor James
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Norwich, Norfolk
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Thanks Bryan, for the useful strategic comments. Will try them at our next session.
 
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