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Subject: How powerful is trade advantage? rss

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f s
Germany
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(I do not know whether "trade advantage" is the correct English term, as I only have the German language version of the game. What I mean is having more trade points than your opponent (at least 3) and being therefore in possession of the trade token.)

I Played two introductory games against a friend yesterday. She understood the game quite quickly and gained insight into the basic tactics and strategies rapidly. All good.
I won the second game due to a bit of luck with the events dice, having the trade advantage and being able to steal a few resources from her. I believe that she should also have continued to compete for the trade advantage (even though I had played the Highwaymen card on her, giving her a permanent -1 trade point).
She claimed that the trade advantage was too powerful and ruined the game.
I do not think so, but would be interested in other players opinions on this. I tried to cheer her up and show some ways to mitigate the effects of trade advantage. But she was not convinced at all. I hope I have not soured this great game for her permanently...

Of course, I am aware that this depends on what Era set is played.

But still - a general assessment of how powerful trade advantage is should be possible.

In my opinion, trade advantage is quite good and worth going for in nearly every game. However, there are ways to counter it: Strong military (depends on the Era and the event cards in play), aggressive use of action cards (depends on the Era), rapid expansion (getting one more settlement).

Am I missing anything? How important is trade advantage? What are the counters?
 
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Jens V
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Trade advantage is the correct term.

It is quite powerful, as you said, but far from being a sure way to win. It all depends on the expansions in play, but overall, it is just one of the six possible events, so being able to steal from the other player shouldn't happen more often than 3-4 times per game played. If you focus on other things, e.g. strength and skill (both on hero cards, so you can gain them at the same time), this should be enough to mitigate the trade advantage.
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f s
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The game played was the Duel of the Princes with the Era of Inventions (green), the Era of Gold (orange) and the Era of the Trade Princes (blue).

I had the skill advantage too. She, however, had the strength advantage. Still, I pointed out to her that she needed to win at least the skill advantage.

She said that she found this nearly impossible, being hampered by my stealing her resources so much.

I might have had quite a bit of luck with the event die - that might have been quite influential.
 
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Sam Stone
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English version of the Rules can be found at https://www.catan.com/game/rivals-catan#downloads

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