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Subject: Minor Trader question rss

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Kevin
United States
Fort Collins
Colorado
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Played our first game of SJ last night (two-handed) and enjoyed it - my wife was a little over-whelmed regarding all the decisions during the game, but I think she'll get the hang of it after another play or two.

Just a quick question about the Trader phase - the instructions indicate that if you're selling a good from a Production building, you should discard the card representing the good, and draw the appropriate number of cards from the draw pile. Why not just pick up the card already sitting on the production building, and draw any additional cards if the price is higher than 1? Is it simply a mechanism for depleting the draw pile faster, or am I missing something?
 
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Brent Ross
Canada
Waterloo
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Re:Minor Trader question
Ayeegit (#38657),

It's a bit more than just cycling the draw pile. The cards used as goods are essentially out of play for building. Furthmore, unlike cards used as money (or for chapels), these cards are random... you can try to predict what your opponents are spending and hording in their hand, but you can't guess what is (or even was) a good beyond the distribution of cards in the deck. As such, it becomes yet more difficult to count cards (and San Juan goes a long way to keep card counting out of the picture) since you really can't predict what was skipped this round (because it ended up being a good)... and if a lot of cards are absorbed into goods when the deck cycles, there's no telling what's left for the next round. This can be used by a player as a tactic if they already have the cards they want, as there can be quite a high probability that some of the goods are the big buildings their opponents might still be looking for. Clearly, you want to try and latch on to whatever stategy comes your way as soon as possible and start hording the buildings you'll need.

So, in short, not using the good cards for payoffs essentially guarantees that the deck is more random from game to game. It's a bit like having a randomized deck each game (for example, in some games the Guildhouses will not be seen by anyone). It's actually quite a different game if you can guarantee that every card will be seen by someone every trip throught the deck.
 
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Re:Minor Trader question
Ayeegit (#38657),

I don't know exactly the reason, but I suspect it's to keep all the cards from being seen/used once through the deck, to help give each game a different flow and feel. In other words, this mechanism decreases the chances of seeing any particular card by forcing you to pick up and discard cards without ever having seen it. That basically takes cards "out of play" in a fairly random manner, making each game different.

Nick
 
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Kevin
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Re:Minor Trader question
Thanks, Nick and Brent. Your explanations make perfect sense. We'll "play by the rules" next time
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Re:Minor Trader question
Ayeegit (#38657),
I think all the rules push recycling of the deck so
players have a better shot at buildings they need.
This reduces the "I CANT GET A TOWER- WAAHH!" syndrome
somewhat.
 
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Re:Minor Trader question
davedanger (#39047),

When we play with 2 players, if we cycle through the deck at all then it's close to the end of the game anyway and doesn't really help. However, with more than 2 players the deck is easily recycled.

Nick
 
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