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Subject: Starting Strategy rss

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Geoffrey Steenberge
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Painted Post
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After a couple plays in my gaming group, there are a couple opening strategies that seems the best. I am wondering if these are really the only good opening options or if we are just suffering from group think. For our group, the most common opening strategy is the following:

Turn 1. Cloth or Beer - To get the second good
Turn 2. Trade - Sell 2 Cloth or 2 Beer (depending on turn 1 move) for $200
Turn 3. Church - Make 1 donation (1 brick) to a church
Turn 4. Trade - Buy 3 brick and 2 wood for $200
Turn 5. Guildhall - Build 3 buildings for 3 brick and 3 wood
Turn 6+ strategies now branch out based on the buildings built

This combination for the first 5 moves seems very powerful to me as it enables you to get 3 buildings up very quickly which opens up all sorts of possibilities for you.

Another common opening is the same as above but starting with Trade and selling 1 good for $100 which allows you to follow the same path but end up with 2 buildings on turn 4 instead of 3 on turn 5. I prefer the extra building for 1 more turn but both openings are used. However, these are pretty much the only opening sequences used by our gaming group. Therefore I am wondering if these are the "best" opening moves (and is one better than the other) or if they are merely the only options we have found out of many others.

I love the game and plan on playing it often in the near future but feel like I am stuck in a rut for the first 5 turns and can't wait for turn 6 when so many options are open to me. Does any one else have any comments on the opening moves you and your group employ or is the above the standard start for everyone?
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Paulo Soledade
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Nice point. I don't have your 6th move but I wonder how many players do you usually play with? I mean the strategy could be very different because the market moves faster and because ship bonus tiles are much more powerfull with more players.

Paulo
 
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Walther Gerdts
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Try this one:

Dockyard - 1 new ship
Sugar - 1 extra sugar
Cloth - 1 extra cloth
Trade - sell 4 goods for 400
Church - 1 donation
Trade - buy 8 materials for 410 (4 bricks + 4 timber)
Guildhall - 4 new buildings

Now you have 4 buildings and 1 ship after 7 turns.
As it often happens that you build AFTER all other players have built s.th., chances are high that you get a nice bonus for an official.
(Example: In a 4 player game, all others built 3 buildings on their 5th turn. You get (3+3+3+4)x10 = 130 bucks then)

Or do not even bother: I recently won a game where I first completed a church, before starting with buildings at all, but honestly it was quite close.
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Richard Clyne
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If you follow the 4 buildings on turn 7 strategy you may suffer from someone else building on turn 4 before you sell. If the price of your goods drop then you may not have the money to buy the materials.
Richard
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Walther Gerdts
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True.
But only, if the other player is sitting before you, and if he builds 2 buildings in turn 4 (instead of 3 buildings in turn 5). Even then, it may be that he builds 2 types of buildings which will not harm you that much (for example, he builds a merchant and only one price will sink, but you are in pos. 3 and have 30 extra money). If you are in pos 5 (5 player game), your 50 starting money will allow you to buy 8 materials anyway.
 
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Mark Bigney
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I almost always start out at Dockyard to build another ship--then you have oodles of options. Directly to trade and sell two of your starting goods, stop at church first and grab an advantageous parish, grab more goods...
Just goes to show you that people approach the game in different ways and that there are lots of viable strategies.
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Geoffrey Steenberge
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Thanks for all the replies. This definitely shows the effect that group think can have on a game. My group was all doing the same opening moves because that is all we had done and it had always worked (since one of the people doing those moves had always won). I can't wait to try a few of these suggestions in the future.
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Brian O'Farrell
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Gyges wrote:
I almost always start out at Dockyard to build another ship--then you have oodles of options....
Just goes to show you that people approach the game in different ways and that there are lots of viable strategies.


Sailsa wrote:
This definitely shows the effect that group think can have on a game.


Absolutely, "group think" is an incredibly powerful force, if you started playing with players who dockyarded more than the slow build up to sell would be dangerous.

If you had players quickly building production buildings devaluing trading the slow build up to sell would be dangerous.

---

I've only played the one game, two player and my opponent had the stronger initial setup but wasn't able to capitalize as I took a more focused church strategy and outscored him to the end.

But next time out I think I'm more likely to start on dockyard than beer or sugar.
 
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