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Subject: Avoid the Administrator (if you can) rss

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Brad N
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Mo, D and I sat down for a game of Thurn and Taxis. I'd played the game twice before and they've played many times... mostly two player games. The game is not great, but I think it is very good. It's one of those games that I think to myself, "yeah, sure, I guess I'll play a round of that." And, when the game is in progress I'm thinking, "you know, this game is fun and has quite a few interesting aspects to it."

I hadn't played the game for a while so it took a turn or two to get into the swing of things. I noticed early that both Mo and D were using the Administrator quite a bit. I made a decision at that point to avoid the Administrator whenever possible. It seems like the other three "helpers" all give you something that increases a benefit (eg. get an extra card, play an extra card, pick up a larger coach). Well, the Administrator simply wipes away your choices and gives you new options. There is no chance to draw two or play two. I did use the Administrator several times in the game, but only in the middle and late parts of the game and when the time was right.

One example was mid-way through the game when I looked at the cards to draw from and none of them were very helpful to me. I did think that I could use one of them later though AND I felt like these cards were bad for D (to my left). So, I just took one card and played two. D looked annoyed and used the Administrator. I ended up using the one card I had picked up on a later route and felt like that one choice put me two moves ahead of D.

Another example was mid-way through the game when there was a card out there that would help me but it wasn't just right. I also had a feeling that D (again, to my left) really wanted one of the other cards. So, I did use the Administrator and got choices for better cards that I really wanted. I think D lost the chance to get the card he wanted on this turn because it was wiped away by the Administrator. So, it can be a great help when used properly.

Mo had a very balanced strategy throughout the game just getting cities she didn't have when she could. D went right for the biggest region from the start and after his first two routes he had the entire big section complete. Wow! I diversfied and picked up long route points and the all colors points after my first two routes. I ended up grabbing several regional points just before Mo and D picked them up too so I kind of ran away with it.

Final Score:
Me: 35
D: 28
Mo: 25

We talked about the game afterward and all agreed that the Administrator had a lot to do with the difference. I think they both used the Administrator the same in their two player games so they never noticed the difference. I think it's the one "helper" that, when over-used, will make a big difference.
 
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Greg Jones
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I agree. Early in the game, even if there's no city you like showing, it's better to take a face-down card in most cases. It might still not be what you're looking for, but chances are you will be able to use it later on.

Later in the game, that doesn't work, because you've already placed houses on a lot of the cities. Drawing those cards again doesn't help you much.

I only use the Administrator when

1) I'm absolutely stuck. I don't have another card to continue my route, and none is showing. Drawing two face-down is a risk that I will lose my route.

2) It gets rid of cards that the next player wants badly. However, if there's only one such card and it's of any use to me, then I'd just take that instead.

3) Late in the game.
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Brad N
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WHAT???
Thanks for the post Greg. It's all starting to make a whole lot more sense to me now because I was never taught the rule that you can take a face down card from the top of the draw deck. That'll learn me to not read the rules myself.

I would think that this option reduces the need to use the Administrator somewhat significantly. This also makes the game even more like Ticket to Ride than I thought. I'm starting to wonder if there isn't more strategy in the game the way that we were playing it... we were playing that you must take a face up card. I'll bring up the rule issue next time our group plays. Thanks!

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art cohen
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morningstar wrote:
1) I'm absolutely stuck. I don't have another card to continue my route, and none is showing. Drawing two face-down is a risk that I will lose my route.
This is absolutely key, though. I screwed myself good in my second game because I decided to do a blind draw and not the admin. Suddenly I realized that I had no cards to play and my beautiful five-card route (it was very early in the game) was toast.

 
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Mike Paschen
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I use it for that reason also because it gives me a choice of 6 cards whereas otherwise I get 2 set cards without choice. There's nothing worse than building a long route and having it wiped away.
 
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