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Subject: You're first to buy ... how much AH do you get? rss

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Mike K
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With no randomnization in the game, the only non-reactive decision in the whole game is how much the first player decides to spend on Austria-Hungary. The question, then, is simple: what's the ideal initial investment for the first player in the first country?

The question obviously depends on the number of players. (I usually play games with 3-5, will do 6 if enough are interested, but won't touch 2.)


My gut feeling is to either take the 4/2 share (in the hope that someone else will grab the 6/3) or pass altogether. I really don't want control of AH to begin, as I'm then the last player to get a crack at buying into countries after the game begins in earnest. At the same time, I don't want to be the only guy without anything in a country that often will be the first to invest.

If I take the 4/2 and no one else takes anything bigger, I'll likely import with AH to go for a quick boost. What I import depends on how much I have at stake with Italy, Germany, and/or Russia.


So, what does everyone else think?
 
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jbrier
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Coyotek4 wrote:

I really don't want control of AH to begin, as I'm then the last player to get a crack at buying into countries after the game begins in earnest.


Huh?

... Are you playing with the investor card? Stop it. Now. I'm serious. This also means you probably shouldn't play with 5-6 players, which is fine.
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Patrick S.
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I usually get the 2 shares. It may be a downside to have to wait to invest, but on the positive, you will build up more money to get a juicy country by the time the investor card comes around.
 
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g s
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I don't think there is an ideal answer to this question. But if I am first, I'll often buy the 4/2, especially in a 3 player game.

I only play on BSW and only with the investor card, so that is all I know. Obviously some players are very outspoken against the investor card, but all I can say is that even playing this way it is a fantastic game and my all time (current) favorite.
 
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John Weber
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If you are opening a country, any country, you definitely should go 3 or higher. Otherwise, there's a chance no one else will buy in and you won't be able to start on Factory plus the incentive for others to go in with you (i.e. an early Investor) is alot less. If you are the first offered a bond on a country that you really don't like, then don't buy any -- otherwise you could be stuck in control of an undercaptalized country.
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Adam McLean
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John Weber wrote:
If you are opening a country, any country, you definitely should go 3 or higher. Otherwise, there's a chance no one else will buy in and you won't be able to start on Factory plus the incentive for others to go in with you (i.e. an early Investor) is alot less. If you are the first offered a bond on a country that you really don't like, then don't buy any -- otherwise you could be stuck in control of an undercaptalized country.



I tend to agree with him here, buying the 3 bond almost assures you get control of a country to start the game, but leaves you still with some money to get your foot in the door with other countries as well. I can't see someone out-bidding you with the 4 bond for $9M on the setup, but I do see them buying the 1 & 2 bonds, which may give you the capital needed to get an early jump on things.

Granted, I play with more people, so with the starting money is a bit less and people tend to be a bit conservative when buying their initial bonds.
 
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Paul Harrington
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oatesatm wrote:
[q="John Weber"]I can't see someone out-bidding you with the 4 bond for $9M on the setup, but I do see them buying the 1 & 2 bonds, which may give you the capital needed to get an early jump on things.


My experience is the opposite. The early countries were people tend to pay out on the first move often are controlled by the $9M bond. It's quite unusual to see nobody buy a 9 in either Italy or France in a 4 player game on BSW. In fact, in a 5 player game with $18M, I've frequently seen somebody spend their 18M on two 9M bonds. They're looking ahead to scoring twice in the taxation phase. They generally invest early, then run up the left side of the rondel (tax is on top on BSW) so they can keep both their countries which don't look that attractive to the other players.
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