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Subject: Viable non-vault strategies for winning? rss

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Rob Neuhaus
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How many games end where the winner doesn't have say, ~75% of their points from the vault and merchant bonus?

I suppose the Forum is one such way to victory. Are there any combos that make it worthwhile to build instead of vault toward the end game?
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Neil Cook
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I've only played this 2 player (although am kean to try it with more, hint, hint gamer buddies) so not sure how much water this holds but I've found that around 50% of our games are won without the help of the Merchant/Vault bonus.

The way we counter that strategy is to build fast. Remembering that I don't need to complete many buildings to end the game early, and therefore win with a 'low' score overall is a very effective counter. That said, it does appear that the longer the game goes on, the more important the Merchant becomes..
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Matt Schaub
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My brother has used the Foundry, Dock, Wall, and School combination before on me to dominate me in a game before. He ended up with an extra 10 points from the Wall to get a win over me.
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Rob Neuhaus
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I'll try to end a game really early when I think it's feasible (say, +2 craftsmen client advantage). But still, merchanting a single stone/marble can be worth 6 points, even a lowly lonesome wood/rubble is four. To get six points of influence from building seems tough.
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I never used the Merchant nor the Vault. I ended up with 13pts. The winner, 14 pts. The winner used those 2 on a few occassions. However, that was my first game. AFAIK, the winner played the game before, but perhaps not. For me, I got the card that lets you build anything for just one marble.
 
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Mark Haberman
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I've played a few times now, and I'm not sure that you can ignore the vault. That being said, you need to be able to build buildings quickly, grab materials for your stockpile, and get some Merchant patrons in order to stay ahead of the vault curve, so everything seems to feed into that.

So far I view it as a race game to always be able to vault when your opponents do, and be able to vault when they can't, which means balancing everything else. The only exception I've seen is the aforementioned wall, and trying to drain the stockpile.

The catacombs could be possible to end the game early, but then the vault points are even MORE important.
 
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Brian Bankler
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It just depends on the game. Some games often have empty pools and then it's tough to sweep more than a card or two into your vault. Usually one player would do much better if everyone worked to fill their vault (has a high influence and a merchant client, perhaps), so nobody else is inclined to get started. A good percentage (perhaps 25%) of our games end with very little merchanting. One real issue is that if you play a merchant, the next player will usually patron, and can quickly catch up (2:1 merchant advantage) if he's got a vault built up. A fair amount of tactics revolve around discarding a merchant into the pool right before you go (either via the Latrine or other shenanigans) and then patroning it.

So it's a big game of chicken. A game with mainly craftsman clients will
differ from one with laborer clients.

If a player gets a big builder combo (Scriptorium + a few craft/architect clients) then they can start and finish buildings quickly. I did that my last game ... 5-10 vault points for most people, 30 points in buildings for me.
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Shannon Krumick
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Our group had our first plays of this today. The first two games the winning score was 15 and 16 and had a few points everywhere. I managed to win the 3rd game with 25 points and had 3 from a Statue, 3 from a stone card in the Vault and 19 in influence.

I think I had something like 4 Architect, 4 Craftsmen and 1 laborer for Clientele. I got all these from a turn that I completed the building that lets you take a Patron action for each influence and I had like 7 influence so I scooped up 7 new patrons. I also had a temple out for increased hand size of +4 and I had the building that lets you build stone buildings with any material, and just built tons of stuff. It's late and I'm rambling but wanted to mention the vault isn't the only way to win.

Great game and look forward to more plays.
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Stephen Stewart
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rrenaud wrote:
How many games end where the winner doesn't have say, ~75% of their points from the vault and merchant bonus?

I suppose the Forum is one such way to victory. Are there any combos that make it worthwhile to build instead of vault toward the end game?



Heavy craftsman with an INCREASED hand size will RACK THE POINTS UP.

You will be able to build multiple buildings in a turn.

I had the +4 hand size for 9 cards....hard to beat when you can THINK in the other player's turn.

And when you think in your turn....they do nothing. You need some Clients for this
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Jamie Pollock
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We've tended to find players are very wary of letting Merchants into the pool precisely because of the threat of being 'out-vaulted'. The theory is that if they let a Merchant into the pool, the player starting the next turn will simply patron the Merchant into their clientele giving them a distinct advantage in vaulting materials going forward. Because of this general lack of Merchant clients, vaulting has become a less abundant strategy and more one of opportunism, i.e. playing a Jack as a Merchant when you have stockpiled materials and your opponents don't. As such, points from vaulted materials can sometimes be fairly trivial compared to buildings.

However, should someone start lobbing Merchants into the pool willy nilly, like for instance a 3-Merchant petition, or there's one or more Merchants in the starting pool, then the vaulting game can really take off. I'm glad to say that the games I've been involved have varied quite a lot, so it's always been fresh and entertaining to play.
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quohog the great
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My games are usually 4-5 players, and there is usually a shortage of merchants in the pool unless there is 2+ in the starting pool. for the last few months (not counting last few games) i've been experimenting in playing more of a merchant strategy and found that its much tougher of a game of balance and exploiting opportunity. Granted i did still win those games but it was usually at a much lower margin but i have noticed how the merchant bonuses add up quickly.

now the last few games i've played, i reverted back to a craftsman blitz based off my starting hand, get a cheap building or two load up on clients and switch to solid and powerful buildings. by the time my clients advantage starts to gets (what i consider) too low. i would switch to a a vault rush (usually with jacks) and end up with a score in the 40-50 range where the merchants were usually just a nail in the coffin so to speak.

I know milage may vary but the game is mostly about expliotation of whatever situation presents itslef.

i think that there are good strategies available than the slow merchant/build way to go, and i'm not talking about forum victories either.

 
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Jambo wrote:
We've tended to find players are very wary of letting Merchants into the pool precisely because of the threat of being 'out-vaulted'. The theory is that if they let a Merchant into the pool, the player starting the next turn will simply patron the Merchant into their clientele giving them a distinct advantage in vaulting materials going forward. Because of this general lack of Merchant clients, vaulting has become a less abundant strategy and more one of opportunism, i.e. playing a Jack as a Merchant when you have stockpiled materials and your opponents don't. As such, points from vaulted materials can sometimes be fairly trivial compared to buildings.

However, should someone start lobbing Merchants into the pool willy nilly, like for instance a 3-Merchant petition, or there's one or more Merchants in the starting pool, then the vaulting game can really take off. I'm glad to say that the games I've been involved have varied quite a lot, so it's always been fresh and entertaining to play.


The tricky thing about this is you must absolutely keep up with getting influence. Otherwise, you can easily stall. Worse yet, someone can catchup to you. YOu can get 6 material in the vault, but then someone else with only 2 material in Vault can safely call Merchant on his on to get more if you've hit your limit. People who took a Merchant client instead of something else can find it more difficult to build and keep up.
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Stephen Stewart
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Quote:


The tricky thing about this is you must absolutely keep up with getting influence. Otherwise, you can easily stall. Worse yet, someone can catchup to you. YOu can get 6 material in the vault, but then someone else with only 2 material in Vault can safely call Merchant on his on to get more if you've hit your limit. People who took a Merchant client instead of something else can find it more difficult to build and keep up.


Absolutely, I beat my opponent by doing the same thing. He had a pair of merchants and lots of material...Fortunately he maxed out his vault at 9...I built buildings early and through a couple of powers...MEGA merchanted lots of my materials away for easy VP.

Very fun. With varied ways of winning...That's what makes a good game.

I haven't won instantly yet, with the special building cards.
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Stephen Stewart
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quohog wrote:
My games are usually 4-5 players, and there is usually a shortage of merchants in the pool unless there is 2+ in the starting pool. for the last few months (not counting last few games) i've been experimenting in playing more of a merchant strategy and found that its much tougher of a game of balance and exploiting opportunity. Granted i did still win those games but it was usually at a much lower margin but i have noticed how the merchant bonuses add up quickly.

now the last few games i've played, i reverted back to a craftsman blitz based off my starting hand, get a cheap building or two load up on clients and switch to solid and powerful buildings. by the time my clients advantage starts to gets (what i consider) too low. i would switch to a a vault rush (usually with jacks) and end up with a score in the 40-50 range where the merchants were usually just a nail in the coffin so to speak.

I know milage may vary but the game is mostly about expliotation of whatever situation presents itslef.

i think that there are good strategies available than the slow merchant/build way to go, and i'm not talking about forum victories either.


You get 40-50 POINTS in a 4-5 player game?

You must play with Sheep!!
 
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quohog the great
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ASLChampion wrote:
quohog wrote:
My games are usually 4-5 players, and there is usually a shortage of merchants in the pool unless there is 2+ in the starting pool. for the last few months (not counting last few games) i've been experimenting in playing more of a merchant strategy and found that its much tougher of a game of balance and exploiting opportunity. Granted i did still win those games but it was usually at a much lower margin but i have noticed how the merchant bonuses add up quickly.

now the last few games i've played, i reverted back to a craftsman blitz based off my starting hand, get a cheap building or two load up on clients and switch to solid and powerful buildings. by the time my clients advantage starts to gets (what i consider) too low. i would switch to a a vault rush (usually with jacks) and end up with a score in the 40-50 range where the merchants were usually just a nail in the coffin so to speak.

I know milage may vary but the game is mostly about expliotation of whatever situation presents itslef.

i think that there are good strategies available than the slow merchant/build way to go, and i'm not talking about forum victories either.


You get 40-50 POINTS in a 4-5 player game?

You must play with Sheep!!


I wouldn't say I played with sheep (insert Catan joke here)

But note that post was almost 2 years ago. At that time the game wasn't overly widespread and I was one of the few that understood the deeper concepts of the game. At that point I was also able to read the board and predict what the leaders would lead and have it face down on my camp ready to follow if it was fitting to me. back then there were more comments about the artwork (which i think original is fine) than substance strategy.

But getting back to it. If you are setting up plays to take and maintain control while using your clients to your advantage its tough to get a score that high but it is possible.

Granted i know that its not likely to get majority on one of each material but in the odd case that you do that is 30 points right there.

Since that post i hadn't played nearly as much as I did then, because i had one of the rare copies of it in the city and everyone wanted to play because they heard it was a good game.
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