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Subject: Did we play the castle building correct? Pros & cons of this strategy... rss

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Matt Tonks
United Kingdom
Bedfordshire
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So I played Caylus as a 2-player game over the weekend - both of us had played twice before.

As the game progressed, it became clear we both had different strategies; I was gathering resources mainly for the early production of buildings & in the hope of generating 1 VP when my opponent used my building(s). He was primarily building the castle, which seemed fine to me.

Now this is what I began to notice; he would pay 1 coin to place a worker in the castle, usually he might be able to build 2 or even 3 parts of the current sector we were working on. But rather than build these 2 or 3 parts, he was mainly building them one at a time.

After a while, I quizzed him why he was doing that rather than building them all & in the process, saving a coin & action (or twice). His rationale was that by getting in the castle first (especially on those turns when I did build there as well) he was able to get the royal favour most of the time. And most of the time, what he chose was the VP track (in case you're wondering, we did adhere to the limitations on how far you could go on each favour depending on which section of the castle was being built).

Sounded ok to me, but I just wondered for a moment if we had missed a rule or it's a perfectly viable strategy - this almost felt like the game could be broken in this manner & that I was doing all the building work.

So, did we play it correct or was my opponent being a slightly bad sport?
 
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Andre Metelo
United States
Kennesaw
Georgia
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I haven't played that much... but most times we have a single player in the castle, he or she will only build one hut, and get the favor, saving resources for a second favor next turn.

Sounds totally normal in my experience.

Also, is you managed to get all the stone production building under you control (assuming he did not get the building favor track), you should have a large margin on him. (at least this is what every caylus experienced players describes as a bad position to be - single player controling all of the stone (grey 3 resource) production building.
 
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Jeff Bridgham
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
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What he did is perfectly allowable and is a good strategy especially if you are not challenged in the castle. So, who won the battle of castle building vs town building?
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Matt Tonks
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Can't remember quite what the margin was, but he won with something like 112 - 96. Not that I mind, just thought it a bit odd to be paying a coin & action each time just to build one part whereas it could potentially be used more benefitally elsewhere...

I imagine it would be harder to pull that strategy off with more players?
 
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Loren P
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Winston-Salem
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The general idea of his strategy, getting royal favors by building in the castle, is a sound strategy - and in fact, I'd say it's pretty much the hallmark of most successful Caylus strategies.
However, his specific idea of being the first one in there isn't necessarily the best idea all the time. As you play more Caylus, you'll begin to see that there are times when the first one in has a definite advantage and times when the last one in has a definite advantage.
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Dave Eisen
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Menlo Park
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This also is a strategy that is more effective with 2 players than with more. In a 5 player game, getting buildings down is more important because you will be getting a point for each building roughly 4/5 of the rounds whereas with 2 players the expectation is a point every 1/2 of the rounds. And going to the castle is less important in a 5 player game because with more players competing for a single favor, you will likely be less able to win the favor each round.

He is not being a poor sport. He is playing to win and it seems he succeeded in doing so.
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James Ludlow
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Saint Louis Park
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tonksey wrote:
And most of the time, what he chose was the VP track (in case you're wondering, we did adhere to the limitations on how far you could go on each favour depending on which section of the castle was being built).


Another easily overlooked rule is that during a single phase, you can't use the same favor track twice.
 
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David Gibbs
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I do this all the time -- especially two-player, building for favours is majorly helpful. I tend to use them on a variety of tracks, especially the "build a building without an X" track. Then money, then VPs actually. If you spend 3 goods, get 5 VP, and 4-6 coins out of it, that's pretty nice.
 
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Matt Tonks
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Thanks for your comments - sounds like I was just taught a lesson ! Will have to remember that strategy now it's been laid bare to me...
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