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Subject: Testing the Expedition Cards rss

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T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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The usual suspects gathered around the Indian Ocean for some intense (no pre-game warm-up) spice trading.

Tychee
Nik
Shenomad
Tommynomad

I came up with the 4th position after RPS to see who started. Nik has a penchant for moneylust, and earned the right to go first. His auction placements are always nakedly obvious, so I thought he's handicap himself that way.

I was determined to test another theory (Goa is my favourite game for that). In the past I've done well & won by focusing on winning auctions, and won when doing no taxation. This time: take no expedition cards.

I started strongly, with no waste on Quilon and only one colonist lost on Cochin.

Tychee worked her usual silent magic, getting people to way overpay her on every tile she auctioned. I even passed on one I semi-wanted (a 2-nutmeg plantation), but Nik was ready to bid 14 for it. He likes to push the bids up, and often gets caught buying things he doesn't want in Biblios or Razzia!. But in Goa, where Tychee makes a habit of buying her own tiles, it works pretty often. Not this time apparently, as she took his $$$ with a grin.



I got caught with a couple of bad auction defeats (and one bad win--who doesn't raise a bid of 4 in the second half?), that left my board badly balanced--never a good thing in Goa. Sure, I got both Additional Action cards, but Shenomad beat me to the row 4 bonus expedition card (the only one she ended up taking--more on that in a moment), and Tychee beat us both to the other one in row 5.


It dawned on me too late that Shenomad was also neglecting the Expedition cards in favour of other strategies. I threw her a look of recognition, but she was too immersed in spending her many Additional Action cards. I had to wonder how two players taking this route tipped the scales in the favour of the two who weren't. Goa is so well-tuned, I felt my experiment had been undone. All that was left now was to try and scrambleback into contention.



In the end, with a little focus on ships and colonists (unwanted), I made it to the last row on the colonist track, but came up one turn short to use it (ain't that just the Goa way?) But I looked down at my player area disgusted with the wasteful accumulation there: 3 ships, 3 colonists, and a paltry 12 ducats. All of which led to a personal low of 31 points.

Shenomad was way ahead on the taxation track, but also suffered from her mistakes. She finished with 4 spices on board, an extra ship, and--like me, a low of 31 points.

Nik rode his columnist tile purchases+duty+mission and having 1 more ducat than his lady love to a 36 point total.

Tychee did what she usually does, though. Played quietly, collecting either too much at auction, or outbidding the rest of us on her own tiles. She ended up in the bottom row in only the expedition card column, and didn't even make it past row 2 on harvest or ships (so no second Additional Action card). Still, her constant Expedition card cycling netted her a not-great-but-enough-today 37 points.

So I still don't know how powerful the cards are. Way back when we first got Goa, I won a game without taking any, but we were true noobs then. This seemed a fairer test, until it got derailed.

We readily admit to not being optimisers: lots of people consistently score in the 40s (and so do we, sometimes). But we play Goa (and all our other games) primarily for fun and the glory we lord over each other. And today, 37 points was enough for that.
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Camp Mora
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tommynomad wrote:
We readily admit to not being optimisers: lots of people consistently score in the 40s (and so do we, sometimes). But we play Goa (and all our other games) primarily for fun and the glory we lord over each other. And today, 37 points was enough for that.


Scores depend a lot on group dynamics. In my group bids are a lot lower so we spend less actions getting money. That makes our absolute scoring higher, but the really important are relative scores.





Well, the REALLY important is the fun you get. ;)
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Peter Mumford
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Somerville
Massachusetts
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tommynomad wrote:
I was determined to test another theory (Goa is my favourite game for that). In the past I've done well & won by focusing on winning auctions, and won when doing no taxation. This time: take no expedition cards.

Great idea. Goa is wonderful in that you can attempt to play a particular strategy from the beginning. You might need another session to test this idea. However, I am surprised that the winner used a technique of buying her own tiles. I assumed this to be a bad idea. Goa is a deep game, alright.

Brass is another fascinating test platform for strategies. You can try to win with only rails and cotton and coal, or only ships and iron.
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Camp Mora
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Diamonds Club
photocurio wrote:
Goa is wonderful in that you can attempt to play a particular strategy from the beginning. You might need another session to test this idea. However, I am surprised that the winner used a technique of buying her own tiles. I assumed this to be a bad idea. Goa is a deep game, alright.

Brass is another fascinating test platform for strategies. You can try to win with only rails and cotton and coal, or only ships and iron.


I agree with you. I think there are few purely strategic euros. Wallace and Dorn are the best designers for such a games (that's my opinion, of course). I suggest Diamonds Club, last game of Dorn, if you enjoy strategic games.
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