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Subject: My strategy for the first game set rss

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Greg Jones
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Washington
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I played the First Game set a few times on BSW last night and I felt like I had settled on a strategy that I didn't want to vary any more.

It might be silly to have a strategy discussion about the "First Game" set, but it might serve as a starting point for seeing if we can discuss optimal strategies for the other preset sets. Here's the strategy I used. Let me know if you think you can improve on it.

You decide what to buy pretty much just based on how much money you draw (after playing all actions):

2: 1st buy Moat, thereafter Cellar
3: Village
4: 1st buy Militia, thereafter Smithy, late game Remodel. If you're getting too many of these with not enough Villages, buy a Village instead.
5: 1st two buys Mine, thereafter Market, late game maybe Duchy
6: Gold
7: Gold
8: Province

When you have a choice of action cards and can't play them all, play them according to this priority: Mine, Militia, Smithy, Moat. If when you play the Mine you have a choice of converting Copper or Silver, prefer to convert the Copper.

There's nothing very advanced in this strategy. The core is chaining Villages and Smithies. This is a pretty good strategy in any set if these are available.

It heavily uses the Mine to generate money and to get rid of inefficient Coppers. Remodel is the only other action card in this set that can do each of those jobs, but when you're going to work on treasure cards specifically Mine is a little more powerful (upgrade by 3 cost at a time instead of 2, use the new card immediately). There are two Mines, to get the money converted quickly. More than two I think is too much, because they become dead weight after most of the money is converted all the way to Gold. I convert the Copper first, so that next time the Mine comes up there's a better chance that it can do its job. The Mine is the preferred action card to use. It only increases your current-round money by 1, compared to 2 for the Militia, but it improves your deck also.

Comments on the card buys:

2: Moat first to counter opponent's Militias. Later when your deck begins to fill up with Provinces the Cellar is nice. You don't expect to draw too many 2-money hands with this strategy.
4: The Militia can put a nice damper on your opponent early, but it does less damage later when they can still retain high-value treasure cards. It also gives you a nice 2 coins early and can help you to build up to the Mines, but later when you have Gold you'd rather draw that. So I buy one and that's it. Late in the game a Remodel might give you the chance to convert one of your mined Golds to a Province.

What do you think? Notice the cards I didn't buy at all in the strategy: Woodcutter, Workshop, Copper, Silver (but the Mine does make them), Estate. Should they play a part? Other cards that were used but not extensively: Remodel, Market (indicated for 5-buys after Mines, but 5-buys don't seem to come up much for me with this strategy), Duchy. Should these have a bigger role? Or is the strategy good, but not aggressive enough? More Mines? More Militias? More Moats? Buy Smithies and Villages sometimes even when I have enough coins for Markets or Golds?
 
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Geoff King
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I played two three-player games with the intro set tonight (teaching my roommate the game).
I was trying to get a mine/remodel strategy going, but it only sorta worked. The idea was to mine for silver/gold then remodel for duchy/province. The cellar works good for cycling through your deck to get past victory points and copper (when you don't have a mine).
I won one game but the scores were pretty close all-around.
 
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John Eakins
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I found a heavy mix of markets to play very well.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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I've found 4 or 5 different combos work well *for me* - others seem to be able to make different combos work. It also depends on what other people are playing (a militia deck holds no fear for *my* favourite remodel deck, for example). And what works well in a 2-player game can often do quite badly in a 4-player game, and vice-versa. There is no "perfect" strategy with the basic ten actions (which would suggest that it'll be a rare random set where just one choice of cards should dominate, either).
 
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Greg Jones
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Venton wrote:
I played two three-player games with the intro set tonight (teaching my roommate the game).
I was trying to get a mine/remodel strategy going, but it only sorta worked. The idea was to mine for silver/gold then remodel for duchy/province.


I like to use Remodel more extensively when I use it. I think if you're planning to only use it to convert Gold to Provinces it might not be worth it. Whenever you draw it and don't draw a Gold, it's useless. So when I do go with it, I like to use it to make the whole evolution. Buy lots of Remodels, or some Remodels and some other 4-cost actions. When two of those come up together, Remodel a 4-cost action into a Gold. When Gold comes up with a Remodel, well it's obvious. You can even Remodel your Estates into 4-cost actions. You can even Remodel your Coppers into 2-cost actions and later to 4-cost actions, but this is too slow to rely on it.
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Tim Seitz
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Glen Allen
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For the basic set, I do almost exclusively silver+smithy, but occasionally, just to mix it up, silver+militia. (If I get a 2-5 start, I do cellar+mine).

Ideally, I get 6-buys from there on out and can buy golds. If I can only get to 5, I buy markets. If I can only get to 4, I buy remodels (since estates can be turned into remodels, and whatever I buy later can be turned into golds). If I have a REALLY bad hand with that deck, then on a 3, I buy another silver (or maybe 1 village) or a cellar or moat on 2.

Obviously, you need to adapt to opponents.

Note: I don't buy provinces as soon as I get 8 coin. I usually wait. If you clog your deck to early, then you may never reach 8 again. My rule of thumb is to buy a province with the 3rd 8-coin hand. However, this depends on my opponent. If they have bought, then I will usually buy, regardless, just to stay even. You can lose an otherwise won game by not keeping up with your opponent.
 
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Fel Barros
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A very nice strategy I've seen for the base deck used extensively the remodel to change estates into villages beginning with workshop /remodel and then going to market/militia. Usually a small deck , boring to play but effective.
 
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