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Subject: short-route strategy seems very strong rss

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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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So I've really enjoyed my first two plays of this, and am eager to try again. But, in both games the winner (who was the same person) won by completing a bunch of short routes, setting up their final flight, and then triggering the 2nd vacation by paying to max out the pool of flight plans. In the last game the winner didn't even claim a single long flight plan, he only had "1"s and one "3". I had a an even mix of 1s and 3s, and ended up losing to him by a few points (I had a similar strategy to him, except for going for more 3s than he did). Those players who had 5s and 7s ended up for the most part not even getting to finish their final flight.

Have other people also seen this become the (dare I say unbeatable?) winning strategy? In which case, it's a race to get it done first, and so more subtle aspects of strategy and/or luck of the card draw will determine the winner.

It's kind of a shame to ignore the long flight plan pool, but it seems that might be the only way to win if at least one other person starts going for this strategy. I think a cool variant to avoid the "short-track" race would be to put the vacation cards lower down in the deck. Think this would work? Any other ideas?

By the way my two sessions were one 5-player, and one 6-player. I was expecting a lot of "renting" of routes with that many players, but it didn't happen that much - I think I only got paid rent once or twice, and that was true for the others as well. I still think it's a cool part of the game though.
 
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Steve Duff
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
Have other people also seen this become the (dare I say unbeatable?) winning strategy?


It's been a pretty common complaint in the threads I've read.
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Seth Jaffee
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I was interested in Jet Set, and finally got it and played a few games. I hadn't read anything about it. I came to the same conclusion - going for your Final Flight and rushing the game end really does seem a dominant strategy. It's a shame, they could have not included the long flight deck, and the game wouldn't really change at all.

Maybe there just need to be 3 vacation cards up, or maybe they need to be lower in the deck, or maybe there's something fundamentally wrong with the system. I don't know, but I think the potential is there, and that the game just needs more development.
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Yours Truly,
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For me, even effectively without a long flight deck, there's enough depth of strategy to make it interesting to play, especially with all the agonizing decisions that come with the tight money. But that's in the short term - I'll find out after a few plays if it remains interesting.

As for some tweaks to bring the long flight deck into play, I think there are some things that could be interesting. For the idea of putting 3 vacations in - I'm not sure what the difference between that and just putting the 2 vacations deeper into the deck would be - same effect, no?

I was also thinking about adding some incentive for using long flights - maybe have them be worth more income, either more income per token, or putting more tokens on when you claim them, say, 5 to start, 3 after 5 cards? But this would have to be in coordination with later vacations, otherwise players would still just race to that 2nd vacation using the short flights.

EDIT: I see what you mean about 3 vacations, I was thinking about it in the context of in a single deck. But waiting until 3 total vacations from the 2 decks would be an interesting variant that would be easy to implement. And if that doesn't work, maybe wait for all 4 vacation cards!
 
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Seth Jaffee
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
For me, even effectively without a long flight deck, there's enough depth of strategy to make it interesting to play, especially with all the agonizing decisions that come with the tight money. But that's in the short term - I'll find out after a few plays if it remains interesting.

As for some tweaks to bring the long flight deck into play, I think there are some things that could be interesting. For the idea of putting 3 vacations in - I'm not sure what the difference between that and just putting the 2 vacations deeper into the deck would be - same effect, no?

I was also thinking about adding some incentive for using long flights - maybe have them be worth more income, either more income per token, or putting more tokens on when you claim them, say, 5 to start, 3 after 5 cards? But this would have to be in coordination with later vacations, otherwise players would still just race to that 2nd vacation using the short flights.

EDIT: I see what you mean about 3 vacations, I was thinking about it in the context of in a single deck. But waiting until 3 total vacations from the 2 decks would be an interesting variant that would be easy to implement. And if that doesn't work, maybe wait for all 4 vacation cards!


Nah, you definitely don't want the long routes to be worth more income. The whole opint is that they're worth more VP for the same income.

I'm starting to suspect that this 'problem' is amplified by the 6-player game... I think perhaps with fewer players it won't be as prominent (or true). Maybe it's really just not a 6 player game.

Perhaps a better fix for 6 players is to use a smaller maximum number of cards in the pool, which would slow down the rate of churn through the cards. The down side is that each player isn't guaranteed 2 1-point links in the beginning of the game. That's fixable as well though, why not just deal those out? it hurts the 'strategy' of the game because you cannot build toward the longer route you want (or your final flight). But it would certainly speed up the first 3 turns of the game!
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Subhan Michael Tindall
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After 3 plays, 2 6P, I can say that the long-route strategy is viable. My first 6P I barely missed winning without completing my long flight, based only on completing several 5 & 7 pt routes. 1 more action & I'd have won the game by completing another 7pt route I had set up. I made a couple of mistakes mid game & essentially wasted at least 2 actions & 10 or 20 in cash, so this could have easily gone my way. 2nd 6P I decided early on to focus on routes other than my long ticket. I again came in 2nd, this time by 3 pts, and again 1 more move would put me in first place. I look forward to trying this strategy more. 2nd time I focused on picking up some key routes in the middle of the board early on & made a fair bit of cash from other players, which helped a lot!
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Seth Jaffee
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subhan wrote:
After 3 plays, 2 6P, I can say that the long-route strategy is viable. My first 6P I barely missed winning without completing my long flight, based only on completing several 5 & 7 pt routes. 1 more action & I'd have won the game by completing another 7pt route I had set up. I made a couple of mistakes mid game & essentially wasted at least 2 actions & 10 or 20 in cash, so this could have easily gone my way. 2nd 6P I decided early on to focus on routes other than my long ticket. I again came in 2nd, this time by 3 pts, and again 1 more move would put me in first place. I look forward to trying this strategy more. 2nd time I focused on picking up some key routes in the middle of the board early on & made a fair bit of cash from other players, which helped a lot!

In my (limited) experience, people don't pay each other all that often for routes, especially not early in the game. If you are winning a 6p game with 5/7vp routes then no one is pushing the game end by paying an extra $1 to reveal lots of cards.

On the other hand, if you're consistently getting 2nd (to a player going balls out for their Final Flight) then that just reinforces the point of this thread.

I suspect with fewer players the game would go longer, giving enough time for someone building a log route to refill and threaten their final flight as well, which should make the game more interesting. However, with 6 players, I don't think it'll ever happen if someone pushes their Final Flight.
 
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Subhan Michael Tindall
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The 2nd game a couple of people were definitely fishing for the 2nd vacation card. The winner of the game (32 pts) had 6 1pointers, 2 3 pointers (both of which used routes of mine he paid for) & was first to finish his long route. I was 2nd w/29 pts & didn't lay down my long route. 3 of the other 4 players laid down their long routes the same round as the winner. If I recollect correctly, the final scores were 32, 29, 27, 25, can't remember the other 2. All 5 other players did complete there long routes, I beat 4 of them quite handily. I missed picking up a 3 pt route earlier in the game because I overlooked another player's connections & didn't grab it first. Like I said earlier, both games were only 1 move off of being a victory for me, so I hardly think the long route strategy can be considered 'dominant' A little easier to implement perhaps, but definitely not the only viable alternative!

In a 6P game there were almost certainly be money changing hands at some point during the game - The board is crowded enough you will most likely need to pay to use at least 1 or 2 links to complete your long route. I paid for planes on at least 2 links to complete 7 pt routes - that $10 bought me 14 VP.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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subhan wrote:
The 2nd game a couple of people were definitely fishing for the 2nd vacation card. The winner of the game (32 pts) had 6 1pointers, 2 3 pointers

In our games the person racing for the game end only has 5, maybe 6 routes claimed, all 1's, not 8 with 2 of them being 3's. So the winning score is 25.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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subhan wrote:
The 2nd game a couple of people were definitely fishing for the 2nd vacation card. The winner of the game (32 pts) had 6 1pointers, 2 3 pointers

In our games the person racing for the game end only has 5, maybe 6 routes claimed, all 1's, not 8 with 2 of them being 3's. So the winning score is 25.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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After 2 6p games I thought there was a dominant strategy which was fairly boring - go directly for your Final Flight and rush the end of the game so you can play it.

After some thought I figured maybe that was a side effect of the 6 player rules - they make it way too easy to rush the game end. With fewer players the game end would come slower and the game would probably play out as it was intended.

After finally playing a 4p game, it seems my guess was correct. The game was much more interesting and fun, and rushing the game end took long enough that players could actually finish several routes and be competitive.

In conclusion, Jet Set is not a bad game, it's just not a 6 player game. 5 players may or may not work. 4 players seemed pretty good. If you do play with 6 players, I'd say play with 4p rules (min 4 cards in display, max 8), but just put 12 1-vp cards out to start. I might try just dealing 2 1-vp cards to each player instead to jump start the first 3 turns.

(p.s. this was turned down as a Session Report, by the way...)
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Anthony Simons
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I think this thread is missing the third broad strategy for consideration - short and long routes, ignoring the final flight. The final flight might net you as much as 20, but three good long routes nets 21 (and is often easier to attain). I have seen at least one game won this way; it goes under most players' radars.
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Seth Jaffee
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fellonmyhead wrote:
I think this thread is missing the third broad strategy for consideration - short and long routes, ignoring the final flight. The final flight might net you as much as 20, but three good long routes nets 21 (and is often easier to attain). I have seen at least one game won this way; it goes under most players' radars.

In fact that's exactly what I did in the 4 player game. None of the early game routes were anywhere near my Final Flight, so I said 'screw it' and ended up with 3x 1-vp routes, 4x 3-vps, 1x 5vps and 2x 7vps for a total of 34 vps. The winner finished her Final Flight first, and had 5x 1vp, 1x3vp, and 1x 7vp for a total of 35 vps.
 
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Michel Sorbet
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Jet Set is a great game.

I played it several times and must say I really enjoy it.

Both 2p and 4p options worked well and I didn't observe the dominance of of rushing to the Final Flight. In fact I managed to win a couple of times without completing my FF, concentrating on collecting the remaining Long Flight cards.

 
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Jean_Leviathan wrote:
Jet Set is a great game.

I played it several times and must say I really enjoy it.

Both 2p and 4p options worked well and I didn't observe the dominance of of rushing to the Final Flight. In fact I managed to win a couple of times without completing my FF, concentrating on collecting the remaining Long Flight cards.


Play with 6 players and see if you maintain your opinion about rushing the Final Flight. As I mentioned before, it's only really a problem in the 6 and probably 5p games. And I think it's fixable fairly easily.
 
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I agree with your point view. In a 6 player game the number of Short Flight Cards on board seems to be inadequate. The idea of waiting for three vacation cards is a nice one too, because it stimulates the use of the Long Flight deck.

In my post I concentrated on the fact that making your FF is not always the best solution. Sometimes it better to take the remaining Flight Cards that are still on the board.
 
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Kris Gould
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As has been noted, in a 2, 3 or 4 player game, this isn't really that much of an issue, as it is harder to push the short flight deck to vacation time before someone gets a high point card.

In a 5 or 6 player game, however, it can be an issue. It is pretty much subject to groupthink: If everyone else is racing through the short flight deck and setting up for Final Flight, then it may be difficult to get your Final Flight out in time if you don't join them. Yet if two or three players start working for long flight cards, it will be harder for the remaining players to speed through the short flight deck, and those extra long flight cards could easily make a big difference in the final score.

I have never played with a group of players who all rushed the short deck. Usually I grab a long flight card as my fourth or fifth card, and other players then quickly join me. I have never failed to complete my Final Flight, and frequently a single 7-point card is enough to make up the difference between going out early or late.

If it takes you four turns to collect two 1-point cards (place plane, take card, place plane, take card) and it takes me four turns to collect one 5-point card (place plane x3, take card) then I figure it is worth it. My income may be less, so I may have to take more turns taking income, but I have leapt ahead in terms of score.

I also find it easier to work toward my Final Flight by taking long flight cards. For a short filght there is only one way to do it (reasonably), but there are usually several different paths that I could take to get a long flight card. And usually one of these paths will coincide with a part of my Final Flight. As opposed to the 1-point cards, where it really is just luck of the draw whether something comes up to help your Final Flight.

Of course, I still start by getting only short flights, at least for my first three cards. Otherwise the difference in income could be crippling. But I find that once I start going for the long ones, I will rarely collect any more short flight cards. Unless one happens to pop up in a fortunate location.

As I said, I have never played at a table full of people determined to speed through the short deck. I would like to try, to see if my strategy is a sound one in these conditions.

One byproduct of the short flight strategy (if everyone does it) is it makes the game length shorter. This may explain the posters who say it never takes them more than an hour for a game. It is also easier for beginners to see the short flights on the board, so they may take this strategy for their first few games.

The quickest fix, if you find this to be a problem with your group, is to add six more cards between the first and second vacation cards in the short flight deck. This will make the game longer, but will also make it easier to grab a few long flights before vacation time.

Whatever you decide, I hope you continue to play the game by whichever method you and the other players enjoy the most.

Have fun!

- Kris Gould
Wattsalpoag Games
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Bruce Lavoie
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The other point overlooked here is the route distribution. If the longer routes come out piggybacked over the shorter ones it becomes much easier to do the 5 and 7 VP cards and the strategy that doesn't use your Final Flight becomes more viable. The opposite is also true. I once had 1,3,5, and 7 VP runs perfectly laid over each other. I didn't bother with my FF and won by several points. I finished with at least 2 5VP and 2 7VP cards.

I also think that some tackical "blocking" can work. If you get stuck opening with say London/Paris and thus shorted a 3rd card at the start, stealing London/Amsterdam if it appears may force people to "ride" you more and begin to even the money out. (This assumes that people seem to want to go to London in the first place.) If they need to pay you anyway the more efficient routes are the 7 pt ones thus enticing them to pay you for it since it saves them money also.

One other thing to remember, paying someone 5 for rent is effectively giving them a free plane or a free turn. The free turn comes about because at most there are 5 points between the value of repopulating any multi-plane run. What would have forced me to do 2 x 2 plane builds for 30 now can be a 1 x 4 plane build for 35. That is why you don't do it early unless that person happened to get shorted a route at the beginning.
 
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