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Subject: beginner strategies? rss

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Scott Roberts
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I will be playing my first game of CE tonight. I have read the rules and believe I understand them, What strategy advice would you give to a new player? Thanks
 
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Jack Neal
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Do whatever Clearclaw says.
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Marcel Sagel
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Advice on bidding strategy is impossible to give as a too-high bid in one group can be a too-low bid in another.

One thing about shares: make sure you don't get the same portfolio as another player, unless you have more money than said opponent.
In such a situation, you'll have no moves available that allow you to make a difference relative to that player.
(Of course, if you have more money that said player this is actually a desirable situation - in that case the absence of ways to make a difference is to your advantage)
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Costas
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If all players are beginners, it's important to play through it and understand how different companies have different potential and value. Probably the most important action perceived will be Expansion as you race your companies to Chicago.

However, after your first game or two, you'll quickly realize that the most important action is actually Capitalization and the choices you make even in the initial auction are crucial.

The number of players is also important; ie. In a 3-player game all players will have a chance to capitalize. In a 5-player game, if players 4 and 5 (the 2 to the right of the player getting the PRR in the initial auction) don't get a share in the initial auction and players 1 - 3 all Null Capitalize (burn actions without putting a share up), then players 4 and 5 severely hurt.

And yeah, do whatever clearclaw says!

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Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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One of the reasons this game is so loved by its fans is that trying to explain the strategies won't help you sauron

The problem is one of group dynamics. Some advanced strategies may not/will not work when the rest of the players don't cooperate with you. You'll likely find the game becomes vastly different the more often you play. You'll start to see where the company you own in relation to turn order (ie who has what in front and in back of you) can matter.

For a first game with all new players, working on an investment in everyone else's companies tends to work well, as most new players focus on growing "their" company faster/better than the other players and the guy that is freeloading on them all is best off.
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Brad
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Raiderjakk wrote:
Do whatever Clearclaw says.


That's what Clearclaw would want you to do. Do the opposite of what he says!
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Bill J
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Play with other beginners.
 
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J C Lawrence
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BillJ1967 wrote:
Play with other beginners.


For the first several games you should confidently expect the game to be decided by a newbie throwing the game to another player without anybody noticing. It really is that simple: the game will not be the product of good play, but rather of a catastrophic error by someone who didn't recognise the effects of his action. After a few games, especially if you have some good post-game discussions and analysis, you'll start to see where, when and how those sudden capitulations of the game occur. There will be some finger pointing of course, but that's just part of the learning curve. Neither they or you knew any better and as you improve, you'll regularly find that with better understanding what seemed a suicidal move with one level of understanding becomes a brilliantly clever move with another level of understanding. Keep playing and learning.

A few guidelines for new players:

0) Despite the above, do not assume that I know everything about the game. I don't.
1) Don't play with more than 4 players, or less than 3. Really. Don't.
2) 3 and 4 players plays very differently and require different thought processes
3) Seating order relative to the player who wins the first share of the PRR is important
4) Each share in the initial auction is worth around half of your starting capital.
5) Read the Chicago Express / Wabash Cannonball set pieces (joseki). Don't worry if you don't grok them immediately. They'll soak in over time if you come back again after each game with what you've learned from your most recent game.
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marc magner
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clearclaw wrote:
BillJ1967 wrote:
Play with other beginners.



4) Each share in the initial auction is worth around half of your starting capital.


Agree with this.... i've taught CE to a good number of players and the instinct is to get a share at the lowest price possible and that is likely the one of the biggest newbie errors in the game. Since the initial bid is the starting capital for the RR, you HAVE to bid enough to be able to do something with the RR. So count out where you want to go with that RR and make that your opening bid, but remember if you bid too high, someone with put a share up and get and equal valued share on the cheap....
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Scott Roberts
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Thanks, guys. We had a good first game tonight with 3 beginners (including me). Scott
 
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Scott Roberts
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What are the best ways to control game length?
 
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J C Lawrence
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scottandkimr wrote:
What are the best ways to control game length?


Now there's a minefield, and a large and deep one at that. (Null) Capitalisation is the central tool, but so is judicious use of develops to change the start player in each round, along with manipulation of the emergent alliances etc (the alliances define future income rates which in turn define those player's postures, which thus defines their length-incentives).

At heart is continuously determining each player's posture. What is their cash position, their current earning position, and their future earning position? Those values together draw a net-worth curve over turns/time. Do the same for all the players, including yourself. Compare the lines. At different times different players will be on top -- and that's the game length those players want. Long, short, exactly 5, 4 just as long as the B&O gets to Chicago before the NYC, whatever. By founding alliances, breaking alliances, selective selling of shares along with bid patterns to push toward specific players, surgical null capitalisations, etc etc etc, each one changing the various player's postures WRT game-length, you can get other players to want a similar game-length to you. That's great. Then the trick is to control timing, or their position, so that you get to close the game when you're on top. This latter is usually done with a combination of start-player control, dollar-precise bidding and exact Capitalisations.

But, you're on your second game. A broad rule of thumb: One null Capitalisation will usually add another General Dividend to the game. Two null Capitalisations will almost certainly add another General Dividend. Three null Capitalisations may add a second General Dividend to the game. Four will probably, and so forth.
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Scott Roberts
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That is helpful, thanks
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Some advice:

In rounds 1 & 2, plus the opening auction, dont just let yourself keep getting outbid for every share, and then end up with a lot less than other people.

When choosing shares to auction, and when deciding whether to overbid on a share or let a certain person win it, focus on the alliances they will create, and whether this causes people to want to move trains you own forward, or trains you dont own forward. Do not get in a position where the other players have the incentive to work against you.

Its generally bad to capitalize shares you own, except in certain cases. For new players especially, focus on diluting shares of your opponents companies, and/or trying to get into those companies so that they cant gain over you.

Also: Read all of Clearclaws posts!
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Scott Roberts
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Thanks, Alex, sounds good.
 
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