Jesse Dean
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Orlando
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Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!
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My third game of the night at Coolstuff Games’ Wednesday night board gaming on 6/24/2009 was Brass. Will, Andrew, and I played.

During the first part of the game, Will went a bit crazy with iron mill and coal mine building. I focused more on getting out some cotton mills, to get a good Distant Market shipment, while Andrew performed a bit of a hybrid of the two, getting out a stage 1 iron mill before going full force into mills and ports.

After shipping my cotton, I obliged Will’s habit taking advantage of all of the free iron (at one point there were 10 iron cubes on the board) to develop deeply into my cotton mill and, to a lesser extent, ports stack. I then built both of the level 4 cotton mills and shipped them on the ports I had available. Andrew was also able to get in on the free iron action, and was able to get a few of his higher level mills out too, but not quite to the level that I did. Will ended the round with the construction of a Liverpool shipyard.

Due to the amount of actions I spent developing, I did not get quite as many canals on the board as Will and Andrew, and ended up being behind Will but ahead of Andrew in points. All of us had a reasonable pile of money in preparation for the Rail age, and there were two big piles of coal on the board thanks to some coal mines built by Will and Andrew.

One of my first actions of the new era was to build a level 4 cotton mill. Since I only had one cotton I needed to sell during the second phase I wanted maximum flexibility as to when, exactly, I could get it down. I spent most of the rest of the game building track and coal mines, in addition to the single level 4 port that I built to match with my cotton mill. My most satisfying move of the game was being able to develop away some level 1 shipyards to empty out the iron chart so that I could overbuild Will’s level 3 iron mill in Blackburn.

Will spent most of his time building coal mines and getting in position to build his level 2 shipyards. He rarely took advantage of the double build rails option, and going into the latter part of the game he ran out of places to build rails, as Andrew and I did an effective job blocking him out. He built out three level 2 and 3 ports, hoping that either Andrew or I would ship on him, but thanks to the Distant Market, Andrew only had to ship on one of them. He ended up spending a bit of his money developing away some of his level 1 cotton mills, just so he could set himself up to ship

Andrew built and sold one of his Level 3 cotton mills and then built his level 4 cotton mills and sold that cotton too. He built some coal, and some tracks, but ignored ports entirely. He also built quite a bit of track, and did not ignore the double build option like Will did. He ran out of things to do with his final action, but used the double-card action option to build an iron mill in Barrow-In-Furness.

In the end the lead Will built up during the first part of the game did not make up for his anemic points growth during the second part and he ended the game with 173. Thanks to the strength of his cotton mills and the fact that he was able to build a reasonable amount of track, Andrew ended up with a score of 184. Due to the strength of my double scoring level 4 cotton mills, my extensive track, and all the iron mills I put out, I ended up with a score of 202, my highest one yet! I claimed it was because of the double scoring of the Cotton Mills, but Will insisted that it was more about the large amount of points I got from track. The truth was, it was probably a combination of both.
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Yeah, we've brushed up against 200 in our three-player games but haven't quite crested it. 198 I believe was my closest. And that was just 1-2 L3 Mills in the Canal period! Two L4s - y'all are supplyin' too much iron.

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Jesse Dean
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Oh, I agree!

Whenever I build an iron mill I am worried that someone else is going to get it for $2, much less getting it for free (like I did.) He had the right idea (getting as much iron point as possible) he just did not implement it in the best way possible. Maybe he was worried about someone else building in those locations?
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Jason Shapiro
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This gets me to thinking on the benefits of level 3 mils in canal vs level 4. 3 level 3's is a few more points than 2 level 4's - for 3s it's 9x3=27 scored twice is 54 points, whereas the 2 4s gets you 12x2=24 scored twice is 48 points. So the way you went is 6 points less, but it has the advantages of being cheaper ( 3s: 16x3 = 48 + 3iron + 3coal; 4s: 18x2 = 36 + 2iron + 2coal, could be a big difference depending on the cost of materials ), you only have to worry about placement issues for 2 mills instead of 3 (shipping coal to the spot you build), and it leaves you free to worry about rails in the rail phase since you'll be done with cotton early. I'm also assuming the actions cancel out (building the 4s takes an extra development and the 3s take an extra build)

disadvantages: need a lot of cheap iron to make it effective, and you can't utilize the distant market sells very well in either phase, since fast cotton will probably beat you to it in the canal, and you can only have 1 sell in the rail phase.

All in all, now that I think about it, I wonder why I would ever stop at level 3s when I'm going for a cotton rush strategy, even if iron is scarce, since you're developing once more spending 2 iron, but the extra mill costs 1 of those iron back, and you're saving more than 5 pounds going with the 4s anyway.
 
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Stan Mamula
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Damn. I've played Brass a half a dozen times now and no one has even come close to 100. Wonder what we're missing?
 
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Stas wrote:
Damn. I've played Brass a half a dozen times now and no one has even come close to 100. Wonder what we're missing?


Cash flow?
 
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