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Subject: How good is the marketplace actually? rss

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Marcus Lau
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I have a group of friends who claimed that the marketplace is too powerful. They would usually buy up the marketplace on their first turn if given a chance. The reason being (according to them), is that the marketplace allows them to take different types of resources early and as the early buildings need only 1 or 2 of each resource to build them, one move to the marketplace would secure them enough for a visit to the local construction firm or sawmill.

I, on the other hand, thinks marketplace is just a tad overrated. Sure, it is more powerful than.. say.. the tannery but still, it's usefulness decreases over time.

I played a game last night where I didn't visit the marketplace even once (player one bought it up on his first turn) and came in a close second at 235 points (the marketplace guy won the game at 240+ points). I could have close the gap if not for two mistakes that I made throughout the game (getting goods which were useless at the end of the game). Player 3, on the other hand, was hogging all the wood and making poor use of them (so she finished a distant third at 165). I build the sawmill in the first round, sold it later mid-game to repay off my loan, bought it back later when I got the business park (+2 points per industrial building).

I must admit I got off the blocks a bit slower than player one (probably due to his marketplace) but once I bought up the Construction Yard and used it 3 times over the course of the game to build 6 buildings off it I finally caught up. But it was not good enough as player one (aka marketplace-is-so-broken dude) did two huge shippings in the last round netting him 60+ points.

So, my question is, how do I prove my friends wrong? That the marketplace is NOT too powerful and it is possible to win without being the starting player with the marketplace.
 
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Jason Gische
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friedricetheman wrote:
So, my question is, how do I prove my friends wrong? That the marketplace is NOT too powerful and it is possible to win without being the starting player with the marketplace.


I assume you are looking for a better answer than "actually beat him"? Because that does seem the obvious response.
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Chris Linneman
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You are probably focusing too much on the early game. I think the actions you take late in the game (the ones leading up to the two shippings worth 60+ points, for example) are far more important than who builds the marketplace. The great thing about your marketplace-loving friends is that they are not emptying the offer spaces, leaving more things for you. The marketplace definitely comes into its own when you get 5+ things from it so if you can stop them from getting their fifth craftsman building that may help you mitigate its usefulness. Or, collect lots of craftsman buildings yourself if you see someone snatch up an early marketplace.
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Matthew Giglia
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There is usually someone who buys the marketplace in my games too, but I don't see the point as you it doesn't give a craftsman building symbol which gives you the bonus for using the marketplace. I usually try to buy one of the building firms early (the four or six valued start buildings) so that I have a hammer symbol and a craftsman building symbol for immediate benefits with the clay mound and the marketplace. Sure the owner of the marketplace gets to use it free, but if that owner doesn't have any craftsman building symbols, he's probably not using it that much either.

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Steve Duff
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Yes. I've never understood the fixation on *owning* the Marketplace. Using it, fine. Can be very nice, if you've got the buildings.

Several times I've owned the Marketplace, and my wife has had better use of it, because she bought all the better buildings to use with it.
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Marcus Lau
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fragilehalos wrote:
There is usually someone who buys the marketplace in my games too, but I don't see the point as you it doesn't give a craftsman building symbol which gives you the bonus for using the marketplace. I usually try to buy one of the building firms early (the four or six valued start buildings) so that I have a hammer symbol and a craftsman building symbol for immediate benefits with the clay mound and the marketplace. Sure the owner of the marketplace gets to use it free, but if that owner doesn't have any craftsman building symbols, he's probably not using it that much either.



Yes, but the main problem is that in a 3 player game there will be at least 9 buildings with craftman symbol on it (not counting the Special buildings that might come up).

Try to buy up or build all 9 craftsman buildings is almost impossible.
 
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Matthew Giglia
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friedricetheman wrote:
fragilehalos wrote:
There is usually someone who buys the marketplace in my games too, but I don't see the point as you it doesn't give a craftsman building symbol which gives you the bonus for using the marketplace. I usually try to buy one of the building firms early (the four or six valued start buildings) so that I have a hammer symbol and a craftsman building symbol for immediate benefits with the clay mound and the marketplace. Sure the owner of the marketplace gets to use it free, but if that owner doesn't have any craftsman building symbols, he's probably not using it that much either.



Yes, but the main problem is that in a 3 player game there will be at least 9 buildings with craftman symbol on it (not counting the Special buildings that might come up).

Try to buy up or build all 9 craftsman buildings is almost impossible.


True, but you don't really need more than a couple anyway. If you get even three of them you're sitting pretty. Grab an early coal, a grain and a steel in the early game with just one craftsman symbol and it's worth the visit to the marketplace.

I agree, there is almost no benefit to owning the marketplace, but using it when you need some quick energy or a few other resources in the early game can be very benifical. There is deffinitly some other reason that in your games the owner of the marketplace is winning. The six point value and the possible four francs he recieves from the other players and maybe saving a couple francs using it free himself, does not guarantee a win.
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Adam Tucker
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fragilehalos wrote:
Grab an early coal, a grain and a steel in the early game with just one craftsman symbol and it's worth the visit to the marketplace.


You can't get steel from the marketplace (you can't even get it from the Town Hall), you can get Fish, Wood, Clay, Iron, Grain, Cattle, Hides, and/or Coal from the marketplace.

 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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tuckerotl wrote:
fragilehalos wrote:
Grab an early coal, a grain and a steel in the early game with just one craftsman symbol and it's worth the visit to the marketplace.


You can't get steel from the marketplace (you can't even get it from the Town Hall), you can get Fish, Wood, Clay, Iron, Grain, Cattle, Hides, and/or Coal from the marketplace.



I guess he had iron in mind and wrote steel. This and similar slips happen frequently in our groups.
 
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David Lanphear
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On a regular basis I verbally turn coke into coal. surprise

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Matthew Giglia
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Ponton wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
fragilehalos wrote:
Grab an early coal, a grain and a steel in the early game with just one craftsman symbol and it's worth the visit to the marketplace.


You can't get steel from the marketplace (you can't even get it from the Town Hall), you can get Fish, Wood, Clay, Iron, Grain, Cattle, Hides, and/or Coal from the marketplace.



I guess he had iron in mind and wrote steel. This and similar slips happen frequently in our groups.


Sorry everyone, definitely meant to say "Iron" and not "Steel."
 
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Patrick Jamet
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I don't believe that the Marketplace is too powerful. In our 3-player games, we let one player build the Marketplace early and all the buildings with a house symbol he wants. The two others are trying to get ships, iron, cows and grains. This player goes to the Marketplace every two turns and to the Sawmill every other ones for the first third of the game. So he uses it as often as possible but he doesn't win more than 1/3 of the games (and it's a difficult strategy).

I describe these strategies there : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3656992#3656992
Generally, the winning player is in the range 260-280, and the two others in 230-250
However, in a 4-p game, things are really more complicated.

In my experience, the middle and the late game are far more decisive. Will you have steel when you'll be the first player of the round in order to build “your” steel ship? If someone can stay in the Steel Mill or the Shipping Line to block these buildings, this will have a much bigger impact than who get the Marketplace.

To buy the Marketplace is probably a bad idea. You are in bad position if an other player go there and stay some times. Taking woods and buying B1 is a better idea.
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Marcus Lau
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Pyjam wrote:
I don't believe that the Marketplace is too powerful. In our 3-player games, we let one player build the Marketplace early and all the buildings with a house symbol he wants. The two others are trying to get ships, iron, cows and grains. This player goes to the Marketplace every two turns and to the Sawmill every other ones for the first third of the game. So he uses it as often as possible but he doesn't win more than 1/3 of the games (and it's a difficult strategy).

In my experience, the middle and the late game are far more decisive. Will you have steel when you'll be the first player of the round in order to build “your” steel ship? If someone can stay in the Steel Mill or the Shipping Line to block these buildings, this will have a much bigger impact than who get the Marketplace.


That's exactly what happened in our 3 player game. Player 1 was visitng the marketplace to get 7 different types of goods (he had free access to all the craftsman buildings). Player 3 was blocking the shipping line in the late game. I was just building steel and iron ships (had 2 iron and 1 steel ship at the end of the game).

But the main problem was that when player 1 (let's call him marketplace dude) builds up his first wooden ship, it goes downhill from there. By mid game, he has 5 wooden ships and a ton of coke (he took all his coal that he got from his marketplace plus 4 coal from my coillery and exchange it at the cokery). Ships out 8 coke and bought up a iron ship. Then, he ships again (right before player 3 blocks him again on the shipping line) for an obscene amount of money (I think it was 45F). I managed to ship twice in the game but marketplace dude shipped 4-5 times with each shipment worth between 35-55F!

Towards the end of the game, it got ugly as he bought up the entire town, leaving player 3 and I fighting for scraps. Final score marketplace dude - 240+ points, me - 235 points and player 3 - 160+ points (due to her inability to optimize her 40+ piles of wood)
 
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Patrick Jamet
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IMHO opinion, the problem is not the Marketplace. You let a player build or buy the entire city plus 5 wooden ships, and he shipped 4 or 5 times! Did he marry the mayor’s daughter too? I wonder what the other players were doing. I suggest you try to get a wooden ship or two early, and build a couple of strategic buildings like the Steel Mill, the Colliery and Cokery, the Shipping Line. Things should start to become more difficult for the Marketplace dude.
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Marcus Lau
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Pyjam wrote:
IMHO opinion, the problem is not the Marketplace. You let a player build or buy the entire city plus 5 wooden ships, and he shipped 4 or 5 times! Did he marry the mayor’s daughter too? I wonder what the other players were doing. I suggest you try to get a wooden ship or two early, and build a couple of strategic buildings like the Steel Mill, the Colliery and Cokery, the Shipping Line. Things should start to become more difficult for the Marketplace dude.


I did get the Colliery, Cokery, Shipping Line, Wharf and Steel Mill among others. But that did not stop him from going ugly on us...
 
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david landes
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A couple thoughts, some of which are even serious.

A) Quick rule check.. sorry if this seems like I am being a simpleton.. Marketplace dude does have to move OFF the place in order to move back on and use it again.. which leads to..

B) trivially.. if others (you and the wood person) take/sit on the marketplace, market guy will have to try something else.. perhaps not optimal for your own strategy depending on what else you are doing.. but disruptive, particularly if woodperson climbs on when you are climbing off (or vice versa depending on turn order).. double denying marketperson.

C) Quick rule check two.. sorry again for proving I am indeed a simpleton.. If Marketplace is scarfing all the wood ships.. it can't be with wood.. as 1) Wood person is scarfing all the wood and 2) One can only take 1 of a given type of good while in the marketplace.. so marketplace guy must have used money to scarf ships.. where did all THAT money come from? Perhaps some moneyy blocking is possible.

D) Not sure how long you have been at Le Havre, but with many of the other deep strategy games, like Puerto Rico, Caylus, etc.. groups go through "Unbeatable strategy" periods until they figure out what beats it.. often the 'what beats it' is accelerated if you play with different people who have gone other strategic routes..
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C.K. Au
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haha... hi Marcus! This is probably the same group who claimed "Le Havre is broken" when they ran away with the game via shipping coke.

I think the poster just before me made some key points. work the number ie the no. of turns each of us have. To build 5 ships and I presume that's before any serious shipping was done.. you either need wood (lots of them) and energy or you need tons of money. That'll take quite a few turns to accumulate dun they?

If someone's doing the Building strategy, that person would be hoarding the wood (and clay).

Even in a 3p game, there's only so many times you can dip on the marketplace... and if u r doing that, you are letting the resources pile up for other players.

And lastly - more importantly - you are just 5 pts away!! So it was a close game and there's no runaway leader... just that the psychological effect of seeing someone pocket 45f in many shipment rattled you!

It's like the 25pt Caylus prestige building (the first time someone built that in my first game, I said "Oh Caylus is broken") or the Wharf + 5-corn player in P.Rico ("The wharf is broken").

I'm sure if you'd focus on doing what you were doing, and just plan for one mid-size shipping in final round of say 30F, you may even have won the game. All you need to do is to ship cattles (since you've a good no. of ships) and cattles breed by themselves.
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Patrick Jamet
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Sure! If someone claim "Le Havre is broken, shipping coke is the only way to go". It suffices to answer "Na, shipping cows is even better!
 
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Tiberiu Doman
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I played a number of solo games recently and I actually compared side by side a number of strategies. In solo games, shipping coke will get me almost 100 Francs more than anything else (and yes I tried shipping cows with the special building that gives extra cows).

 
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