Gary Page
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London
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I played my first 4p game apart from an early one with 4 beginners this week. I finished second to a run away leader. Two things happened in the game that hadn't happened to me before.

1) Aristotle, Ceaser and Moses were taken by the first three players in round 1. I didn't feel hard done by as I got pyramids, engineering genius and one of the discount building cards. I always go for one of those three usually, so I took Homer figuring the culture and military discount were worth the two CAs.

What do you usually do in this situation? To be honest I never really considered the Age I leaders, are any of them worth looking at?

2) I missed out on Iron as they all got taken for 2 and even 3 CAs. I didn't do too badly as coal came up early and I had grabbed a couple of yellow cards for a quick upgrade.

When this happens to you, do you build a fifth mine? How do you adjust your strategy?


Thanks for any thoughts.

Gary
 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Arnhem
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A fifth mine?! gulp Nah, I rarely go to 4 - usually have 3 and then with one of the upgrades get more stone.

As for leaders - indeed, if there are no good Age A leaders I won't grab one at all. Columbus is a fun little leader if you're lucky enough to grab a colony.
 
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Gary Page
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huh, I often go to four if I don't get Iron fairly early. Do you get by on 3 bronze mines if you don't get iron or get it very late? Maybe groupthink with who I play with, but would seem hard to get going to me.
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Ben Foy
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Ellicott City
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I think you are doing fine. Homer is a good leader as long as you don't try to change your strategy too much to take advantage of him. I.E. you get 1 culture from Homer initially until it makes sense to get another warrior. Don't push to build another warrior early at the expense of your infrastructure, only do it if increasing your military makes sense. Don't forget about Homer's discount for building military units (thats a 33% to 67% discount in ore). Upgrade your warriors even though you lose the culture bonus.

Since you have a wonder and didn't get the Iron, 4 Bronze Mines is fine. Five mines is questionable.
 
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Ron Hoppe
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Marysville
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I used to play with only 3 mines as I thought this to be efficient. But I kept getting my face smashed in by others who would build 4 mines or more even with iron. Now I never play with less than 4 mines. One guy in particular focuses on mines and he simply has more options available to him during crunch time. He can rapidly adjust his strategies. This has proved to be a game winner for him on many, but not all, occasions.
 
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Thom Denholm
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Seattle
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More mines (or better mines) = more rocks to build wonders with.

The ability to whip a wonder up in one turn should never be underestimated - and in the Third Age, that can mean both culture to you AND denying culture to someone else.
 
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Eric Phillips
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Homer is fine, but in that scenario I would probably delay as much as possible before taking him just in case a good Age I leader came out early. I would take Michelangelo or Leonardo over Homer for sure, and probably Frederick Barbarossa too, for that matter. Not Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, or Columbus that early.

5 mines is a lot. I wouldn't even think of doing that unless I'd missed iron, and coal was taking a long time to show. I'm not sure I've ever had more than 4 mines. That's not to say it's a bad idea always, but in 2nd Age (esp. early) I think if you have that many mines the rest of your infrastructure will be crap--unless maybe you get a nice population colony. Every miner is an alchemist or soldier or opera singer you don't have. And to support that many mines and still have workers to populate the buildings you can make, you'll need 3-4 farms also, which means you'll need Justice System or a territory that gives you blue markers, or else corruption will make that 5th mine (and maybe the 4th too) pointless.
 
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Greg Meyer
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Missing iron and having Homer are bad. You need to take some chances as a conservative strategy will lose.
My thought is you need to take Homer and use his advantage to try to get an early military lead.
You are definitely behind and need to hope you can aggress well.
Four mines may be needed just to keep up.
 
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