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Subject: Benefits of Remote Still far outweigh the risks rss

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Bill Jones
United States
Niantic
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I have not even played this game yet so I may be missing something, but it seems that given the Double Still Improvement card and the choice of a Remote Still and 1 die, or 2 dice for the family still -- you should ALWAYS choose the Remote Still. The rule book includes a couple of warnings about the dangers of Remote Stills, in that they are harder to protect from sabotage than the Family Still, which is true. However, the risk of sabotage is fairly low: only 2 of the 35 Thug cards directly target Remote Stills;

1) Muscling In
2) Turf War

A third Thug card, A Little Vigorish, can be played on any still so a Remote Still is not any more vulnerable to this than a Family Still.

Obviously, the Turf War card destroys your Still, so that is the main risk of a Remote Still. The Muscling In card steals a die, so that hurts (especially if you can never replace the die) but doesn't kill you.

The benefits of the Remote Still are that the LAW will never bother you, and this is big in every one of the later rounds. If you elect not to use a Remote Still, you are going to want to increase your Family Still's production with additional dice, and now your chances of attracting Johnny Law's attention is multiplied, especially if the other players are only using one die with the remainder of their dice on the Remote Still. Additionally, once you have attracted the attention of the Copper and are rolling 3 dice, your chance of rolling a 5 is just about 50%; if you're rolling 4 dice, the odds are that you will roll the dreaded 5.

So yeah, the Turf War card is out there and a threat, but the chance of it being played against you is small enough to take the chance. At least that's the way I see it.
 
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Alessandro Crespi
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Hi Bill,
I've just played a couple of games and I totally agree with your opinion.
Remote still is definitely worth the choice.
Have a nice play.
Alessandro
 
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Flying Arrow
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I disagree, but I think it's largely group dependent. The last 4 games I've played I think only one person took a remote still. If you're the only one with a remote still, you're the only target for two nasty thug cards. But if everyone has a remote still, you're less likely to be targeted. The copper is only for a round. Losing a remote still could be for the rest of the game.
 
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Bill Jones
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FlyingArrow wrote:
I disagree, but I think it's largely group dependent. The last 4 games I've played I think only one person took a remote still. If you're the only one with a remote still, you're the only target for two nasty thug cards. But if everyone has a remote still, you're less likely to be targeted. The copper is only for a round. Losing a remote still could be for the rest of the game.


When I originally posted this strategy, I had not yet played the game. However, I have since played once, and our game only had one player get the Remote Still - but, that was because only one Double Still Improvement card came out all game. So when the Turf War card came out, the guy with the Remote Still felt that he had to take it, or else it might be used on him. Ironically, he later used it on me to reduce my Family Still down to 1 die - and this, coupled with another mobster doing a Hit on me to remove my Controlling Influence in Barleycorn's, turned the game around. It seemed I was about to win prior to the Turf War being played on me, but with only 1 die and no more Controlling Influence, I was not able to generate enough income to win.

I still would stick with my original notion of taking the Remote Still over the 2 additional dice in a Family Still. The mean when rolling 3 dice is 10.5, which means that you're going to be attracting the copper a lot, unless the other players also have 3 dice. So no, you don't just have the copper for one round - you have a good chance of attracting him in every round that he doesn't shut you down.
 
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Eric Schiedler
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There are several reason why you will take 2 dice over the remote still.

1) If you already have a remote still (especially if it has 3 or 4 dice).

2) If you have multiple trucks. You invested in the trucks, might as make use them.

3) It is the first turn in the game. You will get 4 rolls before the copper can hit you. That is on average an extra (3.5 x 4) $14 or so to start the game. Good use of one card play. If you made $14 profit with each card you pick you will quickly win the game.

4) If a lot of players have extra dice on their home still. You risk the copper less often.

5) If it is late and the game and you are desperate to catch up. A few good rolls could win it for you.

6) If you happen to control the "hit the home still cards." Then there is only the copper risk and not other players.

7) If you have control of the largest speakeasy, paying off $2 profit per cube +$3 base. You want the most cubes to ship to that speakeasy because you make $5 per cube. Also, flooding the market with cubes will fill up the lower speakeasies and make people want to ship to your speakeasy.

8) If other players have a lot of trucks and very few production dice. Sell the extra cubes you will roll to them at the dearest price you can have.

Yes, if you have three dice the chance that you will get hit with the copper is (1-(5/6*5/6*5/6)) or 42%. Since you are guaranteed to not lose your production on the turn after you lose production to the copper, your average times to lose to the copper is around 2 times for the amount of time the copper is in play (7 turns). Since other players will have dice on their home still too and outproduce you on some turns and have the copper, it is quite likely that you will fail on the copper only once or twice. If you lose twice, your total production for the seven turns of active copper is 5x2x3.5 vs 7x3.5 or about 43% higher to take two dice!! It's even higher if you get hit by the copper only once!

A good experiment is to roll 3 dice in blocks of 7 rolls and track your results (and then simulate it with others also rolling 2 or 3 dice to steal the copper). It's not that bad.

THE MAIN REASON to get the remote still is that the 2 dice card or 1 dice remote still is the ONLY way to get the remote still.

Having a remote still with two dice and a home still with two dice is the most powerful position in the game (which takes three cards, one for the remote still and two cards for each additional die). You make an average of 14 in crates which you should be able to turn into $20+ per turn and possibly win the game in 4 to 5 turns. The only way to get this position is to sacrifice the 2 dice for the remote still. You could also have one die on the home still and three dice on the remote still depending on which thug cards are out.
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