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Subject: "Throttles"? rss

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Darren Dew
United States
Hinesville
Georgia
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I'm in need of some "throttles".

Let me explain. I play with my two kids, 13- and 14-years. They are clever and interested, but Caylus can be a beast. I began adding throttles, or handicaps to my own play, but want them to be unnoticeable to my kids.
First, I NEVER took the frist player space. Then I never took the "economy" space that keeps your workers at 1-cost (one of my favorite spaces, BTW) AND I never took the first player option.
Today, my first worker went on the Gate, EVERY TURN, just to force me to work harder, AND never took the Inn, nor the first player spot. The kids are gaining ground, but I'm running out of ideas that are invisible to them. I need some more invisible ideas without changing the rules.
Help?
 
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Matt Davis
United States
New Concord
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Go through and rank your favorite buildings to build. Build from the bottom up.

Try placing your first worker on the farthest building out that you can reach every turn, and never take the free provost move space.
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Andrew Swan
Australia
Randwick
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Man, you better hope they don't read BGG!
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Todd McCorkle
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Anderson
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Take favors on the resource track.


I'd worry about the kids (new players in general actually) copying my "sub-optimal" plays or learning the wrong lesson. "I discovered this great plan!" (that only works if 1 player ignores the stables) type thing... Valid concern or me being paranoid/weird? *shrug*
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
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"Shred" your kids. It will do them good.
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Bjørnar Løseth
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Bergen
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Windopaene wrote:
"Shred" your kids. It will do them good.
I do this every time in any game. If they don't like to lose, they won't like to game in the long run. Additionally: If you are ever caught in handicapping yourself you will seriously hurt the childrens feelings. I still get to play a lot. Every evening my girl at 4 y.o. asks to play games :-)
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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If your kids are gaining ground, maybe you don't need further tricks unless they "stall".
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Darren Dew
United States
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Thanks everyone!

1) They don't BGG!
2) I shred 'em plenty. I just see Caylus as a game of many nuances that I'm still learning that I don't want them to hate it by losing by too far.
3) My son especially is learning some good plays. My daughter was fine during the summer, but is far more interested in 13-year old things now that school is back in.
4) The favor track is a good idea.

So, next game:
no firsties
no Inn
favor track
"favorite" buildings first
first worker on the gate

Wish me luck!

One other thing I forgot to mention, I got the idea about the Gateworker due to the recent thread of people denegrating the space and how it never gets used in their games and should be better [groan].
 
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Todd Redden
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Manchester
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I'm not sure - it's an easy game to lose if you try a little. You can place workers out of order so you get the goods only after the building and therefor don't have the goods to build (they probably know you're not that dumb. Will they spot that as loss cheating? I dunno, probably.) There are SO MANY things you could do: Don't use any of the "building" royal favors. Don't be the first to build in the castle, and don't build the most in the castle. Don't work any Gold mines. etc. etc. This game is loaded with ways to give other players an advantage. Do you let your opponents in on your self-subterfuge?
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Kris Johnson
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Quesnel
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A turning point for me was discovering Chess at 9 or 10 years old. A grade school teacher of mine brought in 1/2 dozen boards and taught/encouraged us to play.

Bringing that game home and trying it with my dad was the first time I actually played a game with him. He crushed me. It didn't faze me at all. I continued to play with my peers at school, and whenever I felt I had some new strategies to try, I would try again.

I eventually started playing scrabble quite competitively with one of my aunts.

I was never hurt or discouraged if/when I lost, but I think I certainly would have if I learnt they were somehow 'throttling' or 'holding back' because I was 'just a kid'. Keep that in mind.
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Steve Duff
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Ottawa
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There are also many anecdotes of kids being crushed, and never trying something ever again.

Everyone is different, and you've got to find the balance.
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Brandon Tibbetts
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Oak Lawn
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I wouldn't use a system. It will make them learn the game wrong, and they may even get a sense that you're not even playing. You'd be killing the sense of competition - the thing that makes Caylus fun.

When placing your worker, identify your best placement then don't take it. Take what you think is second best instead. Or third best if two options seem comparably good. Make your self-handicapping situational instead of formulaic.
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Darren Dew
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Uhm, my kids aren't aware of any system I am using at all. I haven't announced anything, I'm just looking for ideas that will keep the game somewhat interesting for me, while continuing to make it a learning and gaming experience for them. To, somewhat, level the playing field. Thats all.
 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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They may not be aware of your system but it is still a system nonetheless, and their play will naturally adapt to it. I stand by my suggestion of choosing your second best move - or third best as necessary.

As a plus for you, this would also keep it interesting - much more interesting (I would guess) than "place in the gate first" and things of that nature. Using my suggestion, you'll have to estimate the value of buildings in the same way you would with an equally skilled opponent. In addition, I expect you'll have opportunity to learn from making choices that would not normally be your first - but that would still benefit you.
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