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Subject: 3P Strategy Discussion w/ the Designer rss

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Richard Pardoe
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I will assume that folks rarely look at image comments for a discussion on how the game might be played. So to bring a few such comments to light, thought I would cross post to the comments associated with:


Where Tim and Scott discuss some 3P Strategy Comments.
 
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Tim Harrison
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I'll just copy the bulk of it here:

scottredracecar wrote:
GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
Just curious. That's with 3 players?

Just an FYI... While I think 3p is good, the game shines with 4 or 5.

I agree about 3p being too low for a player count--actions were pretty non-competitive. We found that with 3p, each player gets enough actions that it was usually best to take the expand action because it will both earn you income and (if connecting to opponent's cities) loses them income.

Only best if players are concentrating on their own lines instead of how to leach off others.

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Also, I had some concerns about the 2-share company. In our game, both red shares were bought by the same player who basically spent almost all of his actions in the game building that company.

Newbie mistake. Unless that player paid out the nose for those shares, it shouldn't happen. And if it does happen, then the other 2 players should be thinking about an equal alliance with one of the larger companies (see why further down).

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Other shares were more spread out. Note that in WC, the Erie and Wabash railroads are treated like special cases that you have to plan for. Here, half the red 2-share company is sold before the building starts. I would imagine this is less of a concern with more players, but possibly still valid for 4p.

Once players recognize the power of the red company, bidding higher for it should follow -- especially in the preliminary auction. Yes, the Liberty is a powerful company, but it is by no means a guarantee for victory.

One of the things that makes AR different from CE is the players' starting money. In CE, most shares go for about the same amount: half your starting capital +/- $2. This game is much different, because you start with so much more money. In the preliminary round of a 3 player game, it is not unusual for a red share to go for $45 or more, while other shares go for $15 or so.

Another thing is that the red line cannot make both special connections -- it can only get one. Continental, National, and American can make both special connections and thus earn a LOT more money. Those "bombs" are huge and have the potential to earn far more in the long run than the red line, even with an extra share or two in play.

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Did you consider adjusting the actions for the 3p game? Perhaps eliminate the Expand 4 action?

Yes, but with experience, eliminating an action proved unnecessary. Of course, feel free to play however you'd like. I'd recommend exploring the 3 player game a bit more (especially the potential values of the different companies), but if you really want to, I'd suggest eliminating the Expand 2 (keeping the Take $2 alternative) action before the Expand 4; it doesn't work as well with the auction action being last.
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Scott Petersen
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GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
In the preliminary round of a 3 player game, it is not unusual for a red share to go for $45 or more, while other shares go for $15 or so.

I'm certainly no stranger to rookie mistakes when it comes to these game, but I'm sure it would be several iterations of play before I would have figured this one out! Any input on the red company at other player counts?

When it comes to eliminating actions, I'd prefer to play the rules as written--just bringing up a thought to get your take on it.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
In the preliminary round of a 3 player game, it is not unusual for a red share to go for $45 or more, while other shares go for $15 or so.


In our game, I believe it was $35 for red while the other shares went for $20 or so. The others were shocked red went for that much, so will be interesting to see if red goes for more next time to allow it to have more funds to operate with.
 
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Tim Harrison
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Obviously, the cubes per share ratio is the easiest way to evaluate a company's value straight out of the gate.

Liberty (red) is the highest, with a whopping 9-1 (18/2) ratio, but Continental (green) is very high too, at 8.33-1 (25/3) ratio, and unlike Liberty, it has the ability to get the second/third special connection bonus for an extra $20 income, along with connecting to more cities, thus making the potential income per share higher. [pardon the run-on sentence]

The Continental needs a little longer time to get its income per share up that high though. And you have to be careful not to let it go to a 1-1-1 split right before you get the 1st or 2nd bonus, especially in a 3p game.

And to make things even more complicated, you have to consider when red is auctioned in the first round. The value of going first and having the first choice of cities on the board (but also being short on cash for the other 5 auctions) compared to choosing last has all sorts of ramifications.

As for the values of the companies across player counts, I'll let you figure that out.
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Jack Neal
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I had the joy of playing this game about six months ago with some Cleveland train gamers and Tim watching on. There is a lot to like about this game and the strategies brought up here really only scratch the surface.

I would love the opportunity to try this game with three. We had five and it was an absolute riot.
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Arden Nelson Jr.
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Raiderjakk wrote:
I had the joy of playing this game about six months ago with some Cleveland train gamers and Tim watching on. There is a lot to like about this game and the strategies brought up here really only scratch the surface.

I would love the opportunity to try this game with three. We had five and it was an absolute riot.


And I believe you won if I remember correctly? It was a lot of fun and I can't wait for my copy to arrive so I can introduce it to some family members as well.
 
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Jack Neal
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Xanthos wrote:
Raiderjakk wrote:
I had the joy of playing this game about six months ago with some Cleveland train gamers and Tim watching on. There is a lot to like about this game and the strategies brought up here really only scratch the surface.

I would love the opportunity to try this game with three. We had five and it was an absolute riot.


And I believe you won if I remember correctly? It was a lot of fun and I can't wait for my copy to arrive so I can introduce it to some family members as well.


I won my only game after out-bluffing the table. Can't wait for game #2.
 
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