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Subject: going 1st in second turn rss

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Bruce X
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I am a complete newbie to this one. From reading the posts on strategies (and I'm sure that I must have missed some), it is common for the first player to choose develop on turn one. Following this the same player goes first on the second turn. IF 3 players develop on turn 1 and the other builds a coal mine somewhere that does not have the space for an iron works, what is a good strategy for the opening move of turn 2...I don't see any good ones.
 
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Tony Hamen
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I'm a newbie too, but it seems to me that taking a loan, and perhaps building a coal mine in a space that contains an iron works would be acceptable, so that coal mine person isn't being self sufficient. That's a good question though. I have only played 2 player, but I think a situation like this if it happened that way would just go to screw the first player.
 
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Bruce X
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gentlegiantglass wrote:
I'm a newbie too, but it seems to me that taking a loan, and perhaps building a coal mine in a space that contains an iron works would be acceptable, so that coal mine person isn't being self sufficient. That's a good question though. I have only played 2 player, but I think a situation like this if it happened that way would just go to screw the first player.


It has already happened to me and I screwed it up partly due to a rules misunderstanding and partly due to clicking on the wrong thing on the program...
 
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Len
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You also want to get your income up. At the beginning of the game, the cotton demand is high. So, on turn two, it can also be good first move (now that you have TWO actions/turn) to contruct a cotton mill (hopefully a level 2) and then immediately sell to the external market.

If you are first to sell to the external market, the demand is high and you will likely get a good bonus along the with the cotton mill for your income level.

If it is a level two, then you also will get to score it twice for the game. The drawback might be that being near the external market might not be the best place to set up shop for your network for the later rail period?

The loan suggestion seems like a good move...

EDIT: Grammar, and a change as I misread the question.
 
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Ed Chen

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There are so many possibilities it really depends on what the other people developed, and where the coal is.

Here are a couple common possibilities:

You developed ports, and the two other developers developed mills.

a. drop two level 2 ports, in either friendly (W&R, Lancaster) or unfriendly (Ellesmere Port, Liverpool) places, depending on how you feel.

b. drop a port in Lancaster/W&R if the coal isn't competing, and take a loan, with the intention of canal/iron works on your turn 3.

c. develop away your level 2 ports for 8 (yes it's expensive) and drop a level 3 port. (Only do this if you know your opponents are experienced.)

d. drop a coal mine in a spot that isn't competing and take a loan, with the intention of canal/iron works on your turn 3.


You developed ports, and someone developed ports behind you.

First of all, curse, because that was really stupid of the person behind you. Then as above except for a, instead drop 2 ports preferably in locations which only have one port, and don't do c.


You developed mills, and one person developed mills and one person developed ports.

a. you can drop a coal in a non-competing spot and take a loan, with the intention of canal/iron works on your turn 3

b. you can develop mills again for 8 (yes it's expensive), and take a loan. This may be preferable if player 2 also did mills and is a good player, as it leaves them without any really good options and keeps you in the mill race.

c. you can suck it up and develop 2 sets of mills for 8 and 10 to get up to level 3 mills. This is only advisable if you are playing with experienced people, and maybe not even then. It does have the advantage that you will be the first person to put down a level 3 mill though.


You developed mills, and the two people behind you developed ports.

First of all, laugh, because you got gifted big time. Then do some combination of developing/loan as you are comfortable with with the intention of putting down level 3 mills.


You developed ports, and one person developed mills, and one person did something random (like develop ships or coal/iron)

You aren't too happy about this, but it can play out a number of ways. You need to decide based on your cards whether you want to try to get to level 3 and 4ports and ship them yourself (probably with level 1 mills), whether you want to screw with the people going down the coal/iron path, or hope that someone else eventually decides to go mills.

This one is really dependent on your cards and what you think your opponents will do.


You developed mills, and one person developed ports, and one person did something random

I'd recommend developing mills once and taking a loan probably. Maybe drop a coal, but only if you are fairly sure it will flip.


Now we're starting to get into less likely scenarios, so I'll stop now.

One other big thing to consider is your hand shape. If you developed mills your first turn, and you are stuck with 5 mostly useless cards, an oldham, and 2 cotton mills for example, you may want to play the Oldham coal regardless because if for some reason Oldham fills up, you are can get screwed unless you get a lucky draw if your opponents go in unfriendly places.


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Seth
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It depends a lot on your hand. Developing again is an option, not great since you're paying 8/dev early in the game but I've certainly done this many times. If you're the only player that's developed ports you might consider grabbing the strategically important positions (2 of Ellesmere, Lancaster, and Warrington) although usually I would prefer not to build both level 2 ports. If your hand merits it, you could jump into the iron game yourself with a coal mine+loan. Building a coal mine in one of the two locations that make any sense at all (wigan and oldham) is always an option.

In this position a few things I would NEVER do: building coal/port somewhere with an iron spot, building a level 1 cotton mill, building a level 1 port
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Jim
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It depends on your cards and what you teched on your first turn.

1. If you teched your ports its a good time to use a port industry card to build somewhere you don’t have a location card for one action. Second action you could build coal or tech iron and port. I like building just one level two port because it doesn't make you look two greedy. Often when someone techs ports straight to three, other players will be very reluctant to flip them.

2. If you teched iron coal, drop a coal mine somewhere next to iron and loan up in preparation for building iron next turn. (I don’t like putting coal in a location with iron at the start of the canal phase. Its too big of a gift to the person after you.)

3. The most difficult position to be in is if you teched two cotton mill (probably the preferred opening by many experts. Although it always depends on the cards). In this situation there are a couple things to do.

- You could loan/tech and coal somewhere next to iron.

-You could build a level one cotton mill next to the DM. Make sure you get a loan or preferably two in before you flip though. Personally I'm not a big fan of this one and its very rare a highly rated on-line payer will build a level one cotton unless its to flip their level 3 or 4 port.

- Take a deep breath and pay 18 to get to your level 3s. Very risky but can pay off if you manage to get all 3 3s and perhaps (if things go very well) a 4 flipped in the canal phase. This is kind of an all in move and could backfire easily. Although, doing the math you played 20 for 6 iron which is 3.3 pounds per iron. Lets comparing this to someone who's first tech was 3 each and sits behind the coal builder in round two to gobble up the new iron. He pays a total of 16 for his 6 iron which isn't too much better then 20. The next turns will (hopefully) look like this
3. loan cotton
4. loan cotton
5. loan flip (hope to still have the DM open for business) with 30+ pounds and zero income

For this to work you need to have decent cards and someone else has got to be dropping ports in Lancaster, Preston and Warrington. But there usually is someone doing this (especially on-line).

And make sure your always looking out for a quick coal or iron sale as well!

And I know the feeling. When I first started playing brass on-line I spent hours in front of the computer screen first turn in the second round not really wanting to do anything.
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Jason Gische
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Edited: This post assumes that you developed mills on turn 1, because if you developed ports then the obvious thing to do is to drop two lvl 2 ports.

LSMB wrote:
You also want to get your income up. At the beginning of the game, the cotton demand is high. So, on turn two, it can also be good first move (now that you have TWO actions/turn) to contruct a cotton mill (hopefully a level 2) and then immediately sell to the external market.

It is physically impossible to build and sell a lvl 2 cotton mill on turn 2. You've developed away 2 of the 3 lvl 1 mills, but you still have a third sitting there. Either you develop again (in which case you can't both build and sell) or you build and sell a lvl 1 mill.

Hell, even that's impossible since there is no location you can construct a mill and sell without having at least one canal to connect you to a distant market. (I suppose it's possible if someone built a lvl 1 port on turn one in W&R, Lancaster, or Preston, but that would be remarkably stupid.)

Quote:
If you are first to sell to the external market, the demand is high and you will likely get a good bonus along the with the cotton mill for your income level.

Brass is very different from many other Euros in that income simply isn't that important. It's nice to have because it relieves some financial pressure, but getting big points (especially points that you'll score twice) is much more important that getting a big income.

Quote:
If it is a level two, then you also will get to score it twice for the game. The drawback might be that being near the external market might not be the best place to set up shop for your network for the later rail period?

Lvl 2 (and bigger) mills also suffer from the requirement that there much be a source for coal, so you can't just drop them in Colne or Macclesfield in order for a quick trip to the distant market.

Quote:
The loan suggestion seems like a good move...

Loans this early are tough, because it might be a while before you can get your income back above zero, so the loan will cost you a lot. That's not to say that it isn't sometime the best move anyway.

I think there are generally four options here:

1. If you have a card that will let you drop coal, especially in a city where there is also iron demand (like Manchester), then dropping the coal and grabbing a loan is a decent bet. You're incentivizing player 2 to drop an iron in that location for the quick cash, and that will get your coal halfway used up.

2. Develop mills once, then build a lvl 2 mill in the city where coal was played on turn 1. Lvl 2s aren't nearly as good as lvl 1s, but this gets you something on the board, and puts pressure on the other mill player(s) because iron is very expensive ($5 each) and there isn't another location to build a lvl 2 mill. (I am assuming that the coal isn't in a city that takes iron, because if that were the case then this would be a much simpler strategy article.)

3. Suck it up and develop mills twice more. It costs $18 and you're going to have money issues for a while, but it pressures the other mill player(s) in the same manner as above, and now you're set to build lvl 3 mills while no one else can even build lvl 2s.

4. Develop mills once and take a loan, then hope iron is cheaper when it comes around to you on turn 3. This can work against the right players, but it's much more passive than option #3 and you're committed to an extra $3 of loan payment, so iron has to get $2 cheaper for this to be worthwhile.

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Seth
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Sometimes I type really slowly. Randomuser's reply is very well thought out, and new players should pay special attention to it.

random user wrote:

You developed ports, and someone developed ports behind you.

First of all, curse, because that was really stupid of the person behind you. Then as above except for a, instead drop 2 ports preferably in locations which only have one port, and don't do c.
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Quote:


You developed mills, and one person developed mills and one person developed ports.

a. you can drop a coal in a non-competing spot and take a loan, with the intention of canal/iron works on your turn 3

b. you can develop mills again for 8 (yes it's expensive), and take a loan. This may be preferable if player 2 also did mills and is a good player, as it leaves them without any really good options and keeps you in the mill race.

c. you can suck it up and develop 2 sets of mills for 8 and 10 to get up to level 3 mills. This is only advisable if you are playing with experienced people, and maybe not even then. It does have the advantage that you will be the first person to put down a level 3 mill though.


This is the most likely scenario you'll be faced with if players know what they're doing. Mill building is statistically sound as a base for any strategy, if you don't know what to develop near the beginning of the game develop mills. A much more interesting question is: ``what in blazes is player 2 supposed to do with a heavily mill centric hand in scenario (b) above?''
 
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Jon G
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One option the others haven't mentioned, if you developed cotton mills on the first turn, is the "slow cotton" strategy. You build your last L1 mill and one L2 mill, ship to the distant market, develop again when iron permits, then shoot for two L3 mills in the Canal Age. It scores 5 fewer points than the cotton rush but about 7 more income, and can pre-empt the cotton rush by eating the distant market. Sometime this can be good way to use a crappy hand.

Slow cotton works best when you can use someone else's port or coal to build the L2 mill. A very good scenario is:
- Someone else builds coal in Oldham
- You have Oldham and CM cards
- Turn 2: Build L1 mill in Rochdale, L2 mill in Oldham. You'll be last turn 3
- Turn 3: loan, canal. making sure to go before anyone who could ship before you.
- Turn 4: canal, sell cotton to DM.

If you're not Player 1, then this scenario could also work if a ports player builds in Lancs or W&R, and you have the matching card. However, this is probably a bad idea if another player is determined to build L1 mills.
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Mark Tyler
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It is very common for turn 1 to go like this:
Player 1 - develop
Player 2 - develop
Player 3 - develop or coal mine
Player 4 - develop or coal mine

Now for turn 2, Player 1 is going first again. Options include:
1) Develop again - With iron now costing 4 or 5 apiece, this is an expensive route but maybe you can make it work with enough loans.
2) Take a loan - This will send you into negative income for potentially several turns before you are able to flip some industries and get back to non-negative income.
3) Build a level 1 port or cotton mill. I haven't had much luck building level 1 cotton mills. Building level 1 ports should be a last resort (such as when trying to flip a level 3 cotton mill).
4) Build a level 2 port. If you developed away your level 1 ports in turn 1, then building a level 2 port is now a decent option. Use your "Port" card to secure a spot in Lancaster or Ellesmere Port which are good locations to own if you plan on shipyards in the Rail Era.
5) Build a iron works. This will be impossible unless Player 3 or 4 gifted you one by placing a coal mine in a city supporting iron works.
6) Build a coal mine. If you build it in a city supporting iron works, you will help two other players - the iron works constructor and the developer benefiting from the cheap iron. I usually opt to build my coal mine one city away from an iron works location but I also tend to favor building iron works as early and as often as possible. If you plan to develop lots of cotton mills you probably want lots of iron works built (and ideally built immediately before your turn).

So, as you can see your turn 2 choices really depend on what you developed turn 1, and what strategy you plan to pursue. I would lean towards building an industry of some type as described in (4) and (6) above to get your network started. That gives you the option in future actions of at least building a canal link when all else seems unwise.
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Ed Chen

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cylonathalf wrote:

random user wrote:

You developed mills, and one person developed mills and one person developed ports.

b. you can develop mills again for 8 (yes it's expensive), and take a loan. This may be preferable if player 2 also did mills and is a good player, as it leaves them without any really good options and keeps you in the mill race.



This is the most likely scenario you'll be faced with if players know what they're doing. Mill building is statistically sound as a base for any strategy, if you don't know what to develop near the beginning of the game develop mills. A much more interesting question is: ``what in blazes is player 2 supposed to do with a heavily mill centric hand in scenario (b) above?''


In an ideal world I would only develop mills as the second player after another player who has gone mills if I have an out -- in other words, something already useful to do on turn 2. This doesn't always work out unfortunately.

I think most ideally I'd want to, in approximate order:

a. coal somewhere safe and take a loan

b/c. coal somewhere with an iron works and take a loan. You are majorly gifting player 3 but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

c/b. suck it up and develop twice for 20 to get up to level 3 mills.

d. play a level 1 mill in Colne or Macc and take a loan (do not under any circumstances connect it to the DM on this turn).

In regards to slow play cotton, I used to do this a long time ago, but I decided that if your opponents are playing semi-cooperatively or more, it was too slow, and you had a hard time catching up. It still works great if your opponents are playing semi-obstructionist or less. But it's a bit risky so unless I know my opponents I'd be unlikely to do it.
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Seth
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random user wrote:


In an ideal world I would only develop mills as the second player after another player who has gone mills if I have an out -- in other words, something already useful to do on turn 2. This doesn't always work out unfortunately.

I think most ideally I'd want to, in approximate order:

a. coal somewhere safe and take a loan

b/c. coal somewhere with an iron works and take a loan. You are majorly gifting player 3 but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

c/b. suck it up and develop twice for 20 to get up to level 3 mills.

d. play a level 1 mill in Colne or Macc and take a loan (do not under any circumstances connect it to the DM on this turn).

In regards to slow play cotton, I used to do this a long time ago, but I decided that if your opponents are playing semi-cooperatively or more, it was too slow, and you had a hard time catching up. It still works great if your opponents are playing semi-obstructionist or less. But it's a bit risky so unless I know my opponents I'd be unlikely to do it.


In the standard ``coopetive'' game, I would be a bit more likely to adopt slow cotton than you suggest. Although I wouldn't place my lvl 1 in the hinterlands, I would put it somewhere that obstructs the rusher like W&R, Preston, or Lancaster (note I assume a rusher and a single ports player in the standard game). The intention being to later overbuild my level 1 mill. I would only ever do this if the position of ``the rusher'' hasn't already been staked out.

I agree with your option (a) as being the thing I would most likely thing to do. Heh, another time where the appropriate thing to do is start cursing incoherently is -- You have started the game as player two with neither a ports centric hand nor the ability to build coal -- that ranks right up there with someone developing ports in front of you when you're holding an optimal ports hand.
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Jason Johns
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random user wrote:
There are so many possibilities it really depends on what the other people developed, and where the coal is.

Here are a couple common possibilities:

You developed ports, and the two other developers developed mills.

a. drop two level 2 ports, in either friendly (W&R, Lancaster) or unfriendly (Ellesmere Port, Liverpool) places, depending on how you feel.

SNIP

d. drop a coal mine in a spot that isn't competing and take a loan, with the intention of canal/iron works on your turn 3.



Hey Ed, Forgive my ignorance. I've only played once and am reading through the strategy pages here on BGG. I also just got the game.

Can you define the underlined bits? What do you mean by friendly/unfriendly and competing? Thanks,
Jason
 
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Seth
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The distinction between friendly and unfriendly is that in the former locations opponents may build mills in the same city (Preston is right out, it's unreasonable to build a port there early since it would allow enemy iron builds).

By competing he means that another player has already staked out the coal in that area. If you build coal in the same part of the network it's likely to flip more slowly. Note that your best bets for a coal build at this point are Wigan and Rochdale, due to the multiple possibilities to build iron.
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Jason Johns
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Thanks, Seth.
 
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