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Subject: "You're gonna need a bigger boat" rss

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Jeff Shaeffer
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Played my first game (2p) and loved it!! It took us three hours to get through it but we were loving every moment.

I think we did something wrong though.

I understand to "build" a boat you need the WARF card but it being a high number will always come later in the game. Especially for a 2p. So we ended up taking out big loans to pay for the ships. Now I just read a post that explained you can't take out a loan just for money - only if you need it for food. And it has to be at the end of the round.

So my question is how do you get enough money early in the game to get a boat so you can reduce the amount of food you have to pay?
 
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Eric Rampson
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The simple answer is: You don't.

You can take a loan for two reasons:

1) You can't feed the required amount of food - you have to use all you available food + all your available coins BEFORE you can take a loan; and

2) You can't pay the interest on your existing loans (1 Franc whenever a player's ship lands on the supply circle with the word Interest on it, no matter how many loans you have).

I have never once paid for a Wooden Ship. I often don't really take food in the early game, either (unless I've looked at the special buildings and there is a good use for a type of food coming up). When I do take loans, I use that money to pay entry fees for buildings, not to build ships. Once the Wharf comes out, I'll build a Wooden Ship or two, usually skip the Iron Ships, build a Steel ship, and then possibly build a Luxury Liner or two in the endgame.
 
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Lewis Wagner
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budarooski wrote:

So my question is how do you get enough money early in the game to get a boat so you can reduce the amount of food you have to pay?


You can build buildings and sell them for half price. If you do it on the second round, you'll save a lot more in lowered food costs than you lose selling at half price. It only makes sense to do with one ship, and only in 2 or 3 player games.

In 3 player games, you could sell wood at the joinery, but it will take time and multiple actions.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Eric, there are more situations, where you may be forced to take a loan, e. g. Dive Bar.
 
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Len
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budarooski wrote:
Played my first game (2p) and loved it!! It took us three hours to get through it but we were loving every moment.

I think we did something wrong though.

I understand to "build" a boat you need the WARF card but it being a high number will always come later in the game. Especially for a 2p. So we ended up taking out big loans to pay for the ships. Now I just read a post that explained you can't take out a loan just for money - only if you need it for food. And it has to be at the end of the round.

So my question is how do you get enough money early in the game to get a boat so you can reduce the amount of food you have to pay?


Exploring this is a part of the fun of the game. Keep playing...
 
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Doug Bass
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lewis wrote:
budarooski wrote:
So my question is how do you get enough money early in the game to get a boat so you can reduce the amount of food you have to pay?


You can build buildings and sell them for half price. If you do it on the second round, you'll save a lot more in lowered food costs than you lose selling at half price. It only makes sense to do with one ship, and only in 2 or 3 player games.

I guess I'm still a total Le Havre newbie, even though I've played 20+ times blush. I have always shied away from buying boats because they are so much more expensive than they're worth (in terms of end game points), but I can see the sense in doing this early on. I am not sure why it never occurred to me, but I am definitely going to try it my next game. Thanks!

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David Jones
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OK, since nobody has actually answered the question, here you go...

First of all, you can't get a boat out on the first round and its pretty difficult to do on the second round. So you need to plan for some food. As somebody has alluded to, but didn't fully explain, the best way to get a boat in the early game is to sell buildings.


So, lets pretend you are in a 2P game. Your target building is going to be the fishery. You've got 5 francs and the offer starts at two. Assuming the other player doesn't get there first, you take the offer as soon as it hits 3 francs. In the meantime, take wood clay and fish. If your opponent builds or buys the marketplace, go there to get your one wood and one clay off the bat. By now you've probably had to take 5 of your first seven turns and you have 7 or 8 francs. Build the Fishery on your 6th turn. Don't sell it yet, but keep in mind that if you do sell the fishery, its worth 5GP, so at worst you have 12GP and are only 2 short. On turn seven. if the gold offer is enough to get you to 14GP, take the offer, sell the fishery, and buy the boat. If you can't get the boat, you need to at least make sure you have enough fish such that you don't spend any more money. If you need the food, go into your own fishery. If you don't need food, look for another way to make money. Can you make money by baking or smoking fish? Can you build a second building to sell? Will the franc offer increase early in round 3? If you've done everything carefully, at SOME point during round three you can probably get the boat.

Keep in mind this is just one way to do it. The bakehouse is another good target building. The Sawmill is easily your BEST target, but it doesn't come up in a two player game. Also, as somebody has mentioned, you can go to the joinery and convert wood to francs, but again this is a 3P building. The only real problem is that if your opponent is trying to do the same thing as you, it gets difficult and it may not be until round four that you get the boat.

Someone commented that buying a boat is too expensive. Consider this: in the above example I've spent 9 francs and a 10 VP building to get 48 food (4 per turn for 12 turns) plus 4 VPs plus the ability to ship. How, exactly, is that "too expensive"?

There are a couple of downs to doing this. One, by giving up the opportunity to build buildings (and keep them), you've essentially committed yourself to a shipping strategy early in the game. Two, committing to this strategy also means you may be giving up other opportunities. You probably passed on that two iron offer or didn't take something that could give you a harvest. My suggestion would be do go ahead and do this once so you understand how it works. Once you understand the necessary steps, you can learn how to fold it other early game goals you might have. Personally, I like getting a boat on the forth or fifth round because the food is a huge help. However, its better to be able to leverage your decisions on what others are doing and what will be best in for you in the long term.
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Doug Bass
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davypi wrote:
Someone commented that buying a boat is too expensive. Consider this: in the above example I've spent 9 francs and a 10 VP building to get 48 food (4 per turn for 12 turns) plus 4 VPs plus the ability to ship. How, exactly, is that "too expensive"?

That was me. What I was trying to say was that I had always thought it was too expensive, but I now see I was wrong to think that.

 
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David Jones
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dougbass68 wrote:
What I was trying to say was that I had always thought it was too expensive, but I now see I was wrong to think that.


Admittedly, you do have to be careful with it. In four and five player games, it becomes less profitable because the boat is worth less food. Basically any time I think about buying about I do the calculation - how much food/VP am I getting for how many francs/VP? Sometimes its worth it, sometimes its not.
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Jeff Lotton
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lewis wrote:
budarooski wrote:

So my question is how do you get enough money early in the game to get a boat so you can reduce the amount of food you have to pay?


You can build buildings and sell them for half price. If you do it on the second round, you'll save a lot more in lowered food costs than you lose selling at half price. It only makes sense to do with one ship, and only in 2 or 3 player games.

In 3 player games, you could sell wood at the joinery, but it will take time and multiple actions.


Also in 3 player games you have the early sawmill which can be sold for 7 francs and combined with some luck and a franc offer take can put you in the 14 franc range you need to buy a wooden ship.

I've never bought one early in a 2 player game. I have bought steel ships many many times.
 
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