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Subject: Science strategy with Archimedes rss

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Greg Udvari
Hungary
Budapest
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Does anyone have any experience with Archimedes (Green -1) and a science strategy? I've used him twice as a phase 1 gambit and eventually managed a 1st and 2nd place. Works best if nobody else has a grey resource to be able to gather all three greens in phase I and having Aristotle in tow is a definite bonus.
Any comments, statistical analysis?
 
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Aaron Bohm
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Appleton
Wisconsin
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I find him so-so. For one, at 4 gold he is a tad on the expensive side. Secondly, if you have a science strategy, most of the cards you play are not going to cost resources anyway since a majority of them link to one another.

Obviously it depends on what wonder you start out with but the only time he might come in handy is at the beginning of the game, as you say, to make sure you can get out 1-2 green cards regardless of what grey resource you start out with or are passed. In my opinion this is a bit of a gamble as, if you don't get passed green cards (and if they see you have this you prob won't if they can avoid it) then it's a waste of 4 gold.

Personally, knowing nothing else but the idea that I was definitely going to start with science strategy, the leaders I'd keep would be Viruvius, Aristotle, Hypatia, and Bilkis. I would play either Viruvius or Bilkis first as they still work in the event that I have to abandon my sci strategy and science cards have more free builds than anything else. If I get 2 or more greens built in round 2 Aristotle is the obvious second choice followed by Hypatia in round 3.
 
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Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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He's good for getting your science engine going. All the starting green cards need gray resources. Playing him as your first leader saves you from having to build gray cards or buy gray resources. Since you might not get gray cards early in the round he can help a lot.
 
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John Weber
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Ellicott City
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Because you are spending 4 to bring him into play, he does leave you short on money, but -- like everything else with this game -- if you get the right set of cards at the right time, the effects can be devastating. You can get all three Age I Science cards for free and then chain from there. Last game I played I drafted Archimedes first, someone passed me Aristotle, I wound up with my all-time high score of 96 points, 88 of which were Science-based (four complete sets, each set worth 10 with the leader bonus).
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Darcy Hartwick
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Ottawa
Ontario
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The main problem with him is how hard it telegraphs your strategy. Depending on the size of the game the other players may notice and just burn 1-2 of the green cards you're looking to get.

It can still help in round 2 if that happens I suppose, but I personally don't like telegraphing my plan for the game on turn 1 if I can help it :O
 
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Mark Kanabrocki
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I find him a very powerful round one play. While it is true that experienced players will try to keep from giving you green cards, many times it is impossible early on for them to bury them except for disacarding for 3g. Most players will not pass up the opportunity to play a card that benefits them just to discard for 3g to keep you from getting something. So, unless they are going science as well, or have the resources for a wonder stage, you will get the science cards passed to you to basically build free. Then after Age I you have free build science the rest of the game.
 
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James Krolak
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Plymouth
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I started with him in a game last week and ended with 100 points. I was lucky to have Ephesus as my wonder, so it made it a ton easier. I'll readily note, though, that going heavy on the green cards works only if no one else is collecting them, too. And, yes, even if my opponents see me doing this, they almost never sacrifice a good card to play in order to try to block me.
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J
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100 points? That's pretty impressive.

I take it you had every green card especially if your neighbors weren't working to deny you which would be 4 complete sets. Did you manage 5 complete sets? What other cards did you have?
 
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James Krolak
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This was a 4 player game.

Lemme try to remember what exactly I had. For leaders, I think I got: (in this order)

Archimedes (1 resource requirement per green card can be ignored when building)
Aristotle (sets of 3 different science symbols are worth +3 points)
Euclid (gives an extra science compass symbol)
I can't remember the one I discarded

I didn't have every green card, actually. My opponents realized what I was doing and managed to bury a few, but Aristotle gave me a decent bump to make up for a bit of it.

My wonder was Ephesus, which helped a TON since the drawback to going all science is almost no resource production and thus a lack of money. I still had to grab yellow cards that gave me money a few times. Ephesus produces 1 scroll/paper right from the start, which can help with certain cards. I never built a production card, though.

For green cards, I got 11. I know I got all 3 of them from Age 1. I think I got all of them from Age 2. I think one of my opponents managed to bury or discard 1 of the Age 3 cards that I needed. (I think it was the Lodge) It helped that in a 4 player game, there are duplicates of the Scriptorium, Dispensary and the University 'cuz I got passed hands with 2 green cards in them a few times and I knew if one of those 3 cards was in that hand, then there was another copy of them floating around at the table. Since I had Euclid, though, he made up for missing that 1 compass. (or whatever that symbol is)

So, I ended up with 4 of each symbol in the end. Matching symbols got me 48 points. 4 sets of different symbols (together with Aristotle) got me 40 points more. I managed to finish all 3 wonder stages, so that was worth 10 points. I had 6 coins left at the end of the game, so that was worth 2 points. I lost every conflict, so that was -6 points at the end. By chance, I managed to get the Senate in a hand with no green cards, (and I had already built it's precursor, the Library) so I was able to build it for free, which got me 6 points. So, in the end, I came out with 100 points on the nose.

This was a rare occurrence, to be honest. I've won with the same general science strategy at least 5 times now and those other games all ended with 70-90 points. My regular opponents have learned to watch me during the game to see if I'm focusing on green cards, now, so they really try to build or bury at least 4 of them if they see what I'm doing.
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