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Subject: Troyes strategies (Base cards only) rss

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Kari Lakoma
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Okays lets dig into the strategy of Troyes a bit and see where this ends...

First Initial placement of men to buildings:
Buildings are best on locations that do not get expelled so easily. Red 6,5 are pretty rarely left on table so they are good and you want 1 red die in any case. Cathedrals first spots take so long to displace that they are great. Yellow is definitely weakest but you want some money to keep up palace&bisosphoric and these tend to be as leftovers.
If you take most on palace/bisosphoric you tend to pay a lot out of your 10 income and can get stuck with cash. I prefer bisophoric as red dice are 'cheapest' to buy and early on influence allows to buy more men to get more dice. Also yellow dice aren't too good as there's good chance of getting 1white to 3yellow or buy yellow from other players at 0 cost (2 cards out of 9, about 40% that at least one comes up).
Summing it up: Red 5-6 & Cath row 1 -> Cath Row 2 -> rest reds -> Cath row 3 -> yellow. Note that specially in 2 player if opponent put all to City Hall, you end up having loads of red/whites and that might be expensive if bad money card turns up.
Special note of 2plr vs 3-4plr: You gain start of 5 den + 10 per round. In 2plr you pay easily more upkeep (and you get it more often compared to the amount of dice you use and more times as game lasts for more rounds) than in 3-4plr thus in 2plr yellow is better due it is free to keep up.

Buying the dice:
It's important to get the idea that you can use any of the dice not just your own dice. Specially red die are worth buying as normal die cost 2 to buy and having red die cost 2 (white cost 1). Thus even buying 3 red technically cost only 12 deniers compared to owning them.
It's clear that when you buy dice try to buy them from multiple opponents so that one doesn't get too much money as that makes them able to buy your dice. Another point is that try to buy dice that break 3 dice sets/highest values.

Countering the black die:
Countering right amount of black dice is crucial. And to counter right amount you must 'control' amount of them on the table too. There are few good points how to count what to counter. First: counter them so that you don't lose extra die, either leave 1 for each later player or if you'd use 2 dice anyway use one now and one later if you want to try to save one as long as net influence gain stays same. Second: Make opponents counter at least a die too. It's only 1 inf/die, any 1 die that's worth 3+ gives 1 inf from first permanent event if real low on influence (as comparison). And again if this is 'best' way to get inf you are in trouble. Of course if you have red 6 worth 12 counter its well used to take out three '4's but it can harm more next player if you take out only two. Third: If you control red dice others are hard pressed to counter events. Leave events up by cubing multiple events and load table up with black dice. And if you control red dice others don't of course!
As red dice are double their worth its good idea to have two when you are up to counter first to minimize need of reroll(s). It's not bad to have one any other time. When black dice are rolled you definitely want to have about 2 influence unless you have loads of reds to make sure you can counter your own efficiently.

Amount of actions:
Each round there's 18 dice on the table and action uses up 1-3 of them. That gives about 10 actions before dice are used up. It's crucial to maximize your usage and minimize others. To that end you must use more dice per action and use more actions than opponents.
Maximizing is done by three ways. Either by breaking other players 3 dice sets by buying them. You get 'extra' (in sense of how many of the dice each player uses per set) action if you buy 1 die and opponent is forced to use 2 dice instead of the 3rd you just bought. It's harder to do with multiple players but if you hit player that is next in turn he can do the same to player after you. Of course counter this by using three dice sets yourself before others break them. Third way is to place men to buildings so that small dice become useless (neutral player specially) because they cant be placed to buildings anymore or your own dice are usable only after you reroll them when your turn comes back.

First moves:
You definitely want to make sure you can buy dice and tradesmen later too. Id go for influence first to get more men on table (each are worth 2 deniers if someone buys them or if you save buying. Thus compared to any yellow card that gives roughly 4 deniers per die its okay investment as it stays from round to round until expelled and it makes others lose same amount). Also making money can take inf (1/3 chance) or workers in palace/cathedral (1/3) chance -> more men is good thing. And last few dice are usually only good for placing men to buildings so it's good to have influence again!
If you don't get deniers from anywhere you can't take more than 1 card on round 1, but I'd rather go for influence than deniers if have to choose. I'll analyze different cards and how they could be used below.
Usually during first round it's not easy to buy dice from others but if you can do that to break their best 3 dice sets go for it, specially if your dice are worse than theirs just to get more dots.

Building the Cathedral:
Go for this at least with 3 cubes, one on each level. That gives 9 points and 3-6 influence with 3 right timed white dice. (You avoid -2 penalty). After that each die gives 1 VP and 1-2 influence which is compares VP vice to Y3/Goldsmith 1VP+2Den's per 4yellows. But its better as influence can change your other die. Watch out for event card that place neutral cubes to get easy access to higher levels with smaller dice. Also look out for cube removal event card, you don't lose VP but might get the penalty. Specially if opponent cube is taken out and you can steal his 3rd spot.
How to build then? You can see the dice on board and usually cathedral isn't built with rerolls. To maximize effect use dice that max out cathedral so that opponents cant place cubes. To avoid multiple building actions place 2-3 cubes at a time if you can.

Manning up the buildings:
Make sure you get best dice sets, it saves money, makes your actions more efficient and might force opponents to break your sets instead. Focus on two buildings instead of spreading evenly into three. That way you get better sets. Also two tradecards affect this: Miller (Bisosphoric/palace) to gain cash and Tax Collector (Cityhall) to gain cash from others. Events that force men out are easier to control as there is already man at the start of round. You can't man the buildings without influence and if you have more men it becomes harder to replace them as one is on the side already.

Rerolling or flipping the dice:
One thing that I missed on many early games! Remember to have influence to change dice results, else you play Game of Luck when you could play Game of Thrones. One point is that you need at least 3 inf at the end of round as event can take 2 inf out and youd end up having 0 when countering comes up. Most efficient is that you can flip 3 dice over. Ones or twos dont get bought so you can use them after flipping. And this again makes you want influence!

Tradesmen on cards:

Yellow:
1a) Artisan [5:2/1]: y/4 -> convert 1inf to 6 TG, total cost is quite high due inf cost. Chance to get this increases worth of early influence (white/red dice). Yields 1.5den per dot, more per die but... And cost of 4 yellow makes it hard to get doubleuse without own yellow dice.
1b) Merchant [4:2/1]: y/2 -> 2 deniers; Yields 1denier per dot, pretty good
1c) Miller [2/1]: y/4 -> 2 denier per worker in palace/bishophoric which ever is greater as you should have at least 3 in either. Thats 2den per dot. And if you can get 4+ man in its insane amount of cast. Definitely best and worth watching out!

2a) Militia [6:3/2]: y/3 yellow dice to red dice, its good if you haven't got red dice but I don't play that way and usually this is not played even by others.
2b) Blacksmith [5:3/2]: y/3 -> +5 to red set, this is nice, technically gives +1 red die when using them to counter cards (or sometimes activations)
2c) Innkeeper [5:3/2]: y/1 -> 1 influence; This is cheapest way to get influence per die but usually influence isnt problem or you are having bad day anyway

3a) Goldsmith [8:3/2]: y/4 -> 1VP+2 Denier; Gives too few VP compared to dice (4dots per VP) and deniers shouldn't be target this far
3b) Sculptor [15:6/5]: y/3 -> 1Vp; Pretty good VP rate (1.5 dots), specially with priests +3 to yellow! Also 5-6 VP from 15 deniers is better than saving them up for secret fellow.
3c) Journeyman [5:2/1]: y/4 -> 3 Deniers to 2VP, need somewhat much yellow dice to score this (due I don't prefer to have them in big amounts) but if you can spare it its better in comparison to smith as VP rate is higher. Also usually deniers aren't that plenty. (2dots/vp)

White:
1a) Priest [6:3/2]: w/3 -> add 3 to each yellow die; Somewhat good if you have good yellow abilities on board. Also good to counter cards.
1b) Monk [6:3/2] : w/3 -> 1white to 3yellow; Definitely great way to get yellow dice, one 6 to 18, and its cheap to buy from others! Also gives 3 VP if you score this first!
1c) Tithing [6:3/2]: w/4 -> Buy first yellow die from each other player at 0 cost. Again good if you don't have yellow dice as others will have them. Pays itself off easily by slowing others down.

2a) Appreticeship[6: 3/2]: w/3 all dice in set are 5; Somewhat good only, due any ability costing 4/6 gets under valued with 5/10/15 set.
2b) Confession[7:3/2]: w/3 -> +2 to die in set, technically gives +6 to anything if you use all 3. If you can spare its good but no game breaker.
2c) Templar[7:3/2]: w/3 -> 1w -> 2r, weak as you get only 2 die unless you want to use red cards like chivalry or joust.

3a) Glassblower [7:3/2]: w/5 -> ½vp per cathedral cube; Good if you have loads of cubes only (6+) but then again cubes are good to put in. Suffers from cost of 5 white a tad which is hard to maximize.
3b) Procession[5:3/2]: w/4 -> own most dice 2vp; pretty hard to get as you have to buy your die to score more than one time and white are usually well shared. If you played early heavily on influence this might be good. Gives VP/2 dots though which is okay rate.
3c) Pilgrimage[0:1/1] any/7 -> 2vp; Takes loads of die to get vp (3 good dice to score 4VP or 2 average for 2), possibly good with Confession +2/die or Priest +3/yellow. Note that cost of 0 makes it good for tradesman objective.

Red:
1a) Diplomat [6:2/1]: r/3 -> inf to place cube; Pretty bad, rate is same as with archer but no inf gain (3r/cube)
1b) Archer [6:2/1]: r/2 -> 3-6 place 1 cube to offence; Good rate (3/cube) and gain inf, allows to hit all cards easily.
1c) Chivalry [6:2/1]: r/4 -> cubes 1/red dice in your district, if you have more dice than others you can buy easily their red die to get cubes to events. I'd rate this just below archer as it needs some tricks to work.

2a) Hunting [5:3/1]: r/3 -> 3 inf; 1 inf per dot, better than yellow one as it doesn't cost (cost is set in cost of red die though). Not too good as influence shouldn't be problem to gain from other 'cheaper' sources, first tradesman is 3vp which is okay.
2b) Tax Collector [6:2/1]: r/5 -> 1 denier from each man cityhall, again gives rewards if you didn't play cityhall about 1 denier per dot and takes from others too. Even better in 1vs1 in such situation.
2c) Mercenary [2:1/-]: r/2 -> 3 deniers, good rate for coins and costs only 2 to play. Again inherited cost of red die make this nasty, buying red from others become good option with this. Though buying makes you get less cash and thus it gives some money but cost time to act.

3a) Troubadour [7:3/2] r/3 -> 3inf to 2VP, well getting this much inf is nasty and red die use up against black die, I don't rate this very high. (1.5 dots per VP)
3b) Joust [5:3/2] r/3 -> 2vp if your red dice total exceeds others, very good if you have more red dice and some capital to buy others reds too. (1.5 VP per dot)
3c) Captain [7:3/2]: r/4 -> Vp/event card that has cube(s), great if you invested archer/diplomat/chivalry to split cubes to different events (3+ events)

Event Cards
If you have more red dice than others its not good idea to counter them but just put ½ of the cubes there so that you get it when it's countered (so other players are forced to put action to counter it for you) and if captain arrives you can score sick amount of points. And if you want to counter right away try to counter those that don't give +black dice or extra events to table as more cards on table give more events later so this builds up! But don't forget to counter the cards before game ends or you lose loads of points.

Victory cards (1/3/6 VPs and amount to gain 3+plr(2plr)/../..):
Getting 6Vp is quite demanding but 3VP can be gained pretty easily so try to get 3 in all areas that others go for too, and minimum of 1 in every possible condition if it looks even a tad likely to on someones hand. Though remember that its only +1/+2/+3 VP per stage earned so tradesmen can give easily same amount even on 2nd slot.

* Cathedral : 3(4)/5(6)/7(8)
- You need 3 cubes to avoid -6 VPs so getting 1VP is free lunch, even 3VP is pretty cheap. Great way to earn influence if white 1st card is bad or to buy from others.
* Money: 6/12/18
- This is easiest to acquire, even without this try to end at 12$ if anyone has cash at all. But its also easy to score 3VP elsewhere with 6 deniers!
* Events: 1/3/5(6)
- Again one event is easy to get, 3 takes some work and 5-6 is real pain (at least without archer), remember that events are easy way to get influence. Did I say often enough it's crucial to get influence from somewhere early on.
* Tradesmen: 2/4/6
- Takes so many man out of the buildings, dont try to get 6VP if it doesn't come while you do other stuff. Note that tradesmen give VPs too by scoring cards so this is better than buildings in the last round if you have to guess which one to.
* Influence: 5/10/15
- Takes some work but usually if someone stands all the time high go for it. Usually easily masked by cathedral build / card countering. Not worth it if it makes you save men on supply.
* Buildings: 3(4)/5(6)/7(8)
- Easy as when you place your man you displace others, definitely worth going as it makes game easier while you get more men. Remember that tradesmen give VP themselves.

And now lets see where this ended: INFLUENCE

I think I missed some due length of text so point it out and Ill add it.

-D
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Jack Francisco
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Re: Troyes strategies
Regarding Tax Collector - I just played a 2p game where I crippled my opponent with him. I went first bought his dice, then on my next turn took all his remaining deniers. It was so early in the turn, that I was able to buy all of the neutral dice and use most of mine. It was awesome.
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Darren Mac
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Re: Troyes strategies
I had to give this a thumb, purely for its logical layout and clear thought.
I LOVE Troyes - but when I play, its like a kid in a candy store - every card looks good and useable at the time of its reveal (or at least spawns a potential strategy), EVERY event looks disastrous for me, I ALWAYS feel that the cathedral is useful, I NEVER have enough cash, on my turn, I ONLY have 1 red die to counter the inevitable black 6.... in short, I love that there are so many options, each logical and useful, but too often fall prey to the 'changing strategy mid-stream' issue.

This is a logical layout to help me prevent some of that - thanks!!

PS - favourite new game!!!
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Trey Alsup
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Nice article.

The plural of "die" is "dice". Most of the times that you use "die" in this article you mean "dice".
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Kari Lakoma
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Yea right, shoulda noticed it as technically I know it. Thanks fixing it to make text more readable. Also added few 's...

-D
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Erik Ruigrok
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Very nice strategy article, with some very good tips I hadn't thought about before. However, I didn't understand all your statements, especially about Countering the black dice. Furthermore, I found some mistakes in your text (compared to TROYES_SHORT_RULES_ENG_LD.pdf), for example:

1c) Miller [2/1]: y/3
This must be Miller [5:2/1]: y/4

"3c) Journeyman [5:2/1]: y/5 -> 3 Deniers to 2VP, need pretty much yellow dice to score this but if you can spare it its better than smith."
This must be: y/4, so "need pretty much yellow dice" is now a weaker argument.

There are some ? in the text about the activity-cards

Victory cards
"Events: 1/3/6(5)": this must be: 1/3/5
"Buildings: 4(3)/6(5)/8(7)": this must be 3(4)/5(6)/7(8)

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Kari Lakoma
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Thanks, fixed Miller typo and victory card amounts as they vere reversed.

About journeyman: y/4, and 3 deniers, Id still call it weak

There are ? cos I wrote wrote them from the Board Game Arena (my friend has the game where I learned it so I dont have cards @home) online play. And didnt see those numbers (man over them) when I wrote this. Then Ive had somewhat busy days not to be able to play. Ill try to fix them soon, thanx for pointing out the PDF, it helps to correct minor errors.

Ill try to reformat (done) the black die stuff, its tad messy in english. Clarify (does this help):
* Control amount of die that suits your play by counter/not counter events
* Counter so that you dont lose extra dice when it comes back to you
* Force opponents to use dice too, specially if you can leave inf to them or they dont need it drastically
* Control red dice

-D
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Jason Arnold
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I found this to be an interesting read.

One part that I'm having trouble with though (maybe a little language barier and maybe I'm just not 'getting' it) is this statement:

Specially red die are worth buying as normal die cost 2 to buy and having red die cost 2 (white cost 1). Thus even buying 3 red technically cost only 12 deniers compared to owning them.


Sorry for asking but can you explain this a bit more?
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Brent Wilson
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Monkeyman wrote:
I found this to be an interesting read.

One part that I'm having trouble with though (maybe a little language barier and maybe I'm just not 'getting' it) is this statement:

Specially red die are worth buying as normal die cost 2 to buy and having red die cost 2 (white cost 1). Thus even buying 3 red technically cost only 12 deniers compared to owning them.


Sorry for asking but can you explain this a bit more?


I think what the author is getting at is that since red dice cost 2 per income phase to roll(since you pay your citizens in the palace 2 money each), and buying single dice from opponents also costs 2 money, then you may as well buy them instead of own them. Or at least, you shouldn't feel bad about paying 2 for them since the owner had to pay that anyway.
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Jason Arnold
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Speedyox wrote:
Monkeyman wrote:
I found this to be an interesting read.

One part that I'm having trouble with though (maybe a little language barier and maybe I'm just not 'getting' it) is this statement:

Specially red die are worth buying as normal die cost 2 to buy and having red die cost 2 (white cost 1). Thus even buying 3 red technically cost only 12 deniers compared to owning them.


Sorry for asking but can you explain this a bit more?


I think what the author is getting at is that since red dice cost 2 per income phase to roll(since you pay your citizens in the palace 2 money each), and buying single dice from opponents also costs 2 money, then you may as well buy them instead of own them. Or at least, you shouldn't feel bad about paying 2 for them since the owner had to pay that anyway.


Excellent, that definitely clears things up. Thanks!
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