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Brass: Lancashire» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Overbuilding to a victory rss

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I just played a game of Brass today and I had kinda tough situation in the rail period(at least with my limited experience with Brass).

First, let me talk a bit about the canal period. First of all we had a four player game with three players having played once and me as the most"experienced" player with staggering five plays under the belt. We had about 30 min recall with the rules since the last session with these guys was over three months ago and we played couple rules incorrectly that one time.

I had read a few tips in the forums to develop quite heavily in the beginning. I started with developing my ports and other players followed with quite heavy develop in the canal period. I among other players made a nice profit with iron and coal. Since I also developed coal and iron early, my cottons mill develop dragged a bit. My port develop didn't prove to the most profitable action but I got foothold in the North my level 2 port and managed to flip it. We didn't see that many cotton mills since the market dropped close to zero after a few sales. I managed put down a few cotton mills and one port. Most importantly I didn't build a single level 1 building. I ended up fine and I was only a couple points behind the leader with something around 25-30 points if I remember correctly. I also had decent income running around 8-9 £, so eveything was looking just great.

The rail period started fine for me and I made a good profit with two of my cotton mills and iron. Most of the port locations were constructed full early on and I also had very few places to build my cotton. I got zero cotton cards in the whole rail period and most of the locations were blocked or became full right in the beginning of the rail period. I was still doing ok but I was struggling to get a good use for my cards. I had 6-7 cards that were completely useless for 2-3 rounds or rest of the game. Double action was out also out of the question due to situations on the map. My options were very limited. I ended up doing a good deal of rail connections and I made a ton of points in the end. Options became more limited but I still kept some of the good location cards if I'd still get had a chance to build over other players' counters. I saw an opportunity, developed my coal to level 4 and planned to build over yellow player's iron and coal.When I made my move the coal track had one coal and no cubes on the map, in addition there were no iron cubes on the map or on the demand track. First I built over yellow's level 3 iron with my level 4 iron and spent that last coal from the demand track. The second action I used to build over yellow's level 3 coal with my level 4 coal. I made a huge profit, gained a good chuck of VPs and most important majorly hindered yellow's game. Later on I had no intentions to repeat the same nasty move(and I didn't see it as reliable option) but all of a sudden in the last round I was looking at the map with zero coal and zero coal on the demand track and a Bolton card in my hand. The best move was to build over yellow's level 2 coal in Bolton with my last level 4 coal and once gain a huge profit. Yellow player wasn't too happy after the third hit in straight in the face. Yellow was still my biggest competitor and probably could have even won without my overbuilding, even though the third time didn't matter in the end.

I ended up winning the game with 135 VPs(other players were somewhere around 110-100). I certainly could have done better with better cards but my patient waiting and planning for building over counters paid in the end. I was yet once astonished with the deepness of the system and for a player being able to manage even with the worst deal of the cards in his situation.

How is your experience with overbuilding? How often do you see it? Is a three time chance already uncommon to happen to a person?

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Samuel Hinz
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Re: Overbuilding to victory
i've played something in the vicinity of 10-15 games,

i've seen overbuilding (others) done twice in all that time, once in 2 games, not double or triple. i guess it's possible, but very unlikely.
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Nigel Misson
United Kingdom
Southport
Lancashire
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Yes, Southport is in Lancashire.
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Hi Roadhouse.
I frequently play Brass and the overbuild is a very powerful action. I seldom see many L2 coal mines still in play at the end of rail. I see overbuilding practically every game.

The reason for this is cost of actions - playing coal as an action gets very few VPs, though it will get income. Income basically offsets the need to take loan actions though, so playing a L2 coal mine to generate 2 VPs and an income of £3 at the start of rail is worth £24 over the phase, so taking a loan action instead puts you £6 up in money, at the cost of 2 VPs. This gets steadily more unattractive the further you progress through rail - typically you should be looking for 6-10 VPs per action during rail - so players typically are less inclined to play coal. Overbuilding makes the action more attractive - if you overbuild the 2nd place player's L2 coal with a L3 coal, it's worth 5 VPs (As it takes 2 away from your opponent), so usually experienced players will let the demand track get exhausted before building coal / iron. Also, if you build resources (coal / iron), you are actually making the game easier for your competitors as it makes their next action cheaper than it otherwise would be!

The more this game is played, the more you appreciate its subtleties and complexities which makes it one of the best. Rail provides a mechanism to gain a decent number of points irrespective of the cards you have, so is very balancing in that regard. Playing coal & iron will give a good income but few VPs, and needs to be balanced with another industry unless your fellow players let you completely dominate rail

135 is a good score btw. 140 is the usual target for a competitive game against very experienced players. Well done!

Enjoy! And if you ever fancy an online game let me know.
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