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Subject: The Reserve Re-Visited rss

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Mike Clarke
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The Reserve is a great place to store cards until you need them like the Governor...particularly the Governor, the Fortification Card, or the Bateaux (British) and the Trader (British again) [yes i know these last two are supposed to be useless, but they're not).

That way at least as the British when you want to clean out your hand (Governor), fortify the land or use the land to empty your hand by selling pelts [yes I know the British have gold, but when you're on the march pelts can work as a card sink for poor locations for the British player until he can Governor them out) you can then use these cards for maximum effect. The quicker you can go through your hand the less the game bogs down for you and the more the cards you want come into it.

Trouble is the reserve is also a natural place for storing military...and the two don't go together. You don't want to clog your hand with military just to access some of these other cards.

Wouldn't it be nice if the reserve was divided in two...one section for military reserves and one for everything else?! It's a variant that might considerably speed up game play.

It's just an idea. Anyone have any thoughts on this radical strategy?
 
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Clyde W
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I tend to focus on a certain strategy, and then use the reserve to aid that strategy. Generally this works out for me...
 
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Mike Clarke
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I know what you mean, reserve for military when conducting military actions...reserve for governor et al...when in expansion mode.

Trouble is at some points in the game, these things happen simultaneously.
My idea is just a launching pad for a strategy discussion (perhaps the thread would have been better put there).

I'm not going to change it in my game at least for now, but just wondered what others might think of only having to take out say all the military cards...OR...all the other types of cards instead of both.
 
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Tim Seitz
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mikecl wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if the reserve was divided in two...one section for military reserves and one for everything else?! It's a variant that might considerably speed up game play.

No, because with the reserve the way it is it creates some agonizing decisions. If there were a reserve for military and a reserve for cards you didn't want, then there would be no tough choices.
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Mike Clarke
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out4blood wrote:
mikecl wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if the reserve was divided in two...one section for military reserves and one for everything else?! It's a variant that might considerably speed up game play.

No, because with the reserve the way it is it creates some agonizing decisions. If there were a reserve for military and a reserve for cards you didn't want, then there would be no tough choices.


That's one way of looking at it.
But what it also does is create some agonizing downtime as you struggle with a mitt full of cards which can be a considerable drag on game play.

A more effective reserve would create a faster way of slimming your hand that I don't think would be game changing but rather game enabling.

The game is full of agonizing decisions that have nothing to do with what cards to put in reserve.


 
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Clyde W
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mikecl wrote:
Trouble is at some points in the game, these things happen simultaneously.
My idea is just a launching pad for a strategy discussion (perhaps the thread would have been better put there).
And I know what you mean, but I've worked it so you can use it for either. For instance, two games ago, as British, I went big militarily but lost my first siege at Port Royal. I retooled my strategy, hoping to win the race for exhausting settlements instead, so I got back the "useless" locations in the South I had put into reserve and put my Regulars there instead, always making sure I had a block ambush card on me at any time. I ended up winning, barely.
 
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Mike Clarke
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clydeiii wrote:
mikecl wrote:
Trouble is at some points in the game, these things happen simultaneously.
My idea is just a launching pad for a strategy discussion (perhaps the thread would have been better put there).
And I know what you mean, but I've worked it so you can use it for either. For instance, two games ago, as British, I went big militarily but lost my first siege at Port Royal. I retooled my strategy, hoping to win the race for exhausting settlements instead, so I got back the "useless" locations in the South I had put into reserve and put my Regulars there instead, always making sure I had a block ambush card on me at any time. I ended up winning, barely.


Now that's the kind of feedback I was looking for. A strategy discussion. So in essence having been thwarted, you used your original locations as the launching pad for a new expansion and kept your military in reserve for a possible surprise attack.

My question then is (as happened to me in exactly that situation). What happens when you need to put a Governor, a Trader or a Fortification in there as your hand fills up while you expand?

It sure would be nice to be able to access them at the key times...say the Trader to dump a hand full of locations with pelts while you're waiting for the Guv to take them out...without having to dump all the military back in which would defeat the purpose.

 
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Clyde W
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I've never used the reserve like that. In fact, I rarely use the Governor, often using the reserve as Gov-lite. (Typically, I go for a quick knockout so that I only need to shove a few useless cards in there.)
 
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Tim Seitz
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mikecl wrote:
out4blood wrote:
mikecl wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if the reserve was divided in two...one section for military reserves and one for everything else?! It's a variant that might considerably speed up game play.

No, because with the reserve the way it is it creates some agonizing decisions. If there were a reserve for military and a reserve for cards you didn't want, then there would be no tough choices.


That's one way of looking at it.
But what it also does is create some agonizing downtime as you struggle with a mitt full of cards which can be a considerable drag on game play.

A more effective reserve would create a faster way of slimming your hand that I don't think would be game changing but rather game enabling.

The game is full of agonizing decisions that have nothing to do with what cards to put in reserve.

Despite the thin wargamey veneer, the primary mechanic in the game is deck-building. This may sound harsh, but if you fail at the deck-building portion, and your opponent does not, the rest of your decisions won't matter.
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Clyde W
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I agree. I make my deck exactly to suit my strategy, then execute. If it fails, I retool my deck appropriately. If my deck is ever above 20 or so cards, I know I am in trouble (unless my opponent has bloated his deck). Thus, things like reserve and Governor matter less.
 
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Mike Clarke
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out4blood wrote:
Despite the thin wargamey veneer, the primary mechanic in the game is deck-building. This may sound harsh, but if you fail at the deck-building portion, and your opponent does not, the rest of your decisions won't matter.


Totally agree with you there. You can't do anything without the cards in your hand...when you need them.

And it's not unreasonable to think that the reserve has been deliberately engineered to ease your deck building but only to a point. That could very well have been Wallace's intention when he designed it that way.

I guess I'm just looking for a little insight into its creative use. Like I said, my observation on the nature of the reserve was primarily intended to launch a discussion. I'm certainly not playing it that way myself.
And one could I suppose also argue that the way you slog around in the field as you pare down your hand the hard way, mirrors the conditions of the time.

Still that doesn't always make for great or even interesting game play which is what I was getting at.
 
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Clyde W
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But I think out4blood's point was that if you're slogging around, then you're playing the game wrong. Not 100% sure.
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Lonnie H
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Another thing that I have noticed is that as the British player, I tend to have more money around and so I'm more willing to throw a few cards into the Reserve. But it will just be one or two cards that I need for that upcoming combo.....I need to fortify something or special cards needed for settling a tricky location (ie needed wagon, or canoe). On the other hand as the French, I have have been stuck with cards in the Reserve and no cash to get them out.

Another thing that I will do as the British when I have loaded up with military, but aren't quite ready to launch the campaign, is to pay for discards and discard more military cards per action to keep the hand cycling, and keep them ambush proof. This keeps the deck cycling and rarely am I in need of money as the Brits (but I tend to keep all the 3 gold coins in my deck, and the ship locations...since they are good for merchant and besieging ports).

As the French this gets played completely different because both of these options need money, and I find the French to be lacking in money most of the time.....maybe this is just my play style.

Others thoughts on French vs British use of Reserve
 
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Mike Clarke
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clydeiii wrote:
But I think out4blood's point was that if you're slogging around, then you're playing the game wrong. Not 100% sure.


And maybe you could use better opposition. I know how to play the game. But as the British I was forced into an expansionist strategy after my opponent basically turtled, grabbed both neutral fortification cards on the third turn after my second turn attack on Port Royal.

He wound up playing a delaying, defensive game as the French using all of the fortification disks except one which I used to secure Fort Frontenac on his left flank. I didn't need them. While he was doing that I had secured an Indian majority and anytime he tried to expand from his fortified position, I raided him and took his cubes.

I won that game by six points, but even with 20 cards the deck has to recycle three to four times to get the starting locations back from which to advance.

That's why I took the Trader and started selling pelts to move through cards. You can get rid of a ton that way. Secondly you talk about paring down your hand and the Governor as if those were two separate strategies. The Governor allows you to do that faster.

My reserve idea is aimed at a thinner deck that can allow to cycle faster so you can blitzkrieg your opponent a bit better.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Tim's right about it being a deck-builder, and increasing the Reserve in any way is simply ameliorating that core aspect of the game.

My rule of thumb is, if I can riffle shuffle my discard pile, I've probably already lost.
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Clyde W
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I've won a siege of Fortified Quebec a few times now. If my opponent fortifies everything, I am thrilled, and will destroy him. Why didn't you try this?
 
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Mike Clarke
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clydeiii wrote:
I've won a siege of Fortified Quebec a few times now. If my opponent fortifies everything, I am thrilled, and will destroy him. Why didn't you try this?


I guess I was too busy beating him...kinda like you in this thread:

clydeiii wrote:
For instance, two games ago, as British, I went big militarily but lost my first siege at Port Royal. I retooled my strategy, hoping to win the race for exhausting settlements instead,
 
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Mike Clarke
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DarrellKH wrote:
Tim's right about it being a deck-builder, and increasing the Reserve in any way is simply ameliorating that core aspect of the game.


Yes I know.

DarrellKH wrote:
My rule of thumb is, if I can riffle shuffle my discard pile, I've probably already lost.


I have small thumbs.
 
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Clyde W
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mikecl wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
I've won a siege of Fortified Quebec a few times now. If my opponent fortifies everything, I am thrilled, and will destroy him. Why didn't you try this?


I guess I was too busy beating him...kinda like you in this thread:

clydeiii wrote:
For instance, two games ago, as British, I went big militarily but lost my first siege at Port Royal. I retooled my strategy, hoping to win the race for exhausting settlements instead,
I retooled my strategy not because my opponent fortified everything, but because I sensed a bloat in his deck that he could not overcome. In that specific instance, it worked in my favor, but my move might not have been appropriate had the French now screwed up his deck.
 
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