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Subject: First act - card values/strategies? rss

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Darcy Hartwick
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Wondering how others tend to prioritize cards in act 1.

I tend to highly value the split resource cards especially if the two resources appear in my wonder.

I will often take the yellow card that provides 5 coins, especially if we are using leaders expansion. However I will rarely build the trading posts or the marketplace (which I think could be a mistake - these can pay for themselves very quickly especially if you use them to build the act 2 yellow resource cards)

I will build a grey resource if its needed for my wonder stages but otherwise try to avoid them (I try to make sure I can build the split resource yellow cards though).

I almost never build single-resource act I cards.

I am fine with building any of the blue cards, especially like the baths.

I will often build a single military card, considering it worth at least 2 points, probably 3, and sometimes 4 (taking possibility of negatives into account).

I will build science if I have no better option (e.g. over single-resource browns) or if I can access the resources for at least 2 of the act 1 sciences. If I start with none of the grey resources on my board it tends to feel like a waste to chase after them.


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Jeff Thornsen
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Here's my rough priority list:

1. Dual-Brown which matches my wonder and/or my neighbor's wonders
2. Sometimes, the Trading Post or Marketplace is really valuable, but this depends on my neighbors' resources. I also might build these later in Age I if I am low on wood or clay, for the free Forum/Caravansary in Age II.
3. Grey (unless my neighbor already has it).
4. Red (especially if my left-hand neighbor is likely to build it if I pass it to them)
5. Anything else that looks decent (Single-Brown, Tavern, any of the Blues, or a Green)

Sometimes, depending on my wonder and my neighbor's, I commit to the Green Strategy early. I then prioritize Grey and/or the Marketplace, and Greens. This depends on the contents of my opening hand as well.

I almost never pay neighbors for resources in Age I, with a handful of exceptions. If I'm going for a science strategy, I may be willing to pay to build a Green card. I would also pay a neighbor to build the 2nd stage of my wonder during Age I.

However, a lot of this depends on what my neighbors are doing. The priorities move around as I see what everyone else at the table is playing.
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Jason Johns
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Tretiak wrote:
My prioritization is heavily influenced by what my neighbors already have and what my wonder requires.



Well, that may be good strategy, but it sure doesn't help any newbies. What do you look for in your neighbors pile? If he has X, why do you take Z? More details, please. (I'm getting this for Christmas...)

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M. B. Downey
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Tretiak wrote:
As a newbie the best thing is to just play the game.


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M Van Der Werf
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Most important in age 1 is to set up a good resource economy so either reliable ways to save money / gain money (yellows) or just access to the resrouces (browns / gray's / wonder). So first couple turns are usually fixed on that.
Quality of resources depends on your own needs and your neighbours. Browns and grays that are unique amongst your neighbours are good because they give you access to something you would otherwise not have and they generate more money. As for market/t. post you should play them if they are active for most of their resources, at least 3 out of 4 for t.post and 2 out of 3 for market (or you are sure they will be soon).

After that you generally want to just take the age 1 buildings that are relatively cheap for you, spending too much money in age 1 can force you into discarding later on when you really don't want to and the age 1 buildings don't score too much anyway. Looking out for buildings that are chain into stuff which is otherwise hard to buy for you is also good which unfortunately requires you to know the possible cards really well.
With most stuff you want to be unique again, red is great if your the only one in it, same with green. Blue I don't recommend age 1, you can always get into blue later whereas with red and green you'd really prefer to start age 1.

When in doubt between some yellows/grays/browns remember that the age 2 and age 3 yellows benefit from you focussing on one of them, so for example if you have market/t. post the tavern gets really good. Two grays can also score be decent later on with the yellows. The yellows that count for brown are generally just bad because you don't want to have 4+ browns generally.
 
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Dan Bradshaw
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Double-resource browns are always high priority to me; I'll basically always take one, even if it doesn't fit my Wonder.

Basic brown production are next, then greys.

I like to get a Trading Post, if the appropriate neighbor looks like he'll have useful stuff. I might grab a Tavern, but that's low priority.

Reds, blues, and greens in the first age I automatically pass. As far as I'm concerned, it's better to throw those for 3 gold, and use that to buy something better later. The only exception is if I've decided to go science, but I very, very rarely do that because I suck at building science.
 
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M Van Der Werf
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To the above, I think you're highly underestimating the power of early reds and greens.
In my opinion tossing a building for 3 coins is almost never a good idea, the return for building instead of tossing is just almost always better and I think it was designed this way on purpose (ie. it's best to avoid having to toss buildings).
3 coins is just very little compared to the return that an early red,green or even blue will give. Only times I consider tossing a building are:
- when I can't make anything valuable (obvious ofcourse..)
- when I know the money is critical for allowing me to build something critical next turn, this can sometimes happens with some of the wonders where it is beneficial to rush to a certain stage asap (finishing babylon B stage 2 in age 1 for example)
- when i'm into a trading strategy (post and/or market). Having the post and/or market increases the value of money for you as you get more resources for it in return, this in turn makes 3 gold relatively better and perhaps even worth it.

One should really not underestimate the power of an early red. Some people think that since most victory points are given in age 2 and 3 and the red buildings are much stronger in those ages that building red in age 1 is a waste. Nothing can be further from the truth..
Having 1 red advantage in age 1 is already quite big, you can gain points and even hand out some negative points while otherwise you would perhaps stay on even footing. Not only that, the 1 point is an ideal tiebreaker for winning the military war later on. One age 1 and one age 2 building is an efficient way to beat a single age 2 red building, likewise for 1+2+3 vs 2+3, having an early red advantage however minimal it may be can be used to great effect, especially if you can manage to deny the player your feeding from building red easily.
Early greens are quite good as well. They allow you the possibility of going big in green for big points while also being able to get out of it early (when it's being fought over) while still having a minimal loss. The trick to getting into green is to play it early and then make the right call to continue in it or abandon it. Green buildings also happen to have the best chains in the game so even if you build only 1 of it in age 1 it can be ok if you get to chain one of the buildings in age 2 out of it.

Blue buildings have my vote for worst buildings in age 1. They don't benefit any overarching strategy at all, ie. they don't provide you with more good choices later on (like other colors do), there are no yellow buildings that score points for blues and the blue chains are the worst there are. The buildings you get free often have similar costs to the buildings you paid (ie. you get something free that might have been free already) and since blue is quite good in age 2 and especially 3 you are not likely to chain in it. Anyone that can picks up pantheon in age 3 often because 7 points is just alot (guilds rarely give this) so chaining free into pantheon is not even that awesome often.
 
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