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Subject: Getting started in Québec city rss

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Christian Lemay
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Hi all!

This is a short strategy text I wrote for French-Belgium magazine "Plato". It is addressed for players who are at their first games with Québec. Asmodee helped me translate it. I hope you'll enjoy!


Getting Started in Quebec City

While playing a game with the prototype, Xavier Georges (Carson City, Troyes), described Quebec as a mille-feuille, a game with layers. We can’t think of a better metaphor (especially because, being French-Canadian, we actually know what a mille-feuille is).

The Glaze on Top: Complementary Actions

The first thing to consider when playing your architect or placing workers, is the complementary action you'll be making available, either for yourself or for the other players. Some of the options, especially the blue cultural districts, require precise timing. Don't grab up the arts district in the first century – there are no buildings to improve! After that, ask yourself if the other players can afford to take the actions you're offering. Of course, the term 'afford' can be misleading – even if they have the workers available, other players may need to conserve their resources, because in this game, every worker you put into play will score at least one victory point. Finally, consider the colors of the buildings you're building. For instance, don't play the architect in the military administration when you're fighting for a political majority, unless you're planning on leaving your architect until the end of the century to tie up your opponent's workers.

The Puff Pastry: The Buildings

Early in the century, consider your options. What buildings do you want, and when will you grab them? Always keep the greatest possible number of options to expand your core group of buildings. Look at the workers on the incomplete buildings and see if you can build a majority in a particular zone of power. Note which actions will be available, and possible combinations. The economic leader is easy to use, if you pay attention. You might activate more workers in anticipation of the opening of the arts district. You could start a building requiring three workers in case someone opens the business district. There are plenty of combinations and strategies – you'll find more.

But be careful! The worst strategy would be to try to do everything. Quebec offers you several ways to score points, so focus on just a few in each century. Follow the rhythm of the game – it can change very quickly, and sometimes you'll need to sacrifice in one century to get an early advantage in the next.

Pastry Cream: Interaction

While Quebec is largely without luck, with complete information available from the outset (not counting events), you'll never claim to have found the perfect strategy because the interaction between players keeps the game unpredictable. The decisions created by the architect's placement mean you have to be careful of the other players – it's hard to win if you don't score at least 15 to 20 victory points in the final scoring. Consider contributing to your own buildings, even if you can't take advantage of the additional actions. Connecting two groups of buildings, or just adding the third star to a building in your main group, can pay off in the end.

Once you make it to the third century, minimize as much as possible the help you give the other players, specially the leaders. Starting a building that blocks an opponent from connecting two separate groups of buildings can cost them considerably. And remember all the actions related to the placement of your architect – if you're not careful, someone could contribute to a building you start and wind up grabbing a majority in a hotly contested zone of influence.
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Alex Simard
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Good article! This is exactly what I like about Québec: a simple action each turn, and each turn is very fast. However, each action (placing your architect, your workers or taking a leader) implies decisions on many layers:

- When placing workers: do I want this special action or do I want to play on this color to fight for the majority?

- When placing an architect: This building will be wanted by the other players, but is it close to another building of mine? Do I really want the other players to play in this color?

On top of that, timing and figuring out what the other players are trying to accomplish are also essential!
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