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Subject: Is it all about the short deliveries? rss

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Cameron Chien
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It seems the game is skewed to lots of short deliveries, even for the blue and gray cargos. Moving one for one or two links for just a point or two seems way better than doing long routes, unless you're so lucky that you happen to have several of your own links in the chain.

Am I missing something?

Also, just to be sure that we're playing correctly, the tokens that mark that demand has been satisfied stay out the whole game, and you do not seed new cargo except for newly revealed B or C spaces, correct?

Cameron
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Cameron Chien
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Oops, one more question:

The blue die that has the double dollar sign side, does using that die as part of a delivery mean that the blue die itself counts for making the delivery, or you have to use an extra die?

In other words, if the total cost of a delivery is three dice, do I need to use the blue die and three more dice, or just the blue die and two more (three total)?

Cameron
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Nicholas Vitek
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1) I find that the game is more about the long deliveries due to the distance bonus associated with the blues and greys. Use of Stations means cheap longer deliveries which score you points both on using your own rail links and the distance bonus. "Spines" are very helpful to create when buying contracts and the use of opponents tracks to bridge your spines is essential. If you focus on low point deliveries while others are hitting high point long deliveries for cheap dice, you'll fall behind.

2) Once a city has had its demand satisfied and thus marked with the Saturation disc, it stays that way. Saturated circles get no more cargo. The B's and C's do get new tokens once that phase starts but not again.

3) Blue Die counts as a die for shipping. So, it would be Blue Die + 2 More (3 total) in your example.

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Cameron Chien
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Wow, then the blue die is really powerful.

The issue I was noticing was that people would ship a blue or grey cargo just one or two links, instead of waiting until the next phase when more routes would become available to create the longer routes.

I'm still figuring out the strategy though, hence this thread and my openness to suggestions

Cameron
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Gene Platt
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I think your first difficulty in your original assertion is that you think you have to be lucky to have several of your own links in your chain. That implies that you are worrying only about the die cost of the individual links that you are building, rather than setting up potential exploitable reusable locations. It also implies that you may not be seriously investing in your switching stations. Basically you are doing a very heavy construction strategy while sniping easy deliveries which deny potential longer deliveries to your opponents.

This isn't to suggest you HAVE to invest in things like switching stations. And in fact heavy construction can be competitive just as Big Money can be competitive in Dominion. But there are quite a few strategic paths that you have yet to explore. As you discover more, you should find depth in the game.
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Cameron Chien
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Actually I was the player heavily invested in switching stations (+8). I did a long delivery, nine hops, but it ended up only giving me seven points, while giving each of my opponents four a piece (one guy had the Friendly improvement). For all the dice I spent I could've just done some short deliveries with blue and grey cargo and gotten myself about as many points.

Cameron
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Nicholas Vitek
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Cameron,
Would you explain that long delivery to us?

Nine Distance
8 Switching Stations
You received 7 Points
Each Opponent Received 4 Points
One of the Opponents had Friendly Improvement

I can't put together how, even in a 3 player game, that you can get that many points with a delivery spread out among that number of people.

9 Distance = 9 Points available from Links
9 Distance = +4 Distance Bonus
Friendly = +1 Point

Total to hand out: 9+4+1 = 14. If you received 7, that would eat up the +4 Distance Bonus and 3 of the links leaving 6 links:
Player B to get 4 links = 4 Points
Player C to get 2 Links = 3 Points (2+1Friendly)

This would cost:
Your Links: 3 Dice
Opponent Links: 12 Dice
Total: 15 Dice
Switching Stations: 8 Dice
Total Cost: 7 Dice
Payout: 3 Points / 7 Dice => Not a good delivery

I don't believe you should have made said delivery if your payout is less than 0.75 points / die based on the delta between your opponent's point gain and your point gain. It should be closer to 1 in my opinion.

It appears that players in your group may be undervaluing the acquisition of contracts such that they aren't paying premium prices for contracts that fit into their goals.

My personal mini-strategy summary:
Friendly Fixer = Short Spines of tracks with extra links in everyone else's way. Cut off their long spines so they're forced to use your link here and there. You need switching stations if you plan on doing long deliveries since your track is spread out.

Long Runner = One long spine straight down the middle of the board N/S and E/W so you can tap into Friendly people to grab cargo and move it insanely far along your spine. Switching Stations up to 4 or 5 are great but if you can swing 6, that's for the best.

Gate Keeper = Find the choke point cities in your game and make sure you purchase all the contracts available that go into and out of those cities such that if someone wants to ship East to West or North to South, they absolutely have to go through 2 of your links. Meanwhile, spread your tracks outwards from the Gates. Grab switching stations up to 4 or 5.


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Gene Platt
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In that case, yeah you probably could have, if only two of the links were yours. You only earned six delivery points for the turn (plus the end-of-phase bonus), and only gained two against two of your opponents. Were you spending full value for all of those stations, or did you have a discount?

Nich noted the value of creating a "spine". There's quite a bit of truth to that. If you didn't have a spine, it might be that you should have been invested in Friendly (though you might not have had that opportunity).
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Mark Jimenez
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Zeede wrote:
It seems the game is skewed to lots of short deliveries, even for the blue and gray cargos. Moving one for one or two links for just a point or two seems way better than doing long routes, unless you're so lucky that you happen to have several of your own links in the chain.


From our single play of the two player game on the SW map, it sure seemed that way. There was not a lot in the way of long routes that didn't involve the other player, and there was high pressure to make sure to get a delivery in every turn for those precious End Phase points for completed deliveries.

Certainly for Short Red/Yellow routes, those are a quick grab especially during Phase A where you won't have time for a long route. During the game, I had wanted to wait to get a longer route for delivery, but the pressures of not wanting to get left behind cargo per turn PLUS the "use it or lose it" feeling - if I didn't deliver that cargo, my opponent would.

This was one of the other reasons our next play used an AI variant (but then this went extremely the other way and contained a loophole to abuse the AI's choice of delivery path). Fixing that next game.
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Cameron Chien
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Nich:

Three of my links, four of one player's, and two of the player that had Friendly, for a total of nine links.

Gross cost was 13 dice, and I believe at the time I had a +5 or +6 for my Switching Stations.

Therefore I received 4 points for the delivery bonus, plus three for using my own links.

I just find it a little disappointing that the blue/gray cargo markers have bonuses for long deliveries, but generally, unless you have a lot of your own routes along the route, you're better off just moving it one or two links for one or two points, plus the end of phase bonuses.

Cameron
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Nicholas Vitek
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As mentione earlier, building spines of routes is a must if you want the long distance bonus. With a good spine and a sub-spine, even with one or two links of other's in between, you can take in points.

Each play through is different but I consistently see Long Runner players win handedly.

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Kevin Nunn
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Zeede wrote:
Three of my links, four of one player's, and two of the player that had Friendly, for a total of nine links.


The analysis Nich and Gene have provided so far is solid. I do note however that the friendly player should have received 3 points rather than 4--the point-bonus for Friendly is 1 point per delivery rather than 1 point per link.

Zeede wrote:
...generally, unless you have a lot of your own routes along the route, you're better off just moving it one or two links for one or two points, plus the end of phase bonuses.


This is absolutely true. A good baseline is that at least half of the links used should be your own.
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Clay Berry
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Nich wrote:
As mentione earlier, building spines of routes is a must if you want the long distance bonus. With a good spine and a sub-spine, even with one or two links of other's in between, you can take in points.

Each play through is different but I consistently see Long Runner players win handedly.



I'm curious here because I too believe short is the way to go. There are a few reasons for this:
1) You get bonus pts per delivery (good) at end of phase. Didn't see that in people's calcs above - and it's huge! If in Phase 1 I deliver a simple blue 1 spot, I get 1 for my link, no bonus for long delivery, but then +3 at end of phase. 1 die = 4 pts, bam! You will not deliver a "long" delivery for quite some time, while I keep chipping away with mad points.

2) Build a spine
sounds great, except the randomness of the routes available. this is huge.
so you will be using other's rails, and thats ok.

3) goods will be gone.
If you're going long and everyone else is going short, there will be none left for you.

Obviously going short has limitations too as goods run out or your rail connections aren't as good. I think the biggest skew is the end phase bonus pts that encourages going short so much.

unless you're going really, really long, you get more pts die building track (on net, ie, not giving any to an opponent).

What's a typical 4p score (and range) for the Western Board?
latest here was 143-134-119-119

thanks
clay

 
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