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Subject: New province evaluation rss

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Robert Birks
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I'll keep mine to purely evaluating the provinces value in Round 1 of the first half of the game. Subsequent roundsd values are dependent on many factors which make it too hard to come up with a generalisable estimate of worth.

Working values for this evaluation:
Power Cards worth 4.5 gold on average, worked out from the following values I assigned:
It was very hard assigning a value to the bonus cards; they are essential to doing well in the game yet they offer no income, unlike the others. I settled on 8.

Bidding Blockade 4
Overbid 1
Free Farmer 5
Master Builder 3.5
Sacrifice Correction 1
8 gold 6
Harvest increase 4
All bonus point cards 8 each

Farmer income: Spielbyweb games suggest that on average, we get about 5.5 gold per farmer, so I've used this value.

Caravan income: Spielbyweb Amun Re games have on average the caravans scoring 2.5 times in the first 3 rounds.

Power card buying power: It's important to be able to buy power cards in the first half of the game. I've given provinces with the ability to buy 2 power cards an extra 1 value because of this. Using the 4.5 gold value for a card, the second card makes a profit of 2.5 gold. If you only can buy one card in round 1, you may of course buy one that allows you more in round 2, but if you dont then you are losing out on this gold in subsequent rounds as well, hence the bonus for the 2+ card provinces in round 1.

Cards obviously are worth 4.5.
Baharya's farmers are taken into account in the farming income.
Abydos' stone will probably save the player the 3 gold required to buy a 3rd stone to make a pyramid.
Memphis' 2 stones can be turned into a pyramid for 1, but a better strategy is probably to buy 2 or 3 stones and try to ensure most pyramids on one side for 5 points. I've ended up rating the value of these 2 bricks at 12 in total, this may be too high!

Temples: I've scored 6 for each temple.

The last factor is the sacrifice. In general, I've assumed a 3 gold steal in round 1, with the exceptions listed below:

Buto & Mendes:
Following Alexfrog's suggestion of buying 3 farmers and making the biggest sacrifice to max out the farmers seems a good plan in round 1. This means that you will need to make a sacrifice in the 3-5 range to allow this.

Armarna's best strategy probably follows a similar line; buy 2 farmers and make a reasonable sacrifice to get 2 more +/- a card/brick. Buying 3 farmers and making a 1 sacrifice is only better if you get 2 goods for that 1 gold. For this analysis I assumed buying 2 farmers and sacrificing 3.

Thebes might also be interested in sacrificing rather than stealing, but I've found that you are often paying 6 gold for these provinces, and end up too low on cash to make a sacrifice. Or, if you do, you run the risk of having very little money in round 2, especially if the temple ends up on 1. However, I've worked on the assumption of buying 2 farmers and getting 2 more in the sacrifice...

Memphis also can have cash flow problems if you pay 6 for it. It can be played either with 2 farmers and a sacrifice to get stuff, or stealing 3 gold for immediate cash boost. I've settled for scoring it for 3 farmers and 0 in the sacrifice; effectively an each way bet.

While there are times with the other provinces that sacrificing is definitely worth it, I've given them all a gain of 3 gold from the sacrifice.

Ok, with this rather large set of somewhat arbitrary values and educated guesses, here is what comes out of the analysis:

Example of calcuations:

Sawu: Power cards 9 gold income, 3 gold cost for nett return 6.
Farmer: 5.5 income for 1 cost, nett 4.5.
Caravan: 2.5*7 = 17.5 gold.
Sacrifice 3 gold.
Bonus for having ability to buy 2 power cards = 1

Total value

Abu: Power cards 6 nett. Farmers 16.5 return for 6 outlay, nett 10.5. Sacrifice -3. 12 gold extra income. 1 gold extra value for 2 card buying power. Total value 32.5

The end result is the following table of values:

Abu 32.5
Sawu 32
Thebes 32
Memphis 31.5
Avaris 31
Kharga 30.5
Bernike 30.5
Edfu 27.5
Damanhur 26.5
Dahkla 26.5
Armarna 25.5
Baharya 25.5
Abydos 25
Mendes 24
Buto 23

Buto and Mendes really suffer from the low farmer income, and also because they have no cards. However, it's quite revealing to see what happens if the farmer return is closer to 7.. Putting in farmer income of 7 and caravan of 2 gives us:

Thebes 38
Abu 37
Memphis 36
Edfu 32
Buto 32
Armarna 31.5
Baharya 31.5
Mendes 31.5
Kharga 31
Bernike 30.5
Sawu 30
Damanhur 29.5
Abydos 29.5
Avaris 28.5
Dahkla 26.5

Conversely, if farmer income is *really* low, say at 4 (where it's been in 1/3 of Spielbyweb games to date), returns look like:

Sawu 34
Avaris 33.5
Bernike 30.5
Kharga 30
Abu 28
Memphis 27
Dahkla 26.5
Thebes 26
Damanhur 23.5
Edfu 23
Abydos 20.5
Armarna 19.5
Baharya 19.5
Mendes 16.5
Buto 14

There is a whopping 20 value difference using my calculations from Buto to Sawu.. this seems extreme, and it may be I'm missing something!

The main problem of course is guessing which path the game will take. Logically, if there is only 1 or maybe even 0 caravan / no farmer provinces in the initial draw, you might think that there would be greater impetus to sacrifice more, and similarly if there are 3 or more of the low farmer provinces, people are likely to sacrifice less. I've eyeballed the data from Spielbyweb, and this holds true to some extent, but not all the time.

Anyway, that's enough time wasting for now..

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