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Subject: Paying >1 CA for Civil Cards rss

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Ruben Schlüter
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Hello everyone,

this might actually be a question for a "Tactics" Forum, but as there is no such thing, it will have to go here, for the time being.

Sooooo, while I know that there is no "general advice" for this game and a lot will depend on the flow of cards and group think and all these things, I would still like to ask you, fellow gamers, under which circumstances and for which cards you'll jump that card row in the 6+ or even 10+ range, paying two or even three civil actions for a card.

My thoughts on this (and I am far from being a top player, so there will be plenty of things to criticize, I assume), to start discussion:



0. Generally, my willingness to spend more than one CA per card increases drastically when I have more CA available. This is one of the reasons I extremely like the Pyramids: I can indeed consider to get cards from the 2- or 3-range and *still* be able to do other stuff while on Despotism.



1. More specifically, I usually try to avoid taking civil cards for 2 CA and will by all means avoid taking one for 3 CA while in Despotism (i.e. having only four CA). Here's why:

1.a Taking a card for 2 CA will, in most situations, determine what I will have to do with one of the two CAs to avoid corruption (which I feel I should usually do): build a building (to blow rock) or increase my population (to blow food and possibly increasing consumption). Exceptions: I have managed to completely blow all of my resources the turn before, or I can build a military unit.

1.b Taking the card for 3 CA will fix the remaining CA as above. Furthermore, my resource overflow will become an even larger problem in the next turn, thus making me less flexible and therefore more predictable then.

1.c I think it should always be possible to "go with the flow" in Age I. Got no Alchemy? Go for Universitas or, yes, Printing Press (if population is there) LETTHEFLAMEWARBEGIN! . Missed on Iron? Stack up on Action Cards. Someone snatched Knights? Swordsmen with Legion, or possibly Great Wall, can also do the trick. Irrigation? Third Farmer and Action Cards, to bridge. The list goes on.

1.d Of course there is the "the sooner you get something into play, the better" rule of thumb. So if I actually have the science to right away research a new tech, and a free worker to immediately get it into operation, I might consider taking it for 2 CA. I am just saying that usually I will not do so.



2. There are some cards I will tend to jump onto, though (means: pay 3 CA - I'd even pay four for them. Obviously I will also take them for 2, if this opportunity should present itself). These (and the reasons for this) are:

2.a First available Age II government, particularly so if it is Constitutional Monarchy: I seldom change to Monarchy or Theocracy, and I usually do not go for CoL (Aristotle being the notable exception). Thus, lest I have built pyramids, I will be craving for CA by the start of Age II. Furthermore, this situation is something that I will have in common with most of the players, cause everybody seems to kind of agree that Constitutional Monarchy is the best thing since sliced bread out there. So there will be hardly any chance at all to actually see this particular card on your next turn when you let it slip. Furthermore, taking it for 3 CA kind of pays for itself (given that you can research it right away or the turn afterwards, or can use Robby to revolution).

2.b Air Forces: Well... this must be kind of obvious. Whoever gets Air Forces is either in the situation to boost his military big time (and if you have to, you'd better), or can at least prevent someone else from doing so (quickly). Right?

2.c A "Save me, I'm the culture leader"-Leader. Gandhi, Churchill. These guys will help you a lot when you are leading big time in culture points, and still have a high enough culture revenue each turn: it will be hard to chase you by cultural means, so what other real options does your opponents have than go military?

2.d A Wonder that will make the difference between winning and losing. That's one where it's either "me or the guy I'm competing for the win with". First Space Flight is the most obvious, but Fast Food Chains could be the same one. Hollywood and Internet are usually too specific. It could also be a wonder that while you can't finish it, taking it away from your direct competitor will help you win. Of course, this will be double harsh due to the anyway increased CA cost (assuming it's not your first wonder to build), but towards the end of the game, it may very well be worth it.



3. Then there's cards I will strongly consider spending 2 CA for - most often because I will have to fear that, while they will not be taken by my competitors, will have fallen off the card row until my next turn. A classic case for this is

3.a Age I or II combo leader. Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Bach. If you somehow wound up in a situation where you can make big culture for this (and it happens to me, see part 1.c "go with the flow"), it's usually important to do this. This can also happen if you have a nice combo chance, like taking knights for 1 CA and spending another 2 CA for Ghengis. Or St. Peters and Michelangelo. Or the like.

3.b Cards that will fix (or, in the case of action cards, at least hotfix) one of my weak spots, whatever it may be: missing troop type, science generating tech, resource shortage... They may not be taken by my opponents (as "my weak spot" already indicates: if I'm bad compared to them, they will be okay compared to me), but missing out might mean, given bad luck, extremely long waiting times in the next Age. And while I'm waiting, my weak spot might become more and more of a threat to my whole civilization.

3.c Wonders that I feel I really need.



Okay, so these are my thoughts. Please comment, rant, flame, ponder, advise, share. I am looking forward to your remarks!
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Eric Phillips
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There are lots of things I'll pay 2 CAs for, all other things being equal, but I am extremely loathe to pay 3 until I have at least 6 CAs (which means I'll rarely take a Government for three). More below:

Quote:
2.a First available Age II government


Possibly if I prioritized science rather than rocks in Age I, I would agree with you, but usually at the beginning of Age II my science isn't up for a big expenditure, and my production is such that I need more than one CA to avoid Corruption.

Quote:
2.b Air Forces: Well...


Yes, I'll frequently take this one for 3, unless it's the end of the age and I can see my way clear without it. When I can't, I start to worry that I've missed my only chance, and that I'll end up as the odd man out.

It's not just Air Forces, though. If I didn't get Swordsmen and I don't think Riflemen will make it around again, I'll often pay 3 for that too. And this happens occasionally with other military techs, esp. in Age III.

Quote:
2.c A "Save me, I'm the culture leader"-Leader. Gandhi, Churchill.


I would have to be pretty desperate. Neither leader is likely to disappear from the card row before my next turn. I'll definitely spend 3 CAs on Einstein or Sid Meyer, esp. early in Age III, because you know those guys aren't coming back around.

Quote:
2.d A Wonder that will make the difference between winning and losing. ... First Space Flight is the most obvious, but Fast Food Chains could be the same one. Hollywood and Internet are usually too specific.


Right, you can usually wait on those two, but FSF and FFC won't come back to you very often.

Quote:
It could also be a wonder that while you can't finish it, taking it away from your direct competitor will help you win.


Occasionally that's a good play, but when you consider the points you'll lose from sinking so many CAs into a Wonder you can't build and the points he'll gain anyway by channeling his CAs and rocks into something else, it's usually marginal.

Another situation in which I will frequently pay 3 for something is when I've missed Iron or Irrigation and find myself in danger of also missing Coal or Selective Breeding. That's a situation in which an alert opponent will take that card before your next turn even if he doesn't need it, just because you DO need it so badly.

Oh, and Computers. If I can, I will often spend 3 on early Computers, just because it's such a powerful card in Age III. Even if I don't get a lot of use out of it, that just means one of my opponents would have.
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Brian Schroth
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Fortuna wrote:

Quote:
2.c A "Save me, I'm the culture leader"-Leader. Gandhi, Churchill.


I would have to be pretty desperate. Neither leader is likely to disappear from the card row before my next turn. I'll definitely spend 3 CAs on Einstein or Sid Meyer, esp. early in Age III, because you know those guys aren't coming back around.


I don't know. Most of the time the threat that you need saving from is using Napoleon and will keep Napoleon through all of Age III. He has almost no use for an Age III leader. If I'm Napoleon and I intend to declare war in you, I will absolutely take Churchill to block you from it.

And the guy going all out military without Napoleon might take Churchill entirely for the discount on military techs!
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Andrew E
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I have an allergic reaction to thinking about choices in this game being framed as "this is worth X CAs, and that is worth Y CAs".

Sure, I have a general idea in my head that I actively like knights at 2CAs, and alchemy at 2CAs is good, and swordsmen at 2CAs is not so hot but sometimes necessary...

But that's never how decisions in this game are actually made. A real turn looks more like "I have the following realistic options - increase population, build philosophy, play Aristotle, take irrigation for 1CA, take efficient upgrade for 1CA, take warfare for 2CAs, take iron for 2CAs, take knights for 3CAs. I have 4CAs, optimize for maximum awesomeness."

So as to not totally avoid your question with my aside, I'll say that I suspect you aren't valuing enough things highly enough if you're stingy with paying more than 1CA most of the time. Sure, avoid corruption, but if you're given the opportunity for knights or alchemy for 2CAs, a maximally awesome turn includes it far more often than not, even if you aren't playing it out this turn.

Also, I don't like an early age 2 government anymore, unless I have the science to actually play it out early as well. Stunting my growth at the beginning of age 2 to pick up a government that I don't actually play until the end of age 2 is a bad move. Everything in your hand represents resources that you've spent (CAs) and not yet started receiving a return on.
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Eric Phillips
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BagelManB wrote:
Fortuna wrote:

Quote:
2.c A "Save me, I'm the culture leader"-Leader. Gandhi, Churchill.


I would have to be pretty desperate. Neither leader is likely to disappear from the card row before my next turn. I'll definitely spend 3 CAs on Einstein or Sid Meyer, esp. early in Age III, because you know those guys aren't coming back around.


I don't know. Most of the time the threat that you need saving from is using Napoleon and will keep Napoleon through all of Age III. He has almost no use for an Age III leader. If I'm Napoleon and I intend to declare war in you, I will absolutely take Churchill to block you from it.

And the guy going all out military without Napoleon might take Churchill entirely for the discount on military techs!


Good points. I'd still have to be really worried before I would take either leader for 3, though. I guess that doesn't happen very often.
 
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Len
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Alpha-Omega wrote:
Hello everyone,

this might actually be a question for a "Tactics" Forum, but as there is no such thing, it will have to go here, for the time being.

Sooooo, while I know that there is no "general advice" for this game and a lot will depend on the flow of cards and group think and all these things, I would still like to ask you, fellow gamers, under which circumstances and for which cards you'll jump that card row in the 6+ or even 10+ range, paying two or even three civil actions for a card.

My thoughts on this (and I am far from being a top player, so there will be plenty of things to criticize, I assume), to start discussion:



0. Generally, my willingness to spend more than one CA per card increases drastically when I have more CA available. This is one of the reasons I extremely like the Pyramids: I can indeed consider to get cards from the 2- or 3-range and *still* be able to do other stuff while on Despotism.



1. More specifically, I usually try to avoid taking civil cards for 2 CA and will by all means avoid taking one for 3 CA while in Despotism (i.e. having only four CA). Here's why:

1.a Taking a card for 2 CA will, in most situations, determine what I will have to do with one of the two CAs to avoid corruption (which I feel I should usually do): build a building (to blow rock) or increase my population (to blow food and possibly increasing consumption). Exceptions: I have managed to completely blow all of my resources the turn before, or I can build a military unit.

1.b Taking the card for 3 CA will fix the remaining CA as above. Furthermore, my resource overflow will become an even larger problem in the next turn, thus making me less flexible and therefore more predictable then.

1.c I think it should always be possible to "go with the flow" in Age I. Got no Alchemy? Go for Universitas or, yes, Printing Press (if population is there) LETTHEFLAMEWARBEGIN! . Missed on Iron? Stack up on Action Cards. Someone snatched Knights? Swordsmen with Legion, or possibly Great Wall, can also do the trick. Irrigation? Third Farmer and Action Cards, to bridge. The list goes on.

1.d Of course there is the "the sooner you get something into play, the better" rule of thumb. So if I actually have the science to right away research a new tech, and a free worker to immediately get it into operation, I might consider taking it for 2 CA. I am just saying that usually I will not do so.



2. There are some cards I will tend to jump onto, though (means: pay 3 CA - I'd even pay four for them. Obviously I will also take them for 2, if this opportunity should present itself). These (and the reasons for this) are:

2.a First available Age II government, particularly so if it is Constitutional Monarchy: I seldom change to Monarchy or Theocracy, and I usually do not go for CoL (Aristotle being the notable exception). Thus, lest I have built pyramids, I will be craving for CA by the start of Age II. Furthermore, this situation is something that I will have in common with most of the players, cause everybody seems to kind of agree that Constitutional Monarchy is the best thing since sliced bread out there. So there will be hardly any chance at all to actually see this particular card on your next turn when you let it slip. Furthermore, taking it for 3 CA kind of pays for itself (given that you can research it right away or the turn afterwards, or can use Robby to revolution).

2.b Air Forces: Well... this must be kind of obvious. Whoever gets Air Forces is either in the situation to boost his military big time (and if you have to, you'd better), or can at least prevent someone else from doing so (quickly). Right?

2.c A "Save me, I'm the culture leader"-Leader. Gandhi, Churchill. These guys will help you a lot when you are leading big time in culture points, and still have a high enough culture revenue each turn: it will be hard to chase you by cultural means, so what other real options does your opponents have than go military?

2.d A Wonder that will make the difference between winning and losing. That's one where it's either "me or the guy I'm competing for the win with". First Space Flight is the most obvious, but Fast Food Chains could be the same one. Hollywood and Internet are usually too specific. It could also be a wonder that while you can't finish it, taking it away from your direct competitor will help you win. Of course, this will be double harsh due to the anyway increased CA cost (assuming it's not your first wonder to build), but towards the end of the game, it may very well be worth it.



3. Then there's cards I will strongly consider spending 2 CA for - most often because I will have to fear that, while they will not be taken by my competitors, will have fallen off the card row until my next turn. A classic case for this is

3.a Age I or II combo leader. Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Bach. If you somehow wound up in a situation where you can make big culture for this (and it happens to me, see part 1.c "go with the flow"), it's usually important to do this. This can also happen if you have a nice combo chance, like taking knights for 1 CA and spending another 2 CA for Ghengis. Or St. Peters and Michelangelo. Or the like.

3.b Cards that will fix (or, in the case of action cards, at least hotfix) one of my weak spots, whatever it may be: missing troop type, science generating tech, resource shortage... They may not be taken by my opponents (as "my weak spot" already indicates: if I'm bad compared to them, they will be okay compared to me), but missing out might mean, given bad luck, extremely long waiting times in the next Age. And while I'm waiting, my weak spot might become more and more of a threat to my whole civilization.

3.c Wonders that I feel I really need.



Okay, so these are my thoughts. Please comment, rant, flame, ponder, advise, share. I am looking forward to your remarks!




....it depends...
 
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Ruben Schlüter
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LSMB wrote:
....it depends...


How enlightening. On what? What would be circumstances to do, or not do, one thing or the other?
 
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Riku Koskinen
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I don't pick age I cards with 3 CAs unless I'm in desperate need for Knights (or even Swordsmen) to keep up with the other players' military. One can manage without any specific non-military tech, and spending 3 CAs for an age I yellow card, leader or wonder doesn't seem that good of a deal. This is generally speaking, of course, because there can always be special circumstances. For example, I could see picking a Bountiful Harvest with 3 CAs to get that extra worker for that crucial second Medieval Army on next turn.

There are some age I cards I will ~always pick with 2 CAs if the age is still going to continue for a couple of rounds, unless doing so means I will have corruption: Knights or Swordsmen depending on my tactics (although I will pick Knights even if I haven't drawn a tactics card), Alchemy, Iron, and usually Irrigation. These cards don't just fall off to the 1 CA range that often, so if I want them, I better pay 2 CAs for them.

Then there are the situations when I have nothing better to do than waste a bunch of CAs to grab cards. Usually in age I there is some population increasing, wonder building, tech researching or upgrading to do with your CAs, but when that's not the case, I'd rather pick a 3 CA useful card than Monarchy and Drama and Masonry if I can't plan on using them.

In age II and especially age III things change a bit. If I don't get Pyramids, I always try to get Code of Laws, which means I have 5 CAs when age II begins. Using 3 CAs on a single card can easily pay them back in one way or another. That is different from age I, when there are just no such strong cards. What I don't do though is pick stuff like 3 CA Constitutional Monarchy when I can't discover it now or on my next turn. I always have to put the cards into good use almost immediately if I'm using 3 CAs for them.

2 CAs for a card in age II/III is quite normal. Techs that I need or useful yellow cards are worth 2 CAs almost always. Compared to age I, there is also a lot less population increasing and wonder building in age II, which frees up a bit more CAs for card picking. Not to mention that you'll have 5-7 CAs available instead of the 4-5 in age I.

In age III there are several cards that will give such a high profit that it doesn't matter how many CAs you use for them, or even if picking them makes you lose resources to corruption. First Space Flight, Air Forces and a desirable leader (whether it's Gandhi or Sid Meier/Alex Randolph) are the usual suspects, but depending on what you happen to need, any age III card could be a reasonable 3 CA pick. Well, maybe not Work of Art.
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Petri Savola
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Padish wrote:
I don't pick age I cards with 3 CAs unless I'm in desperate need for Knights (or even Swordsmen) to keep up with the other players' military. One can manage without any specific non-military tech, and spending 3 CAs for an age I yellow card, leader or wonder doesn't seem that good of a deal. This is generally speaking, of course, because there can always be special circumstances. For example, I could see picking a Bountiful Harvest with 3 CAs to get that extra worker for that crucial second Medieval Army on next turn.

There are some age I cards I will ~always pick with 2 CAs if the age is still going to continue for a couple of rounds, unless doing so means I will have corruption: Knights or Swordsmen depending on my tactics (although I will pick Knights even if I haven't drawn a tactics card), Alchemy, Iron, and usually Irrigation. These cards don't just fall off to the 1 CA range that often, so if I want them, I better pay 2 CAs for them.

Then there are the situations when I have nothing better to do than waste a bunch of CAs to grab cards. Usually in age I there is some population increasing, wonder building, tech researching or upgrading to do with your CAs, but when that's not the case, I'd rather pick a 3 CA useful card than Monarchy and Drama and Masonry if I can't plan on using them.

In age II and especially age III things change a bit. If I don't get Pyramids, I always try to get Code of Laws, which means I have 5 CAs when age II begins. Using 3 CAs on a single card can easily pay them back in one way or another. That is different from age I, when there are just no such strong cards. What I don't do though is pick stuff like 3 CA Constitutional Monarchy when I can't discover it now or on my next turn. I always have to put the cards into good use almost immediately if I'm using 3 CAs for them.

2 CAs for a card in age II/III is quite normal. Techs that I need or useful yellow cards are worth 2 CAs almost always. Compared to age I, there is also a lot less population increasing and wonder building in age II, which frees up a bit more CAs for card picking. Not to mention that you'll have 5-7 CAs available instead of the 4-5 in age I.

In age III there are several cards that will give such a high profit that it doesn't matter how many CAs you use for them, or even if picking them makes you lose resources to corruption. First Space Flight, Air Forces and a desirable leader (whether it's Gandhi or Sid Meier/Alex Randolph) are the usual suspects, but depending on what you happen to need, any age III card could be a reasonable 3 CA pick. Well, maybe not Work of Art.

I agree with most of this. I wouldn't pay 2 CA for iron though and I may pay 3 actions for Constitutional Monarchy even if I can't play it soon if those actions are not required elsewhere. Especially if I don't have Warfare or Strategy.

In high level games, Napoleon is basically always taken instantly when he appears with 3 CA and you can't expect to pay any less for him. I think Strategy is often worth 2-3 CA if you don't have Warfare. Especially if it comes early, when +3 military is significant boost.
 
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Ronald Tin
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Disclaimer: I generally play 3 player games.

I'd do a multi-action card draw if, generally speaking, I have nothing better to do with those actions, or when not doing so results in a crippling effect (i.e if I am desperate). It depends on the situation too much, but in particular, (but not any particular order)

1. Food / resource / science producing action cards if it get me do something 2+ turns earlier, or something very important one turn earlier.

2. Technology card if it can be effective in the same turn (e.g. if I have 12 science point and Constitutional Monarchy is there)

3. Science producing action cards if I mistakenly took too many unplayable technology cards

4. Scientific method or Journalism if I have neither's Age I counterparts

5. Age 2/3 Military technology card if I have a matching tactics (and I can build them)

6. Military action card if I speculate that a war is coming against me in the next turn.

7. If it triggers change of Age, and, (a) 1CA cards are awful, or (b) I already took all 1CA cards

8. Denial: If there are 2 copies of the card in card row, and the 1CA one will be thrown away
 
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Chris Maloof

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I agree that it's good practice to rarely spend two actions on a card in Age I. (Later on there are too many exceptions to enumerate. Since it seems to be a point of disagreement, I'll say that I'm typically happy to spend 3 actions on Con Mon at the start of age 2 and revolution to it the next turn.)

The most common reason for me to spend two actions is that I have a spare action and none of the 1-action cards look useful. A common case of this is in rounds 2 and 3, when Age A cards are clogging the bottom part of the row.

Aside from convenience, the most common cards for me to spend two actions on are early Alchemy or anytime Knights.
 
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Brandon Barkley
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Well there are two situations where I would spent 2 (or even 3) CAs on cards.

1. I have extra actions.
2. The card is just that good to take.

For #1, it is really just dependent on what is on the rack. I'm obviously going to take any cards that fit in #2. If none of those are available or I already have another copy, then I'll grab whatever looks good -- usually a yellow card, especially a yellow card that doesn't require an extra action to play (frugality, ideal building site, rich land).

I know #2 is the meat of this discussion though. Before discussing specific cards, I will discuss a few factors that go into my decision making in general.

1. Will the card likely make it back around? Which has three sub-questions.
a. Do my opponents need to card?
Ex. I see the last Knights for 2-3 CA, but the only other person competing for it has Legion in play, are building a Great Wall, and Swordsman is also on the rack. There is a high probability Knights is going to make it back around, so why waste the actions?

b. How many CAs will it cost my opponent who needs the card? Will they have that many to spare?
The last Alchemy comes onto the rack for 3CA. I'm really hurting for science, but to take it I'd have to get corruption. The next player is the only other person that might take it, and he is in a similar position. I'll see if it could make it back around.

c. What are the chances my opponent will take it out of spite or take enough cards to guarantee it falls off the rack before my turn?

2. Will I be forced to take corruption if I take this card?
That has a big effect as well. There are times the card might be worth it though.

3. Can I play the card this round or next round?
There is nothing worse than going 2-3 CAs for the first Alchemy and then watching one drop off the rack later without getting picked up.

4. Would getting multiple cards for less CAs be better?
I'm much less likely to go three CAs for Iron when I can pick up three resource producing Yellow Cards.

5. How many CAs do I have total?
Basically what I am getting at is, I'm much more likely to go 3CAs in Age III if I have 8CAs total than if I'm in vanilla Despotism.

---------------------------

Here are cards I would pay more than 1CA for on their merits alone, regardless of the number of actions I have.

Age A (after Round 1):
Pyramids - Definitely 2, maybe 3 in Round 2.
Hanging Gardens - 2 in Round 2
Caesar - 2 in Round 2
Aristotle, Moses - Maybe 2 in Round 2.

Age I:
Michelangelo - If I have Hanging Gardens and it is fairly early in Age I, I'd probably go 2 for him. I'd go 3 if I had St. Petes also.
Leonardo - Maybe 2
St. Peters Basilica - It's sometimes worth 2 on it's own, but I'd take it for 3 if someone else had Mike and Hanging Gardens, especially early Age I.
Alchemy/Knights/Iron - All worth 2 if it is the last one on the rack.
Monarchy - Potentially worth 2 very early in the game (As a set up for a Round 3 revolution), but this is so situational, I almost didn't even mention it here.

Age II:
Newton/Cook/Bonaparte - Situationally worth 3.
Robespierre - Worth 2 if I am dead in the water science-wise, but if I am going to have to spend 3, I'd almost rather just Revolution normally.
(All the Wonders are too situational)
Selective Breeding - Sometimes worth 2
Coal - Worth 2 if I don't have Iron
Journalism - Something worth 2
Strategy - Worth 2 if I ended up in Republic.
ConMon - Worth 3 very early in Age I or if it's the last government in the Age, otherwise worth 2.
Republic - Worth 2 if it's exceedingly early in Age I or if it's the last government in the Age.
Any Military Card You Need For Your Tactic - Worth 2

Age III:
All Age III Leaders - Situationally worth 3 whether to boost yourself or shut an opponent out of a combination. Elvis is probably the least likely to be worth 3, but he has bailed me out of an Age III happiness disaster once or twice.
Air Forces - Worth 3 if you can get it out or you worry anyone else can get it out.
FSF/Fast Food Chains - Almost always worth 2, though I've gone 3 plenty of times.
Any Military Card You Need For Your Tactic - Worth 2
Engineering Genius - Often worth 2 or even 3 in late Age III/Age IV if you have capped out at 6 resource production per round and it is looking like you'll have a hard time completing your Wonder.

Honestly though, by Age III I typically have so many actions that it is not irregular for me to go 2CAs or even 3 for yellow cards as resources and science become bigger constraints that number of actions.

---------------------------

As an aside, I agree with the original poster's thesis that there are no "critical" technologies in the game. Whether through a Wonder or through Yellow Cards, there is a way around most every deficiency in the game.
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Brian Schroth
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One thing I haven't seen people mention yet that I think is a big deal is considering the player order.

If I am player 3 and player 1 and player 2 both took alchemy, I feel pretty good about getting alchemy, because 3/4 of the time when it comes out I will get first dibs over player 4, and it will probably be for 1 or 2 CAs due to having time to come down on P1/P2's turns.

If I'm P1 in this scenario and it's at 3CA, I can be pretty certain that if I don't pay 3CA, I won't get Alchemy at all. If I'm P4, though, I can try to make sure that it stays in the 3CA range by not taking cards and then force P1 to take it for 3CA or leave it for me (presumably for 1CA) next round. Since most people seem unwilling to take it for 3CA this is usually a good idea.

It doesn't play a huge factor every time, but I definitely think it helps to consider which players already have the tech and if they're immediately before or after you in the player order.
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Len
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Alpha-Omega wrote:
LSMB wrote:
....it depends...


How enlightening. On what? What would be circumstances to do, or not do, one thing or the other?


Sorry, my point is, like the answer to most strategy games of this depth is, "it depends" on so many factors, that in order to write some sort of guide you have to type paragraphs to cover so many scenarios (I think, the mark of a good game).

Perhaps a more complete answer is, "....it depends. Play the game and figure it out!"
 
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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player order is one of the bigger hidden factors in how to play the game well. you can get things cheaper by watching what others are buying ahead of you like you pointed out because players can only own one type of a card.

sometimes you can also use the card row to your advantage that way too. leaving something for someone, and seeing the order of cards that will probably be taken, to have a card filter into the 1CA range for you next time.

likewise, player order card scarcity should determine how much you pay for some cards. if the person to your left doesn't have a card you need, to get it, you will have to over pay on your turn if it pops up for instance.

you have to be keenly aware of what the person to your left is building and zig and zag to avoid conflicts and losing out on stuff because they are needing the same cards you want. if you are finding you are bucking heads with the same strategy, then it's key to get your CA's higher because you will be stuck spending more on things you need.
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