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Subject: Statistics of other play groups required! [Priory] rss

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CK HO
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Hi all,

We discovered that in most of the games played in our play group, the owners of Priory won (over 50%), and we're wondering if Priory is overpowered.

Regards.
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Shawn Fox
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Re: Statistics of other play groups required!
I really like the Priory but I wouldn't say that it is that big of an advantage. I do agree that it is the best building of the initial buildings, but there are others which are quite good too.

What are the scores in your games typically? I haven't seen someone win O&L in a 3/4 player game without scoring 250+ points in a long time (at least not in a game that I've played, new players do tend to score much less of course). Maybe everyone is trying to pursue exactly the same strategy which would make having access to the Priory very valuable.

It also depends on when the Priory is built. As the first player I usually build the Priory with my first action but that means I don't get the free action with my Prior when I build it (since there are no other buildings available). If the person who builds the Priory gets to make immediate use of it that does make it significantly stronger. It is my opinion that the Priory is strong enough that the first player should almost always build it as it helps make up for the first player's disadvantage of not getting first shot at the buildings in the A/B/C/D rounds.

In the Irish version going for the false lighthouse (and usually also the houseboat) is probably a stronger opening than the Priory. The lighthouse is really strong early game but considerably weaker than the Priory late game.
 
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Laura Creighton
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Re: Statistics of other play groups required!
For what it's worth, around here most people go for the Cloister Courtyard ahead of the Priory. And they win with that too. But we are hardly experts, we have probably played 20 games or so.
 
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Shawn Fox
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Re: Statistics of other play groups required!
lacreighton wrote:
For what it's worth, around here most people go for the Cloister Courtyard ahead of the Priory. And they win with that too. But we are hardly experts, we have probably played 20 games or so.


O&L is an efficiency game and the courtyard is not a very efficient building since you are only getting +3 goods with an action. It is flexible though so that somewhat makes up for the inefficiency and it is occasionally useful even late game. Paying to use the courtyard when you don't own it is a really bad deal (you lose 3 goods and 1 coin to get 6 goods). I rank the courtyard as a slightly above average building. I do build it on occasion but

With the Priory other players will pay to use it several times and the owner will generally use it several times as well, so it tends to net you at least +1 use of your Prior over the course of the game. It also allows you to use the more powerful buildings right after they are built without paying a coin and you still get to use one of your own workers so that again allows you to recycle your Prior sooner.

There is of course always a bit of a meta game going on though, so if everyone in your group thinks the courtyard is an amazing building and is willing to pay you a coin to use it, the value of owning it in your group is going to be much higher than the building's true value.
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Dan F
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Re: Statistics of other play groups required!
For us the priory proves its worth in late game. And makes for some pretty cool combos. I wouldn't call it over powered though, I can't think of any cards that would be called op. I usually only play 2 player though so maybe that factors.
 
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Re: Statistics of other play groups required!
The only thing we found out that can be overpowered is that building that gives you VPs for your amount of cloister buildings you have. If (new) players are not aware of it and leave most cloister buildings to just one player, he wins the game in the end almost surely by a huge margin. If all players build equally many cloister buildings, that building stays good but not overpowered.

And, no game is won just by building the priory and no game is lost just by not doing it. It is a good building though and not a mistake to build it early.
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Laura Creighton
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Re: Statistics of other play groups required!
sfox wrote:
lacreighton wrote:
For what it's worth, around here most people go for the Cloister Courtyard ahead of the Priory. And they win with that too. But we are hardly experts, we have probably played 20 games or so.


O&L is an efficiency game and the courtyard is not a very efficient building since you are only getting +3 goods with an action. It is flexible though so that somewhat makes up for the inefficiency and it is occasionally useful even late game. Paying to use the courtyard when you don't own it is a really bad deal (you lose 3 goods and 1 coin to get 6 goods). I rank the courtyard as a slightly above average building. I do build it on occasion but

With the Priory other players will pay to use it several times and the owner will generally use it several times as well, so it tends to net you at least +1 use of your Prior over the course of the game. It also allows you to use the more powerful buildings right after they are built without paying a coin and you still get to use one of your own workers so that again allows you to recycle your Prior sooner.

There is of course always a bit of a meta game going on though, so if everyone in your group thinks the courtyard is an amazing building and is willing to pay you a coin to use it, the value of owning it in your group is going to be much higher than the building's true value.


Hmm. Around here we aren't building the courtyard with the intent to use it a lot. Just twice. And the reason that we aren't picking the Priory instead is that if somebody has the Priory we tend to pay to have it filled -- often with the Prior, grin -- which means that the guy with the Priory has cash, but a problem building his own production chains.

But then we are pretty nasty in our belief that we should disrupt other people's chains as much as we can -- our current groupthink is that we can do better for ourselves by focusing on making it hard for others to complete their goals and leave our scoring to be a matter of good settlement layout.

But we are still learning. It's part of what we love about this game. laugh
In so many games you so easily reach the bottom of what you can learn.
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CK HO
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That's true, the game requires over 250VP to claim victory in both 3er or 4er games, players of our group used to reach that level.

The point is, just as you've mentioned, starters now build the Priory as a "standard move". This situation also happens to another group of my friend, with his university classmates.
 
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Philihp Busby
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I am also very interested in the answer to this question too. I am hoping more people will eventually play Weblabora, and I can answer this with some more backing.

My feelings are that:

A: The Priory is very good in a 4-player game, so you really have to get it on the first turn, and doing so means you can't use it with your prior, and there's a good chance the 3rd or 4th player will work contract you to use it for what the 2nd or 3rd player built.

B: Buying the Priory as first player on your first action is the only time during the game that you get first pick of new buildings that come out. This is really your only advantage as first player, so 2nd/3rd/4th players get an advantage there to make up for you having the priory.

C: The Priory is kinda bad in a 2-player game. It can become a curse late game as your opponent can use it to leave you in awkward positions. It can be useful to use if you need to use a building on your second action in a round that you built on your first action and used with a prior; however there are a lot of buildings where this is worthless (e.g. Slaughterhouse, Cooperage), and there are a lot of buildings where the second time you use it is sub-optimal (e.g. Winery, Peat Coal Kiln, Quarry).

D: Even in a 4 player game, its usefulness is limited and situational. You become very dependent on what other players build and use. In the end-game (last quarter of the game) it's hard to use it effectively because of this. I find the only times late-game that I want to use it are to use the Build/Use the hospice, and then Priory to use the Hospice again.

TL;DR:

It's good sometimes in 3p games, and usually is great in 4p games, but it's tricky to use well and is by no means an "i-win" card.
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