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Subject: 2-player game: all about longest caravans? rss

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Justin
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2-player is my favorite way to play this game, and i've played it several times. sometimes somebody gets crazy on trees or enclosed area, but the games are usually close (within 10 points) and it ultimately seems to boil down to having the longest caravan in 3 out of the 5 colors.

for those that have or haven't played this a lot, has that been your experience as well?
 
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Matthew M
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I would say it's quite the opposite. Consider that the number of available points is more or less static regardless of number of players. In a 2-player game you have fewer players to spread those points around between compared to a 5-player game. This results in higher scores with 2 players, meaning the 10 point swing in having the extra longest caravan constitutes a smaller percentage of your total score than having the same extra 10 points in a 5 player game.

One strategy to try is to make the third caravan inefficient for getting any other points. Say four of the caravans are already pretty locked up, split two apiece, and purple is still in contention. You could try competing for purple, but you could also use other caravans to scarf up all the nearby points for your opponent's purple caravan. In doing so you make it so that playing purple camels will only net those longest caravan points. The result is that either your opponent gives up on purple, letting you have longest caravan there cheaply, or your opponent plays inefficiently in other areas in order to claim those 10 points.

-MMM
 
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Justin
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Octavian wrote:
I would say it's quite the opposite. Consider that the number of available points is more or less static regardless of number of players. In a 2-player game you have fewer players to spread those points around between compared to a 5-player game. This results in higher scores with 2 players, meaning the 10 point swing in having the extra longest caravan constitutes a smaller percentage of your total score than having the same extra 10 points in a 5 player game.



2-player games insure the value of gestures like walling off trees - points blocked are as good as points earned. this is not necessarily the case with more players, because your turn may end up having been spent shutting out a player that doesn't have a real chance to win while the one in contention is spending his moves 'for himself'.

if you have the lead in 3 colors and we both have 50 points, my overtaking a color would result in you having 40 and me having 60. with more players, if a source of points is stolen it might not necessarily be a struggle between the 1st and 2nd place players. if i take those same 10 points from the person in 3rd, it's 50 to 60 for a tighter finish. it's the guaranteed 20 point swing in a 2-player game on the 5th color that has caused me to observe this pattern.
 
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