Difficult opening move

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Cos-
Posts: 65
Joined: 28 August 2020, 22:51

Difficult opening move

Post by Cos- »

I'm a decent player (usually in the 300s), but this one had me thinking for quite a while about what to do for my first move, so I saved a screenshot to see what other people would do. It's Merchants, Workers, and Lords, 3 player game and you're 2nd. You can see that red went first, and you drew forest. What would you do here for your first move, and _why_? (see the attached screenshot)
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Silene
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Re: Difficult opening move

Post by Silene »

Definitely not an easy one.

I think i would make a triangle to the upper-right of the oasis.
* could get paddock with oasis on next turn (hopefully with later connection to castle)
* if oasis unavailable because 3rd player gets it or red blocks, you can at least get to a new place on bad draw like forest/flowers(/grassland)
* possible connection to upper oasis --> merachant (especially with farms available so might even get there through that if no grassland drawn)
* flower/forest follow-up at least give some worker-points without connecting canyon or desert terrain

Another option would be upper right paddock
* touching canyon AND grassland (to be able to jump away if necessary)
* hoping for a farm+paddock or oasis+paddock combo
OR
* along canyon (without touching grassland). if you draw canyon, you can go south and get the farm with paddock, getting farm+paddock-combo (as you can jump to the other side of the farm the turn after)

Hard to say which option is best... I don't usually play 3p so I'm not sure how that would affect the decision.

I do not like starting at the farm because of touching too many terrains (forest, canyon, flowers) and if you draw one of those you might even have to connect to desert, too. and the area around it isn't very interesting (can't connect anything easily).
Last edited by Silene on 30 October 2021, 17:13, edited 1 time in total.
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cigma
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Re: Difficult opening move

Post by cigma »

I had to look up for the scoring cards and the bonus tiles (for I don‘t play with the english version of Kingdom Builder), so here a short reminder for everyone who needs it:
Merchants – Connect locations and castles
Workers – Build settlements next to locations or castles
Lords – Build the most settlements in each sector
Oasis - Build on desert
Paddock - Jump
Tavern – Add a settlement at the end of a line
Farm - Build on grass
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cigma
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Joined: 15 December 2020, 00:30

Re: Difficult opening move

Post by cigma »

With these three scoring cards, the player who builds the most settlements before end of the game is most likely to win. Merchants can easily be blocked by opponents (also by water and mountain), so better focus on Workers and Lords – and blocking your opponents Merchants. For Workers it is best to be present on many places of the board. For Lords there are two possible directions: Also spread widely your settlements (on all four sectors) to be more flexible in the last rounds or race for majority in 2 - 3 sectors. Lords is probably the strongest scoring conditon here, but not easy to handle (best for the last player of course).

To build the most settlements you will need a lot of bonus tiles. For Workers, the Farm ist better than the Oasis on this board (more grass than desert adjacent to locations or castles). The Tavern is not so good on his board, for there are many obstacles. Although the Paddock in itself will not allow you to build extra settlements, it is very strong in most games for its flexibility – and also in this one.

Indeed I would prioritize here the Paddock over the other bonus tiles. Generally speaking, it helps you spreading over the board by avoiding being adjacent to your actual landscape and thus getting more bonus tiles afterwards. It can also assist the Workers and help the Lords from beeing blocked. So my choice order for the first bonus tile would be: 1. Paddock, 2. Farm, 3. Oasis, 4. Tavern.

Last point to consider is the number of adjacent landscapes, especially on your first and second turn, for they might tie you to your first place during the whole game.

Silene has already brought up some very good thoughts. But I don‘t agree with her according to „the triangle to the upper-right of the oasis“, because I think spreading is crucial in this setting. If you draw desert next turn, you "loose" the advantage of the Oasis. If you draw wood, flowers or grass, you risk to be tied there (although the desert bonus might help you out).

Instead I would like to start in the triangle next to the Paddock, adjacent to grass and canon. Next turn you could jump away if necessary, so only wood would keep you in place. Although not getting bonus settlements right away will slow you down a little bit, I think you will catch up later on due to the advantages the Paddock will give you during the whole game.

So these are my thoughts on this now – but in a real game I wouldn‘t have the time for such a deep analysis, I am afraid ;-)

Cos-, will you also let us know which first move you have chosen and how you evaluated it after the game?

Last but not least thank you for this interesting puzzle. I would like to see more of this kind :-)
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Isar
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Joined: 19 December 2020, 20:23

Re: Difficult opening move

Post by Isar »

Im very late to this post, but we discuss stuff like this a lot in the kb discord server: https://discord.gg/6DvRJ7UhCA
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diamant
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Re: Difficult opening move

Post by diamant »

I think it is essential to have at least one paddock tile in order to spread your settlements over the board and get more bonus tiles. If you don't get a paddock tile this turn, you'll be not sure to get one during the whole game.
So my move is a row of 3 settlements from the hex near the paddock and a grass hex, then other 2 hex in line in the nw, near the water.

On the next turn, you can jump to the west if you get a card with grass or forest. Otherwise, you'll get another bonus tile.
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Silene
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Re: Difficult opening move

Post by Silene »

diamant wrote: 06 February 2022, 16:49 I think it is essential to have at least one paddock tile in order to spread your settlements over the board and get more bonus tiles. If you don't get a paddock tile this turn, you'll be not sure to get one during the whole game.
So my move is a row of 3 settlements from the hex near the paddock and a grass hex, then other 2 hex in line in the nw, near the water.

On the next turn, you can jump to the west if you get a card with grass or forest. Otherwise, you'll get another bonus tile.
Sorry but I think that's the worst way to take that paddock. 2/5 chance next move is awful. jumping to the left doesn't make it any better. Touching canyon is much better because if you draw canyon next, you can get to the farm. Or the normal "let's touch both so we can jump away from the one we draw" is also a decent choice.
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diamant
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Re: Difficult opening move

Post by diamant »

Silene wrote: 06 February 2022, 17:55Sorry but I think that's the worst way to take that paddock. 2/5 chance next move is awful. jumping to the left doesn't make it any better. Touching canyon is much better because if you draw canyon next, you can get to the farm. Or the normal "let's touch both so we can jump away from the one we draw" is also a decent choice.
Farm or Oasis are interesting bonuses when the additional tile Grass or Desert can be played away from the location which provided it. This is not the case for the most eastern farm on the board.
If you take the location tile from the farm in the way you describe, you will have to play the next 3 Grass tiles around that farm. Ultimately, you may have to play for a long time only east of the board.
I think my proposal gives a better chance of distributing your settlements throughout the board.
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Silene
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Re: Difficult opening move

Post by Silene »

diamant wrote: 20 November 2022, 19:46
Silene wrote: 06 February 2022, 17:55Sorry but I think that's the worst way to take that paddock. 2/5 chance next move is awful. jumping to the left doesn't make it any better. Touching canyon is much better because if you draw canyon next, you can get to the farm. Or the normal "let's touch both so we can jump away from the one we draw" is also a decent choice.
Farm or Oasis are interesting bonuses when the additional tile Grass or Desert can be played away from the location which provided it. This is not the case for the most eastern farm on the board.
If you take the location tile from the farm in the way you describe, you will have to play the next 3 Grass tiles around that farm. Ultimately, you may have to play for a long time only east of the board.
I think my proposal gives a better chance of distributing your settlements throughout the board.
You could jump to the other side, if you want to get to place a free farm sooner. It also gives a very likely connection of paddock +farm for merchants later. If thats not convincing then imo you should touch both farmland and canyon to be ready to jump away from either.
All I'm saying is that touching only farmland is probably the worst option of those 3 possibilities.
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