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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New England

Shannon Appelcline: huzonfirst said that players might be too conservative in their bidding in New England. That's possible, but the problem is that you never want to get in a position where you can't buy two items on your turn. Unfortunately, that's all too possible, even if you do bid conservatively.

Assuming that everyone always bids 1-2-3, then 4 in a round, on average you're spending 2.5 x 2 = -5 on a turn, and you're earning +4. In 12 turns you run out of your spending money due to this -1 a turn cashflow. (It's actually some number of turns less because you spend, then gain, not vice-versa, and how many rounds less depends on when you're forced to make your high bids.) As soon as you go through this cushion, and you go through it faster if you spend liberally, you end up in the spot where you can only buy 7 items every 4 turns.

Yes, pilgrims are the answer to this. One pilgrim makes you +5, which is break even, and two bring you to +6 a turn, allowing you to bid 1-2-4-5. However, I think that tight money at the start can really lock down peoples' spending, particularly if they aren't able to get pilgrims through gameplay.

Is that all good or bad? I dunno. I do think that the economic system is a little tricky, however, and that has the potential to put people off if they can't figure out how to play the game right.

Oh, and by the by, I agree with one thing that Mark said: the graphics on this game are BORING. Which is a shame.