Poll

Where should Yellow place the tile?  Should they place a meeple, and if so, where?

Option A
0 (0%)
Option B
0 (0%)
Option C
4 (33.3%)
Option D
1 (8.3%)
Option E
1 (8.3%)
Option F
0 (0%)
Option G
0 (0%)
Option H
6 (50%)
Option I
0 (0%)
Option J: Other (please specify in reply)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04  (Read 567 times)

Offline kothmann

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Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« on: September 27, 2021, 02:52:21 PM »
See the series introduction here.

<--Last Week       Next Week-->

Configuration: Base game only (72 tiles & 7 meeples per player)

Players: Black, Gray, Red, Yellow (order of play as listed, alphabetical by color name).

Score: B=11, G=21, R=25, Y=12

Previous Turns & Scoring:
 1. B[ 0;-1] FFFF / monk /
 2. G[ 0;+1] FCCF / knight /
 3. R[ 1; 0] CRFR / knight /
 4. Y[ 2; 0] RFRR / thief /
 5. B[ 2; 1] RRRR / thief / B+2
 6. G[ 1;-1] FRFF / monk /
 7. R[ 2;-1] RCFR / thief / R+3
 8. Y[ 3;-1] FCFC / knight / Y+4
 9. B[-1;-1] RFCR / knight /
10. G[ 2;-2] FRFR / thief /
11. R[ 4;-1] FFFC / knight / R+4
12. Y[-2; 0] CRRR / knight / Y+4
13. B[ 0;-2] FRRF / thief /
14. G[ 1;-2] FRRR / / G+9
15. R[-2; 0] FRRF / thief /
16. Y[-1; 1] FFCC / knight / Y+4
17. B[-1;-2] CFFC / farmer / B+9
18. G[ 1; 1] RRCC / farmer / G+12, R+12
19. R[-1;-3] CRRF / knight / R+6
20. Y[ 0; 2] CCFF / farmer /
21. B[ 1; 2] CCRC / knight /
22. G[-3; 0] FFCC / knight /
23. R[ 1; 3] CCCC / /

Current Decision (photo below):
Yellow has now drawn the FRFR tile.
Where should they place the tile?
Should they place a meeple and if so, where?
Feel free to comment on previous moves, but the emphasis is on Yellow's current move.


NOTE: Due to the large landscape and number of move options, I added an orange box around tile placement to help clarify.

Option A (photo below)
[-2;-2], RFRF, meeple as thief on the road.


Option B (photo below)
[-2;-2], RFRF, meeple as farmer west of the road.


Option C (photo below)
[-2;-2], RFRF, meeple as farmer east of the road.


Option D (photo below)
[-2;-2], RFRF, no meeple


Option E (photo below)
[-2;-3], RFRF, meeple as farmer east of the road.


Option F (photo below)
[-1;-4], RFRF, meeple as thief on the road.


Option G (photo below)
[1;-3], RFRF, meeple as thief on the road.


Option H (photo below)
[4;-2], FRFR, meeple as farmer north of the road.


Option I (photo below)
[3;1], FRFR, meeple as thief on the road.


Option J (none of the above)
Please describe a better play in your reply.

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5483.0
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 12:27:55 PM by kothmann, Reason: Added Link to Next Week »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 03:11:53 PM »
Hmm, for strategy to invade botom field, Option E and Option H are my favorite.
For invade top central field, option B only one. But it's risky because in game are 3x CRRR (1 already used) and 4 FRRR (2 already used). But tile RRRR was used, so no "change" to close meeple untouch.
It's 23rd turn, so it kept 48 tiles. - 12 per player. Black has 4 meeples placed. So bit motivation to close road and full fill Option B gap.
Red one, have still 6 free meeples and highest score. He will not have motivation for close it and give points to Black and Yellow.
For invasion I guess Option H is most safe. But there will be at at least 3 different meeples on that field in future.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 08:26:02 PM »
I chose D.

I want to play at [-2;-2] because I hate big farm wars, so I want to make it very likely that the upper and lower farms are separated.  This narrows it down to A, B, C, or D.  I did not notice that Red will not be eager to play at [-2;-1], for the reasons @Bumsakalaka gives.  So, only Black and Yellow want to play there, and, again echoing @Bumsakalaka, there are just 4 tiles remaining that can fill that gap as it is.  Another consideration is that there are 11 CRxx tiles remaining that Gray might play at [-3;-1] to create a hole at [-2;-1] (because the RRRR tile is already played) while enlarging the Gray city.  If you took C, you could still connect to the bottom farm via two tiles connecting around the bottom. But overall, I think the best option is D (no meeple).  Patience is a virtue?

I see the value of H, and agree that is a good choice for invading.  Even if [3;-2] is never placed, there is still a good chance to connect via [3;0] and [4;0].  Or just extend the farm out to the east with more cities.  But because this field is still pretty open, I don’t yet feel pressure to commit to the battle which would surely ensue.  I like Yellow’s mostly isolated farm at the top and think it is okay to hold off on invading the other farms.

I also think it isn’t terrible for Yellow to just claim a road, to go with their city and farm.  So either G or I don’t seem like bad plays to me.  G has the advantage of making life a bit tougher for Black.

I’m still wondering if I am too reluctant to fight the farm wars in a 4-player game….

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2021, 03:22:26 AM »
Hmm, it will be. You have limited tiles to place. So not a lot changes to earn points by road/cities.
I remember my two last games. I was not able to finish any roads for 10 round. I alwes get city/field tile or tile without end of road.

Offline unclewill

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 04:48:12 AM »
I think there is another variation worth mentioning: the tile is placed like Option F (-1,-4) but with a farmer on left-hand field.

Like E and H this still requires a single tile to connect into B’s farm, but the long unclaimed road may be enough to entice B to connect it.

Both E and J are more vulnerable to a blocking move than H.

I am not saying this I think this is the best, but it is certainly one I have considered over others.

----

Y needs to gain points against everyone and dominating a second farm seems the best route to me.

Y should leave R to worry about ensuring the farms can’t connect and to sacrifice a turn to achieve it, but options ABCD ensure this can’t connect and only Y will try to connect into B’s or G’s farm afterwards.

For this reason, I prefer EHJ. E & J have a more vulnerable connection (easier to limit/ surround) than H which I think is the safest bet.

Whichever is chosen, the other invasion locations will still be available and are getting more desirable as the farm war develops. Y needs to get in while there are options to achieve dominance.

With all that in mind, I think I would choose H but it is a close call.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 04:51:41 AM by unclewill »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2021, 03:28:09 AM »
For those, who want to check this situation also online. Here is file for new version of JCloisterZone 5.7.101, which finaly support also online game. You can download it from https://www.github.com/farin/JCloisterZone-Client/releases

Save file is ziped, due to restriction on forum, so need, unzip and load game.

File will be updated to include tiles order used in next weeks round.


Because new version haven't gray meeple, I used Green which have same abbr. "G"

Enjoy.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2021, 09:31:00 AM »
For those, who want to check this situation also online. Here is file for new version of JCloisterZone 5.7.101.
This is so great.  Thanks again.  It worked perfectly for me playing all 4 players myself.  Great way to experiment!

A few questions for anyone who is a JCZ expert (or maybe I just need a link to the user's manual?):
  • I don't see an "undo" option?  After I place the tile, if I change my mind, can I put it somewhere else?
  • There is a banner that says: Game was created in development mode. Tile draw order is predefined.  How can I access "development mode" to setup games like this?
  • Is there an AI opponent?

Next week might be a new situation--different game.  I hope it isn't too much work to setup another one?

Quote
Enjoy
Indeed!  Thanks again so much.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2021, 10:42:48 AM »
I’m still wondering if I am too reluctant to fight the farm wars in a 4-player game….
The consensus is pretty clear--everyone except me thinks it is best to invade the lower field, one way or another, with the favored choice being H.

I played the game out a few times in JCloisterZone (Thanks @Bumsakalka!) and it seems that Black will almost always re-invade the field (add a second farmer) from wherever Yellow didn't.  In other words, if Yellow chose H, Black chooses either E or @unclewill's J.   My notion that Yellow would still be able to enter the field from the east ("this field is still pretty open...") seems to be quite wrong, because I had a hard time adding a second Yellow farmer.  I could do it eventually, but Black could also add a 3rd, etc...

New cities were not forming in the east as quickly as I had imagined, because there is quite a bit of action elsewhere and once Black has a second farmer, nobody else wants to put cities there.  Red and Gray are then happy to use separate the two fields (A, B, C, or D), so Black's farmer doesn't win everything.  And Black is trying to make something happen with the large city in the north.  In the end, the lower field was usually only worth 9 or 12 points.

In short, if Black decides to fight for the lower field, they seemed likely to win it or at least tie in a very protracted battle.  (UPDATE: I did manage to get Yellow to win the field once, with 3 farmers to Black's 2.)

Gray's strategy typically evolved toward adding lots of small cities and and extra farmer in their field, with Red contesting that.  The Yellow field at the top that I thought was pretty isolated would often open up to the northwest and sometimes merge with the Gray field.  The upper field(s) usually ending up being worth more points than the lower field.  (Update: my original post said Black would often win, but that doesn't seem true after more playing.)

Of course, this is self-play, so I'm likely to be trapped in my own thinking.  But I'd be really eager to see if anyone else played it out and had the Yellow invasion of the lower field work out well.  When I tried it, it felt like Yellow invested a lot without a great return.  I haven't tried playing Yellow to the end with Option D yet...

Update: Played a few times with Option D.  Yellow finished last every time, by a lot.  So, invading the lower field does indeed appear to be the least bad option.    :(y)

Cheers.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 07:58:43 PM by kothmann, Reason: More results from trial plays... »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2021, 01:44:38 PM »
Well. It really depends how will be tiles ditributed. But with RFrF file there is not so mutch to do in current situation.

I'm happy that save of game to JCZ was useful :D (idea was let to know, that online game in 5.x branch is HERE!)

Offline wolnic

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2021, 03:12:45 PM »
For those, who want to check this situation also online. Here is file for new version of JCloisterZone 5.7.101, which finaly support also online game. You can download it from https://www.github.com/farin/JCloisterZone-Client/releases

Successfully downloaded and installed Mac version - it didn't recognise existing java installation used for JCZ4 when I tried to run it, but re-downloaded JDK and it worked fine after that. +1 merit from me for the example files for the weekly challenge as they allowed me to create a pre-selected list of tiles for something I'm working on.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 03:23:31 PM by wolnic »
AutumnForest (C2), Catch Of The Day (C1/2/WD), Cliffs&W'falls (C1/2), Coast (C1/2), FishHuts (C2), Fluvium (C2), NewForest (C2), Harvest (C1/2), Stone Circles (C1/2), Wells (C2), Jordan River 2 (AotC), River I/II (GR)
Devt: Sakura (C2), WinterEdge (C1), WinterCoast (WD/WE) and others

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2021, 03:28:42 PM »
(idea was let to know, that online game in 5.x branch is HERE!)
Are there detailed instructions for playing online?  I would like to connect with my family for a game.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2021, 01:53:31 AM »
Thanks for this series kothmann. I would have loved to have been more involved from the start if I'd been aware that these strategically minded posts were being made, but I haven't been visiting the forums so much lately. Anyway, here are my thoughts which I jotted down as I went through the options:

A feels like a waste of a meeple at this stage. 4 of the rrrx tiles have already gone, so my main reason for placing here would be to hinder red and black, I certainly wouldn't place a meeple.

B also feels like a bad move. It's high risk, and fairly low reward since the other farm is larger and has more points of entry.

C is possibly my favourite (so far - I'm writing this as I go through the options) as it's attacking the most valuable farm and has two routes onto it, one of which red and black will have to help out with if they want to finish their roads, the other might be assisted by black if he extends his road adjacent to his farmer.

D feels a lot better than A in that it hinders red and black without risking a meeple. I would be looking to get a share of the big farm at this point though so C is still my favourite.

E is similar to C although it prioritises the secondary route onto the farm via black's road. There isn't much between them, but I think I still prefer C as it blocks grey from getting onto the farm which would be achieved by red and black joining their roads together.

F doesn't seem like a good option to me as it's easily thwarted by another player pointing a road towards the join, but even if it's successful I struggle to see a shared road with black as a priority at this point whereas the farm really could make all the difference.

G doesn't seem great either. It reduces black's chances of extending his road slightly, but if I was looking to take a 2-point road with growth potential at this point I'd go for the east branch off the rrrr tile as it creates an opportunity to hinder black's city at the top.

H is a decent choice, although I don't entirely like the idea of setting grey up to take some easy points by adding to the road. An alternative might be to place it above the tile it's below so that it can join in the gap immediately to the left with a common tile like a ffrr or the remaining fffr. That's easily blocked though, so on second thoughts I probably agree that it's better to give away a couple of points to grey if an attack on the farm is to be launched from here.

I is better than G in my opinion because of the opportunity it creates to attack black's city, but it's still not my preferred option.

Having seen all the options, it's between C and H for me. However, I choose C because it hinders every other player. Black and red are hindered by their road needing a rrrx to complete it rather than just a rrxx, and grey is hindered because it prevents his farm merging onto the main one. H is still good, but it doesn't hinder black or red and leaves grey with a nice opportunity to extend his road, and still reach the main farm.

... it seems that Black will almost always re-invade the field (add a second farmer) from wherever Yellow didn't.  In other words, if Yellow chose H, Black chooses either E or @unclewill's J.   My notion that Yellow would still be able to enter the field from the east ("this field is still pretty open...") seems to be quite wrong, because I had a hard time adding a second Yellow farmer.  I could do it eventually, but Black could also add a 3rd, etc...

I think it's hard to say what might happen next as it will always be dictated based on what the tiles will allow. But if an all-out farm war were to erupt between black and yellow and both players were a similar standard I'd have my money on yellow taking it outright simply because black has more meeples committed elsewhere and will need to commit turns to these if he wishes to get them back rather than focussing purely on the farm like yellow can afford to do. Yellow may have to work to create some opportunities to get 2nd (3rd/ 4th...) farmers onto it, but it still looks to me as though there should be plenty of opportunities to do so.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 02:05:49 AM by danisthirty »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2021, 06:07:46 AM »
I is better than G in my opinion because of the opportunity it creates to attack black's city, but it's still not my preferred option.


Problem is, that you open it for your opponents, because between this turn and next your turn are also Red and Grey on turn.
Also Black can "save" his possition with CCRR file. (I'm not telling that it is good or bad move, but it's possible).


Anyway, nice explenation of each option. +1 merit to me. (was simmillar in my mind)

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 04
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2021, 05:01:23 AM »
I would have loved to have been more involved from the start if I'd been aware that these strategically minded posts were being made , but I haven't been visiting the forums so much lately.
.
Welcome back.  So glad you found it!

Quote
B …high risk, and fairly low reward
C is … attacking the most valuable farm
I see the risk of B, but I’m not clear on how to evaluate a farm at this stage.  Both farms are currently worth 6, and obviously the lower farm is very likely to connect to the other football city.  But Yellow has strong motivation to complete the city cap at [-1;1], so then both farms would be 9.  And Gray has incentive to complete the city in the west, which would further increase the value of the Gray farm.  Is it just that the lower farm looks easier to grow in the east, as part of the war with Black for control?  I have the feeling this is one of those things that you just learn to recognize with experience?

Quote
[when Yellow chooses C]…grey is hindered because it prevents his farm merging onto the main one.
When Yellow invades the lower field, it is with the expectation of committing 2 or 3 meeples to winning the lower farm? So why not promote a merger and win the whole thing?  I think this is why most responses favor H over C?  (If Yellow goes that route, they want to be sure to close off their upper farm to prevent it from merging, since all the cities are also in what is currently Gray’s farm?)

Quote
…if an all-out farm war were to erupt…
I think this is the challenge for me—being too averse to a farm war.  It feels like a lose-lose proposition in a 4-player game, and I can’t tell when it is okay to risk a war—in other words, I have difficulty judging “what the tiles will allow.”

I think my current philosophy is: avoid farm conflicts early; make my own farms difficult to invade and relatively small so they aren’t an attractive target; and prevent other farms from merging or growing to be huge, so that my opponents won’t be willing to place a 2nd farmer preemptively.  And then pick a farm or two to invade near the end, when my opponent can’t or won’t prevent me from sharing the farm points.  But of course you can’t always achieve these goals.

Quote
…black has more meeples committed elsewhere…
Interesting.

Thanks again to everyone who replied for very thought-provoking ideas.

Week 05 in the works…


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