Poll

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

Option A
1 (9.1%)
Option B
0 (0%)
Option C
0 (0%)
Option D
0 (0%)
Option E
8 (72.7%)
Option F
1 (9.1%)
Option G
0 (0%)
Option H: Other (please specify in reply)
1 (9.1%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Author Topic: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05  (Read 475 times)

Offline kothmann

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Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« on: October 04, 2021, 12:25:16 PM »
See the series introduction here.

<--Last Week    Next Week-->

JCloisterZone File.  (Thanks @Bumsakalaka for the template last week!)

Introduction: A different game from weeks 01-04...

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=8, G=8, R=8, Y=8

Previous Turns & Scoring:
 1. B[ 1; 0] FFRR / thief /
 2. G[ 0;-1] FRRF / thief /
 3. R[ 2; 0] FCCF / farmer /
 4. Y[-1;-1] RFRF / thief /
 5. B[ 0; 1] RRCC / knight /
 6. G[ 1;-1] RFFR / /
 7. R[ 2;-1] CFFF / knight / R+4
 8. Y[-1; 0] CRRC / knight /
 9. B[ 0; 2] RFRF / farmer /
10. G[-1;-3] RRCC / knight /
11. R[ 3; 0] FRRC / knight / R+4
12. Y[-1; 1] RCCC / thief /
13. B[ 0;-2] RCRR / knight / B+8, G+8, Y+8
14. G[ 4; 0] RFRR / farmer /

Current Decision (photo below):
Red has now drawn the CCCF 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 Red's current move.


Option A (photo below)
[ 5; 0], CCCF, meeple as knight in the city.


Option B (photo below)
[ 3; 1], CCFC, meeple as knight in the city.


Option C (photo below)
[ 2; 1], CCFC, meeple as knight in the city.


Option D (photo below)
[ 1; 2], CCCF, meeple as knight in the city.


Option E (photo below)
[-2;-1], CFCC, meeple as knight in the city.


Option F (photo below)
[ 2;-2], FCCC, meeple as knight in the city.


Option G (photo below)
[-2; 0], CCFC, meeple farmer in the field.


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

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5490.0
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 05:15:38 PM by kothmann, Reason: Added Link to Next Week »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 12:51:55 PM »
This week question is very good. I would like to have it before last week championship of slovakia :D

The is also option [-2;-2] with orientation FCCC and placement of meeple to field. Similar to Option G but enlarge city only with one opponent (grey one)

I'm happy that JCZ template helps.

Anyway 5.8.0 of JCloisterZone released yesterday wich support online game!


Offline MetalGearHorus

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 01:52:44 PM »
I like Option E because sharing is caring

Online Ker42

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 03:11:38 PM »
I too like option E.  Chances are pretty good Red's going to be glomming onto somebody's city without much fuss, and it's in Red's farmer field too.  Win win.
It's all fun and games...until the Mirror Zone comes out.

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 03:47:36 PM »
Ok. There are still in deck CCFf tile (2 small cities). So Probably intention from Option E to invade to both cities can be demaged by this tile if come.
Another issue is large cities in basic game. Which usually will not be closed during game but not sure when 4 playes.
16 tiles placed, so still 56 to place means 14 per player.

We also need consider option to B2 - place meeple on field, hmm?

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 03:42:21 PM »
Another interesting situation; thanks for sharing it! ;) :(y)

A seems like a good option if I want to start a new city, but with 3 open sides it's still going to take a bit of work to finish it so my feeling is that I wouldn't want to start a new city from this tile.

B is OK for the same reason as A, the main difference being that, if completed, the extra city would add value to my farm. So that's good. But I don't like my chances of finishing it there as much as I do with A as I think it's only a matter of time before black joins my farm via a tile that will probably point a road towards the cccf requiring a cfrr to close that side of it. 1 of these is already gone, so I might not want to risk not drawing one of the remaining 2.

If I went with C it would be to prevent black from joining my farm, I certainly wouldn't meeple it. Or if I did, I wouldn't be expecting to get that meeple back before the end of the game.

D is another reasonable attempt to block the farm, but not a good attempt to build a city, so it wouldn't get one of my meeples! Also worth pointing out that there are still 3 crfr tiles left so if the purpose is purely to block, C is the better option.

At the moment, the city shared by black and yellow is only two tiles away from completion and will be worth good points if it gets completed. With two players who will presumably be making this their priority, I'd want to make the most of any opportunity to share it with them, even if this means that all 4 players end up getting an equal share and its value is consequently negated. E is definitely my favourite of the options I've seen so far.

F doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Black's knight is worth 1 point at the moment, so if he completes the city for 4 points it will have generated him 3 points, but also 3 points for me as it adds another city to the farm. So as long as I can keep the farm to myself, I don't mind if he completes that city as long as he's helping me as much as he helps himself. Trying to share it makes no sense to me while there are much more valuable cities available for me to go for.

G is the sort of move that I probably wouldn't do but might regret not having done depending on how things turn out with the farm! At the moment though, I don't feel it's worth trying to secure my farm with a second meeple while it's still only worth 6 points. I'd prefer to try to block black if the farm was my priority, and there is a good option for that in C (but without meeple). However, I'd be especially annoyed if black and yellow went on to complete their city that I'd extended (despite the extra 3 points that it would give me for my farm) as it would likely push me out of the game unless I could match them elsewhere. That's not out of the question, but still, I can't quite bring myself to prioritise this ahead of E.

Offline unclewill

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2021, 01:31:56 AM »
Ooh, this is a tricky one.

A/ B don’t offer as much as other options.

C/ D/ F immediately set up reliance on a tile with three sides already defined so are difficult to fill and easy to block for little reward.

G helps two opponents too much. @Bumsakalaka’s alternative 'H1?' of adding to Grey's city at (FCCC -2,-2) is better or my 'H2' preference (CFCC -1,-3) if I am interested in securing the farm. H2 seems easier to tie into the field at (0,-3) with any RXXF tile.

But while I want lots of little cities if I can hold the field, Black and Grey can easily invade for a share, and the big city is something I should be part of to avoid Black and Yellow getting away from me.

So, option E or H2? My awareness of the personality of my opponents might decide it in a real game but I will say E. It isn't intuitively my first choice but if it makes the other players work hard to finish it to my shared benefit I am happy with that and there are potentially a lot of points on offer.

I like Option E because sharing is caring

Like he said.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2021, 06:27:21 AM »
@Bumsakalaka’s alternative 'H1?' of adding to Grey's city at (FCCC -2,-2)... or my 'H2' preference (CFCC -1,-3)
Here are the corresponding images (quick and easy with JCZ, with Gray-->Green):
Option H1


Option H2

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2021, 07:09:31 AM »
I chose @unclewill's H2.  Option A is my second choice.  Option E is my third choice, possibly without a meeple.  I agree with everyone else about the other options.

Since E is the clear winner, I'll start by saying why I didn't choose it...

The big worry for Red (and Gray) is that Black and Yellow will complete their shared city, which would be worth at least 16 when completed.  If Red doesn't play at E, it feels very likely that either Black or Yellow will be able to play at [-2;0], with subsequent invasion being quite difficult and completion coming shortly afterward.  I agree that having Black and Yellow both score 16+ is very bad for Red and a play at E is solid defense.

But then I wondered if [-2;0] is really where Black or Yellow would play?  If they get a CFxx tile, they could place it at [-2;-1] and try to take all the points, like this (after Red takes Option H2):

The odds of getting a CFxx are (21/56) (thanks JCZ)--almost any tile that could play at [-2;0] could also play at [-2;-1], and Black and Yellow each have a chance.  I think it is much less bad for Red if this happens: only one opponent scoring 20 is better than 2 opponents scoring 18?  That's my conjecture.  Plus whoever ends up winning the whole thing will have to place all the tiles themselves, with everyone else trying to block that city.  Maybe that means that Yellow wouldn't do this?  I suppose @unclewill's notion that you have to consider your opponents is quite important.

If Red plays Option E, I don't think it should be with an expectation of sharing the points for a completed city.  The city in the west is likely to become a giant incomplete mess, with one or two players eventually winning the points with at least 2 meeples as knights.  It is one of those awful fights where there are maybe 10-12 points at stake, so you can justify investing another meeple, but then someone else does too.  I might want to avoid the fracas and just place the tile without a meeple.

I set up this situation hoping that option A might be compelling.  I've been exploring some advice that @danisthirty gave as part of tip #3 in his 4-player strategy post: basically, you can place your CCCx tiles with no expectation of completion, as long as they are placed to be easy to expand and difficult to invade.  It can be worth one meeple to have a place to put your city tiles that can't go anywhere else.  And maybe you'll end up completing it, but it is okay if you don't.  At least that's what I think he said.  So, that's why I like option A--opponents are busy elsewhere, so hopefully it is easy for Red to just add some more tiles and end up with useful points at the end?

I'm going to self-play this in JCZ and see if I change my mind.  Hopefully I will also find an interesting question that arises as after Red plays the group consensus of Option E.  Stay tuned for week 06...

Offline unclewill

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2021, 08:10:08 AM »
The personality of the players is important here. If Yellow and Black know they can absolutely trust one another to cooperate for mutual benefit, it is very dangerous for Red and Grey. In my experience, any non-aggression pact between them will likely get forgotten at the earliest opportunity by Yellow or Black trying to gain supremacy and swift closure.

Either way, points ‘in the bank’ or on the board for Red count against everyone. Red will still need to overhaul that 2 x 18 or 1 x 20 to win.

I set up this situation hoping that option A might be compelling.  I've been exploring some advice that @danisthirty gave as part of tip #3 in his 4-player strategy post: basically, you can place your CCCx tiles with no expectation of completion, as long as they are placed to be easy to expand and difficult to invade.  It can be worth one meeple to have a place to put your city tiles that can't go anywhere else.  And maybe you'll end up completing it, but it is okay if you don't.  At least that's what I think he said.  So, that's why I like option A--opponents are busy elsewhere, so hopefully it is easy for Red to just add some more tiles and end up with useful points at the end?

I'm going to self-play this in JCZ and see if I change my mind.  Hopefully I will also find an interesting question that arises as after Red plays the group consensus of Option E.  Stay tuned for week 06...

Option A does have merit, but for me the current state of play requires Red to either claim a farm invasion opportunity (to secure the likely big farm) or ensure the big city scores for them whether completed or not and whoever else is involved.

I’d be interested to hear how the play through turns out.

JCZ rocks.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 09:23:33 AM by unclewill »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 05
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2021, 06:03:01 AM »
Option A does have merit, but for me the current state of play requires Red to either claim a farm invasion opportunity (to secure the likely big farm) or ensure the big city scores for them whether completed or not and whoever else is involved.
Yeah, I think that's right.  So E or H2.

Quote
I’d be interested to hear how the play through turns out.
The situation given is Red's 4th turn.  I decided to self-play test until each player had made 7 turns, figuring that would give a decent sense of how things were evolving.  I played each of E and H2 ten times, alternating options, and saving a screen-shot at the end.  Here is the folder with images of the final positions (file names indicate option and game number):
Week05 Option Comparison.

In Option E, I made it Red's highest priority to merge with the Black and Yellow city, but that only had happened 5 times in 10 attempts.  Most of the time things were pretty messy in the west, as expected.  I kind of hate the aesthetics of the landscape when Red takes Option E.   :(

In Option H2, the Black and Yellow city had completed once as a shared city, and seemed likely to complete more than half the time. This took longer than I expected, but still the fear that it would happen without E is totally confirmed.  My conjecture that it would often be taken by one player was optimistic--it seemed most likely to be shared.

Both Gray (Green in JCZ) and Black were able to join the farm a total of 15 out of 20 games.  Not much difference between the options.  Red seemed more likely to retain control or share control of the farm with H2, as expected.  But it isn't clear how valuable the farm would be, having only 2 or 3 completed cities in all games at the point I stopped.  I think it tended to have better potential for more cities with H2.

One more interesting observation is that there isn't really a great place to put a FFFF cloister in Option E, but [-2;-1] is a good spot in H2.  That happened fairly often, and I think those games were usually pretty good for Red.  I suppose awareness of where a cloister might go, even if placed by an opponent, is a good thing to be thinking about?

If you look at Option E, game 8, Yellow and Gray (Green) managed to cooperate and build a 12-point city in the east.  It contained no CCCx tiles.  I think those tiles are poison in multi-player games!  Unless you play then to merge two cities, they make it very difficult to complete a city, particularly if you have opponents trying to block even a little bit.

And getting greedy to take all the points in a shared city might not be your best option, because then the opponent will try to re-invade, and you might both get stuck with 2+ meeples in an unfinished mess instead of both grabbing 8-12 points and getting the meeple back.

My overall conclusions:
  • I was wrong.  Option E was better.  You have to stop the big city.
  • Make sure your opponents perceive you to be vindictive, so they won't get greedy when you are sharing a medium-sized city.  >:D

Quote
JCZ rocks.
Yes, really great for this sort of experimentation.  I hope to try online games soon...


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