Thursday, July 19, 2007

Money Can't Buy Donkeys Love But The Other Way Around Works Fine

I'm sick again today, so in between being hassled by real-estate agents I played another game of Roads and Boats. I've been posting my previous blog articles as session reports on and have received some advice and had some inspiration.

Most of the errors I noted after my last playing were to do with the breeding of the geese - too many, too far away. This time I decided to use the pasture for donkey breeding, then geese breeding, and depending on the time, build a paper mill there. If the geese took too long the plan was to build the paper mill in the top right mountain hex.

I wrote down a plan of what order I wanted to build buildings in. I needed that plan so that I could remember what I was going to do next (and hence know where to start carrying stuff). The plan was: WOOD CUTTER, QUARRY, SAW MILL, RAFT FACTORY, PAPER MILL, MINE, OIL RIG, MINT, STOCK EXCHANGE. It occurred to me after contemplating Solamar's advice that primary producers are important to build as early as possible to maximise their output over the whole game. The saw mill will be able to catch up with the backlog of logs.

So here's the quick summary:
Turn 1: built wood cutter and stone factory
Turn 3: produced donkey
Turn 4: produced donkey
Turn 5: built saw mill
Turn 6: produced geese
Turn 7: built raft factory
Turn 8: produced geese and raft, built paper mill
Turn 9: produced research and raft
Turn 10: produced research
Turn 11: built (specialised gold) mine
Turn 12: built oil rig
Turn 14: built mint
Turn 15: produced coins
Turn 16: produced coins, built (specialised gold) mine
Turn 17: built stock exchange
Turn 19: produced coins
Turn 20: produced stock bond

At the end of the game I had scored: 0 wonder rows, 1 stock bond, 1 coin, 2 gold for a score of 180 points. Woohoo! In two more turns I could have turned the coin and 2 gold into another stock bond.

The problem was that it was only about turn 14 that I realised I could potentially build another mine and so get enough gold for another stock bond. I ended up building the mine in the top left when I think top centre would have been a better place.

What next? I wonder about the rafts. They're mostly only useful for building the oil rig, but without the oil rig I need a charcoal burner. But also one less research, so two fewer geese. And the burner would go in the space where the raft factory is. Hmm.

I wonder what would happen if I planned to build the second mine sooner? Would that get me the two turns I needed? I expect not. At the moment I feel that my arrangement of buildings is almost optimal. I wonder what would happen if I had one donkey less?

With the current arrangement I have one donkey permanently occupied on the wood cutter - saw mill loop, one or two transporting rock, and the rest working on the new buildings. I sometimes feel like I'm over-supplied with transporters, so maybe one donkey less would be more effective? So many options! I wonder if I'll still be sick tomorrow?

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