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Loempiaverkoper

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Splendor
« on: August 07, 2017, 07:15:13 am »
+1

Can I ask you guys how Splendor remains fun after just a couple of games?
Sure I haven't figured out optimal play, but I just feel like it's more of a time waster than an interesting challenge.
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Awaclus

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 08:19:15 am »
+1

Can I ask you guys how Splendor remains fun after just a couple of games?
Sure I haven't figured out optimal play, but I just feel like it's more of a time waster than an interesting challenge.

It was fun for like 30-50 games for me. Then I accidentally came up with a house rule to reduce the number of points you need to win from 15 to 12 (i.e. I explained the rules from memory and got it confused with the win condition from some other game) and now it's fun again because that actually nerfs my usual strategy a lot but not too much. I bet if I everyone in my playgroup was better at the game though, it would work just fine with the real rules because then I would be forced to improve upon my strategy anyway, but for the time being this is nice for making it a little bit more of a challenge for myself.

There's just a lot of subtleties in the strategy and tactics of Splendor, and you can get a little advantage here, and another little advantage there and it all adds up and then you win. In that sense it's not a very "flashy" game I guess, but I think it's fun that way. I'm probably not taking into account half the stuff I should, and there's still a lot of things I consider all the time, like the usual tempo principles, identifying rare minerals, finding patterns from the cards and nobles so that I can build efficiently, weighing the costs of certain cards against their expected benefits, denying stuff from my opponents whether it's cards or gems, etc.

One thing that I really appreciate about it is that while many games that are for 2-4 players work wonderfully with just two players but an unskilled third player can ruin them for everyone else (especially true for Dominion), you can't seem to ruin Splendor for the other players no matter how much you suck at it. It's also a very easy game to learn rules-wise, and there's not all that much analysis paralysis unless you already know what you're doing. This is why it's actually my favorite game to suggest whenever we're about to play something and the 7-year-old niece wants to join.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 12:51:38 pm »
+1

Can I ask you guys how Splendor remains fun after just a couple of games?
Sure I haven't figured out optimal play, but I just feel like it's more of a time waster than an interesting challenge.

I don't know, my dad is obsessed with Splendor, formerly big on Catan. We play mostly two player these days. I've won the majority of our games, but I feel my dad is improving considerably and I have to improve as well to maintain my dominance.

Also, I heard there is an expansion coming out for Splendor.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 01:09:05 pm »
+1

Can I ask you guys how Splendor remains fun after just a couple of games?
Sure I haven't figured out optimal play, but I just feel like it's more of a time waster than an interesting challenge.

I don't know, my dad is obsessed with Splendor, formerly big on Catan. We play mostly two player these days. I've won the majority of our games, but I feel my dad is improving considerably and I have to improve as well to maintain my dominance.

Also, I heard there is an expansion coming out for Splendor.

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it. The expansion you mention is actually four expansions in a box that you can mix and match. I'm hoping that some combination of them makes Splendor interesting.
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Awaclus

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 01:16:07 pm »
0

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it.

How is it barely a game?
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 01:33:04 pm »
0

you can't seem to ruin Splendor for the other players no matter how much you suck at it.


Somehow I found one.

Well, it was more of an attitude problem and not the game.

I was teaching my nephew, my niece, and her boyfriend. I went first, boyfriend was second, niece was third. On the penultimate round, I pointed out how close I was to 15 and that people should look carefully for a way to get points. I pointed out to my niece—who was far into second place—that one option is to take gems this round in order to buy a 5-point card next round. That would put her at 15, which is good if I cannot get above 15. After weighing her options, she decided to take the gems to plan for the 5-point card.

Then on my turn, I was able to get a card to put me at 16 points. This meant that my niece would not be able to win, but she could come in a very respectable second. All she has to do is buy that 5-point card. So in swoops her boyfriend on the final round, and he goes and reserves the 5-point card that she needed to get 15. It didn't even cost her second place; he just thought it'd be funny to do rather than let her feel good about that accomplishment.

I did tell her that in my mind she scored that 15 because I refuse to accept a screw-you move that is no benefit to the person enacting it. He still came in last. She still came in second. Now she was just pissed off.

I imagine no one here plays with people like those, but I did manage to find that one guy who did manage to ruin Splendor for his girlfriend. Much rolling of eyes.

Anyway, Splendor is absolutely a game. It's a very tactical game. It's very luck-driven, which is why strategy doesn't work so well. I've done okay with planning around two nobles with the most in common, but it's so easy to get burned by the luck of the draw. And yeah, I'm eager to see the expansion.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 01:33:29 pm »
+2

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it.

How is it barely a game?

There's just not much you can do. There are no interesting abilities. It's just, get some tokens, spend them to buy a card. The nobles provide some direction but it's not an interesting direction. It's just, get these combinations of cards. It's boring.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 01:56:28 pm »
0

One thing that I really appreciate about it is that while many games that are for 2-4 players work wonderfully with just two players but an unskilled third player can ruin them for everyone else (especially true for Dominion), you can't seem to ruin Splendor for the other players no matter how much you suck at it.

Actually I disagree; I find it to be a pretty big advantage to be sitting to the left of the newbie in a game between 2 experienced players in a new player.

I've often seen a specific color card desired by all players, and not available on the board. Better players will avoid buying any cards that they don't need to win, since it gives the next player the chance that he can buy the card he needs. The new player just buys a card because they can afford it (maybe it's even free), and the next player gets the noble.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 03:58:34 pm »
+3

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it.

How is it barely a game?

There's just not much you can do. There are no interesting abilities. It's just, get some tokens, spend them to buy a card. The nobles provide some direction but it's not an interesting direction. It's just, get these combinations of cards. It's boring.

It's always possible to make a statement in the "X is just Y" format about any X; that doesn't mean X is simple or boring or bad or anything like that, it just means that Y in and of itself is quite complex and more nuanced than the people making that argument realize. You know, electronic music is just some guy sitting on a computer clicking on buttons. Evolution is just a theory.

Yes, you could say that Splendor is "just" get some tokens, spend them to buy a card. But getting tokens and spending them to buy cards is far from trivial when you're racing your opponents to 15 points with the fewest cards, because that means you're competing for tempo and you're competing for the very limited resources. The game makes it easy to do exactly one of those things at a time, but you need to figure out how to do both and that's where you have to read your opponents' strategies, read the board, and get creative with what little the game allows you to do.

The nobles are actually more of a red herring than anything else. The easiest to get nobles require you to buy 8 cards, which sometimes happens with the actual 15 point end condition, but it's super rare to have those 8 cards match exactly with the requirements of the noble in a convenient enough way. The ones that require 9 cards are pretty much automatically a losing strategy because the player who only has like 7-8 cards wins the tiebreaker and also spending 9 turns on cards is a lot of turns to spend.
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Awaclus

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 04:04:00 pm »
0

Actually I disagree; I find it to be a pretty big advantage to be sitting to the left of the newbie in a game between 2 experienced players in a new player.

I've often seen a specific color card desired by all players, and not available on the board. Better players will avoid buying any cards that they don't need to win, since it gives the next player the chance that he can buy the card he needs. The new player just buys a card because they can afford it (maybe it's even free), and the next player gets the noble.

I actually don't think it makes that big of a difference. You should be planning for most of your card purchases much more ahead than "oh, the previous player flipped that card, I'm going to buy it" and it's also not very common that you have the right gems for the card and even if you do, it's not very common that you want to spend them on that card instead of whatever you originally got them for.
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Awaclus

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 04:23:23 pm »
0

Somehow I found one.

Well, you can definitely make it more difficult for your opponents to do what they're trying to do, but that's what a skilled Splendor player does so it's fine. In Dominion, for example, you can be playing around PPR just to have the next guy break it because he hasn't kept track of the score and then your wife wins because of that — that's really dumb, because it robs both you and your wife of the struggle to win the end game.

Anyway, Splendor is absolutely a game. It's a very tactical game. It's very luck-driven, which is why strategy doesn't work so well. I've done okay with planning around two nobles with the most in common, but it's so easy to get burned by the luck of the draw. And yeah, I'm eager to see the expansion.

I find it surprising that you would call it very luck-driven. There is a certain (probably pretty big) degree of first player advantage for sure, but after that it's just a very high-skill, low-luck game in my experience.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 04:30:18 pm »
+1

Actually I disagree; I find it to be a pretty big advantage to be sitting to the left of the newbie in a game between 2 experienced players in a new player.

I've often seen a specific color card desired by all players, and not available on the board. Better players will avoid buying any cards that they don't need to win, since it gives the next player the chance that he can buy the card he needs. The new player just buys a card because they can afford it (maybe it's even free), and the next player gets the noble.

I actually don't think it makes that big of a difference. You should be planning for most of your card purchases much more ahead than "oh, the previous player flipped that card, I'm going to buy it" and it's also not very common that you have the right gems for the card and even if you do, it's not very common that you want to spend them on that card instead of whatever you originally got them for.

Later in the game, it's common that almost all, if not all, level 1 cards can be taken for free. And when there's a specific color needed either to get a noble or to get a level 3 card, some cards are way better than others. I'm not saying it's an every game thing, but on multiple occasions I or my opponent has benefited from a new player buying a card that they shouldn't have due to revealing a new card.

Earlier in the game, you can have a similar issue with some cards (costing 3 gems) being better than other cards (costing 5 gems). If my opponent spends 5 gems on a card, which now allows me to spend 3 gems on a card, my other opponent will wish that he hadn't done that.

forum.splendorstrategy.com... and LF says it's not even a game...
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2017, 04:33:34 pm »
+4

It's always possible to make a statement in the "X is just Y" format about any X; that doesn't mean X is simple or boring or bad or anything like that, it just means that Y in and of itself is quite complex and more nuanced than the people making that argument realize. You know, electronic music is just some guy sitting on a computer clicking on buttons. Evolution is just a theory.
Really, Awaclus. Always being able to say "X is just Y" doesn't cause or require Y to be nuanced or complex. It doesn't tell us anything about Y.

For me Splendor is at the level of games like Rummy. Whatever subtleties are there, however fun some people may find them, it's not enough for me personally.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2017, 05:13:56 pm »
+3

forum.splendorstrategy.com... and LF says it's not even a game...

I said that it's barely a game! And admittedly it was an unfair characterization. I just don't personally find it to be much fun.

Yes, you could say that Splendor is "just" get some tokens, spend them to buy a card. But getting tokens and spending them to buy cards is far from trivial when you're racing your opponents to 15 points with the fewest cards, because that means you're competing for tempo and you're competing for the very limited resources. The game makes it easy to do exactly one of those things at a time, but you need to figure out how to do both and that's where you have to read your opponents' strategies, read the board, and get creative with what little the game allows you to do.

Yeah, but I don't want to learn to do those things. I don't care about getting to advanced play because the basic play isn't interesting to me. It's always the same decks of cards. The cards in those decks are just a cost, a 1-gem benefit, and a number of VP. The only thing that really changes between games is the nobles, and they're also just a cost and a VP reward. It's not exciting.

The nobles are actually more of a red herring than anything else. The easiest to get nobles require you to buy 8 cards, which sometimes happens with the actual 15 point end condition, but it's super rare to have those 8 cards match exactly with the requirements of the noble in a convenient enough way. The ones that require 9 cards are pretty much automatically a losing strategy because the player who only has like 7-8 cards wins the tiebreaker and also spending 9 turns on cards is a lot of turns to spend.

Well I do appreciate the strategy advice. But if nobles are really a trap most of the time, that's even more damning for a game that's already dull.

To be clear, I own a copy of Splendor. My wife liked it enough that I bought it for her birthday or some such holiday. And at the risk of throwing good money after bad, I plan to get the expansion pack; from its description it sounds like it'll add a lot more "game". But just base Splendor? It gets old really fast.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2017, 05:14:18 pm »
+1

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it. The expansion you mention is actually four expansions in a box that you can mix and match. I'm hoping that some combination of them makes Splendor interesting.

I sort of feel the same but my group still plays it now and again. In fact it's known as the game where everyone is tense and doesn't speak for 30 minutes. And the guy who has it on his phone wins every time. But we still play it, I think maybe it's just quite nice to play even with the tension and builds nicely.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2017, 05:16:00 pm »
0

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it. The expansion you mention is actually four expansions in a box that you can mix and match. I'm hoping that some combination of them makes Splendor interesting.

I sort of feel the same but my group still plays it now and again. In fact it's known as the game where everyone is tense and doesn't speak for 30 minutes. And the guy who has it on his phone wins every time. But we still play it, I think maybe it's just quite nice to play even with the tension and builds nicely.

I really like the aspect of building up your tableau. I just want my tableau to have more interesting things than cost reduction.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2017, 05:28:36 pm »
+1

I really like the aspect of building up your tableau. I just want my tableau to have more interesting things than cost reduction.

The quality of the decisions are interesting. The game asks you to make one quality decision each turn and that's better than games that ask you to do make five trivial decisions that all take time and are not particularly interesting to you or anyone else.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2017, 05:32:53 pm »
0

Splendor is barely a game, that's how I see it. The expansion you mention is actually four expansions in a box that you can mix and match. I'm hoping that some combination of them makes Splendor interesting.

I sort of feel the same but my group still plays it now and again. In fact it's known as the game where everyone is tense and doesn't speak for 30 minutes. And the guy who has it on his phone wins every time. But we still play it, I think maybe it's just quite nice to play even with the tension and builds nicely.

I really like the aspect of building up your tableau. I just want my tableau to have more interesting things than cost reduction.

So, like stuff that let you add more cards to your tableau; things that put junk cards in other player's tableaus; maybe ways to trash the crappy cards from your tableau, and ways to buy multiple cards at once? Of course, you would be limited to using only 1 card from your tableau at a time. Unless that card has an ability that says you can then use another, or maybe 2 more.

All that to say... I think of Splendor as a deck builder. One where your entire deck just happens to be in your hand. And every card is Highway, though some are also Great Hall.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2017, 05:39:57 pm »
0

I really like the aspect of building up your tableau. I just want my tableau to have more interesting things than cost reduction.

The quality of the decisions are interesting. The game asks you to make one quality decision each turn and that's better than games that ask you to do make five trivial decisions that all take time and are not particularly interesting to you or anyone else.

But I don't enjoy those other games either. At least I don't think I do.

The one decision you make per turn may be "quality" in that it's both meaningful and non-trivial. That doesn't make it interesting to me, though. I have the same issue with chess.

I really like the aspect of building up your tableau. I just want my tableau to have more interesting things than cost reduction.

So, like stuff that let you add more cards to your tableau; things that put junk cards in other player's tableaus; maybe ways to trash the crappy cards from your tableau, and ways to buy multiple cards at once? Of course, you would be limited to using only 1 card from your tableau at a time. Unless that card has an ability that says you can then use another, or maybe 2 more.

All that to say... I think of Splendor as a deck builder. One where your entire deck just happens to be in your hand. And every card is Highway, though some are also Great Hall.

That sounds like a bad game.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2017, 10:11:05 pm »
0

The nobles are actually more of a red herring than anything else. The easiest to get nobles require you to buy 8 cards, which sometimes happens with the actual 15 point end condition, but it's super rare to have those 8 cards match exactly with the requirements of the noble in a convenient enough way. The ones that require 9 cards are pretty much automatically a losing strategy because the player who only has like 7-8 cards wins the tiebreaker and also spending 9 turns on cards is a lot of turns to spend.

I don't quite agree that the nobles are a red herring. They can be a lot of the time, but sometimes they align very well with the gems needed for several level 2 and level 3 (most expensive) cards. These games are usually the ones where I lose to my dad.

I think nobles are mostly a trap when you neglect buying good point cards for their sake. Ideally, you get the nobles "en passant", but the tricky part is knowing how much you can afford to deviate towards them when they are not the ideal colours.

I've seen the Nobles be key to victory, and I've seen my dad get all three nobles and still lose with only 11 points to show for it.

Edit: this is for 2-player. I'm also intrigued by the "first to 12 points wins" idea. I've heard the online version of the game allows for playing up to 21, but I feel like it would make the game worse by letting too many games be decided on the luck of the draw for the level 3 cards.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2017, 04:22:20 pm »
0

I find it surprising that you would call it very luck-driven. There is a certain (probably pretty big) degree of first player advantage for sure, but after that it's just a very high-skill, low-luck game in my experience.

It's certainly no Candy Land, and there are plenty of games out there with even more luck.

But sometimes you have a plan and possibly a new card comes up that bootstraps you or gives an opponent the edge. That's not insignificant.

Granted, in a two-player game, you can greatly control the luck.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2017, 05:45:04 pm »
0

I find it surprising that you would call it very luck-driven. There is a certain (probably pretty big) degree of first player advantage for sure, but after that it's just a very high-skill, low-luck game in my experience.

It's certainly no Candy Land, and there are plenty of games out there with even more luck.

But sometimes you have a plan and possibly a new card comes up that bootstraps you or gives an opponent the edge. That's not insignificant.

Granted, in a two-player game, you can greatly control the luck.

I still don't really see the new card coming up and giving an opponent the edge thing. Like, if I have gems, I have them for a reason and I'd much rather use them for that reason than make a sudden change of plans because of a new card that was just revealed. No card is that much more amazing than any other card that's worth getting at all. I guess if you haven't committed to a strategy (i.e. it's turn 1), you might want to reserve something that just got revealed before anyone else gets a chance, but that just kind of makes up for the fact that the players who went before you got to reserve something that was there to begin with before you got a chance.

In my experience, the biggest luck element aside from the player order is when you reserve a random card just for the gold chip, you might get something that'll clog your hand for the rest of the game, you might get something that you can get rid of pretty conveniently, or you might get something that actually does something useful after you've played it. That's a pretty big deal, but it's a rare situation.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2017, 05:48:28 pm »
0

It sounds like your play style quite is different from mine and others' I play with. And I don't know which is better.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2017, 08:49:37 pm »
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It sounds like your play style quite is different from mine and others' I play with. And I don't know which is better.

Well, there are ways to find out. On this online implementation (the cards have different color combinations than the official game so it's a bit confusing, but I think they just superficially swapped entire colors with one another without changing the functionality of the game — not sure though), I just won with 15 points, 6 cards and obviously 0 nobles on turn 23 against two CPUs, to give you some idea how good this is. We could also arrange a match there if you want.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2017, 10:36:14 am »
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It sounds like your play style quite is different from mine and others' I play with. And I don't know which is better.

Well, there are ways to find out. On this online implementation (the cards have different color combinations than the official game so it's a bit confusing, but I think they just superficially swapped entire colors with one another without changing the functionality of the game — not sure though), I just won with 15 points, 6 cards and obviously 0 nobles on turn 23 against two CPUs, to give you some idea how good this is. We could also arrange a match there if you want.

So I just played a 3 player against 2 computers.... I won with 15 points, 12 cards, 1 noble, on turn 26. So yours was faster, but not by a huge amount. Still seems weird to spend 17 turns just taking chips... how do you not constantly hit the 10 chip limit?
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2017, 11:09:59 am »
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So I just played a 3 player against 2 computers.... I won with 15 points, 12 cards, 1 noble, on turn 26. So yours was faster, but not by a huge amount. Still seems weird to spend 17 turns just taking chips... how do you not constantly hit the 10 chip limit?

I find this fascinating, but I feel like maybe this portion of this thread should be separated into a new Splendor thread. I'm keen on talking about it, especially with the upcoming expansion.

I've seen strategies involving saving up for Tier 2 cards only. That makes me a little nervous because it's so easy for another player to block it and/or decide that he wants a different strategy and take your chips anyway. But as long as you have a Plan B to buy something before you are forced to exceed the 10-gem limit, then I think it's a fine option.

I love taking chips up to 9 and 10 though. Even if I can buy something, I'll take more chips as long as nobody else can buy the card I want. I'd rather put the pressure on the other players.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2017, 11:31:05 am »
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It sounds like your play style quite is different from mine and others' I play with. And I don't know which is better.

Well, there are ways to find out. On this online implementation (the cards have different color combinations than the official game so it's a bit confusing, but I think they just superficially swapped entire colors with one another without changing the functionality of the game — not sure though), I just won with 15 points, 6 cards and obviously 0 nobles on turn 23 against two CPUs, to give you some idea how good this is. We could also arrange a match there if you want.

So I just played a 3 player against 2 computers.... I won with 15 points, 12 cards, 1 noble, on turn 26. So yours was faster, but not by a huge amount. Still seems weird to spend 17 turns just taking chips... how do you not constantly hit the 10 chip limit?

This comparison of strategies is intriguing. I should try this myself later.

My strategy seems to align closer to Gendo's. I can't imagine how Awaclus's strategy can play out in practice without reserving cards somehow being key to ensure the cards you want are not denied by opponent's.

The difference of a few turns sounds massive for Splendor though.

Edit: yeah, a separate subthread might be good if this keeps up.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2017, 12:09:30 pm »
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So I just played a 3 player against 2 computers.... I won with 15 points, 12 cards, 1 noble, on turn 26. So yours was faster, but not by a huge amount. Still seems weird to spend 17 turns just taking chips... how do you not constantly hit the 10 chip limit?

I do constantly hit the 10 chip limit, but that's fine. It's better to return one or two (sometimes even three, but that's usually the point at which I realize I made some mistake earlier) chips than to waste a turn buying a card that I don't need.

My strategy seems to align closer to Gendo's. I can't imagine how Awaclus's strategy can play out in practice without reserving cards somehow being key to ensure the cards you want are not denied by opponent's.

Yeah, reserving cards is key. It's important that you have the cards reserved so that you don't spend turns preparing for something that ends up not being available after all, and you also need the gold chips to buy the expensive stuff. Generally I will reserve a card and the card that it ramps to before I start gaining chips to play the former.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2017, 11:33:19 am »
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Has anyone played the Cities of Splendor expansion yet?

I bought it recently and have been playing some games with my dad using it. The expansion comes with four rules variants, and you choose one of those rules variants to play with at any one time.

The variant my dad and I keep going back to, and the one that I feel comes closest to maintaining the spirit of Splendor, is the Cities variants.

The Cities variant simply replaces the Noble tiles with three City tiles. Instead of getting 15 points, the victory condition is to earn one of the City tiles. The City tiles work like Noble tiles in that you get them at the end of a turn where you meet their condition. The conditions to get a City are things like get 12 points / 4 Green / 4 of a kind besides Green, or 12 points / 6 of a kind, or 16 points and one of each colour. I think there are 14 cities in all (7 two-sided tiles)

At its core, this rules variant is still Splendor, but there is an additional planning consideration now because you can't win without getting a city.

There is another rules variant with strongholds, that has you lock/unlock cards on the board every time you buy a card. But like, you really don't need to buy a whole expansion to play with that variant. Just get 12 tokens that you can divide into distinct groups of 3.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2017, 12:26:37 pm »
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I haven't played Strongholds yet. While it looks like it can add some new strategy to the game, the locking part could get frustrating, and I don't know if it'll make the game any more fun. I want to try it sometime, but I'm also afraid of disappointment.

I really like the Orient and the City. They could even be combined, which could be extra intense.

I like Trading Post, but I wish that the costs could be randomized. As it is, whenever I play with Trading Post, I always go for the reds first.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2017, 12:40:36 pm »
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I haven't played Strongholds yet. While it looks like it can add some new strategy to the game, the locking part could get frustrating, and I don't know if it'll make the game any more fun. I want to try it sometime, but I'm also afraid of disappointment.

I really like the Orient and the City. They could even be combined, which could be extra intense.

I like Trading Post, but I wish that the costs could be randomized. As it is, whenever I play with Trading Post, I always go for the reds first.

Trading posts is the one with the gained abilities right? That one doesn't seem like it has the best balance. Like, how often can you get a Noble tile and 5 green? The Noble tile would need to have the 4 green requirement. And then the ability that makes Gold worth two of one gem is crazy strong.

Strongholds work fine in 2-player, and maybe make Nobles more relevant. I am worried about how messed up it could get in 4-player games.

I like the Orient, but I worry that it's too much for my dad. The rules could also be clearer, like if you keep a Noble tile for getting rid of cards that make you no longer meet its requirement (there are cards that say have you get rid of 2 white cards Asa cost to buy another card).
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 12:42:33 pm by markusin »
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2017, 03:35:05 pm »
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So I just played a 3 player against 2 computers.... I won with 15 points, 12 cards, 1 noble, on turn 26. So yours was faster, but not by a huge amount. Still seems weird to spend 17 turns just taking chips... how do you not constantly hit the 10 chip limit?

I do constantly hit the 10 chip limit, but that's fine. It's better to return one or two (sometimes even three, but that's usually the point at which I realize I made some mistake earlier) chips than to waste a turn buying a card that I don't need.

My strategy seems to align closer to Gendo's. I can't imagine how Awaclus's strategy can play out in practice without reserving cards somehow being key to ensure the cards you want are not denied by opponent's.

Yeah, reserving cards is key. It's important that you have the cards reserved so that you don't spend turns preparing for something that ends up not being available after all, and you also need the gold chips to buy the expensive stuff. Generally I will reserve a card and the card that it ramps to before I start gaining chips to play the former.

Oh yeah, this... I tried a couple games against the AI (the official app) trying to play the way you describe... saving up more chips, not buying cheap cards that don't help, etc... wasn't ever able to win. Obviously I'm not doing things right.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2017, 04:31:41 pm »
+1

So I just played a 3 player against 2 computers.... I won with 15 points, 12 cards, 1 noble, on turn 26. So yours was faster, but not by a huge amount. Still seems weird to spend 17 turns just taking chips... how do you not constantly hit the 10 chip limit?

I do constantly hit the 10 chip limit, but that's fine. It's better to return one or two (sometimes even three, but that's usually the point at which I realize I made some mistake earlier) chips than to waste a turn buying a card that I don't need.

My strategy seems to align closer to Gendo's. I can't imagine how Awaclus's strategy can play out in practice without reserving cards somehow being key to ensure the cards you want are not denied by opponent's.

Yeah, reserving cards is key. It's important that you have the cards reserved so that you don't spend turns preparing for something that ends up not being available after all, and you also need the gold chips to buy the expensive stuff. Generally I will reserve a card and the card that it ramps to before I start gaining chips to play the former.

Oh yeah, this... I tried a couple games against the AI (the official app) trying to play the way you describe... saving up more chips, not buying cheap cards that don't help, etc... wasn't ever able to win. Obviously I'm not doing things right.

I'm consistently able to do well with only 9 or 10 cards bought and no nobles (unless somehow a noble's requirement mostly lines up with the cards I wanted anyway), but winning with 6 or 7 cards is still not something I find myself accomplishing.

Still, my performance has improved greatly from the days where I'd buy lots of level 1 cards and go for nobles. So, I have to give credit to Awaclus and others for their insight in this thread.

I do not completely neglect the level 1 cards. I typically get one or two near the start of the game that look like they'll have the most long-term utility, and then I go after the level 2 cards that have a good colour for getting the level 3 cards and hopefully are worth good points as well. Reserving is so powerful because the Gold allows you to buy something worth lots of gems in one colour even once that gem has run out. There is the odd time where I buy a low level card late-game due to it being the cleanest way to ramp up to a good card once gems are low in supply.

Interestingly, 3 player Splendor has the smallest total coloured gem to player of the possible 2-4 player arrangements. I imagine having more noble tiles makes it more likely that one of them is worth going for.

I am willing to play against some people on that online implementation linked to earlier.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 04:32:47 pm by markusin »
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2017, 11:36:11 am »
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I like the Orient, but I worry that it's too much for my dad. The rules could also be clearer, like if you keep a Noble tile for getting rid of cards that make you no longer meet its requirement (there are cards that say have you get rid of 2 white cards Asa cost to buy another card).


I feel the rules indicate that you keep the noble, though not explicitly. The rules do not say that you return the noble if you fall below the threshold. There is no stipulation listed about nobles going back to the pool, so I infer from that omission that nobles do not go back.

I feel that if the designed intended for nobles to be put back, there would have been a rule outlining this.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2017, 04:02:02 pm »
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I like the Orient, but I worry that it's too much for my dad. The rules could also be clearer, like if you keep a Noble tile for getting rid of cards that make you no longer meet its requirement (there are cards that say have you get rid of 2 white cards Asa cost to buy another card).


I feel the rules indicate that you keep the noble, though not explicitly. The rules do not say that you return the noble if you fall below the threshold. There is no stipulation listed about nobles going back to the pool, so I infer from that omission that nobles do not go back.

I feel that if the designed intended for nobles to be put back, there would have been a rule outlining this.

I would agree, but the rules were printed on a single 2-sided page. That gave me the feeling that they were looking to have the rules be as concise and minimalistic as possible. How do I know they didn't accidentally omit something, or assume I would give the noble back upon not meeting the condition anymore?

Looking on the BGG rules forum for Cities of Splendor, it appears I am not alone.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2017, 09:51:24 pm »
+1

I made a video demonstrating how to play the strategy I've been talking about.



EDIT: For the record, I no longer play with the 12-point house rule since the realization that this strategy is still very good with the original rules and better than what I was doing initially.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 10:14:00 pm by Awaclus »
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2017, 12:41:27 am »
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Woah, I never realised you can reserve the top card of a deck. It's in the rules, but I guess I forgot about it.

So Awaclus, your strategy is very interesting. I typically play two player Splendor, and face human opponents that typically hoard chips, making it a bit harder to build up to level OOO cards. Even so, that shouldn't have too much of an effect on your strategy in practice, and may simply mean you buy one extra card of the needed colour.

The part I found most strange is that you reserved the lower level cards before the higher level cards in your video. Is that something you always do, or did you just want to capitalize on the relatively cheap three gem cost of that particular Level O card?
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2017, 07:38:18 am »
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Woah, I never realised you can reserve the top card of a deck. It's in the rules, but I guess I forgot about it.

So Awaclus, your strategy is very interesting. I typically play two player Splendor, and face human opponents that typically hoard chips, making it a bit harder to build up to level OOO cards. Even so, that shouldn't have too much of an effect on your strategy in practice, and may simply mean you buy one extra card of the needed colour.

The part I found most strange is that you reserved the lower level cards before the higher level cards in your video. Is that something you always do, or did you just want to capitalize on the relatively cheap three gem cost of that particular Level O card?

I don't always buy any O level cards at all. That card was perfect for what I was doing though because it gave a red gem and didn't cost one, so I thought I would be able to gain the chips required for that card while also gaining red chips (but that didn't work out because the bots depleted the blue chips). Because I had to spend the gold chip on the card, buying the card ended up being on par with just gaining chips, but I would have been a turn faster otherwise.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2017, 03:22:43 pm »
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I typically play two player Splendor, so I recorded myself playing against a single computer opponent to see how well I'd do. I do feel like the bots here play play pretty sloppy. Maybe they are better on the official Splendor app? Apologies is Vimeo is not your preferred video watching app, but I didn't want to needlessly clutter my YouTube or Twitch Channel.

https://vimeo.com/249109529

My strategy is very similar to the one Awaclus demonstrated, and is largely inspired by it, except I don't tend to commit and reserve a card turn one. If I do, it would be for a really vital Level O card. Typically, my first couple of moves involve taking gems of colours matching ones that useful Level O cards require more than one of. This is obvious, but if a card requires one more gem of a colour you currently have, you can pick up that gem the turn before you buy it assuming you know the gem will be in supply by the time you want it. When a card requires multiple of the same gem, you need to collect that gem colour in advance.

My goal is generally to aim for ultimately getting a couple of Level OOO card, but I usually buy a Level O and Level OO card that ramp up to it first. Around the time I am building towards a second Level OOO card, I will look to reserve Level OO or Level OOO cards that will get me past the 15 point mark. Alternatively, I will reserve a Level OOO card but hold off on buying it and instead buy a chain of same-colour Level OO that require gems of their own colour. For example, both the 2-point 5G-cost Green card and the 3-point 6G-cost Green are on the board.

I also recorded a three player game against two bots, where I basically do the same thing.

https://vimeo.com/249103012

So yeah, in short I am less averse to Level O cards as Awaclus.

Edit: Oh yeah, and denial reservations are more relevant in two player games, so there is a small added advantage to not holding three cards at a time in two player games.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 03:25:35 pm by markusin »
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2017, 04:18:00 pm »
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I'm not in love with Splendor, but my significant other is nuts about it. I would have a much easier time seeing it as the game about always making the statistically best decision and hoping luck isn't off that I want to see it as if I wasn't always losing to him. Well, except last time, where I just skipped O cards altogether. I guess that supports Awaclus' strategy.

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2017, 07:56:21 pm »
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My strategy is very similar to the one Awaclus demonstrated, and is largely inspired by it, except I don't tend to commit and reserve a card turn one. If I do, it would be for a really vital Level O card. Typically, my first couple of moves involve taking gems of colours matching ones that useful Level O cards require more than one of.

Oh, I thought you were asking about going for Os at all, but I guess you were asking about reserving them specifically? Yeah, I generally tend to reserve all the cards I buy before buying them.  That way I get a gold chip without having to worry about a card being stuck in my hand forever, and I get the best cards before someone else takes them.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2017, 08:53:34 pm »
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My strategy is very similar to the one Awaclus demonstrated, and is largely inspired by it, except I don't tend to commit and reserve a card turn one. If I do, it would be for a really vital Level O card. Typically, my first couple of moves involve taking gems of colours matching ones that useful Level O cards require more than one of.

Oh, I thought you were asking about going for Os at all, but I guess you were asking about reserving them specifically? Yeah, I generally tend to reserve all the cards I buy before buying them.  That way I get a gold chip without having to worry about a card being stuck in my hand forever, and I get the best cards before someone else takes them.

Yeah, initially I was asking how often you reserve Level O cards. You followed up by saying you don't always buy them, whereas I usually buy at least one. I may have misinterpreted that to mean you often skip O cards.

I can see the merit of reserving O cards, but to me it seems a bit inefficient to do so on the first turn compared to collecting gems when there are two or more serviceable Level O or OO cards. I don't mind reserving them later in the game to collect a Gold gem and secure a vital colour card. Mind you this is in two player, where it is easier to keep track of the opponent's capabilities and it is possible to get ahead by denying someone (whereas another player could get ahead of you if you try to deny a third player).
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2017, 10:07:29 pm »
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Yeah, initially I was asking how often you reserve Level O cards. You followed up by saying you don't always buy them, whereas I usually buy at least one. I may have misinterpreted that to mean you often skip O cards.

Well, I'm not sure if I would say that I "often" skip them. I buy one if it ramps to at least two cards, or if it's easier (or roughly as easy) to buy a card than to gain a chip of its color. It's pretty rare (maybe around 1/5 of the time) that I won't end up with any O cards by the time the game ends, but it's not very rare that I don't buy any at the start of the game.
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Re: Splendor
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2018, 04:39:38 am »
+1

My friends and I have been playing a fair bit of Splendor, and for the most part have settled upon a meta of play that is similar to the strategy Awaclus describes. Today we tried to answer the following question:

In a four-player game (so, 7 chips in each pile) with perfect luck for yourself and your opponent staying out of the way, what is the shortest possible game?

I found a little article with statistics on over 7000 games of splendor played online, and 3 games took 19 turns with none being shorter. However, it's not that hard to come up with a way that someone might get to 15 points faster than that with no opposition and perfect luck.

After a few hours of puzzling, the shortest game we could come up with was 15 turns to 15 points, which we managed to achieve in three essentially different ways. How many turns can you get to 15 points in? I think there is still a fair bit of unexplored space for solutions and possibly improvements and would be interested to see what the forum comes up with.

I'll add that we don't really have much idea how to show that a given solution is the best possible. We think we've pretty much proven that a game of splendor must take at least 11 turns, but that is almost surely not tight and it's unclear how to improve that bound with certainty.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 04:42:17 am by liopoil »
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