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Kuildeous

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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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markusin

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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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Awaclus

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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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markusin

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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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Kuildeous

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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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markusin

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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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GendoIkari

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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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markusin

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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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Kuildeous

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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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markusin

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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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Awaclus

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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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markusin

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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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Awaclus

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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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markusin

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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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Asper

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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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markusin

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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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Awaclus

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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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