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Author Topic: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 5  (Read 1341 times)

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Hideyoshi

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Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 5
« on: May 22, 2013, 03:35:42 am »
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Hi all, it's Hideyoshi again~

It really takes me a long long time to write on age 5, as there are too many to write on. Anyway, I hope everyone will like it~

Some may not like age 5 echoes as it gives you many “strange” cards. Well, for me, actually I like these cards. (That’s why I write much more than other ages.)  Age 5 is often considered as the mid stage of the game, which you are far away from the starting stage and away from castles. But it is not the ending stage as you do not have clocks anyway. You may need to do something with splaying or board splaying to place more useful icons at age 5. You may also need to attack some useful cards from your opponents. Well, there is a very wide range of strategies. It is better for players to get familiar with different strategies.

Drawing

Pressure Cooker
I would like to say pressure cooker is the age 5 echoes card which I like most. It may not be the most useful card at age 5, but it is a very funny card to me. There are two different uses generally:
1. Return all your cards and draw some new cards. It is a very good strategy if you have just a few useless cards in your hand, but you have some high bonus on your top cards, such as some 5s or 6s at age 5, then it would be much better effect than just drawing a 5. You may need to know that you can arrange the order of value of drawing, which you can draw a higher echo card as you want.
2. Return all your opponents cards by sharing. For me, it is more important than the first effect as it is probably the best method to return all opponents cards, more efficient than physics. You may combine this effect with pencil echo effect and yellow cards splaying right. Even if your opponents have no cards in their hand, they need to “forced draw” and “forced return” without doing anything, and then you get a free draw!!
As this is one of the favorite echo cards, two game logs are attached:
http://innovation.isotropic.org/gamelog/201304/16/game-20130416-072941-3e15505e.html
You may read Hideyoshi turn 18 and turn 20. I had a pencil with splaying right at these moments. At turn 18, I shared pressure cooker effect to Andy which made him to return 7 cards in total with drawing nothing. At the same time, I returned some useless cards and drew some new cards. (The loom was drawn by pencil, so actually I planned to return 3 cards but not 4.) At turn 20, that was what I am talking about “forced draw” and “forced return” and I have a free draw. You may see Andy just drew Encyclopedia and returned it.
http://innovation.isotropic.org/gamelog/201304/18/game-20130418-013157-a441b4eb.html
Pressure Cooker happened at my turn 13 and 15. At both turn Tree were using paper to draw a lot of cards. You may find that Tree was forced to return 16 cards in total at turn 13 and I drew some new cards (including steamboat). It was probably the largest amount of returning I had tried.

Scoring

Stove
I do not know why I always mix it with Dentures. Anyway, Stove is a card for scoring which have two ways for scoring in one card. The echo effect is visible when your yellow cards are splayed left. The effect can score a top card without factories on your board. I do not know whether it is a good or bad effect. You may benefit from it by scoring a top card, but you may destroy your board at the same time. You may need to plan your route first with care, especially stove is as your echo effect. The first main effect is quite useful if your board have some cards of value below 4. You may combine the effect with the echoes one which score some high top cards and some low top cards may be left. However, in most cases, stove is just drawing and tucking a 4 without scoring a 4. The problem is if you can score a 4 by this action, it means that your top cards are just some low tech card. At age 5 if you still have a lot of 2 or 3 as your top cards, it means that your board cannot catch up to your technology. Stove may probably benefit the most if stove are meld by something like mathematics which a lot of low tech cards left your board. Anyway, just use it wisely depending on situation. Splaying green cards may be a useful bonus, as it is the only green splaying right card featured factories.

Palampore
Some may love palampore as a great scorer. To be frank, palampore is not a great card for me. The problem is that you need to have a couple of the same bonus on your board in order to score a card. Some may think it is an easy job to do so as palampore have a bonus of 5 already. However, the real situation is that you only have 5-6 same bonus of each value in all 105 echo cards and you are not supposed to draw an echo card each time. I even do not count the efficiency of splaying for each color.
The other problem is that palampore seems to have three effects, but I may say the 2nd and 3rd effect is not useful in repeating. The second one is purple splaying right, which is useless in repeating. The third effect is claiming the special achievements Wealth, which is often considered as a bonus if you can do so. Anyway, if I consider the 1st effect deeply:
1. If you have a couple of bonus of low value, such as 2 or 3. I may say it is not useful to just score a 2 or 3 in one action. I may find some other routes to do better.
2. If you have a couple of bonus of high value, such as 8, you often have some better top cards to do more rather than just scoring a card.
3. If you have tucked many bonus to gain a couple of bonus, such as using industrialization, I would like to repeat industrialization rather than using palampore.
As conclusion, the only situation I may use palampore is when I have a couple of bonus of value from 4-6. Frankly, I will plan to score more cards in a action rather than just score a card. If I want to draw and score a card, I probably use machine tools, which is more simple and efficient in most cases.

Piano
If you can use it to score 5 cards, it is the most wonderful moment in innovation!!
Anyway, in all echoes game that I played, I think about or more than 200 games, piano can successfully score 5 cards in 2 games, which one are by me and one are by my opponent. I do not have the game log anyway, as I cannot find that wonderful moment again. Well, piano is generally not a tool for scoring as you may find that it is very difficult to have 5 top cards of all different values. You may need to do a lot of job to do so, but I may just do something else rather than melding a lot of new cards. In most cases, you may find the echo effect is more useful. You can draw a card which you are not able to draw in normal situation. In most cases, you may draw a higher card when your technology is lagged, which means you can catch up by drawing a high tech card which your opponent get it. You may try the combination of echo effect of piano and democracy with purple splaying right. It is a very silly but useful combination, which you may consider it as “draw and score a 8” if your bulbs are leading.

Tech Up

Thermometer
Well, I do not like thermometer, but it seems many players love it. You may compare thermometer with printing press, but for me they are quite different. Anyway, to make it simple, it is a card of luck, so I do not talk about the possibility of reaching age 11 by thermometer. As the possibility of melding a new yellow card is 20% which is quite small, you may just consider the effect as “Draw and meld a card of value one higher than your yellow top card”. Therefore, at age 5, if you need to tech up, you need to have a top yellow card of age 5. That’s why I do not like this card as you may not do so in most cases. I would use other cards such as astronomy and coke, even physics, to tech up, as least they are much simpler. The echo effect… I have not found a direction combination of blue cards making it useful yet. If you find it, tell me and I add it in. (I have thought of lightning rod and thermometer echo effect with blue cards splaying right. Well, I have not tried yet but it may be useful by luck… no, I just get too confused…)

Coke
Compared to thermometer, it is much simpler. The echo effect is “draw and tuck a 4”, which is really a bonus in most cases. The main effect is much useful, but you may need some statistics.
Echoes: 3 cards with factories out of 10, with 2 cards with factories are red
Base: 6 cards with factories out of 10, with 2 cards with factories
If you want to benefit from coke most, keep your hand with at least one echo cards in order to draw a base 6. To be frank, the three echoes cards with factories, loom, shrapnel and dentures, are not a great card, even two of them would meld over coke. Compared to the base, most of them are more useful, as you may get vaccination or canning, even industrialization and machine tools which are red may benefit more. It is also the most effective way to help you to get industrialization by tech up from age 5.

Board Building

Tuning Fork

Some may ask a question: Why I need to use Tuning Fork to return a card and meld a new card of the same value, but not directly meld the card? I may say Tuning Fork is a strange card and in real situation, it is not a useful card. If you want to use tuning fork to meld a card, what you need to do is to return a higher card which you can ensure it is higher than all top cards; otherwise, you will just do some returning. Then, the problem is, why I do not meld the card originally? The answer is quite easy: because I do not want to meld the card. Sometimes you may get a high but unwanted card in your hand, such as encyclopedia or emancipation, tuning fork may help you to meld a new card. The echoes effect seems useless for looking a card, but it may help you to check whether you want to meld the card which you are going to meld. It is quite like what tuning fork in reality do by checking the sound. Well, I may say, tuning fork is quite impractical in most situations, but it is a good combination with some effects that can help you to draw a higher card. You may see the combination of tuning fork and printing press meld a better 7.

Lightning Rod
Compared to Tuning Fork, Lightning Rod is a simpler and more useful card. You may read the card as “Tuck two 5s, and then you may return a top card from your board” and with a demanding effect as “draw and tuck a 5 and return your top card with the same color”. The demanding effect is a random effect which you really do not know which color your opponents will tuck unless you set a trap. Anyway, the demanding effect is not too efficient and I often consider it as a bonus. The main effect of lightning rod is the first one as you can tuck two cards and return the top card. Tucking two cards in echoes game is not a good effect as you may add some new echoes effect; if not, you will just add some new icons on it. You may return any top card from your board, even lightning rod itself. You may find it is interesting if you use mathematics to meld lightning rod as a new blue card. You can just return it by lightning rod. It is also a strategy to return some useless top cards in order to make new top card, and I often do so. Lightning rod is probably the freest way to return/score any top card with no restriction. For beginners, you may feel this is a card which is difficult to use, but you may need to learn the “freestyle playing” of innovation which includes returning some top cards for your own good.

Board Attacking

Octant
I often mix this card with Shuriken at age 4 mistakenly, with the same icons pattern and similar board attacking effect. Anyway, Octant can steal non-red top cards with leaves or factories, and the compensation is drawing and foreshadowing a 6. You may draw and foreshadow a 6 also as the second effect. Without melding a new card, you can repeat Octant to steal all top cards from your opponent. To be frank, it is not as good as Shuriken. At age 5, you probably want to steal a factory rather than a leaf in general situation as factories are more important at age 5 – 6. However, Octant cannot steal red cards with factories, which most of them are very important, such as industrialization, coal, coke or even combustion, mobility and parachute. You may compare it with banking and corporation which cannot steal green cards with factories. You may find that octant is weaker than banking and corporation as green cards with factories are something like metric system and palampore, which are not too dangerous compared with those red cards. If you consider stealing leaves using octant, it is much better than compass as you can avoid making a mess with the exchange of cards in compass. You may also read octant as you can steal all cards with leaves as only one red card have leaves, bandage at age 8. However, the problem becomes what cards with leaves you need to steal at age 5 – 6. To be frank, if you still steal fermentation or almanac at age 5, you are really in a danger as you opponent may get a lot of cards or scores already. It is often too late to do it at age 5. I may say there are not many key cards at around age 4 – 7 with leaves but without factories. The most important of them are probably reformation. If you aim at canning, banking may do so as it has factories. That’s why I do not like octant as you may find it is not strong enough for stealing cards.

Seed Drill
It is one of the cards which make new achievement. Among these four cards, however, seed drill seems to be the worst one. The problem is it does not have any bonus, any echo effects, and even any good effects other than making new achievements. It includes a demanding effect which can return opponent’s top card, but it can only return 1 or 2, not even scoring them. Generally, at age 5, this demanding effect is quite useless as most cards of value 1 or 2 are also useless, except some as mathematics and fermentation. It is more common that your opponents do not have such top cards. I will not say this effect is totally useless, but even you can do so, it is not efficient enough to make damages. There are more cards which can do better at age 5, so the demanding you may just think it is quite silly. The second effect is often considered as the main effect, but it is still too weak if you compare it to others. Making a new achievement 3, 4 or 5 is the worst among those. Chopsticks and toothbrushes can help you to claim a second achievement of value 1 or 2, as these are easily to claim twice. Ice cream is better than seed drill as you can often use it to end the game by claiming the 7th achievement. At age 7, it is also crazy enough to make 90 scores to claim an achievement 9 at the second time. But at age 5, you often cannot get 50 scores to claim a second achievement 5. You may try to do so with second achievement 3, but I may consider there are more ways to do better than claiming a new achievement at age 5.

Some base cards changes

Banking
Well, I have tried to combine it with octant to buy all factories from your opponents. It looks silly but it seems helpful.

Societies
The same as above as you can combine it with Shuriken to buy all bulbs. Well, really silly… but very funny move!!

Physics
If you want, you may calculate the possibility of crushing if adding an echo card to it. Anyway, you can tried to have three cards with the same color now! (And I really tried this wonderful moment once…)

Astronomy
If you draw an echoes card, you may meld the green or blue cards as bifocals, stethoscope, hot air balloon and steamboat. Unlike the base one, you do not have encyclopedia, and to be frank, these four are not bad card to meld. Stethoscope and hot air balloon is better card to meld for astronomy, and you may not want steamboat if your opponents are lagged by technology. Anyway, that’s luck problem.

Measurement
I often miss this card changes in echoes… In base, I often consider this as splaying card which you can splay any colors right, which may be considered as similar to metric system. In echoes, however, I often consider this as tech up card rather than just splaying right. Because of the increase of the number of cards in echoes, each color has 42 cards rather than 21 cards, which is quite easy to get more cards in echoes in one color. Well, at age 5, it is quite common for getting about 7 cards in a color, which mean you can get tech up by measurement. You may also find that measurement can end the game by reaching 11 easily at the later stage, such as at age 7 which you can have more than 10 cards.
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Kenbutsu

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Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 5
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 06:47:51 pm »
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Ok, these posts are really making me want to learn this expansion.  Gotta convince the wife that we've mastered the base set.  She still wins 40% of the time with the strategy

1) Collect bulbs.
2) Find and meld empiricism.
3) Profit.
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ksasaki

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Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 5
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 11:09:33 am »
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Ken: that strategy works a LOT better in the expansion believe me!
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ksasaki

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Re: Echoes Strategy Guide: Age 5
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 12:03:01 pm »
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Tuning fork tucked + empiricism is pretty sick if you have that stack splayed right:

look at top card of any deck:

choose two colors and draw and reveal a 9.  If the card is one of the two colors chosen, meld that card and splay up.

Tuning fork is really not that bad either if you have a monster hand, not inconceivable if you have paper or fermenting.
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