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Author Topic: Coal  (Read 1972 times)

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MainiacJoe

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Coal
« on: June 12, 2013, 11:38:58 am »
+1

I am surprised to see Coal so highly rated on theory's Age 5 blog post http://innovation.boardgamestrategy.net/age-5-tier-list/.  I'll admit that I've been hesitant to spam it for fear of becoming permanently behind in icons.  Clearly though you feel it's worth it to do so.  I'm having trouble though seeing how it doesn't run out of steam, leaving you with a crippled board. 

I see how draw-tuck-score eventually becomes draw-meld.  Looming on the horizon, though, are two problems.  The time will come when you've destroyed all your colors except red (which you can't without losing Coal) and now it's merely(!) a choice between meld a 5 or score a 5.  By then, your opponent will be sharing your Coal actions but with more board ammo to spend on it, and while your score pile is full of 5's and 6s he's now scoring two 7s 8s and 9s to your one (or four-to-one, if you need to spend a turn melding shares to be able to achieve) and can catch up to you.  Perhaps the good that Coal has gained you enables you to end the game before it over-extends itself like this?

I'm intrigued by the possibility and trust everyone's judgment, I'm just not seeing how it would work in practice.  Can anyone please share game logs that show Coal spammed effectively?
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theory

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 11:47:17 am »
+2

It's really powerful when you're already ahead from having claimed the earlier achievements.  It's not feasible to try to rush this if your opponents took 1-4, for example, but if no one claimed 1-4 or if you did, then Coal is a punishingly fast scorer. 

In addition, just Coal by itself is 3 factories, and if you have any red 4's tucked that's another icon.  That means it is actually surprisingly difficult for your opponent to catch up in factory icons.
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timchen

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Re: Coal
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 12:25:29 pm »
0

Yeah, I think the "draw and meld a 5 eventually" comment is slightly misleading. It is only one of the reasons why this card is so good. The card is good mainly because it is very flexible. Draw and tuck a 5, splay your red right itself is pretty decent. And it can score the critical 6-10 points when you need it. It's added bonus when you don't have a color draw-and-tuck becomes draw-and-meld.

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MainiacJoe

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Re: Coal
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 03:01:17 pm »
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It's really powerful when you're already ahead from having claimed the earlier achievements.  It's not feasible to try to rush this if your opponents took 1-4, for example, but if no one claimed 1-4 or if you did, then Coal is a punishingly fast scorer.
Thanks, that helps a lot.  I'll have to try this soon.
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Awaclus

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Re: Coal
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 04:48:14 pm »
0

The situation in which I absolutely need Coal isn't very common (maybe sometimes happens with Math or opponent's shared low age draw/melds), but the situation in which I hope I don't draw Coal happens basically never. It always does something useful, and at best it can be devastating. Sure, some other cards - and even some other '5's - are more devastating sometimes or devastating more often than Coal, but they're all sometimes useless or not very good (except the very high cards).

Offtopic: My great idea of a cool way to format "'5'" ended up being a pain in the butt to actually do because you can't have more than one space in a row.  :(
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 05:03:42 pm by Awaclus »
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MainiacJoe

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Re: Coal
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 09:52:04 am »
+3

Well I got a chance to use this last night and it worked exactly as advertised.  I got the first four achievements and began Coaling away my board.  My wife had Navigation and was clearing out my many 2s and 3s but Coal out-raced it and kept me able to achieve (it wouldn't have worked if I hadn't had gone in with such a big lead).  Eventually I tucked a 6 under two cards and was able to reveal it to enable the last achievement.  In another game, I used it once merely to tuck, splay, and add three factories but wasn't in a position to spam it.  Thank you for teaching me about this use of the card!
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