[This is from Yehuda, for which, thanks. It’s a follow up to this post and is also crossposted from the Ra’anana Boardgames Group blog]
Hansa Teutonica: I taught this to Rosalyn. HT is a game whose progress depends on groupthink. If the players, as a group, concentrate on certain areas, then certain strategies pay off big time. If they concentrate on other areas, those strategies falter and other ones will succeed.
The obvious strategy in HT is to go as quickly as possible for extra actions (as it is in any game where there is a path to get permanent extra actions). This option will quickly dominate if, and only if, the game continues long enough for you to make up the actions that you spent getting those extra actions. So the longer the game goes on, the more it will pay off.
Other players can try to stop this by
- getting extra actions themselves or
- ending the game quicker by filling in buildings and creating a path between the two far cities on the board.
However, the counter-strategy is not easy. First of all, the player with more actions can undo everything you do and still have extra actions to play with; every player needs AT LEAST one extra action (3 actions per round instead of 2) to have any chance. Second of all, getting extra actions also gives you bonuses, like the 4 point bonus for completing the track, and the ability to quickly take and use bonus chips. which are also extra points. Third of all, it appears to take just a little too long to end the game this way.
Anyway, I told Rosalyn much of this when the game started, and Laurie already knew this.
In the 3 player game, only one person can quickly get his first extra action; I was the starting player, so I got it. Despite my prompting them to block me, I also got my 4th, and then my 5th extra action in somewhat rapid succession, while Laurie got her third action somewhere in the middle of this, and Rosalyn didn’t get any extra actions until nearly the end of the game. Laurie opened up her color bonuses quickly, and took the top two spots in the color bonus building (11 and 9 points).
With my extra actions, I was able to get the other two spots, and still get a complete path between the two far cities, a large city group (obviously), an extra point per city in the group, two complete tracks, and 6 bonus chips. My ending score was nearly double Laurie’s (around 84 to 44) with Rosalyn a bit behind Laurie.
No Thanks (aka Geschenkt): After HT, one of the kids (I forget who) joined us for two games of No Thanks, which we played using cards from that Zombie game. Laurie toasted us in the first game with 20 points, while everyone else had at least 40. I won the second game with 17 points, while second place was somewhere in the twenties.