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Share your tactics

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Faabijan P.:
Hello everybody!

I am huge fan of Lost Cities. I started playing it as a board game with my student roommates in 2009, and than continue playing it on HM for years.

While in single game of LC a lot depends on a luck, playing it for hours and hours and years and years requires various tactics, ways of playing.

What are yours? How do you make decisions? Do you trust your intuitions and what are they?  Are any circumstances that encourage you to take the risk more common than others?

For me the most import thing is to think ahead. The more moves I can make with the deck of card that I posses in that moment, more likely it is that I will start playing it. If I have to count on a next card from the deck, that is probably a bad sign.
In my opinion, it is perfectly fine to built two non-profitable expeditions in order to get better cards.

I also try not to share money card with my opponent, but, if they open a lot expeditions or one strong one, I will impose them some small cards.
On the other hand I try not to take any of the open cards. I believe that there is almost always option to get better card from the pile.

In addition to that I am interested in how do you experience your playing games with bots. Do you think they are better/worse in making decisions than live players? Maybe admins can tell us more about the mind of a bot in game of LC? Is there any machine learning involved? Maybe you can throw in some fun statistics, if you run them?

Looking forward to read your answers!


Neil S.:
I never play on all 5 Expeditions...Never!
I like to collect a set for the Bonus and keep it in hand, sometimes even throwing away a 2 or 3 of said colour to tempt the opponent to throw away. The confused pause when you then pick it up is reward enough.
Sometimes if I'm sat on something like a 6, 8, 9 of a colour in an opening hand and the opponent starts putting down $, I'll throw away a $ or two and feed their doom rather than play on mine.

It's as much about playing the opponent as playing your hand I'd say.

Jimmy V.:
For me Lost Cities is a game about tempos. Very often, you are forced to play a bad move when you don't want to.

So gaining tempos (even at a cost of a few points) is essential. For example, playing a 7 and an 8 on a new expedition (it costs 5 points, but wins 2 tempos).

But also not losing tempos is essential.

I am not a fan of the rule "Never play 5 expeditions". I actually do it quite a lot. Sure, you won't start a new risky expedition when it is not absolutely needed, but often it is the best option, I think. Again, it is a trade-off between tempos and points.

I suspect that the best players are also very good at gaining information from the opponent. How many expeditions has he started? Which ones? What is the likelihood of him having high cards in that color?

A fascinating game in any case.


Alex B.:
What is a tempo?

Jimmy V.:
I suppose I used a French term here.

The closest thing I can think of is timing. So Lost Cities is a game of "timing". Hmmm... I am not even sure that's a good work for what I mean.

A tempo is the time needed to make a move. 3 moves = 3 tempos. Often you don't want to play. So buying time is an essential skill in this game.

Does that make sense?


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