Wednesday, September 15, 2010

El Grande Tactics 101

Replacing the word "map" with "card" made everything almost understandable. So here are my quick and dirty interpretations of the 14 tips.

1. More Cabs on the board is good.

2. If your Courts have 5+ cabs, play a high power card. If you have few cabs, play a low power card.

3. If there are strong action cards available, play a high power card. If there are 3 similar strength action cards, acting third may be good enough. If there is a single very strong action card, then try to go first to get it.

4. Consider the power cards opponents have played in the past when playing your own.

5. Consider the cabs in the courts of your opponents when playing your power card. If all are low then you may be able to play a middle power card and still play first.

6. The 1 and 13 power cards are important, so don't play them thoughtlessly. The 12 is important when everyone plays their 13.

7. On scoring rounds, playing the King action card can be powerful. If you play the 1 power card the previous round, you can play your 13 to be sure to get the King card. The cards that score regions can cause large point swings, and if it is better for your opponents it may be good to not do the action. Consider player standings when deciding what to do. When in doubt, play the action cards that puts the most cabs on the board.

8. Where to place cabs? Coming in first in a region is not always best. Consider points per cab when deciding where to go. Getting two second place finishes may be better than a single first place finish. Consider player standings when deciding who to attack.

9. Consider what players acting after you can do to hurt you when deciding what to do on a turn. It may be better to attack someone who has already gone.

10. The Casillo: Cabs in the tower are used for scoring twice. Once when you score the Castillo, and once when the region they move to is scored. It is good to know exactly how many cabs everyone has in the tower. Consider where your opponents will go when making your decision.

11. The King protects a single region and controls where cabs are placed. You can use it to either lock up a region you are in first, or to prevent your opponents from playing in multiple regions you have an interest in.

12. If you have a large number of cabs in one region, the stack 1 card that allows you to move any number of cabs from a region can be used very effectively.

13. The Grande is only worth 2 points, so holding first in this region may not be as valuable as some other actions.

14. When shifting opponents cabs do so to maximize your own points and minimize their points. Causing ties in regions is often the best way to do this.

I would consider this to be basically a El Grande Tactics 101 and possibly 102 list.
The post builds upon these tips to be a 201 class.