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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brass Strategy Question 1

I'm working on learning how to play Brass well by playing regularly online, and a great way to learn is to thoroughly analyze situations with other players - so please comment on this post and discuss!

The situation deals with being the fourth player on turn 1. The first three players developed on turn 1, leaving iron costing $4. My hand did not allow for building a coal mine, so I built a level 1 cotton mill in Colne. During turn 2, one of the players developed two more ports, putting iron up to $5, another built a level 2 port and took a loan, and the third built a cotton mill next to the port and flipped it. It's now my turn to end turn 2, and if I spend less than $7, I will get a double turn. What do you do?

My hand is: Blackburn, Lancaster, Liverpool, Macclesfield, Preston, Stockport, Shipyard, Burnley.

One possibility is to built the canal and flip my cotton mill. Another is to build a coal mine in Burnley and take a loan, then build an iron works in Blackburn - but is that too many level 1 tiles? I could also build a second mill, this time in Macclesfield, and try to flip both of the mills in one action later on. Would you ever develop for $10?



  1. With my current understanding of the game I would build 2 canals for your turn to get the next turn. They would connect Burnley and Colne to Yorkshire. Then with the next turn build another mill in Burnley, using up the rest of your money and flip them both with the Macclesfield card figuring only truly bad luck will prevent both from shipping to foreign markets since you will average a total of -4 for the 2 flips.
    In my first online game, everyone is crazy for developing. At some point it seems like a wasted move,especially when you are paying 3 or 4 for iron and not generating any income. But maybe I don't understand. At the WBC, in face-to-face play, I gotten beaten up pretty bad, but the good folks weren't developing at 3 or more pounds.

  2. I think it can be worth doing develop for 3-3 once in the canal phase, but I wouldn't ever develop for 4-4 unless it was an emergency. This game was pretty atypical that two people did 3-3 and 4-4 that early.

    Your suggestion is a pretty good one. I'm not a big fan of building two level 1 mills, but perhaps this is the situation that calls for it.
    The thing I like about it is that it sets you up to build an iron works in Blackburn, by getting coal from the market.

  3. I'm new to this game (and three years late to the party), but based on what I know, if you went into turn 2 with cards for Blackburn and Burnley, why couldn't you build coal on turn 1? There's only one action, so you'd have had at least one of those cards in round 1. Then you could build a canal and take a loan on turn 2 (cost 3) and finally flip an iron works on turn 3, and hopefully get into a port/ship game after that.

    I guess if you didn't have Blackburn you might have felt iffy about building coal with no ability to build iron, but that's the only thing I can think of.