Friday, September 28, 2007

Tikal Analysis

I started a game of Tikal online, as I discovered that has implemented the auction variant of the game. So, since these games are going to take forever, I thought I'd offer a bit of analysis as the game goes. Feel free to add commentary about what you'd do. Here's a shot after round one. Pretty standard stuff. Jendi was the only player to bid at all in round one and took the masks. Big lot of good it did them - all it really did was start them a point behind. So now, after round one, nobody is really "ahead". Pretty standard stuff. Interestingly, we start round two with a volcano. Jendi bids first. What would you do? Jendi bid one. I think it makes not an ounce of difference when only 5 tiles are on the board if you get to play that volcano first or not. But, if you really really have to go first, don't you think the correct bid is 2? This early in the game, 2 makes everyone else who might really really want the bid sweat a lot, because they'd have to say 3. Is first position (or even not last) really worth 3 for the 5th tile in the game? I don't think so - I don't even think its worth 2, so I passed. The reason the auction variant make Tikal better is that it adds another delicious set of choices to consider and another level of confrontation, while eliminating the randomness that can cost you the game through no fault of your own. However, if you are going to play in the auction, don't give the winning bid to another player - bid the correct amount.

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