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BoardGameGeek features information related to the board gaming hobby

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    by kendahlj

    I played my first game, the long version, and shipping really didn't come into play for anyone. I really enjoyed this game and am going to track down a copy for my collection. Fiddly as hell though...

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    by coblackmagus

    I know this will be extremely dependent as what's needed for the particular situation, but it would be helpful for beginning players to have some kind of metric for evaluating the worth of a particular resource (similar to how helpful relative values of chess pieces if very helpful to beginners in chess).

    Something like wood = 0.5 francs, iron = 1.5 francs, fish = 0.5 francs... etc.

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    by Ponton

    You are right, the answer is so much dependant on the current game situation. Also, different resources serve different purposes and cannot be compared (e.g. you cannot compare meat with coke except for their shipping value, but if this is what you're interested in, simply check their franc values).

    The importance of stuff also shifts when you enter mid to end game. In the early game, given there were equal amounts of the following resources to grab, I'd consider the following (unless I really need something specific):

    iron > cattle > clay > wood > francs > grain > fish

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    by David Grabiner

    kendahlj wrote:

    I played my first game, the long version, and shipping really didn't come into play for anyone. I really enjoyed this game and am going to track down a copy for my collection. Fiddly as hell though...


    How many players did you have? Shipping is a bigger part of the game with three than with four, because ships provide more food, and players have more ships and can do more shipping at once. With five players, there won't be many ships, and even less food from ships, so several players may ignore shipping.

    But even with five players, I would expect someone to have three ships. With food from the ships, he won't need to slaughter his cattle or eat his bread, so he can ship nine cattle or bread, using three coal or one coke, for 27 francs; this should be worth doing at least once.


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    by Zark


    If you have no grain in the early game one is valuable as it will increase each harvest, once you have one getting one more is a lot less valuable. Similarly with two cattle

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    by Faranim

    I think internally, I have a hierarchy in my head for which offers are most valuable. In the early game, it's fairly easy:

    Iron/Clay/Wood > Buildings > Grain/Cattle* > Francs > Fish

    *Grain/Cattle are a special case - they become virtually worthless once you already have the required amount for Harvest.

    The ratio of Iron/Clay/Wood is hard to define. In list form, I would probably rank them something like this:

    2+ Iron
    5+ Wood
    5+ Clay
    3-4 Wood
    3-4 Clay
    2+ Cattle (only when I have none)
    * Using buildings like Marketplace, Black Market, Sawmill, Construction firm, Clay Mound, Hardware Store, would fall around here.
    1 Iron
    2 Clay
    2 Wood
    1+ Grain (only when I have none)
    * Find something else to do (Francs, Fish, Cattle/Grain, Building Firm)

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    by diceman56

    If you run out of loan cards, does that force you to sell a building, cause rules say about paying loans that you are not obliged to sell your buildings but surely if there are no loan cards you have to raise money to feed workers.

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    by bigloo33

    Not sure, but by my count, I have 11 loan cards with a 3 loan backside. That's 33 loans......that's a lot of loans! Sure you need that many.

    I don't believe loans are meant to be limited by components.

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    by davypi

    Even if you did run out, I would probably just drop a 5X token on top of a loan card to represent 5/15 loans. I suspect Ken is on the right track though. Are you flipping the loans to the back side when somebody has more than three?

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    by Ponton

    Loans are not supposed to be limited. Help yourself with something else to keep track of them if they run out.

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    by diceman56

    Sorry I must have had an attack of a 'senior moment'. I completely forgot the other side had more loans on them.......dooohhh!!

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    by kendahlj

    David Grabiner wrote:

    kendahlj wrote:

    I played my first game, the long version, and shipping really didn't come into play for anyone. I really enjoyed this game and am going to track down a copy for my collection. Fiddly as hell though...


    How many players did you have? Shipping is a bigger part of the game with three than with four, because ships provide more food, and players have more ships and can do more shipping at once. With five players, there won't be many ships, and even less food from ships, so several players may ignore shipping.

    But even with five players, I would expect someone to have three ships. With food from the ships, he won't need to slaughter his cattle or eat his bread, so he can ship nine cattle or bread, using three coal or one coke, for 27 francs; this should be worth doing at least once.



    We played with three players. I think the shipping line was used twice in the game.

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    by kendahlj

    I'm not a fan of Agricola so I wasn't really excited about playing Le Havre. The two things I'd heard about it are that it's long and fiddly. When my friend Ben suggested it I agreed because it's his favorite game and he's about to embark on a two-year church mission and thus, a long drought of board game playing.

    Set up took about 15 minutes and I could see that the fiddly part was indeed going to be accurate.

    Ben did an excellent job with the rules explanation. This really isn't that complex of a game. I had to ask questions throughout the game, but it was mostly questions like "I need brick, what building let's me get brick?"

    The game is really not complex. You have two choices on your turn...take some resources of use a building. There is a nice card that reminds you what you can do as well. Still, I was pretty lost with what I should do. The complexity comes in knowing how to make the moving parts work together to maximize your score. There's definitely a little puzzle aspect to this game.

    I ended up going for a shipping strategy, although I only ended up shipping once. I bought three ships, but I never really had the energy to ship goods. I had tons of cattle and went with converting them to meat to get hides and then converting the hides to leather to get money.

    Ben's brother was late to get ships and was struggling with food the entire game. He spent a lot of actions getting fish and smoking them, so he wasn't really able to ever get anything going.

    The final score:

    Ben - 225
    Me - 176
    John - 93

    I had 120 points in cash...the rest from buildings. Ben built tons of buildings throughout the game and that's where he got most his points. I had only built five buildings and the ships, which hurt. Ben said that he's won before with so few buildings, but it's hard to believe.

    What a great game. I loved it. I am sad I haven't played this sooner...I can't stop thinking about what I might have done to score higher (although I was told 176 is a pretty decent score, esp for the first time playing). The length wasn't too bad at all...about two hours or so. I think I made it longer than it needed to be by my indecision on a few turns. It's super fiddly though...almost to a distraction.

    I can't wait to add this game to my collection and introduce it to my family.

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  • 09/08/14--18:47: New Image for Le Havre
  • by _GrAnd_

    Foamcore box

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    by Anarchosyn

    Perspective is what I seek:

    Le Havre is one of my all time favorite games. For me, it is the quintessential high watermark in resource conversion euros (eclipsing its only real competitor, Ora et Labora, due to the variance in card options between plays). However, after my first 10 plays, it began to appear like certain options were effectively red herrings -- strategic nonstarters that existed in the game space, but were continuously overlooked as viable options. By this I mean leather, grain, smoked fish conversions, etc. It seemed you'd be foolish to avoid the coal, coke, steel approach, and the game devolved into multipaths to this same end (and, racing against experienced players, you were almost incentivized to overlook the more unique "leather, grain, smoked fish" options).

    Of course, group think might also be a culprit. Hence why I'm posting this today. Is this Le Havre's big failing?

    It also seems possible that, situationally speaking, special buildings could help balance these nonstandard paths by offering power cash conversions that depended on grain, smoked fish or leather as inputs... but I have to admit that my spoiler adverse nature has kept me from really looking through the goodies included in the building expansion (I only see what comes out in play, but I remember seeing one or two that seemed like they could address these concerns). Sadly, even if this were true, you'd have to preselect the appropriate buldings, and let the table know.

    Anyhoo, I'm rambling a bit now. My apologies. Still, I'm curious whether this is the consensus, or whether the game offers more viability than I give it credit for.

    p.s. I also acknowledge these paths, even if objectively less, can act as balancing mechanisms in games showcasing a range of player experience. e.g. When teaching, I prefer to not beat my opponents into the ground, so I'll explore a suboptimal path just to explore something new. Puerto Rico was the first game that offered this to our table, so it is at least nice Le Havre is carrying that legacy forward.

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    by davypi

    As much as I hate to speak negatively about one of my top three games, its hard to disagree with most of what you've posted, but I will offer a few observations here.

    First, while I think coke/steel is the dominant strategy, it starts to wane off if you play against experienced players. Everybody needs to use the same buildings in order for the strategy to work, so the buildings are constantly blocked, so you still have to figure out how to earn points in the intermediate turns. Against equally skilled players, you cannot win on coke/steel alone.

    Second, special buildings can significantly change a strategy. If you look at the specials that convert goods into money, you usually get one more dollar than you would by shipping them. This can be really significant for two reasons. First, its better than shipping. Second, you don't need to build a boat in order to convert the goods, so that is time saved. I've been in quite a few games where leveraging the special buildings has been critical, for example:

    In the last game I played, I was tired of doing coke/steel, so I decided to play a heavy building strategy just for fun. One of the special buildings that came out allowed you to convert clay and another resource (I forget which) into money. As usually happens in an end game of Le Havre, clay is useless in the end game, so the offer had seriously piled up. I already had a stockpile of the other resource and the clay offer was 14 chits. I think I pulled in 30-40 bucks in two moves off this conversion and won the game by 20 points. So I think its safe to say that without that building I probably would have lost. I had no other way of making up that difference in the same two moves.

    Similarly, I played a game once where the ironworks and the hardware store were buried deep beneath the stack, making it very difficult to get the iron needed to build boats. But, as mentioned above, conversion buildings don't require boats. So by stockpiling the resources needed for a special building, I was able to convert goods into money and buy the first two iron ships before anyone else even had the resources to build them. Money has a lot of power in this game (entry fees, no loans, buy what you need) and if you can somehow generate a bankroll before the first half of the game is over, it can have some serious long term benefits.

    Regarding leather, I agree that its crappy strategy. I think the real problem, and a huge flaw in the game, is that the cokery has no limit but the tanning factory does. We have a house rule that removes the 4X limit from the tannery, but even with that gone, its still hard to make that strategy pay out. You can ship cattle for more money and fewer actions than it takes to ship leather. (And, cows get harvest bonus - leather does not.) Unless you really need the food, killing cattle is generally a bad move. I have never seen smoked fish pay off. I have made grain to bread pay off, but its usually a secondary or tertiary strategy, never the main one.

    Next up is that player count matters. Its easy to run coke/steel in a two or three player game because you need four different buildings to make it work and they can't all be blocked. Each player can cycle through the buildings behind the previous player. The four player game changes things. The building strategies become much more viable with higher player counts. Shippers have fewer actions and more competition.

    Finally, as kind of pointed about above, because of the variable setup, you can have games where iron/coal can be rare. Thus, coke/steel becomes less viable in these situations. Part of successful Le Havre play is being able to adapt to situations where coke/steel is too rare to be the primary strategy. These are the games were cattle or building actions or lux liners become more valuable. Part of what does make Le Havre one of the best games out there is that you do have to learn to adapt to the situation at hand. If Coke/Steel are flowing, they are King. But when they aren't flowing, you will lose if you don't know how to play the other aspects of the game.

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    by gillum

    davypi wrote:

    One of the special buildings that came out allowed you to convert clay and another resource (I forget which) into money

    Brick Manufacturer lets you convert 3 bricks (not clay) and 10 francs once to 24 francs.

    Grande Hameau's Clay Company lets you convert any number of sets of 1 wood and 1 clay to 3 francs per set. The linked item says, "The Clay Company really starts to shine towards the end of the game, when there are huge piles of wood and clay that nobody wants."

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  • 09/18/14--06:57: New Image for Le Havre
  • by repairmanjack

    Smoke(d fish) on the water...

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    by asgelb

    any noticeable differences between Australian 2012 edition and Z-Man 2013 edition?

    thanks!

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    by Karlsen

    On behalf of my wife I wish to express my outrage that "Australian Edition" has been removed from the front cover :kiss:

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