2,500 more words about Caylus, and “Strategy”
Rather than post it (which is a pain), I’ve just started adding to a document. New sections on timing, more about the opening/midgame/endgame, number of players, ‘building chains’, flexibility, resources. And other thoughts that I’ve had.
Is Caylus Strategic? More so than PR. There are “positional” affects (things that aren’t immediately tactical, but that affect play). Larry brought up an example of “If I’m doing the shipping strategy, I’m going to want a harbor, or If I’m doing the factory, it will change my builds.” Well, that’s certainly true, and you can see “I want this, then this, then this.” But I’m not sure it’s positional. You could model the same effects as ‘evaluation of future values’. If I have the factory, it’s better if I have lots of good types. Ditto Harbor, but the Wharf wants specialization. My current position makes those better (or worse), and I don’t have to look ahead to see it. If I get them, they make future plays better (or worse). Also, other players can’t really affect this (except by buying buildings before I can). These buildings have effects in the future, but they local to me. There are second order effects, to be sure. If I know that other players are building or shipping, I can expect them to pick the appropriate roles more often.
On the other hand, if everyone builds resource buildings (or doesn’t) then the Caylus landscape changes for everyone. I think it’s strategic (over my last several games, I’ve thought about ‘board position’ issues, and these form quite a bit of my new verbiage). I still consider PR mainly evaluational + tactical. I think about the future in both games, but my thoughts are more definite, and more complex in Caylus. In PR, I just come up with a plan (I’ll buy A, intending B, C & D) and then look at the tactics.
I think this may be due to the competition for buildings (actions), unlike PR where the roles (actions) are shared by all player. But I’m not sure.