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Subject: Rain: is it game winning? rss

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The ultimate game-winning hand?
We've played Eruption several times now and had a blast. The game has an interesting self-balancing mechanism that encourages other players to make life difficult for the player who is winning. If you're perceived as a leading threat, expect people to pick on you. In view of this, is it a game-winning strategy to keep Rain cards in hand when you draw them, then play them all on your last turn in the game, and so take a surprise lead when other players can't affect your score anymore?

It worked for me in a game I played tonight, and I wonder if it's going to be typically a winning strategy. Rather than play Rain cards to put you in a better position in the early or mid game, only to make yourself a target for the nastiness of others that will peg you back again, aren't you always best to hold on to them for the very end of the game, when you can surprise other players by dropping your temperature unexpectedly and perhaps win that way?
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David Smidt
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I think you're right, Ender. It's best to hold the Rain cards until the end game. This happened in one of our games (with 2 Rain cards), but it was not enough to give that player the win.
I think the advantages you gain as you progress on the "heat" track are worthwhile, so dropping the Rain at the end when you no longer benefit from the track position is the best utilization of Rain cards.
It would be rare to get 4 Rain cards for -120 degrees at the end, but that would be a fun surprise!
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Kevin Salch
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I noticed this too and pointed it out in my review. However, holding onto the rain cards can limit your ability to do other things during the game. That being said, I think the best strategy with any rain cards is to wait until the end. That is why it can be dangerous to just pick on the leader.

Kevin

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Chris James
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I wouldn't say this is always a game-winning strategy, though it is one of the more powerful uses of the card. As you point out, hoarding Rain cards affects the perception of who is the leader and therefore can affect the outcome of the game (if nothing else, to prevent from being in last place). Of course, it comes with a price to hoard them, as other cards cannot be held for better opportunities to use them.

If hoarding Rain cards becomes a common practice for your group, it can be of benefit to watch other players' card-playing decisions. If someone has been holding onto 2 or 3 cards for awhile, only playing the cards that are newly drawn, it's likely that they're hoarding. It then may be of benefit to gang up on this player instead of the leader, which may force them to play one or more of their Rain cards earlier or at least put them in a more dire situation. In this way, some bluffing is introduced into the game.

Perhaps a better strategy than hoarding Rain cards is to allow for all available spots next to your village to be filled early on. Of course, it's best if you're able to fill them with some defensive placements, but either way, the judicious use of Aftershock and Quake cards should help you to get rid of most of the lava flows entering your village. You may want to hoard some of these instead of Rain cards to use defensively at the appropriate times. If you're able to place additional tiles to "lock in" the position of these tiles, it will prevent other players from coming right back with Aftershock cards to destroy you. With some good luck and proper planning, you will then only have maybe one or two lava flows to deal with (or less), there is no more room for additional placements next to you for Eruption Tiles or otherwise, and only a Quake card targeted at you and coupled with a lucky tile draw can change your situation. If you're able to accomplish all this before getting too high on the Burn Meter, you may be set for a win. If you're able to get some Rain cards in addition to all of this, bravo! You have just won the game.

Too bad it doesn't always go according to plan.
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Ken B.
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I mentioned the Rain cards in my review on the Fortress--they're too good, honestly, and the only black eye on the game. You'd be crazy *not* to hoard them and play them at the end. In fact, Rain is how our games are decided.
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Dave Kudzma
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franklincobb wrote:
I mentioned the Rain cards in my review on the Fortress--they're too good, honestly, and the only black eye on the game. You'd be crazy *not* to hoard them and play them at the end. In fact, Rain is how our games are decided.

If this becomes common practice couldn't that make you a bigger target during the course of the game? I know if I see someone holding onto cards the whole game that I can normally deduce that they have rain cards and need some hot lava death thrown their way.
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Roger Fawcett
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EndersGame wrote:

The ultimate game-winning hand?
We've played Eruption several times now and had a blast. The game has an interesting self-balancing mechanism that encourages other players to make life difficult for the player who is winning. If you're perceived as a leading threat, expect people to pick on you. In view of this, is it a game-winning strategy to keep Rain cards in hand when you draw them, then play them all on your last turn in the game, and so take a surprise lead when other players can't affect your score anymore?

It worked for me in a game I played tonight, and I wonder if it's going to be typically a winning strategy. Rather than play Rain cards to put you in a better position in the early or mid game, only to make yourself a target for the nastiness of others that will peg you back again, aren't you always best to hold on to them for the very end of the game, when you can surprise other players by dropping your temperature unexpectedly and perhaps win that way?

Isn't there a hand limit of 3 cards anyway (did I read or imagine that??) and therefore 90 is the max you can move back at the end, which may not be game winning.
 
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Jayme Thysell
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Get Earthworm wrote:

Isn't there a hand limit of 3 cards anyway (did I read or imagine that??) and therefore 90 is the max you can move back at the end, which may not be game winning.

In theory, on your last turn you could be in Danger Zone 2 and holding 3 Rain Cards. When you draw the card for your turn it could be the 4th Rain Card and you could play all 4 at once.

However, I like the house rule where you can only play 1 Rain card per turn.
 
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