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General Brass Discussion

Income vs. Loans

This thread is open.

Posted by Golux13 2009-02-02 22:17:05 GMT


I've never been much concerned about boosting income, as it never seems to get high enough to justify focusing on it. I can generally accomplish what I need to do by taking properly-timed loans. On the other hand, I've never pursued a strategy that is heavy on cotton mills; that approach may make income more important.

Does anybody else have thoughts on the relative impprtance of income vs. loans?

Posted by Hammerite This user is an administrator. 2009-02-03 00:42:30 GMT


I tend to do much the opposite. I generally only want to take 2 or maybe 3 loans a game. I try to keep my income high by building coal mines, since they give loads of money, and fuel my rail expansion. Frequently I don't even feel the need to take a loan in the last round for loans.

Posted by humeral 2009-02-03 14:37:04 GMT


Also consider these 2 points:

An action used to take a loan is an action you didn't get to use to do something else.

A loan taken with more than 10 turns left to go will cost you money, in addition to costing an action.
Even a loan taken with 5 turns left to go will only net you $15.

I usually take just 1 loan.

Posted by Bennzilla 2009-02-04 11:23:01 GMT


I'll agree, the limitied resource in Brass is the number of actions nor Money. On the other hand, buying only 1 railway at the time is a waste of actions. So if you can't aford to buy double rails, you should take a extra loan.

Posted by Hammerite This user is an administrator. 2009-02-04 13:45:20 GMT


I'm not sure I agree with you Bennzilla, because although the number of actions you have is a significant limiting factor, I think the amount of money you have is too. It is necessary to spend some actions in order to get money. You have options in how you go about doing this - what route you take to convert those actions into money. Taking loans gives you money up front but may hinder you in the long term and doesn't gain you any VPs. Building and flipping mills can get you plenty of money and plenty of VPs as well, but it requires money up front because mills are so expensive, and you usually won't be able to avoid taking the occasional loan. Coal mines are my favourite method because you can minimise the number of loans you take - but you don't get many VPs from them; that's where the fact that they let you build rail links using your own coal is handy.

Posted by RoosterJuice 2009-02-19 23:47:53 GMT


Hammerite, i think he meant to says "the limited resource in brass is actions, not money" which is true. Essentially, poor income costs you actions, which in turn costs your points and opportunities. Thats it.

Posted by Golux13 2009-02-20 05:51:44 GMT


The other issue with building and flipping mills, of course, is that you are spending money -- a fair amount at the higher Tech Levels -- thus quite likely sliding back in the turn order, which in turn can lead to you losing scoring opportunities to opponents who have spent less. Obviously, this goes back and forth, so the key factor is (of course) the timing.

Posted by Tub This user is a translator. 2009-02-21 11:26:05 GMT


Statistics extracted from the games I played :
- 4 players : 5 loans on average
- 3 players : 5,5 loans on average
No need to say that I am a very big fan of loans...

The key with loans is to take them when you decide to. A forced loan is most of the time a disaster (the only exception I see is at the first half of the canal phase). But if it is timed right, it is very good.

Posted by Tub This user is a translator. 2009-02-24 12:50:29 GMT


In this game : http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/board.php?GameID=897
3 players, I finished first with 186 points (which is kind of high without having built any port).

I took...8 loans :p
And I ended without a single penny.

Posted by The Doctor 2009-11-06 16:46:02 GMT


Meh - I try to use loans strategically in order to bolster my turn order for the next round; IE, if there is a killer combo I can pull off with 3 moves (like dropping double cotton mills and stealing the DM) I might do something like this if I have a 'last' turn.

Build CM
Take Loan
Go first
Build CM
Sell!

and you can sneak the DM out from under somebody else. Taking the loan only makes sense if you are going to need the money anyways, else you could just develop.

Posted by randomuser 2009-11-06 22:00:23 GMT


I think one of the nice things about Brass is you can with either with heavy loans or without; it really depends on what your opponents are doing and what you are doing. I would say, though, that if you are doing heavy loans, you need to be pretty strategic about it.

I myself probably tend to take too many loans.

Posted by adpalm 2009-11-06 22:44:13 GMT


The beauty of Brass is that you have to tailor your strategy to the cards you draw, because good luck forcing your strategy on the cards.

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