Queen's Necklace - Character Combos

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Killer combos, and the impact of certain characters for a given style of play or number of players.

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Valuing Gems
In any auction game, including Queen's Necklace, the ultimate mark of success is how well you value the cards available for sale.

There are a variety of types of cards in Queen's Necklace, and trying to carefully balance between gems, influence cards, character cards, and sale cards is much of the strategy of the game. I'm not going to try and figure out all those nuances in this one article. However, I hope I can provide some insight into how you should value the gems themselves.

1s, 2s, and 3s

The most important thing to consider with gems is that, for all the true gems, they come in three different sizes: 1s, 2s, and 3s. As a player, you need to figure out when to buy each size.

You can make a first cut at this calculation by looking at the per-gem cost of each card at each of the four levels of purchase:

3 Gems: 3.33 / 2.67 / 2 / 1.33
2 Gems: 4 / 3 / 2 / 1
1 Gem : 6 / 4 / 2 / 1

You also need to consider the relative value of having a high-gem card or a low-gem card:

High Gem Cards. Generally less valuable, because they're more vulnerable to thieves and forgers, and are less versatile when you're preparing a sale. (Musketeers offset this somewhat, as does having low-gem cards to protect your high-gem cards from forgers.)

Low Gem Cards. Generally more valuable, unless you have the Alchemist in hand (since he can transmit a whole card, and thus has the most value if you have high-gem cards).

So, what does all this mean?

Let's assume that all things are in balance, and it doesn't matter which type of gem you buy (which will actually be a factor in any real game) or how effective it makes the use of your money (also, a factor in reality).

Like Valued Gems. If you're trying to decide between a couple of different gems which are all at the same auction valuation level (#1, #2, #3, or #4, as marked by the rings), you'd do better to buy the highest gem card at level #1 and the lowest gem card at level #3 or #4. At auction level #2, things are murkier. 3-gem and 2-gem cards are clearly better values than 1-gem cards, but the 3-gem and the 2-gem are so close in value that it's a toss-up, and I'd make a decision based on Musketeers and Alchemists held in hand.

Unlike Valued Cards. The other situation is when you're trying to decide between purchasing gems at different valuation levels. THe knee-jerk reaction is usually to buy the gems that have reached a lower auction level, all things considered.

Looking at the chart seems to generally hold that up, with two exceptions:

1. The difference between a 3-gem card at #2 and any-gem card at #3 is pretty minor. I'd generally go with the #3s, but if I had Alchemist or Musketeers I might go for the #2 if it fit into my plans well.

2. A 3-gem at #1 = a 2-gem and a 1-gem at #2. Likewise, a 3-gem at #2 = a 2-gem and a 1-gem at #1. Only given Musketeers, Alchemist, or lower-value gems to protect would I pick up the 3-gem card.

Having chugged through all this, what's the bottom line?

Mainly that the 3-gem cards probably look better than they actually are. At auction levels #1 or #2 there's real value in getting them versus comparable auction level gems and marginal value at getting them for one level up, but other than those situations, go for the more flexible small gems.
02/22/2004 by shannon_appel ~ Skotos
 
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