Steve Brown’s Game: Round 2(1)

Returning to the game, here is the position after the start of round 2.

Close but no anti-smoking song

We got plenty of Diamonds plus a few Jacks and Kings – but unfortunately this falls agonizingly short of a cheevo as described in my previous post. Before discussing actual moves, I will give Steve’s own assessment of the position and your task is to assess how much of this is accurate:

One king was dealt at the start of Round 2 in column 1 (C1). With two kings now in the column it was very unlikely that I could turn any hidden card in C1 until late in the game. Now there were two columns which I was sure could not be easily turned: C1 and C4. Together they were harboring 7 hidden cards. My best hope for winning was to turn nearly all of the hidden cards in the other columns by the time of the final deal.

The situation in C1 was much worse than in C4 since the newly-dealt king blocked access to 17 cards, 13 or which were visible. Because of this, I now gave the extraction of the Ks high priority, although I knew that it could be quite sometime before I might accomplish the feat.

I got a very big break on this deal as the J098 of Diamonds all fell. What’s more they all fit so nicely onto the C3:Qd which fit onto the dealt C1:Ks. It takes very little studying of the starting game state of R2 to see that I would be able to turn both C3 and C6. If things went well, I stood a good chance of also turning C10. Unfortunately, the other 7 columns did not look as promising.

My analysis is below, following the usual spoiler-blocker.

The usual.

Steve correctly identified two guaranteed turnovers. The diamond run is nice, but we are a long way from completing the suit. Remember this is not poker. It takes 13 cards in a suit, not 5, before we hear a triumphant C major chord. Steve also correctly identifies a possible junk pile starting with the C1:Ks.

Steve says extracting the Ks from C1 is high priority. While I admire his long-term thinking, I think it is slightly inaccurate or misleading. Firstly, it contradicts his earlier statement “my best hope for winning was to turn nearly all of the hidden cards in the other columns by the time of the final deal”. Also, it would be more accurate to say “extract the Ks when the timing is right”. If we already had an empty column, pulling the Ks now wouldn’t achieve anything special – in fact, a beginner would rightly complain that we might not get back an empty column back soon. The timing just isn’t right. Those 13 cards in C1 will always remain visible even if the game were played by a team of three Crewmates and nine Impostors. We need more turnovers, which equates to more information, and hence better ability to judge when the timing is right. If we can get a rot13(fuvgybnq) of in-suit builds then it may be worth sacrificing an empty column – particularly if we also come close to completing a full suit.

Therefore, I would write “extracting the Ks from C1 is not high priority since we should just get on with the job of turning over cards and chasing an empty column – but we should be keeping an eye out for opportunities to pull the Ks if the circumstances are right.”

As an aside, before dealing 10 cards it was apparent that C7 was our best hope for an empty column and C2/C3 were our best bet for turnovers. It turned out C3/C6 came good instead. This illustrates the principle that the Captain Obvious option don’t always come to fruition and it pays to have multiple outs.

  • Move: ce,ca → 2d
  • Move: fa,fj,fh → 7c

After turning over the 2d, I would probably prefer to expose another card in column 3 to keep flexibility (the actual play involves two irreversible moves instead of one). But Steve’s play also has merit: he builds in-suit twice and turns over a non-atomic column before it becomes a problem. At least we can’t argue about the quality of both turnovers 😊

At last – we have an empty column.

I don’t know if Winston Churchill can wield a mean deck of cards or two, but he certainly knew something about great power and great responsibility. Once we get our first empty column, our options increase dramatically – and so do our chances of suboptimal play if we’re not careful.

That’s enough for today, and next we will come to the meaty part of the game 😊

One thought on “Steve Brown’s Game: Round 2(1)

  1. The highest priority is column j. A second space will be very valuable, and uncovering that card lets us see what if anything we can do to create it.

    Trying to do rearrangement deep inside columns seems both difficult and not terribly rewarding at this point. Swapping the jacks in columns d and h isn’t all that exciting even if we could make it happen.

    If there are subtle opportunities to make mistakes (as opposed to glaring ones like ce) I don’t see them.

    Plan: ja, je. If nothing exciting, work on column f with fa.

    We don’t have any reason to claim/use our space in column g yet, though it’s hard to imagine we won’t be doing so shortly.


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