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In Roll Through The Ages, there are two game-end conditions: all monuments have been built (collectively among all players), or any player has purchased 5 developments. I've played this game about five times, so I'm still pretty new to this. I usually play to build cities first, and then end on monuments and developments more-or-less simultaneously, but I wonder: If you're trying to finish the game very quickly on developments (while your opponents are still building up their cities), is it better to just try to buy a development every turn, or should you aim to build a city or two on the way there?

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Just for clarification, you arent using the Bronze Age expansion rules. –  user1873 Jan 16 '13 at 2:15
    
Additionally, you concerned at all with points, or just the number of turns to end the game? –  user1873 Jan 16 '13 at 2:37
    
I'm not playing with the Late Bronze Age expansion at the moment (though I hear it's marvelous). I'm concerned with points because I'm hoping to win with this rushing strategy, but I know there will be a tradeoff between speed and points (starving yourself to death will end quickly, but may well have negative victory points at the end). –  Paul Marshall Jan 16 '13 at 20:19
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If you are trying to rush the game - which is certainly a valid strategy if your early rolls force you in that direction - just buy developments whenever you can. If you have fewer cities, every turn you spend playing catch-up is a turn your opponents with more cities can buy either more-expensive (and more VP) developments or monuments. You're trying to dash across the finish line before they can reap the benefits of their well-developed engines. You won't be able to make much use of your developments, so just get what you can afford and gives you points.

One advantage of this is that if you are threatening the end of the game, say with 4 developments, your opponents will have trouble committing to the big, efficient monuments (that aren't worth anything if incomplete) and will have to settle for the smaller ones that are worth fewer points per worker. This is particularly troublesome for them if you're later in the turn order.

If you or your friends finds that a rush strategy makes the game too short, you may prefer the official Late Bronze Age variant that user1873 alluded to.

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While it is true, that with perfect rolls you can end the game in 5 turns (the fastest possible), I don't think that is as likely as I'd you buy a single city, and then buy developments. This question truly needs a statistical analysis that can determine how likely you are to win the game on a Turn 5-x with one strategy of buying a development card each turn, another buying a city, and then developments, etc. I have a feeling that the 1 city strategy will end the game sooner on average –  user1873 Jan 16 '13 at 5:43
    
I agree that you will probably have 4 cities even in a rush strategy. I decide to rush based on the results of the first 2-3 turns, rather than a priori; maybe you get an unhelpful coins roll when you could really wanted workers on turn 2, so I take a development I can afford and just go from there. It would be strange not to toss 3 workers at city #4 at some point there; trying for the fifth is what I'm arguing against. –  sitnaltax Jan 16 '13 at 6:01
    
Since you can.reroll anything but skulls though, that is the heart of the issue. For example, it might make sense to stop rolling if you hit 3 coins, but in all other first turn rolls it might be better to reroll any 1-2 coin rolls (45% chance or less of hitting it). At a minimum, I think this question needs a first turn analysis for all 216 first roll results and the "proper move" –  user1873 Jan 16 '13 at 11:11
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