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Vegas Showdown
Top Tiles
By Alan Kwan

Last week, we looked at the fancy tiles of Vegas Showdown. This week, we examine the three top tiles -- Dragon Room, Theater, and Five-Star Steakhouse. All have subtle values and weaknesses that go beyond their printed values.

A tile serves three purposes. One is to earn Fame points. Another is to serve as a prerequisite for other tiles as specified on the Building Prerequisites Chart. The third is to facilitate your layout and prevent it from becoming so cramped that you can't place additional tiles in optimum positions.

Each tile has eight attributes:

  1. Name
  2. Color: yellow (Casino), blue (Hotel), or green (either)
  3. Type: basic or premier
  4. Price: minimum-bid price (basic) or starting bid price (premier)
  5. Printed Values: Population, Revenue, and Fame
  6. Shape: size and doors (officially "entrances")
  7. Red Corners (yes or no)
  8. Building Prerequisites
  9. Event potential: some event cards name specific tiles

Top Tiles

The three top tiles are the best tiles in the game. They are unique, with only one copy each. They are also the only tiles with two prerequisites: the corresponding basic and fancy tiles. Top tiles don't have the event value of Fancy tiles, but their superb printed values stand out from the crowd.

Dragon RoomDragon Room

price : 42
4 Revenue + 6 Fame
small tile with 1 door + red corners

The Dragon Room has the highest Revenue value in the game. If you have excess Population, the Dragon Room is very valuable. Its shape is poor, just like a Fancy Restaurant, but that really doesn't matter if you can use the Revenue.

TheaterTheater

price : 52
1 Population + 12 Fame
large tile with 3 doors + red corners

The Theater is the most valuable tile in the game. Remember that the object of the game is to earn Fame -- this tile gives 12! Plus, it is a large tile with lots of red corners, and it's a green tile, which makes it easier to place and collect the red-corner bonus. The Theater is probably the only tile in the game that is easily worth the buy-out price of $52, if you have the cash.

One thing should be kept in mind, however -- getting the Theater does not, by itself, guarantee that you win the game. The Theater is a good way to score a lot of points in one punch, but there are many other ways to score points. Hoarding your cash and waiting for the Theater, while allowing the other players to buy tile after tile at bargain prices, is a losing strategy. You need to keep the other players honest with competitive bidding. Then, when they overbid, you can Publicize and save your cash, hoping that the Theater will turn up as your ultimate reward.

Another mistake that is common to novice players is forgetting to leave enough open space on their boards for a large tile near the end-game. Keep this in mind.

Five-Star SteakhouseFive-Star Steak House

price : 42
2 Population + 1 Revenue + 6 Fame
medium tile with 2 doors + red corners

Compared to the Dragon Room, the Five-Star Steak House has balanced values. Its values are similar to the Fancy Restaurant, but with three more Fame. Contrary to its name, the "Five-Star" Steakhouse has six Stars (Fame), not five.

The unique Steakhouse is more than just a Fancy Restaurant with three more Fame. Its layout value is better. This is especially important because it is a red-cornered medium tile, meaning it can generate two or three more Fame with its extra, red corners if put in the right location.

Its shape, with two doors on a medium tile, is better than the Fancy Restaurant but not especially good overall. This tile plus a few Fancy Restaurants may give a headache to the architect, especially an ambitious one who wants the red corner points.

Next week -- Branch tiles


About the Author

Alan Kwan is the owner of a board game specialty store in Hong Kong, a long-time gamer, and Yinsh World Champion 2004.


Read Alan Kwan's complete Vegas Showdown strategy guide --

Part 1: Fame
Part 2: Know Your Objective
Part 3: Basic Tiles
Part 4: Fancy Tiles
Part 5: Top Tiles
Part 6: Branch Tiles
Part 7: Large Gaming Tiles
Two-Player Variant










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