In our final installment, we look at the large Gaming tiles -- Table Games, Sports Book, and Space-Age Sports Book.
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:
- Color: yellow (Casino), blue (Hotel), or green (either)
- Type: basic or premier
- Price: minimum-bid price (basic) or starting bid price (premier)
- Printed Values: Population, Revenue, and Fame
- Shape: size and doors (officially "entrances")
- Red Corners (yes or no)
- Building Prerequisites
- Event potential: some event cards name specific tiles
Larger Games Tiles
The larger gaming stations give players alternatives to Slots. Just like the branch tiles, they don't have the event value of the Slots.
medium tile with 5 doors
Table Games gives the same Revenue as Slots for a higher price, but it has better layout value. Not only does it fill more of the Casino, but it has more doors. It also has important value as a prerequisite for the High Rollers Room.
If given a choice between a $9 Slots and a $12 Table Games, I usually prefer to bid on the Table Games, especially if I already have Slots (and thus don't need its prerequisite value).
High Rollers Room
3 Revenue + 2 Fame
medium tile with 2 doors
The High Rollers Room has excellent printed values, but it has few doors and no red corners.
Its two doors are both on the same side of the tile. It is ideal to place this tile in a corner out of one's way, especially since it doesn't have any red corners. Otherwise, its walls may block your board very badly. Once you get Table Games, it is best to plan and prepare a place to put the High Rollers Room.
large tile with 5 doors
Note that there is a confirmed (with the game designer) misprint on one of the Sports Book tiles. There should be two "A" tiles and one "B" tile. I suggest that one of the "B" Sports Book tiles be shuffled into the "A" pile during set-up. (Don't worry that it is "marked").
The Sports Book gives 2 Revenue without a prerequisite, and it has large size for filling your Casino. Its printed values and layout value are OK.
However, it has smaller prerequisite value than Table Games. Not only is there only one Space-Age Sports Book as opposed to two High Rollers' Rooms, Space-Age Sports Book is an overpriced tile. Plus, as a "B" tile, it may come out too late to be useful, or sometimes not at all. In contrast, one of the High Rollers Rooms is an "A" tile, and it can be very productive to get it early.
When one places a Slots at his Casino entrance, because of the asymmetrical shape of the Sports Book, it is probably better to place it with its wall facing downward, like an inverted "T" (rather than with the wall facing upward like a "T"). This way, should one get a Sports Book later, he can conveniently place it with two open doors towards the Hotel side.
Space-Age Sports Book
1 Population + 3 Revenue + 4 Fame
large tile with 3 doors + red corners
Looking just at printed values, the Space-Age Sports Book seems overpriced. The Theater is stronger, and the two other top rooms don't seem any weaker than this one. One might argue that a large tile's price is justified because the tile has so many red corners, but in practice, a large tile often yields no more Fame from red corners than a medium tile. If it does yield more, it will probably be only one or two points. This is because the large tile usually is added to the fringe of the group of red-cornered tiles instead of starting with the large tile at the center. Its doors, on three different sides of the tile (and identical to the Buffet), are perhaps better than the Theater, but this is seldom a significant advantage, either.
The reason behind the pricing is probably that the Space-Age Sports Book has only one prerequisite, so it is not supposed to give as much bang for the buck as top tiles that have two prerequisites. Players should keep this point in mind and not confuse this tile with a top tile. Do not be tempted to overpay for the Space-Age Sports Book because of its list price. Wait for it to drop to a good price before buying it. If an opponent overbids, just let him buy it, and save your money for something else.
This tile does have some good value, however, so buy it if the price is right.
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