Basic Strategy for Le Havre
The board game Le Havre, like in Agricola, requires you to “touch” all aspects of the game. That is, you have to construct buildings, gather food and goods, and build ships. All of those actions are unavoidable. However, within these constraints you still can have a different strategy that focuses more on a single element of the game.
The first rule is to be flexible. In fact, the game will quickly tell you what your strategy will be. For the first few rounds, pick your actions based on what you can get the most back from and then eventually move into a strategy based on your opportunities. That being said let me list a few easy strategies for newbies:
Ships and Shipping
Building ships allows you to feed your people, gives you points, and allows you to ship goods. If you can ship high value goods two or three times, you have done really well.
Constructing buildings is an easy way to get points. Also, if you own a popular building, the fees your opponents pay you will help to feed your people. Buy and use the Construction Firm since you can build two buildings at a time.
- You can not do well in the game with out ships.
- Make your actions count; for example, if you are going to butcher your cattle, it is better to do it once with a lot of them then twice.
- Use loans to your advantage. If you are short for food, use some money.
- Buildings hold their value. So feel free to buy a building if you think it will popular or if it unlocks another valuable building
- Get a grain and two cattle and let them multiply during harvest. Depending on their availability, two trips to the marketplace will allow you to collect them and other needed resources.
- If there is a big stack of anything over five pieces, grab it.
- Buy buildings to unlock the next building or too increase your count of a symbol.
- Buy popular buildings.
- Market place is a good way to get one of everything rather then one type of resource.
- Shipping Cattle (a base good) is more profitable then shipping its advance state (meat). 3 francs vs. 2 francs and you don’t have to waste a turn converting them.
- Buy the Construction Firm building and the marketplace if possible.
- If a player is on a building that the town owns and you need to use the building, buy the building. This will kick them off and then you can use it.
- Take wood at two pieces. This denies wood to your opponents.
Don't Forget that:
- Food can always be swapped for money at a 1 to 1 ratio.
- Brick and steel can always be used for clay and iron respectively
- Always round to the player’s disadvantage.