Currently on my third playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas, I’ve logged somewhere around 120+ hours in the Mojave Wasteland, and, amazingly, I only won my first game of Caravan last night. Now, this wasn’t my first time trying to earn some extra bottle caps in a friendly card game between strangers, but each time I did try I’d end up throwing cards down misinformed, losing quickly without any notion as to why. I even looked up a few videos and tutorials online, and the dang thing still did not click. Until, without warning, it did, and then I won three games in a row against NCR ambassador Dennis Crocker, unlocking this pretty gem:
Know When to Fold Them (10G): Won 3 games of Caravan.
Unlike other Caravan players, Crocker will continue to play even when he runs out of caps, and each win still counts as a win. So far, I’ve beat him 11 times. Just need to do so another…uh, 19 more times to unlock the Caravan Master Achievement.
Right. How to play Caravan. The point of the game is to create three stacks of cards equaling 26. Your opponent is also trying to do this so the speedier you can get there, the better. This is why it’s important to have as many 10s, 9s, and 7s in your Caravan deck because 10 + 9 + 7 = 26 exactly. A Caravan deck must consist of at least 30 cards, and many online tutorials suggest taking out everything from your deck that is not a 10, 9, or 7 before playing; however, this can be very time-consuming, and I found it fine to just hit “random deck”. Once a match begins, before you play your first card, you have the opportunity to discard as many cards from your hand as you want, and I did this until my hand was mostly filled with 10s, 9s, 8s, 7s, and 6s. Face cards like Kings and Queens won’t help you, same with Aces despite what you might assume, so drop those like they’re laced with cazador poison.
After you’ve discarded enough to get a good handful of desired cards, try to place a 10 (of any suit) in each of the three rows first. Next, try to place a 9 beneath each 10 (it has to go below as cards can then only be played in descending order). Lastly, aim for a 7 below the 9 in each column to make for a perfect 26; more than likely, your opponent is still struggling to build strong Caravans on their end, and then you’ve won a match in a matter of a few turns. Rinse and repeat.
It sounds simpler than it first appears to be, and the biggest problem for me was that I kept trying to place cards next to the first card I played, only to have them turn up red and “unplayable.” I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, and decided that Caravan was not for me despite my love for many in-game card games like Triple Triad, Tetra Master, and Xeno Card. I’m glad I went back to try again, and now I’ve got some grinding to do for that “win 30 games of Caravan” Achievement, with victory match #30 being the last match of Caravan I’ll ever play.