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Subject: Unbeatable Diplomat Amazons in a 2-player Game? rss

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D a v i d B u r k e y
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Last night the Wife and I played Small World 2-player for the first time and had an interesting scenario occur. The Wife went first (damn those pointy ears!) and choose Diplomat Amazons as her first race. I tried to counter with Mounted Ratmen, but by turn 2 the Wife had expanded to 11 territories (out of 20), each with one Amazon that I couldn't attack. So, the Wife was able to sit on her Amazons collecting 11 coins a turn, with no way for me to effectively counter (the Merchant ability was out, but was paired with the Dwarves!). The Wife had expanded her Amazons such that there was no group of adjacent territories larger than four.

There has been several posts on the power of the Diplomat ability in a two-player Small World game, but this struck us as a really extreme example. Can anybody come up with a scenario or combo that could have effectively countered this?

We did agree that the Diplomat will be left out of any future 2-player games. shake
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Decline. You don't pick your new race until YOUR turn so she can't be at peace with it. You invade with a full stack and wipe half those Amazons off the board.

On the first turn I'd have tried to cut off half the board, or moved to do so, to force a stalemate. Remember that while you can't attack her, she can't attack you either so long as she wants to use that ability.
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Jan Zalewski
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Go with sth good to setup as first race (good tempo) than decline fast and then pick "sitting" combo (humans/merchant/swamp/forest/wizzies even good dwarf combo). Try to prevent amazons from attacking your declined race. Then you should score more per turn so zons are forced to go decline. Wipe them out. However amazons are really good as first race and diplomatic skill is good too, but it's not broken in my opinion.
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McDog
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Quitch wrote:
Decline. You don't pick your new race until YOUR turn so she can't be at peace with it. You invade with a full stack and wipe half those Amazons off the board.

On the first turn I'd have tried to cut off half the board, or moved to do so, to force a stalemate. Remember that while you can't attack her, she can't attack you either so long as she wants to use that ability.



Hmmm, I think the rules state you select an "Opponent", not a race to be allied with. Therefore you still cannot attack the amazons. Here is a snippet from the rules....

Am I misreading that? My wife and I ran into the exact same issue as the OP and I conceded the game at that point.


Quote:
At the end of your turn, you may select one
opponent
whose Active race you did not
attack this turn as your ally. You are now at
peace with him and he cannot attack your
active race until your next turn.

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D a v i d B u r k e y
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That is how we interpreted the Diplomat ability as well. Strangely enough, this ability was never chosen in the first 5 games of Small World that I played—so this was the first time I saw it in action.

Rastak wrote:
Quitch wrote:
Decline. You don't pick your new race until YOUR turn so she can't be at peace with it. You invade with a full stack and wipe half those Amazons off the board.

On the first turn I'd have tried to cut off half the board, or moved to do so, to force a stalemate. Remember that while you can't attack her, she can't attack you either so long as she wants to use that ability.



Hmmm, I think the rules state you select an "Opponent", not a race to be allied with. Therefore you still cannot attack the amazons. Here is a snippet from the rules....

Am I misreading that? My wife and I ran into the exact same issue as the OP and I conceded the game at that point.


Quote:
At the end of your turn, you may select one
opponent
whose Active race you did not
attack this turn as your ally. You are now at
peace with him and he cannot attack your
active race until your next turn.

 
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John Earles
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Quitch wrote:
Decline. You don't pick your new race until YOUR turn so she can't be at peace with it. You invade with a full stack and wipe half those Amazons off the board.


I thought the concensus was that doesn't work, as Diplomat chooses an opponent (whose active race they did not attack) to be allies with. The fact you don't have an active race doesn't preclude the ability for them to choose you.

From the What we know so far - Clarification of Rules thread:

What we know so far - Clarification of Rules thread wrote:
Diplomat
Q: Is a race with the Diplomat power allowed to nominate a player, who has just declined or who has not yet had a turn (and therefore has no active race) as an ally?
A: Yes indeed, the only restriction in the choice of an ally is that you cannot choose a player if you just attacked his active race.

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Dan Schaeffer
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Rastak wrote:
Quitch wrote:
Decline. You don't pick your new race until YOUR turn so she can't be at peace with it. You invade with a full stack and wipe half those Amazons off the board.

On the first turn I'd have tried to cut off half the board, or moved to do so, to force a stalemate. Remember that while you can't attack her, she can't attack you either so long as she wants to use that ability.



Hmmm, I think the rules state you select an "Opponent", not a race to be allied with. Therefore you still cannot attack the amazons. Here is a snippet from the rules....

Am I misreading that? My wife and I ran into the exact same issue as the OP and I conceded the game at that point.


Quote:
At the end of your turn, you may select one
opponent
whose Active race you did not
attack this turn as your ally. You are now at
peace with him and he cannot attack your
active race until your next turn.



Yes, the Diplomat power is used against a player whose active race you have not attacked. If a player takes his active race into decline, you can use the Diplomat power because you haven't attacked his active race (because he doesn't have one).

I think there is a general consensus that the Diplomat power is unsuitable for a 2P game.
 
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Ah well that does kinda stuff that plan I guess.
 
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Clay Cooper
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Small World » Forums » General
Re: Unbeatable Diplomat Amazons in a 2-player Game?
I think you're forgetting that the Amazons must either Conquer a new region each turn or go into Decline. They can't just "sit" on their regions and collect coins each turn.
 
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Dave G
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Claybo wrote:
I think you're forgetting that the Amazons must either Conquer a new region each turn or go into Decline. They can't just "sit" on their regions and collect coins each turn.


Seriously? Where in the world did you get that idea?
 
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Clay Cooper
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Page 6 in the rule book, top left corner under Following turns.

"During his turn, each player MUST now either:
Expand the reach of his race through new conquests OR Put his race in Decline to select a new one."
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BT Carpenter
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Claybo wrote:
I think you're forgetting that the Amazons must either Conquer a new region each turn or go into Decline. They can't just "sit" on their regions and collect coins each turn.


Yes, they can.
Any race can choose to conquer and fail at doing so, just 'sitting' on their regions.
 
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Clay Cooper
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Ahh, I see. You're talking about rolling the final conquest dice and hoping for less than you need? I hadn't thought of that.
But, wouldn't that still be considered an attack, even though it wasn't a successful one? Thus, negating the Diplomatic power?

Oops, I just reread the OP and saw that his wife was indeed conquering new regions each turn, just not his. Sorry, I haven't had my coffee, yet. :snore:
 
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Tom
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This is why I swarm the area around the diplomat. As soon as they have to expand or decline, they are toast because there is only one person per region. In the ten plus two player games I have played I have never lost to someone who played the diplomat for more than a few rounds. If people follow the rules it really is not that great of a power. This is a game where if you camp you lose.
The most powerful combo I have seen is the spirit ghouls...up to three civilizations (two in decline) with two that can attack (ghouls in decline)...vicious.
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Mikael Ölmestig
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But can't you as an diplomat amazon remove tokens from an area that the opponent can't reach (if the opponent isn't flying) and reconquer it the next round?
 
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Claybo wrote:
Ahh, I see. You're talking about rolling the final conquest dice and hoping for less than you need? I hadn't thought of that.
But, wouldn't that still be considered an attack, even though it wasn't a successful one? Thus, negating the Diplomatic power?

You may also choose to 'conquest' and then choose no territories to expand into, ending your turn and scoring.

There is no requirement to attack, the choice is 'Decline' or 'Conquer phase'.
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You are correct—the Wife did use her extra 4 tokens to attack one of my declined races each turn. (She was spread out well enough so that I couldn't shield her from them.) When removing the extra tokens, she would then be able to leave a new one empty that would not be easy for me to get to.



Claybo wrote:
Ahh, I see. You're talking about rolling the final conquest dice and hoping for less than you need? I hadn't thought of that.
But, wouldn't that still be considered an attack, even though it wasn't a successful one? Thus, negating the Diplomatic power?

Oops, I just reread the OP and saw that his wife was indeed conquering new regions each turn, just not his. Sorry, I haven't had my coffee, yet. snore
 
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Clay Cooper
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How about this?
What if the Diplomatic race abandons a region and then turns around and conquers it back? Would that meet the requirements of expanding through conquests? It's even easier with the Amazons who have to take four of their tokens off anyway. That way, they could just keep reconquering the same region and "sit" on the others, while still being immune to the other player's attack.
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Clay Cooper
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byronczimmer wrote:
Claybo wrote:
Ahh, I see. You're talking about rolling the final conquest dice and hoping for less than you need? I hadn't thought of that.
But, wouldn't that still be considered an attack, even though it wasn't a successful one? Thus, negating the Diplomatic power?

You may also choose to 'conquest' and then choose no territories to expand into, ending your turn and scoring.

There is no requirement to attack, the choice is 'Decline' or 'Conquer phase'.


Is there really such a thing as "Conquer Phase"? I see Conquer, Conquering, Conquered, Conquests, but no "Conquer Phase". I'm still pretty sure that you have to at least try to conquer something instead of saying that you're going to conquer something, change your mind, and then not go into Decline because you chose the "Conquering Phase" over the "Declining Phase".

Sorry, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm only trying to get my point across.
 
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H-B-G
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It has been clarified, (see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/391216) that if you have no units left you do not have to decline, but may continue to just score with a previous declined race. In the light of this, you cannot actually be requireed to attempt any conquest, since if you have no units it is impossible.
 
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Jeremy Voltz
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So, broken?
 
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Dan Schaeffer
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Claybo wrote:
Page 6 in the rule book, top left corner under Following turns.

"During his turn, each player MUST now either:
Expand the reach of his race through new conquests OR Put his race in Decline to select a new one."


In the actual rules, the word "must" is not all-caps, i.e., not emphasized, whereas the word "OR" is all-caps. The point, I believe, is to make it clear that it's a binary choice -- either conquer or decline. You'll note that the first phase of the "Expanding through new Conquests" section that immediately follows says:
Quote:
>Ready your Troops

Leaving in place one Race token in each Region they occupy, the player may take all his other Active Race tokens from the map back in hand and use them to conquer new Regions.
(my emphasis on "may")

There's no obligation to pick up tokens in hand to conquer, therefore there is no prohibition on sitting in place and collecting VP from your empire. And even reading "must" as an imperative requiring you to attempt a conquest or decline, you can always attempt an impossible conquest, as others have noted, which of course nets out the same.

As a final supportive note, I refer to the opening to the "Entering In Decline" section:
Quote:
Once a player thinks that his Active race is overextended and no longer has the impetus required to continue expanding successfully or defend itself from increasingly threatening neighbors, he may choose to put it In Decline by selecting a new Race and Special Power combo from those available on the table at the start of his next turn.
(again, my emphasis)

In every case except the 2P Diplomat power, a player that tried to sit tight and not decline would be picked apart by opponents. It's not usually a viable strategy -- at least, not if you have extensive holdings and are raking in more than a couple of VP per turn -- unless your opponents are playing very poorly.
 
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Clay Cooper
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DaveD wrote:
It has been clarified, (see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/391216) that if you have no units left you do not have to decline, but may continue to just score with a previous declined race. In the light of this, you cannot actually be requireed to attempt any conquest, since if you have no units it is impossible.


Wow, I see your point. Not trying to beat a dead horse, but could this just be an exception to the rule because of the impossibility of new conquests?
I'm not trying to win an argument or anything, but this changes the whole flow of the game.
It would be nice to get an official answer to this question.
If you don't have to at least make the attempt to conquer a new region, instead of going into decline, then that ups the ante on some of the other powers and races.
 
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BT Carpenter
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Golux has it right.

You must choose: conquer or decline.
You may choose to take tokens into hand in the conquer phase.

If you take back zero, you have no ability to conquer new regions and are done.

 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I tossed out the Diplomat power for 2-player games from the beginning, without even considering Amazons.
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