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Scythe» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Combat: I Eat my Words, it's Effective rss

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Erwin Anciano
Philippines
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Well not effective per se in the sense that you can just keep being aggressive all day long.

I played the Black Blitzkrieg Germans for the first time last night. The thing that stood out to me was how FAST they go.

I won the game pretty easily, and as the Germans I of course had to focus on military. I also happened to get the Patriotic player board. Well what happened was I finished the game with 2 stars for combat, 2 stars for objectives, 1 star for Enlistment and 1 for Deployment.

Happened so fast that the White player only had 1 star on the board. The other 4 players; Rusviets 2 star, Crimea 3 stars, Nords 2 stars.

Got lucky with my 2 Objectives: one was to send the foolish peasants packing with 7 power left, and the other was to be the Unpopular War Mongerer (13 power, 2 mechs, <=3 Popularity)

Still, I only really won two combats. Since I enlisted, started as Germans and chose encounters which gave me cards, I had like 7 combat cards left at the end of the game.

So while it's probably still not viable to fight a ton of times in the game, you can easily win by pushign two quick military victories and using the German's strengths to rack the stars up really fast since you don't need much of an engine to get going. I didn't build a single structure or trade a single time in the game.

So I had combat to spare, but since all I did was mostly bolster, produce and move, but I only needed to fight twice to win. I also didn't score as much as in my previous game, but I was able to win on a military strategy and do it so fast that nobody else was ready for the game to end yet.


So yes, Combat is an effective tool, but it's still not something you can rely on solely.
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Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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I love almost all games, play Boardgames with my wife, have three kids, generally enjoy cats and understand and like those bumper stickers with the little fishies sprouting legs.
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I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss German combat as the sole means of victory. In back to back games last night by getting in the tunnels early and taking attacks of opportunity whenever available Saxony won both of our games with 3 then 4 combat wins respectively with different players. The first was a 3 player game and the second a 5. Its definitely something we as a group are going to have to keep an eye on and develop strategies against going forward (I predict much more turtling...) but I no longer will be thinking of black as the "weak faction".
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trevor

Missouri
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I would definitely argue against the growing sentiment that combat is useless in this game. I have won the last 2 games my group has played by being fairly aggressive. The key is all about timing and utilizing movement, of course I have taken advantage of the groupthink that this is a multiplayer solitare game that my friends have adopted.


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Gareth Roberts
United Kingdom
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Mochana wrote:
I also didn't score as much as in my previous game,


I enjoyed reading your mini session review!

Now on to the bit I've highlighted. In my view a high score is not a judge of a successful game because it shows that people had time to comfortably set up point generation mechanisms with little disruption.

If anything I think winning with a lower score is often a good indicator of a successful game because you got the win out before the players engines were stabilized.

I see the optimal play of scythe as one where you rush down your 6 stars through objectives, combat and make some tough choices about which bits of the engine you have time to get going before 6 stars gets hit, not one where engines are given the full time needed to come online and stabilize as a way of point generation.
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Chris Hewlett
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bigGameGeek wrote:
I would definitely argue against the growing sentiment that combat is useless in this game. I have won the last 2 games my group has played by being fairly aggressive. The key is all about timing and utilizing movement, of course I have taken advantage of the groupthink that this is a multiplayer solitare game that my friends have adopted.


People who play this as a solitaire game will always (well, mostly) lose to someone who understands the benefits of a well placed combat or two.
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Greg
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Lowell
Indiana
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I played a 3 player game with my 13 year old twin daughters today, our 7th 3 player game (though I have 2 5 player and 1 4 player as well). One of daughters always plays Rusviets while the other had always played Polonia, but today she tried Saxony. She has won most of our 3 player games, though I figured maybe it was Polonia that helped that. Well she beat us again today with Saxony, so I think she just has a real knack for this game.

My daughter playing Rusviets had gotten 3 stats out and I got 2 stars out as Nordic before Saxony got any stars out. Well she used a tunnel and speed with 3 mechs to attack my 2 mechs and worker. She had more power and more mechs, and only 2 3's and a 2 combat card available. So I didn't use any power and used my 2 combat card just to get another one after losing. She used no power and 3 cards to beat me, though had I used all 7 power available I would have won since her total of 3 cards was only 8. But I didn’t know if she was going to add power as well. So she won and sent me packing home, and she lost 1 popularity for the worker. But she got the 1 oil that was on my previous territory.

So after the combat, she got a star, then took her bottom row action to upgrade, using my oil as one towards her payment. Next turn she bolstered to get 2 combat cards and completed her objective to have a combat star and 8 combat cards in hand. Before we knew it, she finished upgrading and getting her mechs out, to have 4 stars out. Shortly, I noticed she was at 13 on the power track and her bottom row action for bolster was enlist. She had it upgraded to cost only 1 food, which she had. So I took a move action to spread my units, while Rusviets did also. Then Saxony bolstered to geta star at 16, and enlisted her last recruit for her 6th star.

So it seemed to start with that well timed combat that cot her 2 stars if you include the one right after for her objective that was combat related. I was for from home, near Polonia when losing the battle, so it cost me valuable time to get out of there, as well as not have that one oil I could have used.

So while that was the only combat in the game, it was key, and will be memorable. People can say all they want about it being too costly to lose popularity by sending a worker or 2 home. But they are wrong, as many times, there is plenty of latitude on the popularity track to lose couple and still be in the same tier for endgame scoring. That combat also gave her a resource she was able to use immediately.

For me, the only reason I'm able to play this game this often with my daughters, is because it's not a combat heavy game. I got them to try it once because of the cool characters, but then they asked to play it again the next night and again and again. Even when I ask, they are willing, unlike with many other games. So while I have played this with my game group as well, I would likely have 5 or 6 fewer plays if not for my daughters liking it so much. That means everything to me.

I can play combat heavy games with my game group, in fact I'm playing Mare Nostrum Empires tomorrow night. Scythe only takes an hour and a half to play with my daughters and a couple hours with more people. It's also easy to remember hoe to play, so we can jump right in. So for me, I am fine with the combat the way it is, as I get enough meaningful combats over the course of games. They can help spring some to victory, or cost someone an objective they were trying to complete, as well as time getting out of Home base. Instead of having a lot of generic battles just for the sake of it, I've enjoyed the meaningful fewer battles in this game.

Edit: Mostly to fix phone bad auto-correct.
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Sky Zero
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Illinois
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You can only get a max of 1 star for completing objectives, not two.

EDIT:
Ninja myself...Saxons. Doh!
 
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