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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » General

Subject: Brits = Confrontational, French = Expansionist ??? rss

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I know this might be the millionth post concerning this. But it is a b&%$ and a half to read through all theses threads, finding the information. So maybe theres someone who would still answer my questions...


I am still quite new at this, with 3 games under my belt. But I've been following the discussions about the 2nd edition changes. Whether they make it better or worse; whether it can be fixed at all; how to, and so on, and so on...
...and I've been wondering...

It seems to me that this game, when played consequently, and for the win, provides exactly two strategies for winning.
One for the Brits - the military approach, with sieges etc.
And one for the French - the expansionist approach, with settling, upgrading etc.

So far, the Halifax Hammer (which I have not yet learned how to execute in detail, thank god) is the strategy that is unbeatable with the existing set of rules, based on military superiority and money engine of the British. And the new changes even make it worse.

But even if we fix the Halifax Hammer somehow, there is another "problem" (I would call it one) - the British could never win a settling approach against the French.

So we can either try to establish some kind of very fragile balance between those two strategies (if even possible) - thereby deciding the game by one or two card draws, and hence, luck. We could also just throw a die and determin victory this way, is how I would judge this.

Or we tip the scales towards the French victory.

Maybe I am wrong, and god knows I want to be, but this is how the situation presents itself to me, now.

So, basically, both sides have a perfect strategy that works on its own, but so far one of them is better, because faster and with more money ressources.

Isn't this a little too streamlined, then? The French only settle, the British only attack. Period. Everything else MUST, per definitionem, fail. Only if the opponent is inexperienced, can another (probably mixed) approach work. Right?

I am wondering how extensively the rules would have to be reworked to guarantee ore variety in the game...
... because, the way I see it, hard decisions are what makes a game interesting. With all decisions made for you by design, where is the fun in that?
Or is the fun the ego boost of yet another unquestionable win?

Does bloating the decks (getting rid of the ultra-slim engine for the British) really change that? Because then the French rush to victory, do they not?

I am totally stumped by all this. The game is fun to play (as long as we have not reached the terminal strategy discovery, yet), but why the hell would something like this be thrown onto the market?
My hope for a fix that keeps the game fun is decreasing every day...
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Gavan Brown
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DING DING! You are correct. Even if the HH was fixed, ultra deck thinning still makes it a game of "Seige Quebec before the French spam all their settler discs". Actually fixing the game (allowing both sides to counter each other's favored strategy) would involve increasing the minimum deck size. The reason why the french only have the capability of getting 3 settler is to reduce the speed in which they are able to settle. Thinning your deck breaks this because it has the same effect as having more settlers in your deck: they both increase the frequency of getting a settler icon.


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Does bloating the decks (getting rid of the ultra-slim engine for the British) really change that? Because then the French rush to victory, do they not?

A bigger deck makes settling harder, not easier.
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So what you say is - with the current ruleset the game is unfixable? Meaning that the game cannot become more than going through the motions and seeing who draws that FINAL CARD HAND first - if it would be fixed to be in balance...???

Damn, what a shame...

Basically, the fast French approach is what I did today. Granted, we are both inexperienced (and my opponent even a little more so, since I read the rules and the forums throughout the last weeks), so he was not fast enough with his too bloated deck to counter my strategy.
But basically what I did was settle just enough so that raiding via Fort St. John or Oswego was impossible, and to upgrade said settlements until I used up all of my city disks...
...and that's it?????
Hmmm. Looks kinda lame to me...
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Maybe with a right solution (like limiting reserve and Governor, which is currently discussed by the experts) making the deck fatter, the game would turn more into Twilight Struggle's approach (to some extent, of course) - to get the best out of an average (at least not ideal) deck, instead of being able to build an perfect one, that guarantees the victory of one player.
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I certainly hope that there will be a fix, official (unlikely) or otherwise, as the gameplay is really fun...
 
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Ideally, French only settle Halifax (usually by winning a siege) and Fort Frontenac. Then they get a settler and develop as rapidly as possible. British can't hope to score more points than the French.

The problem for the British is that if they take both settlers to slow French development, then they will get steamrolled by the Pemaquid Piledriver. So the only viable British response is a military one, and that involves Halifax and a thin deck.
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Damn, now we're moving into the shark-infested waters I did not want to go. To not spoil the fun...
But basically, that was my plan - until the Brit took Albany and stacked up on Natives. Granted, if he would have raided Quebec twice, he still would have a hard time winning, but I did not want him to get there.

Thanks for all your answers. Unfortunately reading more almost always means learning tactics that cannot be unlearned later. So I do not want to know the HH or the PP, or any other acronyms...
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Dumon wrote:

It seems to me that this game, when played consequently, and for the win, provides exactly two strategies for winning.
One for the Brits - the military approach, with sieges etc.
And one for the French - the expansionist approach, with settling, upgrading etc....


My hope for a fix that keeps the game fun is decreasing every day...

Pretty much sums up my feelings about the game. There is just too little strategic variety to keep things interesting. It's the same game over and over, and you just get punished for trying to deviate from the script of France racing to develop before Brits take Quebec. I would love to see the game reinvigorated and turn into something where you can actually surprise your opponent with powerful, creative, original, out-of-the-box strategies (like in chess, for instance), but the limitations seem awfully ingrained into the basic structure. I'm pessimistic. I think we'll see Martin Wallace's next game before we see a variant of AFAoS that really has the range of strategies we're craving.
 
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Paulo Santoro
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In this case, people, maybe the only approach is the "scenarios" that MW have talked about.

Think one minute about Dominion. If you get a given set of ten kingdom cards, you soon will see a broken game. In fact, playing Dominion means trying to find where that specific set of kingdom cards is broken. But it's ok: for the next match you will have a different set. If you change only one card, you can have a set broken in a different way. So you have a challenge each time you play. There are millions of different possible sets.

There should be a way to randomize AFAoS setups in a way that the result of the randomizing wouldn't be obviously against one side. It would be great a situation where the British could find that they should expand!
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Paulo Santoro
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Anyway, I do not think like Dumon e noahboa. The game can be fun even with the "same" objectives for each side. The point is how you do it. When HH were not strong enough (by changing rules), we will see.

And I think that, if the core rules were adequately changed, British should have a chance to win by expanding. Maybe also raiding and sieging other positions, if French block the normal path to Quebec.
 
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Clyde W
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PauloSantoro wrote:
In this case, people, maybe the only approach is the "scenarios" that MW have talked about.

Think one minute about Dominion. If you get a given set of ten kingdom cards, you soon will see a broken game. In fact, playing Dominion means trying to find where that specific set of kingdom cards is broken. But it's ok: for the next match you will have a different set. If you change only one card, you can have a set broken in a different way. So you have a challenge each time you play. There are millions of different possible sets.

There should be a way to randomize AFAoS setups in a way that the result of the randomizing wouldn't be obviously against one side. It would be great a situation where the British could find that they should expand!
This analysis is flawed. If Dominion were a 2p game, and the two sides had different sets of cards, the comparison would be valid. But it's not. This game is broken in an entirely different way than Dominion is "broken."

The ironic and sad part is, I really like this game, and I really dislike Dominion, but at this point, I'd much rather play Dominion, as inferior as it is. At least it isn't broken.
 
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Paulo Santoro
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clydeiii wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
In this case, people, maybe the only approach is the "scenarios" that MW have talked about.

Think one minute about Dominion. If you get a given set of ten kingdom cards, you soon will see a broken game. In fact, playing Dominion means trying to find where that specific set of kingdom cards is broken. But it's ok: for the next match you will have a different set. If you change only one card, you can have a set broken in a different way. So you have a challenge each time you play. There are millions of different possible sets.

There should be a way to randomize AFAoS setups in a way that the result of the randomizing wouldn't be obviously against one side. It would be great a situation where the British could find that they should expand!
This analysis is flawed. If Dominion were a 2p game, and the two sides had different sets of cards, the comparison would be valid. But it's not. This game is broken in an entirely different way than Dominion is "broken."

The ironic and sad part is, I really like this game, and I really dislike Dominion, but at this point, I'd much rather play Dominion, as inferior as it is. At least it isn't broken.


My analysis is not "flawed". I was not making a "comparison" between the games. I wrote "Think one minute about Dominion". Then I show my wish that something could be done to AFAoS in order to have an analogous result.
 
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zollom
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Would making reinforcing a siege a free action to powerful for the French? This might thin the French Deck (for the time of the siege and later remove cards with the Governor) and free up some actions allowing the French time to settle out?
 
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Kevin 'Rocky' Robertson
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The question is would it be too powerful for the British with their superior military strenght?

Reverse units, recall units on a free, seige, reinforce seige for free, no stopping them I think.
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zollom04 wrote:
Would making reinforcing a siege a free action to powerful for the French? This might thin the French Deck (for the time of the siege and later remove cards with the Governor) and free up some actions allowing the French time to settle out?
That could tip the balance towards the French way too much.

But again, it's not where the real problem lies. Brits have a more efficient money machine and they have more military cards. That's the main problem.
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zollom
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Yeah, really wouldn't help much if the Brits do it as well. Oh well, just a thought.
 
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