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Subject: How to Stop the Leader rss

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Blake
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I just finished my second game with two new players and completely destroyed them. The final score was 140 to 65 to 40. I realize that the difference between your first game and second game can be huge in terms of strategy, however towards the latter half of the game I can't figure out what they were supposed to do to recover.

I was playing yellow vs. green and red. I spent the first part of the game recruiting a large army with a couple of advanced weapons and a smoke bomb. So naturally after green built a couple of green developments, one of which was a 6 renown on a 2 renown space, I rolled in to take them.

Green lost a number of battles and had an army of 5 (he kept attacking me when he should have stopped), red had 11 guys, and I was sitting pretty with 15, two advanced weapons, and two weapons districts. At this point green and red tried to team up. Red attacked, I successfully won both battles but depleted my deck. Green then tried attacking, but I'd play smoke bomb, run away and reshuffle my discard pile, then attack him the next turn.

Now I understand I shouldn't have been such a d*ck to new players, and it wasn't about winning but more about understanding how the game works. I felt bad that both of them seemed really frustrated and at a complete loss for what to do. I didn't have any suggestions either, because at that point I could defeat the first in a battle, smoke bomb on the next attack, then attack on my turn.

Maybe this is an extreme case, but it seems like the stronger just keep getting stronger in this game. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do against a larger, more powerful army that is gaining the most renown each turn? Is the only answer to team up against them, because even that failed in this last game? The first game I played had a similar run away leader problem as well, only in that game I was the one losing by a lot and was frustrated with no hope of recovery. Maybe this just gets better with more experienced players, but its not very much fun to be the guy that knows he can't win about 2/3rds of the way through.

On a side note the Yugai are not an issue and have not even been close to game changers.
 
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Ian Clévy
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As you said in your post, the game shouldn't have got that far.

The game rewards strategic play and can severely punish mistakes. If you make all the right strategic choices and your opponents make all the wrong ones, it would then be normal that you win by a mile.
Players need to realise this before playing; you need to plan ahead in City of Remnants. This isn’t a game where you can quietly build up you illegal network, sit back and watch as the renown comes flowing in. Players must analyse how their opponents are playing and act accordingly. To do this efficiently they need to play a couple of times, so they know what’s what. In my opinion, that’s one of the great things about the game, though maybe not for everyone.

I for one am glad there isn’t some big nuke that sets the leader back four rounds and essentially eliminates any rewards provided by strategic play.
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Greg
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Yeah, I agree with Ian. COR has more to it than on the surface, so experienced players will have an advantage because they'll know what to go for. You learned from your first game, so your buddies should learn from their first game. It's also helpful if you review how the game went and what decisions your friends could have done better. For example, if you were able to recruit a lot because of being yellow, the others should have kept smoke bomb and advanced weapons from you, so that while you would have numbers, they wouldn't be extra powerful.

But that aside, there's nothing that says games have to be extremely close anyway. I learned The Castles of Burgundy last Monday night and the scores were 240, 221, 196 (me) and 175. I don't expect to win learning games and while in our group, whoever teaches games are good about helping out newbs during the game, newbs take it upon themselves to figure things out too.
 
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R N
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I wonder if there is a better way to teach new players the game besides playing a full game. In some games, "Go" comes to mind, there are shorter setups you can use to teach/learn core mechanics without having to commit to a full game.

My first game was cut short due to the game shop closing, but I think I learned a lot of basics playing to just 20 renown. I don't think this is a great way to learn strategy, but I wonder if there is a format that could do both.
 
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Brian Bishop
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It's almost like your level of experience determines how well you can play City.
Your first few games are really like a tutorial. If it were a video game, you'd get a nice fancy walkthrough through the different aspects and play a real opponent only after you had some laps around the track so to speak.
I think four or five full games (complete with beatings if you're playing someone with more experience than you) is enough to make you "decent". Competent is another word that comes to mind.

Maybe capable is the best though. Once you learn some of the bigger dangers, you're quick to recognize them.
Having two Weapons Districts with two Advanced Weapons is almost like a nuke. If you notice your opponent able to acquire these things, you know that you need to get to their cross hair and reinforce it with a capital ASAP..!

And it's a lot like a teeter totter balance. If one side starts getting all fat and heavy, there's a way that you can get fatter and heavier, you just have to have the experience to see it.
Giving someone the beating of their lives is actually one of the nicest things (okay, not thee nicest) you can do for a player. Because next time you want to play, tell them that they can be the (Yellow) gang and they can scoop up the super weapons and beat the snot outta you.
Don't let them get discouraged because it really is an awesome game once you get past the tutorial state.
Fight the Yugai people..!
 
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Blake
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Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like since there isn't a catch up mechanic built into the game that a lead can really grow depending on each player's skills. The spread between good decisions and bad decisions is much wider in this game than most other games I've played, which I can appreciate.

Brian, I liked the idea of getting to the other guy's crosshair, I never thought about that strategy. Any other suggestions on how to "fatten up" faster than the guy in the lead in order to eventually take down a stronger player?
 
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Brian Bishop
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This game at first, appears to be fairly simple. You collect stuff, you raise an army and you fight of the metals. Hopefully, by the end, you're "close" to being the best.
But after playing for a while, you start to see that it is a whole lot closer to chess than checkers. It's an intelligent person's game and requires some real decision making skills. A good decision at the right time can make you quickly successful. A bad decision at the right time is still, well, a bad decision...
With each round, it's important to know exactly what you can (and want) to accomplish. You should (after some much needed experience) be able to calculate the maximum amount of money you can acquire, you should be able to crank out a building (once per round) and you should be recruiting or snatching Black Markets. Remember the balance, it's important.

So after you've mastered the art of "knowing" what you're going to accomplish each round, you should work on "knowing" what your opponents are attempting each round. And what happens at "some" point is that you start to see their balance, and lack of.
If you're paying "lots" of attention, you should be able to estimate how many gangers your opponent has recruited, how many advanced weapons and War Drones and Trade Agreements (after all, most of these are lying on the table so you can see them eh...)
With some study, you can see their weakest aspect sorta. Then it's just a matter of being better at them in some small way and cranking on that leverage.

My son used to beat me senseless with the Green and his Money Mastery tactic. This is where in the first round, the Green spends mostly four actions on movements. He runs out there and scoops up all the City Renown squares in order to collect the guaranteed Renown (so he can sell them with his Steals in round two and ever after).
Knowing his tactic, I'll take the Red gang and move as well. But I'll drop a Benefactor for some five ARCs, rush "around" his figures in the center (careful not to start any fights). And after three actions, I'm sitting on his crosshair with some "support" nearby.
My fourth action, I'll buy a Stronghold (if it's available) and plop that sucker right on his crosshair. And really, this is enough to hold him back for a while. He can't feed ten figures into the City with my human meat grinder chopping them down. He can't buy "much" that will pry me off his entry. And while I'm holding the fort down, I can recruit and gather my strength.

So there are "counters" to every gangs strategies and once you see them, you can exploit them. What I think gets really cool is when you have players that are experienced enough to know the basic tricks, and then they start to compensate. Then, the game truly becomes as it was intended I think.
A brutal, trickery filled extravaganza of dice rolling and cursing.
Nowadays, as much as Green wants to rush out and get his much needed Renown, he can't. He plants a "stream" of figures around his crosshair and if he gets a Renown space (or two), he's happy.
So it's almost like two professional football coaches trying to outsmart the other. Think Blue can rush a crosshair..? Can Red turtle..?
Is my opponent doing what he really "wants" to do or is he misleading me into thinking that I know what he's trying?
It is complex and it is really deep when you get in and start wading in the blood huh.
Fight the Yugai people..!
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Stacie Winters
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B376Bishop wrote:
This game at first, appears to be fairly simple. You collect stuff, you raise an army and you fight of the metals. Hopefully, by the end, you're "close" to being the best.
But after playing for a while, you start to see that it is a whole lot closer to chess than checkers. It's an intelligent person's game and requires some real decision making skills. A good decision at the right time can make you quickly successful. A bad decision at the right time is still, well, a bad decision...
With each round, it's important to know exactly what you can (and want) to accomplish. You should (after some much needed experience) be able to calculate the maximum amount of money you can acquire, you should be able to crank out a building (once per round) and you should be recruiting or snatching Black Markets. Remember the balance, it's important.

So after you've mastered the art of "knowing" what you're going to accomplish each round, you should work on "knowing" what your opponents are attempting each round. And what happens at "some" point is that you start to see their balance, and lack of.
If you're paying "lots" of attention, you should be able to estimate how many gangers your opponent has recruited, how many advanced weapons and War Drones and Trade Agreements (after all, most of these are lying on the table so you can see them eh...)
With some study, you can see their weakest aspect sorta. Then it's just a matter of being better at them in some small way and cranking on that leverage.

My son used to beat me senseless with the Green and his Money Mastery tactic. This is where in the first round, the Green spends mostly four actions on movements. He runs out there and scoops up all the City Renown squares in order to collect the guaranteed Renown (so he can sell them with his Steals in round two and ever after).
Knowing his tactic, I'll take the Red gang and move as well. But I'll drop a Benefactor for some five ARCs, rush "around" his figures in the center (careful not to start any fights). And after three actions, I'm sitting on his crosshair with some "support" nearby.
My fourth action, I'll buy a Stronghold (if it's available) and plop that sucker right on his crosshair. And really, this is enough to hold him back for a while. He can't feed ten figures into the City with my human meat grinder chopping them down. He can't buy "much" that will pry me off his entry. And while I'm holding the fort down, I can recruit and gather my strength.

So there are "counters" to every gangs strategies and once you see them, you can exploit them. What I think gets really cool is when you have players that are experienced enough to know the basic tricks, and then they start to compensate. Then, the game truly becomes as it was intended I think.
A brutal, trickery filled extravaganza of dice rolling and cursing.
Nowadays, as much as Green wants to rush out and get his much needed Renown, he can't. He plants a "stream" of figures around his crosshair and if he gets a Renown space (or two), he's happy.
So it's almost like two professional football coaches trying to outsmart the other. Think Blue can rush a crosshair..? Can Red turtle..?
Is my opponent doing what he really "wants" to do or is he misleading me into thinking that I know what he's trying?
It is complex and it is really deep when you get in and start wading in the blood huh.
Fight the Yugai people..!


All of this and more is why I really love this game. This is one of my favorite games of all time.
 
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