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Subject: Playing red: strike early, strike hard rss

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Merlin Moncure
United States
Stuart
Florida
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Ok, I have only one game under my belt. I played the red faction and have been thinking about the game since I played it this last weekend. Here's what I think:

*) Attacking is an early game mechanic
Early on, red has a huge tactical advantage with his scouts and scrappers. The scouts can get your army to places other players don't expect in a single move action so that you can punish that early midtown expansion. the scrappers will make you invincible to players that have played their gang leader and have not yet recruited better members.

Your initial advantage will quickly decline as influence and gang size goes up -- I think these things push the advantage to the defender as he/she can stack defenders and have more gang cards to play.

*) Transition or not?
The problem with playing too aggressively in a 3- or 4- player game is that you will freak everyone out and they will gang up. Therefore, often the best play is to try and transition into a standard development build by turn 4. However, with some good luck you might be able to stay on offence -- to do this will require some strong recruitments ('team player' is particularly good). Advanced weaponry and smoke bombs from the black market are also essential. In particular, the smoke bomb is OP: free recruit+move action! If other players are getting these items then it's time to transition. Once influence goes to 6-7 attacking is too risky except for maybe an end game blitz.

An early game recruitment center (in 3 player games you can sacrifice the 4th color benefactor card for some quick $$$) can really help bulk out your gang without sacrificing precious actions.

*) things to remember:
If you play your scrappers, you *must* win; do not bluff with them. As long as they are in your hand (and you have all 3) the enemy will likely not risk a counter-attack you allow them to get in the discard pile. If they do get there, or worse, one of them dies, your tactical advantage is out. Losing a scout is ok. The scrappers will also make the end game yugai attacks a lot less dangerous.




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R N
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You are right that Red has an advantage in taking the middle due to Scouts. Red can take the center tile with 4 figures using two scouts and a move action, which is one action faster than the other colors. If you also go first then you can also potentially buy a Stronghold before the other players can threaten the space, which is awesome. Even getting to the center first so you are the defender is quite useful since you get to see if the attacker overcommits (just watch out for bluffs!).

That said, Red is actually not much stronger in individual fights than any other faction. All factions have one "fighter" and one "utility" guy, and Red is no different. Red's main early combat advantage comes after they've already won combat. Mainly this helps with Yugai, and situationally when other players want to counter attack. Just look at the other "fighter" cards outside the red faction and you'll see what I mean. If you do get lucky in combat there is less of a chance that the third player will take the center. If someone else gets lucky, then the third player will almost certainly take the center (if everyone is being aggressive).

The dice add a significant amount of chance to the game. Four dice have a 12 point range in this game, which is huge! Without playing a gang leader, Red's highest attack is only 7. My point is that it is not uncommon for the dice to be the deciding factor at any point in the game if everyone is paying attention. In the late game there is the opportunity for a player to sweep combat if they can get all the good combat gear, but this is impossible without the other players' cooperation.

Anyway, that has been my experience with 3+ player games. I can see where fighting would be more common in 2 player games.
 
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Merlin Moncure
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Stuart
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In the early game (first 1-3 turns). 7 point attack is enough to challenge the enemy gang leader. The only losing scenario is when you throw down your scrappers without GL and the enemy throws GL and wins.

 
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You can also easily lose when neither player uses their gang leader or both players play their gang leader.

In the early game it is common for both sides to roll about 4 dice (Mercenaries aside). In this situation you don't have a "sure thing" until you have at least a 5 point lead (then you will still tie 1/30 times). Here is the cumulative probability table for two sets of 4 dice:

-12 0.0%
-11 0.0%
-10 0.0%
-9 0.0%
-8 0.1%
-7 0.5%
-6 1.4%
-5 3.4%
-4 7.3%
-3 13.9%
-2 23.5%
-1 35.9%
0 50.0%
1 64.1%
2 76.5%
3 86.2%
4 92.7%
5 96.6%
6 98.7%
7 99.5%
8 99.9%
9 100.0%
10 100.0%
11 100.0%
12 100.0%


More importantly, you can only play your GL once, what do you do when player 3/4 decides to attack the center when you are out of cards?
 
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Alejandro Magno
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I´m learning to play this game and I really don´t see how red can compete in 4 player games.

You can get center first WOYA what is that good foor? getting some renown early on?
if you don´t have money to get some green building, getting the center is a waste, and red really do not have the tools. By the time you can get enough money to get a green without building some econ, other colors will just outfight you by having a better econ.
Why everybody would want the center so badly early on? You are getting 3 renown for holding the center? I already have an extra building that gives me those 3 renown with all my extra money.
What i´m supposed to attack?
Players early game either build reds near the opening, or if they feel confident in their army buy some blue, generally a little farther from the red player if neccesary.
So now what im gonna attack? The answer is to build something yourself on the blue or better on the green area, so they have to come and attack me. But thoes buildings are worth around 10k, where im supposed to get that kind of money? By the time I get that kind of money other players just get 3 times that money or more and use that to build bigger and better armies.
I fail to see a winning strat for red.

I don´t say that red can´t win, I just say that it seems clearly the worst faction to me in 4 players game.
Incidentally i find it strong in 3 and 2 player, because removing the mysterious benefactor for 5000 arc first turn allows you to pull off some great strats.
 
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