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Subject: Getting a wee bit tired of playing 40% of the game. rss

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Drake Coker
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So... four games so far (all Spanish). All four have ended right around the Franciscan Ascendant card (second victory check out of five). The pattern for me has been consistent: Spanish morale driven down to '2', nibbling at an automatic loss for them, when the dreaded card arrives and the Spanish get an automatic win within a turn or two. Except for the first game where I won just before the card turned up.

Four games isn't much of a sample, and I'm still a newbie player. That being said, it feels funny that the game keeps ending early. I hope this doesn't remain a long-term pattern!
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Steve Carey
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I'm confused - don't you have a thread on this already?

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1050592/franciscan-faction-a...

Maybe going all-out for the early automatic victory is not optimal strategy (live by the sword, die by the sword)?

My only full Spanish session went the distance (card #45); my second attempt is in progress.
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Dr. Urza, PhD of Dungeon Crawl
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At least you're playing that much. Some of us are still playing 0% of the game!
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Gordon J
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Urza47 wrote:
At least you're playing that much. Some of us are still playing 0% of the game!


That would be me.

@Drake: What has been your strategy so far? I was a playtester on this and played a lot of games, though it has been about 3 months since I last played. Those Cultural Development cards are handy to get. I know I used the the CUNNING Card to great effect, which allows you to skip one of the enemy instruction at key times is helpful. Also, having HORSEMANSHIP is good, the extra movement is key.
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Drake Coker
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Steve Carey wrote:


Maybe going all-out for the early automatic victory is not optimal strategy (live by the sword, die by the sword)?



Well, that's the thing... I'm not trying for a fast win. I'd like to just make it through to the end, win or lose

As for the new thread, I guess I'm curious if other people are getting to the end. I can see how it could happen, just haven't actually seen it happen. I'm curious if my experience so far is normal or not.

I guess the part that is confusing me from my experience so far is that I haven't seen any reliable way to avoid it. I feel like I have plenty of accumulated food (enough for 4 families + elders), horses, trade goods, culture (8+), and military (7+) going and then I suddenly lose.

Today I drew three ceremonies in a row (resulting in 6 enemy AP) then Peace ended and the enemy ran 17 AP (!) worth of actions. I had a tough choice then because the next instruction was Raid and I wanted to not increase my ferocity since I was already in a precarious position and I also wanted to get back some AP so I could respond. I ran Planning, knowing that I had a one-in-three chance of drawing Franciscan. I did and then I lost. The board went from zero missions to 5 missions in the space of two turns, with Franciscan adding the sixth.

I could have possibly squeaked by had I immediately discarded my hand after the first ceremony, but the odds of drawing more right then were fairly small, so I didn't.

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Steve Carey
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Olvenskol wrote:
I'm curious if other people are getting to the end.


I finished a second Spanish era campaign and both my games did indeed go the distance (to Card #45). Is it possible you're doing something wrong?

Olvenskol wrote:
I guess the part that is confusing me from my experience so far is that I haven't seen any reliable way to avoid it.


Well, I lost tonight but the final result was "0", so a Minor Defeat. I played a passive style (kept Ferocity down), and for the most part it paid off.

The Good:

*The Franciscan Card (#42) actually saved me from three consecutive red-stripe Enemy Raids (11, 7, 9 Values) that were sitting atop the Active Instruction column (those would have really hurt).
*Using those low (3 Value) Enemy Raids to my advantage by not getting 'Caught' (-1 Enemy Morale per such Raid).
*I worked my way up to 6 fully populated Families.
*Started with Cunning Level 1 Culture and used it to good effect.
*Comanche was one of the Instruction counters randomly removed to start play, which helped.

The Bad:

*It's hard to feed 6 fully populated Families plus your Elders.
*The Enemy went from 1 Outpost to 5 Outposts in two turns (Card #43).
*Got hit by a 6 Value Tribal Raid (Utes).
*Intruders Ambushed the same Family twice (ouch).
*Lost a Trade Goods from play early to Enemy Way (bad because there are only 3 in the game if you don't have Weaving, so Trade Goods options were severely limited). [edit: remove from play goes to the Out-of-Play Box, not removed from the game]

The Ugly:

*Having 4 Elders die in the same Passage of Time phase - this immediately hindered how many Families I could activate.
*Being forced to conduct Good Medicine thus losing 2 black cubes - this not only made Raiding more difficult, it cost me the game when numbers were compared for Victory.
*Got hit by a massive Enemy Raid which caused significant damage.

Olvenskol wrote:
I drew three ceremonies in a row.


That's tough - the Shaman Major Events (there are three in the deck) can help out in this regard.

Even if not optimal play, I tend to get those Ceremony cards out of my hand and not hold them too long.


Anyway, just an amazing session tonight that went right down to the wire and found me so close to defeating the Spanish - I had so much fun, such a great game!
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Drake Coker
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Quote:
I finished a second Spanish era campaign and both my games did indeed go to the distance (to Card #45). Is it possible you're doing something wrong?


Of course it's possible, though I don't know what

All of my games have had a confluence of badness hit right around the Franciscan card. For each one I can see a way that it could have gone alright if the instruction chits were just a little bit different or the deck order altered. So I can imagine it working out!

It's good to hear that it does work out sometimes. Hopefully (and presumably), I've just had a run of bad luck.

Quote:
*Lost a Trade Goods from play early to Enemy Way (bad because there are only 3 in the game if you don't have Weaving, so Trade Goods options were severely limited).


I was under the impression that that Enemy Way just put the Trade Goods back to the Out of Play box, so they could be re-acquired. Is that not correct?

Sounds like you had a fun game!
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Steve Carey
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Steve Carey wrote:
*Lost a Trade Goods from play early to Enemy Way (bad because there are only 3 in the game if you don't have Weaving, so Trade Goods options were severely limited).


Quote:
I was under the impression that that Enemy Way just put the Trade Goods back to the Out of Play box, so they could be re-acquired. Is that not correct?


My bad, it's right there in the Glossary - thanks for the correction.
 
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Joel Toppen
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Ceremony Cards are oh so dangerous. For two reasons:

1. There's the siren song of the Blessing Way, but the Enemy Way can sink you FAST. Real Fast. Especially if you've collected a fist-full of them.

2. They give you a false impression of how much time before the next History Card. Trust me, if you think you have time before Franciscan Faction, you're wrong.

Here's my tip for newbies: You need at least 5 Families on the map ASAP -- One in each area except Black Mesa and Canyon de Chelly. Stay out the Canyon. To get population, use lots of Planning early. Avoid fighting the enemy. Except when YOU have a distinct advantage (Ceremony cards + Firearms + Horses, etc).
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Skip Thompson
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joel_m_toppen wrote:

Here's my tip for newbies: You need at least 5 Families on the map ASAP -- One in each area except Black Mesa and Canyon de Chelly. Stay out the Canyon. To get population, use lots of Planning early. Avoid fighting the enemy. Except when YOU have a distinct advantage (Ceremony cards + Firearms + Horses, etc).


Joel, is there a separate newbie tip list somewhere? If not, perhaps this might deserve it's own (expanded) post? Just a thought.

Of course, there may be a similar tip list in the game, but I wouldn't know since I have not gotten it yet.. whistle
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Joel Toppen
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Not yet, but we can start one!

-Joel
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