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Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Quick Patron card Analysis rss

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M.J.E. Hendriks
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The Patron cards quite often feel a little over- or under-powered. Even I felt so when I saw them in their final form. Then again, I have tracked the games I've played in and watched (except the Essen demos which played without), and different Patron cards win all the time.

For a first time, though, the same Patron cards pop up.

For some people it's John Paul Jones, while for us it was Cardinal de Fleury. They certainly seem to fit beginners' play styles better.

Here's a quick look at them - feel free to comment and or add things:

Quick Patron analysis

John Law

Strengths
- main action 9 fairly easy points
- Can score big on the money

Weaknesses
- If you want the main quest, you shouldn't be going for the Park of Leisure or Arch of Love then, or you'd make it hard on yourself - this makes it easier on your opponents to score big
- The IV mission is always difficult

Doable score
- 9 for first and 7 for third - total of 16 pts

Benjamin Franklin

Strengths
- 18 possible points in III, but difficult to achieve - go for 7 couples and 14 points

Weaknesses
- If you want the main quest, you might need to plan for some of the harder to get nationalities
- The side missions are crazy difficult and generally not worth it, unless there are exceptions
- The IV mission is always difficult

Doable score
- go for 7 children and marry them off to different nationalities for a total of 14 pts (and less effort put into activatable missions)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Strengths
- 10 possible points in III, and fairly easy to achieve - go for 5 couples minimum
- Ventures and Mansions will usually be in your family anyway, and this gives you points directly for them - you should score 4 points for this

Weaknesses
- Not a great number of points here, but you don't have to do many extra things to score the points
- The IV mission is always difficult

Doable score
- 14 pts --> 10 pts for main quest and 4 pts for bottom activatable quest

Cardinal de Fleury

Strengths
- really easy 9 points for main quest, but you often have to draw cards towards the end again, depending on play style, losing you a few actions
- get a big family and don't let your mothers die, and you'll have tons of points from here - if you even go for arranged marriages as well, which I guess count as couples as well, you'd have tons and tons of points for this - 11 a nice goal?

Weaknesses
- You really have to focus on this mission - nearly solely, and you need to get lucky with Complications
- You need tons of Friend cards to marry into your huge family, but you also need 8 cards in your hand by the end
- The IV mission is always difficult

Doable score
- go for a big family, with lots of couples, and then spend some time getting cards to grab 20 points to make a comeback win?!

John Paul Jones

Strengths
- with 7 or so children in III, you could make sure to marry them all off to French for 14 points
- Two points for each title might be overpowered

Weaknesses
- Titles are highly sought after by everyone in Gen. I and II, and most of the time they're blocked.
- When titles become less interesting, in Gen. III, you need to be marrying most of the time.
- You're focusing on French in III, when you really want to get points and bonuses from the different nationalities/occupations in your family
- The IV mission is always difficult

Doable score
- 20 points (but others will see you coming, and there should be tons of competition for the titles in Gen. 1 and 2)
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Paul Bruce
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Thanks for posting your thoughts although you have missed one.

Any imbalance is always going to be more noticeable in first or early plays and you are probably right that the difference is quite small.

However, why are they necessary at all? Have they always been part of the game or were they added later?
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Pavlusha wrote:
Thanks for posting your thoughts although you have missed one.

Any imbalance is always going to be more noticeable in first or early plays and you are probably right that the difference is quite small.

However, why are they necessary at all? Have they always been part of the game or were they added later?


Crap, I did them all, but must've pasted over one accidentally. Will add later.

Why are they necessary? Well, they add strategy to the game - long-term planning that pays off by the end of the game.

Originally, yes, we had mission cards, these would be factions / pressure groups in the city/country that requested something of the family. If you accepted, you were expected to follow through, even losing points if you supported the wrong faction. Factions being nationalities (occupations are a later addition).

There were a lot less points to be gained from these missions than now, but I do appreciate all the effort you need to put into these Patron cards paying off - it does balance out nicely.

I have seen games won with few to no points from mission cards, or just the base mission, but players spending their actions elsewhere. Play to your strengths and you'll do well!
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Vincent Lalyman
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I think that focusing too much on your Patron card is often a mistake -it is especially visible with beginners (myself included).

Patrons who favor marriages in III and IV only give two points by marriage - it's two points for an action*. In III, there are many other actions (Title, Mansion, even Fertility) that can give you as much or more points. And you can often make more points by marrying a child "outside" of the Patron's request.
I consider these patrons as a secondary source of points rather than my main goal.

Madame de Pompadour and John Law are always powerful, as is often le Cardinal de Fleury, because you may reach their main demand while gaining points in other ways.
They rarely "get in the way" of you earning points otherwise, while with "marriage patrons" you may hesitate to sacrifice some friends you could marry later for two points. I've seen many games lost by the player who tried to maximize his "patronized" marriages to the one who went for the "points right now, patron later" strategy, or the marriage combo strategy.

The IV quests are always difficult to achieve - you only have 8 actions in III, it's not enough to rentabilize both the III and IV quests. You have to focus on one, depending on what you have in hand, and sacrify the other. Add to this that "activating" the IV quest will cost you one Action anyway to gain the mission card.

All this to say : Patrons are only one way to earn points, among many others. To win you have to make each of your few actions profitable, and there is often more interesting sources of points than following the Patron's demand.

* edit : in fact, a patronized marriage in III is worth 3 points : 2 forthe patron, one for the child
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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TheSoundOfTrees wrote:

I consider these patrons as a secondary source of points rather than my main goal.


Exactly, and that's what has always been the same, in the game (throughout all stages of its evolution). They give you even more opportunities to score points, but they're certainly not the be all and end all.
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Darrell Goodridge
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Sorry for necro, but seems like best thread to ask without starting a new one.

Can you clarify Benjamin Franklin? You get 2 points for each different (non-French) nationality during genIII. Does that mean you need 7 different nations to get 14 or would say 3 British, 1 Russian, 1 German, and 2 Spanish work? The first scenario they are different AND non-French, and in the second example they are merely different from French.

Having actually typed it out, I think I know the answer, but I want to be sure.
 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Cardboardjunkie wrote:
Sorry for necro, but seems like best thread to ask without starting a new one.

Can you clarify Benjamin Franklin? You get 2 points for each different (non-French) nationality during genIII. Does that mean you need 7 different nations to get 14 or would say 3 British, 1 Russian, 1 German, and 2 Spanish work? The first scenario they are different AND non-French, and in the second example they are merely different from French.

Having actually typed it out, I think I know the answer, but I want to be sure.


First one: for each different nationality (not French). They need to be different from each other.

3 British, 1 Russian, 1 German and 2 Spanish gets you 8 pts.
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Darrell Goodridge
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Thank you for the fast response! After seeing it in writing, I figured that was it, but wanted to clarify.

Edit: I don't know if you changed the OP after the missing one comment, but it seems there are still missing patron(s). I can think of at least Madame Pompadour off hand.
 
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M.J.E. Hendriks
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Cardboardjunkie wrote:
Thank you for the fast response! After seeing it in writing, I figured that was it, but wanted to clarify.

Edit: I don't know if you changed the OP after the missing one comment, but it seems there are still missing patron(s). I can think of at least Madame Pompadour off hand.


There's only 6 - I forgot about her, somehow. Will see if I have time to do it...
 
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I just played Legacy the other day. Basically for the first time, really, with 4 people. It was a blast.

...but...

...big butt, actually...

The Patron cards.
Why are they imbalanced? I can't for the life of me figure out why. Yes, they are not major differences in point gain, and yes, they are not that important in the overall game.
But, really, that is no reason at all to make them imbalanced.

Okay, cool-down period...

What I mean is this:

1. The Priority Position
The general Patron effect (top of the card) are more or less on par. Some are a little easier to achieve (John Law - you want income in the game, anyways; John Paul Jones - half of the deck is French), while others a little harder (both Cardinal de Fleury and Madame de Pompadour require specific actions in gen III). But these are really minor differences.

2. The Middle Management
The middle section is also quite on par, with 13 cards for each profession. The only one dropping out is, once again, Cardinal de Fleury, who has 16 cards he can choose from in the deck. This is even smaller a difference than before...
However, this section is the hardest to get points with, and therefore probably ignored most often (and quite rightly so, I'd wager).

3. The Cellar Crisis
Unfortunately, the bottom section is where the cookie crumbles.
And I have most of my beef here, again, with Cardinal Fleury. Granted, the top part of the card needs specific action (or very careful planning), and therefore makes it slightly harder to achieve. However, the bottom part just gets handed to the player on a silver platter. ALL couples? Come ON. That is like saying "okay, you played the game. Here are some extra points just for you." Really? Especially since there is no maximum number of points you can achieve, here.
The others all need specific action or (in case of John Law) maybe even NOT doing specific actions in order to save money. But here is not where the big points lie, so this is easy to ignore.
However, Madame Pompadour needs at least 1 specific action for each point she will earn. Those points can be easily gotten better elsewhere, and it is better to ignore this. Likewise Jean-Jaques, Jones and Franklin will gain preciously few points. On the other hand, all of the things those four Patrons need will net them points, anyways. So that is not nothing - it is just an afterthought to use these few points. Oh, I have a few houses. Well, let's use this effect. Oh, seven children? No problem. Etc.
John Law, on the other hand, is probably the hardest to collect points. Reallly getting them from his bottom effect means he will have to save money, and by that probably will have to not take actions that could net him points. Not that this makes a lot of sense, and it is easier to ignore this, too. And use it only as an afterthought. But the afterthought here is based on something a little less natural in the game. As money is worth nothing at the end of the game (less than friends in a tie, even), you wouldn't save it, but instead calculate carefully to put it to best use. But still, even that is a minor difference to the four above.

I have my big beef with Cardinal de Fleury, and his bottom effect.
Why? Why is it not limited to a certain amount of points? The others would probably not gain more than 2-3 points, maybe 4 or 5 (but then they have to put their backs in it). He? 5 is easy as 3,1415 and more is absolutely normal. And six points or more with ONE action? That is better than most other actions in the endgame...


So, bringing it all together, I might have exaggerated at the top of this post. No, THEY are not imbalanced. At least not grossly so. But THE ONE CARD, Cardinal de Fleury, has an included gift bag with a small package of points just for that player. And even if these bottom effects are mainly ignored in the usual game, it just doesn't do to include such a bonus to one player and not to the others.

Why not restrict this effect?
I don't get it...
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S. R.
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Quick add-on:

It seems that the card was slightly changed in the German printing of the game. I say "seems", because I have been told so by a (reliable) friend, but haven't seen it first-hand, so no guarantees.
In the German version, Cardinal de Fleury's criticised effect only provides 1 VP for every TWO couples the player has. This essentially halves his points to be gained. Or, to put it another way, he has to work a lot more for a lot of points gained by this effect.

I think this is a good fix, as the points are now not only handed out to the player - well not that many, at least. And, as a bonus, if the Cardinal player REALLY goes for it, he will (of course) get 3 VP for every 2 couples (1 with the Cardinal, 2 for the kids). Might be worth the hassle...
 
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Joe K
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You´re right Dumon

There are some other changes as well, especially one I´m not really happy with: The rule for picking additional action tokens. But that´s a different department.
 
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mfl134
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Mr Mjeh wrote:

Cardinal de Fleury

Strengths
- really easy 9 points for main quest, but you often have to draw cards towards the end again, depending on play style, losing you a few actions
- get a big family and don't let your mothers die, and you'll have tons of points from here - if you even go for arranged marriages as well, which I guess count as couples as well, you'd have tons and tons of points for this - 11 a nice goal?

Weaknesses
- You really have to focus on this mission - nearly solely, and you need to get lucky with Complications
- You need tons of Friend cards to marry into your huge family, but you also need 8 cards in your hand by the end
- The IV mission is always difficult

Doable score
- go for a big family, with lots of couples, and then spend some time getting cards to grab 20 points to make a comeback win?!


The additional weakness here relates to the IV mission. The cards that score for that (ones that bring in more cards) are exactly the ones that you want to play earlier to help with your main mission.
 
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mfl134
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Quote:

Why not restrict this effect?
I don't get it...


to make up for the awful main ability. "easy to achieve, but at a cost".

Having that many cards left in your hand at the end of the game means you have to take extra actions to gets cards (through marriage, which will mean less of something else or though socializing, which means you aren't doing something else).

It results in 3 or more wasted actions to achieve, where the other main goals don't really lose you points. Also, it should end up being harder to get as many couples due to this.

I have only played 2 games, but my game with fleury, I felt this goal was needed as a consolation prize. it will probably be my least favorite to draw as I prefer optimization which is restricted by the card in some ways.
 
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mfl134
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Dumon wrote:
Quick add-on:

It seems that the card was slightly changed in the German printing of the game. I say "seems", because I have been told so by a (reliable) friend, but haven't seen it first-hand, so no guarantees.
In the German version, Cardinal de Fleury's criticised effect only provides 1 VP for every TWO couples the player has. This essentially halves his points to be gained. Or, to put it another way, he has to work a lot more for a lot of points gained by this effect.

I think this is a good fix, as the points are now not only handed out to the player - well not that many, at least. And, as a bonus, if the Cardinal player REALLY goes for it, he will (of course) get 3 VP for every 2 couples (1 with the Cardinal, 2 for the kids). Might be worth the hassle...


Oh, I didn't realize the english rules were ever 1 VP per pair. I was commenting based on 1vp for a pair of couples. (Though the wording on the card has confused people I was playing with, due to reading couples=pair)
 
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