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Subject: Help Slowing Down the Dwarves rss

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Jason Tesser
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I have only played twice now. Last night in a three player there were Auren, Swarmlings (me), and the Dwarves.

The Dwarf player and myself both got over 100 points. He still beat me by 17 though. I was trying to think of what I could have done. Or general principles to stop him. He was killing the 4 VP thing especially late game.

The Dwarf player easily got the Area Bonus as he built all his dwellings. I tied with the Auren player

I won 3 of the 4 Elements on the Cult board and second on the other. I got every Priest on the CUlt board and had multiple temples in play. I was always hurting for workers though.

So I am looking for guidelines on how to slow the Dwarf player down.

1. I didn't build close to him. Should I and terraform/build by him? Is this possible? Seems like he would always be able to find a way out to build

2. I guess maybe I could have restricted him better in Bonus Cards. I know it would be more helpful if I listed the Scoring and Bonus cards out but I don't have them right now

3. With the Swarmlings what should my main strategy have been? I went for lots of priests. Built temples. Never had dwellings down as I kept upgrading them with the free upgrade and I got the favor that makes the trading house score. Also that scoring card was out. I hit the Stronghold first turn but again that was the scoring card

Other thoughts?

**EDIT I actidently put this in Rules and meant to select Strategy. Not sure how to move. Maybe a BGG Admin can help here?
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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I always find, that Dwarves have a very good start area in the lower right. If you transform one or two of his mountain fields, you can stop his expansion a bit.
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Lucas Hedgren
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LORDs_diakonos wrote:
**EDIT I actidently put this in Rules and meant to select Strategy. Not sure how to move. Maybe a BGG Admin can help here?


Moved.
 
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Erik
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I don't get scores as high as a lot of other folks around here, but my typical strategy with the Swarmlings goes something like this:

The biggest thing is only taking them when it makes sense to do so. Factors that make them more appealing include points for strongholds on the first turn, the cult bonus of 4 blue for a priest on the first or second turn, other players choosing races far away on the terrain wheel, and the bonus card with points for trading posts.

Assuming that all or most of those factors are in effect, I usually have a starting turn of upgrading a dwelling to a TP, upgrading the TP to my stronghold, using the stronghold ability to upgrade my other dwelling, and upgrading my TP to a temple, taking the 2blue/points for placing TP tile. Depending on what other players do, I might change it up a bit, particularly upgrading the second TP into a temple, as the priest probably isn't as useful as the gold and power and I don't need the favour tile immediately. For the rest of the game, I generally go TP-heavy, getting points for them from round bonuses, the bonus card, the favour tile for placing them, and the favour tile for having them out when you pass.
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Dave Eisen
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The dwarves (and the engineers too --- both grey factions) are about the best point-scoring factions, but they are also the easiest to mess with. You have to mess with them or they will run away with the game. Fortunately, it is often possible to do this in ways which in no way sacrifice your own growth or own position to do so.

The dwarves want to hit as many of the grey hexes as possible, particularly those conveniently located a hop apart in the eastern continent. Take some away from them.

The dwarves are also the only faction that can be completely cut in two, making it very difficult for them to get largest area at the end. For example, if they have one group of buildings in the center and one in the east, you can 100% prevent them from connecting up via the southern route by taking away the three hexes in a row along the eastern coast of the southern continent. Other factions cannot be blocked this way as they can always use ships to travel long distances around blockages you create: the dwarves have no concept of "long distances".

It is also often possible to prevent the dwarves from making two towns by taking away key hexes.

I'm not saying its easy. The dwarves win their fair share of games and a little more, but they can often be stopped and this must be your focus. If you pursue Terra Mystica as a solitaire building game when the dwarves are in play that is not going to work well for you.

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Jason Tesser
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dkeisen wrote:

The dwarves are also the only faction that can be completely cut in two, making it very difficult for them to get largest area at the end. For example, if they have one group of buildings in the center and one in the east, you can 100% prevent them from connecting up via the southern route by taking away the three hexes in a row along the eastern coast of the southern continent. Other factions cannot be blocked this way as they can always use ships to travel long distances around blockages you create: the dwarves have no concept of "long distances"


It seems to me that with their tunnel ability they can just tunnel around you OR under you :-) to connect. I would think they would place in a way that usually they win the Area points. I have not played enough games to know I am just trying to understand what you are saying
 
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Chris Linneman
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It's hard for them to afford enough workers to both terraform and tunnel, and if they have to spend more than three workers terraforming, you will prevent them from earning a ton of points they could have earned by spending those workers to tunnel. Of course you can't completely stop them, but you can make things very expensive for them. And if you take away all the spaces that are within tunnel distance that they need to connect up for area scoring, you can prevent them from getting that bonus too. If you look for chokepoints near water to do this, you may only need one or two hexes to stop them, depending on how crowded the board is. In a 3p game the board may be open enough that it is nearly impossible to stop them from scoring largest area at the end, but that is still only a differential of 6-12 VPs.
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Dave Eisen
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QBert80 wrote:
It's hard for them to afford enough workers to both terraform and tunnel, and if they have to spend more than three workers terraforming, you will prevent them from earning a ton of points they could have earned by spending those workers to tunnel. Of course you can't completely stop them, but you can make things very expensive for them. And if you take away all the spaces that are within tunnel distance that they need to connect up for area scoring, you can prevent them from getting that bonus too. If you look for chokepoints near water to do this, you may only need one or two hexes to stop them, depending on how crowded the board is. In a 3p game the board may be open enough that it is nearly impossible to stop them from scoring largest area at the end, but that is still only a differential of 6-12 VPs.


There is a point here where the dwarves are a solid faction in a three player game as it is more difficult to block them when there are fewer factions taking up hexes.

That said, the swarmlings are also a good faction in a three player game. Their core ability to build trading houses even when not adjacent to another player works very well with only three players: you might even end up starting up the game with no one adjacent to anyone else and the other factions in trouble because of this. Also, the swarmlings get bonused for building towns and it's going to be easier to get 3 towns on the board with 3 players than it is with 5 as you are not really racing other factions to build before all 10 are gone.

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Rafael Ramus
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dkeisen wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
It's hard for them to afford enough workers to both terraform and tunnel, and if they have to spend more than three workers terraforming, you will prevent them from earning a ton of points they could have earned by spending those workers to tunnel. Of course you can't completely stop them, but you can make things very expensive for them. And if you take away all the spaces that are within tunnel distance that they need to connect up for area scoring, you can prevent them from getting that bonus too. If you look for chokepoints near water to do this, you may only need one or two hexes to stop them, depending on how crowded the board is. In a 3p game the board may be open enough that it is nearly impossible to stop them from scoring largest area at the end, but that is still only a differential of 6-12 VPs.


There is a point here where the dwarves are a solid faction in a three player game as it is more difficult to block them when there are fewer factions taking up hexes.

That said, the swarmlings are also a good faction in a three player game. Their core ability to build trading houses even when not adjacent to another player works very well with only three players: you might even end up starting up the game with no one adjacent to anyone else and the other factions in trouble because of this. Also, the swarmlings get bonused for building towns and it's going to be easier to get 3 towns on the board with 3 players than it is with 5 as you are not really racing other factions to build before all 10 are gone.



The Swarmlings are a good faction in 4 players matches as well, and they are not horrible in a 5 players match. The real problem with them is that they can do very little to block the dwarves (or anyone else, for that matter), so you need another player to do the dirty work for you (and that's often not done well or enough). I avoid playing blue vs green (since there's little room for symbiotic relations between them), or Swarmlings vs Dwarves / Halflings (since there's little you can do to mess up with either).
 
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deosilmau wrote:
I don't get scores as high as a lot of other folks around here, but my typical strategy with the Swarmlings goes something like this:

The biggest thing is only taking them when it makes sense to do so. Factors that make them more appealing include points for strongholds on the first turn, the cult bonus of 4 blue for a priest on the first or second turn, other players choosing races far away on the terrain wheel, and the bonus card with points for trading posts.

Assuming that all or most of those factors are in effect, I usually have a starting turn of upgrading a dwelling to a TP, upgrading the TP to my stronghold, using the stronghold ability to upgrade my other dwelling, and upgrading my TP to a temple, taking the 2blue/points for placing TP tile. Depending on what other players do, I might change it up a bit, particularly upgrading the second TP into a temple, as the priest probably isn't as useful as the gold and power and I don't need the favour tile immediately. For the rest of the game, I generally go TP-heavy, getting points for them from round bonuses, the bonus card, the favour tile for placing them, and the favour tile for having them out when you pass.


With this starting turn i'm not surprised you don't get high scores. Didn't you feel the lack of workers and money in turn 2 and 3?

Building the stronghold in turn 1 is only ok when you can build 1 Dwelling in turn 1. Otherwise you will have worker shortage the whole game. In turn 2 you should build 2 dwellings. If you cannot manage that with poweractions and bonustiles you should build the stronghold in turn 2.
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