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Subject: Can the hang back and tech up strategy work? rss

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Jonathan Franklin
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Is there a winning strategy of staying back, sliding backwards from St. Louis to the start of the river, teching up to make big movement jumps, then launching forward to the win?

If so, did the designer intend this?

Thanks.
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Cédrick Chaboussit
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Hello,

This strategy is possible yes, we left it available after the playtests. It´s less interactive, luck-based, and most of the time, it does not work.

So it´s not very fun to play, but it's possible.

Mildaene used to play like this sometimes, he could talk about it.
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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Chabousse wrote:
Hello,

This strategy is possible yes, we left it available after the playtests. It´s less interactive, luck-based, and most of the time, it does not work.

So it´s not very fun to play, but it's possible.


Yes, indeed. You would need an awful lot of luck to make up for the time lost. Meanwhile, your opponents are making great strides forward. Don't try this at home, kids!
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Olivier D.
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Well I did try the extreme version of this a couple of times (ie: get furs/tools, use the first 2-3 STR character cards as a tool-stock, and trade those along with furs when interesting characters come along. Occasionally, stock up on natives. Oh and make sure to camp every turn, to deny your opponents resources ).

It actually works if you can get good combos.
You basically need a good engine, and cards that allow you to go through the mountains (and do not require horses to do so, or you'll spend waaaaay too long getting those on top of the turns you spent setting up the engine).
The characters that allow one to advance depending on the boats load were a great help in achieving this (because you don't need to spend more time restocking mid-race to fuel them, as you don't spend the resources).

Once you get the right combo, you should be flying across the map though (plus, it's always fun to go from the furthest square beyond St Louis up to the foot of the first mountain in 1 move ).

Obviously, if the other players pay attention, you shouldn't be getting that combo, because whoever doesn't want you to catch up could simply spend a native to remove all 5 characters (or buy a critical character if they have the resources), unless you're lucky enough to get the right characters during your own turn (you can also spend natives to reveal 5 new characters).

Anyway, even when using this strategy, and getting mostly the characters I wanted, games ended up being pretty tight. I clearly remember one where I lost to Cedrick because I was 1 resource (any resource!) short.

And if you feel this is too hard to counter, or don't like players doing it, I suggest adding a couple of mountain tokens 1 or 2 squares beyond St Louis. This should discourage everyone from going there
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Frederic Bush
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We played our first game and I did this strategy. I won by several turns, but I needed some key characters from the deck to pull off the big turns, and my opponents could've blocked me had they realized what was going on. You can always see 3 fresh cards with the pow-wow action, so your opponents can't totally lock you out of new cards, but that's a pretty inefficient way to try to find key cards if your opponents keep buying them up to deny you.

If you can get the card that lets you take Indian village actions without spending Indians, I think that's got a ton of potential with a hanging back strategy. Then you can accumulate all the Indians and lock your opponents out of the Indian actions until endgame, which seems pretty strong.
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Brent Wilson
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mildaene wrote:

And if you feel this is too hard to counter, or don't like players doing it, I suggest adding a couple of mountain tokens 1 or 2 squares beyond St Louis. This should discourage everyone from going there



You mean, behind st louis? As in, "backwards", right?
 
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Brandon H
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After two solo games where I lost by just a move or two, I tried this strategy. I crushed Mackenzie. Because I could camp as often as I wanted with no penalty once I was stuck in the first space, I was able to accumulate some decent (not great) cards that let me catch up on the river even after losing about ten turns. He passed me again, but then I blew past him in the mountains. He caught me once more in the second river, but three turns later, I was eight spaces past Clatsop before he even reached the second mountains. And I only did two powwows in the game -- with the cards I had, Indians in my expedition quickly became a hindrance rather than a help.

I'm sure it's much different with other players countering you, but for solo, without modifications, it may well be a sure-win.
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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CSerpent wrote:
After two solo games where I lost by just a move or two, I tried this strategy. I crushed Mackenzie. Because I could camp as often as I wanted with no penalty once I was stuck in the first space, I was able to accumulate some decent (not great) cards that let me catch up on the river even after losing about ten turns. He passed me again, but then I blew past him in the mountains. He caught me once more in the second river, but three turns later, I was eight spaces past Clatsop before he even reached the second mountains. And I only did two powwows in the game -- with the cards I had, Indians in my expedition quickly became a hindrance rather than a help.

I'm sure it's much different with other players countering you, but for solo, without modifications, it may well be a sure-win.


Yep. I've learned through my own experience how great a strategy it is in solo games.
 
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