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Subject: 3 player game, countering Mandatory Quests? rss

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Keith Burgun
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What do I do if in a 3 player game the other two players basically take me out of the running early on by piling several MQs on me at once? This has happened to me several times in the vs. computer version, so jokes about "find new opponents, those guys are jerks!" won't help. Anyway even if I was playing vs. people, I'd like to know what the counter to being repeatedly MQed is.

Thanks!
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Chris Linneman
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How do several MQs take you out of the running early? They give you a few VPs, so you only lose maybe 4-6VPs as compared to spending those cubes on a quest. I think this is more or less comparable to the effect of many other intrigue cards. It's when they get played on you late that they can take you out of the running because you don't have enough actions left to complete them and your other quests.

If you do get hit by several MQs, just solve them and move on. You could also try to dig through the Intrigue cards for the one that lets you ditch a quest for 6VPs; however, I'm not sure this would be worthwhile if it means you are giving up other good opportunities.
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Donny Behne
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Are you playing easy AI or hard AI? I don't know if Playdek has updated, but last report around here was that the AI difficulties were reversed. I've won against Hard but never against Easy.

QBert80 wrote:
How do several MQs take you out of the running early? They give you a few VPs, so you only lose maybe 4-6VPs as compared to spending those cubes on a quest.


A) You only get 2 or so VP for a three cube turn in.
B) Some of those cubes are of the priest/wizard variety making them more valuable.
C) You have to spend one or more turns getting those cubes back, preventing you from pushing forward with quests.
D) Those same cubes are a part of a quest worth 10+ VP on its face but also a quest that your Lord needs at end of game scoring making it worth that much more.

Its never just a 4-6 VP loss with one MQ. Now imagine you got three at a time. Its a significant setback to get more than one, especially all at the same time.
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Keith Burgun
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Glad you agree, Donny! If you get 2, 3 or 4 of them early game you're WAY behind.

Playing against "medium", which is actually hard.
 
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Gamer D

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keithburgun wrote:
Glad you agree, Donny! If you get 2, 3 or 4 of them early game you're WAY behind.

Playing against "medium", which is actually hard.


Yeah the AI can be ruthless sometimes, they're actually pretty skilled, I was impressed! I won my last couple of games facing two medium AIs but I really have to play well to beat them.

One thing that helps is to work on groups of quests simultaneously rather than focus on a single quest then grab another. So have two or three quests you are actively pursuing at once and gather the adventurers you need for them as a combined pool rather than just gathering the adventurers for a particular quest. That way if you happen to get hit with a mandatory quest you are more likely to already have the adventurers you need and hopefully won't need to take an extra action just to get something you're missing.

Also as above even when you have a mandatory quest continue working on the other quests. Eventually you'll finish the mandatory one either way and then hopefully finish another quest immediately afterward. So don't go out of your way to go to the Plinth for instance just for a mandatory quest if there is a juicy special building with extra cubes you'll need for a more valuable quest.

My rule of thumb is that special buildings take priority regardless of who owns them because they give you the biggest bang for your action buck. I typically try and buy a building in the first turn or two that matches my lord's preference or that has an otherwise handy ability, and maybe buy a second building before turn five if the opportunity presents itself for one with a nice fit. Then I use the special buildings first and foremost and give second priority to using my intrigue at the harbor (since the harbor is kind of a free action.) I also treat the quests in the inn that I like as if I'm working on them even if I haven't grabbed them yet so that when I do get a chance to grab them I'll be that much closer to finishing them. This also helps with mandatory quests because it means you have a bigger pool of cubes already in stock when you are hit by them.
 
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Noreen
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dugman wrote:


I typically try and buy a building in the first turn or two that matches my lord's preference or that has an otherwise handy ability,


What do you mean by a building that matches a lord's preference? Thanks!
 
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Kris Van Beurden
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ngwilliam wrote:
dugman wrote:


I typically try and buy a building in the first turn or two that matches my lord's preference or that has an otherwise handy ability,


What do you mean by a building that matches a lord's preference? Thanks!


If you have a subterfuge lord, buy a building that either produces or gives you Thieves, for example.
Same for piety & clerics, warfare and warriors and mages for arcane. Money for mercantile I guess.
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Andrew Gristina

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I've not been able to get out from under more than one or two MQ. The best way is continue to pursue your core quest strategy and cycle intrigue cards.

The best counter is the card that allows you to discard MQ card for 6- that actually turns a small profit on MQ cards.

The push strategy is to MQ them back.

Not sure if there are other valid strategies, other than not coming out of the gate too fast. There is a certain attitude of tearing someone down if they get out of the gate too quickly.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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This is one reason I'm getting tired of LoW. Mandatory quests can end up being a pain in the butt if you get piled on.
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Gamer D

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Thunkd wrote:
This is one reason I'm getting tired of LoW. Mandatory quests can end up being a pain in the butt if you get piled on.


To be fair other attack cards hurt too, and likewise if the opponents give each other all the side benefits of their utility intrigues then that hurts you too. So really it's not mandatory quests that are a pain, it's when the opponents all ally against you with their intrigue cards in general. Mandatory quests just happen to be the most visible card because they stick around in your quest pile until completed, but honestly the penalty for them isn't worse than the other cards.
 
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
honestly the penalty for them isn't worse than the other cards


The penalty is worse on Round 8 when it keeps you from finishing anything.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
honestly the penalty for them isn't worse than the other cards


The penalty is worse on Round 8 when it keeps you from finishing anything.


It depends. It forces you to gather resources you might not otherwise. And depending on what is in short supply and how hotly it is contested, that can be more or less painful.
 
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Gamer D

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alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
honestly the penalty for them isn't worse than the other cards


The penalty is worse on Round 8 when it keeps you from finishing anything.


That's not worse than if they play an attack on you that steals a cube you need on the last round.
 
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Chad Miller
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dugman wrote:
alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
honestly the penalty for them isn't worse than the other cards


The penalty is worse on Round 8 when it keeps you from finishing anything.


That's not worse than if they play an attack on you that steals a cube you need on the last round.


That can often be countered with only one action. MQ require at least two actions, barring Change of Plans.
 
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Gamer D

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SlebRittie wrote:
dugman wrote:
alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
honestly the penalty for them isn't worse than the other cards


The penalty is worse on Round 8 when it keeps you from finishing anything.


That's not worse than if they play an attack on you that steals a cube you need on the last round.


That can often be countered with only one action. MQ require at least two actions, barring Change of Plans.


And to compensate for that the mandatory quest gives you some victory points to make up for the extra half action or full action you lost over another attack card.
 
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Chad Miller
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Given that the cubes themselves are worth 1VP at the end of the game, spending 3 cubes to get 2VP is a net loss of 1 point, which is almost strictly worse than just losing a cube. The exceptions give 4VP and require 2 of Wizard/Cleric, which depending on the board can be even worse than that.
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Gamer D

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SlebRittie wrote:
Given that the cubes themselves are worth 1VP at the end of the game, spending 3 cubes to get 2VP is a net loss of 1 point, which is almost strictly worse than just losing a cube. The exceptions give 4VP and require 2 of Wizard/Cleric, which depending on the board can be even worse than that.


Except that the cards which make you lose a cube directly either give that cube to another player or give another player victory points or some other benefit if you can't lose the cube or make ALL players lose a cube (or some combination of those). Mandatory quests affect only one player and give no direct benefit to the opponent who played it. So the extra -1 victory point balances out with the opponents not being directly involved.
 
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Chad Miller
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Now you're arguing something completely different than where you started. Even in a 3-player game, you're asserting that the opponent getting a benefit (which may be as little as an Intrigue card which is almost worthless on the last turn of the game) harms you specifically twice as much as the actions you have to waste playing catchup, which is not generally going to be the case.

The original statement was that getting hit with an MQ was no worse than getting hurt by the other cube-stealing cards, but you're making arguments about how beneficial the cards are to the person who played them. In a 2-player game, these concepts are identical, but in a game with 3 or more players they are not. It is indeed quite possible for an action to help the person doing it less but hurt you more.
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Gamer D

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SlebRittie wrote:
Now you're arguing something completely different than where you started. Even in a 3-player game, you're asserting that the opponent getting a benefit (which may be as little as an Intrigue card which is almost worthless on the last turn of the game) harms you specifically twice as much as the actions you have to waste playing catchup, which is not generally going to be the case.

The original statement was that getting hit with an MQ was no worse than getting hurt by the other cube-stealing cards, but you're making arguments about how beneficial the cards are to the person who played them. In a 2-player game, these concepts are identical, but in a game with 3 or more players they are not. It is indeed quite possible for an action to help the person doing it less but hurt you more.


I've been arguing the same point the entire time. The overall effect of a mandatory quest on the game isn't much different from other attack cards. A mandatory quest takes away some of your cubes but gives you a few points back as compensation. By comparison an attack card takes away one or two of your cubes and either gives it to an opponent or gives your opponent victory points or another benefit or it takes away cubes from multiple people to the indirect benefit of whoever played the card (or some combination).

So all those cards have roughly similar impacts on the overall outcome of the game. Some hurt you more and help the opponents less but the overall effects on who is going to win are basically on par with each other. Mandatory quests are not overpowered compared to the other attack cards, the only reason people really seem to hate them more than other attacks is psychological in my opinion.
 
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Mandatory quests are not overpowered compared to the other attack cards


Bull.

An attack card in the base game takes ONE cube from you. That cube will take 1 assignment to replace. It is annoying, but probably won't break your game.

A MQ played on you, on the other hand, effectively takes THREE cubes from you. Those cubes will take 3 assignments to replace, absent certain buildings, or the Change of Plans card. Additionally, if this keeps you from finishing anything else at the end of the game, those 3 cubes could have been played for a quest with a much better reward than 2-4 VP.

You're comparing rewards without comparing the ASSIGNMENTS needed to attain those rewards.

MQ's are often basically "you lose" cards played at the end of an hour-plus game, which is lousy design for a multiplayer (more than 2P) game. In my experience, when MQ's hit someone in the final 2 rounds, either:

(a) The leader was so far ahead it was a waste of tempo, or

(b) The MQ dropped someone to third/fourth/fifth place and the person who played the MQ still didn't win, they just helped someone else win.


 
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Gamer D

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Again though you're not looking at how the other players are effected by the other attack cards. If the attack card gives an opponent a cube it saves them an action getting the cube and takes an action for you to replace versus he mandatory quest that takes two or three actions to replace but that gives you some points and your opponent nothing. Or the attack cards that take cubes from multiple opponents and/or give the player free cubes or points.

Anyway obviously this is going nowhere, I'm just going to agree to disagree, stand by what I said and move on.
 
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
Again though you're not looking at how the other players are effected by the other attack cards. If the attack card gives an opponent a cube it saves them an action getting the cube and takes an action for you to replace versus he mandatory quest that takes two or three actions to replace but that gives you some points and your opponent nothing. Or the attack cards that take cubes from multiple opponents and/or give the player free cubes or points.


It still doesn't add up. Your opponent gets a reassignment from playing the MQ on you, so they don't get nothing, they just get nothing from the Waterdeep space. If they can get two Waterdeep spaces in a row, they get a powerful double reassignment, which can often be better than two spaced out assignments, especially if they have the "return assigned agents" quests, which give them even more options.

Let's take the worst case scenario: someone plays an attack Intrigue card. It is either:

(a) Take 1 cube from 1 player (which is +1 to one player and -1 to another player), or

(b) "Everyone returns a cube to the bank" and for those who could NOT do so, the attacker gets a benefit. So that's either -1 to another player or +1 to the attacker, per player, but not both.

In case (a) the attacker saves 1/2 action, and the defender effectively loses 1 action.

In case (b), even if the attacker gets +4 cubes (2 actions, probably the one for fighters) that is basically +1 1/2 actions to him (he would otherwise have needed Field of Triumph twice) and no penalty to the others.

In the case of a MQ, the attacker spends 1/2 action to cost another player 2-3 actions, everyone else has a net 0, and that's on a good day. Since the defender also has to focus their actions on finishing the MQ before they can do anything else, they probably will lose other assignments to valuable buildings as well, while they're working on the MQ.

MQ's cost far more actions than other Attack intrigues, and it isn't even close.
 
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Chad Miller
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After playing some more on the iOS version, I have a hypothesis: I think the AI estimates who's winning on some kind of heuristic that takes resources into account. This means that early-game if you're grabbing resources and not quests, it's possible for the AI to suddenly decide you're actually a lot farther ahead than you are and pile on as a result. I've now had multiple games open along the lines of:

-Use Field of Triumph
-Use Aurora's Realms shop
-Get hit by two MQs in Round 1
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Chad Miller
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dugman wrote:
I've been arguing the same point the entire time. The overall effect of a mandatory quest on the game isn't much different from other attack cards.


What you originally said was:

Quote:
That's not worse than if they play an attack on you that steals a cube you need on the last round.


This is a very different statement.

Quote:
the only reason people really seem to hate them more than other attacks is psychological in my opinion.


Or maybe it's because even if we were to accept your assumption that the utility to the player using the card is the same, your conclusion is incorrect. If your opponent has two actions that are equal in utility to that particular opponent, they can still have very different expected utility for you.
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Chad Miller
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SlebRittie wrote:
After playing some more on the iOS version, I have a hypothesis: I think the AI estimates who's winning on some kind of heuristic that takes resources into account. This means that early-game if you're grabbing resources and not quests, it's possible for the AI to suddenly decide you're actually a lot farther ahead than you are and pile on as a result. I've now had multiple games open along the lines of:

-Use Field of Triumph
-Use Aurora's Realms shop
-Get hit by two MQs in Round 1


Well, I can now say from experience that completing your first non-mandatory quest on turn 6 because someone timed out, and his AI replacement then proceeded to play four mandatory quests on you and use all its beneficial Intrigue cards on the other player is really obnoxious. I think this one may have had something to do with me being the only player with buildings because I was losing by every other metric.
 
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