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Subject: Mitigating bad hands rss

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Luke
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Hi BGG

I'm interested in peoples' strategies for mitigating a bad hand in this game - for example one comprised of all low rank mercenaries.

Partly this is so that I can teach the game more effectively and showcase some of the cool metagame aspects. I don't want people to feel like a bad hand is a total dead end.

I have the second edition, so playing without Courtesan, Spring and new Bishop rules.

Sooo..

It looks like the bluffing and negotiation metagame is the only way potentially to take advantage of this bad situation. But I'd like people's thoughts on how someone might best approach this.

Firstly - am I missing any strategies for simple bluff plays?

As I see it you can bluff that you have Winter - or you can bluff that you have a high card up your sleeve that you are holding for after everyone else has passed.

But in both those cases, it looks like the best you are hoping for is to draw out people's cards as quickly as possible, and try to make sure that people who win regions do so as expensively as possible. You generally won't win and Heroine, Surrender and Drummer are going to shut you down. But the nearer you bring the table to a restock, the less you are going to be inconvenienced by your 1s and 2s.

Second - what are people's thoughts on the best way to "trade" from a bad hand position?

As well as bluffing, are there any transparent (ie non bluff) negotiation strategies which people find to work? The only example I can muster is trading off a willingness to empty your hand and bring about a restock, but I'm bound to be missing something.

Finally. which cards should you look out for in player negotiation? Bishop yes, but how best to treat that person you suspect might have a Winter card? Do you ever trust anyone who says they have Winter anyway?

In fact let's just have your stories of brilliant deals done with a bad hand devil

Cheers
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Giles Pritchard
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I played tonight and my first hand had three number cards (2, 2, 4). Luckily I also had a bishop and a surrender (so a reasonable hand after all). I played number cards, pulled them back with scarecrows, when the other players had laid out some larger cards I played the bishop. In the next battle I followed a similar strategy, using the Surrender card to throw the battle to an opponent - but milking cards from their hands in the process.

It's not always going to work, but passing, throwing a battle to an opponent when required, and using any special cards you have to draw more cards out of your opponents is a worthy goal. I ended the first round with an area won because of this, with what would have otherwise been a completely dud hand.

The more cards played the closer everyone is to a restock.

Love this game, and sometimes a bad hand is something you have to cope with, but having played both versions of this game I wouldn't trade my 2nd edition for a 3rd edition - the addition of the courtesan, spring, and the modification of the other cards leaves the game bereft of those aspects I think make it brilliant.

Cheers,
Giles.
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Randall Monk
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What Giles said. Passing, especially when a space is likely to be contested, is wise when you have a bad hand. Then pounce on the less attractive space.
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Luke
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Monkatron wrote:
What Giles said. Passing, especially when a space is likely to be contested, is wise when you have a bad hand. Then pounce on the less attractive space.


That sounds workable, thanks both.

Giles: when you talk about throwing a battle to an opponent, do you put much into deciding who that is? It seems a shame to drop a Surrender on helping someone else win a battle without furthering some other goal.

I guess I have lots of general questions about how people play, as the game seems very fluid in this respect. eg How do people share information with other players? and how far it is possible to pursue transparent (ie non bluff) strategies.

caradoc wrote:

I wouldn't trade my 2nd edition for a 3rd edition - the addition of the courtesan, spring, and the modification of the other cards leaves the game bereft of those aspects I think make it brilliant.



Actually your tubthumping on this subject was partly behind my purchase of the 2nd edition. Which shows if you bang on consistently enough in obscure forums about preferable editions of half-forgotten games, it can actually make a small difference to the world

(My sub-question is, where do you get sleeves to protect the lovely oversized cards so you never have to burn your skin on the FF edition?)
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James Smith
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toblerdrone wrote:


caradoc wrote:

I wouldn't trade my 2nd edition for a 3rd edition - the addition of the courtesan, spring, and the modification of the other cards leaves the game bereft of those aspects I think make it brilliant.



Actually your tubthumping on this subject was partly behind my purchase of the 2nd edition. Which shows if you bang on consistently enough in obscure forums about preferable editions of half-forgotten games, it can actually make a small difference to the world

(My sub-question is, where do you get sleeves to protect the lovely oversized cards so you never have to burn your skin on the FF edition?)


Yes! Well done Giles, soon we will control the World through the power of Condottiere Second Edition!

To reiterate, passing is a great strategy for a bad hand and there is no shame in it. You may only get one scrap province in the corner of the board from it, but so long as there are other players that didn't win anything you can be happy. It is not necessarily a case where you want to burn the cards quickly to get a redeal as you will compound the problem if a couple of players get more provinces than you, so get more cards in the next round. The best you can hope for is that the other players get rid of their hands fighting too much over one province so that you can swoop in with a dud hand and air of elan and sweep in a couple of cheeky wins.
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Peter Collins
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Hey Luke, sometimes nothing can be a cool hand.

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