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Subject: Strategy 101 notes rss

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Skip Thompson
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I see there are no messages on strategy yet. I thought I would post some random observations. If somebody has others, or I am playing something wrong, I would appreciate hearing.

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Captured mounded Chiefdoms are not degraded until the end of the turn, try to recapture them before this (after Hopewell era).

The rest deal mostly with the Hopewell era.

The Ho-Chunk are the strongest native opponent. Their army is a strength of 4, and never in decline. They have 3 revolt cards, all with them in ascension. Their wilderness (free buffer) space is way out at position 5, making it of little benifit. Push your peace pipe on this track at every opportunity. (This disputes one review I read which said all tracks were the same.)

Try to mound cheifdom's with low mounded defense values (easier to defend).

Try to have a peace pipe on every track by the end of the Hopewell era, otherwise the enemy on that track starts Missisippian phase right against your stockade (not good).

You get only 10 cards in the Hopewell era; 10 turns to build your empire. Keep this in mind as you decide what to do each turn.

Give some priority to mounding those trade goods that are most scarce. I.e., there is only 1 seashells chiefdom, if you don't mound it, there is no way to trade goods from it.

Give some priority to activiy on a track in decline that turn, you get a -1 modifier to die rolls there.

You do not get the "busk" (2 die roll) bonus on a track until you get a peace pipe there. If you are unlucky and get a plain cheifdom with a value of 4 on position number 1, you will need to roll a 5 or 6 with 1 die in order to place your peace pipe on it. You need to do this, but it may take several of your precious action points. Hopefully there will be a turn with that track in decline, but don't count on it (with 2 cards being removed, making this uncertain). If it is on the Ho-Chunk track, you know you won't get a turn in decline. Just bite the bullet and keep throwing die rolls at it at every opportunity.
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Wes Erni
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skipper1947 wrote:
I see there are no messages on strategy yet. I thought I would post some random observations. If somebody has others, or I am playing something wrong, I would appreciate hearing.


I am very happy you chimed in here. VPG czar Alan Emrich has always gently restrained me from initiating strategy talk ("let the players experience the joy of discovery on their own"), but I now feel free to share some additional insights.

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Quote:
Try to mound cheifdom's with low mounded defense values (easier to defend).


Assuming the Advanced game -- strain to "Mound" weak (Plain '2') tribes whenever there is a favorable modifier. The Defense improvement is not stellar, but they resist Revolt, and most importantly make great "batteries" to be "Looted" whenever there is need. Given the proliferation of "Caddo in Decline" cards in the Hopewell Era, Mounding any weak tribe their (at 1 AP), gives crucial reserves for the other (less bountiful) Warpaths. Of course, these "batteries" are inefficient to readily replace after the Hopewell Era, waiting around for "the next Decline" can be frustrating. In my early playtests, I used to enjoy my "Cahokia card" by "embracing the Buzzard Cult", or launching a grand offensive -- nowadays, I tend to simply recharge all my "depleted batteries" to flexibly handle all the horrors the game can throw at you.

Mounding strong tribes is a great tactic, but very expensive in the Hopewell Era (where the tribes undiscovered are gone forever). There were two games however, that I did mound Obsidian in the Hopewell, and I was very pleased with the results.

Quote:
Try to have a peace pipe on every track by the end of the Hopewell era, otherwise the enemy on that track starts Missisippian phase right against your stockade (not good).


Great general advice, but if there is a strong tribe in Dickson, don't be a slave to that philosophy. In that case, I try milking all the Warpaths to my satisfaction (and wait for the Ho-Chunk revolts to pass), before attempting a push North needing 5's, and 6's. Frequently, I just spend 2 AP's to click Cahokia to "E", and hope I don't get "nuked" on the first Mississippi turn (yes, I once suffered a -39 VP overwhelming Defeat). The silver lining to the Ho-Chunk, is that they are the least threat to Cahokia (at least in terms of number of Advance cards), counterbalanced by their extreme resilience (frequently, I just keep building up the Palisades, while hoping for a Revolt to back them off, and then Powwow them). I am perhaps scarred by the game in which Obsidian appeared in Dickson, and I expended buckets of Action Points before it was Incorporated (and nearly had a nervous breakdown when I rolled for a Revolt before "consolidating" my Ho-Chunk foothold).

I've had two nasty games where the combination of a strong tribe and no favorable modifier, has left me with a Southern army (the 2's) at my doorstep. These have to be dealt with immediately (the Cherokee in particular are woodpeckers).

Quote:
You do not get the "busk" (2 die roll) bonus on a track until you get a peace pipe there. If you are unlucky and get a plain cheifdom with a value of 4 on position number 1, you will need to roll a 5 or 6 with 1 die in order to place your peace pipe on it. You need to do this, but it may take several of your precious action points. Hopefully there will be a turn with that track in decline, but don't count on it (with 2 cards being removed, making this uncertain).


When you get this situation, I like to wait for Decline (hopefully supported by redundant "batteries" on the Caddo, and/or Shawnee Warpath). Often however, I will also fire a few stray shots... er...I mean sermons their way on those "Ho-Chunk turns" -- If I hit, I burrow immediately to the free parking space (Wilderness).

Quote:
If it is on the Ho-Chunk track, you know you won't get a turn in decline. Just bite the bullet and keep throwing die rolls at it at every opportunity.


Good luck, it is fantastic to 'Hit' immediately, not so much if you need 8 rolls (been there). I would suggest using a "Caddo turn" (the Decline on the other Warpaths are too precious) to strike north, preferably after some Ho-Chunk Revolts have passed.

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Skip Thompson
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Wow, if I knew you could not write any strategy tips until somebody else did, I would have written some little "seed" post several days ago.

I have not tried the advanced rules yet, I was debating if I should try them in my current game or not. I think I will read your post a couple more times, then try them out.

I guess I should sign this as "grasshopper" (hopefully that witty referral to an old TV program is not lost..)
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Curt Sellmer
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Austin
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Be prepared, the advanced game is significantly more difficult. I seem to frequently get a Black Tortoise card early in the Mississippian era and not having that one guaranteed ambush (extra die) per turn makes a huge difference.

I had one brutal game where I got the card with three Black Tortoise symbols as the first draw of the Mississippian era and rolled six for an immediate revolt in Cahokia. And no I had not fortified it at all during the Hopewell era. Ouch!
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Curt Sellmer
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Another strategy tip... Don't roll ones!

Rolling ones in this game is particularly nasty. yuk
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Skip Thompson
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sellmerfud wrote:
Another strategy tip... Don't roll ones!


Good advice. I once had my palisades built to almost the maximum when it was attacked. I was like "hah.. I scoff at your puny attack on my palisades!"

Of course, I rolled a 1. I was not amused.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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sellmerfud wrote:
Another strategy tip... Don't roll ones!

Rolling ones in this game is particularly nasty. yuk


Another tip: Don't roll 1s and 2s nine times in a row, it's a sure fire way of getting wiped out - I speak from experience here
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Matt Deuber
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Wes did chime in on something that I always get hit with...

Rolling a one on a revolt in the Hopewell, driving your Peace Pipe back to Cahokia. Oooh, I hate when that happens. I always try to get a foothold when I can.

Yet another good thing I heard about Alan. Holding back his designers from too many strategy articles too early. I know you must have really wanted to give some hints, Wes. I am enjoying your game, and I have now played enough that I can browse the strategy articles, hehe.
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Howard Massey
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mdeuber wrote:
Wes did chime in on something that I always get hit with...

Rolling a one on a revolt in the Hopewell, driving your Peace Pipe back to Cahokia. Oooh, I hate when that happens. I always try to get a foothold when I can.

Yet another good thing I heard about Alan. Holding back his designers from too many strategy articles too early. I know you must have really wanted to give some hints, Wes. I am enjoying your game, and I have now played enough that I can browse the strategy articles, hehe.


How do you get a 'foothold' if your peace pipes are shoved back ??
Can you advance a peace pipe after its retreated from a Revolt?
If you can, is it economic to waste APs to get it advanced back to the last organized space?

"Yet another good thing I heard about Alan. Holding back his designers from too many strategy articles too early."
How is that a 'good thing???

"Game support? Let 'um figure it out themselves"

 
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Matt Deuber
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What I mean by foothold is not just stopping at the first area. If you only have a peace pipe in the first area, a revolt roll of one will remove it. If the peace pipe is further a revolt will not remove the peace pipe, so it's easier to regain ground. Reentering a warpath means rolling one die again.

Rule support..yes. A huge 'how to win' manual by the designer on day one? No thanks.
 
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