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Subject: Alliance in advance rss

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Harold Godwins
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Hi everyone,

My playgroup and I have now played several games of GoT, with every time a different winner and it seems that we are a balanced playgroup. Next friday, we'll be playing again (6-player game).

Yesterday, two friends of mine (also playgroup members) suggested that we make an alliance in advance - meaning that the three of us will support each other during the game and make sure that one of us will win. We came up with some plans for this:
1. We won't let the others know that we have this alliance, so we're likely to make 'pacts' with other players.
2. None of the three of us will scr*w over another member of our alliance, unless it is an instant win.
3. We will try to win for ourselves, but when it becomes clear that one of us will not be able to win, he'll help the other two.
4. We won't deliberately 'give' each other castles; our decisions should be more or less logical ones and in accordance with the idea of the game.
Of course, I can never be sure that they were honest yesterday and that they won't deceive me ;)

How do you guys feel about these ideas and this sort of alliance? Is it fair in regard to the other players, or is it a recipe for a very boring session? I should also say that the six of us is a very vicious and cunning bunch, so after the game on friday they'll probably feel that ours was a great, nasty idea and they'll want to get back at us the next time we play.
 
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Martin Hall
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I think making alliances are OK, but making them before others have a chance to do so is less OK.
I suggest agreeing a house rule about whether pre-game diplomacy is permitted or not.

That about the alliance I don't like is agreeing to king-make in favour of certain players under certain conditions. Geography means only some players can balance against certain others (eg Lannister/Greyjoy rarely interact directly with Martell).
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Harold Godwins
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Well you certainly have a good point there, perhaps we should randomly decide who will play which house.

About the 'house rule': also a good idea. Pre-game diplomacy has been done before in our playgroup with other games, so we don't feel like we're being totally unfair by doing so.
Are there any other players who occasionally make pre-game pacts/alliances? And what 'rules'/agreements/strategies do you use?
 
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Ruben
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In a Game of Thrones nothing is certain, plot al you want, you're always going to wonder if they are going to backstab you, even more so now that they already have some more information...or so they think.devil
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Whisperer wrote:
1. We won't let the others know that we have this alliance

This is the only no-no for me. This is taking events outside of the game into the game. (It may also encourage taking events in the game to outside of the game.) You may decide that you allow private side-bars in the game, but the other players should at least know that you're talking, although not about what or the details.
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Joe Reil
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Whisperer wrote:
Well you certainly have a good point there, perhaps we should randomly decide who will play which house.


I'm generally agreeing with Martin, here.

Quote:
About the 'house rule': also a good idea. Pre-game diplomacy has been done before in our playgroup with other games, so we don't feel like we're being totally unfair by doing so.
Are there any other players who occasionally make pre-game pacts/alliances? And what 'rules'/agreements/strategies do you use?


Well, kind of. This reminds me of a group of players I'd play Diplomacy with - we all worked in the same office and would have two or three sessions of Diplomacy a year. This was a big event for us and we'd actually draw countries a full week ahead of the game and for that entire week we'd all be scheming and plotting with each other.

Of course, in this case everybody was involved and knew about it. If that's not the case I'd say that pre-game plotting/alliances are not really fair to all of the players.
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roftie
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Whisperer wrote:
How do you guys feel about these ideas and this sort of alliance? Is it fair in regard to the other players, or is it a recipe for a very boring session? I should also say that the six of us is a very vicious and cunning bunch, so after the game on friday they'll probably feel that ours was a great, nasty idea and they'll want to get back at us the next time we play.

I would say it depends on your group of players. If they are used to backstabbing and playing tricks on each other, then it should be fine. In the Diplomacy games that I played in the past, this scenario typically always happened when there was a player new to the game: while one of the experienced players was busy explaining the rules to the new player(s), the others were already surreptitiously planning how to divide the lands of those involved in the rules explanation between them.

Don't count out the possibility though that the other players could catch on to what you and your two friends are doing during the game. I doubt it go on completely unnoticed.

Whisperer wrote:
Well you certainly have a good point there, perhaps we should randomly decide who will play which house.

I think if you are not used to playing random houses, you should definitely do so for this game. If you all play neighbouring houses, then at least one player will be restricted in his options on the board due to your pact. Random house assignments also prevent you from planning opening strategies together long in advance.

Whisperer wrote:
Yesterday, two friends of mine (also playgroup members) suggested that we make an alliance in advance - meaning that the three of us will support each other during the game and make sure that one of us will win.
...
Of course, I can never be sure that they were honest yesterday and that they won't deceive me

So the two of them approached you together...? I would suggest you reach out to at least one other player (in secret of course) and make some kind of pact with him/her, just in case your two friends are setting you up to be backstabbed.
 
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Harold Godwins
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Quote:
Well, kind of. This reminds me of a group of players I'd play Diplomacy with - we all worked in the same office and would have two or three sessions of Diplomacy a year. This was a big event for us and we'd actually draw countries a full week ahead of the game and for that entire week we'd all be scheming and plotting with each other.

Haha, sounds cool Although I'm not sure if picking/drawing houses a week ahead of the game would work in GoT, because then the alliances made before the game could be too strong.

Quote:
Of course, in this case everybody was involved and knew about it. If that's not the case I'd say that pre-game plotting/alliances are not really fair to all of the players.

Well, we're not entirely sure, but we think they have been plotting too. For future games, I think the idea of making clear that pre-game alliances/pacts/diplomacy are allowed is a fair solution.
 
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Harold Godwins
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Quote:
So the two of them approached you together...? I would suggest you reach out to at least one other player (in secret of course) and make some kind of pact with him/her, just in case your two friends are setting you up to be backstabbed.

Yep, I'm a bit afraid that the alliance will be just the two of them, mainly because I won the last time and I backstabbed one of them
 
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Joe Reil
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Whisperer wrote:
Haha, sounds cool Although I'm not sure if picking/drawing houses a week ahead of the game would work in GoT, because then the alliances made before the game could be too strong.


It was pretty epic. You'd have two of us meeting to discuss some legitimate work-related thing and everybody walking by would give them these suspicious sidelong glances.

But yeah - this probably wouldn't be great for GOT, I was mostly pointing out that pre-plotting can be OK, but if it's going to happen everybody should be aware of it and have the capability to engage in it.

Quote:
Well, we're not entirely sure, but we think they have been plotting too. For future games, I think the idea of making clear that pre-game alliances/pacts/diplomacy are allowed is a fair solution.


I think a clear statement to everyone that it's allowed and/or encouraged would make it more fair.
 
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Dean the mean
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My advice is alliances kill the game.
treaties pacts and conditions are what make it fun. (the you scratch my back and ill scrath yours kind of thinking)
there is a player in my group who will not assist you in any way if you have attacked or hurt them in any way earlier in the game. also they will never break an alliance until round 10 (either because that's them or because breaking the alliance wouldn't work for them, I don't know) but these type of alliances ruin the game for the other 4 players so to speak.

Basically I don't want to sit down at a board game (keep in mind im quite competitive) and play for sometimes 3 hours or more to find out I was just so someone else could have there almost guaranteed victory.

I think in the best interest of the playing group and for the sake of future games you shouldn't pre plot to the extent of "i'll help you win if I have no chance"
 
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Lars Panzerbjørn
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gamer42_au wrote:
I think making alliances are OK, but making them before others have a chance to do so is less OK.


Presumably these people know each other well enough to have each others phone numbers/email addresses/Google or Facebook user name....
So everyone can do this.

Having said that, I would suggest randomising the houses just before you play.
Our first couple of games, everyone picked their favourite house, but after it has been randomised...
Exactly to prevent Stark & Greyjoys dividing Westeros between them :-D
 
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Joe Reil
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Panzerbjrn wrote:
So everyone can do this.


To my mind, even if everyone can, it's still not really fair unless everybody explicitly knows that it's allowed or encouraged.

The reason for this is that I don't think this is not something most people would think to do and/or would think that it was not OK unless told otherwise. Therefore to make it fair, everybody should be told up front that it is allowed and/or encouraged.
 
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