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Subject: What makes Acolytes attractive? rss

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Robert
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Right now I'm in eight games now with the Fire&Ice expansion factions enabled, and in six of them somebody picked Acolytes. To be more precise, in four of these six games, Acolytes were the first faction picked. In the seventh game, nobody could take the Acolytes because I had first pick and chose Dragonlords, and only one of these games is without a Vulcano faction. I certainly expected that people pick expansion factions to check them out and stuff, but is there something which makes Acolytes more attractive than the other five new factions? Or is this just an anomaly of my small data set?
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Francis K. Lalumiere
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Not sure: we always pick at random...
 
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Gustavo Alves
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It could be because of the attractiveness of fire.

You know, some people just want to watch the world burn.
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Rhett Morgan
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I really like the Acolytes for several reasons.

A) they're a high-power faction. It might not seem like it at first but utilizing the cult tracks properly will produce a ton of power.

B) Cult bonuses. Deft maneuvering can get you a ton of cult bonuses.

C) End game cult points - you're basically guaranteed them. Works better in a 4 Player game but there really is no competition.
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Robin Zigmond
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Prodigaldax wrote:
C) End game cult points - you're basically guaranteed them. Works better in a 4 Player game but there really is no competition.


I've not played them yet, but I'm surprised to read this. I had always thought that, with the Acolytes, you kind of have to choose between endgame cult positions and area, or at least keep some balance between the two. I know the stronghold ability helps you to go back up those cults, but I'm surprised to hear that you're "basically guaranteed" to win the cults. What if Chaos Magicians and/or Auren are in the same game?
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Rhett Morgan
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I think in that case you give up top scoring in probably one cult - the one that provides the lowest bonus throughout the game.. and the one you're going to probably use the most for your digging. Basically guaranteed may be a bit of hyperbole but with players competing with priests you can lock things up fairly easily. Auren are a bit more difficult but that's probably a good thing for the game.
 
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Rafael Ramus
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I have no idea because I'm yet to play any of the new factions (I still waiting for the expansion and I seldom play at the snellman site).

So I just know why I like them already without ever playing it.

I think it is mainly because of the new mechanic. They sound fun, more so than probably all other factions of the expansion (well, almost. I'm really, really eager to try Yetis as well).

I can't wait to scream at my poor gaming neighbor, after I get up on the fire cult track right to the 8th spot, before the end of round 1: POWER! UNLIMITED, POWER!.
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Robin Zigmond
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Rafael Ramus wrote:
I have no idea because I'm yet to play any of the new factions (I still waiting for the expansion and I seldom play at the snellman site).

So I just know why I like them already without ever playing it.

I think it is mainly because of the new mechanic. They sound fun, more so than probably all other factions of the expansion (well, almost. I'm really, really eager to try Yetis as well).

I can't wait to scream at my poor gaming neighbor, after I get up on the fire cult track right to the 8th spot, before the end of round 1: POWER! UNLIMITED, POWER!.


Not sure how you're getting to 8 in round 1. You start at 3, and you could build the stronghold and get a priest, hopefully grabbing the "3" spot - but that only takes you 4 up, to 7. You're surely not planning on building a temple as well in the first turn? I guess you might just get a second priest, in which case you could get all the way to 10 (well, except that you're surely not getting a town in round 1 as well)
 
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Rafael Ramus
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robinz wrote:
Rafael Ramus wrote:
I have no idea because I'm yet to play any of the new factions (I still waiting for the expansion and I seldom play at the snellman site).

So I just know why I like them already without ever playing it.

I think it is mainly because of the new mechanic. They sound fun, more so than probably all other factions of the expansion (well, almost. I'm really, really eager to try Yetis as well).

I can't wait to scream at my poor gaming neighbor, after I get up on the fire cult track right to the 8th spot, before the end of round 1: POWER! UNLIMITED, POWER!.


Not sure how you're getting to 8 in round 1. You start at 3, and you could build the stronghold and get a priest, hopefully grabbing the "3" spot - but that only takes you 4 up, to 7. You're surely not planning on building a temple as well in the first turn? I guess you might just get a second priest, in which case you could get all the way to 10 (well, except that you're surely not getting a town in round 1 as well)


Oh, come on, so many ways to do it! First, it is not that hard to grab 1 priest in the first round (you can grab the bonus tile, or the priest action, or even pay 5 if you're blocked but managed to leech a lot). Second, don't forget that tile that gives you +1 in any cult. Also, don't forget that the Spade bonus tile also gives you +1 instead (I've got this right, right?).

So, let's say I build a Te, favor fire+1 (or water+2, using the +1 cult), send a p for +3 and the tile that gives you +1 or the spade tile. Or I build the SH, send p to fire and use another priest, or the spade tile or the cult tile, or even the spade action if I think I'll block someone and still benefit from it.

I don't know, I haven't played the expansion yet. I'm just telling you it seems atractive, so I understand why people are trying to figure them out.
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Robin Zigmond
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Yeah, you're right - I'd overlooked both the cult bonus tile, as well as the fact that spades can be used for a cult advance. (I've not played them yet either, but my copy of the expansion arrived yesterday and I've been unboxing it tonight. Hoping to play this weekend, but as of yet I'm not sure if we have a game night on tomorrow.)
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Chris Linneman
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I think the volcano factions are particularly attractive right now because most people are picking expansion factions. This means in a four-player game only one terrain type is considered opponent-controlled, so you get the low terraforming price for six out of seven terrain types

Also the ability to terraform so much early in the game is quite powerful in general.

I'm not sure why people are picking them over Dragonlords except that having greater access to power actions might be a deciding factor.
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Tomek Ka
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Prodigaldax wrote:

C) End game cult points - you're basically guaranteed them. Works better in a 4 Player game but there really is no competition.


You can't be more wrong. Acolytes can be high in cult tracks only if they give up network and final scorings, what is really bad idea.
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Rhett Morgan
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Cortzas wrote:
You can't be more wrong. Acolytes can be high in cult tracks only if they give up network and final scorings, what is really bad idea.


I'd like to know what you're basing this rather bold statement on. My experience in 3p differs and, while it isn't 4p, I believe the result can be replicated. How many times have you played the acolytes to say this? I can say I have given this a shot at least four or five times now and had no issues.
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jon dee
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I think acolytes simply is interesting because they add more possibilities for optimization. Getting cultbonus one round just to sacrifice them later, while also getting alot of power while building up culttracks is looking like a rewarding gameexperience there has to be tried, nomatter how well they do.
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Nathan Kaplan
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I haven't tried them myself yet, but I've played a bunch of live games with very good players and the following fun little trick comes into play around the midgame:

1. Have SH and water2 favor (+1 cult)
2. Get to level 7 on any cult track
3. Drop 3 for a volcano
4. Send a priest back to your stock to go back up 2 and water2 to go back up 1, gaining 4 power
5. You just turned 1 preist (and didn't deplete your stock!) and your water 2 action into 4 power and a volcano.

The water2 favor is crucial because it allows you to stop depleting your priest supply on the cult tracks.

I can also confirm that in the 4 and 5 player games I've been in, the Acolytes do well on the cult tracks and also the network bonus.
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Ben Master
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Their weaknesses do seem to outweight their strengths. Basically they need great cult bonuses early to maximize their advantage.

That said, they are somewhat close to darklings in that priests are often worth about a dig for them.

still, seem like a quite tough race to play. I'm very impressed with the creativity of the new races, less impressed so far with their apparent balance. But for all but the shapeshifters, i'm open to taking a wait and see approach to assessing when they might shine. For the acolytes, it really does seem to be about a great stretch of cult bonuses they can exploit early.
 
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J
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I don't know what makes the Acolytes specifically attractive but Fire overall is very attractive to pick first especially online. I mean sure there is the oooooooo new and shiny aspect right now but there's a little more to it.

Since you don't choose your starting color til the end it gives you a lot of flexibility to decide your game after everyone else picks and when you play online this is huge. IRL this is usually not that big of an issue. The more experienced players can help guide the less experienced ones to make sounder choices that doesn't grant an innate big benefit or detriment to any one player.

However online I have encountered people who don't seem to have a clue what they are doing or are trying to purposely screw around. For example It's shocking to me the number of times someone readily picks a faction sandwiched between 2 other colors while passing over one that is very reasonable with no terrain neighbor. Even worse is when I pick a color only to have 2 people who pick after me bump up right next to me again for no reason other than they are probably picking based on what faction they want rather than how good they are in the given situation. Sure it's much worse for me than them but still.

Fire has none of that. "I need to pick first? Well might as well guarantee that no dingo is going to put me at a disadvantage before the game even begins." If some people pick River walkers or Ice even better as the value of both River walkers and Ice drop with Fire in the game and with the current oooooooo new and shiny mentality it seems likely.
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Robin Zigmond
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I think that you're ovetestimating the importance of proximity on the terrain wheel. I used to think it was really important too, and clearly it does affect the game - but as I've got better I've found it's become something I hardly ever think about when choosing a faction. The scoring sequence, cult bonuses, and - frequently most important of all - the bonus tiles in play are far more important factors in faction selection, and if they cause me to pick, say, Witches when blue and grey have already been selected, then it won't really bother me.

Perhaps I now undervalue terrain proximity (or lack thereof), but I definitely once overvalued it, and to me it sounds like you do so at the moment.
 
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Petri Savola
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Acolytes are strong because they're so flexible. I don't expect to score 180 points often with them, but they do have a good chance to win. They're very strong if there are many coin and worker cult bonuses early in the game, see for example this game, where I will build 4 towns.

As for terrain colors I think there are pairs which absolutely hate each other, most important pair being green and gray. It's hard to see how these two colors can co-exist very well on any map.
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Robert
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robinz wrote:
I think that you're ovetestimating the importance of proximity on the terrain wheel. I used to think it was really important too, and clearly it does affect the game - but as I've got better I've found it's become something I hardly ever think about when choosing a faction.
So if Dwarves and Mermaids are already in the game, you'd still pick a green faction if the conditions are otherwise nice for that green faction? surprise I would certainly rule out a green faction in such a situation.
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Robin Zigmond
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DocCool wrote:
robinz wrote:
I think that you're ovetestimating the importance of proximity on the terrain wheel. I used to think it was really important too, and clearly it does affect the game - but as I've got better I've found it's become something I hardly ever think about when choosing a faction.
So if Dwarves and Mermaids are already in the game, you'd still pick a green faction if the conditions are otherwise nice for that green faction? surprise I would certainly rule out a green faction in such a situation.


Well, I never said my (current) approach was right In that situation there would certainly be a "downgrading" of the green factions in my head, but there probably aren't that many faction choices left anyway if 2 have already been picked. If in that situation I thought that say Witches were a good fit for the game conditions, and no other remaining faction looked good, then I certainly would pick Witches. Although, as I already said, I make no claims that it would be successful

Actually, you just made me look back through my list of games to see if there were any recent ones where I did pick a "sandwiched" faction. I had to go back a little way, to the last league season, but the first one I found was this one: http://terra.snellman.net/game/4pLeague_S3_D3L3_G7 - which, coincidentally but very conveniently for my argument, happens to be a win, against some strong players (or at least ones of a similar standard to me)!
 
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Robert
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robinz wrote:
Actually, you just made me look back through my list of games to see if there were any recent ones where I did pick a "sandwiched" faction. I had to go back a little way, to the last league season, but the first one I found was this one: http://terra.snellman.net/game/4pLeague_S3_D3L3_G7 - which, coincidentally but very conveniently for my argument, happens to be a win, against some strong players (or at least ones of a similar standard to me)!
Ok, you won...
Halflings, Nomads and Giants are the factions which aren't affected as much by a "sandwich" position: Halflings have the cheap spades, Nomads have the sandstorm and to a Giant any non-red hex looks the same (though Fire&Ice changed that).

[Edit: deleted Giants from the list of less affected factions as per Thrar's comment below.]
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Rhett Morgan
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Acolytes shouldn't care about being sandwiched as their starting terrain doesn't matter after start anyway?
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robinz wrote:
I used to think it was really important too, and clearly it does affect the game - but as I've got better I've found it's become something I hardly ever think about when choosing a faction.


robinz wrote:

Well, I never said my (current) approach was right In that situation there would certainly be a "downgrading" of the green factions in my head,


Me thinks someone doth not know theyself well . While I cannot deny that I do place a big emphasis on the wheel when picking my faction (it's usually the first thing I look at) I don't purely pick on wheel alone and the situations I was more referring to were situations were say Halflings (for example) were very viable but still people pick Witches. I'm sure you would agree given a situation where a very viable less sandwiched pick was still there you'd definitely consider it a litter harder than one sandwhiched. Being alone (on the wheel) is great and in and of itself a nice advantage to have. Not needing to fight as heavily for key locations frees you up to focus on other stuff.

As for your game, well first of all good job with your win, but when it comes to being sandwiched Nomads find it a little less, how do you say, problematic than most races namely because Red generally is a much less aggressive neighbor. In the eyes of Giants your yellow regions are the same as everyone else's regions and Chaos Magicians have only place to start whereas you have 3 making him far more scared of you than you of him.

Hmmmmmmmmmm looking at your position Green would be the natural choice based on wheel... but yeah those cults and round bonuses are terrible for green. Looking Nomads are very good in that set other than the whole sandwiched issue but I probably would have picked Dwarfs since I put a higher value on the wheel than you do. To each his own amIrite? cool
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Chris H
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DocCool wrote:
Halflings, Nomads and Giants are the factions which aren't affected as much by a "sandwich" position

I agree on the Nomads and Halflings, but disagree on the Giants.

As Giants, every red tile that gets taken by someone else means you need to spend 2 extra spades to make up for it. As Nomads, chances are it's costing you just 1 spade, and as halflings it's only costing you one worker.
A Giant's wheel neighbors (yellow and grey) are going to be somewhat less affected because they can take any terrain, but for Giants, losing multiple red tiles is a pretty big issue.
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