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Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Ice Maidens - First Impressions rss

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Tim Smith
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I recently recapped my first Daily Darkling game -- first ever with Fire & Ice -- in which I royally sucked with the Ice Maidens. 98 total points. Last place.

Learned a lot from that experience, and summarized my first impressions of the Ice Maidens on the blog:

http://dailydarkling.com/ice-maidens-first-impressions/

My thoughts -

-- Fire1 favor tile to start. Need those coins!
-- Build SH late, once temples are already on the board.
-- Settlements scoring = bad, SH/SA distance scoring = potentially good.

The key challenge is building up versus building out. I built vertically too early in my game, and screwed myself with terrible resource management as well. I think building out early is better - preferably by using Bon1, Act5/Act6, and Cult spade bonuses to mitigate the extra terraforming cost to transform your "home" terrain.

All told, they are a tricky faction - not very flexible and not the most fun - so you really need to have a clear plan for the entire game...cuz mid-game strategy changes are tough for Ice Maidens.

Thoughts?
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Gurps Melendor
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I think Earth 2 and Air 2 are both possible good initial Favors. All depends of the end of turn cult bonus and the scroll bonus in the game.
 
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Chris H
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In my purely theoretical opinion (watched some games, but never played as or against Ice Maidens), they should take any of the income favors initially, which one depending on the cult bonuses.

An approach I'd consider:

Round 1, temple start and build one dwelling if possible.
Round 2, get an extra priest and a few coins from somewhere (round 1 and 2 bonus tiles and power actions) and upgrade digging twice. Build 1 dwelling.
Round 3, dig and build lots of dwellings. A spade or dwelling bonus would be handy.
Round 4-6, build temples, SH, 2-3 towns. I would prefer not to build the SA if possible; it's expensive and means one less temple on the board.
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Tim Smith
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I actually like that plan, but obviously Rd 2 requires some squeezing out other resources. Might need an Act2 + Bon3 combo or a Act4 + Bon8 combo.

It's tough to resist Bon1 as Ice Maidens - whenever its available - since the extra cost of digging your home terrain to Ice is always in the back of your mind.
 
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Chris H
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You do have 2 rounds worth of bonus tiles, 2 rounds power actions and your bonus favor tile income to work with.
I'm sure it needs some careful play, but shouldn't be too much of a squeeze between all that I hope.
 
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Michael Young
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It's tough for me to say. I really like the Ice Maidens but I haven't quite figures them out.

In some games: Fire 1 bonus makes the most sense. Knowing that I may be playing the cult track, I look at Water 2 because I like free P, Spades, and W's.

Sometimes Earth 1 or Water 1 is simply the best for points generation.

Again need more time to play and get my head around them.
 
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I think for both ice factions there is a very good reason why they have a discount on the digging upgrade (1W cheaper than normal). As they do not have a home terrain, they do need more spades than the base game factions. Dig upgrades seem to be essential with them to me.

I also agree with the stronghold to be built favourably in round 4, maybe already in round 3 (with just 1 temple) if the round bonus is available then.

An income bonus as a starting bonus seems to be a solid choice. But as others already pointed out, the choice should be made depending on the setup: If there are not many coins available (through round bonuses, temple bonus, etc.), Fire1 would be a great choice but the worker from Earth2 can help a lot as well!
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Rhett Morgan
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mrmonkeyball wrote:
I think for both ice factions there is a very good reason why they have a discount on the digging upgrade (1W cheaper than normal). As they do not have a home terrain, they do need more spades than the base game factions. Dig upgrades seem to be essential with them to me.


I find this to be very true in most of my ice faction games. The power of "locking in" your terrain coupled with cheap (and in my view necessary) dig upgrades makes up for the loss of home terrain and the factions are definitely worse without it.

As for opening favors, I think we can all agree that it is a situational decision.
 
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Rhett Morgan
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That being said, obviously if you can get by without upgrading your dig early as an ice faction, you should definitely do so. I'm guilty of promoting early upgrades with several factions but competition over spade actions and tiles help keep other factions from expanding faster than usual.

Upgrading your dig early shifts your actions towards the worker-action and away from competition for dig actions and thus helps everyone expand faster - not necessarily what you want.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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As an ice faction you should upgrade digging no later than round 3. By building a temple in round 1 you get the necessary priests, you need only 2 workers and should have grabbed act4 at least once. Contesting for spade power actions is always problematic, if you do you can’t take act4 and will lack money.
I can’t see why Ice Maidens ever should want to build a SA, even if there is a round bonus they will probably gain 5 points and lose 3 at the same time. Only scoring that might be good for them is border.
 
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1869 wrote:

I can’t see why Ice Maidens ever should want to build a SA


Because they don't plan on building their SH? Similarly to Witches, Ice Maidens don't really need to build their SH to win.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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Well, if you don't need the points it generates to win, you don't need to build the SH. If that directly leads to building a SA I don't know. In most games having 15 buildings is quite enough.
 
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Robert Stewart
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Obvious reason for Ice Maidens to build SA: lets them form a town with just 2 other hexes not 3

Secondary reason for building SA: TE>SA is cheaper than _>D>TP>TE for getting a Favour.
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Mc Jarvis
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mrmonkeyball wrote:
I think for both ice factions there is a very good reason why they have a discount on the digging upgrade (1W cheaper than normal). As they do not have a home terrain, they do need more spades than the base game factions. Dig upgrades seem to be essential with them to me.


I agree with this--- with the caveat that if round-to-round cult favors give free spades, you might not need digging. I was able to pump out a pretty convincing game using fav6 and fav8 to give me flexibility while I navigated the rounds:

http://terra.snellman.net/game/So1xMj0xMo1xAe0

Though maybe this win is not that impressive, since I was uncontested for cult tracks.

Quote:

I also agree with the stronghold to be built favourably in round 4, maybe already in round 3 (with just 1 temple) if the round bonus is available then.


I would prefer to start the stronghold later, just so you have the option of getting some income going more quickly.

Quote:

An income bonus as a starting bonus seems to be a solid choice. But as others already pointed out, the choice should be made depending on the setup: If there are not many coins available (through round bonuses, temple bonus, etc.), Fire1 would be a great choice but the worker from Earth2 can help a lot as well!



My personal preference is air2, as power provides the flexibility you'll need, plus it gives a little more cult favor than fire1. Of course this will depend on the specific cult bonuses offered that game--- though fav6 could be good in any game, potentially.

I do think you need to leverage the income from cults the whole game to maintain momentum. It's hard to get going with ice factions, but you can plan some pretty aggressive bonuses, especially if air and water are the boni being offered early.
 
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