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Subject: Soldiers more important than Merchants or Clerics? rss

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Ludwig Seitz
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Over the course of several plays of this game, I'm getting the impression that soldiers (and their red buildings) are a must have in order to be able to win, whereas the other colours are more "optional", i.e. you can win without them.

Let me try to elaborate:

1. Without soldiers you cannot conquer the capital in the early game (before the yellow mercenaries or the green templars). You are thus getting one less action than the players who choose military buildings.

2. The clerics' VP buildings are not as effective in generating points as conquering territories with soldier buildings. Only the late green buildings generate more than 5 VPs (I'm not counting the catacomb, since it requires two active citizens, a green and a blue and therefore I value it like two actions at 4 VPs each), and conquest has the additional advantage of harming the other players.

3. The merchants' buildings are not as effective, since they mostly generate VPs by buying character cards. Here the soldier player can compete, thus denying the merchant player VPs (the soldier has both Thieves and Mercenaries that generate money, plus the emergency money from the turn order card), however the merchant cannot prevent the soldier from conquering territories.

Note that I'm not saying that pure red is better than say red-green or red-yellow, but I'm currently working under the assumption that you need red in the mix.

What do other's think of this?




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Tylor Kim
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I also think military power is necessary to win.
But if I can have yellow mecenary or green templar or both, I think it might be possible to win without red cubes. I'd like to test such a strategy.
Actually these two buildings seem to be more powerful than original red buildings.
And if I fight on the territory adjacent my castle, it will be more efficient to get VPs.
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Korea Boardgames
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While I think it's true that you need military power in order to win the game, I think a combination of green and yellow buildings is enough to get the needed military. Note that it is unlikely to win if you only invest in 1 color and often a mix of 2 colors is sufficient.
The monastery and the Templar Knights are both very effective military buildings, while on the yellow side the Mercenary Guild can give you the edge over the other players.
It also depends on the player count. In a 2 player game it can be crucial to get to the palace immediately to draw another citizen. In a 3 player it can be enough for going the green/yellow way while the two other players are fighting over the castle and then attack in the second age, when you got the Mercenary Guild and the Templar Knights. With that combination you have a military power of 5 which is enough to attack the other players castle and through the use of a monastery you can fortify which also means more points at the great council.
So yes while I think military power is very important and often red buildings are the easiest way to invest in military, I think it's very much achievable without red buildings.


Really the interesting thing about King's Pouch is that there are so many different strategies to follow and while yes you need the military power that doesn't mean that you need red buildings.
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Ludwig Seitz
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Korea Boardgames Dev wrote:
While I think it's true that you need military power in order to win the game, I think a combination of green and yellow buildings is enough to get the needed military. Note that it is unlikely to win if you only invest in 1 color and often a mix of 2 colors is sufficient.


I don't agree with that last statement. Pure red has everything it needs to win (money, VPs through conquest, military, additional drawing).
I'm not saying it's unbeatable (especially if someone is competing for the red buildings) but it sure has a fair chance of wining on its own. Plus by playing pure red you make sure you control your cube draws.

Quote:

The monastery and the Templar Knights are both very effective military buildings, while on the yellow side the Mercenary Guild can give you the edge over the other players.

They come late (sometime during the second age). You are loosing tempo by not investing in red buildings. The red players get to do more actions since they can conquer the capital by turn 2 and consistently re-take it during their turns, ensuring that they always have one more action than you have.

Make no mistake! I really like the game (otherwise I wouldn't spend so much time analysing it), but I would have liked red to be a bit weaker.
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Mark Gerrits
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I think you overestimate the worth of that extra action. Unless someone is leaving the center uncontested, that extra action is just being used to get enough military to reconquer the center. That's still 5 points per turn but not really more actions. (That's assuming one single action gets you enough military to conquer the center which certainly isn't the case in the beginning, so it's even worse then)
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Ludwig Seitz
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Runkst wrote:
I think you overestimate the worth of that extra action. Unless someone is leaving the center uncontested, that extra action is just being used to get enough military to reconquer the center. That's still 5 points per turn but not really more actions. (That's assuming one single action gets you enough military to conquer the center which certainly isn't the case in the beginning, so it's even worse then)


You are right, at the beginning of the game you need more than one (red) action to get enough military to conquer the center.

Nevertheless, spending one or two actions to:

1. Gain a new action
2. Gain 5 VP
3. Possibly cost another player 1-3 VPs (if it's a scoring round)
4. Force other players to react if they don't want to let you keep the extra action

Still seems like a very good deal to me, compared to what the other colours can do early in the game. Also note that several red buildings have nice side effects in addition to generating military strength. So while you are spending actions to generate the military, you are also making money or eliminating corruption or drawing extra cubes.

I would be interested to read a session report of a green-yellow player beating red-* or pure red players, anyone?

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Simon Schwanhäußer
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Ludwig Seitz wrote:
Runkst wrote:
I think you overestimate the worth of that extra action. Unless someone is leaving the center uncontested, that extra action is just being used to get enough military to reconquer the center. That's still 5 points per turn but not really more actions. (That's assuming one single action gets you enough military to conquer the center which certainly isn't the case in the beginning, so it's even worse then)


You are right, at the beginning of the game you need more than one (red) action to get enough military to conquer the center.

Nevertheless, spending one or two actions to:

1. Gain a new action
2. Gain 5 VP
3. Possibly cost another player 1-3 VPs (if it's a scoring round)
4. Force other players to react if they don't want to let you keep the extra action

Still seems like a very good deal to me, compared to what the other colours can do early in the game. Also note that several red buildings have nice side effects in addition to generating military strength. So while you are spending actions to generate the military, you are also making money or eliminating corruption or drawing extra cubes.

I would be interested to read a session report of a green-yellow player beating red-* or pure red players, anyone?



One thing that is missing from the discussion is the fact that additional draws are not the same as additional actions. The deck-controlling is a little more complicated than that: For example, if you draw a corrupt as your 6th draw or a specialist you don't need, then this draw is basically wasted.

So... military has additional draws as deck-control option (also via other buildings) but if you -for example- have an Inn (free pouch reset) and a good mix of specialists you can have more efficient draws all game long (and you don't need to care about corrupt officials either).

Another issue is the fact that military loses a lot of strength if there is no player competing for the areas closer to the red players base. If you consistently need to pay 5 or 6 army to get the 5vp from areas next to my base and i just conquer them back using only 2 army, then you will lose out in the long run.

I also think that there are several crucial buildings for military strategy that can destroy you if you let them go to another player (notably monastry and templar knights).
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Eric Engstrom
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Trying to rule a feudal society? Need soldiers.
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