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Swing States 2012» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Having Fun with Fiascos rss

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E D
United States
wilton
New York
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Basic game or with candidates? I usually found it a little easier to win as Democrats. Trying to remember my strategies...
 
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Wes Erni
United States
Wisconsin
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I wrote the comment below to respond to another Swing States thread -- but it also seems appropriate here. I have been generally discouraged by VPG from giving specific guidance to effective play (they want you to discover it yourself), but a little help is considered OK. My "Extended example of play" was an attempt to include the basic Republican "playbook" once the Fundraiser "engine" was kick-started, as much as describe nearly every aspect of play. Below is a copy of my response to the other thread:

The Candidate game was not playtested nearly to the extant of the Standard game, so I am not sure about individual comparisons. I do know I was hitting at a 70% success rate with both parties in standard (though with radically different play styles). The Republicans are all about the Fundraising, their base superior position in-game, giving them the luxury of very long-range thinking. The game engine they can create in the endgame can be overwhelming (of course it better be good to compensate for the inherent Democratic advantage in the "locked" states).

I have actually pulled off some impressive victories fundraising with the Democrats, but you really are "skirting the cliff", and some embarrassing Sudden defeats occurred. It is quite possible to win with Democrats by not fundraising at all, just trying to hang on to the "winning position". Fundraising requires an "all-in" philosophy, or not at all -- the game can severely punish inefficient play.

The key to consistent success, is exploiting the "unevenness" in the game. If there was never any modifiers, the player is at hopeless disadvantage. But by ruthlessly exploiting the "highs" and carefully minimizing the "lows", a great deal of success can be had (both parties). Carefully exploiting the "Scandal-free" times around Debates can make the Surrogate into a dynamic weapon (as is using the surrogate to negate Scandal). Planning ahead to maximize the defensive advantages, but remaining poised to "strike" when the moment is right can be quite the trick, but well rewarding when executed perfectly. Knowing the secrets of the deck can be a big help -- my success rate didn't start out at 70%, nor would be anywhere near that rate today (haven't played in a couple of years), due to the deck no longer being "seared" into my brain.

Lady luck will upset even the best play at times, but there are tools to become a consistent winner available -- it just wasn't designed to be easy, even one of the designers has never won on any consistent basis.
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Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
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justdoit wrote:
A belated "thank you", GameBreaker, for your detailed response. I'll have to give this game another go, while my interest is at a higher level due to the current presidential campaign.


I'm planning on playing the game a number of times and in a bit more depth this year, due to the presidential campaign.

I agree with Wes's point about knowledge of the decks in VPG games.

It took me about 100 plays of Ottoman Sunset to become acquainted enough with the cards to pull out an 'international victory'! And I still enjoy that game immensely.
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