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Subject: Draft Table #2 rss

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Galen Kaup
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I forgot last time that 4-player games have two different formats, so here's a 3-player draft.

Player 1 gets the 1st and 6th picks, Player 2 the 2nd and 5th picks, Player 3 the 3rd and 4th. 2-game match, where Players 1 and 3 get a 1st and a 3rd, and Player 2 plays 2nd both games.

6 factions available: Elder Things, Orcs, Princesses, Steampunk, Clerics, Warriors.

The base deck has Awesome Level 9000, Cthulhu, Pretty Pretty Smash Up and Munchkin.

What's the correct pick at each spot and why? Would any of these picks change (besides occuring one pick later) if a 4th player sat down at 1st spot and we added Zombies and Cthulhu to the draft?
 
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David Lee
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This draft is difficult to interpret, largely because I've only been able to play one game of Munchkin thus far (and I haven't even tried out Warriors or Orcs yet). Nevertheless I'll attempt. This board is extremely heavy on power carries—big powered minions with slow tempo—and very light on supports. I think this draft could go a lot of different ways.

P1 picks Steampunk. I think that Steampunk is the most versatile pick because of their actions. Aggromotive and Rotary Slug Thrower will allow P1 to quickly burst down bases once it gets within 10 from the breakpoint. The other actions can provide good support, especially the Escape Hatch (to counter heavy destruction cards like Dunwich Horror and Crush).

P2 picks Warriors. I think the ability to control breakpoints using Monsters will be very useful, since the other factions have a very limited ability to kill monsters, and in light of the huge burst that a lot of these factions are able to put up at a time. Warriors also have the best access to treasure in this draft, which could definitely make a big difference.

P3 picks Elder Things and Clerics. This is a combo I've been thinking of for a while. Both factions have pretty good actions and disruptive capability, and the ability to regenerate minions will be very useful, especially to maximize Madness distribution in the form of Byakhee/Migo. The center of P3's strategy, though, is to try to combo Elder Thing or Shoggoths with High Friar to keep a consistent base breaking threat on the board. The Warriors delay plus Cleric curses will hopefully stall for long enough to perform that combo.

P2 picks Orcs for their disruption and raw power. Death Breath and Crush in particular seem like they will be very useful to try to neutralize certain key enemy minions. Their synergy with Warriors is not great, but they should provide plenty of power to keep in contention with their foes.

P1 winds up with Princesses. It's not terrible, but the potential for having terrible action-filled hands is rather high. Still, once Aggromotive comes out you basically have a guaranteed +10 power a turn, which is nothing to sneeze at. The mobility across the board that Steampunk has also complements Princesses.

I'll analyze the 4 player draft at a later time. But yes, I think the addition of Zombies and Cthulu absolutely changes the dynamic of the game.
 
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Andre Oliveira
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Considering FFA with 4 players I'd guess:

P1 Zombies + Warriors
P2 Steampunk + Cthulu
P3 Elder Things + Orcs
P4 Princess + Cleric


P1 Zombies - because it works with anything and is the strongest faction around.

P2 Steampunk - due high versatility. Very good for second place since he he can avoid warriors (who lack base actions).

P3 Elder Things - It is quite strong, the open choices warrant good possibilities. Clerics would be the second choice / desired 2nd faction.

P4 Princess + P4 Cleric - The Cleric helps recovering any discarded/destroyed princess, and their disruption delays the game enough to make for use of the talents. Removing Cleric from Elder Things and Zombies is also very desirable to prevent too much power on the table.

P3 Orcs - due good synergy with elder things allowing you to bully other players - it preferable to leave warriors for zombies.

P2 Cthulu - due a couple of interesting base actions, and synergy with the action-heavy steampunks.

P1 Warriors - due forced choice

This draft is assuming coordination to stop the zombie player after picking the strongest factions available. Zombies probably won't be allowed to end up with princess (who their minion draw complement too well), clerics (who have strong minion abilities) or Cthulhu (whose 2-power minion is highly abusable).



The 4th player might pick differently like chutulu+cleric, chutulu+warrior or princess-orc but i find princess+cleric the top choice.
 
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Galen Kaup
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It's been long enough for me to make predictions, I think...

First, 4-player FFA. I think this one is easier.

1. P1 picks Zombies. After the last time I suggested something other than Zombies first and made a right fool of myself, I think there are really only two situations to consider not first-picking Zombies in in 4P.

1) At least two of Geeks, Elves, and Innsmouth are present and you don't expect to last-pick Innsmouth or Elves, thus making your discard pile rather temporary.

2) Shapeshifters (2nd-best faction for 4P FFA) are present and the worst factions at the table combine particularly well with them.

Neither of these conditions hold.

2. Oh boy, what a mess...

In a 4-player game, Elder Things, Princesses, Steampunk, and Warriors are all strong factions. Cthulhu is a near-automatic 8th pick in 4P FFA so our most likely 2nd faction will be Orcs followed by Clerics. The Orcs would like some sort of swarm faction (they like lots of minions on the board), and confusingly enough in this draft, they probably have some synergy with Clerics (providing more good targets for Deep Friar/Bin and Gone to save, mostly).

P2 picks Clerics intending to abuse their synergy with Orcs.

3. At this point, there are 4 strong factions available, two of which P4 will take, so I consider which combinations won't work. I think Steampunk Princesses has some real variance problems since Rotary Slug Thrower will be much weaker, leaving them with one really good base action. Given that, we want either Elder Things or Warriors, and all three of the non-Elder Things factions here would love Mi-go's card draw.

P3 picks Elder Things to sidestep the risk of Steampunk Princesses and solidify their card draw.

4-5. P4 picks Warrior Princesses. I think it's slightly more solid than Steampunk Warriors.

6. P3 picks Steampunk. Elder Orcs doesn't seem good, and Cthulhu isn't worth considering.

7. P2 picks Orcs, just as they expected.

8. P1 gets left with Cthulhu, and hopes that they draw the Star-Spawn instead of some 2-player-centric crap that draws them even more Madness than the Elder Things will already throw at them.

P1: Cthulhu Zombies
P2: Orc Clerics
P3: Steampunk Elder Things
P4: Warrior Princesses

I believe P2 and P4 have the best decks. P1 will find themselves wanting to play three actions a turn with all those juicy 5-power targets to kill and might accomplish that by dumping the Altar of Cthulhu on a mediocre base nobody else has played at yet. P3 has a strong combo that usually takes a while to get rolling, which P2 and P4 won't allow with aggressive play.

In 2v2, P1+P3's chances would be quite a bit better since they can both work to slow down the game until P1 gets a Star-Spawn rolling and P3 gets Aggromotive rolling.

Now for the original 3-player question...

1. In the 4P game, this pick was Clerics to abuse the Orc Cleric synergy. In a 3 player game, Warriors and Orcs take a step up in power, Steampunk and Elder Things a step down, and the game slows down a bit, allowing us time to see more of our decks. P1 takes Warriors. With 40% of the base deck coming with monsters already in it, they're going to be very good.

2. I considered a trick with the Elder Things here, but it turned out not to work since after P3 Cleric Princesses, P2 was really not happy passing the Orcs to P1 in order to take Steampunk. P2 plays it safe and takes the best remaining faction in 3P, Princesses.

3-4. P3 grabs Steampunk Orcs, two solid factions with complimentary utility, even if they don't really have draw to enable Aggromotive/Rotary Slug Thrower.

5. P2 chooses Elder Things over Clerics, both picking draw over recursion and enabling the Princesses' 14 actions by not getting Madness thrown at them.

6. P1 gets left with the Clerics.

P1: Warrior Clerics
P2: Elder Princesses
P3: Steampunk Orcs

I'll get around to playing some of these different lines out in a few days.

Edit: Got around to playing the two 3 player lines. Here's the raw scores first...

Steampunk Princesses 14.98, Orc Warriors 15.96, Elder Clerics 10
Elder Clerics 17, Orc Warriors 13.99, Steampunk Princesses 9.99
Warrior Clerics 14.97, Elder Princesses 17, Steampunk Orcs 10.99
Steampunk Orcs 11.97, Elder Princesses 12, Warrior Clerics 13.96

The first team listed played first in that game, the last team listed played last. Decimal scores refer to the Madness tiebreaker - in game 1, the Steampunk Princesses had 16 VP and 2 Madness, ending up with 15 net VP and a 2-Madness negative tiebreaker.

The Steampunk Princesses had a dream draw early in their first game, but in the second game they suffered from a chronic minion shortage and a little too much Remove Curse and Dungeon Rule Book.

The Orc Warriors comfortably gained control of the first game as the repeated Aggromotive plays ran out of steam.

The Elder Clerics managed some good card recursion with Collection Plates and Cardinal early, but had a hard time getting enough minions in play to get Shoggoths. In the second game, they got a very "open" board with 3 viable bases to play at, spread out minions to the two easier-to-break viable bases, and then finally managed to slap down Bin And Gone at the Gauntlet. That kind of fancy play got a Shoggoth on the board, allowed saving two minions with one Deep Friar, and won the game. I need to play more games with the Clerics to say how often they can get away with this against aware opposition.

The Warrior Clerics made very little use of the Cleric actions except Bin And Gone, but the Elder Princesses and Steampunk Orcs had to chase them from base to base keeping the game "closed" in order to prevent them from hyper-pumping a minion and bouncing it around with Deep Friars. Hmmm.... Ape Clerics could be fun.

The Elder Princesses had a much easier time playing Shoggoths than the Elder Clerics because any of the six Princesses threatens Heirloom+Shoggoth on the second turn, as opposed to a single Cardinal that threatens Join the Club+Shoggoth or Good Habits+Shoggoth. They surprisingly didn't get to cast as many Skillets and Direct to DVD Sequels as I expected, since they were busy torturing the Steampunks with Power of Madness every time an Aggromotive hit the discard pile.

The Steampunk Orcs got mauled. They weren't in time to use Dogpile and their actions didn't stick. I forgot about Power of Madness being a total pain in the rear for Steampunks. I probably went wrong on their picks, but the other choices don't look much better for third player. Elder Orcs might be correct at picks 3 and 4 since, while they're weaker than Steampunk Orcs in a vacuum, Steampunk Princesses aren't exactly appetizing to second player, and Cleric Princesses + Steampunk Warriors seem a lot easier to face than Cleric Warriors + Elder Princesses.
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David Lee
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Glad you tested out the drafts! I always think the first pick is not particularly desirable in 3 player games...it's easier to pick synergistic factions in the other positions.
 
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Andre Oliveira
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Parsat wrote:
Glad you tested out the drafts! I always think the first pick is not particularly desirable in 3 player games...it's easier to pick synergistic factions in the other positions.

I always pick 8 factions for a draft for 3-4 players, so I don't feel that in 3p games.

In 1x1 we try to agree on what would be a decent match up.
 
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Galen Kaup
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I tried to chase down the correct path to take in 3P with a few more matches:

Steampunk Warriors 10.98, Orc Princesses 15.96, Elder Clerics 12
Elder Clerics 11, Orc Princesses 14.98, Steampunk Warriors 7.97
Steampunk Warriors 10.98, Cleric Princesses 14.99, Elder Orcs 13
Elder Orcs 12, Cleric Princesses 15.99, Steampunk Warriors 15
Orc Princesses 12.96, Cleric Warriors 10.96, Elder Steampunks 12
Elder Steampunks 10, Cleric Warriors 14.99, Orc Princesses 9

Here's what I've concluded for 3P:

P1 Princesses, P2 Warriors, P3 Elder Clerics (or Elder Steampunks?! if they prefer more risk and not handing P2 a clear advantage over P1), P2 Orcs, P1 Steampunk
OR P1 Elder Things?!, P2 Princesses, P3 Cleric/Orc Warriors, P2 Orcs/Clerics, P1 Steampunk.

Player 1 expects to get Steampunks back if the other two players play correctly, because every Steampunk combination except Elder Steampunks and Steampunk Princesses gets crushed. Elder Steampunks probably fare a hair better than Steampunk Princesses, but if P1 picks Elder Things and their opponents do something strange, P1 won't be better off for it. If P1 picks Princesses and their opponents do something strange, they can expect a significant advantage.

In the line starting with Elder Things, P2 could take Warriors, but I think it's slightly worse.

Assuming P1 Princesses, Player 2 stands better than average with Warriors and has no real reason to muddy the waters with Elder Things.

For Player 3, taking the Elder Clerics allows them to bury the Steampunks with Remove Curse and Power of Madness pretty effectively, so it's the safest way to a couple second places. If they go for Elder Steampunks, they're probably slightly worse but have more winning chances.

Player 2 gets Orcs at 5 whichever choice Player 3 makes.

Also, I played 2 games of 4P FFA with this set and the variance is too high to make a detailed analysis worthwhile. Suffice it to say, Steampunks are definitely better in 4P than 3P here and my suggestion of Orc Clerics was probably very wrong.

I'm inclined to think you're both right about the first pick. Getting stuck with the only real dog at 6 is more likely than getting a bomb at 1 and not having another bomb at 2.
 
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