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Subject: The Mongol Horde vs the Viking Scourge rss

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Chris Laudermilk
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Again randomly selecting faction and player mats, I am the Crimean Khanate--the Mongol Horde, while my son is the Nordic Kingdom, aka the Viking Scourge. Again, we are on opposite sides of the map, making this primarily simultaneous solitaire. So, this was mainly a Euro worker placement feel to this game.

I found that my player mat combined with one of my objectives would quickly (and did) deplete my popularity to zero. Oops! Ok, bail on the objective star--one forced me to make placements I didn't care for and the other was involved and unlikely. No problem, I'll get stars doing other stuff.

I quickly got to the mountains to obtain the iron for deploying my Riverwalk mech, while also deploying several workers to get production rolling quickly. I needed to get to the Factory fast to get best choice of extra action and hopefully counteract the popularity and power drains I already addled myself with. Fortunately, I had time as we were far apart and my son was neglecting to work on his Riverwalk; he mistakenly thought the worker ability to swim negated the need to the ability for a while.



I quickly made a beeline for the center once I obtained the ability. Success! I found a great card, trading one combat card for three resources plus the double move. Just what I needed!



I then proceeded to expand my territory, focusing on upgrades and enlistments to boost popularity "income." I ended up doing so well at this goal that once I got the popularity engine rolling, it spent the last third of the game bouncing off the max. I was somewhat less successful with the power, but had enough to serve my purposes.

Over a number of turns we each concentrated on building our economic engines, and it appeared my son had a strong advantage for a while as he had a bigger pile of cash--but I was investing early on. After a while my engine started kicking in as enlistments accumulated and I spent more turns returning to the Bolster action where my card's lower action generated three coins each time (late game it was 3 power or two combat cards, one bonus popularity from the monument stationed there, and an upgrade plus three coins. Cha-ching!

While I was working on my little empire, my son was concentrating on upgrades. He was also chasing his objective of 9 or more resources in one territory. That's a risky one! In fact, it turned out to be a double-edged sword. By the time he achieved that star, I had built up my mech brigade and had Wayfare on the board. I realized that this ability combined with Speed, and having the Factory card gave me an interesting opportunity.

Time for a raid! My son stockpiled his resources-oil--in the mountains right by the rived on the Rusviet side. Opportunity knocks, and I was prepared to answer. Using Wayfare I jumped two mechs to the Rusviet base and staged them for the raid. I did have to chase Bjorn and Max back to their base, so first the one fight of the game. I had amassed just enough power to be able to max out--and used Scout to steal a 5 combat card! Woo! So I used that plus one of my own and overpowered the two, sending them packing. The road was clear.



Next, I sprung the raid. The Mongol Horde invades! So again using Speed, doubled movement from the Factory and Wayfare, one mech charges in, sweeps up the oil and runs home. He didn't realize just what I had pulled until a turn later.



Soon after that my son scored his 5th star and I realized we were dangerously close to end-game. I had taken care of the resources for scoring, now to address territories. My son had neglected to really move out of his home territory, so my mech camped out at the Factory was never challenged. Good. So, I used my upgraded movement and dispersed units far & wide for maximum scoring.

Then my son indeed made his last recruit and scored star #6, ending the game.



So, I ended up taking the win based on raiding resources and spreading my horde of workers as far as I could. Lessons learned from the last game failing to take care of either served me well.

This game was entertaining on several levels. The strategy is still developing and I see more and more that there will always be a different path to the end goal. This player mat and faction mat had some definite synergies assisted by a Factory card that helped offset the early handicap. I'm looking forward to a fuller game, or at least one where we are neighbors as the proximity should significantly change the flavor of the game.
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Joe Pilkus
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Chris,

Great report, as always!

It's interesting to read about a game in which the person who garnered their 6th star didn't win. Let us know the final score and the calculations that got you there.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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Actually both game we have played panned out this way. I placed the 6th star the previous time, yet lost.

In this one, he had $32 cash and I had $31. He had 6 stars to my 4. We were both at the top scoring bracket with popularity.

The telling part was territory and resources. He had 4 hexes and 1 resource. I had 9 hexes (including the Factory), and about 15 resources.

Final score was 132 to 83.
 
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