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Samurai Spirit» Forums » Rules

Subject: No family icons drawn = automatic loss? rss

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Chris P
United States
Massachusetts
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I just attempted to play this game, and based on how I'm understanding the rules, it looks like there are situations where you are guaranteed to lose right out of the gate.
At the end of each round you lose 1 family for each player who did not defend a card with a family icon (reference: https://youtu.be/IoyVQiNHi6A?t=484). You only have 3 families to lose over 3 rounds before you lose the game. But what happens when you draw a deck that has no family icons for you to defend? The rules aren't super clear on this, but the online videos I've watched all seem to say that at the end of a round, you're supposed to re-use the same cards from the previous round (plus lieutenants and/or boss cards -- reference: https://youtu.be/IoyVQiNHi6A?t=565). If this is the case, then when you're unlucky enough to draw a raider deck with no family icons at the beginning of the game, you're doomed to lose 1 family per round per player (which, in a 3-round game is a guaranteed loss)!

It's not a negligible probability either. There are 52 plunderer cards, and only 18 of them are family icons. In a two-player game on easy you draw 12 cards. Based on this input, I'm calculating a 2.76% chance (1 in ~40 such games) per game that you will draw 1 or 0 family cards in your initial pile of 12 to start the game, leading to an unavoidable loss of at least 1 family per round and unavoidable loss by round 3.
Can someone explain what I'm missing? Please help!
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Francisco Gutierrez
United States
Burbank
California
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"A pilot's greatest virtue is to know when to run" -- "What's this, a joke?"
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The designer has suggested that if you want to play with two only samurais (which frankly feels like a tacked on game variant) then you should ensure that there are enough family symbols in the deck.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1222441/weakness-2-player-g...
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/17269566#17269566

Don't know the math at 3 or more players (or even feel inclined do so it), but the odds of no family symbols will be even less likely.
 
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Chris P
United States
Massachusetts
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That makes sense -- I guess if we split the deck and each check half the cards, then neither of us will see the entire deck (and we'll generally just focus on counting the family tokens).

Even with 2 players and 14 cards (2p normal difficulty) the odds drop to 0.89% (1:113 games), so at that point I'd even say it's reasonable to skip the counting step and just play through round 1 at risk, checking the family icon count once the round is over.

Thanks very much for your quick and helpful reply! Have a great new year.
 
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Austin Andersen
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Berrien Springs
Michigan
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It seems like you got the answer you were looking for, but if you wanted something more official, I believe if you download the most current rulebook it should be in the rules somewhere. I know that the rulebook that came with the game fails to mention it, but it is mentioned in the updated rules.
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