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Subject: Factory racing and Rusviet rss

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GAF Blizzard
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Before I work on a general strategy thread regarding Rusviet balance, I wanted to talk about factory racing in particular. Is it even theoretically possible for another faction to beat Rusviet to the factory?

They can:
1. Move character and worker
2. Produce 2 iron
3. Produce 2 iron
4. Buy Township
5. Move character to factory

If they have the Industrial player card they can even do this in 4 turns. As far as I can tell, Rusviet is guaranteed to get the first Factory pick and the option of defending the Factory or giving it up before anyone else has a chance.

If I understand this correctly, surely it has to be intentional? It just seems odd to me for one faction to always have the option of first pick.


*update* Thanks to Alan Stern who posted a bunch of combos for other factions.

Results:
* Rusviet can always guarantee the Factory by turn 4-5.
* Other factions can reach the factory by turn 7+ depending on player mats.
* (7) Saxony + Industrial: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23144763#23144763
* (7) Saxony + Agricultural, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23145093#23145093
* (7) Nordic + Industrial: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23144952#23144952
* (7) Nordic + Agricultural, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23145093#23145093
* (7) Crimea + Industrial, Mechanical, Agricultural, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23145573#23145573
* (7) Polonia + Agricultura, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23147174#23147174
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Ottevaere Wouter
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You understand that correctly. But that's only the case in a game with the Rusviet faction in play.
If you play a four-, three- or two-players game, there's a chance that the Rusviet don't appear in the game (if you pick factions at random).

In a five-players game there's always the Rusviet and their ability - but hey, the other four factions have their abilities too, which will compete to the Rusviet and level it out, not?

And in my humble opinion, if the Rusviet is only running for the Factory to get first choice out of all the available Factory cards, then the Rusviet isn't doing anything else.
This is IMHO a game where you can work towards a certain goal, but then you always deny yourself others things/goals which you could pursue. But that's the beauty of this game: choices and searching the most ideal and effective way to victory. Not?

PS: I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive in Belgium... laugh
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Rob Lim
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Saxony could very easily upgrade speed and rush the factory using the tunnels too.

Or you could be like me and have the Divide and Conquer objective card (If you have 0 factory cards and occupy 2 spaces next to the factory...)
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Billy Loos
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I think that is a very fair strategy because you are essentially 5 turns behind any real development of star placement. Sure you get a power card but most people by turn 5 have 2 stars being developed.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Like the others have said: rushing the factory is leaving everything else until later.

I've done it in 4-5 turns with a couple of factions. With anyone other than Rusviet, you can do Produce then Trade to rake in the needed resources and the specific player/action mat can help or hinder this goal.

Then, there are other games where I have utterly ignored the factory. I let my opponent focus on that while I started building my engine.

This is the beauty of the game: there are many paths to victory and none is more right than the others.
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GAF Blizzard
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ascendance wrote:
Saxony could very easily upgrade speed and rush the factory using the tunnels too.

Surely they can't do it in 5 turns though?

Wout wrote:
You understand that correctly. But that's only the case in a game with the Rusviet faction in play.
If you play a four-, three- or two-players game, there's a chance that the Rusviet don't appear in the game (if you pick factions at random).

In a five-players game there's always the Rusviet and their ability - but hey, the other four factions have their abilities too, which will compete to the Rusviet and level it out, not?

And in my humble opinion, if the Rusviet is only running for the Factory to get first choice out of all the available Factory cards, then the Rusviet isn't doing anything else.
This is IMHO a game where you can work towards a certain goal, but then you always deny yourself others things/goals which you could pursue. But that's the beauty of this game: choices and searching the most ideal and effective way to victory. Not?

I understand that it may not be a good idea for Rusviet as a whole, but it just makes me demoralized that if I see a Rusviet in the game, they can ALWAYS just grab the best factory card. Except against experienced players, those first few turns may be balanced out by having a mech and Factory defense already set up that early.

claudermilk wrote:
I've done it in 4-5 turns with a couple of factions. With anyone other than Rusviet, you can do Produce then Trade to rake in the needed resources and the specific player/action mat can help or hinder this goal.

This must be what I'm missing. If you're lucky and have a 3-metal player mat, you can build a mech in say, 3 turns. But how can you move your character to the center quickly enough? It would take several turns of movement minimum.
 
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Billy Loos
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I think it can be done fast but I strongly doubt it can be done by other factions as quickly. I would like to see the turn count for the other factions.
 
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Slightly Alive
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
...it just makes me demoralized that if I see a Rusviet in the game, they can ALWAYS just grab the best factory card.


Disclaimer: I haven't played since the second and third wave of multiplayer playtesting, and am still waiting for my production copy to arrive...

...but I did get ten plays in during the playtesting, a solid three or four of which after the faction powers changed, and with a couple different versions of Factory card powers.

And throughout the playtesting, with whatever version of faction powers and Factory cards were current (and they went through a few changes), there were two things I loved about Factory cards in general:

1) There was rarely a universally "best" Factory card. There may be a best military-strategy oriented Factory card. Or a best production Factory card. Or a best money Factory card. But typically, more than one Factory card played into a totally valid strategy a player could pursue to win that game.

2) There were times when the Factory cards were merely a nice-to-have fifth action choice, and players could even win without ever going to the Factory.
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GAF Blizzard
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I understand it's a choice. I just wanted to make sure I understood Rusviet can guarantee it. I don't see any possible way for non-Rusviet 5 turns as claudermilk suggests, but I'd love to be corrected. I just spent some time counting on the board.

The fastest I can find is Saxony with a 9-turn Factory rush. All other factions are even slower. Rusviet is 4-5.
 
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Mick Whyte
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Nords can do it in 6-7 with a some trade actions and the lake mech. There lake is adjacent to the factory.
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Alan
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Cross-citation. I posted in this thread: (Saxony or Nordic) + (Industrial or Agricultural) = 7-turn Factory

EDIT: Also a 7-turn factory for Crimea + (Industrial, Agricultural, or Mechanical).
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Chris Laudermilk
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
I understand it's a choice. I just wanted to make sure I understood Rusviet can guarantee it. I don't see any possible way for non-Rusviet 5 turns as claudermilk suggests, but I'd love to be corrected. I just spent some time counting on the board.

The fastest I can find is Saxony with a 9-turn Factory rush. All other factions are even slower. Rusviet is 4-5.


I'll have to pull out my PnP (or wait on my box arriving) and look. It's been a while, but I recall that an advantageous faction/action mat combo could get there about as fast as Rusviet, but it's hard. The main thing I do recall for certain is that where Rusviet just sits on Produce, any other faction must bounce between Produce and Trade--thus gaining the required iron at the same pace.

Ultimately, IMHO getting to the factory first isn't necessarily that imperative. It's nice, but more often I've done better allowing Rusviet to focus on winning that race and getting other things done instead.
 
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GAF Blizzard
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For completeness:

Polonia 7-turn with Agricultural or Engineering:
1. Move worker + character
2. Trade for 2 iron
3. Move worker + character
4. Trade for 2 iron + deploy lake walk
5. Move character onto lake
6. (any action besides move)
7. Move character onto factory


Thanks to Alan for all the data. I edited the OP with links.
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GAF Blizzard
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Team D20 wrote:
GAFBlizzard wrote:
For completeness:

Polonia 7-turn with Agricultural or Engineering:
1. Move worker + character
2. Trade for 2 iron
3. Move worker + character
4. Trade for 2 iron + deploy lake walk
5. Move character onto lake
6. (any action besides move)
7. Move character onto factory


Thanks to Alan for all the data. I edited the OP with links.
This only works if the action board has the deploy bottom row action with the trade top row action. If not, it would take 1 more turn.

That's why I said Agricultural or Engineering. Both those boards have Trade + Deploy.
 
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J Kaemmer
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Nords can get a mech to the factory turn 4, just not with their Character.

Using Ag or Industrial mat

1- Trade, metal
2-move forest worker to tunnel space across river, other worker to mountain
3-Trade/Produce metal, deploy mech (speed)
4-move mech+worker to factory

This could serve to contest the factory sooner than the Rusviets are ready for, including a loss of popularity. If Nords go before them, they could even bolster before the Ruskies have a chance to get there. Nords will also be able to get their encounter early on with the Ag mat.

Most of Rusviet's strats revolve about a quick turnout of workers, but if you tap them out for power on turns 5-7, then they won't be able keep their engine running for long.
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Ben Horne
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Quote:
Results:
* Rusviet can always guarantee the Factory by turn 4-5.
* Other factions can reach the factory by turn 7+ depending on player mats.
* (7) Saxony + Industrial: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23144763#23144763
* (7) Saxony + Agricultural, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23145093#23145093
* (7) Nordic + Industrial: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23144952#23144952
* (7) Nordic + Agricultural, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23145093#23145093
* (7) Crimea + Industrial, Mechanical, Agricultural, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23145573#23145573
* (7) Polonia + Agricultura, Engineering: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23147174#23147174


7 of 36 encounter cards offer a mech. Polania can reach the factory on the 5th turn 20% of the time when it has the agricultural player mat and 14% of the time when it has the Engineering player mat (Engineering starts with fewer coins, and the costs don't wrk out with encounters 21 and 36).
1) move
2) trade
3) move plus encounter to build submerge or speed mech.
4) trade to build the other mech
5) move twice across the lake to factory.

You can't count on this open getting Polonia to the factory in 5 turns. However, since Polonia's return for getting to an encounter card early is very high regardless of whether Polonia gets a mech from the encounter, this open is strong whatever happens. Just rush to the encounter and see what you get. When the card makes it possible for you to also rush the factory, it's a bonus.

Nordic can also use this strategy at a lower rate, but the early encounter is not as useful in the more likely case that the encounter does not provide a mech. I often still use this open with Nordic, but Nordic has interesting trade offs here, since early moves might be better spent moving workers over the river to well protected villages for a worker/farming rush.
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Klaus Kristiansen
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Note that Rusviet is the faction that has the least use for a factory card. An important advantage of having a factory card is the ability to move several turns in a row. Rusviet does not need a factory card for that.
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Clyde W
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Sure, but they can get the Factory card in like 4-5 turns, which lets them deny others the "best" factory card. If you assume that the "best" factory card is easily the best action anyone can take in the game, then Rusivet is uniquely positioned to take advantage of it by its ability to spam the action over and over again, all the while allowing their character to move around with the bottom move action and grab encounter tokens. It's win-win-win, no?
 
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Trevor Schadt
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clydeiii wrote:
If you assume that the "best" factory card is easily the best action anyone can take in the game, then Rusivet is uniquely positioned to take advantage of it by its ability to spam the action over and over again, all the while allowing their character to move around with the bottom move action and grab encounter tokens. It's win-win-win, no?
Given that different factions and different players will have different objectives (both literally objective cards and different strategic and tactical goals), it seems highly unlikely to me that a single Factory card will qualify as the "best" card for every player.

Now, the advantage that Rusviet does is that, once they're at the Factory, they can camp there and force other players to attack them in order to dislodge and claim the territory. But then they're losing out on your stated ability to go zooming across the board encounter-hunting.
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Clyde W
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Team D20 wrote:
The ability to go encounter hunting is not that big for any faction other than Polandia. White should focus on getting as many of those as possible, while the other factions should only get them if convenient, or if they want to deny Polandia. Aiming for encounters above other actions is usually not the best move for any non-Polandia faction.
Seems like a nice side activity while you're spamming out your new Factory action 3-5 turns in a row though, doesn't it?
 
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Brandon Zappala
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
Before I work on a general strategy thread regarding Rusviet balance, I wanted to talk about factory racing in particular. Is it even theoretically possible for another faction to beat Rusviet to the factory?

They can:
1. Move character and worker
2. Produce 2 iron
3. Produce 2 iron
4. Buy Township
5. Move character to factory

If they have the Industrial player card they can even do this in 4 turns. As far as I can tell, Rusviet is guaranteed to get the first Factory pick and the option of defending the Factory or giving it up before anyone else has a chance.


Here is what has been missing from all the replies:
* Only 1 board (industrial) has produce and deploy lined up. 4th-turn factory.
* 2 boards (agricultural and engingeering) allow for move -> produce -> trade with deploy -> move to factory. 4th-turn factory
* the other 2 boards (mechanical and patriotic) require an extra turn because neither the trade nor the produce are lined up with deploy. 5th-turn factory.

Summary: Red may always get a factory on the 4th turn with 3 of the boards, and 5th turn with the other 2 boards.
 
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Andreas Hüttig
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ryudoowaru wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
If you assume that the "best" factory card is easily the best action anyone can take in the game, then Rusivet is uniquely positioned to take advantage of it by its ability to spam the action over and over again, all the while allowing their character to move around with the bottom move action and grab encounter tokens. It's win-win-win, no?
Given that different factions and different players will have different objectives (both literally objective cards and different strategic and tactical goals), it seems highly unlikely to me that a single Factory card will qualify as the "best" card for every player.

This. A lot. You can deny ONE player the best card, but "waste" 5 turns for it. Hardly very important in my opinion.
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