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Subject: Anyone find the water/viking/bison faction to be the weakest? rss

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Brian Nguyen
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I know they're inherently hard to play as, but every time i've played they've ended in last or second to last. Their racial ability seems counterintuitive since you generally want to move workers with mechs to maximize efficiency.
 
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Bruce Chandler
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tekshi wrote:
I know they're inherently hard to play as, but every time i've played they've ended in last or second to last. Their racial ability seems counterintuitive since you generally want to move workers with mechs to maximize efficiency.

Seems to me that the weakest faction would be the one that always finishes last?
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Greg
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I won with them in a 5 player game.

Their swimming allows them access to all the territory types right away without having to build a mine or riverwalk mech. Workers can also swim back to their home territories (safer area) without needing a mech to carry them.

I think the faction abilities may each have their own strengths and limitations. And they may alter a person's play style, or they may not work as well for people that aren't willing to try different approaches.
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Danwarr
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Seaworthy and Artillery are fantastic mech abilities. Swimming also allows for the building of mechs outside of the starting territory early in the game. So, while other factions are limited to moving out from their faction location via Riverwalk or secondary mech movement power, the Nords can already have a mech or two roaming around the middle of the board. Having Seaworthy also means that you are never set back in terms of tempo from losing a fight and makes it very dangerous for opponents to move around the map.
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Bit Wizard
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When I first started playing I thought they were the weakest faction, but the more I play the more I think they might be the strongest, just harder to play. First game I played with them I lost badly, but now that I'm more experienced in the game I have won every time I have played them.
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Rob Edens
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I came in a close (2 pts) second with them. I think the key is adapting to the style of the faction you're playing. I used "enlist" and "upgrade" a lot in the early game and exploited the neighbor bonuses quite a lot. Once the Rusviet started taking a more aggressive posture I made my Artillery Mech as a 'deterrent'. Heh!

One of the things I really enjoy about the game is the that it challenges you to make the best of use of the factions. I like seeing new perspectives on game play because of this.
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Ben Rubinstein

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I've only played the game once, and I was blue. I came in 4th/5. White won, and he said he thought white was strongest, as it had won 4 out of 5 games he had played in. Similarly, someone else in these forums said white was wining a large majority of their games too. I do think blue is hard and white is easy. Not sure if that directly correlates to better/worse.
 
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Jason Brown
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What makes this conversation funny is this thread that argues that the white faction is the weakest in the game.

To each his own, but I've found value with all 5 and have won and lost with all 5. The key is to adapt your play style to the faction's strength. With swimming workers, the Nords have the ability to build their engine faster than anyone else as they aren't pigeonholed into their starting tiles. There are villages directly across the river on both sides that allow you to reproduce and go. I like to go east, secure the farms, and get all 4 enlistees out in rapid order. The Rusviets may kick them off eventually, but they typically go right for the factory and give me time to farm. You can also go west and have the whole area to yourself (until Scythe: Invaders from Afar drops).
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Mathue Faulk
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I'm 1-1 with them. Their ability is great early on...
 
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Bruce Chandler
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
What makes this conversation funny is this thread that argues that the white faction is the weakest in the game.

To each his own, but I've found value with all 5 and have won and lost with all 5. The key is to adapt your play style to the faction's strength. With swimming workers, the Nords have the ability to build their engine faster than anyone else as they aren't pigeonholed into their starting tiles. There are villages directly across the river on both sides that allow you to reproduce and go. I like to go east, secure the farms, and get all 4 enlistees out in rapid order. The Rusviets may kick them off eventually, but they typically go right for the factory and give me time to farm. You can also go west and have the whole area to yourself (until Scythe: Invaders from Afar drops).

My experience shows that the weakest faction is the one that I'm playing...
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Derek Dyer
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Standard answer for every thread like this: The game was heavily playtested. Everything is balanced. Your extremely small dataset is not enough to base conclusions upon.

Your opinion is valid, and maybe this isn't the faction for you personally, but that only means when you have to play them, the game will be more rewarding on the whole. You'll either lose and learn more, or you'll win and understand more.
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Dave Moser
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TheJoat wrote:
My experience shows that the weakest faction is the one that I'm playing...

Thanks - this represents my experience precisely.

Which so far has taken nothing whatsoever away from the fun. Despite losing, I can look back at each game and see something that I did better, some insight I gained, something that felt more intuitive. Some way in which each game was particularly surprising and entertaining. Every game has ended with me feeling the urge to immediately play again if only to avoid that one glaring mistake I made in the last game.

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Chris Hewlett
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TheJoat wrote:
tekshi wrote:
I know they're inherently hard to play as, but every time i've played they've ended in last or second to last. Their racial ability seems counterintuitive since you generally want to move workers with mechs to maximize efficiency.

Seems to me that the weakest faction would be the one that always finishes last?


Haha yes.

There are so many choices that define who wins, including overall game strategy, the actions of other players, short term tactical decision making, factory card and combat card draws and even player temperament/experience etc. These impact massively on the game, and I find it funny that balancing discussions are so limited to faction and board choice.

Everyone will find different factions easier or harder to win with as certain play styles will come to us more naturally than others. Trust the sheer volume of play-testing data that was gathered. Lets focus on improving our own decision making abilities with a particular faction instead of claiming balance issues.
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Kara S
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In my group, the Nordic Kingdom has been the winningnest faction, largely due to their early spread with Swim.

(Ps - it's a musk-ox )
 
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Adrian Todea
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I played once with the blue faction and came 3rd out of 4 players I think. Was 1st game so didn't expect a lot.
It did seem a bit hard to venture out, yes you can swim but there's not a lot of metal around you to start deploying mechs - mechs are best at transporting.

What I didn't like was the mat (Mechanical) it gives 2 coins for three of the bottom row actions and no coins for upgrading - I found it hard to achieve anything with it as I think upgrading is important even if you don't get a star for doing it in full.

I'm sure there are player mat/faction mat combos that are easier or harder to play or grasp, especially for new players.

In saying all this I do like the game and I'm sure I'll become better at playing these combos that seem a bit harder for me at the moment.
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Ginny Eiseman

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I don't find it to be the weakest at all. I've played all of the factions multiple times. That faction has one several times with our crowd (in fact the last one won with it). My least favorite faction is yellow because of no combat cards but it has won several times too. Some of the factions when combined with the random boards are harder. Especially if you have a certain style you like to play, meaning if you like to be an aggressor and do combat or if you naturally gravitate to a more care bear style it can be a struggle. What I think works best in this game is to see the boards you have, look at their strengths and then build a strategy on those. It can stretch your comfort zone but I find that a good thing. I also think it does take playing a couple of times to really get comfortable. The nice thing is that you can play it over and over again and it isn't the same old game.
 
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Philip Morton
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tzutzy wrote:
I played once with the blue faction and came 3rd out of 4 players I think. Was 1st game so didn't expect a lot.
It did seem a bit hard to venture out, yes you can swim but there's not a lot of metal around you to start deploying mechs - mechs are best at transporting.

What I didn't like was the mat (Mechanical) it gives 2 coins for three of the bottom row actions and no coins for upgrading - I found it hard to achieve anything with it as I think upgrading is important even if you don't get a star for doing it in full.

I had some trouble with the same combination (though it was only my second game--I'm not trying to put this forward as evidence that there's anything wrong with the combination).

I tried to go Village -> move workers to Farm -> alternate between Trade(oil)+Upgrade and Produce+Enlist, but I was going five workers, not eight, so I was producing very little excess to contribute towards anything else, and had no mechs to take advantage of openings left by the opponents.

I had an amazing game with Yellow/Mechanical later--trade for metal while getting up to eight workers, speed mech distributes the eight across the mountain/field, then each produce gives enough for a mech and an enlist...I ignored upgrade entirely and didn't really feel like I was missing anything (I definitely missed mechs, in the prior game).

Was trying to think if I could have done something similar with Blue, but I think the villages being across the river trips up getting a mech to distribute the workers once you have them, since a speed mech can't carry them back to your home area...If you could get all eight on the western village, I guess you could go to the mountain further west, but I think that takes a second move action initially to get your second worker over there.

If you really want eight workers efficiently you're going to end up with four to the east and four to the west...trying to think what you can do from there....
 
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Phillip Millman
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In a three player game (my first and only so a statistically worthless n=1), the Nordic faction took the factory quickly. Built a second mech on it (worker was there) and held it for most of the game. Crushed the Saxony. Crimea had to secure another strategy but eventually took the factory.

Not weak at all.

Having said that I misplayed the underpass ability thereby limiting the power of Saxony.

P
 
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Benjamin Lindvall
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I don't think blue is the weakest, I think white is. Blue has won twice out of 7 games at my table. It should be noted Red was not in either such game.

Blue's problem is that its passive text is primarily there for the map its being played on. Workers shouldn't be selected for individual movement except at the very beginning of the game, for the most part. I don't find it to be a balance problem as much as an "unfun" problem.

However, due to their text, they're the only faction I would ever attempt a mechless game with. I just can't imagine playing without mechs to be much fun other than the challenge of trying to win that way.

 
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Klaus Kristiansen
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
You can also go west and have the whole area to yourself (until Scythe: Invaders from Afar drops).


Or the yellow peril.
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James Williams
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In my first game, I played Nordic in a three-player game and won with 105 points (others 56 and 39). The swim ability allowed rapid expansion and growth, and I could gain enough resources to balance all aspects of the game.

I upgraded my build ability first and got all buildings done quickly
- The "buildings by lakes" bonus card was out and I was able to get my Temple on the factory (beside 3 lakes)
- Built my tunnel beside my base so that I didn't need riverwalk for my character to get to the Factory.

In fact, I didn't even build any Mechs until I picked up a factory card that allowed producing them really cheaply (any two different resources, I think) - then I built all four in quick succession.

Without workers being able to swim across rivers, I don't think I could have grown that quickly.

Just like Terra Mystica, I think you need to exploit the things that make your faction different from other factions, otherwise you're wasting an opportunity.
 
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Brian Nguyen
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jlwill wrote:
In my first game, I played Nordic in a three-player game and won with 105 points (others 56 and 39). The swim ability allowed rapid expansion and growth, and I could gain enough resources to balance all aspects of the game.

I upgraded my build ability first and got all buildings done quickly
- The "buildings by lakes" bonus card was out and I was able to get my Temple on the factory (beside 3 lakes)
- Built my tunnel beside my base so that I didn't need riverwalk for my character to get to the Factory.

In fact, I didn't even build any Mechs until I picked up a factory card that allowed producing them really cheaply (any two different resources, I think) - then I built all four in quick succession.

Without workers being able to swim across rivers, I don't think I could have grown that quickly.

Just like Terra Mystica, I think you need to exploit the things that make your faction different from other factions, otherwise you're wasting an opportunity.


You might have been doing something wrong in your game. You shouldn't be getting more than 100 coins (even 90, 80 is pushing it). I mean that in a, the designer stated in the rule book if you were getting more than 100 coins you were doing something wrong probably.

Were doing the same actions one after another?
 
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James Williams
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tekshi wrote:

You might have been doing something wrong in your game. You shouldn't be getting more than 100 coins (even 90, 80 is pushing it). I mean that in a, the designer stated in the rule book if you were getting more than 100 coins you were doing something wrong probably.

Were doing the same actions one after another?


There have been times in the past that I've found after a first or second play we were doing something wrong. I'm pretty sure we were doing everything right with Scythe. I read through the rules a couple of times and read lots of forum posts before playing.

As for the score, check out some of the forums about scores... over 100 isn't that uncommon.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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It's certainly possible to get over $100 in Scythe. The one thing I recommend is that players read the Highlighted Rules on page 31 after they score $100 just to make sure they played correctly.
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Pas L
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More anecdotal stuff: I won with them on my first game. Spreading out to get a lot of areas worked well, especially as your mechs can take the sea lake areas.

However I got a large number of points from the second board, just hoarding money from efficient actions.

I generally feel the second board dictates the most efficient way to score more than/as much as the base faction, so it can confuse issues talking about factions in general.
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