$60.00
$20.00
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
27 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Scythe» Forums » Strategy

Subject: How to prevent getting locked in to endless combat by Nordic rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nathan Gustafson
Australia
Alaska
flag msg tools
I was playing a 2 player game as Rusviet (Though I accidentally started in Polanias zone).

After getting my 8 workers and a mech (township), I went straight to the factory.

The Nordic followed me there with a speed mech built outside their starting zone and won combat.

Then they built the seafaring mech, and for the rest of the game fought me constantly while adjacent to lakes. Even if they lost combat, they would retreat and fight again at the next opportunity.

This combined with the mech ability that drains Power 2 to 1 meant my losses in combat were far greater, and I eventually got locked into my base, unable to leave.

I wasn't sure if there was some rule preventing this, but I couldn't think of a way out, besides being prepared for the onslaught beforehand.

In hindsight, having the patriotic board means I should have been upgrading for more frequently than I was to get ahead in the bolster war.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Two things:

1 - You know that the drain power ability drains power from your track, not your combat dial, and costs them power from their track? And only activates once per combat (so the most they can do is remove 2 power each combat)?

2 - How were they able to keep attacking you, didn't they run out of power/cards to spend? You are removing the power spent in combat from the track after each combat right (i.e. if they spend 7 power and a card, they need to remove that 7 power from their track)?

If a player is trying this tactic with you, it can be worth bringing a few workers with your mech to cost them popularity every time.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Gustafson
Australia
Alaska
flag msg tools
1 - We we're playing this correctly, sometimes he would only have 1, but losing it was worth bringing me down 2. We both ran very low on power as there were so many combats happening throughout the game.

2 - He had upgraded his bolster to provide 2 combat cards, and he only ever really needed to use 1 per combat. This combined with the rule to give the loser 1 combat card if their power is over 0 means he had a pretty steady supply of cards to use against me, while I had generally 1 or 0 at any time.

Most of the time we bid 0 or 1 and relied on cards to win combat, but his losses were meaningless as they only moved him 1 space away, and he got another combat card to use for the next attack.

I had workers with me constantly, but popularity wasn't much of a concern for him because he had resource and area dominance from the combat anyway. He also didn't have many popularity costs.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Forsman
United States
Ely
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

This sounds so strange... . with tunnel and his consent loss in Popularity how did you not get to the 6 stars. Popularity is the key to this game, in the 10 games i have played so far the most battles i have ever seen is 4 most games are we lucky to even have 2.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Gustafson
Australia
Alaska
flag msg tools
I got to 5 stars, but then I couldn't move out of my base to finish the game, and even if I did, I didn't control any territory, so no matter how much popularity I had, it didn't score me any points.

Every time I tunneled out, he would chase me down and send me back home before I could do anything. Theres no penalty beyond being at 0 popularity for combat and we were both at the lowest threshold so essentially no downside.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Stock up on combat cards and after unlocking the one Rusviet mech ability, keep at least one worker with your mechs so that you get to play an extra combat card because of worker/s with the mech in combat.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Taylor
United States
Downers Grove
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
generic125 wrote:
I got to 5 stars, but then I couldn't move out of my base to finish the game, and even if I did, I didn't control any territory, so no matter how much popularity I had, it didn't score me any points.

Every time I tunneled out, he would chase me down and send me back home before I could do anything. Theres no penalty beyond being at 0 popularity for combat and we were both at the lowest threshold so essentially no downside.


I'd say your opponent went for a good strategy that only works in a 2-player game where your loss is his gain. In a 3+ player game, that kind of approach would be unsustainable against 2+ other players and if directed against only one would be extremely weak to predation from the other player(s) seeking to get some easy combat stars/resources - he'd effectively be choosing 2 players (himself and you) who for sure weren't going to win the game. Not great.

In the future should a similar circumstance happen again all I can really advise is to be aware of the possibility and prepare yourself as best you can to fend off incursions like that before they get ugly.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Gustafson
Australia
Alaska
flag msg tools
It would have done me well to recognize that he is a conflict based player, and he would leverage the Nordics great combat abilities then plan around that.

Instead I was focused on doing the 'Rusviet Special' of getting to 8 workers on turn 3 and trying to snowball.

I've seen criticisms of this game that say it lacks interaction and doesn't need players to adjust strategy after turn 1.

This last match has convinced me otherwise, at least in 2 player games.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Inno Van
United States
San Francisco/East Bay
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Did you remember that the loser of a combat gets 1 free combat card as long they spent 1 power on their dial or at least one combat card?

You should have gotten a lot of free combat cards!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
Germany
München
Bavaria
flag msg tools
Wiggle It!!!
mbmbmbmbmb
After carefully reading the OP postings - yes, that was a good trap by your opponent! But this is possible with other factions, too. Not as easily, since they have to bring out all their mechs to allow to harras you all the time - but it's possible.

And yes, this is a severe lockdown, since you have no possibility to store up resources, if you are locked in your base...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A J
United States
Riverside
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Innovan wrote:
Did you remember that the loser of a combat gets 1 free combat card as long they spent 1 power on their dial or at least one combat card?

You should have gotten a lot of free combat cards!


If he had 0 combat after being drained, he had no chance of playing 1 power.

The other thing you could do is upgrade your Bolster and get 2 combat cards instead of power each time when Bolstering. Nordic drain is only powerful if you have power. As Rusviets, your workers allow you to play +1 combat cards.

I think player interaction is more with 2 players than with 5. That's because of the zero-sum nature of a 2-player game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
Germany
München
Bavaria
flag msg tools
Wiggle It!!!
mbmbmbmbmb
ayejae wrote:
If he had 0 combat after being drained, he had no chance of playing 1 power.

Not true.
Basically he would always play his one combat card, which would either result in losing, because his opponent could play a card with at least the same value - or winning the combat.
Well, losing would give him another combat card - which is good!
Winning would give him another round "out there", maybe getting something done towards the last star...

Anyway - what you could do against this strategy is: Getting 4 stars without combat stars BEFORE the Nordic Player starts this thing. Then you would gain two more stars with the won combat (which WILL happen) and so ending the game.
Also, you could try to spread your troops and workers wide - transporting your troopers out with the mechs, dropping them of on the way, would leave 6 targets to deal with - and a tunnel on the hex next to your home base would help further!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
mb
Okay before we begin let me just come out and say that I have never played this game before (though I plan to) and have only gone so far as to read and familiarize myself with the rules. However I am confident in my analytical abilities to come up with strategies especially for asymmetric games like this.

Also as mentioned above, I hope you recognize that this is not something that can even remotely happen in more than a 2 player game. If he tried it he would likely be eliminating himself and you to let the 3rd (4th or 5th) player win. Now on to your question.

The very first thing that needs to be said is you were handicapped from the start.
generic125 wrote:
I was playing a 2 player game as Rusviet (Though I accidentally started in Polanias zone).

I'm going to assume that by this you meant that you treated the Polanias zone (West Easternish) as your home base both for starting the game and for sending your troops back home after combat. As some general advice, assuming what I said above was correct, then you might want to play by the actual rules and see if this is still an issue before raising concern on a public forum like this. In this case especially, I believe your fiasco was a direct result of this improper starting position.

Polania's starting position was designed for Polania and would be terrible for Rusviet. There appear to be only 1 spot where Rusviet can actually cross the river which is not only 2 spaces away from home but also next to a lake. Not only that but Polania is the other faction capable of lake walking so their spot naturally takes advantage of this by having a good number of lakes near them. I would agree that under such a terrible handicap, of course you can be boxed in. Nordic only needed to guard 1 spot which you could not properly rush.

Now lets look at why this is probably a non-issue given proper starting position

Rusviet's actual starting position has a village right next to your starting position. This would have saved you at least one action getting to the factory as you could have gone there directly but more importantly it's not next to a lake which means you can always use it as a way out and Nordic cannot camp it very well. More importantly you now have access to the south of the board pretty easily (much better lake crossing). There are several places in the south where there are no lakes as both lake factions start in the north meaning you could pretty easily set up shop down there and Nordic really can't camp you at all since he'd be sent all the way back north. Several villages in the south also guarantee that you'll be able to township down there if need be.

Saxony can gain any number of combat stars. Relentlessly chasing after them and retreating to lakes would be a terrible idea.

Polania can lake walk as well. If Nordic tried to camp out near her home base on the lake Polania could simply take the battles to the lakes and force Nordic back home from there (no lakes adjacent to other lakes)

Crimea can teleport to inactive enemy spawns. Only a fool would expect spawn camping them to yield any results.

So you see most of the factions have a direct counter to a Nordic spawn camp attempt. Only Rusviet doesn't have a direct counter although their actual starting position would make trapping them in their spawn very very difficult.
26 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Derr
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Get off my Avatar NERD!
mbmbmbmbmb
I would probably do 2 things.

1. I'd pile up workers on my mechs, move them out into the world and let him initiate combat. Then, I'd be sure that I lost this combat. He'd lose popularity and power, while you would gain cards. This would hopefully put him back to the lowest popularity tier.

2. I'd get 2 mechs on the board and initiate combat on him with 2 mechs. This allows you to play 2 cards. If you're both as low on the power track as you described then you should have no trouble beating him. I'd use this strategy to pick up both combat stars

This is what I love about this game. The moment you think you have this game mastered, someone will storm in and ruin your strategy.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
generic125 wrote:
(Though I accidentally started in Polanias zone).


I totally missed that in the OP! That explains everything. The starting locations and the faction specific benefits are intricately linked and are how the game is balanced. Starting in the wrong home base will seriously throw off the balance of the game. No wonder things went wrong. Your faction was at a serious disadvantage all game because of this mistake.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Valerij Kozlov
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
So far I have played 8 games with 2 players and it looked just like OPs. Bliz combats early game and bullying give huge advantage and as soon as one player leading it's over. There's seems to be no chance of catching up as long as opponent keeps playing aggressively. It's actually so dull with 2 players myself and person I have played with agreed that it's like playing vanilla Settlers of Catan with two.

While playing with 4 - 5 player (just 3 games so far) seems way much better.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
valiorik wrote:
So far I have played 8 games with 2 players and it looked just like OPs. Bliz combats early game and bullying give huge advantage and as soon as one player leading it's over. There's seems to be no chance of catching up as long as opponent keeps playing aggressively. It's actually so dull with 2 players myself and person I have played with agreed that it's like playing vanilla Settlers of Catan with two.

While playing with 4 - 5 player (just 3 games so far) seems way much better.


I have played a bunch of 2 player games and this is just not true.

Once the aggressive player has their two stars for combat, all of that aggression is a total waste. They need to keep moving to attack you, they will also need to constantly take bolster actions to replenish their power track. How are they gaining other stars or resources if they are constantly doing these two actions?

If you are losing consistently to this strategy you are playing very ineffectively, it is not because there is no way to catch up.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
valiorik wrote:
So far I have played 8 games with 2 players and it looked just like OPs. Bliz combats early game and bullying give huge advantage and as soon as one player leading it's over. There's seems to be no chance of catching up as long as opponent keeps playing aggressively. It's actually so dull with 2 players myself and person I have played with agreed that it's like playing vanilla Settlers of Catan with two.

While playing with 4 - 5 player (just 3 games so far) seems way much better.


What is the huge advantage you refer to? They can only get two stars this way and at a huge cost on their power track. Are you reducing their power by what they spend in combat each time?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Valerij Kozlov
United Kingdom
London
England
flag msg tools
reverendunclebastard wrote:
valiorik wrote:
So far I have played 8 games with 2 players and it looked just like OPs. Bliz combats early game and bullying give huge advantage and as soon as one player leading it's over. There's seems to be no chance of catching up as long as opponent keeps playing aggressively. It's actually so dull with 2 players myself and person I have played with agreed that it's like playing vanilla Settlers of Catan with two.

While playing with 4 - 5 player (just 3 games so far) seems way much better.


I have played a bunch of 2 player games and this is just not true.

Once the aggressive player has their two stars for combat, all of that aggression is a total waste. They need to keep moving to attack you, they will also need to constantly take bolster actions to replenish their power track. How are they gaining other stars or resources if they are constantly doing these two actions?

If you are losing consistently to this strategy you are playing very ineffectively, it is not because there is no way to catch up.


It's not about getting stars for combat (while I won with Nazi once having 4 stars for combat, 1 for mechs and 1 for objective, but it's possible only playing black). Main advantage of bullying is to steal resources, get most of encounters and keep enemy isolated. It just gives an upper hand and makes it impossible for opponent to catch up even if they manage to break out in several turns.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
valiorik wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
valiorik wrote:
So far I have played 8 games with 2 players and it looked just like OPs. Bliz combats early game and bullying give huge advantage and as soon as one player leading it's over. There's seems to be no chance of catching up as long as opponent keeps playing aggressively. It's actually so dull with 2 players myself and person I have played with agreed that it's like playing vanilla Settlers of Catan with two.

While playing with 4 - 5 player (just 3 games so far) seems way much better.


I have played a bunch of 2 player games and this is just not true.

Once the aggressive player has their two stars for combat, all of that aggression is a total waste. They need to keep moving to attack you, they will also need to constantly take bolster actions to replenish their power track. How are they gaining other stars or resources if they are constantly doing these two actions?

If you are losing consistently to this strategy you are playing very ineffectively, it is not because there is no way to catch up.


It's not about getting stars for combat (while I won with Nazi once having 4 stars for combat, 1 for mechs and 1 for objective, but it's possible only playing black). Main advantage of bullying is to steal resources, get most of encounters and keep enemy isolated. It just gives an upper hand and makes it impossible for opponent to catch up even if they manage to break out in several turns.


How do they manage to keep up the constant combats though? Don't they run out of power fairly quickly? I still assert that if you are consistently losing to this strategy you have not yet realized that the game provides lots of ways to counter it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kerstin
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I also don't really see the benefit of spending so much of your actions to camp out your opponent. I also have played almost all of my games with 2 players and none of us have seen a big advantage in keeping to go after your opponent instead of just building up your own stuff further.

As the one being attacked - of course depending on your faction, player board, general situation etc. - here's a few things I would try to do:
- Stop prducing stuff you don't want to spend right away
- drain their popularity by always moving your workers into combat
- build up your own popularity and combat strength
- get moving and spread out: there is the mine to quickly get across the board, the riverwalk ability is different for each faction so the other player can't just follow you as they can't use the same terrain to cross, some factions have abilities to hop across the board quickly in other ways
- eventually win combats for yourself and kick them out of there
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ponder Stibbons
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
okay, your enemy is not producing with those eight workers (can't pay pop, can't pay power) and even if he did his yields while spread out would be pitiful. this tells me that he's focused on multiple encounters. wait, no, those require spending popularity (or gold) as well. Your opponent clearly can't be building/deploying/enlisting, producing, AND murdering your workers at the same time. the way i see it you can probably get three economic stars from your three starting tiles, two stars from combat, and then break out with a Mine/Submerge/etc to collect your objective... all before the opponent can get their third. This could be more difficult if you lack a Mountain, live beside a (Nordic) lake, or require a fourth hex to place a building. still, my point is that siege strategy seems (on paper) to be quite inefficient in a game where efficiency scores big. it leads me to assume some simple rule is being misapplied.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Rumbelow wrote:
It leads me to assume some simple rule is being misapplied.


I am wondering this too. With the aggressor spending all of their power and popularity to siege their opponent, I wonder how it is possible to do anything else. I suspect some combination of not spending power for both sides after combat/not using riverwalk correctly/not reading the costs for actions correctly is leading to this kind of result. I have played a bunch of 2-player games and I cannot see any way that this could be a successful strategy
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A J
United States
Riverside
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Almecho wrote:
ayejae wrote:
If he had 0 combat after being drained, he had no chance of playing 1 power.

Not true.
Basically he would always play his one combat card, which would either result in losing, because his opponent could play a card with at least the same value - or winning the combat.
Well, losing would give him another combat card - which is good!
Winning would give him another round "out there", maybe getting something done towards the last star...

Anyway - what you could do against this strategy is: Getting 4 stars without combat stars BEFORE the Nordic Player starts this thing. Then you would gain two more stars with the won combat (which WILL happen) and so ending the game.
Also, you could try to spread your troops and workers wide - transporting your troopers out with the mechs, dropping them of on the way, would leave 6 targets to deal with - and a tunnel on the hex next to your home base would help further!


I was countering the fact that someone said he should have been getting lots of combat cards from losing. There's no way that could have happened in the way he described.

Getting 6 stars and ending the game doesn't help if your opponent has many more territories than you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Spaulding
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You should be able to get a fair number of combat cards, move both your character and mech to the spot that doesn't have an adjacent lake (the village for Rusvet, or the farm for Polonia) and push him out from there (you should be able to win battles with your combat cards, and worst case you can purposefully lose a defensive combat if you think he'll outspend you, and then immediately counter attach with a superior force). It does take 2-3 turns for them to get back to you after that (looks like 8 hexes of movement, which is three turns), which may give you enough breathing room to do something (build a much, upgrade, etc.). The repeating action ability of Rusvet makes them very, very flexible.

Moreover, with Riverwalk, you can go back and forth between the village in the starting area and a farm, and Nordic has to go alll the way around. He would need multiple mechs to split up, which would put any combats to your advantage. I'm not sure if that's particularly useful, though.

One other thing is that if you leave your workers alone, mechs can't simply pass through them without first stopping, so if you have extra movement you could use them to add an extra turn before they reach you.

The toughest part would be getting out of your starting area given the lack of mechs and movement powers.

It's not flashy so it may be worthwhile to just sit and spend coins for power or popularity to get that last star. Even if you don't, if you have top-tier popularity with 5 stars that'll essentially trump any low-pop territory control.

That said, it seems like he got a ton of advantages over you, between multiple mechs and upgrades. It could also be argued that he played the early game much better and thus the late game is a consequence of that.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.