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Scythe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rules inquiry regarding the windmill AND combat objective rss

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Travis R. Chance
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So, we played this the other night. Had a great time. Everything clicked. Two things DID come up, one of which I feel I already know the answer to, but will ask anyway.

1.) A player occupied a territory with my windmill. It produced a worker. If they have their character or a mech there, and I produce, does this "scare" the worker to my homebase, causing the player to lose one popularity?

2.) When initiating combat, if you lose, does the defending player actually get the combat objective? This was my only real complaint with the game, as it appeared to be this way from our interpretation of the rules--seems like initiating an action should be the only way you can accomplish this. I am sure some will say, just attack when you are confident you have a winner, but this just feels like a veiled determinism in a way.

Thanks for any insights.
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Nándor Gáspár
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1. You can't produce on a territory which you don't control
If your opponent has a mech / character on that hex, then (s)he has control over it.

2. You get combat star as a defender, because you won a combat.
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Benjamin Lindvall
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That's a very weird scenario. I think combat only happens as a result of a move action, so I'd say after your opponent takes his turn, if he takes a move action and leaves a combat character there, then he is "attacking" that hex and would kick the worker home and suffer the popularity loss.

If he doesn't move, or moves away, he won't.

If your opponent is holding your mill with only a worker of his own, they'd both exist there but no one would be in control. I thought this was an impossible state but this it the one way it would come to pass.

Perhaps its best to rule that the mill can't produce workers if an enemy is controlling it. It would be an exception to the structure rule, but would be the cleanest option.

As for the second one, yes you can earn a star off turn for winning in defense. You can also earn stars off turn from earning recruit bonuses, and these stars can end the game instantly. The timing exceptions are handled in the rulebook.

Edit: ya, can't produce on hexes you don't control.. solves the whole thing. Mill is useless if you don't control it.
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Chris Skelton
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1) Your mill doesn't actually produce something unless you control the territory.

2) No, you only get a star if you attack and win. (EDIT 2: Apparently I'm wrong? I could have sworn the rules said differently, sorry!)

Glad to hear you enjoy the game!

EDIT: ninja
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Chris Skelton
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Ydnad wrote:
1. You can't produce on a territory which you don't control
If your opponent has a mech / character on that hex, then (s)he has control over it.

2. You get combat star as a defender, because you won a combat.


I'm pretty sure you can't get a star by defending.

EDIT : It seems I'm wrong, sorry!
 
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James Mathias
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znomorph wrote:
Ydnad wrote:
1. You can't produce on a territory which you don't control
If your opponent has a mech / character on that hex, then (s)he has control over it.

2. You get combat star as a defender, because you won a combat.


I'm pretty sure you can't get a star by defending.



rules, pg 23 wrote:
WINNER: The winner gains (or maintains) control of the territory and all resource tokens on it. The winner also places 1 star token in the combat space of the Triumph Track (see Placing Stars, page 27) if they haven’t already placed 2 stars for combat victories. If the winner was the attacker, they lose 1 popularity for each worker they forced to retreat by initiating and winning combat. Also, if there was an encounter token on the territory and the winner has a character there, they now perform the encounter.
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ParisianDreams
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Correct, the only thing that matters is who wins, that person gets a combat star whether they were the aggressor or the defender.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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That's correct: If you win combat, you get a star.

Combat is deterministic if you know for sure who is going to win before you begin combat. In Scythe, even though you might feel like you know, unless both you and the opponent have 0 power and 0 combat cards, the outcome cannot be predicted with 100% certainty.
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Jason Brown
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Action Phase wrote:
2.) When initiating combat, if you lose, does the defending player actually get the combat objective? This was my only real complaint with the game, as it appeared to be this way from our interpretation of the rules--seems like initiating an action should be the only way you can accomplish this. I am sure some will say, just attack when you are confident you have a winner, but this just feels like a veiled determinism in a way.

This is actually a good way to force game end when you feel you can win without your sixth star and either already have both your combat stars or not enough power to win. You can initiate combat with someone and deliberately lose, giving them their final star. I've done it and won, much to the chagrin of everyone at the table.
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Travis R. Chance
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Well, I really enjoyed the game. My only criticism was of this particular rule, as a person who is initiating an action is taking the risk--which is already power and/or cards. Giving up the objective point to boot, as a fellow designer, felt a bit punitive, but, then again, this is only a gut reaction after one play.
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Brian K
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JumboCactaur wrote:
...If your opponent is holding your mill with only a worker of his own, they'd both exist there but no one would be in control. I thought this was an impossible state but this it the one way it would come to pass.

I don't think this is correct. If your opponent has a worker on the space with your mill, they do control the space, with their worker. Your mill sits idle.
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Jamey Stegmaier
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spiderM9 wrote:
If your opponent has a worker on the space with your mill, they do control the space, with their worker. Your mill sits idle.


That is correct.
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Joseph Cochran
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Combat is deterministic if you know for sure who is going to win before you begin combat. In Scythe, even though you might feel like you know, unless both you and the opponent have 0 power and 0 combat cards, the outcome cannot be predicted with 100% certainty.


I feel like in the mid-game it's much less certain than it is toward the end of the game, but implying that combat is uncertain in Scythe is a bit of a stretch. While there are times you have to gamble that the other player won't have combat cards higher than you do, I don't think it's a winning strategy in this game to take a lot of risk going into a combat you could lose. In our games so far, while maybe we weren't "100%" on who would win it's usually "98%+" before the combat unless someone is making a desperation gamble.
 
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Barry Miller
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The very first reply (by Nándor) was the correct answer. It's sort of interesting from an analytical perspective, that the thread continued after that. Am not trying to be snarky... it's just that it's been interesting - after watching thousands of threads over the years - to observe how a correct response to an OP's question somehow generates even more discussion of differing opinions. So it's always good to see someone cite the rulebook!

Though, the more I think about the OP's 2nd question - given that he did interpret the rule correctly - is that he was wanting to generate some valid conversation about why the rule is what it is. SO I'd like to add a post to address the OP's concern with the rule as written.

Action Phase wrote:
My only criticism was of this particular rule, as a person who is initiating an action is taking the risk--which is already power and/or cards.

This is a good conversation topic, about the validity of the rule from a design perspective. Yes, I agree with you that the initiator is taking the risk, but I don't agree so much that he should be [the only one] rewarded for it.

Here's why I don't agree... Risk is exactly that. Sometimes when you take a risk you come out on the losing end. And the term, "losing end" takes many different forms and definitions. In battle, being on the "losing end" can very easily morph into a situation that springs the classic "reversal of fortune"!

Every battle has a victor - no matter who initiated the battle. Well, in real life, anyway! It's only in the gaming world that some designs mandate that only the initiator can win.
Though I always thought that to be an odd concept, it works for gaming, so be it. And like you, we get used to it and over time accept it as a norm. But still, it doesn't change the fact that every battle has a victor - by some measurement. (I need to add that last part).

So the great thing about Jamey's design - that rewards victory no matter who started the fight - is that it does make you think twice before attacking! Unless you're sure of a win beforehand. (There are a few situations in which you can predetermine with 100% certainty, the outcome of a combat. For instance, if you and your opponent can both max out spending seven power, yet you can use two cards while he can use only one, and if both your cards add up to five - then of course you will win). But as Jamey said above, most of the time, it's not so guaranteed!

So, if you know that perhaps you may lose the combat - thereby awarding your opponent that star instead of you - will you blindly attack? Asking that question of yourself is one of the great facets of this game!

On the other hand, if you calculate a certain win. Then go for it!

Plus, I'll tack on an after-thought: The rule of rewarding the victor no matter who initiates, motivates you to always keep your defenses up! Keep at least two plastic pieces together and many Combat Cards in your stock, to make any opponent think twice before attacking you!


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Travis R. Chance
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I'm not so sure that this is a strength in the game (being extra careful, keeping plastic grouped). The cost of taking an action, which, in a game like this is my turn, and the reward for the victor being the same even when defending is not intuitive in my opinion. In a game like Kemet, the defender gets to keep their ground, wear down the attacker's resources, AND, most importantly, they take a tempo hit for the risk, no matter how calculated it may be. This game employs action efficiency. To that end, a player not burning the fuel that is their turn for equal opportunity further deters combat in a game where it doesn't happen too often to begin with. Spending a turn, power, and potentially cards is a lot.

Again, I enjoyed the game. I come at this from the perspective of another person in the industry making/developing games. This isn't to say I have all the insight in the world, but my job is literally working on games 50+ hours a week--especially since we were acquired by another publisher and we are making 3 times the games in our next year. I enjoyed everything but this one rule, and it is by no means a dealbreaker for me. It just seems, for lack of a better term, "improperly weighted."

Thanks for the kind replies and discussion. Area control games are my favorite types of game, so glad to have this one in the collection!
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Action Phase wrote:
I'm not so sure that this is a strength in the game (being extra careful, keeping plastic grouped). The cost of taking an action, which, in a game like this is my turn, and the reward for the victor being the same even when defending is not intuitive in my opinion. In a game like Kemet, the defender gets to keep their ground, wear down the attacker's resources, AND, most importantly, they take a tempo hit for the risk, no matter how calculated it may be. This game employs action efficiency. To that end, a player not burning the fuel that is their turn for equal opportunity further deters combat in a game where it doesn't happen too often to begin with. Spending a turn, power, and potentially cards is a lot.

Again, I enjoyed the game. I come at this from the perspective of another person in the industry making/developing games. This isn't to say I have all the insight in the world, but my job is literally working on games 50+ hours a week--especially since we were acquired by another publisher and we are making 3 times the games in our next year. I enjoyed everything but this one rule, and it is by no means a dealbreaker for me. It just seems, for lack of a better term, "improperly weighted."

Thanks for the kind replies and discussion. Area control games are my favorite types of game, so glad to have this one in the collection!


First let me say that I've also that I've also enjoyed reading this discussion.

Next, let me comment on the cost of combat.

An attack move costs between one third and one full top action depending one how many units you use to attack and whether you have upgraded your move action.

In comparison the power and combat cards lost by the winner will likely take several top actions to recoup and the winner will be vulnerable in the meantime. Thus the cost of the move action is very likely to be only a fraction of the winners combat cost.

Let's take an example:
1) You have an upgraded move action and attack me with one mech on a territory where I have 1 mech.
2) We both have 7+ power and 1+ combat cards.
3) I see that you could spend 7 power + a combat card and the territory/resources there is important to me, so I use 7 power + a strength 4 combat card.
4) You did the attack to weaken me, not to take the territory, thus you spend 1 power and no combat card.
5) I win and you get a combat card.

- It will take me 4-5 bolster actions to recoup my loss.
- You spend 1/3 action to attack and traded 1 power for 1 combat card (which in most cases is a beneficial trade). This means that the cost to you was less than 1/3 top action making the cost to me (the defender) something like 10-20 times more expensive for me.

I've ignored a couple of factors in the above. The first one is that your mech gets returned to the base. This can in some cases be beneficial, but in most cases it's a detriment whose magnitude is tough to estimate. BUT the potential cost here before the combat is on average the same for both of us and thus actually make the cost of the attackers move action an even smaller fraction of the total cost for the battle.

The second factor is that my expenditure in the combat likely left me vulnerable, which could lead to further costs for me, because my opponents are now more likely to attack and beat me.

Thus as I see it, the cost of the attacking move itself will more often than not be on the level of a rounding error compared to the other costs of combat. Unless of course, I'm missing something here?
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xorsyst xorsyst
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jameystegmaier wrote:
That's correct: If you win combat, you get a star.

Combat is deterministic if you know for sure who is going to win before you begin combat. In Scythe, even though you might feel like you know, unless both you and the opponent have 0 power and 0 combat cards, the outcome cannot be predicted with 100% certainty.


That's not quite true. If I've got 7+ power, the same or more combat characters, and a hand of 5s, I can be 100% sure of a win!
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Erik Burigo
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mortenmdk wrote:
[...]
5) I win and you get a combat card.
[...]


D'oh! I always forget this rule. cry
 
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Allen Brown
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xorsyst_uk wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
That's correct: If you win combat, you get a star.

Combat is deterministic if you know for sure who is going to win before you begin combat. In Scythe, even though you might feel like you know, unless both you and the opponent have 0 power and 0 combat cards, the outcome cannot be predicted with 100% certainty.


That's not quite true. If I've got 7+ power, the same or more combat characters, and a hand of 5s, I can be 100% sure of a win!


Except your opponent might think that and only spend 1 power, so upon losing they can draw a combat card but not waste a lot of power. If you think your opponent will do that, then you can use very little power and maybe save your 5's.
 
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Jarad Bond
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NocturnalAllen wrote:
xorsyst_uk wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
That's correct: If you win combat, you get a star.

Combat is deterministic if you know for sure who is going to win before you begin combat. In Scythe, even though you might feel like you know, unless both you and the opponent have 0 power and 0 combat cards, the outcome cannot be predicted with 100% certainty.


That's not quite true. If I've got 7+ power, the same or more combat characters, and a hand of 5s, I can be 100% sure of a win!


Except your opponent might think that and only spend 1 power, so upon losing they can draw a combat card but not waste a lot of power. If you think your opponent will do that, then you can use very little power and maybe save your 5's.

I think the discussion is that you know you can win if you spend that 7 power and use one of your "5" cards. Your way is certainly more efficient, but not deterministic.
 
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Phil Campeau
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Action Phase wrote:

1.) A player occupied a territory with my windmill. It produced a worker.


Hmmm I'm not sure why, but I thought the windmill couldn't produce workers. I though it was only able to produce resources.

Where did I get this idea from?
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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I'm not sure, Phil. Workers can produce other workers (when on the Village), and a Windmill acts like a worker when producing, so a Windmill on a Village may produce a worker.
 
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Jarad Bond
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philcampeau wrote:
Action Phase wrote:

1.) A player occupied a territory with my windmill. It produced a worker.


Hmmm I'm not sure why, but I thought the windmill couldn't produce workers. I though it was only able to produce resources.

Where did I get this idea from?

Cue music... "Love Shack" whistle
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Phil Campeau
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jameystegmaier wrote:
I'm not sure, Phil. Workers can produce other workers (when on the Village), and a Windmill acts like a worker when producing, so a Windmill on a Village may produce a worker.


There was one guy who taught the game the first day we all played, and he got a bunch of things wrong. There are still lingering effects!
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Henri Berger
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NocturnalAllen wrote:
xorsyst_uk wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
Combat is deterministic if you know for sure who is going to win before you begin combat. In Scythe, even though you might feel like you know, unless both you and the opponent have 0 power and 0 combat cards, the outcome cannot be predicted with 100% certainty.


That's not quite true. If I've got 7+ power, the same or more combat characters, and a hand of 5s, I can be 100% sure of a win!


Except your opponent might think that and only spend 1 power, so upon losing they can draw a combat card but not waste a lot of power. If you think your opponent will do that, then you can use very little power and maybe save your 5's.


This is so far the only real issue i have with combat in this game.
Though it's part of the game, and as demonstrated above full of impact upon the strategy of the game, now with my gaming group we almost always know the attacker is going to win and the defender almost never trying to fight back.

So basically, our fights are almost always "attacker spend 7 power and a combat card, defender spend 1 power", simply because we're up to the point where nobody tries an attack they might not win, so they never try an attack without having at least 7 in power (often more), definitly more than your traget, and a good combat card.
We just never take the risk.

I think it's really typical of our gaming group, because we don't really like to gamble, surely we could be in for good surprises with less predictable players
 
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