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Subject: Nordics + Patriotic rss

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Juma Al-JouJou
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2 sessions with 3 players. In both sessions there was the combo Nordics + Patriotic (by random). One game, against Rusviets and Poland and the other one against Crimea and Saxons.

2 different players played the Nordics.

In both games, the Nordics won in a landslide with 100 and 96 cash and about 25 points more than the second player respectively.

We employed the same strategy:

Move workers to the two villages east and west. Max out workers.
Move workers on adjacent spots on tundra and farm. And then move + upgrade + move and enlist all the time. Later building structures is cheap and can be done efficiently, too.

We hardly fought at all (the other player fought twice I think in the late game) and I didnt fight a single time.

So it seemed almost impossible for other players to intervene directly (Rusviet can't even enter the home island of the nordics), since the nordics have access to all resources on locations others can hardly reach. In addition, intervening would cost quite a bit of popularity without gaining a star (I only built a mech very late) and without harming the nordics too much (retreating 1-2 hexes is not soo bad .

Any thoughts on this strategy? What can others do about it?

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Gareth Roberts
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Cant Russia just township walk mechs in and keep pushing your guys off the grain if you have no mechs? Same with Poland? and lake walk?

-and Saxony can jump a mech into the tunnel network so quickly...

It sounds to me like your were allowed to do this by opponents afraid of bottom tier popularity (a false fear if played around)
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Juma Al-JouJou
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Nope, both means dont allow them to enter the Nordic Peninsula.
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Gareth Roberts
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There's no grain in the peninsula and your strategy relies on enlist
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Philip Morton
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It sounds like a reasonably efficient use of the mat, but not much different from what other factions can do when their player mat lines up with their starting resources. Alternating move/produce while you're getting your eight workers where they need to go seems like it would make for some inefficient early produces (which is bad with eight workers).

Compare any other faction opening with eight workers + trade for metal + speed mech distributing the workers to the other two hexes in the peninsula, the other faction should be set up to alternate produce + bolster or move (assuming the resources line up) faster and without suboptimal produces.
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Neil Helmer
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Blue has lost the majority of our 30+ games, with a good sampling of all the mats, each more than once. Just the singular and individual nature of players at work...
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Trevor Schadt
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Mondoron wrote:
Blue has lost the majority of our 30+ games, with a good sampling of all the mats, each more than once. Just the singular and individual nature of players at work...
I would hope that Blue lost the majority of your games; if you'd played 30 games, and Blue won 16 or more of them, that would certainly be a counter-argument to the idea of them being under-powered.
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Juma Al-JouJou
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The thing is the opening I described is not trivial to identify. If Nordics don't play this way, I think their winning chances are a lot lower.

Other factions: Sure they have strong strategies too, including getting mechs fast and expanding. But here is the thing: they will more likely be attacked and deplete their power.

With the Nordics it is easy to just camp and get a star for 18 power and rush to factory (with your high power and strong combat cards, hardly anyone can stop you) and end the game.
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Juma Al-JouJou
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ilovedawkins wrote:
There's no grain in the peninsula and your strategy relies on enlist


True but there is grain just adjacent. This spot can be reached by other players but it is pretty remote so it is not so attractive to go there for them plus it would require several moves plus it doesnt even harm the nordics so much.

In my game at some point a player made my workers on the farm retreat (and lose 3 grain) but it didnt affect me at all because by that time I already had enough grain for all enlists. In addition they lost 2 popularity without even winning a star.

In a 2 player game the Nordics are probably weaker but in games with 3 or more players the other players compete around the factory and the nordics benefit from that.
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Tom Stearns
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Sounds like the effect of players game play more than anything else. Playing against different players or same players employing different strategies probably nets different result. No way to say definitively either way until you play more games. Two games doesn't make it defacto.
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Matthias M
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@ thread starter: My guess is that this strategy only worked in a beginner game where everyone had enough time to develop. If you ever play with myself, be prepared for an early ending after 20 or 25 turns at latest.



Let's look at your strategy in detail:
Innovatormentor wrote:
Move workers to the two villages east and west. Max out workers.
Move workers on adjacent spots on tundra and farm. And then move + upgrade + move and enlist all the time. Later building structures is cheap and can be done efficiently, too.


This means MOVE, PRODUCE, TRADE, PRODUCE in turns 1-4, then giving you the first star for 8 workers out in turn 4. I set TRADE (2 oil) as action for turn 3, because something must be in between the two produce actions and trading is the most efficient one here because the Patriotic map allows upgrades for a fixed cost of 2. Additionally, upgrade is combined with move on this map and we need to move the workers away from the villages anyway.

This allows our fist double action in turn 5: MOVE/UPGRADE. Unfortunately, we can only move 2 workers (Björn and Mox have to stay at home), so move one worker from each village, to forest and field. We then upgrade move->build. Move because next time, we want to move 3 works. Build or enlist as target does not matter, just take care that it's one of these and not one of the three deploy upgrade targets.

Turns 6-8 mirror turns 3-5. TRADE, PRODUCE, MOVE/UPGRADE. But ouch, this produce was expensive with 8 workers out and only 2 ready to produce (1 wood, 1 food). Select produce->enlist as upgrade. Then in turns 9 and 10, we can TRADE/BUILD and PRODUCE/ENLIST. (The latter is damn expensive again!)

After 10 turns, it is a good time to evaluate where we are. In a Scythe game, this is about the time one can develop without having to fear player interaction. The first 10 turns of Scythe are always a multiplayer solitaire exercise in efficiency.

If I have done the math correctly, we reached the following:

* 1 card, 5 gold, 2/18 hearts, 1/16 strength
* 8/8 workers out -- 1 STAR!
* only five of the workers on productive terrain
* 1/4 buildings built
* 1/4 recruits enlisted
* 2/6 upgrades done
* 0/4 mechs deployed
* Björn and Mox still at home, 2 moves away from 1st encounter
* 40% efficiency total (4x upper and bottom row actions used together in 10 turns)

That's far from impressive. I you play against competent players, 40% to 50% of the game is already over after 10 turns.


Quote:
Any thoughts on this strategy? What can others do about it?

Play more efficiently.
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Juma Al-JouJou
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Thx for your explanation:

I had the upgrade to move 3 units quite early and moved the workers fast to productive spots. I think I had max 1 worker who was on a village and didnt produce, all other workers produced. And with all the resources I could very quickly build all upgrades, all structures and all mechs. +1 star for the workers and getting 1 star with an objective and 1 star by winning 1 combat late in the game or even getting to 16 power.

I hope my feeling does not prove right but I think that the other player is a considerably stronger player in such games than me and still I scored 30 cash more than him with the nordics, and he scored 30 cash more when he had the nordics.

I can imagine that other factions can be more efficient by expanding earlier, getting the factory card etc. but the execution of their best strategy is way more complex and challenging since they need to adjust to what encounters they draw and the expansion of other players on the board whereas the nordics can do the same thing in most games for the first 10 moves or so (at least with this player board). So maybe in games with more competent players the simplicity of the nordics' strategy is not so strong anymore.
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Victor Strogow
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While the OP idea is interesting, it doesn't seem to be very effective imho, just as MetalPirate said. Scythe is a race game and the strategy that allows to get 6 stars in 30 rounds won't work with experienced players. Anyway, Nordics can be very effective playing a solitary econimic game. For example, check the following strategy for Nordics + Engineering mat:

1. Trade (2 x oil)
2. Produce (oil + wood), Upgrade #1 (move -> upgrade)
3. Trade (oil + metal)
4. Produce (oil + wood), Upgrade #2 (bolster -> build)
5. Bolster (+3 power), Build #1 (oil mill)
6. Produce (2 x oil + 1 wood), Upgrade #3 (bolster -> build)
7. Bolster (+3 power), Build #2 (armory)
8. Produce (2 x oil + 1 wood), Upgrade #4 (trade -> deploy)
9. Trade (2 x metal) +power from armory, Deploy #1 (speed)
10. Produce (2 x oil + 1 wood), Upgrade #5 (produce -> deploy)
11. Trade (2 x metal) +power from armory, Deploy #2 (riverwalk)
12. Move (Bjorn -> encounter, wood worker out of Nordic peninsula, just for some space to build a monument)
13. Bolster (+3 power), Build #3 (monument)
14. Trade (2 x metal) +power from armory, Deploy #3 (seaworthy) (*) 1st star: 16 power
15. Produce (2 x oil + something), Upgrade #6 (gain -> enlist) (*) 2nd star: all upgrades
16. Move (oil worker -> mountains, just to build the mine later; Bjorn/mechs -> claiming territories/attacking if possible)
17. Trade (2 x metal), Deploy #4 (artillery) (*) 3rd star: all mechs
18. Bolster (+2 cards) +popularity from monument, Build #4 (mine) (*) 4th star: all structures
19. Move. (**) 5th and 6th stars: for combat, claiming Factory if possible

Please, note:
1. Nords do not produce any extra worker (they may do that in 15th round, but it is not required).
2. They always perform top and bottom actions except rounds 1 and 3 and later three movements: rounds 12, 16 and 19.
2. The bonus from the encounter (12th round) is not taken into account (it might be popularity).
3. The possibility to gain a star from the objective is not taken into account.

So, Nords may easily finish the game in 20 rounds or earlier. Personally, I don't find it really impressive, as some factions, e.g. Saxons may be much quicker (I remember a game where Saxons placed their 6th star in 14th or 15th round).

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Matthias M
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Yes, the engineering mat (with its cheap building base cost of 1 [plus necessary upgrades]) is especially suited for the Nordic faction starting with access to oil (for upgrades) and wood (for building).

But also Nordic + Patriotic (as set in the title) can also end the game in 20 turns, and this only needs a single combat star. Or 22 turns with bringing popularity to the 2nd tier. Everything without relying on objectives or encounters.

Yes, Scythe is a race. And 50%+ of everthing written in the strategy subforums here does not acknowledge this properly.
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Ian Liddle
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Innovatormentor wrote:
Thx for your explanation:

I had the upgrade to move 3 units quite early and moved the workers fast to productive spots. I think I had max 1 worker who was on a village and didnt produce, all other workers produced. And with all the resources I could very quickly build all upgrades, all structures and all mechs. +1 star for the workers and getting 1 star with an objective and 1 star by winning 1 combat late in the game or even getting to 16 power.

I hope my feeling does not prove right but I think that the other player is a considerably stronger player in such games than me and still I scored 30 cash more than him with the nordics, and he scored 30 cash more when he had the nordics.

I can imagine that other factions can be more efficient by expanding earlier, getting the factory card etc. but the execution of their best strategy is way more complex and challenging since they need to adjust to what encounters they draw and the expansion of other players on the board whereas the nordics can do the same thing in most games for the first 10 moves or so (at least with this player board). So maybe in games with more competent players the simplicity of the nordics' strategy is not so strong anymore.

If you maxed out workers so quickly, what were you doing to pay the popularity / power cost to produce? Alternating with trade occasionally? Additionally, if you didn't have mechs, why didn't anyone swoop in and rob you after you produced? Did Polania forget about their Camaraderie mech, or were they unaware of a Nordic threat?
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Juma Al-JouJou
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I got popularity through the enlist (+2) and when other players did the respective bottom row action plus I got popularity through the one encounter.

They didn't have riverwalk anytime soon and I was careful to get rid of the resources as fast as possible.

At some point someone stole 3 grain from me but I already had all enlists so I hardly cared.

Camaraderie only helps in combat, not if they simply make other workers retreat.

Thank you for your detailed calculations. In addition I got a a star from the objective so it can be faster than the 20 turns you calculated that is necessary to get the 6th star.

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Ian Liddle
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Innovatormentor wrote:
I got popularity through the enlist (+2) and when other players did the respective bottom row action plus I got popularity through the one encounter.

They didn't have riverwalk anytime soon and I was careful to get rid of the resources as fast as possible.

At some point someone stole 3 grain from me but I already had all enlists so I hardly cared.

Camaraderie only helps in combat, not if they simply make other workers retreat.

Oh good point about combat, I never actually noticed that!

If they fed you popularity through your Build recruit, it seems like that's another flaw in their play. I'm not sure what business Rusviet, Crimea or Saxony had doing that at least, as their home areas don't even have wood... In general it sounds like if they'd been more willing to tank your popularity defense the game would not have been such a landslide.
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Anton Nieuwkoop
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Innovatormentor wrote:

Camaraderie only helps in combat, not if they simply make other workers retreat.


Good point never noticed this, but the rules are actually quite clear.
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Brandon Zappala
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strogow wrote:
While the OP idea is interesting, it doesn't seem to be very effective imho, just as MetalPirate said. Scythe is a race game and the strategy that allows to get 6 stars in 30 rounds won't work with experienced players. Anyway, Nordics can be very effective playing a solitary econimic game. For example, check the following strategy for Nordics + Engineering mat:


Yeah... that is nice and all... but Engineering might be generally regarded as a good playmat for Nordic, whereas Patriotic is more challenging to use.
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Tobi Kolb
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https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25226462#25226462

Check out this thread. Rusviet 4 stars in 14 rounds.

Blue has no build in efficency, only flexibility.
Compare that to rusviet or crimea.
That is a huge difference.

In our games, blue is always a step behind red and yelow, if everbody is playing the solitaire and it dont think you can win that way versus competent players, when playing blue.
 
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Juma Al-JouJou
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In another 4 player game with Nordic-Patriotic I struggled because I maxed out workers too early, and then I couldnt move them fast enough which made the production action silly (cos some workers were still on villages).

So I played solo on hard mode against saxony twice. First game I lost 71 to 60, but second game went much better and I won 84 to 71.

My opening was:

1. Trade for 2 oil
2. Move, character to wood and 1 worker wood from to village on west. Upgrade produce --> Enlist
3. Trade for 2 food
4. Produce 1 oil and 1 worker and enlist power
5. Trade for 1 oil and 1 food
6. Move character to encounter on mountain and 1 worker of the 2 workers to grain hex in the west. Encounter gave me 3 wood and 1 worker for 2 popularity. Upgrade Move --> Deploy
7. Trade for 1 wood and 1 metal. Build Mill on oil hex.
8. Produce and enlist combat card
9. Move 1 worker from mountain to wood on tunnel and 1 worker from village hex to adjacent oil on tunnel and 1 worker from same village hex to adjacent grain hex. Upgrade Deploy
10. Bolster and deploy Seaworthy mech on wood on tunnel.

I then proceeded to more or less alternate between produce and enlist and move upgrade. The economic engine was much more efficient this time. Getting the character out to go for the factory or encounters is still hardly happening at all. At the end I had 5 workers and just 2 mechs (Seaworthy and Speed). I had all upgrades, all enlists, 2 buildings (mill and armory), 2 stars from combat, and 1 objective.

Any thoughts on this opening? Do you see room for improvement?
 
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strogow wrote:
While the OP idea is interesting, it doesn't seem to be very effective imho, just as MetalPirate said. Scythe is a race game and the strategy that allows to get 6 stars in 30 rounds won't work with experienced players. Anyway, Nordics can be very effective playing a solitary econimic game. For example, check the following strategy for Nordics + Engineering mat:

1. Trade (2 x oil)
2. Produce (oil + wood), Upgrade #1 (move -> upgrade)
3. Trade (oil + metal)
4. Produce (oil + wood), Upgrade #2 (bolster -> build)
5. Bolster (+3 power), Build #1 (oil mill)
6. Produce (2 x oil + 1 wood), Upgrade #3 (bolster -> build)
7. Bolster (+3 power), Build #2 (armory)
8. Produce (2 x oil + 1 wood), Upgrade #4 (trade -> deploy)
9. Trade (2 x metal) +power from armory, Deploy #1 (speed)
10. Produce (2 x oil + 1 wood), Upgrade #5 (produce -> deploy)
11. Trade (2 x metal) +power from armory, Deploy #2 (riverwalk)
12. Move (Bjorn -> encounter, wood worker out of Nordic peninsula, just for some space to build a monument)
13. Bolster (+3 power), Build #3 (monument)
14. Trade (2 x metal) +power from armory, Deploy #3 (seaworthy) (*) 1st star: 16 power
15. Produce (2 x oil + something), Upgrade #6 (gain -> enlist) (*) 2nd star: all upgrades
16. Move (oil worker -> mountains, just to build the mine later; Bjorn/mechs -> claiming territories/attacking if possible)
17. Trade (2 x metal), Deploy #4 (artillery) (*) 3rd star: all mechs
18. Bolster (+2 cards) +popularity from monument, Build #4 (mine) (*) 4th star: all structures
19. Move. (**) 5th and 6th stars: for combat, claiming Factory if possible

Please, note:
1. Nords do not produce any extra worker (they may do that in 15th round, but it is not required).
2. They always perform top and bottom actions except rounds 1 and 3 and later three movements: rounds 12, 16 and 19.
2. The bonus from the encounter (12th round) is not taken into account (it might be popularity).
3. The possibility to gain a star from the objective is not taken into account.

So, Nords may easily finish the game in 20 rounds or earlier. Personally, I don't find it really impressive, as some factions, e.g. Saxons may be much quicker (I remember a game where Saxons placed their 6th star in 14th or 15th round).



I find that impressive! Especially since you do it without ever producing a worker. You probably don't score a ton of points in this game, with pop in the first tier, and not a lot of territories. I"m not sure how much coin you end up with either, since you trade a lot. But most other players won't have much by this time either, more than likely.
 
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