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Subject: Looking for general advices rss

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Simon Bourigault
France
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Hi all !

We'll be having our first game tomorrow ! I just came here looking for some general tips and strategies... What are your most basic recommandations, especially for the begining ?
 
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M Lesus
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The game ends immediatlely when any player places their 6th star - try to anticipate when this will happen and start spreading out over empty territories before the game ends. You earn coins (points) for each territory you control at the end of the game.

The end can happen very suddenly.
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Trevor Schadt
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Glenshaw
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It is not uncommon for a player to end the game by getting 2 or 3 stars in one turn.

A lot of players, especially in their first couple of games, can get overly focused on achieving one of their objective cards. An objective card is a nice way to pick up an extra star "along the way" if it dovetails with your strategy over the course of the game, but it's only 1 of 10 possible ways to get stars; it's not as critical as a lot of new players lead themselves to believe.

Lakes count as controlled territories for end-game scoring. Only the Nordic and Polania players have access to these spaces, and only once they have deployed the appropriate mech.

The Mill is (apparently) one of the most confusing aspects of the game for a lot of people. Here's a quick step-by-step for figuring out how a Produce action works:
1) Choose 0 to 2 hexes where you have at least one worker. These hexes comprise the Set Of Hexes That Will Produce This Turn.
2) If you have upgraded your Produce action, choose 0 or 1 additional hexes where you have at least one worker. Add this hex to the Set Of Hexes That Will Produce This Turn.
3) If you have built the Mill, and you control the hex where the Mill is located, you may -- but do not have to -- add the hex where the Mill is located to the Set Of Hexes That Will Produce This Turn (if it wasn't there already).
4) Each hex in the Set Of Hexes That Will Produce This Turn produces one resource(*) of the appropriate type for each worker or Mill that is on the space.
(*) In this case, the "resource" also includes workers. Workers do not count as resources for any other aspect of the game, including (but not limited to) end-game scoring, or Crimea's faction power.

Rusviet can get to the Factory in 5 turns (4 if they have the right player mat). Any other player can get to the Factory in 7 turns.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Orange County
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ryudoowaru wrote:
Rusviet can get to the Factory in 5 turns (4 if they have the right player mat). Any other player can get to the Factory in 7 turns.

But, like with objectives, don't get too tunnel-visioned on getting to the factory. The cards may or may not help, and for a first game they likely won't.

This is an efficiency game. Look at your player mat and identify where the most lucrative bottom actions are. Compare that with your starting area--determined by your faction. The easiest path to the highest-paying bottom action is going the be the easiest way to start pulling in cash, which is VPs.
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Trevor Schadt
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claudermilk wrote:
The easiest path to the highest-paying bottom action is going the be the easiest way to start pulling in cash, which is VPs.
This statement actually has far more impact than what you might initially think. Coins are victory points. So, look at the Bolster and Trade actions: those cost a coin. So when you're looking to take those actions, think: "Am I going to get at least 1 VP worth of use out of this action?" You shouldn't think about it as "spending" coins, you're investing them. And investment is all about return.

As Chris said, this game is all about efficiency. If each coin you invested didn't get you at least one coin's worth of value by the end of the game, it was a poor play. (Not that there's always a "good" or even "better" play on any given turn; sometimes all you have is bad options, and you want to take the best of a bad lot.) But with a game like Scythe that can end very abruptly, each turn gains more and more impact as the game's pace picks up and you start careening towards end-game.
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Thom Walla
United States
Nebraska
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Pay attention to your popularity level especially when you feel the end of the game is near to make sure you don't drop a level so to speak on the last turn. The popularity marker is a multiplier. Do everything you can to make sure you're always going up. Look at your starting resources and figure how best to put something in play. You really want to get your riverwalk Mech built early so you can cross rivers. So if you don't have access to metal trade for it. Typical first turn is to move one of your workers to the spot where producing gets you another worker. Move your character out one space towards the encounter circle. You can move it next time you decide to move to get the encounter. First encounter maybe you'll get something to help. After that let the encounters go. Only move to them again if you have a move action to waste. They are usually not that helpful in the long run, only the short term.

Build the windmill as soon as you can and place it because it gives you another worker in the area when you choose that region for produce. If you can don't remove the worker that reveals the popularity icon till you absolutely have to as each produce after that reduces popularity. I usually never remove that worker.

As the game moves to the 4, 5, & 6th turn try to produce or trade for oil and use it to upgrade your movement to three and your product to three, while choosing to reduce the cost of some of your lower tier actions. Best to choose ones you don't have good access to the resources needed to do them.

Also be thinking about how to enlist removing the circle over the popularity icon so you get a popularity every time someone next to you does that lower action. Place it on the popularity circle on your home board to get 2 more popularity immediately.

Avoid battles, or at least offensive ones as you lose popularity by sending opposing workers home.

As said in previous posts try to make sure that you spend coins but get more coins in return if possible. Not always possible but try as they are worth victory points at the end of the game. I've ended games with as many as 30 coins. Remember some actions allow you to take coins as a top action. If you don't need to do the first but want the bottom action take the coins. Same with resources on the board. If you have nothing better to do always produce some if they are in a relatively safe position. And last when you have all four mechs out try to anticipate the final turn or two and spread out to unoccupied hexes. Late game most won't fight you as they too are trying to maximize points. If you can send a couple mechs to fight for the factory as it's worth three hexes and is the only time I'll fight for it and only if there are no workers there which is unlikely but possible. That way taking it doesn't cost popularity. But if you can gain three hexes just by spreading out three of your mechs then it's a wash unless you think the player occupying the factory will beat you on points if you don't take it.

Remember at the end of the game it's better to have a the max popularity multiplier and only 3-4 stars out than all 6 stars and the lowest popularity multiplier. I've won several games just by that strategy alone.

Good luck and hope you enjoy the games.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Thom's windmill advice brings to mind another subtle detail to watch for. Pay attention the the structures bonus tile. That should guide exactly where you might want to place your buildings. These bonuses can add up to 9 VPs at the end, and it's easy to forget about them.

When looking at escaping the starting area remember there are typically THREE ways to get out. The most obvious one is the riverwalk mech. There is also building your mine, and most factions have another mech ability that allows them to move around (e.g., Seaworthy for Nordic, Wayfare for Crimea, etc.). Nordic even gets to walk their workers across the rivers right from turn 1.

I'd refine the "avoid combat" with "avoid combat until it profits you." There are times when taking the power, card, and possible popularity hit are worth the cost. You opponent has several units plus some juicy resources sitting on the front? You can spend those right away? Then the cost may be worth it.

An example: In my last play as the Nords, my neighbors the Rusviets had a mech and worker sitting on the bordering forest with 2 wood. I happened to have a mech right next door, my building cost has just been upgraded to 2, AND it was getting to end-game. I had a couple of buffer popularity levels, so would not take a multiplier hit. I went for the combat and won. My very next turn I built a building right there...which happened to meet a 2-point structure bonus criteria. A couple of turns later the game ended. So, I denied the Rusviets scoring that territory, taking the points myself. Plus denying them scoring for the resources. PLUS the additional structure bonus points. Finally, those defeated units never got moved off home base--scoring nothing for territory control. That displaced worker was more than worth it.

Combat just for the hell of it isn't worth the effort (except perhaps for the Saxons), but there are times where it is more than worth it.
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Klaus Kristiansen
Denmark
Kongens Lyngby
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Corvette wrote:

Build the windmill as soon as you can and place it because it gives you another worker in the area when you choose that region for produce.


This is misleading. The windmill gives you another territory to produce in, as well as another worker in that territory.

Another word of advice: don't be too focused on the riverwalk mech. Your unique movement mech can be better, depending on the situation and your strategy. And there is always the mine.
 
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Bryan Wilson
United States
College Station
Texas
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and....HAVE FUN! And make it a good experience for other players in the game. Let them know a few things you learned. Biggest beginner pitfalls are:
1) thinking it's all about combat,
2) focusing too much on objective cards,
3) getting surprised by the game end.

ENJOY!
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Simon Bourigault
France
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Thank you all for these advices.

We had our first game and it went well ! The game is beautiful, fun, fluid, has a sweet balance between the "wooden cube" and "platic figures" parts, and only took 3 hours which is quick for a game of this type.

It turned out that the main thing we overlooked was how many points hexes get you in the end.
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Alien Toy Shop
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A little late to the party, but I played my first game of Scythe yesterday. Two other players were new, and two others have played a few times before.
I won the game by a landslide by applying general board game principles:
1. Make your actions more efficient. I tried to only take the actions where I could do both top and bottom (obviously not on every turn early, but pretty much every turn in late game).
2. I upgraded and recruited early, which gave me bonuses for other player actions as well as my own. I think the only way I advanced popularity in this game is by other players giving me popularity doing their bottom action.
3. About half way through the game I realized that the game could end very suddenly. I got six stars within three or four turns. I had a choice to have the game go one more turn to advance popularity counter to 13 (and max multipliers) but instead I gained control of the factory, one other hex and won a combat. Boom, game over.

Not saying this is the end all be all strategy to win at scythe. But it worked for me. Really looking forward to another play with another faction.
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Brian Jones
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ryudoowaru wrote:
claudermilk wrote:
The easiest path to the highest-paying bottom action is going the be the easiest way to start pulling in cash, which is VPs.
This statement actually has far more impact than what you might initially think. Coins are victory points. So, look at the Bolster and Trade actions: those cost a coin. So when you're looking to take those actions, think: "Am I going to get at least 1 VP worth of use out of this action?" You shouldn't think about it as "spending" coins, you're investing them. And investment is all about return.

As Chris said, this game is all about efficiency. If each coin you invested didn't get you at least one coin's worth of value by the end of the game, it was a poor play. (Not that there's always a "good" or even "better" play on any given turn; sometimes all you have is bad options, and you want to take the best of a bad lot.) But with a game like Scythe that can end very abruptly, each turn gains more and more impact as the game's pace picks up and you start careening towards end-game.


This is great advice, and I started to think during my last game that there may be a way to win the game just by turtling near home territories and taking money making actions for most of the game. Of course, you would likely still need to upgrade and build a mech or two just for gaining resource territories. But I wonder if the Rusviet player may actually be able to do nothing but gain the factory, make money and increase popularity to win (especially in a quicker game that includes a rush strategy Saxony player).

I may have to try it, I hope it doesn't work...
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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devil Well, it didn't for my son. In a recent 4p game he was Rusviet & tried turtling up--to the point he didn't even bother attempting to get to the factory (or maybe meanie Bjorn kept throwing Olga back home before she could get there... whistle). He ended up 3rd.
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Scott Snelling
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ryudoowaru wrote:
It is not uncommon for a player to end the game by getting 2 or 3 stars in one turn.

A lot of players, especially in their first couple of games, can get overly focused on achieving one of their objective cards. An objective card is a nice way to pick up an extra star "along the way" if it dovetails with your strategy over the course of the game, but it's only 1 of 10 possible ways to get stars; it's not as critical as a lot of new players lead themselves to believe.


I learned this one hard my first game.

I got to play the Nords with Mechanical. And quite quickly I realized that the Nords excel with employing some degree of productivity, since they can easily expand with their workers. However, they are not strong at making an initial break for the factory.

My Mechanical card amplified things for me, by requiring a base cost of 4 to recruit (and I didn't begin on any grain).

So what were my two available objectives?

Quote:
Have a factory card, at least 1 mech, and no more than 3 workers.

Quote:
Have the same number of workers as recruits.


I promptly set them both face-down on the table, and never touched them again until the game was over.

Forded the river, produced twice, and had +3 workers on turn 4. Ended game in second, but after turn 4 I was completely unable to complete either objective
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Richard Dewsbery
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Sutton Coldfield
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wyldmage wrote:

Quote:
Have the same number of workers as recruits.


I promptly set them both face-down on the table, and never touched them again until the game was over.


It works with the right player mat. Send workers across the river to the farmlands between you and the Rusviet, alternate producing and trading, with Enlist as the second action for one or the other. Hammer out three recruits (ideally four) ASAP.

The recruits are worth prioritising if your board - and starting position - allows it, as you're going to benefit each time either you or your neighbours take a bottom action. If you get the recruits out fast, those bottom actions will mount up a lot ove the course of the game. And you get to complete your objective for free.
 
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Scott Snelling
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RDewsbery wrote:
wyldmage wrote:

Quote:
Have the same number of workers as recruits.


I promptly set them both face-down on the table, and never touched them again until the game was over.


It works with the right player mat. Send workers across the river to the farmlands between you and the Rusviet, alternate producing and trading, with Enlist as the second action for one or the other. Hammer out three recruits (ideally four) ASAP.

The recruits are worth prioritising if your board - and starting position - allows it, as you're going to benefit each time either you or your neighbours take a bottom action. If you get the recruits out fast, those bottom actions will mount up a lot ove the course of the game. And you get to complete your objective for free.


In general though, the Nords have a stronger incentive to get workers out than other groups. So being limited to 1 extra worker on one card, and 2 on the other is kind of worst-case scenario. And when combined with the Mechanical board, it was just utter uselessness for objectives.

I'm not saying they aren't good objectives. But they are definitely sub-optimal for the Nords without the right action board to complement the objective. And even then, the factory card + mech + limit 3 workers is extra rough in a 5 player game where you will *not* be first to the factory if either Polania or Rusviet make a play for it.

The Nords do not begin with grain (though they can at least move onto it thanks to faction ability), which makes going for early enlists take 1-2 added turns (during which you can't add more than 2 workers). If I was going to do one of the objectives with Nords, it would have been that one.

But that's where the Mechanical board just ends it. It pairs Enlist with the TR Produce. You obviously don't want to try for 4 & 4, as you'd be having to do a horribly weak produce 4+ times. So 2 & 2 or 3 & 3 are better.

Route 1:

Trade (double grain)
Move (onto grain and character move)
Trade (double grain)
Produce (wood + grain) + Enlist (any pawn, take money bonus)
Trade (double grain)
Produce (wood + grain) + Enlist
Complete in 7 actions, then move onto village(s) and produce

Route 2:

Produce (wood + oil)
Trade (double oil) + Upgrade (TR any to BR enlist)
Produce (wood + oil)
Trade (wood + grain)
Move (character move and worker oil->grain) + Build (mill on the grain)
Produce (2 grain plus wood) + Enlist
Trade (double oil) + Upgrade (TR any to BR enlist)
Produce (2 grain plus wood) + Enlist
Complete in 8 actions, but set up to enlist all 4, and have a mill built

Route 2 is at least viable. Route 1 is just shooting yourself in the foot, because for 7 turns, all you have is 2 enlists and 2 wood, plus you've moved Bjorn once.

Route 2, if played well, could work out. I'd probably enlist for build (free pop), and either enlist or deploy depending on neighbors. And every produce can pay for another enlist. Gets your first mech(s) really late though, so if another player (rusviet) is willing to take a pop hit, they could really destroy your grain access.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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This was a perfect example of when to simply ignore the objectives as they take you too far off your optimal play. Scott was right (IMHO) to simply ignore them and pursue other ways to build VP and gain stars. Nords + Mechanical is a tougher combo, but is workable.
 
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Brandon Zappala
United States
Florida
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I agree with some of the other posters:

Efficiency is the key, make sure you can put your top row actions in line with your bottom row actions when you can. This means you must focus on your ACTION board rather than your character's abilities. Upgrade your bottom row action under your deploy so that you can activate that bottom row action and gain 3 coins as you boost your military power (whether it be power or cards).

Don't focus too much on getting to the factory, if you spend too much time/resources getting there, then you will get diminishing returns from getting a factory card.

Watch out for setting yourself up to get mugged by your opponents, if you are going to produce resources on a vulnerable hex, try to use them as soon as possible (preferably on the turn that you produce/acquire them).
 
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Jason Hobbs
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1. In the early game, choose how you're going to move into the centre section

Whilst there's multiple ways to get into the centre section, weigh up your options and focus on one way to make it so. It's not that you can't open the other options later in the game, it's more a tip of not wasting moves / focus / resources making all the options open ASAP.

2. Don't obsess over your objective cards

Being able to complete an objective easily is nice, but don't get bogged down attempting to fulfil it. In the end it gets you 1 star, which is easier to get than you think and you may find yourself painted into a corner focussing on hard objectives.

3. Learn everyone's "middle two" mech abilities

The fourth mech ability – Speed – is identical. The first mech ability – Riverwalk – has the same underlying mechanic, the territories are just different per faction to give each one a "bridge" into the centre (see 1).

It's the second and third mech abilities that are truly faction specific...and are really powerful. So be sure to see which factions are in play and understand what those two abilities do...if you don't you may find yourself flanked or ambushed; especially late game.

4. Be efficient with upgrades

Bolster and Move/Gain have two upgrade cubes on them; one on each option you have. Trade has one on the second option.

That means that, should you spend the resources / turns upgrading them all, all your subsequent turns there will be one fully upgraded slot you won't be benefitting from that turn.

So, in the beginning at least, focus on upgrading one of the choices and hammer that...for example: don't upgrade power and combat card in Bolster, do one.

5. In combat, keep at least one combat card to create some uncertainty

Power is common knowledge.
The number of combat cards players have is common knowledge.

So knowing what the absolute maximum an opponent can put in (their power, plus a 5) is just some simple maths; so it then comes down to some bluffing. But if you don't have the combat card to create uncertainty, it'll paint a target on your back and players will attack you for some easy (almost guaranteed) stars.

Also, if you put in a combat card and lose, you draw a new one. So even if you know you'll lose and have a 2 – the lowest card in the game – throw it into combat because at worst you'll just draw another 2. If you've got a 3, it might be worth the gamble to throw it in and hope for a 4 or 5.

6. Choose the most likely enlist

Look at the "starting" territories (usually 3) of the players sat either side of you.
Then correlate that to how resource costly the bottom row actions are for the players sat either side of you.
Note which bottom row action is the "money maker" (there's typically one bottom row that gives them a net of 2 coins)

This information could give you an idea as to which bottom row actions they might hammer. Even if you don't necessarily feel like that "return" is what you want, having it roll in passively is good because it can relieve the pressure for you to use a turn gaining directly later on.

7. Anticipate game's end (preferably, control it)

The game ends when the 6th star is placed. If you can anticipate when that will be, you can make sure your last 2 turns aren't gunning towards a goal you won't see happen. Instead, you can look at your best point-scoring options.

That could be:
- Land Grab: if you have the Speed ability, and mechs with 2 workers at their feet, you can use it to spread into unclaimed territory. Just hope that the person you think will end the game does it, so no-one gets savvy and sacrifices some popularity to push you back.
- Double Attack: power and combat cards have no value at game's end, so if you've yet to win a battle and have plenty to spare, look into attacking two separate squares and cranking out two extra stars, and two hex controls.
- Popularity Tier Shove: if you're teetering on the next popularity tier, aim to shove it up using either the trade's second option, Enlist or Monument.

8. Get encounters...but have a cash reserve

Encounters are a great way to get certain things early / cheap. But be sure to have $4* and 1 popularity going into an encounter so you can afford to pay for any of the options.

This is especially important for Republic of Polandia (White)...as their faction ability is choose 2/3 instead of 1/3. So you'd probably want to have more on hand (perhaps $6 and 2 popularity?).

* I believe $4 is the most costly of choices on any card.
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