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Subject: Machines vs Pilgrims. Can Pilgrims win? rss

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Bart Grimnirfist
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Can Pilgrims win with Machines in 2 player game? Or not win - just not been massacred by machines?

I mean, the strategy of machines is so obvious in this case... They take two regions, build those orbital snipers and drones and then just go forward closing Pilgrims in theirs HQ (and after that still taking out just recruited Pilgrims in their HQ thank to satellites...)

The machines just seems to be much too close to Pilgrims in two player game for Pilgrims have any chance just to outlive.

Please tell me I'm so wrong. Really. Because I like the game in 3-player version very much and after seeing that massacre of Pilgrims in two player game against machines I'm so sad... (mainly because after the game neither the winning player, nor the loser have any idea what Pilgrims could do to avoid that kind of hecatomb in next game).

Any ideas?
 
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Remus Rhymus
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Machines are OP now? According to BGG forums, Last month they were the weakest faction of the game. laugh

I'm thinking that when there is a large gap in score, players are perceiving that as "faction imbalance". Maybe the losing player/faction just needs to approach the game with a completely different strategy next time instead of immediately throwing up their hands and blaming the design.
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Jason Brown
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Come back to these forums in a week and you'll see a thread asking if it's possible for the Machines to win at all against the Pilgrims and asking why the Pilgrims are so OP. That's the nature of asymmetrical games.

Very soon, the game will hit the U.S. and I'm sure the volume of threads here will greatly increase. I'm curious to see how differently they pan out after reading through those from our fellow Geeks across the Atlantic. I've read a bunch of great tips and strategies and can't wait for my pre-order to arrive so I can try them out.

As an aside, Grant has said that he's working on strategy guides for each faction to help folks play them better. I trust that Portal play tested this game thoroughly and that it's just a matter of figuring out how to play to each faction's strengths. I'm looking forward to a peek behind the curtain!
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Bart Grimnirfist
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Remus - Machines are much weaker in a 3 or 4 player games and gap in score is nothing that really bothers me (as i've said: i've played the game for 3 players, and yes, there were gaps in score).

My question was about very specific case: 2 player game with Machines and Pilgrims. I presume you have not play the game yet in this setup - so maybe if you will, you will be able to answer my question.

So again - I'm asking people who've played the game in the configuration i'm talking about: have you win with Pilgrims? And what was your strategy?


EDIT:
And I'm not blaming anything, I'm not talking that the game is unbalanced (in 3 player games i've seen every faction winning); i've just seen the 2 player game between machines and pilgrims and have no idea what pilgrims should do to not being beaten. So i'm asking people who know, but unfortunately have not found anybody yet.
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Mad Halfling
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remus wrote:
Machines are OP now? According to BGG forums, Last month they were the weakest faction of the game. :laugh:


This reminds me of a chat with an Esdevium chappie, last year, who'd got to play Marco Polo early. He said that everyone was compaining about OP, broken and imbalanced player powers. And everyone was complaining about different one being overpowered i.e. the ones that they weren't playing, hehehe
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Remus Rhymus
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Bart - sorry to single you out, my post was more of a reaction to the general perception of imbalance by the folks who have played it so far. Admittedly, I haven't played much and only 4 player. I'm just reserving my judgement until I have many more plays under my belt.
 
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Chris Schenck
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Clearly every faction is overpowered.
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Bart Grimnirfist
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Remus - no problem.

Folks - read my post again. Can you see the question or still prefer not to see? ;-)
 
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Alex Brown
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rokter wrote:
Can Pilgrims win with Machines in 2 player game? Or not win - just not been massacred by machines?

I mean, the strategy of machines is so obvious in this case... They take two regions, build those orbital snipers and drones and then just go forward closing Pilgrims in theirs HQ (and after that still taking out just recruited Pilgrims in their HQ thank to satellites...)

The machines just seems to be much too close to Pilgrims in two player game for Pilgrims have any chance just to outlive.

Please tell me I'm so wrong. Really. Because I like the game in 3-player version very much and after seeing that massacre of Pilgrims in two player game against machines I'm so sad... (mainly because after the game neither the winning player, nor the loser have any idea what Pilgrims could do to avoid that kind of hecatomb in next game).

Any ideas?



In the 2-player game, playing the Trogs well is critical. You need to not only decide what your objectives are in a battle, but whether you want to 'push' the Trogs or eliminate them.

The Machines don't like to play fair fights. They like to setup Shred Drones and Orbital Snipers, enter 3v1 combats and roll through regions.

Humans tend to spread Control, then retreat into Regions backed by Artillery to hold on to the points lead.

Pilgrims can fight the future by maintaining the 'adjacency triangle' of Regions at all costs.

Some tactics I haven't heard people use much are to 'lock' regions early in a Turn by sending two guys in to hold down four enemies (useful vs. Machines for slowing their advance) and to deliberately 'lose' battles so that the Trog road block renews with the more weighty Trog Nests.
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Bart Grimnirfist
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Thank you Alex for some ideas. The problem is: although I know the general strategies for all factions, I don't know how Pilgrims could stop machine's progress in two player game - machines seems to be to close for pilgrims making theirs "adjancy triangle" because every round (or sometimes every action) pilgrims will lose 2-4 figures because of machines abilities.
Managing Trogs tokens is an option and locking regions too - however locking seems to be "expensive" because it takes your action and gives your oponnent at last 2 points for winning the battle + points for killing your troops).

Nevertheless once again - thank you for answering my question.
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Dan Mixer
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From our plays, the answer is simply no. As in.. not a chance. The reason is the faction cards. Pilgrim cards are the worst in the game, often having to spend 2 or 3 cards to do an action others can do in one card.

For example, the Humans and Machines can often build and activate a building with one card, or activate a block of buildings with one card, while the poor pilgrim has to empty his hand to do that. The same with creating troops. So the other factions will quickly have more buildings, more building activations, and more troops.

That simple fact means that in any battle, the Pilgrim will have far fewer cards and just simply be out maneuvered.

So you have fewer buildings, fewer areas, poor showings in battles, etc. We are scratching our heads as to what the Pilgrims are supposed to do.

By the time you have built up your crystal engine, the game is almost over or other factions are taking over your regions. The humans are a VP machine, the Machines can also create big chunks of VP from thin air, while the Pilgrims have to spend fist fulls of cards to try and get the VP engine up and running.

Also, the Pilgrims tactic cards are so key to their play style that a bad tactic card draw and you are pretty much dead in the water to start with.


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Grant Rodiek
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I beat the Machines using Pilgrims by about 30 points last night.
 
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Dan Mixer
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Wow... I'm not even sure how that is possible. That must have been a REALLY bad Machine player!
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Remus Rhymus
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Dan, you do realize that the Pilgrim's have the only deck that has additional card draws built into their actions, right? Pilgrims can typically cycle through their deck much quicker.
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Grant Rodiek
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Icedanno wrote:
Wow... I'm not even sure how that is possible. That must have been a REALLY bad Machine player!


Well, I played very well, and he didn't play as well. The Pilgrim strategy guide is going through edits now. I've actually beaten the Machines in my last two plays (both two player) using the Pilgrims with different skills.

Some key Pilgrim advice:
Create a network of death and industry. Be sure to build a concentrated area. Do not waste actions on Recruit. Use Power Orbs to recruit once others invade, and if they don't, add crystals to your pool and regions instead.

Last night I had the Skill (I'm bad at names) where in every battle, I remove a crystal from the region. This means the Regions don't get more valuable for my opponents, so win or lose, I hurt them. I aggressively attacked him to disrupt his shred drones and I created a natural barrier between him and my regions that were super valuable.

Plus, I had 3 prisoners, which really generated some points.

The factions all play very differently. Some are very obvious, some skills are very obvious, and some pairings at first seem very tough.

In two player especially, where games are as short as 30 minutes (for me and friends at least), really stretch and try crazy stuff.
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Grant Rodiek
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remus wrote:
Dan, you do realize that the Pilgrim's have the only deck that has additional card draws built into their actions, right? Pilgrims can typically cycle through their deck much quicker.


Super key. Toss in a desert or two and you're cycling like crazy. Plus, fortuitous Events and Discoveries.
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Dan Mixer
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True, but those cards are only one symbol down the row, very limited, so you need to discard several.
 
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Grant Rodiek
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Icedanno wrote:
True, but those cards are only one symbol down the row, very limited, so you need to discard several.


They are fantastic for fleshing out an action. Sometimes you just need two, or need to creep up to four Wrenches, for example. Instead of Wasting a mountain (which also has tactical value), you can chuck a lot of the weaker Pilgrims cards to preserve your battle readiness.

Sometimes in a tight pinch you only have 1 or 2 wrenches you CAN use.
 
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Bart Grimnirfist
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I've already played all 1 on 1 configurations and still can win in all cases EXCEPT Pilgrims vs. Machines (playing Pilgrims) - so really glad to hear that Grant can. It seems like we both use the same strategies though in our group we still use only base special abilities cards for all factions (we don't feel like we explore all possibilities of the game yet, and we want to add those additional cards when we feel like we do - and than treat them as a free mini-expansion ;-).

Any other strategic advices playing pilgrims against machines are still welcome.
 
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We played another game yesterday and pilgrims won 36 to 28. It was very close and the machines were definitely getting back should the game have lasted another turn. Interestingly enough, the machines lead that game up until the end ot he 4th turn where the pilgrims broke away with a massive attack from afar (lots of cards) and enabling scoring. Then they kept their lead til it was over, even though they suffered a rather extreme toll from the machine's structures.

The machines and started a bit too greedy (loosing their first battle vs trogs due to lack of units). Another key factor was that they were unable to score VP from their Crystal and region hold on the 3rd turn...if they had enabled scoring then it'd be game over.



 
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Evan McKinney
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I've won as Pilgrims VS Machines twice. I do find that pilgrims play differently with one skill VS more skills, but otherwise it's a matter of acquiring a couple key regions and then holding them, AKA the triangle strategy mentioned all over the forum. Pilgrims should only expand past that when it's safe, otherwise they waste units.
 
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Michael Wright
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I've been more interested in 2-player Pilgrims vs. Humans! My wife and I have each played this match on either side, and Humans have won fairly handily so far. Not shutouts, but not 3-point wins either. It makes perfect sense to me that the Pilgrims would be able to prevent the Machines from gaining points from matches, but the Humans don't need to fight anymore than the Pilgrims do. My wife forced me to come to her in order to take some control tokens and prevent her from racking in Scouting points. Love to hear people's thoughts on competition between two factions that don't need to speak to each other.

Also, WE LOVE THIS GAME!!!
 
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Oblivion Doll
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mwright874 wrote:
I've been more interested in 2-player Pilgrims vs. Humans! My wife and I have each played this match on either side, and Humans have won fairly handily so far. Not shutouts, but not 3-point wins either. It makes perfect sense to me that the Pilgrims would be able to prevent the Machines from gaining points from matches, but the Humans don't need to fight anymore than the Pilgrims do. My wife forced me to come to her in order to take some control tokens and prevent her from racking in Scouting points. Love to hear people's thoughts on competition between two factions that don't need to speak to each other.

Also, WE LOVE THIS GAME!!!


A trick I've seen in this matchup. Humans toss out their control markers around the map. Pilgrims DON'T attack en masse to try and control any areas, they just throw a token attacker into every location they can reach. You don't NEED to win - you just need to wake up the Trogs and let them take the area back.
 
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