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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Statistic question: How does Greyjoy win so many games? rss

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So i've been reading around the forum, and two things got my attention:

- from the statistic gathered here, Greyjoy seems to win the most number of games, regardless of player number.
- The statement that if both the Greyjoy and the Lannister player know how to play, Greyjoy always wins.

Yes they Greyjoy player can fully commit his armies in the first 2 battles against Lannister and win them, that much is true. But if he does that he will get exposed against the Stark player, who if he isn't a noob will pounce on him and obliterate him since he has used his two most powerful cards already.

I see Greyjoy as having one of the worst positions on the map along with Lannister and Martell( the last one mainly due to circumstantial house cards also)

Let' say the Greyjoy doesn't fully commit to try and wipe out the Lannister player (who only needs to play defence at first to gather some armies to counter him), if he doesn't manage to raise his position on the Crow lane, and get himself some Stars then for sure he is dead in mid game as well.

Greyjoy has a strong army, but if he doesn't negotiate properly, and keep an ally in the first 4 turns, he should not be winning the game if the other players know what they do.

 
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Kuba W
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Greyjoy has the strongest house cards which is helpful during the whole game as you typically cycle through the deck 2-3 times before it's over.
Stark doesn't have enough starting forces to go all out on Greyjoy (unless he wants a visit from Baratheon in Winterfell), he may stop him to some extent, but not obliterate him for sure.
Anyway, in my group I have seen Tyrell win quite often when he was conquering the South relatively undisturbed while other powers were bleeding themselves out in Riverlands.
 
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ptyx wrote:
Greyjoy has the strongest house cards which is helpful during the whole game as you typically cycle through the deck 2-3 times before it's over.
Stark doesn't have enough starting forces to go all out on Greyjoy (unless he wants a visit from Baratheon in Winterfell), he may stop him to some extent, but not obliterate him for sure.
Anyway, in my group I have seen Tyrell win quite often when he was conquering the South relatively undisturbed while other powers were bleeding themselves out in Riverlands.


Stark can counter him quite easy with his deck of cards, and if the Greyjoy like i mentioned goes all out against the Lannister player, he will not even have his strong cards to play against stark.

Do people forget that catapults exist in this game? And the fact that the Stark player is higher up on the IT?

Greyjoy is overpowerd only against people that let him play and don't counter him when he goes out of turn and attack in full force. What wins this game is diplomacy, not house cards.
 
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Quote:
What wins this game is diplomacy, not house cards.


I have also no idea why Greyjoy wins at all. If he goes on Lannister and for unknown reasons is even able to hold Lannister land, Stark and Tyrell may enjoy Lannisters support in slaughtering Greyjoy.

IMHO, in a competent and diplomacy-driven game, Greyjoy can only win when he goes against Stark which shall give him a slightly overproportional score. I would like to see the statistics for those games.
 
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Ysgramor wrote:

Do people forget that catapults exist in this game? And the fact that the Stark player is higher up on the IT?


I'd say that it's more likely you're missing something than that the majority of other players are missing some basic features of the game.
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And what would that be? How does the Greyjoy beat both Lannister and Stark in the same time?

If he attacks the Lannister player all in, the only reason the Stark player is not attacking him at this point is being a "noob".
 
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Ysgramor wrote:
And what would that be? How does the Greyjoy beat both Lannister and Stark in the same time?

If he attacks the Lannister player all in, the only reason the Stark player is not attacking him at this point is being a "noob".

No, not in a game which lasts for 10 rounds! Stark is an endgamer, i.e. Stark rather automatically wins if noone opposes him. First, Stark takes anything north of the Trident (MotM maybe granted to Baratheon), then he sends strong forces to the Twins and Moat Cailin, and finally takes and holds Seagard. Further, Flint's Finger and Crackclaw Point are also always easy targets for a fully mobilised Stark.

Additionally, Greyjoy has no counter card against Loras taking Lannisport and Riverrun in the last round. So in the worst case Greyjoy ends up with 1 castle (Pyke) in the end.

(Remember: Greyjoy has bad CP-options so he will probably have only 2 marches in the last round!)
 
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Sir Zeliec
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GJ is strong cuz people don't know how to bait his cards. Simple.

Even playing Damphair is not that good at the beginning as that would give GJ disadvantage in COK.

As Stark baiting cards with Blackfish and that guy with the towers is easy... Pretend an attack if GJ has chances to win if playing Balon or Euron... Profit next round with Eddard...

Also if the lannister pretends to be aggressive with attacking GJ instead in turn one for example if GJ doesn't have a ship attacking with M+1 and playing the Hound is pretty op, if GJ goes for Euron, Balon or Damphair you are ahead already.

Mainly GJ is strong cuz of Sword, Balon and his other cards are OP at the start. The sword is truly OP with little units on the board.
 
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Jørgen K. Engen
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Ysgramor wrote:
Do people forget that catapults exist in this game? And the fact that the Stark player is higher up on the IT?


Never seen catapults in this game.

What I would do to wipe out the overpowered GJ is switching the strength of Balon (1) and Asha (2). Victarion should also be a card for sea battles only. Ex: If you attack in sea all the participating GJ ships gain +1 combat strength. That would probably make GJ a bit easier to predict. Not sure if the game would be more fun that way, but its WAY easier for Lanni to defend against GJ. As I see it now, and I rarely play against newbies, GJ always has a massive advantage in early game. The changing of the strength and abilities is something I have been working on with my next 9-player edition.

The most important thing for Lannister is to negotiate an alliance with both Baratheon and Stark, or even better an alliance with Greyjoy in the beginning. That way you can manage to establish an army strong enough to fight GJ in the end game.

A Lannister that fights against GJ is occupied for a long time. It is a really easy target for Baratheon or Tyrell.
 
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Aro Laaksonen
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I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I'd like to point out a thing that can affect even statistics: luck. Specifically the fact that the magnitude of the effects of good luck differs from house to house.

At game start Greyjoy has the potential to conquer 2-3 castles/strongholds fairly easily, but with no special orders slim chances of fully benefitting from it. This unless the players draw an early mustering.

I experienced this a couple of days ago in a 5-player game, me playing Tyrell. By round 3 both Lannister and Stark were stagnated and afraid of getting their behinds sore.

Just saying that if it happened in our game, it could've very well happened in others as well. I have played the game only about 10 times so my knowledge is of course limited, but I can't think of any swings of that scale with any of the other houses.
 
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AroTheAtomizer wrote:
I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I'd like to point out a thing that can affect even statistics: luck. Specifically the fact that the magnitude of the effects of good luck differs from house to house.

At game start Greyjoy has the potential to conquer 2-3 castles/strongholds fairly easily, but with no special orders slim chances of fully benefitting from it. This unless the players draw an early mustering.

1. While luck (i.e. Westeros Cards) might have ofc a game changing impact, this should average out in the statistics.
2. Talking only about the effect of the Westeros Cards, Greyjoy should have a underproportional score. (1) If there is no mustering in the first 4-5 rounds (which has actually a significant chance to happen when the IT does not want so), Greyjoy is out of game. (2) A CoK is usually bad for Greyjoy. On an early stage it appears to be "acceptable" to change the VSB for a CP*, on a later stage Greyjoy has usually only few PTs...so Greyjoy gets some serious problems when there is a CoK in, let's say, round 6.

So while your proposal to analyse the impact/leverage of luck is indeed interesting, I would argue that luck can not be the reason for an overproportional Greyjoy score.
 
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MasterOfCoin wrote:

So while your proposal to analyse the impact/leverage of luck is indeed interesting, I would argue that luck can not be the reason for an overproportional Greyjoy score.


I agree. Maybe I should've made it clearer that I do not believe it to be the only or even the main reason for GJ success. Of the 5 games I've organized and actually had 4 or more players, GJ has won 3. One of those was the match I described earlier. I was GJ in one and the last one had a dude unfamiliar with the game playing them. Those numbers are very little in form of statistics but they do make me think that:

1. A lucky draw can set the rest of the game (then again, this was probably not even in question.)
2. GJ can give even a player with no experience an edge.
3. These are all possibilities that can stack with the other strengths of GJ (house cards, great sea presence, somewhat remote/hard to access starting position, underestimating them due to the tv series, etc.)

So maybe it's just that they have more possibilities and strengths combined than the other houses.

I should really scour these forums for some match reports with the other houses winning. Might give more insight.



 
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According to this source, both GJ and Stark enjoy each a 26% win rate in 2ed PBF games, whereas the expected would be 16.6% in a perfectly balanced game. So while it's not like GJ absolutely dominates, he's winning a bit over 1.5 times his fair share.

This can be explained by a number of factors

1. Yes, people don't play perfectly, and a mistake from Lannister can snowball the game into GJ's hand

2. Ignoring mistakes and early-game all-ins, GJ has a very solid advantage against Lannister all game long. This is due to a lot of factors, the most meaningful one in my opinion is that it's extremely hard for Lannister not to lose The Golden Sound (TGS) eventually, either to Balon or worse, to Victarion. And it's even harder to retake it.

Having TGS (and Sunset Sea), means GJ has at least 2, maybe up to 4 unraidable support from Ironman's Bay (IMB) to all of the following areas:
Sunset Sea
TGS itself
Fint's Finger
Seagard
Riverrun
Greywater Watch

It also means that Lannister's already limited CP options are even riskier, and he needs to worry every damn turn about not losing Riverrun and Lannisport.

With that much support, it's likely that Riverrun falls eventually, and it's again pretty hard to retake. With just his 3 starting territories (all defended by IMB) + Riverrun (also defended by IMB), GJ is already ahead of the pack with 3 fortresses + 1 castle. The only house who can beat that without winning a major naval battle are Stark (+ Crackclaw Point) or Martel (+ The Reach), and both those options are harder to hold than Riverrun.

Then if GJ gets any other castle at all, you need someone with 6 castles to beat him.

3. There is a very small window of opportunity to either prevent or punish such a move.
- GJ is arguably the house that benefits the most from an early Mustering
- GJ doesn't mind an early Clash at all. Both his immediate neighbours (Stark and Lannister) have fewer CP opportunities at least in the early game (Lannister arguably has worse CP prospectives forever, especially if losing TGS). Tyrell, one of the other beneficiaries from an early Clash, needs a lot of time to mount an offensive.
- Once GJ has troops in TGS + IMB + Sunset Sea, it requires a massive commitment to threaten GJ's position.

4. While there are exceptions to all of the above, all that is required to justify GJ winning so much is that their strategy is easier to execute than that of most Houses. The argument "if they are crushing one neighbour every other neighbour should gang up" can be used to argue against any House.

Can you name another House (other than Stark, who wins jut as often) who:
- Has an easier time gaining a major naval victory?
- Has an easier time defending from multiple angles after gaining such an advantage?

All the southern houses can defend their main naval area from at least one area that is not a Port. If they lose their main naval area, they can (except from Tyrell) threaten to atack from that area with support (or raid from a port). If they win a sea battle against one neighbour, every southern house has to worry about Raids from their other neighbour preventing them from supporting their new area.

For example, Martell:
- Can support East Summer Sea (ESS) from both Sea of Dorn (SoD) or Port.
- If they lose ESS to Baratheon/Tyrell, can mount an attack from SoD with Port support or vice-versa
- Baratheon has to worry about Raids from Stark, Tyrell has to worry about Raids from Greyjoy if they want to support their victorious ships at ESS.
- Similarly, if Martell takes West Summer Sea/Shipbreaker from Tyrell/Baratheon, the opposing neighbour can raid ESS to prevent supporting the new area.

So I mantain that GJ's inflated win rate is NOT a fluke. Sure, people play sub-optimally and that might account to some of the difference. But GJ has at least one very tangible benefits that other houses, who need a massive breakthrough to get a feeble advantage, whereas GJ needs only a small window to get a pretty stable advantage.
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We can agree on the fact that Greyjoy has a overproportional score in games where (probably) some unexperienced players are involved. Further we perhaps talk about two different things: 1) Why has Greyjoy a good score in those games? or 2) Would have Greyjoy a good score also in games with only experienced players? I will focus on the later question.

Let's discuss the following concrete mid-game scenario:
1) Greyjoy has IMB+TGS+SSS (= rock solid naval position) and holds all coasts from Flint's Finger to Lannisport.
2) Lannister is basically broken with let's say 2x2knights in Harrenhal and Stoney Sept.
3) There is no Southern war, Tyrell has a support hub in Highgarden and controls Searoad marches. 1-2 siege engines are waiting in Oldtown.
4) Stark was unchecked and occupied any territories in the North and the Vale and has 5 ships in the East (= Baratheon can do absolutely nothing against Stark).
5) The Greyjoy-Lannister war disabled both to PT. Both have no star order and no VSB. (Quite probable situation even without war.)

So how will the game go on?
1) Stark will claim Seagard and he is at least able to take it. Afterwards it will change its owner several times. But Greyjoy will have more causalities due to Eddard+Blackfish+Bolton. (Also Flint's Finger might be assaulted.)
2) Tyrell will do nothing but waiting for round 10 and then take Lannisport+Riverrun from Greyjoy (who's defence strength is much weaker than his attack strength).

I argue that even in this, appearently perfect scenario for Greyjoy, the winning chances from Stark should be much higher. I currently have such a situation as Greyjoy in the variant game #381 and I am still curious how to stop Stark.
 
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MasterOfCoin wrote:

5) The Greyjoy-Lannister war disabled both to PT. Both have no star order and no VSB. (Quite probable situation even without war.)


Well, I disagree on this point. Based on my experiences Greyjoy has no problems at all with at least keeping up on power tokens with some others. It's not the money machine Stark can be if untouched but you should be able to get +3 tokens each round without that much of a fuss. Definitely if you have achieved what you say and others have done nothing to interfere.

MasterOfCoin wrote:

So how will the game go on?
1) Stark will claim Seagard and he is at least able to take it. Afterwards it will change its owner several times. But Greyjoy will have more causalities due to Eddard+Blackfish+Bolton. (Also Flint's Finger might be assaulted.)
2) Tyrell will do nothing but waiting for round 10 and then take Lannisport+Riverrun from Greyjoy (who's defence strength is much weaker than his attack strength).


As of 1 I think you are right. But 2 will be different due to the fact that Greyjoy will be better off on the influence tracks than you have stated. Tyrell might take Lannisport but is more than likely to lose it on a counter attack.[/q]

MasterOfCoin wrote:

I argue that even in this, appearently perfect scenario for Greyjoy, the winning chances from Stark should be much higher. I currently have such a situation as Greyjoy in the variant game #381 and I am still curious how to stop Stark.


Well, I also thinks that Stark has a great chance of winning regardless of Greyjoy's success against Lannister. But if I was Greyjoy and saw five Stark ships on the east coast I would definitely take Bay of Ice just to nullify Stark's option on Flint's Finger. And there would be a constant threat towards Winterfell forcing Stark to play in other ways.
 
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bagisbjorn wrote:

Well, I disagree on this point. Based on my experiences Greyjoy has no problems at all with at least keeping up on power tokens with some others. It's not the money machine Stark can be if untouched but you should be able to get +3 tokens each round without that much of a fuss. Definitely if you have achieved what you say and others have done nothing to interfere.

I admit that my words were somewhat harsh, the chance to get VSB or 1 star is actually realistic. However both requires to go "all-in" which can lead to a disaster as especially Stark might go for the VSB. What I wanted to say is that Greyjoy is IMHO clearly number 5 in PT generation. Given a southern peace, the other four houses might get 4PT+CP*=5-6PT. Further Greyjoy has to CP on Pkye which is also the best counter-attack or CP* hub. So in average Greyjoy might get even less than 3 PTs.

bagisbjorn wrote:

As of 1 I think you are right. But 2 will be different due to the fact that Greyjoy will be better off on the influence tracks than you have stated. Tyrell might take Lannisport but is more than likely to lose it on a counter attack.

There are three reasons why there is usually no counter-attack possible:
1) In my calculations Tyrell has always the M+1* (except Doran has visited). So Greyjoy need a star, see above.
2) When I play Tyrell I usually try to be last on IT.
3) QoT might burn a march (e.g. on Flint's Finger).

bagisbjorn wrote:

Well, I also thinks that Stark has a great chance of winning regardless of Greyjoy's success against Lannister. But if I was Greyjoy and saw five Stark ships on the east coast I would definitely take Bay of Ice just to nullify Stark's option on Flint's Finger. And there would be a constant threat towards Winterfell forcing Stark to play in other ways.

Going for Bay of Ice is double-edged (in this scenario). This will definitively weaken Stark but potentially also Greyjoy. First, I doubt that Winterfell is in danger, there is a support in Shivering Sea anyway. So while Stark is weakend, Greyjoy is not strengthend. Second, Greyjoy then has to manage 4 seas (+ Pyke port?) where Bay of Ice will be always raided. At some point Tyrell may just take Sunset Sea. I rather prefer to have a lot of support in IMB. As said, double-edged.
 
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Most of your reasoning assumes that Greyjoy and Lannister are fighting but no one else is doing anything. Why is there a peace in the south? If the Tyrell march into Lannister lands is most likely to happen in turn 10, why should it be in Martell's best interest to just sit in Dorne and lose the game?

In short, if ONLY Greyjoy and Lannister are fighting I'd say that Stark will probably win 6 or 7 games out of 10 (Greyjoy winning the rest of them and maybe Tyrell with an odd victory here and there). But why should anyone playing Baratheon, Martell and to some extent Tyrell follow this narrative?
 
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MasterOfCoin wrote:

I admit that my words were somewhat harsh, the chance to get VSB or 1 star is actually realistic. However both requires to go "all-in" which can lead to a disaster as especially Stark might go for the VSB.


That's the thing, in order for GJ to have an inflated win-rate, it's enough that it has a >16.6% win rate. You don't need a failsafe plan, just a plan that is more consistent than some other houses.

If you assume (and this is just an example) that GJ can take firm control of TGS+Lannisport by turn 7 on (say) 50% of the games, and then wins a third of those games, that's already their fair share of the pie, a 1/6 win rate. Then add however many games you win when this doesn't happen and GJ is already overrepresented.

But regardless of the exact numbers, the fact is that GJ can be overrepresented even if they lose a majority of the games where they "crush Lannister". And there's nothing wrong with that. All houses lose a majority of games, even with a good start.

I could paint a pessimistic scenario for any house. I could say Martell either all-ins Tyrell on the second turn or hopes that 4 + The Reach is enough. But that's only half the story. Some games Martell will outbid their main rival by exactly 1 on a crucial Dominance Token that bankrupts the other player and proceed to get a huge, unlikely naval victory. Sometimes they'll lose on a heart-breaking tie-breaker and get steamrolled. Every house needs to get lucky to win some of its games.

Another point is that the metagame is self-balancing to a degree (leader bashing) but the fact that players play to win, not just to spite GJ, means that some of the "natural" advantages are retained even after accounting the metagame. Examples:

- If Tyrell and/or Stark don't help Lannister, they'll lose to GJ. But both have incentives to delay a bit their attack. Stark can put pressure at Flint's Finger and GWW, but that comes with a slower expansion rate (they must secure A LOT of territories to be the unstopable juggernaut). Especially Tyrell puts their own integrity at risk to march against SSS (their only adjacency to GJ early on).

- If Martell/Baratheon threaten too much Tyrell/Stark, then no one will be able to stop GJ. But if they don't, Tyrell/Stark win the late-game anyway (Tyrell due to Loras and Stark due to sheer numbers and good sea access).

So it becomes a huge tragedy of the commons scenario where everybody wants someone to stop GJ, but no one wants to be the one to commit to doing it (either directly or by refraining to attack those who might take action). This is true even among good players. Good players who "play nice" and "take one for the team" get taken advantage of by other good players.

It's true that sometimes someone will run with the game unless other player intervenes. But often the one who is in position to intervene isn't the one who gets favored by it. And then no one does anything.

 
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Rodrigo Canaan
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Rants about probability and metagaming aside, I'd like to discuss a bit your specific scenario and your example game:

MasterOfCoin wrote:

Let's discuss the following concrete mid-game scenario:
1) Greyjoy has IMB+TGS+SSS (= rock solid naval position) and holds all coasts from Flint's Finger to Lannisport.
2) Lannister is basically broken with let's say 2x2knights in Harrenhal and Stoney Sept.
3) There is no Southern war, Tyrell has a support hub in Highgarden and controls Searoad marches. 1-2 siege engines are waiting in Oldtown.
4) Stark was unchecked and occupied any territories in the North and the Vale and has 5 ships in the East (= Baratheon can do absolutely nothing against Stark).
5) The Greyjoy-Lannister war disabled both to PT. Both have no star order and no VSB. (Quite probable situation even without war.)


First: What a nice game you have on hands! I recognize quite a few good players from that roster! I have only briefly skimmed through the first and last few pages (and skipped the mid-game) but there are a few comments:

a) It's a variant with Balon nerfed and Tyrion buffed, and you still managed to destroy Lannister, which shows how hard it is to stop GJ before he does that. Having Balon, of course, would also make it harder to punish.
b) You did that while (up to the eight turn's Westeros phase) having a pretty respectable PT situation. You were fourth in PTs (with just 2 fewer than the leader) and had the Iron Throne before that CoK.

Second: some ways in which GJ might avoid getting punished by Tyrell/Stark from a similar position:

Versus Tyrell

The late-game mega-combo for Lannisport+Riverrun can be disrupted by:
a)GJ holding at least one star and being last on the IT can counter-attack at Lannisport before Tyrell's extra march
b)GJ managing to hold Searoad Marches or stop Tyrell from taking it from Lannister (it can't be attacked by SE, so if Tyrell doesn't have it starting the last turn, the attack is hard and can't reach Riverrun unless he can get a double Loras turn)
c)Tyrell's hand it bad. They need Loras, usually QoT and usually an aditional high card.

None of these are trivial issues, but they're not impossible either (especially since any of these conditions almost invalidate the attack by themselves). Again, some luck is required and the South being at peace is not a given.

Versus Stark
Unfortunately stopping Stark seems harder than Tyrell because they don't depend on some mega-combo. Also, both Martell and Baratheon have incentive for small conflicts with Tyrell (for Blackwater, The Reach and Prince's Pass), the only real option to attack Stark (other than GJ) is an all-in at the Narrow Sea, which requires much more commitment, so Stark is more likelly to be unscathed.

I think Stark's main weakness would bein games with an early CoK but few Musterings, as they just don't have enough men (and ships) to take everything and still defend both fronts. In those games, GJ might be on a PT advantage even mid-lategame.

Also, while Stark has the casualties advantage in a prolongued conflict, unless Stark also has a very sizeable advantage in Influence, due to the support from IMB, Stark should need some SE to take those areas, which compensate for some of that advantage. Not allowing him The Twins helps with that.

While I think Tyrell should be manageable, I'd agree that Stark is the overall strongest house. With a little luck, both of them won't be strong at the same time and you can focus on just one (plus Lannister).

Baratheon or Martell should be pressuring at least one of them, and some early Westeros results are good for one and bad for another (e.g. and early CoK).
 
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bagisbjorn wrote:
Most of your reasoning assumes that Greyjoy and Lannister are fighting but no one else is doing anything. Why is there a peace in the south? If the Tyrell march into Lannister lands is most likely to happen in turn 10, why should it be in Martell's best interest to just sit in Dorne and lose the game?

In short, if ONLY Greyjoy and Lannister are fighting I'd say that Stark will probably win 6 or 7 games out of 10 (Greyjoy winning the rest of them and maybe Tyrell with an odd victory here and there). But why should anyone playing Baratheon, Martell and to some extent Tyrell follow this narrative?

My reasoning is in the spirit of my top-down analysis. Accordingly, Tyrell would/should never start a southern as long as he owns Searoad Marches (which is definetively the case when Lannister is under pressure). Martell has two options to win. Either a round 10 assault (prepared by Doran burning the KC track in round 9) or a war of attrition, especially on sea. While the first option is poor, the later option appears to have an even smaller winning chance. As (my) conclusion, it is Baratheon who has to start the southern war. But Baratheon might also just take Harrenhal and fight for a 5th castle in the last round.
 
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MasterOfCoin wrote:
Martell has two options to win. Either a round 10 assault (prepared by Doran burning the KC track in round 9) or a war of attrition, especially on sea. While the first option is poor, the later option appears to have an even smaller winning chance. As (my) conclusion, it is Baratheon who has to start the southern war. But Baratheon might also just take Harrenhal and fight for a 5th castle in the last round.


I could agree with that if there is peace in the areas surrounding IMB, since 5 castles might be enough to win (especially in Baratheon's case, having 2 fortresses). But if Lannister is being crushed, is the above a good strategy? Finishing with 5 castles is unlikely to be enough if either GJ or Tyrell has both LP and RR, or if Stark sneaks down south.

I think in the event of an unbalanced GJ-Lannister conflict, Baratheon and Martell have to be more aggressive, not less. This helps GJ (since war elsewhere makes it harder for someone to stop them), but giving Stark/Tyrell a free pass to punish GJ just hand the game to them instead.
 
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Blazerunner wrote:

I could paint a pessimistic scenario for any house.[...]Every house needs to get lucky to win some of its games.

Another point is that the metagame is self-balancing to a degree (leader bashing)[...]

In principle I agree with you and I value leasder bashing as the central mechanism in the game. However, Stark is a very unique house which is hardly manipulable by leader bashing. First, he has only two neighbours. And Baratheon can hardly do anything (except for Patchface) against a Stark with 4-5 ships in the East, so there is only one real neighbour. Second, Stark is the PT power house. The IT might do some leader bashing in a CoK but there should always be some stars possible. Third, there are no "punishing" cards like Doran, QoT or Cersei in sight. Only Patchface but he is rather harmless compared with the others (and see above).

Only Greyjoy can perform some leader bashing. But if Greyjoy is fighting against Lannister (and Tyrell) also this option is extenuated.

And again, my claim is the following: When Stark holds Seagard in the end of round 10, Greyjoy has lost. I estimate the chance for this by far more than 50%. Then we have to add the chance that Stark holds Flint's Finger instead or that Tyrell attacks Lannisport (even if only temporary holding) or Baratheon taking Riverrun. When I add all these probabilities I would rather expect a Greyjoy winning probability below 16%, but that is obviously somewhat subjectively.
 
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Blazerunner wrote:
MasterOfCoin wrote:
Martell has two options to win. Either a round 10 assault (prepared by Doran burning the KC track in round 9) or a war of attrition, especially on sea. While the first option is poor, the later option appears to have an even smaller winning chance. As (my) conclusion, it is Baratheon who has to start the southern war. But Baratheon might also just take Harrenhal and fight for a 5th castle in the last round.


I could agree with that if there is peace in the areas surrounding IMB, since 5 castles might be enough to win (especially in Baratheon's case, having 2 fortresses). But if Lannister is being crushed, is the above a good strategy? Finishing with 5 castles is unlikely to be enough if either GJ or Tyrell has both LP and RR, or if Stark sneaks down south.

I think in the event of an unbalanced GJ-Lannister conflict, Baratheon and Martell have to be more aggressive, not less. This helps GJ (since war elsewhere makes it harder for someone to stop them), but giving Stark/Tyrell a free pass to punish GJ just hand the game to them instead.

Baratheon can easily take Harrenhal and hope for a 5th castle in round 10 which should give him overproportional winning chances. Well, Martell has always a problem but as long as there is no possibility at sea, he can basically do nothing even if he wants to. Poor guy. shake
 
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MasterOfCoin wrote:
Baratheon can easily take Harrenhal and hope for a 5th castle in round 10 which should give him overproportional winning chances. Well, Martell has always a problem but as long as there is no possibility at sea, he can basically do nothing even if he wants to. Poor guy. shake


Can he, though? He probably needs a couple SE to take down The Reach or Storm's End (which should be heavily supported). Taking The Eyrie is very hard. A smart Stark can possibly even take MotM on the 9th turn to protect it. Harrenhal should be supported by whoever holds Stoney Sept (plus possibly from Lannisport depending on Iron Throne priority). So taking down Harrenhal requires moving a lot of conventional (non-SE) units from Crackclaw Point without leaving it defenseless to Stark himself. It helps a lot if Baratheon can support/raid/march from Blackwater, but then he might get in conflict with Tyrell. So the South being at peace is not much of a given.

Frankly, though, I think GJ should only go for Lannister early game if Lannister makes a very big mistake. An example whould be an opening that foregoes the CP* while still allowing GJ to take Riverrun without commiting Balon (Happens more often than you'd think).

In those kinds of game, GJ will have Riverrun from turn 2 (and probably never lose it) and be threatening Lannisport not by turn 7, but by turn 3-5. I think GJ is definietly favored at least in those games. They'll get huge supplies, huge CP bonuses from Game of Thrones, some openings to CP from Seagard, etc. Would you agree that GJ is better off commiting to a huge Lannister blunder than grinding it out with Stark? Would you agree this is enough to achieve an overproportional score at least in those games?

I'd love to clear that point, because a lot of people say "GJ shouldn't go for Lannister" as if it is a rule, but I personally think GJ absolutely should if Lannister screws up, and Lannister screwing up often enough perfectly justifies GJ's overproportional score. We can later go back to other scenarios.
 
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Blazerunner wrote:

Harrenhal should be supported by whoever holds Stoney Sept (plus possibly from Lannisport depending on Iron Throne priority). So taking down Harrenhal requires moving a lot of conventional (non-SE) units from Crackclaw Point without leaving it defenseless to Stark himself. It helps a lot if Baratheon can support/raid/march from Blackwater, but then he might get in conflict with Tyrell. So the South being at peace is not much of a given.

The scenario was that Lannister is basically smashed and as Greyjoy I would always raid Stoney Sept/Harrenhal. So Harrenhal is a ripe fruit for Baratheon. Further I would install a support hub at Crackclaw Point which solves two problems: Crackclaw Point will be save and also its surroundings as Stark will probably not raid a reliable ally (why should he? + you might raid Narrow Sea preemptively). If Tyrell fights for Blackwater is another story but Baratheon's chances to hold Blackwater are better than with a living Lannister.
 
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