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Subject: Basic Tactics In Cry Havoc rss

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Jon Snow
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CRY HAVOC TACTICS

By Chas


Its great to have video introductions and soon Strategy Guides for each faction by the designer. But when you start to play, its best to get the basics of the game. You need to be flexible to a degree based on what your opponent(s) are doing anyhow. An extreme example of this was a recent 2 Player where I beat the Machines with the Pilgrims without building a single structure. Usually basic tactics will set up more esoteric possibilities (mostly using your structures) anyhow. So let's start with a review of the basics, which applies to any active faction in Cry Havoc, and especially early in the game.

BASIC TACTICS

1. Recruit Your Second Wave Early You're not going to win the game with your initial four units. Since you need to take a few Regions early, recruit your second wave early so you'll have more options in the first Turn. Don't be fooled by tenants like “Never Recruit” for the Machines or Pilgrims (who have structures that can bring reserves directly onto the board). That's for later on, when you're got control of regions in which to build them.

2. Plan Ahead; Be Efficient You want to make efficient moves, as you have a very limited number of actions each rounds. Use multiple points (card icons) per action in general, not just one or two. However, don't use more than you need (see #5 below).

3. Grab Your Share In Cry Havoc you'll need to Land On It and Stand On It to get crystal bearing regions. If you're the Pilgrims, you'll need three regions to go for a Pool enhancing Structure strategy. So get your slice of the pie. Not counting Headquarters, in a two player game, that's 5 of the 10. In a 3 Player 5 of 16, in a 4 Player 4 of 16. You won't need or be able to get them all, NPC Trogs being what they are, let alone active enemies. But keep in mind that owning too few throughout the game will mean you are effectively shut down for both Victory Points and future options.

4. Lock 'Em Down Perhaps the single most important rule is that of the Battle Region. Taking the initiative to determine where battles will be fought by moving into your enemy(s) forces before they do it to you will allow you to dictate the pace and focus of the game. And to follow up with later actions that round which can often benefit you after the main enemy force is pinned. Its very hard to leave a Battle Region.

5. Save Cards For Battle Cards in this game can be quickly spent, and you generally don't have enough of the multipurpose cards to do all you want to do. I started out playing all my cards to do cool things, and then having no cards left for battles. My earliest opponent always had lots of cards left. I lost most of my battles. Keep asking your opponents how many cards they currently have in their hand, and save some for yourself to balance their cards out. And even a useless card may work for you as a bluff! Some times its best to do a draw action before you get started with another action, and then you'll have a stronger hand. The Desert deck is especially good for keeping your hand replenished, as any non-Battle action with them gives you one replacement card. To get more card options, deck build with cards from the Terrain Decks, because (except when played from the Machine's structure Matrix) they are discarded when played to your own discard pile--there are no Terrain Deck discard piles.

6. Time Enable Scoring It can be used in combination with your place in the Turn Order and your other actions in the same turn to lock down the enemy and/or score points unexpectedly. You should be considering all three actions in combination.

***

Its difficult to lay down general tactical principles without dictating a specific play style. How did I do? Do you agree or disagree with the above? Anything you would add?
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Oak Wolf
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I think that's a good base view of the principles needed to understand the game.

Something i would like to see in your post is the finesse required with the Enable Scoring card.

Sometimes i've won without using it, sometimes i've won by using it simply to prevent an opponent from laying it down...and at other times it gave me a ton of VP, or actually cost the game by using it on a wrong turn. There's only between 9-12 action "slots" to use that card, as the last turn of the game prevents it. This is also a very costly action to use, and a tricky card to keep in your hand.

I also agree that all races need to recruit, although machines just use the build order to achieve that rather efficently. That's why people say "never recruit". They do, but mostly via factories. The main reason why it is efficient is that you don't need to move the troops. a factory making 1 unit is 3 build points. The further the unit is from your hq, the more efficient it becomes (saving both move and recruit action points).

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Jon Snow
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I'm going to play 2-4 more games today, hopefully including my very first face to face Four player game(s)! I just solitaired a 4 Player to get the active Trog idea, and I'll be playing them in the first opportunity. It seems like a whole different ball game. Its much harder to take some Region Control for granted, that's for sure. My Trogs were ahead the whole game, but the Humans blasted out to take the win on the very last turn, with the Trog and Machines tied only six points behind, and the Pilgrims trailing far, far back.

I like to Enable Scoring often and early if it will help me. But so far, compared to others I feel that that is my personal play style rather than a general maxim. The Trogs did it almost every turn in the 4 Player, since they luckily had both the card and the first or second initiative position most of the time! But I'll see what I can come up with after some more experience, unless someone else does it here first.

(Edit) Okay, I've added a general principle!
 
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Raf Cordero
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Especially against the humans, Enable Scoring can be used defensively. They get 2x points for area control when they enable. Last game I played I enabled Scoring Turn 1 Action 1 just to prevent the humans from doing so. Worked on taking territory/gaining crystals after that.
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X Shrike
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captainraffi wrote:
Especially against the humans, Enable Scoring can be used defensively. They get 2x points for area control when they enable. Last game I played I enabled Scoring Turn 1 Action 1 just to prevent the humans from doing so. Worked on taking territory/gaining crystals after that.


Humans get 2x points from area control when they enable?

Do you mean they activated their default skill, which scores for the regions they currently control, and enable scoring, so they would then again score points from their territory control?
 
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Raf Cordero
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No. I don't have my game in front of me but I swear I remember the text on the enable scoring card saying something about an extra VP per controlled region. Unless that is just referring to the fact that only the person who enables scoring gets it?
 
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Oak Wolf
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It simply means that only the faction who enabled scoring gets +1 VP per controled region, while all players get 1VP per crystal they control (except Trogs who get half of that).

It does mean that Humans combining their default skill with an Enable scoring action can technically score a total of 2VP per controlled region in the same turn if they manage to hold to those region until the scoring phase.

This combo give them an incredible ability to shave a round of the game early and take the lead.
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Raf Cordero
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Ah ok, so it's a reminder of the base rule and not an additional one. shake
 
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Jeremy Rivea
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Don't forget that Transform is ABSOLUTELY TRANSFORMATIONAL to your entire play style!

Example: Opening move THROUGH that in trog tokens region ACROSS the map to attack THAT region, use drones to depopulate it on the following turn or two depending on how many trips pop. Then build a bunker, use Moving City and Transform. You now have 4 units on your Frontline! If you manage it right, building and moving bunkers always gives you a defensive AND offensive capability.

 
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Oak Wolf
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I agree, Transform is one hell of an efficient skill for machines when looking at bunkers. I didn't get to play it yet since we're sticking with default skills for now.
 
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Jon Snow
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I consider the use of structures as "Advanced Tactics." I may do another post on them, but I think Grant covers then in his faction Strategy Guides.

Note: I have added a general guide for using Enable Scoring as requested.

 
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