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Agricola, Master of Britain» Forums » General

Subject: Hostile Cup rss

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Chas H
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I have been finding that my hostile cup often goes empty, prompting an immediate turn end and scoring of a few victory points.

This can be compounded towards the end of the game where there may be less than 8 tribal units on the map and the hostile cup is used to bring back the number to 8.

I have been replenishing the hostile cup with 4 unfriendly units at the end of each turn, per the Rule 9.8. But this does not keep up with the loss of units in the hostile cup.

The peacekeeping action with Agricola can rapidly deplete the hostile cup (2 hostile to unfriendly then resolve 1 hostile, resulting in the hostile cup depleting by 3 for each Agricola peacekeeping action). That can be my default action if I just want to move Agricola's legion.

Defeated units in a tribal box typically go into the unfriendly cup (as the attacking legion is in the region of the defeated tribal units). I find that a little odd - you would think the attack would stir up hostility in the tribal region under attack.

I wonder if I am missing a rule somewhere.

 
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Tom Russell
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Cfh123 wrote:
I have been finding that my hostile cup often goes empty, prompting an immediate turn end and scoring of a few victory points.

This can be compounded towards the end of the game where there may be less than 8 tribal units on the map and the hostile cup is used to bring back the number to 8.

I have been replenishing the hostile cup with 4 unfriendly units at the end of each turn, per the Rule 9.8. But this does not keep up with the loss of units in the hostile cup.


We did have this happen in a couple of playtests, and it really hampered the player's ability to score enough VP to keep progressing, or to take any meaningful actions/turns. If you're spamming peacekeeping, you're probably not making the best use of your actions. It will create a kind of loop where the island is quiet, but not exactly pacified either, just as spamming the more belligerent actions will create the opposite sort of loop.

So I guess the big question is, how is that working out for you? Are you still able to score enough VP to win the game?

Quote:

Defeated units in a tribal box typically go into the unfriendly cup (as the attacking legion is in the region of the defeated tribal units). I find that a little odd - you would think the attack would stir up hostility in the tribal region under attack.


Just so I have a clear picture-- you're resolving the dead pool at the end of the battle before you put the eliminated/defeated tribe into the dead pool, right? Which means those tribal units that you just eliminated would only be moved back into the cup the next time you resolve the dead pool (either at the conclusion of the next battle, or at the end of the turn).
 
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Tom Russell
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Also, keep in mind that you can't do peacekeeping if there are any tribal leaders anywhere on the map. Effectively once Calgacus comes out, this action is gone until you defeat him at Mons Graupius. Certainly it's possible, mathematically-speaking, to have a game where Calgacus never comes out, or even where none of the leaders come out-- but it's fairly unlikely to happen all that often, especially across multiple plays.
 
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Chas H
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Quote:


Just so I have a clear picture-- you're resolving the dead pool at the end of the battle before you put the eliminated/defeated tribe into the dead pool, right? Which means those tribal units that you just eliminated would only be moved back into the cup the next time you resolve the dead pool (either at the conclusion of the next battle, or at the end of the turn).


Yes I put the defeated tribes in the dead pool and wait until the next battle or end of the turn to resolve them (put them back into one of the cups, usually the unfriendly cup).

I have found that I have been winning games. I build settlements as quickly as possible, first in the tan region, then blue and then green. That coupled with around 5 level 3 legions can generate a lot of victory points. I can usually get to 5 level 3 legions by the end of the second turn.

With the peacekeeping action Calgacus is less likely to end up in the hostile cup (or if he does he gets put back into the unfriendly cup and diluted with all the other unfriendly units) so I've been able to avoid Calgacus showing up in several games. When the other leaders show up they are only present for a single turn and then back into the unfriendly cup.

I have forgotten a few times to add two tribes to the hostile cup after internecine warfare so that could have been made a bit of a difference.

I've never used the suppress action because it does not seem worth it - roll for a chance of eliminating one tribal unit but with potentially two more tribal units showing up on the map. Hence using peacekeeping as my default action if I want to move from one place to another.




 
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Marc Figueras

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I've had the same experience as Chas. In three of my games I depeleted the hostile cup around mid-game, so the last turns were basically 1 action and the hostile cup going empty, prompting the end of turn and gaining some VP. In two of these three games I won with a good margin of VP; in the other one, I lost by a few VP.

And I agree with Chas in:

Quote:
I've never used the suppress action because it does not seem worth it - roll for a chance of eliminating one tribal unit but with potentially two more tribal units showing up on the map. Hence using peacekeeping as my default action if I want to move from one place to another.


And, moreover, the suppress action has not any modifiers, so I can do nothing to improve the chances of success.
 
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Tom Russell
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Oersted wrote:
I've had the same experience as Chas. In three of my games I depeleted the hostile cup around mid-game, so the last turns were basically 1 action and the hostile cup going empty, prompting the end of turn and gaining some VP. In two of these three games I won with a good margin of VP; in the other one, I lost by a few VP.

And I agree with Chas in:

Quote:
I've never used the suppress action because it does not seem worth it - roll for a chance of eliminating one tribal unit but with potentially two more tribal units showing up on the map. Hence using peacekeeping as my default action if I want to move from one place to another.


And, moreover, the suppress action has not any modifiers, so I can do nothing to improve the chances of success.


Well, the suppress action is the only way to remove a single tribal unit from a box (you can't Battle if there's less than two units), and with Agricola's bonus, it can often result in two units being eliminated. It's going to work better in some regions and with some tribal units than others-- I'll gladly risk it with any of the blue tribal units, and with the "3" or "4" Resistance units in other tribes.

Thank you both for expressing your concerns with this. However extensive the testing process, it's not foolproof, and this might be a hole in the rules that needs to be addressed. I'm going to crunch some numbers and move some counters around to see what I can make of it.
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Tom Russell
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...And that's when I stumbled upon a fairly important piece of errata:

Quote:

5.2 - Peacekeeping Action
To the restrictions, add "There must not be any Tribal Units in the box in which the Action takes place. The Legion must move before taking this action." That is, Peacekeeping is contingent on being able to move your Legion to an empty box. Yes, you can use this to move into a Legionary Camp.


https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/24095752#24095752
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Chas H
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It is a very good game by the way.

I wonder if the hostile cup should be replenished by 5 per turn rather than 4, or some numbers tweaked so the hostile cup does not run dry.

Or after a legion attacks units get added to the hostile cup (not just when legion units are lost which tends to be a rare event). Thematically it would make sense for the number of hostile tribes to increase when the Romans rule with an iron fist.

When the hostile cup does run dry it skews the game in the player's favour because the player gets victory points but no new tribal units placed on the map and there are no cup adjustments. So I think the hostile cup running dry should be something than happens quite rarely.
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Marc Figueras

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Cfh123 wrote:
It is a very good game by the way.


Indeed! It's one of the most engaging solo games I played recently.
 
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