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Subject: Event Card C [spoilers] rss

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Gerald Butler
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I believe this also applies to cards A and B as well but I don't have them in front of me to check.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
"...pirates (raid value 9) raid the province vault with the most gold. If they roll at least three successes, they plunder the vault..."

The way we've been treating this is the exact same mechanics as one player raiding another: subtract dice from the dice pool for the province garrison and any of that province's ships present, and then roll against the province defense. That seems reasonable because it specifies that this is a raid (though it doesn't use the word "endeavor" anywhere on the card), EXCEPT for the fact that there is a discrepancy between the number of successes they state makes it successful (3) and the default province defense (5). Since the pirates can't take damage and kind of brute force their way in the way another player can, i.e. roll 3 successes against 5 defense and just take 2 damage, it seems odd that they would need to specify a number that is lower than the defense. If we're treating it the right way, they have to roll at least 5 successes to match or beat the province defense, so the 3 threshold is automatically reached if the raid was successful.

Another interpretation is that all raid mechanics are avoided, and it's a straight 9 dice to roll 3 or more successes. Seems insanely overpowered at that point given that this card can be absolutely devastating to a person's plan, whereas all the other Pirate King cards we've seen thus far are pretty tame and can be fairly easily mitigated (take goods out of your warehouse for one turn, or buy a terrible advisor to dismiss). The only way to avoid being hit with this is to spend all your gold, which is actually terrible for anyone who is saving for something expensive and thus will delay their plan for potentially several rounds, which might cost them the game.

Or, could it be that a later box reveals ways to lower province defenses? In that case it would make sense that they would have to specify a number like that. (If this is the case please don't mention it! I'm just throwing it out there to prevent having this reveal, if it happens, be spoiled for me.)
 
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Federico Galeotti
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
We played that the garrison and province ships subtract dice from the dice pool. Of the remaining dice, the pirates need 3 successes to successfully plunder.

Compare and contrast another Event
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Restless Bones, which specifically DO NOT mention the Raid mechanic, and in fact has been clarified to be just a straight roll of dice, with no subtraction of dice due to the ship characteristics.

 
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Adam Ruzzo
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As it doesn't mention endevor, we've been simply removing dice and not using the defense value at all. The card is clear that you remove dice per normal, but does not say anything about the defense value, only the number of successes.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
This makes sense to me, as it means that such cards will be around for a while until someone actually makes an effort to stop them (by buffing their province garrison and stationing their ships there during the proper round).

It would be a very low chance of success for the pirates doing it your way, which means whoever gets the event first or 2nd gets an automatic glory, which doesn't seem correct. Only someone who invests in stopping the pirates should have a good chance of getting that glory.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
smoothofhand wrote:
EXCEPT for the fact that there is a discrepancy between the number of successes they state makes it successful (3) and the default province defense (5).


The province defense is irrelevant here since there is no damage being dealt to the pirates. A player can get through your vault with only 4 successes (I believe the only site on the province board needing 5 successes is the Treasure Room), though they will take 1 damage for the effort since they would be short 1 from the province defense.

Your point still stands that there is a discrepancy between how many successes the pirates need and what a player would need to raid the vault. I think though this is actually just a special rule for this one raid and that it still counts as a raid (therefore garrison and support ships apply).
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David desJardins
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smoothofhand wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The only way to avoid being hit with this is to spend all your gold


Spoiler (click to reveal)
No, you just have to have less than someone else.
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Becq Starforged
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Our assumption has been that you use the normal mechanics, except where the event card says otherwise. So:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The card states that it counts as a raid. In a normal raid you subtract garrison from the raid dice pool, and the card doesn't state otherwise, so you subtract your garrison from the specified base dice pool of 9. A normal endeavor of any type needs at least one success and survival of the flagship to succeed, but the event specifies a flat number of successes, so that is used instead. A normal province raid would compare successes against plunder values, but again the event card specifies the plunder results differently, so use the card rules. And finally, a normal raid would result in damage to the flagship if the number of successes was less than the site difficulty, but damage isn't relevant here.

As to discrepancies in successes needed, feel free to rationalize it by assuming the attacker is using a special advisor or upgrade that is granting the appropriate number of bonus successes in a province raid, and that the pirate has enough upgrades to soak the damage taken (and then sails off to repair before the event is drawn again)...
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Gerald Butler
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DaviddesJ wrote:
smoothofhand wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The only way to avoid being hit with this is to spend all your gold


Spoiler (click to reveal)
No, you just have to have less than someone else.


Fair enough, but to be precise, it has to be what you described at the END of the round. If you go first, you can't predict what others' situations will be, and the only safe strategy is the one I described. Of course if you go last then you have more options.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I just really have a hard time accepting the idea of only garrisons/ships affecting the roll. I don't know about other people's experiences, but no one in my game (I believe we're on game 7, 5 players) has upgraded their garrison even once. Here are the probabilities of rolling at least 3 successes at various dice pools:
3: 30%
4: 59%
5: 79%
6: 90%
7: 99+%

So even if you have 3 garrison and both your ships, the pirates still have almost 60% chance of succeeding. The chances of having the card be torn up are ludicrously small; a 4 garrison and 2 ships still leaves a 74% chance of getting at least 2 successes, and that to me is an unlikely enough scenario as it is. It's more likely that you'll NOT have both ships in harbor, which then puts the pirate's chances at 89% or higher even with a very strong garrison.

"Upgrade your garrison then". Sure, let me spend 1 or maybe 2 upgrades (or spend a bunch of the gold I'm saving on a garrison building) on something that won't even give me a solid chance to win given the above probabilities. It seems like a high variance design that's not fun and honestly I don't see the point. If it was meant as a balance to pull back people in the lead, why not just make all the Pirate King cards affect whoever has the most glory but have different targets (gold/goods/advisors)? As it is you can have someone in last place get royally screwed by getting hit with this card at the wrong time.
 
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David desJardins
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If you're in last place then you're not going first in the round.

It seems to me you're just dramatically exaggerating how bad this event is.

If you just want to criticize the design and thought behind it, well, there are a hundred other things in this game that seem as haphazard and not particularly well thought out. This doesn't rank in the top 50 most problematic of them.
 
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Becq Starforged
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Perhaps that's exactly how the card is intended?
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I would argue that the card was fully intended to be a semi-permanent feature, lasting for a number of games. When it first goes into the deck, the structures available -- as you point out -- make it chancy to try to eliminate, and make it very expensive to even try.

So ... maybe you aren't supposed to eliminate him yet. Maybe to begin with, the card is supposed to basically automatically take half of the gold leader's cash, with the die roll being a formality. Basically, its a mechanic intended to discourage building up stacks of loot that just sit in your vault. Then, as provinces grow stronger, the event becomes chance-based, with your willingness to invest in defenses determining the chance of losing money. Then, finally, someone with a sizable garrison will get lucky and destroy the event -- but maybe not for half the campaign or so (I don't know, we aren't that strong and/or lucky yet).

Just another thing to consider: I don't know how raid-happy or peaceful your group is, but in my group one of the players can routinely make this event look like an attack by My Little Pony. And you'd better be sure that if you have enough cash sitting there in your vault to make this event overly painful, that money's likely to get robbed, event or no.

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Adam Ruzzo
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Perhaps the reason nobody upgrades their garrison in your game is because you are playing this card wrong . As soon as we saw it people started thinkong a lot more carefully about the garrison upgrades.
 
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Becq Starforged
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DaviddesJ wrote:
If you're in last place then you're not going first in the round.

Wait, what? Unless I'm missing something ... well, you're missing something.
 
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David desJardins
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OK, true. I guess I was thinking about tiebreakers and I got confused. The tiebreakers work in a more favorable way for many of the other events.

I am having the biggest problem with this whole idea of a player who has a grand plan that requires a whole bunch of gold sitting in his vault that he can't possibly spend on anything because that would ruin the plan. That certainly doesn't seem to me the typical game situation.
 
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Becq Starforged
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Agreed.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The last time that card game out, I had just received a large cash infusion the turn before. No problem, I bought a nice treasure, built an upgrade, and built a structure. New gold reserve: zero, if I recall correctly. (Then another player "accidentally" managed to find a small pile of gold, and promptly got dragged into a dark alleyway and hit over the head by the card...)
 
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Gerald Butler
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DaviddesJ wrote:
OK, true. I guess I was thinking about tiebreakers and I got confused. The tiebreakers work in a more favorable way for many of the other events.

I am having the biggest problem with this whole idea of a player who has a grand plan that requires a whole bunch of gold sitting in his vault that he can't possibly spend on anything because that would ruin the plan. That certainly doesn't seem to me the typical game situation.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
Considering there is a milestone that I believe comes out with this event card whose entire purpose is to build up gold, I would think it can't be that farfetched, at least until that milestone is reached. Granted, it may be that they paired the milestone and event (I think they came in the same box) as a way to introduce more risk to that strategy, but then again, they're already ripe targets for raiding by other players if they're stockpiling gold, so I don't get the purpose of adding another mechanic to screw them over. What does it add to the game?

Maybe during playtesting they found too many people hoarding gold with others refusing to raid due to enmity. In our games people rarely have much gold for long because (a) they spend it to improve their position or (b) they get raided. But I have a 5 person group, and gold is not easy to come by (which is part of why it's so frustrating to have this mechanic in our play sessions--it's already hard to get enough gold to fund various strategies, then the Pirate hits and it's either a race to the bottom or just press your luck and hope for the best). So maybe the playtester groups tended toward 3 or 4 player games, which should have more plentiful resources, and found that gold was so easy to acquire that they had to add something to counter it.

Regardless, I understand the logic of everyone's interpretation. I just disagree with it from a design standpoint because it's significantly more hindering than the other PK events and so difficult to outright stop via planned actions like garrison buildings, although I acknowledge that it can eventually be done if someone dedicates a lot of time and resources to it...for the reward of 1 glory and saving everyone else from having to deal with it anymore.
 
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Gerald Butler
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Bridger wrote:
Perhaps the reason nobody upgrades their garrison in your game is because you are playing this card wrong . As soon as we saw it people started thinkong a lot more carefully about the garrison upgrades.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
That's fair. But like I outlined earlier, even with multiple garrison upgrades it's still a long shot. You have to remove 6 dice to have better odds than the PK of simply not getting raided, or 8 to have better odds at tearing up the card. Are other groups getting remotely close to being able to do that?
 
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Adam Ruzzo
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smoothofhand wrote:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
That's fair. But like I outlined earlier, even with multiple garrison upgrades it's still a long shot. You have to remove 6 dice to have better odds than the PK of simply not getting raided, or 8 to have better odds at tearing up the card. Are other groups getting remotely close to being able to do that?


Spoiler (click to reveal)
I think it is designed to hang around for most of the campaign until someone gets lucky after building up some defenses.
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David desJardins
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smoothofhand wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Considering there is a milestone that I believe comes out with this event card whose entire purpose is to build up gold, I would think it can't be that farfetched, at least until that milestone is reached. Granted, it may be that they paired the milestone and event (I think they came in the same box) as a way to introduce more risk to that strategy, but then again, they're already ripe targets for raiding by other players if they're stockpiling gold, so I don't get the purpose of adding another mechanic to screw them over. What does it add to the game?


This is the Rules forum not the Why forum.

There's a million things in the game that make me ask "WHY???" If this is going to bother you, the rest of the game will drive you crazy.
 
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Nathanaël Dufour
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smoothofhand wrote:


Spoiler (click to reveal)
That's fair. But like I outlined earlier, even with multiple garrison upgrades it's still a long shot. You have to remove 6 dice to have better odds than the PK of simply not getting raided, or 8 to have better odds at tearing up the card. Are other groups getting remotely close to being able to do that?

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Removing 5 dice (2 garrisons + your ships + 1 defence tower for example) gives you a 40 % chance of having no negative effect. It is something that has been happening routinely in our games. It makes that card an interesting little threat, annoying for the player which needs a lot of money and amusing for the others. It is by no means disastrous to that player, who can just turn its money into treasure/advisors/building/improvement...

This card (or something similar) disappeared in game 7, which was nice : we heard enough about that pirate king to make him interesting.

Removing 8 dice only happened once I think, when my gf knew I wanted badly to raid her. It is obviously overkill and I'm positive the card was not supposed to be fought that hard in and on itself.
 
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