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Pax Renaissance» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Any basic strategic tips for new players? rss

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Jason Reid
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During my practice run through last night, the game seemed pretty opaque from the start. Any tips I can give new players that I introduce the game to in order to help them avoid any egregious starting errors, and build a competitive position?
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Bernhard Vierthaler
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I would recommend this tips by Philipp Klarmann. In my opinion they are really helpful:

Mastering the learning curve
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Jeremy Kidder
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Martensdale
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I'll say this after a few plays:
1. You need to be very aware of what is in your opponent's tableaus. You need to know what actions they are capable of and what empires the relate to.
2. You want to have empires in your tableau so you need to keep your eye out for ways to get them. the easiest and most direct is by getting a queen and having a coronation.
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Steve Carey
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When you put an empire in your tableau, carefully watch for cards in the market which can target and affect that empire.

For example, if you obtain the Ottomans then Ottoman or East cards can affect that empire, as can card abilities (e.g., repress East). You don't want opponents having such cards.

Sell the cards for 2 money or better yet play them into your tableau - if you lose the empire (say through a peasant revolt or jihad), then you have a strike-back ability.
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Jason Reid
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JKidder wrote:
2. You want to have empires in your tableau so you need to keep your eye out for ways to get them. the easiest and most direct is by getting a queen and having a coronation.


It seemed to me last night that it was pretty easy to get empires via conspiracy or peasant revolt. At the start of the game all the empires just have 1 defender, and there are a number of cards that give you a 2-unit conspiracy or a 1 unit + your concession revolt.
 
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Bernhard Vierthaler
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At the beginning they ARE easy to get. But then you have to nourish and shelter them, or the other players will pick them from your tableau like ripe fruits
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Jason Reid
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Bernhard Vierthaler wrote:
At the beginning they ARE easy to get. But then you have to nourish and shelter them, or the other players will pick them from your tableau like ripe fruits


That part seems true. I was just questioning the priority on Queens. They give easy access to empires at the beginning, sure, but so do lots of other cards it seems. And queens get less useful as the game goes on.
 
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Roel van der Hoorn
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Enschede
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Why empires are important to some extent, I feel they are often overvalued by newer players. An empire by itself does not get you anything directly. So you have an empire, but then what? What are you going to use it for?

I think cards with prestige icons are the ones to watch out for.

After six games I've seen the following victory conditions met:
* 3x Renaissance
* 3x Holy Islam
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Ken Sinn
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RvdH83 wrote:
Why empires are important to some extent, I feel they are often overvalued by newer players. An empire by itself does not get you anything directly. So you have an empire, but then what? What are you going to use it for?


Early Empires themselves aren't very important, but the ability to place concessions are. That gives you strong early economy along a trade route -- this is doubly so in the East, along the East Trade Route, as it is short, and can be more easily monopolized. Likewise, both trade routes start in the North-East, so claiming an early empire there lets you benefit from BOTH trade routes.
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Marcus Kielly
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I've played 5 games so far, and won three of the different victory conditions. Here are my observations so far:


1: Develop cards that are aligned with your initial concession. In my last game I had Jacques Coueur which gave me relative impunity to fire the East trade route, and worked well with an East focussed strategy

2: Don't neglect the East Trade row (and route) - in most of the games I played, the players focussed on the West Trade route. The West route travels through more countries and benefits more players, so it gets hit a lot more.

I suspect this is largely because of the utility of using Queens to marry Kings. The East route seems to lend itself to the religious victory condition. NB: marriage is a lot less useful/common as a means of acquiring an empire in the East. < edit: See below

3. Use the trade route action to build up levies of mixed lineage - then use the imbalance to trigger a religious war.

4. Don't always place concessions on the sea border of a trade route - you can use the land border concession to tip a Vote action in your favour, thus granting you another Empire.

5. Repression is your friend - repress pieces on opponent Empires to promote instability, then use a peasant revolt/conspiracy to capture it.

6. Tax is also your friend - use it to keep the opponent short on cash, or rich in repressed pieces.

7. You can protect yourself from an opponent who has played heavily in East/West by playing the opposite side. Remember that the bishop can't travel over from East/West...

8. Keep an eye on cards that target either yours or your opponents empires. Buy them to use them or keep them out of mischief.

9. You can trigger a trade route action to get rid of the first card in the row.

10. Cards that target the whole of the East/West are often very useful, especially if you have a bishop in play.

11. Getting a bishop whose colour is not on the opponents religious actions can be very useful, because they can't get rid of it.

12. Bishops cancel each other out if they end up on the same card - use this to your advantage to score a religious victory.

13. When campaigning, sacrifice pieces from adjacent attackers to destabilise those regions for subsequent capture attempts.

14. If your opponent has more concessions along your favoured trade route, grab cards that give you commerce in their tableau action and use those instead.

In a nutshell, I tended to try and make regions wobbly through repression/levy and then capture them with one shots. The other tactic I tended to use was using concessions to support Vote actions - so using the land border helped and the opponent was less inclined to replace that concession. These approaches seemed a lot easier than campaigning, which I did rarely. Might not be the most sound strategic advice, but these were some things I tried in the games I played which seemed to work well. Enjoy!
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Marcus Kielly
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I've played several more games, and it seems that the East is very powerful early in the game, but this is balanced by having a short trade route, which may discourage investment in that area (and thus starve East players for cash). Ottoman provides a powerful launch pad into the west, however, so there is a way to diversify/consolidate your influence across both regions.
If you get the right banker, the East could snag you an early win, or provide pressure while you investigate other mid-term alternatives.
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Christoffer Fast
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Very nice observations, Marcus! I have only played the game once with 4 players (and three times by myself, to learn the rules) and am planning to introduce it to another group soon. Your post definitely piques my interest for this game yet again


There is one thing that I wonder about:

sunwukung wrote:
2: Don't neglect the East Trade route cards - in most of the games I played, I noticed that we focussed on the West Trade route. I suspect this is largely because of the utility of using Queens to marry Kings. The East route seems to lend itself to the religious victory condition. NB: marriage is a lot less useful/common as a means of acquiring an empire in the East.


I've looked through the cards, and noticed that there are 5 Queens in each deck, which statistically should make Coronation -more- likely in the East since that deck is smaller from the start, right? (Not saying anything about the usefulness, though)
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Marcus Kielly
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blush

I stand corrected - probability being what it is, I played several games with few Queen cards coming out of the East - and assumed that there were less there. I should really have checked the distribution as you have.
In my first few games, I kept seeing Grim/jihad coming from the east - last game, not a single Jihad, only Conspiracies!

Perhaps this is a symptom of groupthink, in that the group I played with was more inclined to use the West trade row (possibly because it has a longer trade route at the beginning). This made us cycle the East row more slowly, thus my misconception.

My apologies for the misinformation - although I still think the East is definitely stronger in the early game.
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Jeff Coon
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jasonwocky wrote:
Bernhard Vierthaler wrote:
At the beginning they ARE easy to get. But then you have to nourish and shelter them, or the other players will pick them from your tableau like ripe fruits


That part seems true. I was just questioning the priority on Queens. They give easy access to empires at the beginning, sure, but so do lots of other cards it seems. And queens get less useful as the game goes on.


At the beginning of the game, empires are much easier to acquire through Peasant Revolts or Conspiracies, so Queens don't seem that much more important. However, once a couple of trade fairs happen and the levies come out, Revolts & Conspiracies are harder to engineer so Queens become more valuable. Also note that Queens are a bloodless way of acquiring an empire, leaving any defenders still on the map. Peasant Revolts and Conspiracies will often leave an empire weakened with fewer defenders, making it easier to steal from you -- Queens don't have this disadvantage.
 
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