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Champions of Midgard» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategy! Leaders, Ranked! rss

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Grant Whitesell

Oklahoma
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I'd like to start a discussion on the various layers of strategy for this title, because...well, there aren't any at the moment.

Here's my ranking of the various champions, for starters, and please feel free to correct me as needed:

1) Asmundr the Pious:

Anything that equals +VP for doing what you were going to do anyway is extremely strong. This encourages him to combat aggressively, collect Favor tokens, and spend them liberally meaning that his odds of winning said combat overwhelmingly is going to be high. Overall, I think he has the highest potential of raw VP gain across the board.

2) Ullr the Berserker:

Similar to #1 - you're going to fight, and fight, and fight as much as possible to try and crank those doubles out -they're only worth 1 VP- but as anyone who's ever played Terra Mystica with the Halflings can attest to, a consistent 1 VP over and over again is a very good thing indeed. Ranked slightly lower due to I feel his potential is a little less.

3) Svanhildr the Swordmaiden:

Swordsman dice are awful, though! Yeah, they're half blank. But upping your hits to 2- and 3- on the respective dice is very powerful, and not even in combat. If you assign two to the hunting grounds, you're likely coming home with at least 2 food, and probably more. Assigned to a monster, yeah, you will lose some almost certainly, but that 14-pointer will be dead. I'd say she's a little stronger in games where the Military building allowing for food:2 Sword exchange is available.

4) Dagrun the Destined:

Filtering additional victory condition cards is good, and these can be a great way to sneak a good 15-20 points on someone - however much of these are out of your control. It's still a good way to rack up some points in addition to, but it's situational at best and not "always-on" like the others.

5) Gylfir the Seaworthy:

And speaking of things that aren't "always on" - this is...hard mode. Like, you've played it a couple times and want to handicap yourself. His ability is not even close to the levels of utility of the other ones. While it can result in swings of burst economy in combination with the 'trader' space - the thing is - that space can be blocked. If someone else gets to the Merchant ships before you do, your ID text is blank. Gylfir wants to be Starting player as often as possible, but the Starting Player wants to fight the Troll as often as possible since that's the only way to really manage Blame right now. It's like he needs something else to make him competitive, since right now he is EASILY the worst Leader in the game.



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Adam H
United States
Kent
Ohio
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I'm not an expert on the game, just a few plays under my belt, but I think you've sold Gylfir the Seaworthy a little short.

The fact that he doesn't have to pay for the spot that other people would have to is pretty awesome, you can spend every drop of your gold on something and it keeps options open for next turn.

I agree that it isn't "always on", and that the space can be blocked so you want to be first, but in a way that has some influence on the turn as well. If the people before you are always spending their action to block you, they're not only spending their gold to do so, but they're also reliably spending their opening actions in that way. If you have a lower interest in using the market space, it is kind of a turn order boost because other people are over-prioritizing that spot in their mind because of your presence.

If the other players *don't* prioritize that spot and let you walk away with it free each turn you're going to get a big advantage in the game (speaking from experience in our first game).

Consequently, he doesn't necessarily result in a direct jump in VP like some of the others, but the control and influence on how other people are taking their turns is pretty powerful.

I haven't tried to rank the leaders in my head yet, and I'm not sure if the above is enough to change your mind, but I think labeling him "easily" the worst was a bit harsh. =)
 
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Grant Whitesell

Oklahoma
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You can let Gylfir just *have* his ability every round and yes, it'll save him 8 gold, which is nothing to sneeze at in a fairly gold-light game. Even with those benefits I don't really see that advantage holding up with what I am estimating is a +10 or +15 VP you're likely to see from the top two in my list. He could turn those savings into exchanging for Favor tokens which could get him some extra juice with appropriate Destiny cards, but I do not see that keeping pace with someone who is just cranking Monster Quests every turn.

Of course, the player in each of these situation is of paramount importance and what he/she chooses to do and *when* - but assuming an equal amount of 'luck' all around he just falls flat.

It's a good boast worthy of a Viking, and thematic - "I can beat all of you with the Seaworthy!"
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Emperor Penguin
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Mercer
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For what it is worth I have only played the game twice, both times I was Gylfir and both times I won. First game was three players second was a four player. In the three player game I had no problem keeping first player for most of the game, but in the four player game some was constantly taking it.

But maybe I would have done even better with a different character. And two plays is not enough to base anything on.
 
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jooice ZP
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Gylfir is like playing on hard mode, but he can be quite useful if you know how to use him (or if for some reason your opponents don't realize what you are doing).

He allows you to be more reckless with your resources, which is big, but if players take away your first player token you will be in trouble.
You need to be paying attention to how much money everyone has - can be super useful, and if you are going last in the previous round try to set up a bait spot for the next first player (like 2 whites/food)

Lastly about Gylfir (if you are the first player-which is the only scenario I would pick him in), you have a 50% chance of getting the extra worker in the first round (resources from ship - > market - > extra worker -> extra action for the whole game which often gets you that first player back later)


About asmunder the OP got it right on. He also requires the strategy of buying Horns and fighting monsters to gain more. He is more useful when the horns for food tile is present.

ullr is pretty basic, you want black dice. This s usually good for about 4-6 points a game, for just going after black which is a simple strategy anyway.

Svanhilder- i like her, although she probably feels more powerful than she is.

Dagrun - is the worst as she is, in fact I have been playing with a variant with her that make her much more balanced in my opinion.
Her ability is nice and interesting, but it is 100% dependent on other players, and you can end a game without ever having the opportunity to use her spot. Unlike the merchant ship, the destiny hut is not almost always a top 3 location (so going first there would be silly). Not only is her ability dependent on others it is also based on luck.
Now if you go there about 3 times during the game, you should be able to gain at least 10 extra points, but you could have gotten an extra 5 by just going there with any other leader as well.
Yes she is useful in figuring out what your opponents are trying t accomplish but her ability is just too dependent on one spot.

My ranking of the 5 are:
Asmunder
Svanhilder/Ullr
Gylfir - would be tied for 2nd if I am going first in the game.
Dagrun

With my variant I would place Dagrun tied for 2nd, and I really wouldn't mind playing with of the 5.



 
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Brandon Wïse

Connecticut
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I am interested in people's praise for Asmundr, a character that I tend to avoid the most. Especially in 3 player games but even with 4, I can go all game without using Stave Church. When I do use it I never go there more than once. Am I unusual with this, do others use the Stave Church more frequently?
 
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Adam H
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FCBM wrote:
I am interested in people's praise for Asmundr, a character that I tend to avoid the most. Especially in 3 player games but even with 4, I can go all game without using Stave Church. When I do use it I never go there more than once. Am I unusual with this, do others use the Stave Church more frequently?


I also don't use the Stave Church very often, I think last game was the first time I tried it in three games. I always have better things to do with my coins. The thing that drove me there this time was that I spent all my favor on rerolls in round 7, and needed some extra insurance for my final journey in round 8. Otherwise I tend to keep a good supply of 1-2 favors sitting around from previous journeys and don't need the Stave Church.

I wonder how much of this discussion is based on "group think" in various play groups. It might just be that people in one group see higher value in a location and are competing heavily over it, whereas other players are working their strategy differently. The past game or two I've played were with new players, and they amassed full player boards of vikings and refilled immediately on losing a troop or two. Whereas in games before that (and my usual strategy) is to run a barebones crew of a few vikings and send them into Valhalla in a glorious adventure to kill a high attack, low health creature.

Might just be different play styles forming a different value set for the boards.
 
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Grant Whitesell

Oklahoma
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Asmundr's chief value is that he *retains* the value of favors, encouraging him to spend rather than hoard for a final scoring push. As Pseudacris mentions, this pushes him towards assailing monsters with smaller crews of Vikings, possibly even favoring taking the small public longship - knowing that rerolls increase the odds of hit dramatically AND that you're going to get a favor token, which should honestly be just invested in your next battle.

Stave Church seems like the no-brainer for him to score out, but I don't think it's really needed at all for him to get tremendous value out of his ability. EDIT: As a matter of fact, I don't think it's a good use of his coin at all, since he wants to use them, not hoard them. A surplus of coin for him would be far better spent acquiring a ship. I think he wants to get his favor tokens by beating up monsters, not purchasing them.
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Richard Derr
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Here's my ranking

1. Asmundr
2. Ullr
3. Gylfir
4. Svanhildr
5. Dagrun

Gylfir is legit, but you have to go first. Anyone with a bit of common sense will see that not only is the merchant ship usually a good deal, but they also can't let you take it. This means you have to burn workers to take the first player token on a fairly regular basis.

Svanhildr is tricky. I play reckless with her. I'll send one swordsman die to fight a monster with 2 defense. I spread myself very thin and hope for lots of kills.

I actually find the first 4 pretty solid. The only one I struggle to win with is Dagrun. I can never seem to get sage cards that line up well to make it easy to score a lot of points.
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Yosef Bender

Texas
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by letting Dagrun keep both destiny cards she becomes a much more valued and giving svanhildr 1 extra sword dice every time she collects any beef up her value.

 
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jooice ZP
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yosefbender wrote:
by letting Dagrun keep both destiny cards she becomes a much more valued and giving svanhildr 1 extra sword dice every time she collects any beef up her value.



Both of these sound too strong

What we do for Dargun is let her peek at the journey card once she commits a ship to a monster. Balances her out well and It also works thematically
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Grant Whitesell

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Svanhildr's ability is already very strong in the right game - where plenty of swordsmen are available. I don't think she needs buffing at all, indeed you probably want to do what you can to limit the availability of swordsmen she can take.
 
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Brandon Wïse

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What I noticed about Svanhildr was that her ability is rarely used more than two or three times in a game because the swords usually kill their target without the bonus. I guess there is a mental aspect to it also, maybe those who I play with are not risky enough.
 
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Bru Ticus
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Gylfir the Seaworthy is amazing in a 2 player game!

What are other house rules for Dargun?
 
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Grant Whitesell

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After another dozen games or so, I have to issue a retraction.

While on paper not as strong as the others, Gylfir piloted by an experienced player is really good.

Like, probably #2 on the list when adjusting for experience of players.
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Stephen Matthews
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Just played this game tonight for the 1st time. We had 4 players.

The Asmundr player won. We each played between 4 and 8 favors during the game. We each had between 3 and 5 Favors at the end of the game. Asmundr played 8 Favors in the game. This gave his player a 16 point delta. A huge difference. I know it is ridiculous to judge after only one play, but we are tempted to not play with the characters powers next time because Asmundr seemed so advantaged.

Ullr wasn't used.

The extra damage by Svanhildr only made the difference in one fight by that player. One 2 monsters in the whole game had defences of 3 so it is possible that Svanhildr's power just needs different circumstances.

My wife had Dagrun and Dagrun was a huge bust. My wife ended the game with 4 Destiny cards while the rest of us just ended with our original 1 Destiny Card. My wife did not win (or tie) in any of her Destiny Cards. And peaking at a Journey card (as part of going to the Sage's House) was a huge bust too because in all 3 cases, somebody else occupied the slot she peaked at before her next turn came around.

I had Gylfir and I managed to put a meeple at the Merchant Ship on 4 out of the 8 rounds -- so I saved 4 coins. A minor advantage but strategically very straightforward and measurable. But nothing close to as good as Asmundr.

 
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