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Clockwork Wars» Forums » General

Subject: Runaway Leader problem? rss

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Gold Sirius
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So, I've played 6 games of CW so far, and I really enjoy the game.
4 of them were 2 players, and the last 2 were 4 players.

The game works well at 2, but it seemed to us that there could be a runaway leader problem (impossible to catch back up).
The 4 player games we had cemented this feeling.

In both games, the person that was first in points at the start of the Late Age ALSO won the game. The last three rounds almost felt useless. There's not a lot of points you can make to catch up, and depending on the discoveries, there might be none at all.

Discoveries also accentuate the runaway leader problem. The more a player has, the more invincible they become. And once you're out of Cities/Villages, you just can't come back in since you don't recruit anymore... (4 workers vs 8 for the Leader won't help you)

Anyway, point is, the better a player is doing early in the game, the more likely it is that they'll win by a wide margin. The game quickly snowballs in their favor.

I like the game, and I would even say I like it a lot, but I think I like it best at two. It's less chaotic and feels more strategic. Hopefully we will keep on feeling this way for a long time as we get even more games in.
 
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Ben Rubinstein

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That's really interesting and totally counter intuitive to me. I'd think runaway leader is WORSE in two player. In 4 player, the other 3 can gang up rather easily. One point I'd make is don't forget how many points unused IP can be. I had a player win who was last in points going into the 3rd age. But because he was stockpiling and not spending many IP, he actually came out first!
 
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Rodney Cockrell
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epilepticemu wrote:
That's really interesting and totally counter intuitive to me. I'd think runaway leader is WORSE in two player. In 4 player, the other 3 can gang up rather easily. One point I'd make is don't forget how many points unused IP can be. I had a player win who was last in points going into the 3rd age. But because he was stockpiling and not spending many IP, he actually came out first!


Ooh, I've been playing the game wrong! I forgot that IP's can be cashed in at the end of the game.
 
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Rock Bronson

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I've played quite a few 2 player games, I'd say 10 or so, and I haven't experienced the same problem, but I think the metagame kinda changes over time. When I started I was always targeting scoring tiles in scoring rounds, going for R&D often for the cool cards, and focusing on the Discovery tree. Now I know that it's very possible to win without any of those things. I'm not disagreeing about your personal experience of course, I'm just saying there are many avenues to victory for a creative experienced player. If everyone (or both players in a 2p game) employs same tactics or values the same things in order to advance their strategy, then all but one will lose out. The more players I play with, the more new tactics & tricks I learn.

edit: However- if you allow yourself to lose whatever is letting you produce workers, you are asking for it. Understanding the worker economy is tantamount to winning. You can only "finance" your war with fresh bodies. This is the reason that I often target villages and cities before Lakes and Forests in scoring rounds. I have won games without a single discovery or general, but I have never won with no cities or villages. Though they don't directly net points, they are often the most contested hexes in my games. Even in the last scoring round, a devastating coordinated attack to an enemy's infrastructure at weakened points where they don't expect you can crush their entire supply line in some cases, leading to attrition loss that negates their scoring potential. Also, nearly as powerful as crippling an enemy's recruitment in late game is making them overcommit. If the opponent believes they are about to lose units in a big battle, they're not worried about investing a large amount as most will come back to them- but what if it didn't? would they have too many units tied up to protect themeselves? Gotta do the math, and avoid playing predictably.
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