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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Discussion on Late Game tactics (aka exploiting weaknesses) rss

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clovis chan
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I believe the game has 3 loosely separated phases: early, mid and late game.

In the early game, nations focus on building up their economy (either directly through expanding into neutral territories or indirectly through exploiting undefended enemy territories) to increase their capacity to churn out more units while shoring up their defences.

In the mid game, nations respond to threats.

And in the late game, nations have mostly occupied neutral territories and are looking to bash the leader while looking for opportunities to end the game themselves.

I have played 5 games (mostly 5p) and the last 3 games have been won through "sudden victory". By that, I do not mean players making the beginner mistake of offering unique resources or coins to the leading trade or culture leader. I mean pillaging or occupying buildings that give the winner the final burst of resources or coins he needs to build the pyramid or 5th H/W. It is exceedingly hard to purely win through having production of many types of resources/coins and then getting the rest through trade if there are experienced players warning others.

With that said, I give some preliminary conception of how the nations can sneak the game. A lot of it depend on ppl having built there:

Rome:
Rome starts with 5 types of resources and 1 coin. An expansion into the neutral territories enables it to have a stable production of 5~9 types of resources, depending on how much Greece expands. If it holds Syracuse, it is just 1 trireme away from Carthago and Athenes.

4 cities - If you have a solid hold over Syracuse, Carthago and Athenes are only 1 trireme away. This is hard to brute force though. Carthage will always be on the lookout of you occupying his capital city.

12 resources - But the above also means he will prioritise protecting Carthago over Numida. A sneak attack into Numida allows you to gain Gold and Gladiator (if you don't have Dalmatia). A sneak attack into Germania and Dacia allow you to gain Gem and Stone. A sneak attack into Crete gives you Vase while a sneak attack into Cyrenica gives you Papyrus. The minimum trireme required is 2 to reach all these areas.

Carthage:
Carthage has many resources, but they are clustered around 5 types. His race against Rome when it comes to pyramids/5th H/W is counterbalanced by his Hero Power and the abundance of Wine/Grape and Grain producing nation, which means Carthage is looking for 2~4 type of resources to close the game.

4 cities - Same as Rome, but less likely as Carthage lacks the +1 die roll

12 resources - A sneak attack into Rome gives you the precious Metal (and you can exploit the weaker of the two territories). Neighbouring Cyrenica gives you Papyrus while Garamantia gives you Gem. A sneak attack into Crete gives you vase.

Babylon:
4 cities - With his hero power, controlling Judea, Jerusalem and Alexandrie is an obvious possibility. Most likely, however, Egypt will fight to its death for Jerusalem too. Babylon might instead cede Jerusalem and go for Troie and the start and go for...

12 coins - Generating 5 coins, holding 2 coins from previous round and launching a massive surprise attack on Athenae or Alexandrie for 4 coins (that would require you to hold and survive with 3 troops tho) will give you the coins you need. A more realistic way would be to build a temple or two of your own as setup.

12 resources - WIP

Egypt and Greece: WIP.

Conclusion
The specifics may vary, but the underlying principle for all nations are the same: attacking neighbours for resources. A lot of it might seem formulaic, but it obscures the fact that a lot depends on what happens on the ground, especially for more versatile nations like Babylon which can go all 4 winning conditions. Being the leader of all 3 tracks have not been covered as it depends much more on what people build and so is less deterministic than the other 3 winning conditions.

So what are your thoughts? Do you find it common for games to end by the winning player Pillaging or Occupying buildings on the last turn?
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Félix Beaudouin
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I think you can win without beeing agressive.

A well defended realm of Aegypt can go a long way and win with Heroes/wonders without even expanding.

3 cities + temple are 6 coins
Just pick the temple of Artemis (7 coins)
And save up two coins. That's nine coins. Add a random ressource with cleopatra's power and you have your last hero / wonder without even needing to expand or attack.

However I believe occupying and Pillaging is meant to be one of the main ways to win the game for sure. And it is also the most fun i think !!
 
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clovis chan
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To me, building a temple (to a lesser extent, market) is a warning sign that someone needs to be curbed. I would expect someone to pillage the temple. Or at least the trade leader would declare a higher number so that Egypt is forced to give up his coins. So far none of our games have ended like this, as I have been doing the crushing. But I end up expending my resources and advancing nowhere. I'm seriously contemplating not caring about such plays and just focusing on my own economy so people learn the hard way that you can't be 100% peace doves and focus on your lands only...
 
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Félix Beaudouin
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Well if you "sacrifice" yourself to prevent someone from winning i see what you mean. Throwing away your chances of winning to prevent someone else from winning doesn't make a lot of sense. But that happens often i guess with some players.

I think the choise of players for this game is pretty important if you want balanced competitive games.
 
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Steven Townshend
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dracodragon wrote:
Do you find it common for games to end by the winning player Pillaging or Occupying buildings on the last turn?


I haven't found it "common" in the many groups with which I've played this game, however _I_ do look for these opportunities when nearing the endgame--especially when going for a leader victory.
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Drammattex wrote:
dracodragon wrote:
Do you find it common for games to end by the winning player Pillaging or Occupying buildings on the last turn?


I haven't found it "common" in the many groups with which I've played this game, however _I_ do look for these opportunities when nearing the endgame--especially when going for a leader victory.

This. A 4 cities win isn't uncommon in my group. It requires a lot of calculation but often it's doable, in some way. Especially as military leader. The more players, the more chances.

More uncommon is destroying someone's caravans or cities to get a 3 leader win. Usually in 3 or 4 player games as the differences often get too big to overcome in 5-6 player games.
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clovis chan
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I would have thought a 4 cities win will be unlikely. Wouldn't the threat be obvious when a person has taken 2 or 3 cities? Which nations have you seen win in such a way (and what did he occupy, how many he occupied on the last turn)
 
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Steven Townshend
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dracodragon wrote:
I would have thought a 4 cities win will be unlikely. Wouldn't the threat be obvious when a person has taken 2 or 3 cities? Which nations have you seen win in such a way (and what did he occupy, how many he occupied on the last turn)


Babylon takes Jerusalem and Troia easily if the other empires don't immediately snatch them up. In no time, Babylon can get 3 cities. If Egypt isn't on the defensive, Babylon will take Alexandria and win.

If Rome takes Syracuse and builds a Trireme network, it could do this as well, but I haven't seen it happen. I have seen Greece do it though. In 12 games...

Victors
Carthage: 4 (heroes/wonders, pyramids)
Egypt: 1 (heroes/wonders)
Babylon: 2 (military, pyramids)
Greece: 4 (heroes/wonders, military, leadership, pyramids)
Rome: 1 (pyramids)

I have the rest of the victory stats for 12 games (different groups of players) listed on this page, if you're interested: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1590464/first-twelve-games/...
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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dracodragon wrote:
I would have thought a 4 cities win will be unlikely. Wouldn't the threat be obvious when a person has taken 2 or 3 cities? Which nations have you seen win in such a way (and what did he occupy, how many he occupied on the last turn)

Well, as Babylon, Egypt, Greece or Rome chances are you already have 2: your capital and a legendary city.
So you need 2 more, occupied at the end of the turn.

You have max 8 legions at your disposal (9 or 10 with Chiron/Achilles). Meaning 4 legions for each capital or legendary city you want to occupy. 4 may not seem very much - but your opponents also have max 8, which usually are spread out among their provinces, often a fortress and a legion each.

Let's assume you are military leader. So if there has been a battle between, say, Egypt and Babylon over Jerusalem which thinned out both their armies. You can now battle & move last and occupy Alexandria and Jerusalem. The same for other battles taking place, they often make players lower their capital's defence. Sometimes an empire's province is occupied and the Capital's troops moved out temporarily to throw out the attacker. Just look where skirmishes take place and be ready (have trimremes and legions positioned) to take advantage of them.

Also, recruiting military heroes (Ramses, Aeneas, Achilles, Chiron) or being Rome helps. Some of the new expansion's heroes even help more to turn the battle in your favour.
 
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clovis chan
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Teowulff wrote:
You have max 8 legions at your disposal (9 or 10 with Chiron/Achilles). Meaning 4 legions for each capital or legendary city you want to occupy. 4 may not seem very much - but your opponents also have max 8, which usually are spread out among their provinces, often a fortress and a legion each.

Agree about this, but usually it would be pretty obvious you have the capability to take down 2 cities at a go if say, as Rome you amass at Syracuse. Though I guess that's the long term planning part come in triremes allow you to maintain the illusion of harmlessness by spreading your attacking force over multiple lands
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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dracodragon wrote:
Teowulff wrote:
You have max 8 legions at your disposal (9 or 10 with Chiron/Achilles). Meaning 4 legions for each capital or legendary city you want to occupy. 4 may not seem very much - but your opponents also have max 8, which usually are spread out among their provinces, often a fortress and a legion each.

Agree about this, but usually it would be pretty obvious you have the capability to take down 2 cities at a go if say, as Rome you amass at Syracuse. Though I guess that's the long term planning part come in triremes allow you to maintain the illusion of harmlessness by spreading your attacking force over multiple lands

Exactly. If you spread out your forces into "defensive" positions and appear to be busy expanding your trade, you won't be expected to do a full attack. Mare Nostrum is as much a game of strategy and resource management as it is a game of deception and diplomacy.
 
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