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Subject: An analysis of action board and faction parings - Part II rss

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Carsten Neumann
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I was really impressed by all the work done on the analysis of the pairings in the original post.
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1685287/analysis-action-boa...

With "Invaders from Afar" there are 24 new combinations in addition to the existing 25. I spent some time on my way to and from work to analyze these new (and old) options. I found different results whether I checked which player board is good/bad for a faction or which faction is good/bad for a player board. To reduce the impact of the different approaches, I averaged my results.
I used a scale from -3 to +3 (noooo! - not good - could have been better - whatever - okay - yeah! - I will destroy you!).



I would ask YOU all to include your ratings as well. You don’t have to stick to my format. Use 1-7, -/o/+, ranks, whatever! If you use any other format, I will try to translate your ratings into the system of 7 grades – or change my system if any of you has a better one. Somebody (like me) will complain anyway that the applied system is not good ;-)
There are some easy pairings (the question is just “HOW good are they?”) and there are boards (Mechanical) / factions (Albion+Togawa) / pairings (Patriotic Nordics) that are not that obvious.


How do I judge all 49 pairings if I only played 20+ games of Scythe so far?
It is a mixture of personal experience and a theoretical approach.

We have of course the typical newbee vs. pro “problem.”
Can someone judge a board/combination after having it played once? Not really. But as I can’t judge who of you is a pro (I am not!), I will (and want to) include all data. And if Polonia had a fantastic strategy with Industrial, but 90% of all players don’t see it; then maybe it actually IS a bad combination (for an average player).

Why do you do all this stuff?
We had - in the early beginning - some games of Industrial Russians vs. Engineering Polonias. That's why I switched to drafting the mats quite early. And I like to have an overview about the options. But my view is not necessarily the right/best one.

"Do Not's"
I would like to ask you to only rate pairings you PLAYED or THOUGHT OF. Don’t put a “0” if you did not play it and don’t “hate rate” if you lost with Engineering Nordics on the 2nd tie-breaker vs. Industrial Russians. Thanks.

I talked to Brandon who did the original post. He is okay with it that I continue his topic.
Brandon Zappala
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So please put it in a lot of data. Thank you!


Russviet 3 2 1 0 -2 -2 -2
Saxonia 2 1 1 -1 -2 -2 -3
Togawa 1 1 1 2 0 0 -1
Albion 1 1 0 2 0 0 -1
Nordic 3 2 2 0 -1 1 1
Crimea -2 -2 -3 3 1 1 2
Polonia -3 -3 -2 1 1 1 2
(Indu Inno Engi Pat Mech Mili Agri)

"Translated results" from the OP


(edit: had to insert deleted image again)
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Oliver Kinne
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I've been recording all the games we've played so far, with faction, player mat and scores. Once I've got a bit more data I'll share what we found in our games.

Other than that, I do like your analysis. A great help.
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Carsten Neumann
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Thanks, Oliver.

I thought about going through (the tons of) the existing data as well. But they often "only" contain the winning pairings. So it would not have been a great help for the specific topic of this thread.

So whatever you prepare as pairing analysis => I will take it ;-)

(edited last phrase)
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Oliver Kinne
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No worries.

As a gut reaction though, I'd agree with your figures for Russians and Nordics.

I always felt the Nordics could manage most player mats quite well - depending on what other factions are on the board at the same time of course. If Nordics and Albions are both on the board, then the Nordics have a much tougher time of course.
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Carsten Neumann
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Yes, the Fins are all-rounders!

It is not that easy for them if Albion is on the board, yes. But if they steal the village from Albion, it is hard for Albion as well!

Personally, I like to play Crimea. You don't care about your neighbors. Just jump wherever you want
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Robert Heisler
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In our playgroup,which consists of the poster of part 1, Crimea with Patriotic even with the Invaders expansion is by far the strongest combination we've seen. It's the running joke (not joke) that whoever gets that pairing has the win from the get go. We don't play with house rules to ban the pairing as we don't like to play outside of the way the game was meant to be played. This pairing is too strong and very hard if not impossible to disrupt.
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Carsten Neumann
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Did you try Patriotic Crim vs. Industrial Russians? Could be interesting...
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Robert Heisler
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Industrial Rusviet is very good but they can be messed with easier. Crimea can sit back on their home territory being isolationists until mid/late game when they can spread out easy and uncontested. The fact that Crimea can get a ton of combat cards early due to having produce over enlist means they can enlist all of their recruits from the very beginning which gives them cards from making their first recruit the enlist one. Then they get all of the benefits from their recruiting from their neighbor. Finally for the whole game since they have an endless supply of combat cards, they're all but guaranteed to be holding 4s and 5s. It's not unusual for Crimea to be holding 6 or 7+ combat cards at the end of the game. Plus since they're isolationists, their power is high and they have an abundance of combat cards making them very difficult to mess with.
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Eric Hogue
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horstderadler wrote:
I was really impressed by all the work done on the analysis of the pairings in the original post.
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1685287/analysis-action-boa...

With "Invaders from Afar" there are 24 new combinations in addition to the existing 25. I spent some time on my way to and from work to analyze these new (and old) options. I found different results whether I checked which player board is good/bad for a faction or which faction is good/bad for a player board. To reduce the impact of the different approaches, I averaged my results.
I used a scale from -3 to +3 (noooo! - not good - could have been better - whatever - okay - yeah! - I will destroy you!).



Rusviet/Industrial gets 4 stars in 14 turns, with max power and all mechs (13 if they gain a popularity from their home encounter). Even on your scale, that combination is a 5.
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Philip Morton
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EricHogue wrote:
horstderadler wrote:
I was really impressed by all the work done on the analysis of the pairings in the original post.
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1685287/analysis-action-boa...

With "Invaders from Afar" there are 24 new combinations in addition to the existing 25. I spent some time on my way to and from work to analyze these new (and old) options. I found different results whether I checked which player board is good/bad for a faction or which faction is good/bad for a player board. To reduce the impact of the different approaches, I averaged my results.
I used a scale from -3 to +3 (noooo! - not good - could have been better - whatever - okay - yeah! - I will destroy you!).

Rusviet/Industrial gets 4 stars in 14 turns, with max power and all mechs (13 if they gain a popularity from their home encounter). Even on your scale, that combination is a 5.

It's marked +3, so...I can't tell whether you're misunderstanding the scale and saying it should be downgraded to a +1 / "okay" (the fifth item in the list), or making some kind of "it goes to 11" comment that it's so good it ought to be off the end of the chart.
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Carsten Neumann
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@Philip: I am quite sure that Eric just meant that Industrial Russians are so overpowered (in his point of view) that even on my -3 to +3 scale they are at +5. So yeah: "it goes to 11" is the answer ;-)

@all: I really love the discussion about specific combinations (and I contributed to it as well ;-) ) and I don't want to stop them; but would it be possible to get more input to all 49 (or 25/37/42) combinations? Thanks a lot!
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Eric Hogue
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horstderadler wrote:
@Philip: I am quite sure that Eric just meant that Industrial Russians are so overpowered (in his point of view) that even on my -3 to +3 scale they are at +5. So yeah: "it goes to 11" is the answer ;-)


You are correct, although I am curious about a point of view where have 4 starts, 4 mechs, and 16 power after 13-14 turns is not overpowered, compared to the other 48 combinations.
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Philip Morton
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EricHogue wrote:
You are correct, although I am curious about a point of view where have 4 starts, 4 mechs, and 16 power after 13-14 turns is not overpowered, compared to the other 48 combinations.

I'd recommend making a separate thread including the sequence of actions and asking for counters to it. There's been a couple of threads like that (e.g. here) and I like seeing those discussions, though I haven't seen any real convincing counter-strategy for a rush like this that also plays to the mat's strengths (my gut says "get popularity, spread out" to compete at an angle the strategy isn't heavy on, but I don't know if that ends up being enough, and this sounds like it probably goes high workers so it'll have a better time spreading out during its end rounds than the low-worker Nordic strategy in the other thread).
 
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Eric Hogue
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The sequence of actions is here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25226462#25226462

 
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Brandon Irvine
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This thread got me thinking about how to how to handicap board pairings to make the end scoring more equitable, and I started a thread on it here: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25459605#25459605

Let me know what you think!
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Carsten Neumann
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irvinicus wrote:
This thread got me thinking about how to how to handicap board pairings to make the end scoring more equitable, and I started a thread on it here: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25459605#25459605

Let me know what you think!


I was - generally said - hoping for more numbers as input :-) But your new thread looks really interesting, too. Thanks!
 
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Brandon Irvine
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horstderadler wrote:
I was - generally said - hoping for more numbers as input :-) But your new thread looks really interesting, too. Thanks!


Yes, of course...I read through your OP above but didn't see a link to a survey. Were you hoping that people would add rankings like this?

horstderadler wrote:

Russviet 3 2 1 0 -2 -2 -2
Saxonia 2 1 1 -1 -2 -2 -3
Togawa 1 1 1 2 0 0 -1
Albion 1 1 0 2 0 0 -1
Nordic 3 2 2 0 -1 1 1
Crimea -2 -2 -3 3 1 1 2
Polonia -3 -3 -2 1 1 1 2
(Indu Inno Engi Pat Mech Mili Agri)
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Carsten Neumann
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Yes! That's it ;-)

No, I did not make a survey as I was not sure how to make a survey/table with 49 options...
 
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Neil Gillbanks

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I played my third game the other night. It was 6 players with Saxony not being played. Two players were brand new, two players were playing their second game, and the other was a 'veteran' like me.

I decided to add one twist to the game based on your chart. I printed a copy and allowed the players to do a little horse trading before we got started. I think 2 trades were made and everyone ended up playing either a +1 or a +2.

It ended up being a fairly close game with Togawa winning with $65 and last place was Polania with $37. Polania would have done better had he not been distracted by phone calls from his wife. Something about being stuck at the airport in Kiev and no paperwork. (What a whiner!)[That is a JOKE!]

I think I might try giving any new players a +3 combo in future if they are playing against more veteran players.
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Lien Rag
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Thanks for this work (sorry, no new input for the moment).

Note that there is a big difference from Brandon's Part I analysis: you give Rusviet/Agricultural a "-2" while he gives a "+".
With the following analysis, however:
guardianz wrote:
This board has some of the same drawbacks that Patriotic has in that both of the boards have a produce that does not line up well with what red is trying to do. Building is a ways off because all of red’s early trades are going into red’s deployments. But unlike Patriotic, Agricultural allows red to capture the factory in 4 turns. Red may be a difficult color to assess, or it may be very easy to assess. I hate to deem Agricultural (or any other action board) “good” based on the fact that it can take a factory in 4 turns, but it is a sad truth. One does not know what is in store for them at the factory or the encounters, and with these factors being unknown, red’s best strategy is to rush the factory and adapt their plan from that point.


Note that we can give notes per mat and faction:

(Score is the sum, usefulness is the sum of signs)
We can see that some factions and some mats have a better probability of awesomeness even before pairing.

Note also that Red is often considered as an easier faction while black the most difficult for a beginner - while Albion and Togawa should be for the experienced players only.

On the part I topic, there was a choice chart for pairing, i'm gonna work on a new one with all this new info.

 
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Lien Rag
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Here are some 'decision support' guides for factions and mats for Scythe. Note that it is totally facultative: you can still use totally random faction/mat pairing. However, in particular for 1st-time players, having a smooth pairing helps getting a better feeling of the game; these guidelines can also be helpful to diminish a difference of level between experienced players and newcomers.

Which faction to choose depending on player experience
Quote:
↑ Newcomers Red/Rusviet

White/Polonia (4 or less players)
Blue/Nordic
Yellow/Crimea*

White/Polonia (5 or more players)
Black/Saxonny

Experienced Green/Albion
↓ players Purple/Togawa
*Note that, from my experience, Crimea seems difficult to apprehend for a 1st time player, while it becomes easier-than-average for an experienced player. Thus the difficulty to sort it.

Now, if you don't want random pairing, based on the work of Carsten:
Excellent egalitarian pairing (2 to almost everyone)
Quote:
Black gets Ind
Red gets iNno
blUe gets random(Eng/iNno)
Purple gets Pat
White gets Agr
Yellow gets random(Mech/miL/Agr)
Green gets what's left, in priority Pat>Ind,iNno>rest>Agr


Good egalitarian pairing (1 to everyone unless RBPG)
Quote:
In case of Red/Black/Purple/Green, give Pat to either Purple or Green. Else:
Red gets Eng
Black gets random(iNno/Eng)
Green gets random(Ind/iNno)
Purple gets random(Ind/iNno/Eng)
In case of 7 players game, blUe gets Agr, else
blUe gets random(miL/Agr)
Yellow gets random(Mech/miL)
White gets random(Pat/Mech/miL)









 
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