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Subject: Seeking advice from advanced players: Is the game too asymmetric? rss

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Doron F-N
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In a way this post is about balance.

I don't this game is unbalanced, but I'm starting to think that in order for every faction to have an equal chance of winning, you have to play in a very certain way. And if you deviate from that, you'll simply hand the game over to the humans.

I've played this game about five times now, and read every strategy guide out there and maybe this is the real issue most people are having with this game.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in a way this game labels the human faction as "The Leader" from the start. Meaning that if everyone who have the chance won't hinder them in the first two rounds, you'll have a very very difficult time winning the game. The humans will get a very large point lead and end the game early.

This is not fun, the human player has not "earned" the right to the leader, and won't enjoy being ganged-up upon by the other players.
And you can't just punch them once, you have to be consistent about it.

This is tied, in a way, to the fact that this game might be too asymmetric, making me go after a very faction-specific strategy.

Unlike games where the asymmetric nature develops over the game from played decisions, like Kemet.
You have to play in a very specific way to get points. You won't win with the pilgrims if you don't farm crystals. If you don't enjoy it? don't play with them. If no one at the table enjoys it? Well, you have a problem.

I really hope Aftermath fixes these issues for me as I'm really intrigued by this game and what it can do.
Giving the factions a little more freedom with their play style, and changing the status of the humans as the designated leader ( I've read somewhere that the game shortening rule has been changed to a variant, I hope this will help).


What do you think? Are my observations correct?
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Don Smith
Canada
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Your observations match ours.

The Humans are the "easiest" to play and need to be "contained".

It is a very fun game, however, with the key combats deciding the game more than who has which faction.

Yes, each faction has to be played optimally, and, if not, the humans will win most of the games.

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Joe Stude
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Farmington Hills
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Same experience, particularly with 3 players (which we won't play anymore due to predictability). I feel the game really needs the Trogs as a balance lever to check the Humans' early growth. With game-controlled Trogs in 3-player we found the Humans would Airlift into Trog-controlled regions early, utilizing the Trog tokens as defenders and forcing the other factions to break through the Trog line before they could engage the Humans themselves. I've got 7 games under my belt and thus far we've been unable to find a reasonable counter to that *in time*. That last bit is really imnportant: I feel like guaranteeing a fifth round no matter what the score is would go a long way toward remedying this.
 
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Doron F-N
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From what I've read aftermath will do away with the shortening of the game, and add more scoring opportunities. I really this will "fix" the game for me.

I really feel like this game could be amazing, but they've gone too asymmetric for its own good. And didn't test the game enough with new players.

In a way this game tells you: I'm not balanced. You gave to target a specific player to balance it.

In some games like Cosmic Encounter, where every game will be different, it's fine.

In this one, where you have only 4 factions? Not so much.
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Oblivion Doll
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The problem is that this question is taking objective facts, but asking a subjective question.

Is the game "too asymmetric"? For some people, yes. For others, no. That question isn't ever going to boil down to an objective yes or no answer. If you want a black and white answer, you'll end up with grey.
 
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Christopher Kemp
South Africa
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The games own rulebook has already done away with the round shortening.

Mine lists it as an 'advanced variant', implying the standard way to play is to always play the full five rounds.

I recommend everyone does this.
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Zach Pasqualetto
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I'm probably at around 40-ish games of Cry Havoc and I don't know that I've noticed a problem with the asymmetry of the factions. Most of my games have been with 2-players so I don't know if that makes a difference with my viewpoint... At first, I thought this way too but as I started to play more and add more skills in I see where the pilgrims and machines fit in this game. I've found that I give the humans to new players since they do seem to be the easiest to work with and their strategy is simple, area control. On the other hand, the pilgrims and machines need to have more advanced players and take advantage of their additional skills and create combos to be really effective. My games are pretty varied on who the winner is and how much they've won by.

As far as strategy of the factions go, I think you can play many of the factions very differently, I've been strongly aggressive with the pilgrims and barely mined crystals; as the humans, I've constructed a lot and only engaged when I had to. I've found there's a lot a variability in the games I've played, and I think only 2, maybe 3, of my games have played out the same way.

I really do hope the aftermath faction "fixes" the game for you and many others. I would like to see more people playing this game!! Personally, it's my favorite game as it stands now and adding more content with aftermath will only increase my enjoyment of the game. I know I can't wait to get the expansion!!
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androner lcoyn
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i hope i'll play 40ish games of cry havoc...

The issue for me is that every player except humans should pressure humans at some point (i think earlier the better)

if you leave humans on their own and do your own thing (this usually means attacking other factions) you'll probably make humans run away with victory.

And every players needs to do this, not just one of them.

Therefor no matter how you are good at this game, if other players doesn't pressure humans, humans will win no matter what you do.

And you have no negation leverage give them good incentive. You can only hope or try to convince them with good words to do so.

If every player knows graps this well enough, you will have a balanced game.

I'm having fun playing Cry havoc, but my friends/wife don't actually.
And this is really unfortunate for me because i would like to play Cry Havoc much more.

 
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