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Subject: is raiding ships supposed to be so easy/deadly? rss

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Jeff Alexander
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Is there any way to avoid other players being able to rob and sink your ships pretty much any time they feel like it?

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I don't have the rules on hand, but IIRC it's something like opponent rolls (their Raid - max(your Raid, your Sails)) dice. They can steal 1 good or deal 1 damage per success, and they take 1 damage for each point they fall short of (your Hold).

Seems like balanced numbers, right? But you don't have an advisor, while they easily have one worth Raid + 2 or more, plus the ability to spend Fortune. So they will roll 2+ successes, suffering little to no damage and emptying or cripping your flagship (or both, if they have good Advisors) along with gaining 1 Glory.

"Oh, but they'll have a lot of Enmity with you then." Well, yes, but does that matter? They only have to trash your ship once to put you behind them on progress for the rest of the game, and temporary Enmity is easy to clear in the end phase with unspent tokens.

"Oh, but they'll be damaged too. You can chase them, raid them back, get back your stuff and sink them." Nope. Even if you do have a Raid Advisor of your own, they can just make their other ship the flagship. Shooting back will clear up all their Enmity for them, though. That's awfully nice of you.

You can't avoid this by keeping a distance. Ships move too fast per turn. You can't even hole up in your home port for protection; the extra defense there won't stop a dedicated Raid combo.
 
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Becq
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It's fairly easy for the attackers at first, and gets a bit more difficult later -- though it depends heavily on where you invest your ship improvements. As an example, a ship with a maxed sail or raid and a maxed hold with hold upgrades (Garrison 5, Difficulty 8!) is more than a little risky to attack unless you have a very nice raid advisor. I found the best way to avoid attacks was to have an escort with little of interest to rob on it. You could even name it the S.S. Meatshield...

 
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John Andrikopoulos
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Let's say we use the starting values (early game) for a ship to ship combat:

Attacker raids with his big ship (Raid 3) = 3 dice plus 1 from his support ship plus 2 from a starting advisor = 6 dice.
6 dice minus 3 from your raid/sail minus 1 from your support ship = 2 dice.

Attacking with 2 dice cannot sink your ship and there is a 50% chance that you will both suffer the same damage and the attacker trades enmity for glory. I think the math is pretty normal.

If you claim that the attacker might have upgrades, then the defender might have too! And in the late game it is the defender's call to up his hold/raid/sail if he is scared of attacks!

Of course this is my opinion, I just find this to be pretty normal.

Note: Game 5 of our campaign here, not sure if things will change later on!
 
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Darren Nakamura
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As a defender, you get to pick which of your ships is your flagship. So like Becq said, you can keep your important stuff on one ship, and have your other ship empty but with high Sail/Raid, high Hold, and some Upgrades. It'll be tough to sink and all the attacker would get from it is one measly glory anyway. It becomes very much not worth the risk, especially later in the campaign when your ships have higher base values (so any bonuses added by advisors are smaller compared to the totals).

EDIT: Also, all enmity reduces dice in ship-to-ship raids, regardless of where it is and in which form. So if you're two spots behind a potential attacker in campaign glory, you start every game with extra protection. And if you're ahead, then you can kind of expect to be raided.

One or two temporary enmity is easy to clear at the end of a game, sure, if you only put out a few. But sinking a ship is at least three enmity. Five for a fully upgraded ship. More later in the campaign maybe. If you're being consistently attacked, you will eventually build up permanent enmity.
 
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Colin Marsh
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ahh, get it off.. get it... GET IT OFF!!
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ahh, get it off.. get it... GET IT OFF!!
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sinking a ship is easy, you're right. raiding a province typically isn't hard either. Seafall is intended to have PVP although in practice it's usually not worth it for the attacking player except in very specific scenarios.

the best way to discourage your ships being raided is keeping them together. you can then defend with the one without goods so there's little reason to attack. if they both have goods well that is kind of the game.

the risk you take of getting attacked though i think is pretty small. all an opponent gets for attacking your ship is 1 glory and maybe some goods. there are much better ways to generate glory. also unless there's a run away leader slowing one player down but gaining glory sub-optimally is just going to win the game for someone else.
 
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Jeff Alexander
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Giannis2 wrote:
If you claim that the attacker might have upgrades, then the defender might have too!

I didn't claim that the attacker might have upgrades. I realize they both have the same options to buy them and to permanently check boxes. But the defender won't have an active Advisor and can't spend Fortune.
 
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Becq
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Dexter345 wrote:
One or two temporary enmity is easy to clear at the end of a game, sure, if you only put out a few. But sinking a ship is at least three enmity. Five for a fully upgraded ship. More later in the campaign maybe. If you're being consistently attacked, you will eventually build up permanent enmity.

It's worse than that if the attacker is actually trying to steal something, since each thing he steals is another enmity. You could be looking at 9+ enmity (ie, impossible) to steal the cargo and sink the ship, assuming upgrades are involved.

For those on the raiding side, by the way: you are often better off crippling the ship rather than sinking it (though there are times this may not be true). Repairing a ship is often more expensive than rebuilding it. (Rebuilding takes a single action. For a crippled ship, you either need to sail the ship to a repair location or you need to find an endeavor tough enough to sink the ship, *then* rebuild.)
 
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nicholas nicholas
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Definitely keep your ships together, and chump the weak one when attacked.

Then use that enmity to take something important out of their treasure room.

Sinking a ship isn't hard- but it's almost never worth it since tokens are so limited.
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Josh G
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Becq wrote:
Dexter345 wrote:
One or two temporary enmity is easy to clear at the end of a game, sure, if you only put out a few. But sinking a ship is at least three enmity. Five for a fully upgraded ship. More later in the campaign maybe. If you're being consistently attacked, you will eventually build up permanent enmity.

It's worse than that if the attacker is actually trying to steal something, since each thing he steals is another enmity. You could be looking at 9+ enmity (ie, impossible) to steal the cargo and sink the ship, assuming upgrades are involved.

For those on the raiding side, by the way: you are often better off crippling the ship rather than sinking it (though there are times this may not be true). Repairing a ship is often more expensive than rebuilding it. (Rebuilding takes a single action. For a crippled ship, you either need to sail the ship to a repair location or you need to find an endeavor tough enough to sink the ship, *then* rebuild.)


I think the best time to go after other player's ships is if/when you have the cannoneer or the pirate as your active advisor since they reduce the enmity you're required to give, although choosing either of those two should be seen as a major red flag by other players.

In my current campaign, we're 6 games in with three players, one of whom is far behind myself and another player, who are neck and neck, trading wins back and forth. We've been playing "friendly/cooperatively" so far, with the other leader playing the merchant game, while I focus on exploration, and the straggler does a bit of both.

We've avoided raiding each other because the consequences of permanent enmity seem too severe. Although a five player game clearly gets crowded without scaling resources, three players seems to make raiding too consequential for the attacker (since it's less likely for the defender to retaliate since they may not have a need to with so many other options on the table, thus leaving them with your enmity tokens to become permanent between games).

But I'm at a point now where I realize the necessity of taking bigger risks with raids (after reading other people's comments about their experiences), particularly in regards to slowing down other players. So to avoid getting stuck with permanent stickers on other players' province sheets, I've decided to focus my build on removing enmity (I now have the "vengeful" appellation, one check mark on my home enmity box and I'm going to start looking for advisors who help in this regard).
 
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Becq
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Enmity stickers on other player's province isn't a huge issue -- it only makes it harder to raid them the next time, so in effect "the first one's free". The bigger (potential) consequence is if they *do* retaliate after winter when they can use your enmity tokens as bonuses. (But even that's not bad, so long as you don't raid them frivolously.

Enmity on islands can be nastier if you let it build up, since it basically ramps up your difficulty, the more enmity you gain. This is not to say that you should avoid raiding (strategic raiding can be very useful!), but you should manage your enmity levels.
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