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Subject: Analysis of each school - strategy tips rss

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Γοργοπόδαρος
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Hello everyone.

After playing a lot of games, I was searching about a topic which describes the main strategy hiding behind each deck.

For example, highland school makes excessive use of green and red squares.
Also, there seems to be a common pattern in which every deck is based.

So, share in this topic your own description and strategy of each school/deck.
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Nate Dorward
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There are some really great threads by grasa_total in the Strategy forum, in particular this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1336637/intro-guide-playing...

There is a lot of strategy that is not dependent on the deck--I've tried to summarize this in the "Strategy" tips which you can find on Boardgame Arena (BGA)--if you play Tash-Kalar online, scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll find the "Strategy Tips" tab.

Anyway, main deck tips would be: keep Sylvan and Everfrost pieces relatively close to (as in, next to) your enemy; keep further away if you're playing Imperial or Highland (if it's Highland, try to set up patterns for certain cards in advance, around coloured squares--e.g. Werewolf and Ritual Master). I dunno about Nethervoid or Etherweave as I haven't yet got enough experience with them--my impression is they like zigzag patterns. Sylvan likes a big contiguous blob of pieces, Everfrost likes straight horizontals/verticals.

But it's all pretty dependent on your opening hand. See where it leads you, and try to keep in mind any especially helpful cards that are in your deck and set them up if possible--they WILL turn up eventually.
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Alison Mandible
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Empire - Constant attack pressure. Never let your opponent get comfortable, keep doing a little damage every turn so that they don't do the same to you-- your patterns are awkward and require advance planning. It's okay if you don't progress toward tasks much as long as your opponent progresses even less. Winning 3-2 is still a win!

Sylvan - Once you get a nice solid base set up, you become hard to stop. So just try to get as many pieces as possible on the board at first, especially in solid blocks (orthogonal adjacency). You're also good at sealing up your formation; enemy pieces that end up in the middle of several Sylvan pieces are in trouble. Your endgame is using legends to supply the destructive power your deck is missing.

Highland - You can control territory with fewer pieces than other factions, because you have a lot of good attacks that hit a space or two away from the edge of your formation. But because diagonal adjacency is often good for you, your formation is fragile. When tasks come up, decide whether you want to get them, or just stop your opponent-- sometimes you'll be in a position to grab it but not to block an opponent, sometimes you can block much more cheaply than you can actually perform the task yourself.

Everfrost - Having a disadvantage in pieces doesn't hurt you as much as some other factions; sometimes it even helps. So don't be too anxious about being vulnerable at first. And don't be afraid to place pieces right by your enemy! They might get destroyed, but you're actually more dangerous to pieces that are mixed up with yours than to ones which are separate but nearby. Most likely you will be building toward straight lines of pieces, and will around the middle of the game will see the momentum turn as you get (and keep) a piece advantage.

Nethervoid - So many tricks! You're the opposite of Everfrost; your opponents *will* get to use flares against you, the only question is when. Don't let your power run wild unless you can get tasks with it right now. You have enough movement to be flexible and a few ways to come back if you are at a big disadvantage, so the most important thing is not to stagnate. If a card is stuck in your hand, discard it and move on.

Etherweave - Form a diagonal lattice (as if you were about to summon Time Elemental all over the board) and you can summon most of your cards. Don't use warps unless you have a plan for how to summon that being; with a pending being you can't summon you are at very low power. This is especially true early on, when you will often struggle just to get on the board. Like Sylvan, you may want to just worry about getting pieces down at first, and scoring points later.
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David Turczi
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grasa_total wrote:
Empire - Constant attack pressure. Never let your opponent get comfortable, keep doing a little damage every turn so that they don't do the same to you-- your patterns are awkward and require advance planning. It's okay if you don't progress toward tasks much as long as your opponent progresses even less. Winning 3-2 is still a win!

Sylvan - Once you get a nice solid base set up, you become hard to stop. So just try to get as many pieces as possible on the board at first, especially in solid blocks (orthogonal adjacency). You're also good at sealing up your formation; enemy pieces that end up in the middle of several Sylvan pieces are in trouble. Your endgame is using legends to supply the destructive power your deck is missing.

Highland - You can control territory with fewer pieces than other factions, because you have a lot of good attacks that hit a space or two away from the edge of your formation. But because diagonal adjacency is often good for you, your formation is fragile. When tasks come up, decide whether you want to get them, or just stop your opponent-- sometimes you'll be in a position to grab it but not to block an opponent, sometimes you can block much more cheaply than you can actually perform the task yourself.

Everfrost - Having a disadvantage in pieces doesn't hurt you as much as some other factions; sometimes it even helps. So don't be too anxious about being vulnerable at first. And don't be afraid to place pieces right by your enemy! They might get destroyed, but you're actually more dangerous to pieces that are mixed up with yours than to ones which are separate but nearby. Most likely you will be building toward straight lines of pieces, and will around the middle of the game will see the momentum turn as you get (and keep) a piece advantage.

Nethervoid - So many tricks! You're the opposite of Everfrost; your opponents *will* get to use flares against you, the only question is when. Don't let your power run wild unless you can get tasks with it right now. You have enough movement to be flexible and a few ways to come back if you are at a big disadvantage, so the most important thing is not to stagnate. If a card is stuck in your hand, discard it and move on.

Etherweave - Form a diagonal lattice (as if you were about to summon Time Elemental all over the board) and you can summon most of your cards. Don't use warps unless you have a plan for how to summon that being; with a pending being you can't summon you are at very low power. This is especially true early on, when you will often struggle just to get on the board. Like Sylvan, you may want to just worry about getting pieces down at first, and scoring points later.


All excellent tips, 2 points I'd add:

Nethervoid is the only faction rewarding you for having 2 distinct set of pieces (Power Seeker being the most obvious reason, think 4 combat moves ) with all other factions(especially Everfrost) try to keep all your pieces closely together.

With Etherweave, your deck will probably run out slower than the other guy. Which means mid game you'll need to build a point advantage, otherwise they'll run away with a 3-2 or something measly. As Alison said: don't get stuck with a pending being early game (Emperor and Ziggurat Sentinel being the two most honeytrap like), but also don't be afraid of hanging onto that -2 points mid game if you can still maintain a point advantage.
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Γοργοπόδαρος
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grasa_total wrote:
Empire - Constant attack pressure. Never let your opponent get comfortable, keep doing a little damage every turn so that they don't do the same to you-- your patterns are awkward and require advance planning. It's okay if you don't progress toward tasks much as long as your opponent progresses even less. Winning 3-2 is still a win!

Sylvan - Once you get a nice solid base set up, you become hard to stop. So just try to get as many pieces as possible on the board at first, especially in solid blocks (orthogonal adjacency). You're also good at sealing up your formation; enemy pieces that end up in the middle of several Sylvan pieces are in trouble. Your endgame is using legends to supply the destructive power your deck is missing.

Highland - You can control territory with fewer pieces than other factions, because you have a lot of good attacks that hit a space or two away from the edge of your formation. But because diagonal adjacency is often good for you, your formation is fragile. When tasks come up, decide whether you want to get them, or just stop your opponent-- sometimes you'll be in a position to grab it but not to block an opponent, sometimes you can block much more cheaply than you can actually perform the task yourself.

Everfrost - Having a disadvantage in pieces doesn't hurt you as much as some other factions; sometimes it even helps. So don't be too anxious about being vulnerable at first. And don't be afraid to place pieces right by your enemy! They might get destroyed, but you're actually more dangerous to pieces that are mixed up with yours than to ones which are separate but nearby. Most likely you will be building toward straight lines of pieces, and will around the middle of the game will see the momentum turn as you get (and keep) a piece advantage.

Nethervoid - So many tricks! You're the opposite of Everfrost; your opponents *will* get to use flares against you, the only question is when. Don't let your power run wild unless you can get tasks with it right now. You have enough movement to be flexible and a few ways to come back if you are at a big disadvantage, so the most important thing is not to stagnate. If a card is stuck in your hand, discard it and move on.

Etherweave - Form a diagonal lattice (as if you were about to summon Time Elemental all over the board) and you can summon most of your cards. Don't use warps unless you have a plan for how to summon that being; with a pending being you can't summon you are at very low power. This is especially true early on, when you will often struggle just to get on the board. Like Sylvan, you may want to just worry about getting pieces down at first, and scoring points later.


Excellent post. I see you did mention some relationship between flares and decks, so I would like to ask you if you can comment about the relationship of the faction and legendaries.

My belief is that sylvan and everfrost are a production machine of legendaries. Should a player discard specific legendaries to get his hand with legendaries that are deck-friendly or a discard action should always be taken in case of a bad hand?

Clearly from your post, it is obvious that time elemental is a Etherweave-friendly legendary (what a themed coincidence!!!).

Has every deck a legendary associated with it?

Edit: I just read your analysis here
Nate Dorward wrote:
There are some really great threads by grasa_total in the Strategy forum, in particular this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1336637/intro-guide-playing...


And legendaries are also discussed in detail. So my question goes to other decks and legendaries.

I also tend to agree with your opinion:
grasa_total wrote:


----- LEGENDS -----

In my experience, it's never worth discarding just to change legends, so the valuation of legend cards is only about whether a legend is worth building toward or not. If you *are* discarding because you need to change faction cards, any legend you don't think is worth building toward should be thrown back. (For one thing, you might get something better. For another, it gives you more information about which legends your opponent can and can't have!)



Does the statement above apply to all factions?
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Paul Zagieboylo
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jedioakenshield wrote:

I also tend to agree with your opinion:
grasa_total wrote:


----- LEGENDS -----

In my experience, it's never worth discarding just to change legends, so the valuation of legend cards is only about whether a legend is worth building toward or not. If you *are* discarding because you need to change faction cards, any legend you don't think is worth building toward should be thrown back. (For one thing, you might get something better. For another, it gives you more information about which legends your opponent can and can't have!)

Does the statement above apply to all factions?

I would say so, except maybe for Sylvan, which really does rely on legends to provide striking power. If you have some unbelievably terrible pair like Two-Headed Elephant Dragon plus Titan*, AND you have a Sylvan card you can survive without (e.g. Forest Wardens in a situation that doesn't lend itself to them), AND you're at +2/+4 on pieces so that placing another piece would risk the more dangerous flares, then you might consider pitching to change legends. But it would have to be a situation this extreme, and I still probably wouldn't bother.

*I think these are by far the two worst legends for Sylvan, because Two-Headed Dragon is just too big for Sylvan (or anyone, really) to summon, and the typical compact Sylvan position makes it hard to summon Titan without hurting yourself more than your opponent. Your mileage may vary.
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Nate Dorward
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The Dragon is indeed rotten--2 points but it barely DOES anything. Usually best if you get Time Elemental down, then summon it with the same pattern, for a nifty 3 points. Otherwise, it's a millstone.

Titan is OK, I like being able to destroy a lot of pieces including my own to avoid the usual flare repercussions. But it sucks not being able to score a destruction task off it usually. It's got decent range at least. It basically functions as a 1-VP grab + reset button by wiping out part of the board; or else a good way to lob a legend onto a coloured square.
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Alison Mandible
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jedioakenshield wrote:
My belief is that sylvan and everfrost are a production machine of legendaries. Should a player discard specific legendaries to get his hand with legendaries that are deck-friendly or a discard action should always be taken in case of a bad hand?


I rarely would, but I like Paul's point about the flare count mattering. Sometimes I'd rather change cards than lay down another piece. More often that's because I'm at 0/-2 and want to use my own flare next turn than because I'm keeping my opponent from flaring. But I play a lot of Everfrost.
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Γοργοπόδαρος
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Do u bluff in Tash Kalar? For example pretend to have another card or throwing pieces to intimidate opponent in their area?

Also, is it better to show what pattern you are going after and next turn may play 2 cards or hide the pattern and play (with better chances) 1 card?
 
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Nate Dorward
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These are all options so it boils down to style of play and your assessment of your opponent.

If you bluff by putting down a pattern it also has the advantage that if your next draw includes that card for real, you're all set.

There are some players who lay down patterns very literally, i.e. if they have that card in their hand they put that down on the board. (I find that ernus on BGA is a big fan of this.) On the one hand you lose the element of surprise. On the other hand, your opponent may not be able to do much about it even if they know what's coming, or it may force them to play a good card prematurely.

It's all tactics, basically. There's no single answer.
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Alison Mandible
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That also depends on faction. Imperial has a lot of distinctive patterns, which means bluffing might be easier (everybody knows what Hypnotist looks like) but more costly (your fake Hypnotist won't help much with the cards in your hand). With Sylvan, you have plenty of chances to build directly toward cards in your hand while looking like you have slightly different cards, in which case why not?

(With any faction, there are rare cases where I'm one piece away from a two-card combo, so I really want to place a piece this turn and not play a card yet, but don't care that much where my second piece goes as long as my opponent doesn't wreck the pieces I need for next turn. In those cases, if I can make a threatening pattern with the second piece to draw attention to it, I will. But that's really like... every 20-25 games? At most? Pinpoint prediction of enemy attacks is usually a waste of time in Tash-Kalar.)
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I found it very helpful to fake the bomb when I play the Imperial. Distract with two pieces my opponent so that he will not destroy my main formation.

Thanx for your replies. I would like to play a lot more bluffs but u got point thats more a rare case than an actual ordinary strategy.
 
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