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Subject: Post your counter Fox Clan strategies here. rss

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Casey Smith
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Since some of the early reports are people thinking the Fox clan is too strong, I thought maybe it might be a good idea to have a collection of strategies that might work. I know most of us don't have the game yet so its okay if its just an idea you have. Maybe someone can try it and tell you what happened in their game.

Here are a few of mine.

That lone bushi that's in your war. Kidnap him. You can take a VP and get an extra coin the start of the next season.

Considering the whole point of the lone Bushi is to pretty much to take coin from War Reparations, I wouldn't expect the Fox Clan to bid for anything. Maybe try not to go 'all in' in early battles with the Fox Clan are in.

Something I just thought of...

A Fox Clan that is heavily invested in Ronin is a scary thought. They could bluff a lot to get coin, or if they choose could even win Battles.
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Andrew Bonneau
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I don't think its too strong at all. They managed to squeak out a win by literally 1pt in our play of them. If played well they can be very strong, like every clan. If them getting one bushi beats you, that's on you for not planning for it.
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Casey Smith
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MajorPWNage wrote:
I don't think its too strong at all. They managed to squeak out a win by literally 1pt in our play of them. If played well they can be very strong, like every clan. If them getting one bushi beats you, that's on you for not planning for it.


And if someone would of kidnapped them once, that would of been the difference.
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Terence Aries
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Let the wookiee win.

Don't let them seppuku their way to victory for instance. The bushi they don't lose in Spring are the bushi they can't sneak in in Summer.
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SwissQueso wrote:
That lone bushi that's in your war. Kidnap him. You can take a VP and get an extra coin the start of the next season.


Seppuku happens before Take Hostage, so you'd have to outbid them on both.

Trence wrote:
Don't let them seppuku their way to victory for instance. The bushi they don't lose in Spring are the bushi they can't sneak in in Summer.


I don't think 'Make them to have all of their force on the board' is a successful long term strategy.

So if I was playing Fox Clan, my general strategy would be try to get some Ronin, a couple monsters so I have something to summon besides Bushi, and on Recruit Mandates summon Shinto and dominate a Kami. Then put all of my force in 1 or 2 provinces that go late in the round and throw free bushi into the other provinces. This would make getting Ronin through Harvest difficult, so if there's a Ronin generating season card or Kami that will be a priority.

So to counter Fox clan, the first goal is probably to deny them Ronin. A single bushi with just 2 Ronin is pretty formidable if it's in every single waring province. Ronin are good for you too, so snap up those season cards, put more shinto on the Kami, and plan to fight in the Ronin generating provinces so that you have a majority of force there. If you are allied with Fox do not play Harvest if it gives them ronin, unless you get a game changing boost from it.

If you have successfully denied them Ronin, don't let them psych you out. If you were alone in a province and now a Fox bushi is there, don't bid anything if you have more force (and later battles). Either the Fox bids heavily to try to knock you out, and you get the coin, or they bid small on Seppuku / poets and you drain their funds. Denying them the seppuku means you are giving them more coins than they bid, they still come out ahead.
Trying to capture a Fox is a fools game, they can Seppuku before you get your hands on them. So you have to win Seppuku *and* Captives, and then you're giving them all the coin you spent to do so. Only consider doing this if it's your last province going to war this season.

The Achilles heel of the Fox strategy is the one or two provinces where they are consolidating their forces to actually fight over. They likely have few Strongholds (relying on their clan ability), so if they lose here they are going to have a tough time getting their force back on the board in the next season. If players have been successfully denying them coins in other provinces, this is where you need to bid big and knock them out. If another player is there, openly arrange for one of you to focus on taking a hostage from Fox, preferably the player with fewer ronin. Force him to spread his coin around to protect from both hostages and ronin.

This is all of course general theory crafting. The specifics of the situation will change your strategy.
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Jackson Miranda
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Don’t forget that other clans will probably be trying to claim the same provinces as you so you have to out smart them AND the Fox. All the clans could team up against the Fox in those provinces, but that seems a little harsh and mean spirited.
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Casey Smith
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AstroKnots wrote:
Don’t forget that other clans will probably be trying to claim the same provinces as you so you have to out smart them AND the Fox. All the clans could team up against the Fox in those provinces, but that seems a little harsh and mean spirited.


With the exception of learning games, this isn’t really the game to play nice.
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Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
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AstroKnots wrote:
Don’t forget that other clans will probably be trying to claim the same provinces as you so you have to out smart them AND the Fox. All the clans could team up against the Fox in those provinces, but that seems a little harsh and mean spirited.


One might say you need to....out... fox... them?
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Dave Maynor
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Seems to me......

First season, they aren't out on the map as much if they want to maximize this strategy, so they harvest and recruit very little compared to others. This limits their influence and really limits their resources.

Then they flood the board......

So wherever possible, just outbid them on Ronin. As long as you maintain your board presence, them jumping in and trying for a few points and coins shouldn't keep pace with taking battles and being able to harvest those provinces next season.

I agree a focus on keeping their ronin down is critical for this, and maybe you make a few beneficial trades with them to specifically reduce their ronin. Maybe they see it, maybe they don't. Maybe the deal is just too good to pass up.

One advantage..... when you pay your war reparations.... even if it was only one Bushi, and no ronin showed up.... you still split your coin between ALL opposing clans evenly. So now the impact of your coin wont be so heavily focused coming back at you later. Maybe spreading yourself thinner is a valid strategy also.
 
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Private Blinky
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By chance if there is a single Fox Bushi as the sole opposition in a battle, you may elect to NOT commit any coins if you are certain you can win the territory even if Fox bids for Ronin. Any coins spent by Fox are gone, and claiming the territory trophy in Summer or Autumn will be greater in VP than any base VP option Fox had gained (via seppuku, capture, or poets).

If the fox player does not have enough competitive force and there are at least 3 hostile players in the provincial battle, try to claim imperial poets, as Fox will, more often than not, try to claim that over anything else.

If you have to use Betrayal on a Fox unit (negate unit's force/ability or whatever), make sure you do it in a province where they have two or more units, as the Fox player won't be able to use their ability to re-deploy a unit back into that specific provincial battle.

Especially for Fox, keep an eye on how many provinces they are sitting in at the start of War. In later seasons, players will not excessively spend coins for abilities relevant for territory claim (unit capture/ronin) if they've already captured that same territory in a prior season, and if Fox have placed themselves in too many battles (5 or more), they're not going to risk much money on smaller battles until they start receiving coin kickbacks.


 
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Jacob Collins
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Peaceful negotiation is anathema to Fox. Imagine a 5 player game where the other four players all choose a province each and agree not to put any opposing troops there. Fox hasn’t to commit to those provinces or else there isn’t a battle so no free bushi. Either way, Fox’s advantage is heavily mitigated.
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Sean Murphy
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One warning I'll say is that you really need to be wary of Fox clan getting the Spring virtue(s) that award victory points for death. If they manage to get both of these, then a pure seppuku strategy from them is very difficult to beat for the rest of the game. If the Kami that lets you acquire season cards is out, watch out for them getting a combo like this, especially as they don't need money for fortresses and don't need to use their recruit to get bushi out.
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Casey Smith
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Yak27 wrote:
Peaceful negotiation is anathema to Fox. Imagine a 5 player game where the other four players all choose a province each and agree not to put any opposing troops there. Fox hasn’t to commit to those provinces or else there isn’t a battle so no free bushi. Either way, Fox’s advantage is heavily mitigated.


That’s under the old power, they can now put them anywhere, as long as they have no power there.

Src https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3957779/rising-sun?size=larg...
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Jacob Collins
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Still works to an extent. By focussing your force in fewer areas you’ll have a bigger force. Hate out ronin from the fox, or boss hire ronin and you can secure the province.
 
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Lawrence Wang
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SwissQueso wrote:
Since some of the early reports are people thinking the Fox clan is too strong, I thought maybe it might be a good idea to have a collection of strategies that might work. I know most of us don't have the game yet so its okay if its just an idea you have. Maybe someone can try it and tell you what happened in their game.

Here are a few of mine.

That lone bushi that's in your war. Kidnap him. You can take a VP and get an extra coin the start of the next season.

Considering the whole point of the lone Bushi is to pretty much to take coin from War Reparations, I wouldn't expect the Fox Clan to bid for anything. Maybe try not to go 'all in' in early battles with the Fox Clan are in.

Something I just thought of...

A Fox Clan that is heavily invested in Ronin is a scary thought. They could bluff a lot to get coin, or if they choose could even win Battles.




The number one thing players can do is deny Fox players righteousness. If you see that the Fox Player is 2 or more turns after you around your table, go for training in spring and take Righteousness. Coordinate so that Fox clan don't get righteousness. Worst case scenario, Fox player plays training or is early to get training, in which case make sure that they're getting only 1 righteousness max. It will cut down on their ability to gain points by alot.

After which, you guys can coordinate to deny Fox clan both seppuku and imperial poet. They won't have enough money to go for both so denying either one or the other shall suffice. That will bring the fox clan to pretty much the same playing field as others. Heck, they might even be kinda weak when you play around the seppuku strategy. Ronin imo is easier to play around as it does not occur first and you can deny them areas on the board to harvest Ronins from as well as the Ronin Kami if its out.

I don't think Fox is overpowered, their ability is just easy to use well as opposed to the Dynasty clans. All clans have their strengths and weaknesses to be played around. And since this is a negotiation game, minor imbalances can be dealt with through alliance making - like Cosmic Encounter.
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William Chew
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Pangarl wrote:
One warning I'll say is that you really need to be wary of Fox clan getting the Spring virtue(s) that award victory points for death. If they manage to get both of these, then a pure seppuku strategy from them is very difficult to beat for the rest of the game. If the Kami that lets you acquire season cards is out, watch out for them getting a combo like this, especially as they don't need money for fortresses and don't need to use their recruit to get bushi out.


I've played two games so far and fox clan has won both. First game fox clan got both of those virtues and obliterated everyone. 2nd game it was closer, but the fox clan got one of the virtues.

I am trying to think of anti fox strategy. The best so far I've seen is to not bid against the single bushi and convince the rest of the table on that. This most recent game the fox clan was able to accumulate a lot of money with individual bushis losing and seppukuing.
 
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Albin Menant
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Well, That's the point. The strategy that we saw destroying us and is very difficult to counter from fox is :
- Righteousness (at best x2), put bushi everywhere, play sepukku and empire poets on every battle. As you loose, you get money for the next battle.
- Sometimes you just decide that this time you will win a battle by surprise, when everyone is used to you loosing, and take the war tokens you need to get at least the 10VP bonus.

Why is it huge:
- In 3x6 battle you can get 3x6x3(with 1 righteousness)=54 or 3x6x4 with 2 righteousness = 72.
- Everyone fight for fortresses, you don't need any. You don't need recruit or harvest either. You don't really need to ally either. Only train and wait.


Of course, I can guess your answer : "take him the righteousness and outbid him the sepukku". Yes, but that means deliberately choosing a strategy for yourself (at great cost) for which you are sooooo inferior to him:
Will you really discard your only action of the season and some gold, and choice of card, just to prevent 1 player from winning too much, knowing it won't bring you much?
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Kai Schmidt
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bbounty wrote:
Of course, I can guess your answer : "take him the righteousness and outbid him the sepukku". Yes, but that means deliberately choosing a strategy for yourself (at great cost) for which you are sooooo inferior to him:
Will you really discard your only action of the season and some gold, and choice of card, just to prevent 1 player from winning too much, knowing it won't bring you much?


That's pretty much the problem I have with all those strategies suggested against fox: There are various approaches, that somehow all end up stating something along the lines of: "Of course you can't let him have righteousness. Especially not twice!"

So ... if no one happens to be in a position to need righteousness? Let's imagine a table to four or five players including one fox. Who's supposed to take one for the team and take away righteousness? Especially considering there are no teams in this game...
Who do you expect to waste one of his valuable actions on a step that doesn't help him the least bit against even a single one of the non-fox opponents?

Well, I guess there might be one other player that might be in a position to aim for the same strategy... in some games. However there might as well not be one such player. Let's imagine such a game, where based on the clans picked and position on the map no one else would want to play with a suicide-tactic. In such a game, what would be the best course of action to handle fox without one player deliberately accepting a significant disadvantage just to counter the racial ability to the benefit of himself and all of his other opponents?
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Jon Snow
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meeple Well, its a game about NEGOTIATION! So if you're going to take one for the team, you should be compensated, shouldn't you?
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Mr. Octavius
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Shimaaji wrote:
bbounty wrote:
Of course, I can guess your answer : "take him the righteousness and outbid him the sepukku". Yes, but that means deliberately choosing a strategy for yourself (at great cost) for which you are sooooo inferior to him:
Will you really discard your only action of the season and some gold, and choice of card, just to prevent 1 player from winning too much, knowing it won't bring you much?


That's pretty much the problem I have with all those strategies suggested against fox: There are various approaches, that somehow all end up stating something along the lines of: "Of course you can't let him have righteousness. Especially not twice!"

So ... if no one happens to be in a position to need righteousness? Let's imagine a table to four or five players including one fox. Who's supposed to take one for the team and take away righteousness? Especially considering there are no teams in this game...
Who do you expect to waste one of his valuable actions on a step that doesn't help him the least bit against even a single one of the non-fox opponents?

Well, I guess there might be one other player that might be in a position to aim for the same strategy... in some games. However there might as well not be one such player. Let's imagine such a game, where based on the clans picked and position on the map no one else would want to play with a suicide-tactic. In such a game, what would be the best course of action to handle fox without one player deliberately accepting a significant disadvantage just to counter the racial ability to the benefit of himself and all of his other opponents?


Righteousness is useful for everyone. You are not going to win every province you fight in, you will want to seppuku at some point to get some points out of a lost cause, likely at lease once a season. Righteousness makes that better.
Also, you don't have to sepuku to get the benefit from righteousness. If you have 4 figures in a province you are either winning the province tile, or getting a minimum of 3 vps for losing. (If a figure is taken hostage.)
Even with a low estimate, you should easily expect at least 6VP out of this 2 coin season card over the course of the game, which isn't a bad exchange rate. 3x the cost in VP is about what you'd average with most winter upgrades, and righteous will probably end up giving you more than that even if you don't seppuku at all.
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Cut their tails off. They’re nothing without their bushy tails...
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E F
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I haven't yet received my copy and so I haven't yet been able to play this game, however I am having trouble viewing Fox clan to be as strong as everyone believes. From reading the rulebook and watching a few plays of this game there does seem to be a few cards that work well with the suicidal fox strategy, however that doesn't mean those cards will not be great for other clans as well. I imagine dragonfly and turtle clan should be natural counters to fox clan swarming at the last minute and gaining easy vp, coins or territories. I imagine the spring season will likely be their strongest season, with a lot of players not fully setup yet. If a dragonfly and/or turtle clan were to play a stronghold and there be two recruit mandates played during Spring season, I believe those clans spreading around the map plus the rest of the clans would create tons of board presence and be more difficult for the fox clan to have easy fights with a single player or picking up a territory for free.. There are are also few cons I am seeing with the Fox clan. I do not see most of the mandates being that good for them other than train and betrayal. Marshall will be okay for strongholds and harvest may sometimes be good, but will low board presence until the battle phase will likely make this a weak play. With that said, I imagine it not being as easy to gain an ally for the Fox clan, since they have a decent likelihood of betraying. I do not think hate drafting will be optimal for any of the clans, I would only recommend clans buy cards that are good for them and if that card choice is denying another person all the better. Choosing non-optimal picks will only make the clan weaker overall therefore foregoing the strategy that the player should be bringing to the table. My last thought on countering Fox clan, if such a thing is needed, is first turn Train mandates or Lotus clan denying a train mandate. This will give the Fox clan later picks in cards for their combos. I do think that fox clan is likely one of the easier clans to play well, so I would think they would seem stronger for game with players with little experience with the game. This is just my two cents from what I have seen so far, I hope to get my game soon, so I can actually play. If you guys have criticisms on my thoughts on fox clan I'd love to hear them, again my thoughts might be flawed since I haven't yet played the game yet.
 
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SherM Tan
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Speaking from my experience playing fox clan in a 5 player game (obviously no one wanted to ally with me), it is quite easy to deny fox during mandate phase especially having all 4 other clans committed to let Lotus win and suppress Fox. Lotus clan kept burying train and played only Harvest. Sun and koi dominated kami shrines, so bushi summoning did not do me much good.

I was quite lucky that bonsai was quite greedy to play train which allowed me to snag Way of Shogun and couple of other trainings which gave me sufficient tool to get my battle tactics going. That put me in the end 2nd place, 5 points shy away from Lotus.
 
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Zoltán Dudás
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Shimaaji wrote:
bbounty wrote:
Of course, I can guess your answer : "take him the righteousness and outbid him the sepukku". Yes, but that means deliberately choosing a strategy for yourself (at great cost) for which you are sooooo inferior to him:
Will you really discard your only action of the season and some gold, and choice of card, just to prevent 1 player from winning too much, knowing it won't bring you much?


That's pretty much the problem I have with all those strategies suggested against fox: There are various approaches, that somehow all end up stating something along the lines of: "Of course you can't let him have righteousness. Especially not twice!"

So ... if no one happens to be in a position to need righteousness? Let's imagine a table to four or five players including one fox. Who's supposed to take one for the team and take away righteousness? Especially considering there are no teams in this game...
Who do you expect to waste one of his valuable actions on a step that doesn't help him the least bit against even a single one of the non-fox opponents?

Well, I guess there might be one other player that might be in a position to aim for the same strategy... in some games. However there might as well not be one such player. Let's imagine such a game, where based on the clans picked and position on the map no one else would want to play with a suicide-tactic. In such a game, what would be the best course of action to handle fox without one player deliberately accepting a significant disadvantage just to counter the racial ability to the benefit of himself and all of his other opponents?


I guess you havent played Chaos in the Old World? Based on the above I dont recommend it. There during the whole game you have to watch out and pull back the person who is getting ahead while keeping the others in check as well AND trying to win yourself. Thats the point of the game.

Although in somewhat different style we have similar here. So you cant just do your own optimal strategy, but need to actively work towards disrupting the others? Well, good morning, thats the design intent behind the game. Eric Lang says hi.

And as others pointed out: why would be taking a Rightousness such a huge loss in case of the other clans? In other words: If you play a game without the Fox clan, then Rightousness is a dead card. Is that what you are saying?
Sure maybe you wont get 50 points out of it like the Fox. But if you get 20-30? How much would the other upgrade give that you didnt get in this case? Roughly the same? Than whats the issue?

Lets not act as if the upgrade cards all only work in very specific combos and setups and otherwise provide 0 points. Its not black & white.
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Yves St-Denis
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bbounty wrote:
Well, That's the point. The strategy that we saw destroying us and is very difficult to counter from fox is :
- Righteousness (at best x2), put bushi everywhere, play sepukku and empire poets on every battle. As you loose, you get money for the next battle.
- Sometimes you just decide that this time you will win a battle by surprise, when everyone is used to you loosing, and take the war tokens you need to get at least the 10VP bonus.

Why is it huge:
- In 3x6 battle you can get 3x6x3(with 1 righteousness)=54 or 3x6x4 with 2 righteousness = 72.
- Everyone fight for fortresses, you don't need any. You don't need recruit or harvest either. You don't really need to ally either. Only train and wait.


Of course, I can guess your answer : "take him the righteousness and outbid him the sepukku". Yes, but that means deliberately choosing a strategy for yourself (at great cost) for which you are sooooo inferior to him:
Will you really discard your only action of the season and some gold, and choice of card, just to prevent 1 player from winning too much, knowing it won't bring you much?

We had this exact difficulty with the Fox clan during our first game yesterday night (6 players game). The Fox clan could get his hand on both Righteousness cards, went for an "all Sepukku" strategy, and became unstoppable with victory points. At a certain point in the game, he was so far away from us in victory points, that the 5 other players did not even consider him anymore: there was now way we could ever get to were he was, and he continued with his victory point fest on his own for the rest of the game. We concentrated on the 5 of us to see who could be the "winer"!

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