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Subject: How do you think the Clans stack up against each other? rss

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Jeremy ZJ
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Now that the game has been out for more than a month, what are your initial impressions on which clans seem to be stronger or weaker? While I feel I need to play more games to have a more conclusive conclusion here are my opinions after 4 games:

Crab: Strong. A versatile clan ability that is almost certainly useful in most games. Starts with a capital that offers the option of easier access to the Shadowlands. Navy 3 is also likely to be very useful in most games. Possibly needs to be more wary of raids compared to other clans.

Crane: Strong, great clan ability. 2 teapots are usually useful for most of the secret objectives.

Unicorn: Strong. While the clan ability offers flexibility, the clan ability is still restricted to legal placements and the blessing token. Can make opponents very paranoid of raids since he can suddenly swap raids in. Interestingly, the Unicorn territory cards are probably the least useful in the early game.

Scorpion: Average to Strong. In a hidden information game, having extra information every round is a potentially powerful ability. However, Scorpion needs to be wary of Unicorn swapping the token Scorpion saw. Shinobi 3 is quite useful. Might be weaker in a Unicorn game.

Phoenix: Average. Since controlling many capitals is not crucial to winning, nor is a capital worth an especially high amount of Honor, the clan special ability is probably less versatile than the others. Furthermore, the clan ability only applies to 25% of the non-Shadowland provinces, and only when attacking.

Lion: Average. Army 6 is possibly the least versatile of unique combat tokens.

Dragon: Weaker. Appears to have the weakest clan ability, because it is difficult to predict what you don't need at the start of placement. Unicorn's flexibility is better.
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Jamie Pollock
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Interesting thoughts on the clan strengths. I would probably rate Dragon's ability a little stronger since being able to recycle certain key tokens to hopefully get them when you need them can be a big deal, though I get that putting a token back might mean you never draw it!

Phoenix, while weak, does have a quite a good board position to utilise its strength from.

 
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Clayton Weaver
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Depends what other clans are playing.

Lion is in the middle of the board. Just by having their territory you have access to every clan and they have access to you and so this gives you a lot of flexibility and variability. I feel like the idea with them is to get as many strongholds as possible to stack the stronghold bonus on top of the guaranteed Bluff bonus and then grab land in the direction where your opponents aren't.

I think Lion and Dragon are both playing Mario Kart and shouldn't push for the lead until the final round. I definitely wouldn't want to deal with Phoenix, Crane and Unicorn on the board at the same time with either faction and I think they both have a lot of incentive to push Phoenix as hard as possible.

For me, Crab is in the real estate business. Grab as much territory as possible. Inevitably some of it is going to become more valuable and if people just let you get the Farms and the Crab territory then you're in a good position. I think their territory having four provinces is a massive weakness and better players will exploit this. On the flip side, I think some secret objectives like controlling more coastal territories, fewer provinces, and the Shadowlands are easier for Crab to obtain.

I feel like Crab and Crane are going to take a disproportionate number of hits from Raids and Shadowlands just due to the nature of their playstyles.

Unicorn just seems really strong but maybe thats only the case in smaller player counts where you can build up enough land and control enough borders to make your abilities really shine. If you can find enough uses for your Navy tokens then I think they'd be my clan of choice.

Scorpion seems strong in games without Unicorn which reinforces the idea that I like where Unicorn ranks within the Clans.

Phoenix seems really strong but in a predictable way that doesn't always translate into winning at higher player counts. That said, I think they have some really large advantages against most of the clans but they might be better at making other players lose than actually winning the game themselves.

I hesitate to give power rankings but my comfort level is with:

1. Unicorn
2. Crane
3-6. Tied
7. Crab
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Dario Alex
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I don't really think there is much difference in "power" among the clans, rather I think there is a "different approach" needed to play them. Different matter about the cards.


Short Version:

Crane : The kid everyone hates but are afraid of.
Phoenix: The one that just loves to mess with you.
Unicorn - Scorpion : the sneaky bastards.
Dragon : that guy that seems gay but steals your girlfriend.
Crab - Lion : Blacksmiths that just hammer you bad.


Long Version:

As a house rule we pick clans randomly and I must say that every time that the CRANE card comes out, a general unhappy comments' galore comes out. To win during ties is so powerful, making low level army quite dangerous. Also if you are lucky and draw 2 teapots, you can feast on the feel of opponents' uncertainty they need to decided who to attack.

I believed that the PHOENIX clan would be the "weakest" but I realized that as we were gaining better at the game, this would be played as negate-objective clan. I tend to play this by annoying during the last turn and try to steal capitals to negate possible objectives or to force a strong defensive response leaving other boarders unattended. Also 3 blessing means at least 3 units can't be messed around with, so make them count.

UNICORN is the other side of the "crane" coin. 2 Raid is powerful especially because you know that peace can't do anything about them either. Also being able to swap at the end of the turn, as already been said, can allow you to pull some neat tricks.

SCORPION is just sneaky, having more info than others with the ability of pulling a one-shot conquest with a shinobi 3 is an incredible deterrent.

DRAGON : I really like, not because it's flashy but because I am quite unlucky with my tokens, so having one token more to choose from, while doesn't seem like much, several times gave me an incredible helping hand. This is the faction that people don't consider dangerous to play against but in the end the power can give a steady help that others don't fear thus making it the "looks not harmful. oh wait! how do you get always so lucky" faction.

CRAB and LION are the most straightforward. Very solid defense, you know what you have to do and you do it quite well. Although it's very difficult to pull stunts like unicorn does, but still having +4 defense allows a really satisfying feeling when opponents over commit in attacking you and you are just defending with a bluff allowing the conquest of so many other territories in return.
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Clayton Weaver
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Blackdaz83 wrote:

Short Version:

Crane : The kid everyone hates but are afraid of.
Phoenix: The one that just loves to mess with you.
Unicorn - Scorpion : the sneaky bastards.
Dragon : that guy that seems gay but steals your girlfriend.
Crab - Lion : Blacksmiths that just hammer you bad.
After my small sample size of games, I see them like:

Crab: The guy in the corner who is super quiet and hopes that no one notices that he controls the entire bottom half of the board.

Crane: The aggressive clan that seemingly only plays defense when it has a peace token

Dragon: Consistent. Consistently finishing in second place.

Lion: The clan that always gets their Secret Objective.

Phoenix: The clan that flips Raid tokens half of the time.

Scorpion: The clan that meticulously devises a Machiavellian strategy against one player to have it completely ruined by someone else yelling LEEROY JENKINS and attacking in the most inexplicable way.

Unicorn: The clan that convinces people that the Shadowlands are just misunderstood and totally worth a look.
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