Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Rising Sun» Forums » General

Subject: Honestly.. can not being in an Alliance be advantageous? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Zac Stewart
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
Hi folks..

I'm looking for a clear, concise way to convince friends playing Rising Sun with me that not being in an alliance is not the end of the world. I suppose I'm still trying to convince myself too, that there is a possible scenario where I intentionally don't ally with any clan because I think it will benefit me more so.

I understand the idea that a player not in an alliance may attempt to thwart specific mandate plans they anticipate an alliance will take, but is it advantageous enough to justify not being in an alliance for the bonus and taking the risk that you actually thwart their plans?

Any input/thoughts are greatly appreciated!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dickson
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, you can Betray without worrying about the honor loss, for one.

And even in an alliance, you're still at the mercy of what your ally picks for their mandate. Getting a discount on buying a Season card isn't that great a benefit when you wanted them to Marshall so you could buy a stronghold. Our first game, I was allied with the Lotus Clan. Great, right? They can take whatever mandate they want! They knew I wanted Marshall. They said they were going to do Marshall. Got to their turn, and they Recruited. Yay.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig B
Australia
Mount Hawthorn
Western Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
There's no consequence when you use betray if you're not in an alliance, AND your only ally option might already be in the lead and/or competing with you for overall position so don't want anyone else to be your ally and gain your bonus action. You can deny those bonus actions to others. You'll cause more fights to occur (rather than just being auto-resolved if everyone in the fight is in the same alliance) creating more opportunities for seppuku, imperial poets, gaining more losing coins etc. i.e. more opportunities for gaining VP and/or more utility to you from losing fights (gaining coins).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zac Stewart
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
I agree you're at the mercy of what your ally actually chooses, but nonetheless it's still a bonus vs the non-allied player that's not eligible for any bonus.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Nothin'
msg tools
Avatar
Embelish wrote:
Hi folks..

I'm looking for a clear, concise way to convince friends playing Rising Sun with me that not being in an alliance is not the end of the world. I suppose I'm still trying to convince myself too, that there is a possible scenario where I intentionally don't ally with any clan because I think it will benefit me more so.

I understand the idea that a player not in an alliance may attempt to thwart specific mandate plans they anticipate an alliance will take, but is it advantageous enough to justify not being in an alliance for the bonus and taking the risk that you actually thwart their plans?

Any input/thoughts are greatly appreciated!


1. Not being in an alliance is actually not that big a deal - you lose a couple of mandate bonuses, which isn't all that crippling. Yes, you'd rather have the bonus for Marshall and Harvest, but not having it will not lose you the game.

2. While you *get* no bonus, you also *give* no bonus - are you in the lead? Are you first to play this season? Are you well spread out over the map? Going at it alone means you gain and avoid helping another player, which is better still.

3. You get to fight all your battles, which is good for you - losing a battle to an opponent means reparations and possible VPs from sapoku, hostage, and poets. Losing a battle to an ally means you get NOTHING.

4. You are mentally and politically free to deal with anyone and do anything. No nagging ally to avoid hurting or make a deal with, no squinty eyes when you go about it for yourself, no issues with using Betray... You are free.

Honestly, people make such a big deal about this... This isn't the first game with alliances - just one of the few to formalize them via rules.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francis Rivest
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Embelish wrote:
Hi folks..

I'm looking for a clear, concise way to convince friends playing Rising Sun with me that not being in an alliance is not the end of the world. I suppose I'm still trying to convince myself too, that there is a possible scenario where I intentionally don't ally with any clan because I think it will benefit me more so.

I understand the idea that a player not in an alliance may attempt to thwart specific mandate plans they anticipate an alliance will take, but is it advantageous enough to justify not being in an alliance for the bonus and taking the risk that you actually thwart their plans?

Any input/thoughts are greatly appreciated!


There are some disadvantages to being in an alliance but being in an alliance overall is a good thing, for both players. Players should always be aware that your aiding another player and that is never a good thing. Another major reason why you might not want to be in an alliance is for the war phase.

Allied players do not fight over land, so only the persons with the most force there takes it. Some players have war advantageous because of cards or traits (such as the koi clan). These players might want to fight, and won't be able to because of the alliance. Also, being present in battles may help you get the coin you need for other battles. This is very usefull in the last war, the autumn war (since your force will be pretty much useless anyway after this war, sacrifing them to get coin is a good idea).

As you mention, you must consider strongly what you are removing from the mandate tiles when choosing out of an alliance as you are playing that tile but also removing it for the other players to choose, and there are only 2 tiles of each. The lotus clan excels at doing this, removing tiles they don't want others to play and playing whatever they need.

This is all based on pretty much all playthrough video that are out there, as i don't yet have the game myself. If you play with smart players, alliance will shift as a major factor in making an alliance should be : "do not ally with the winning player(s)". So the losing player should get an ally more easily balancing things out.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Cherry
United States
Trenton
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Embelish wrote:
I agree you're at the mercy of what your ally actually chooses, but nonetheless it's still a bonus vs the non-allied player that's not eligible for any bonus.


The issue people forget is that whatever mandate YOU select also gives a bonus to your ally. Not boosting a player that is, actually, your competition, is a benefit that people forget. It isn't just about losing a benefit for yourself, it is about being able to pick what you want without worrying about giving a better benefit to an opponent (and denying them that choice as well).

The Dice Tower folks did a live play today that showed the benefits of going solo. And, in fact, Zee talked a lot about that analysis. It is definitely worth a watch.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sergio Perez
United States
Terrell
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Do not ally with player(s) who are winning" is a statement I have seen repeatedly, but that seemingly reinforces the notion that being in an alliance is, indeed, advantageous.

Being left out of alliances may not be the end of the world, but it seems to me that it's almost always preferable to be in an alliance, and outside of one, you try to improvise and do the best you can.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey Nolin
Japan
Nakamachi, Hiroshima
Hiroshima-ken
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When teaching the game is when you set the stage for how others see alliances. Alliances are temporary, one because they are negotiated for each season, but more importantly because they are meant to be betrayed (of course, promises made within or without alliances affect your cred).

If I’m first in turn order in Spring, I think I prefer to be un-allied, because, as the second in an alliance, Betrayal is a very good move (of course, not replacing your partner’s units is best).

However, as an un-allied player, if you don’t have Betrayal, Marshall or Harvest to choose from, you’re in trouble (not likely).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr. Octavius
Canada
Chilliwack
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Embelish wrote:
I'm looking for a clear, concise way to convince friends playing Rising Sun with me that not being in an alliance is not the end of the world.


Check out the playthrough by Heavy Cardboard. The player that didn't have an alliance in Spring or Autumn came in 2nd place, and the player without an alliance in Summer made some strong plays for himself.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac Wilkinson
New Zealand
flag msg tools
I find the biggest disadvantage of being in an alliance is not knowing which battles you'll be fighting in. Maybe they'll betray you on the last mandate and all your plans go out the window, maybe they won't and you get stuck not being able to beat someone in a battle, that you would have won easily given the opportunity
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Espinoza
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Maebon wrote:
Embelish wrote:
I'm looking for a clear, concise way to convince friends playing Rising Sun with me that not being in an alliance is not the end of the world.


Check out the playthrough by Heavy Cardboard. The player that didn't have an alliance in Spring or Autumn came in 2nd place, and the player without an alliance in Summer made some strong plays for himself.
Similarly, The Dice Tower guys just finished a 3-player live play of the game. The two players who were not allied at some point ended first and second.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Becq Starforged
United States
Cerritos
California
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Embelish wrote:
Hi folks..

I'm looking for a clear, concise way to convince friends playing Rising Sun with me that not being in an alliance is not the end of the world. I suppose I'm still trying to convince myself too, that there is a possible scenario where I intentionally don't ally with any clan because I think it will benefit me more so.

I understand the idea that a player not in an alliance may attempt to thwart specific mandate plans they anticipate an alliance will take, but is it advantageous enough to justify not being in an alliance for the bonus and taking the risk that you actually thwart their plans?

Any input/thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Here is a specific scenario illustrating a potential strength of being the odd man out:

Player 1 and 2 ally, leaving Player 3 alone.
Turn 1: Player 1 chooses Recruit. Player 2 gets +2 force (total 4), Player 3 gets +1 force (total 3), Player 1 gets +2 force (total 4).
Turn 2: Player 2 chooses Recruit. Player 3 gets +1 force (total 4), Player 1 gets +2 force (total 6), Player 2 gets +2 force (total 6).
Turn 3: Player 3 chooses Betray. Player 3 gets +2 force (total 6), Player 1 gets -2 force (total 4), Player 2 gets -2 force (total 4).

So the end result of one action each is that the unallied player gained a net of 4 models, while the other players gained a net of 2 each. Betray can be powerful.

Truth in advertising: this is a bit of a corner case. Harvest, in particular, advantages the ally of the player playing it. But it does provide what the OP asked for, I think...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr. Octavius
Canada
Chilliwack
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Becq wrote:
Harvest, in particular, advantages the ally of the player playing it. But it does provide what the OP asked for, I think...


Harvest is a great example of the advantage of not being in an alliance. If you Harvest as a solo player, you are the only one collecting coins / ronin / points from provinces. If you have an ally then your ally benefits a LOT from your harvest action (unless they don't have any majorities). If you play Harvest and your ally plays recruit, your ally probably got a lot more out of the alliance than you did, and you would have been better off by yourself.

Marshall is another good example, especially in Spring. As a solo player you are the only one that is able to build a stronghold with a marshall action. If the only players available to ally with are Turtle or Bonsai and you plan on Marshalling, you're probably better off not allying. Especially if you are before them in turn order.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Snow
United States
New York City
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
laugh If you step back, new players when the limited copies got out last August at Gen Con saw no reason to 'bother' with an Alliance, and got their heads handed to them. This is now the second general stage of the Rising Sun learning curve; how you can take advantage of not allying.

For those of us who like at least try and learn the rules first and then play, its hilarious. Watching new people need to be convinced that its balanced before trying the game is just bizarre to me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Dorsett
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WolfMonkey wrote:
I find the biggest disadvantage of being in an alliance is not knowing which battles you'll be fighting in. Maybe they'll betray you on the last mandate and all your plans go out the window, maybe they won't and you get stuck not being able to beat someone in a battle, that you would have won easily given the opportunity


The other implication here is that the lone player can walk into a province where two allied players are. Now the region goes from being uncontested, to a three way fight. Perhaps with a little pre-negotiation, one of the allied players (who would otherwise lose) might pay you to come in and 'open up the region for battling'.

Of course, in my games anyway, the take hostage action has been used a catch-up mechanic. Generally the winning player gets taken hostage, losing a point (which adds up over the course of a game). They then also have to either spread their coins further to prevent this happening, or calculate their force a -1. While this isn't a 'lone player' is balanced argument, it is a 'game is balanced' argument.

As previously mentioned, you can't assume you will benefit all that much from your alliance anyway! Consider the following:
1. "Oh you played marshall and I already have 4 strongholds (or no coins)... what a pity....
2. You played harvest and I don't control any regions... what a pity.
3. You trained and I'm last in turn order... and have no coins.
4. You recruited and I'm first in turn order... and I have the least strongholds

While these are all 'what-ifs', in our games ally's usually went for mandates that didn't benefit their ally or charged their ally for the privilege of something useful.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Matthews
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When you are in an alliance you ALWAYS need to be thinking tactically about how get MORE from the alliance than your ally (even if that "more" is just making your ally look like they are in the lead). As a solo player you are depriving ALL the other players of a bonus with every mandate you take, not just Betray.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Schultz
United States
Iowa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I played a 5-player game last night and won handily even though I was in alliance just one of three seasons. I had 70 points and 2nd place, who was always allied, had 57. I did betray some but the Lotus clan often burned that mandate.

Naturally, I was behind in strongholds (2) and figures on the board. I ended up with two war province tokens in spring and one in summer (all unique so that was 10 pts). The key was engine-building with the season cards, which I got through Train and the kami that lets you buy cards. I was Bonsai clan so they were cheap. I had four virtues (three unique) and two Way of The Phoenix that got me 18 total. I also had Way of the Bushido and Way of the Shogun so I had a lot of coins for fall wars. I participated in two and lost both but got points for deaths and I also got Imperial Poets for both. So my cards were making points for me even though I wasn't competitive in war.

Second place (Dragonfly) almost won a 13-point war which would have tied us but he was against a player who could outbid him easily.

Alliances are really useful but there are multiple strategies to win (which I think is the mark of a good game). They are probably most useful at the beginning and not so much at the end when the alliance helps your competition.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Palmer
United States
Athens
Georgia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Being in an alliance means that your ally can sneak in with a last move and take provinces out from under your nose without you even getting to fight for it.

For instance, I was in Kyushu with 4 of my Bushi. My ally was holding Nagato. He moved all but one of his Bushi out to attack in Kansai using the last mandate before war phase. This left only his single bushi in Nagato.

I had the highest honor, and was sitting on the Kami that gave me two free moves. I was holding Kyushu comfortably, so I had one of the bushi jump two spaces to Nagato, netting me highest force due to honor tiebreaking, and he didn't even get to contest in battle because we were allies.

The truth is, Allies in this game have a lot of ways to screw you over, and it isn't just playing the Betray mandate.

Also, in a 4+ player game, remember that some players only get one mandate to play that season. Allying with them if you get two is way more advantageous to them than you.

EDIT: I will also mention, that after that move, no one was interested in forming an alliance with me the next season, but by this point I'd built up an insane money generating engine, and I was the Koi clan, so I proceeded to just bully everyone on the map.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.