Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Feudum» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 2-player game impressions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt Kelly
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
flag msg tools
badge
Don't mention the war!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got in my first play of Feudum this last Thursday, with MPMelanchthon. He beat me by a very close score of 151-150. Here are some of my thoughts about the game.

As this was the first game for both of us, we mostly stayed away from direct confrontation. We were largely content to each do our own thing, using this first game to "pull all the levers". Particularly in a two-player game, there is more than enough room on the board to play a full game without directly butting heads with the other player. That being said, if we had wanted to have more direct interaction, I think we would have been able to. I think that at higher player counts, the more limited amount of land and resources to go around would force more confrontational playing styles. As it was, there were more than enough locations to go around. This did lead to a couple of peculiar situations that I don't think would have come up in a higher player count game, or one where we were directly attacking each other.

The "economy" of the guilds was somewhat stagnant in our game. This was due to a couple of factors. The main one was that with the large number of farms that we were each able to control, it was much easier to use a harvest/kickback + selling to the farm guild combo to get the food that we needed to feed our pawns. At the same time, this meant that there was much less pressure to purchase items, particularly food, from the merchant guild. The result was that the merchant and alchemist guilds quickly became saturated with goods due to spillover from the farm guild, meaning that the movement of goods from farm to merchant and from merchant to alchemist quickly became impossible. The other factor was that Michael was the guild master of the alchemist guild for most of the game, and just wasn't using the push action to clear out space to break up the logjam. In retrospect, I should have cozied up to his alchemist pawn and thrown a feast or two to steal some big points and to clear out some space. In a more aggressive game or a game with more players, the harvest action probably wouldn't have been as strong, and buying food and other resources from the merchant guild would probably have been more tempting.

We also had two of the guilds go leaderless for most of the game. Michael got all three of his pawns out in the first round- Alchemist, Farmer and Monk. I had out Alchemist and Farmer, and got my Merchant out later in the game. This left the Knight and Noble guilds empty until I finally build a Noble feudum late in the game. The lack of ability to push and pull goods on that side of the board also slowed the economy.

By coincidence, we each drew an archery landscape with our first improve actions, and were soon able to put them down to each be tended by one of our serfs. Between those and one alchemist guild push action that filled up our influence marker rows, we each had all of our influence markers in our possession by about 2/3 of the way through the game.

Late in the game, after I had built a feudum (Michael never built a feudum the entire game), I determined to attack, to avoid the military service penalty. What I discovered was that it's actually somewhat difficult to pull off a conquer action in the game. As Michael had no feudums to target, I had to go after one of his pawns. I didn't have my Knight pawn on the board, and taking two actions to migrate one of my other pawns off the board and bring my knight onto the board felt like too much work for too little reward. With only four or five actions per round, they each seem extremely precious. Due to the pawn defense of +2 and attack of only +1, my only other options were to draw a weapon card from the royal writs deck and/or coordinate an attack using multiple pawns. Between pull actions and explore actions, I went into the deck four separate times, and was never able to find a single weapon card! What's more, coordinating multiple pawns to get close enough to an enemy pawn turns out to be much harder than it looks. It isn't obvious at a glance, but more than half of the locations on the board aren't accessible without using one of the three vehicles, or a ferry. So if the target of your attack in on a remote island, or over in the mountains, it may be difficult if not impossible to get multiple pawns to their location to attack. I think this was somewhat exacerbated by the fact that we both had all of our pawns fairly spread out on the board, to more efficiently spread our control of locations. This made it harder to bring my pawns together for an attack. In a higher player count game, there would most likely be a more target-rich environment. Additionally, the use of the behemoth or sea monster to pin an enemy pawn would also be useful.

In the end, I did acquire three end game scoring royal writs to Michael's none. All three were based on control of locations in specific areas of the board, which were easier to fulfill in a two player game. I scored max points on two of the three cards, which was almost enough to pull out the victory, but not quite. Ultimately, my late feudum proved too costly and probably cost me the game.

The inevitable question that gets asked about multiplayer games like these is- how does it play with only two players? I think it's a perfectly good game with two players. If players want to play a low-confrontation game, there's plenty of space on the board to allow it. If they want to play a more attacking style, then the game will accommodate that as well. That being said, I think that the game will shine more at higher player counts, where the competition for space and resources will be tighter, and control of the various guilds will be more up for grabs.

Another big question is how much confrontation is there in the game? At first glance, it seems like there might be quite a bit, as the penalty for building a feudum without military service is fairly steep, and there are three types of attack in the game- "Money is influence" with the Merchant pawn, direct attacks with the conquest action, and "Starve the People" using a Royal pawn. All of these attacks can be mitigated, however. The first can be prevented by deploying subjects to protect your controlled locations. Direct attacks, as noted above, can be difficult to plan and pull off. This would be especially so if the potential targets keep an eye on the other players, and build feudums in hard-to-reach locations and make judicious use of the Defend card, or just be prepared with a timely Move action to stay out of the way of enemy Knight pawns. The same goes for the "Starve the people" attack. The bottom line is, if you are a conflict-averse player, give this game a chance. It may not be as confrontational as you think.

I have one tip for playing the game. I watched the Heavy Cardboard playthrough video and noticed that managing the control of the guilds was by far the most fiddly part of the game. Every time somebody took control of a new location, or did an upgrade action, the game would grind to a halt, as they would have to go back to the board to re-count the amount of influence in the affected guild(s), and also re-count the influence of the other members in the guild to see if anybody had been surpassed for guild master. We used D6s placed beside the influence markers to track the amount of influence each player had in each guild. This made it much, much easier to adjust the influence during the game, as well as making it easier to plan turns, as we could see at a glance how much influence was needed to take over a guild, without having to go back to the board to constantly recalculate everybody's influence.

We have a 4-5 player game scheduled in about a week. Can't wait to see how that turns out!
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Goodridge
United States
Windsor Locks
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Currently at 1:2 ratio, getting better every week
badge
I don't want it, I don't need it, but I can't stop myself. - Stabbing Westward
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While the "money is influence" action is basically an attack, it does not allow you to place a token on the military service track. So in that sense, it is not an attack.

Also, good tip on using d6 for guild status!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brach Munoz
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice summary. thank you for sharing.

Good tip on the D6's. I was thinking about laminating a grid that allowed you to dry mark each players changing totals but i think your idea would be easier
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
I had a chance this weekend to teach Daniel S. the game this past weekend, Matt K. Interestingly, though my "play" improved (e.g., I actually collected a lot of Writs, engaged in combat, used the Merchant's special function "Money is Influence", and ruled 12 locations), my score actually declined to 147. Though I did beat Daniel.

We both used the strategy to get our 3 pawns out in the first round. After I had defeated one of his pawns, he never did migrate a 3rd back on the board.

Oddly, while I kept digging for cards that got me the end game points as they did for you in our game, I kept getting weapon cards. Which is how I defeated Daniel's pawn. Only on my 3rd time looking at 2 cards did I finally get a valuable end game point card!

Neither of us built a Feudum.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alec Usticke
United States
Peekskill
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
isudoog wrote:
We used D6s placed beside the influence markers to track the amount of influence each player had in each guild.
Fantastic idea.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
And a lesson we learned on the Military Service Track:

- IF you go on (1) an Epic Journey and (2) put out both of your Reeves, then you have (3) ZERO tokens left to perform Military Service.

So even if you do perform it, in such a situation you can't protect yourself from the loss of Military Service points at the various Epochs when such service is assessed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maurice Lutterot
Netherlands
Amsterdam
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
isudoog wrote:
What I discovered was that it's actually somewhat difficult to pull off a conquer action in the game.


You could have used a Noble pawn to starve the people. That would also earn you a disc in on the military track.


isudoog wrote:
We used D6s placed beside the influence markers to track the amount of influence each player had in each guild. This made it much, much easier to adjust the influence during the game, as well as making it easier to plan turns, as we could see at a glance how much influence was needed to take over a guild, without having to go back to the board to constantly recalculate everybody's influence.


After reading the rules the bookkeeping of the guild status was the only thing I worried about. I was thinking of printing a six column scoring track and make six custom markers for each player to track their influence in each of the guilds, but your idea is a lot better.
Aren't the influence markers hexagonal? Maybe it's missed opportunity that they don't have numbers 1-6 (and upside-down 7-12) on their sides...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daily Grind
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't yet have a copy so don't have a firm grasp on the rules, but its interesting that multiple posts say 'didn't build a feudum'.

Since that is the titular upgrade, does it imply the game feels incomplete without a feudum as a viable goal? Or is there perhaps a 2p feudum strategy that will manifest through emergent gameplay?

What does excising feudum-construction mean for how the game feels?

(I would be looking at getting this for exclusively 2p...)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
A few thoughts on Feudums:

1. To create a Feudum you have to improve a Town at which you are the ruler. To do this you need a Royal Seal.

2. BUT, once you create the Feudum you are now responsible in 3 epochs for "Military Service" to the King. Failure to perform this service results in "disfavor", lost VPs, that are cumulative, in each applicable epoch. So just when the final epoch is triggered, failure to perform any Military Service costs you 12 VPs (3+4+5) and if you've only performed one Military Service, you'd still lose 9 VPs (4+5). If you create a Feudum early and fail to perform any Military Service, you'll lose a lot of VPs in the three applicable epochs.

3. AND you only have 3 available markers. These can perform as Reeves and on the Epic Journey track, but there are 3 spaces for mandatory Military Service. So if you create a Feudum you have to be careful about both Reeves and the Epic Journey track. Essentially, if you want to perform all of the necessary Military Service you cannot go on an Epic Journey nor use the two Reeves in the Guilds.

4. AND once you have Feudum, it is subject to possible destruction by an opponent.

So Feudums come at some cost and great responsibility and they can be destroyed. Only you know whether they are "worth" it to you in your game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Warr
United Kingdom
Bromley
Kent
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cafin8d wrote:
I don't yet have a copy so don't have a firm grasp on the rules, but its interesting that multiple posts say 'didn't build a feudum'.

Since that is the titular upgrade, does it imply the game feels incomplete without a feudum as a viable goal? Or is there perhaps a 2p feudum strategy that will manifest through emergent gameplay?

What does excising feudum-construction mean for how the game feels?

(I would be looking at getting this for exclusively 2p...)


I played a 2-player game on Tabletopia, and by the end I had 3 Feudums and was guildmaster of all 6 guilds! I won by a landslide :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicola Bocchetta
Italy
Milano
MI
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MPMelanchthon wrote:
A few thoughts on Feudums:

1. To create a Feudum you have to improve a Town at which you are the ruler. To do this you need a Royal Seal.

2. BUT, once you create the Feudum you are now responsible in 3 epochs for "Military Service" to the King. Failure to perform this service results in "disfavor", lost VPs, that are cumulative, in each applicable epoch. So just when the final epoch is triggered, failure to perform any Military Service costs you 12 VPs (3+4+5) and if you've only performed one Military Service, you'd still lose 9 VPs (4+5). If you create a Feudum early and fail to perform any Military Service, you'll lose a lot of VPs in the three applicable epochs.

3. AND you only have 3 available markers. These can perform as Reeves and on the Epic Journey track, but there are 3 spaces for mandatory Military Service. So if you create a Feudum you have to be careful about both Reeves and the Epic Journey track. Essentially, if you want to perform all of the necessary Military Service you cannot go on an Epic Journey nor use the two Reeves in the Guilds.

4. AND once you have Feudum, it is subject to possible destruction by an opponent.

So Feudums come at some cost and great responsibility and they can be destroyed. Only you know whether they are "worth" it to you in your game.


How many points is a feudum worth? Or what are its advantages?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Warr
United Kingdom
Bromley
Kent
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Faso74it wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
A few thoughts on Feudums:

1. To create a Feudum you have to improve a Town at which you are the ruler. To do this you need a Royal Seal.

2. BUT, once you create the Feudum you are now responsible in 3 epochs for "Military Service" to the King. Failure to perform this service results in "disfavor", lost VPs, that are cumulative, in each applicable epoch. So just when the final epoch is triggered, failure to perform any Military Service costs you 12 VPs (3+4+5) and if you've only performed one Military Service, you'd still lose 9 VPs (4+5). If you create a Feudum early and fail to perform any Military Service, you'll lose a lot of VPs in the three applicable epochs.

3. AND you only have 3 available markers. These can perform as Reeves and on the Epic Journey track, but there are 3 spaces for mandatory Military Service. So if you create a Feudum you have to be careful about both Reeves and the Epic Journey track. Essentially, if you want to perform all of the necessary Military Service you cannot go on an Epic Journey nor use the two Reeves in the Guilds.

4. AND once you have Feudum, it is subject to possible destruction by an opponent.

So Feudums come at some cost and great responsibility and they can be destroyed. Only you know whether they are "worth" it to you in your game.


How many points is a feudum worth? Or what are its advantages?


A Feudum can gain you entry into a guild that you didn't already have a pawn in play for, so it can allow you to have status in more than 3 guilds.

A Feudum provides 3 status stars in its guild, which can be a big swing to allow you to become Guildmaster. Being Guildmaster not only gives you 5 points at the dawn of each epoch, but also allows you to perform the guild's push action for even more points.

Each Feudum is worth 3 points extra at end-game scoring, and can also be counted as wilds towards making sets of the 3 basic location types, possibly earning bonus points.
6 
 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.