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Subject: Unpacking a success with the Fakirs rss

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C TK
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So I had a very unusual but very successful game with Fakirs, which I've never really played before, and have some insights about some conventional wisdom with respect to the Fakirs that I doubted before and would like to challenge. I'm not saying "oh if you do this Fakirs are OP" and I'm also not claiming that there wasn't a large degree of luck in the game in question. That all said, there was considerable margin for error in the game, so I think a few conclusions can still be drawn.

Here is the game. There's recently been discussion requesting post-game analysis, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'll go through the "plans" I had throughout the game, and the thought process behind each move in as much detail as necessary.

https://terra.snellman.net/game/CTK11401/max-row=27

So looking at this setup, I guess the first question is "Why Fakirs? CTK has played some 250+ games without ever playing Fakirs, and THIS setup is the one he chooses to pick them? There isn't even late dwelling scoring..."

So, the first paradigm I'd like to challenge is the "late dwelling scoring" theory - that you want to save up a bunch of priests for round 5 or 6 and then do a bunch of flights for 8vp a pop. But I contest that even if you can save a bunch of priests to do a bunch of flights in one round, it would be better for you to do a bunch of flights for 6vp each when your opponents are only getting 2vp each, instead of a difference of 8vp to 4vp. I'm not going to say late dwelling scoring is "bad", but I would assume that the 2vp per dwelling will help your opponents just as much as you. In fact, because weaker factions need to be able to be more flexible, I'd argue that it's better that there's less scoring opportunities later on (or doubled up scoring like rd 4 and rd 5 tp scoring) so that you can build your economy as soon as you're able to, without waiting for a massive scoring round.

One other thing I should mention before discussing strategies is that I expected to need to do a LOT of hard digging. I was planning to do whatever was necessary to get a lot of dwellings out in the first two rounds so that I could afford at least one hard dig per round in the last 4 rounds - with the general idea that each hard dig = 2 dwellings using a carpet flight (eg dig B2 to get B2 AND A5, or dig G2 to get G2 AND I7). And in general, I think this would often be necessary unless you get ungodly amounts of leech devil

Anyway, why did I pick Fakirs in this setup?

Blue and black were both already in the game. This meant I could be pretty sure of blue in the east, well-known to be a great neighbour for yellow. Also, Alchemists were less likely to nuke E6 on turn 1 before I could act, compared with Darklings. In addition, it was extremely unlikely fourth pick would be a self-sandwich into brown when grey could be picked with no neighbour. So I expected a fair colour distribution (from the perspective of leech/color wheel neighbours) of blue/black/yellow/grey. Another point of luck - it turned out to be the even better blue/black/yellow/green.

Scoring in this game was too weak for Nomads to succeed. I considered it quite playable for both Engineers and Dwarves, but neither had a great fit with the early scoring and cult bonuses (the later scoring and cult bonuses I don't worry so much about because they are easier to use for any faction). So the thought of Fakirs briefly flitted into my head. I then searched for every excuse not to pick them, like usual. But unlike usual, I couldn't find any. The color wheel was already fixed. There was no BON10 in the game (one of BON4 or BON10 is okay but not both). The other BONs were the best 6 for Fakirs so I was sure to always have at least a decent BON. And early scoring and round 1 2fire->1 worker was surprisingly strong for them, as I'll describe.

Usually Fakirs want to be picked from fourth seat to guarantee BON1, but I figured that if BON1 gets taken I could take BON6, build a SA, and take fav11 and fav9 (for the extra cult worker and so I won't break my economy spamming dwellings), and hopefully leech enough to pass quickly for BON3 (or BON9) and take ACT6. So my plan if BON1 was selected was to start round 2 with enough power for act6, 10 coins, 3 workers, and a priest, already having earned 9VP in the first round, and build on E3, E6, and E8 (flight) or E3, G2, and I7 if E6 was blocked. I'd then head into round 3 with 5 workers, 7 coins, a priest, plus whatever bonus tile resources, which seems playable as I can then proceed to hard dig for 2 dwellings a pop as I described earlier.

Otherwise, if seat 4 takes BON6, then I can take BON1 and my plan was to build a temple and a dwelling rd1, and pass first for BON3 and ACT6 in round 2. In this case, I was going to take FAV9 (prepared to lose FAV11) to get an extra worker and to solve coin problems for the game (since I want to use my power for spades). In this case, I'd start round 2 with 14 coins, 5 workers, and a priest. So I would (I think quite obviously) build a temple and a dwelling, taking fav11 if still available (Swarmlings in game, and Alchemists that may build SH and delay temple to round 2, so it's possible) or otherwise fav10. This seemed quite robust as well and so I liked both of those plans enough to chance it. Also, I should mention that as a faction with economy issues but actually quite good built-in scoring, I would expect that best results are to be found by taking an economy favour tile first and forgoing fav11, in a similar way to Dwarves who I consistently do very well with without any scoring tiles. Anyway, a worker and 3 coins for round 2 is clearly worth the difference in VP between fav11 and fav10.

So, you wanna justify a Darklings pick? Go ahead, don't even bother to check the setup if you don't want to. You wanna justify a Fakirs pick? 900 words later...

The long story short is, the BONs worked, the round scoring was good (weak late game scoring, no town scoring, round 2 temple which I obviously want because more priest income = more flights), the colours worked, and YOLO. Fakirs it is.

Setup:
I was surprised by the Auren pick, and surprised by the first two dwelling placements, but I placed on F3 anyway because I wanted to make certain Auren started on F4. I was in disbelief at the F2 placement but it actually proved brilliant and I will probably steal it in the future against yellow/blue. Anyway, D3 was obvious for my second dwelling. I think in most games you obviously want to start D3 and F3, although I could see A5 being viable with blue on A4 or black on B3. BON1 is obviously the way to go, if it's available, since you can't contest spade actions in the first round.......ninja

Round 1:
Turn 1: Upgrading ASAP to get as much leech as possible - hoping for ACT5 if someone screws up.
Turn 2: I've already leeched 6 power (1/11/0), with ACT5 and ACT6 still open. I am everyone's exclusive neighbour, so I can actually calculate that ACT6 is guaranteed since nobody can take it before my next turn. So I build on E6 with BON1, to get extra leech from the F4 upgrade.
Turn 3: With 0/7/5 power, I burn only 1 power to secure ACT6. So much for waiting until round 2! Deciding between E3, D4, and G2 is not hard. I need to build on E3 to access the most at-risk hex of E2, and G2 is better for Auren than D4 although both are fairly safe. Besides, G2 gives access to I7 whereas D4 only gives D4.
Turn 4: As discussed earlier, FAV9 > FAV11 for my plan, especially with the extra worker from cult scoring. And with 3 SHs on the board, I stand a decent chance to secure fav11 in round 2 anyway.
Turn 5: BON9 wouldn't have been terrible, but 6 coins > 3 coins + 3VP for just about any faction, especially this early.

Round 2:
Turn 1: The plan is obviously to build a temple for fav11, a dwelling on G2, send a priest to earth or air, and pass. Temple first since fav11 is scarce, and on E6 because it'll get the most optimal power when Auren build on E7. I am greedy now and hoping to pass first for BON9 plus ACT6 in round 3 for points.
Turn 2: Oh SH!! Why do Alchemists have so many workers? I'm gonna lose E2 for sure. I guess that's the end of that town. Oh well, I still have the E6 town and I can only expect one. Besides, next round I can fly to B2 as well as D4 with ACT6 and block the Alchemist's network. They could advance shipping this turn, but can't secure both E2 and B2 so one way or the other I'll do alright. So I'll ignore the threat and finish my temple. It's reasonable to consider securing the "3" in earth or securing my G2 hex first, but I want to be able to pass next turn if necessary to secure BON9+ACT6.
Turn 3: This was the toughest decision of the entire game. Swarmlings were quite possibly going to pass next turn, so I had the weigh the value of send a priest to earth and building a dwelling against BON9 and ACT6. To complicate matters, it isn't clear Swarmlings would actually take either even if they did pass first. But with Alchemists threatening both B2 and E2, I couldn't afford the risk of not getting at least ACT5 first action next round, and I decided that I could survive without the extra coins, could use the priest next round to fly instead, and would have plenty of workers after next round provided I got ACT6. So I passed early.

Round 3:
I can't overstate how perfectly the first two rounds of this game went. Consider this position. Fakirs, acting first in round 3 with 13c, 4w, 3p, and 11 power in bowl 3, good neighbours, and two temples and two dwellings on the board, plus an open hex, in a spade scoring round. Oh, and 10VP, but we won't worry about that
Turn 1: Alchemists saw the danger to B2, so I get E2 after all. D4 is the obvious second spade.
Turn 2: D4 first in case Auren dig on D5 this turn (I want moar leech!). A power action was possible, I wanted the turn to be as quick as possible to maybe get BON7. Best to get BON7 in round 5 instead of round 4, but as they say perfect is the enemy of the good. At this point I want to have my options open and be able to pass right after whoever takes BON7 if I don't get it, so I skipped the power actions. In hindsight, I guess ACT3 probably would have been fine as I do a 3pw->w conversion later in the round.
Turn 3: Build G2 so my second town is officially safe.
Turn 4: I considered passing for bon7 here, but everyone else seemed to have good options to continue their round, and I could make various BONs and power actions work for next round, so early passing was not appropriate here. I built on E8 instead of I7 because I wanted to have the fewest possible actions to a carpet flight to G4 (need a town first) in case alchemists try to block that whole island off on me.
Turn 5: Swarmlings and Alchemists are both primed to pass, but after doing some planning I determined that I could do just as well with BON1 or BON3 as BON7, and didn't require any particular power actions. So I maximized my BON9 and income by building a 7th dwelling.
Turn 6: I was a bit short for coins to possibly get a third temple online (fav10) next turn, so I decided to send p to earth for coins knowing I would either get BON3, BON7, or worst case BON8 for next round.
Turn 7: After all that, I get BON7 after all.

To be continued...
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C TK
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Round 4:
From this point I think it's pretty straghtforward, insofar as I was able to plan from the start of this round to the end of the game with a score of ~172 with either the strategy I followed (build a temple in round 5 for fav12) or building a temple in round 4 for fav10 (before finishing town), assuming I won network at 15, fire (with fav1 from SA in round 6), got a scoring bonus for the last two rounds (bon9 then bon7), and didn't get more than 1 hex blocked. I didn't lose much with only 1 scoring bon and bon8 - maybe 2 points. The fav12 strategy was faster tempo-wise (faster town, so securing the most at-risk hexes faster) and in general provided more robust income, so I went with that. I'll also preface this section by referring back to my earlier point about the challenge of dwelling scoring. In this round I have competing interests and being able to remain flexible was very important: It's a TP round, and I have bon7, so I want to build lots of trading posts. But, because the Alchemists threaten A5, B4, and maybe G4, I also want to build dwellings on one or two of those hexes this round and the others quickly next round. It should be pointed out that at this point I know exactly where I plan to build to get to 15 buildings, as well as the favours I will take (fav12 and fav1), and the power actions to get me there. I'm expecting to win fire at 8, and I have my resources mapped out with some wiggle room for contingencies at the end (for ex. I can use act5 in last round on D8 or act3 + hard dig). So the decisions going forward tend to be focused on "what order for safety?" or "what helps my opponents the least?", or between two almost equal options (such as at the end of round 4, another TP or another D?).

Turn 1: Alchemists are starting to advance digging, so they may decide to block B4, A5, or G4. They can't do too much damage this round though, with only 4 workers and no more priests. Still, I want to finish my town ASAP and get flying to some of those at risk hexes. ACT4 would be worth the tempo, so I plan to take that if it's still available when I get a bit more power. Since Alchemists need other resources and Auren and Swarmlings both have lots of coins, it very well may be. I upgrade G2 first because upgrading F3 would also give Swarmlings power (and reduce their power burn if they really want a power action) and D4 would increase the cost of leeches from the Auren's dwellings.
Turn 2: Evidently the Auren were more concerned about losing tw6 than taking ACT4. The Alchemist plan for the rest of the round is now obvious, so there is no major rush to reach the remaining hexes provided it happens this round. There was a chance Alchemists would take ACT1 and the other tw7, but at this point I could build a SH for tw1 instead and it wouldn't completely cripple me. Although if Alchemists had done that, I may have risked losing those other hexes, made better use of my bon7 this round, and built the SH last round. What would be lost in network would be made up in round scoring and a better economy. Anyway, ACT4 it is.
Turn 3: Finish my town and take tw7. D4 not F3 because 4-for-3 is less attractive than 3-for-2, and this way Swarmlings don't get any in an awkward power situation.
Turn 4: I'm going to build either one TP and 2 D's, or 2 TP's and 1 D this round, the hexes I need to secure are the ones Alchemists can reach(G4, A5, B1). G4 is the least safe, it's by far the most important, and I want to get the free power when they build on G5. Easy choice.
Turn 5: TP to continue denying power to the Swarmlings, although they won't overflow anymore I still want to force a power burn if they want ACT2->P to air->pass for BON7.
Turn 6: I decide to go with the TP option because BON7, since Alchemists will surely not touch A5 first turn next round and have better things to do than mess with B1 on turn 2. I upgrade on I7 to delay giving everyone power at E3 until next round 6.
Turn 7: Lucky for me, Auren pass and obviously Swarmlings would rather get the cult spade + my BON7, so I get BON9.

Round 5:
Turn 1: Since ACT3 is blocked (which would have allowed an extra TP to be built), the plan this round is, fav12 + 3D. Fav12 was fairly safe, but so is A5 and I couldn't resist overflowing Swarmling's power before he had a chance to spend it devil
Turn 2: No further comment necessary, I've been eyeing this hex for a round and a half.
Turn 3: I take the 2 leech to enable me to take ACT2 without burning down to 6 power tokens (in case I want ACT6 next round which I consider unlikely but possible).
Turn 4: I expect Auren to bridge from G1:F2 and SA on F2. Fuji had an even better plan. Anyway, G7 is 100% safe so B1 first.
Turn 5: Although H1 is technically in slight danger, I can't afford to lose G7, because it gives access to D8 and B6 which are crucial.
Turn 6: Finally revealing the first hint of my secret plan to win fire. Also forcing an opponent to pass early to stop me getting BON7 from Swarmlings, which if Alchemists do it I get BON6 and if Auren do it he won't get a bridge. And if they both do I'll happily settle for BON8 (first pick) or BON1 (worst case scenario and still pretty good). This is what I was referring to at the start of the review when I was talking about the importance of suitable BONs - all of BON9, BON7, BON6, BON8, and BON1 are perfectly acceptable for me heading into the last round, so I can focus on other things and no I can't be fully denied.
Turn 7: As a matter of principle, if someone "waits" when there is an extremely obvious decision before them (like leech 1 from non-cultists), then I assume they are fishing for information and refuse to give it to them. But then I pass for BON7 because I already have tons of resources for the last round and I'm just trying to get as many VPs as possible. I decline the later leech for the same reason, and also it would overflow by 1.

Round 6:
At the start of round 6 (or in round 5 once I can tell how the BONs will go eg. if I pass last), I like to try to guess what my opponents can/will try to accomplish. For Swarmlings they would obviously build a SA, who knows what else. Another town seems impossible. Alchemists can manage 2 more towns but not much else. I realize at this point, though, that I can't stop Auren from getting to 15 buildings (and 2 more towns) without also reducing my building count to 14. In fact, Auren have enough resources to get to 15 buildings and also some extra to create more problems for me, either at B6, H1, or on fire. For myself, a SA, TP, and 2 dwellings is already accounted for in my resources, so I don't need my power for anything except a spade (and that's not even accounting for my town resources or the power I get for fav1, assuming I get it). I therefore calculate that if I use act6 to hinder E1 by 1 spade and dig my D8, although Auren can still reach 15 buildings and 3 towns, they can't do anything else. So I do that.

Turn 1: Because Auren have to secure their town and can't afford to mess with D8, and I have an extra priest (or so I thought...), I'm comfortable breaking up my terraform on D8 and my dig into two turns for extra points. I terraform E1 and not D1 because it prevents Auren from avoiding a dig with a SA. I terraform it to grey and not blue because I don't want Swarmlings encouraged to screw up the Auren's town which would make the Auren more unpredictable.
As an aside, here I noticed that the Alchemists did the following technically not-legal command "dig 1. convert 3pw to w. dig 2. build D6." I didn't say anything at this time, but this becomes relevant later.
Turn 2: It worked out, but it turns out I should have taken that 2 power. D8 is still safe except from Auren, who have many better things to do, so I reveal my hand and secure fav1.
Turn 3: I'm confident I'll get another priest one way or another (tw3, act2, or 5pw->p) for my last two flights, so I lock up fire...(or so I thought...)
Turn 4: So Auren have opted for 14 buildings. With them sitting on 3 workers and nothing much to do with them, I have to secure D8 now. If Alchemists take tw3 I can take act2 with the 1 leech. If Alchemists take tw3 and and Swarmlings take act2, I can take tw5 and get enough power for a 5pw->p conversion, so I should be safe that way.
Turn 5: Swarmlings cut Alchemists at A7. I calculate Alchemists can still manage 2 more towns but they can't pose any more problem on fire. But the Auren have two priests left. I need to either take tw5 to secure fire or a priest to fly. If I can take tw5 and still get act2, I can do both. But if I take tw5 and then Swarmlings take act2, I'm 1 power short and have to pass immediately at only 14 buildings, a loss of (3+4+2) points. What are the chances of that? It's unclear. If I take tw3 then I need alchemists to give me power at D8 or G7 before I pass and also Swarmlings to not take act2. That's more unlikely. I could also take tw3, send p to fire, and hope that Swarmlings don't take act2. But if they do, there's no way I get the 2 power I need to do a conversion for a priest. So I decide to concede fire to Auren, and take tw3 planning a flight next turn.
Turn 6: Swarmlings took act4 for points, meaning that now act2 is 100% secure. Except...if Alchemists do "convert p to w. convert 2vp to 2c. dig 3. convert 3pw to w. build A9"...then Auren could leech from them this turn and block act2. So at this point I asked in chat for Alchemists to not do the illegal mid-turn conversion, and said I would link from BGG the source on that rule. I know they saw it, because they asked for the link before I was able to track it down. So I did the "risky" play and sent the p to fire. After which the Alchemists proceeded to do exactly what I asked them not to do, even though there was literally no risk to them in finishing their other town first. angryshake
Turn 7: From a straight margin perspective, Auren ought to have taken the leech and act2 to deny me the priest. I'm not sure if they didn't because they got a (slightly) higher score this way, or because they respected the fact I acted in good faith that Alchemists would not make an illegal play after it was brought to their attention. Either way I have no doubt Fujiwara saw the play and declined it, and credit to him for doing so. meeple Either way, ACT2 it is.
Turn 8: Last flight.

In the end, I ended up scoring 168, which means I lost a few points (to be expected) from my projection between the start of round 4 and the end of the game, although things went mostly according to plan. A couple were from earth track, and I had to fight harder for fire than expected, plus I paid for an extra spade to slow Fujiwara down. In any case, it's still a great score for any faction and is a 14-point improvement over the previous record in the bracket and also seems to be the highest in tournament format. And all it took was eleventy billion leech and a perfect color wheel

Despite that irregularity, I played this game very carefully (because I didn't want to make a stupid blunder and ruin it), and so I think there's practical demonstrations of many advanced concepts that apply to all factions to be extracted from it, such as leech optimization, bonus tile management, when early passing is and is not approriate, risk assessment, calculation, staying flexible, and a bit of resource denial. Originally I wasn't planning to go over every move, just the obviously tricky ones, but the truth of the matter is that every move is a decision to some degree, and I've tried to err on the side of detail rather than assuming that this or that concept is intuitive or obvious. I also found it helpful because many moves only make sense in the context of a broader plan, for example not taking fav10 in round 4 before two TP rounds only makes sense in the context of the bonus tile I had, plans for later, and tempo considerations. Without knowing how I got there or where I was going, one can't properly appreciate the nuance of the complicated or surprising moves. Essentially, explaining the complicated moves almost requires also explaining the more straightforward ones anyway, so best to do it in an organized fashion.

Let me know what you guys think, any feedback is appreciated!
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Chris Harris
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Perfect timing as I logged on here while prevaricating over picking fakirs in my d5 game, a fairly similar setup. Think I'll go for it and hope to get as much leech as you!

Totally agree about late dwelling scoring by the way, I think fakirs prefer to expand steadily so if anything want to avoid dwelling scoring just like swarmlings want to avoid tp scoring.
 
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Greg W
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Nice fakirs game! I always love seeing people do well with Fakirs .

It does look to me like a lot of the success here came from two key quotes in your analysis:

CTKShadow wrote:
it turned out to be the even better blue/black/yellow/green

and

CTKShadow wrote:
I am everyone's exclusive neighbour

The black/blue/green combo is pretty awesome for fakirs, as is getting tons of leech in the first round. (And of course, it's always a good game for any faction when you can get an income favor first and then fav11 on round 2 or later.)

One important point about the late-round D being helpful to fakirs: it's not so much that fakirs don't want to build Ds throughout the game, so much as they can't get priests fast enough to take advantage of D building bonuses until later rounds - so you end up in a better competitive position later on. What was interesting about your setup though, which I will now be considering for possible additional fakir picks, is that it actually had bad round-6 scoring (SH/SA, bad for everyone but cultists and maybe darklings/mermaids), which meant fakirs could do some D builds at the end without feeling like they were missing out on points.
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C TK
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greenraingw wrote:
(SH/SA, bad for everyone but cultists and maybe darklings/mermaids)


And Dwarves.
 
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The other very real problem with planning on a late dwelling scoring is the vulnerability. That plan relies on access to a bunch of natural yellow tiles. In the event that you actually are doing well with the Fakirs your opponents can just terraform some of those deserts.

In this game https://terra.snellman.net/game/4pLeague_S22_D3L4_G5 I realized at the end of round 5 that I only needed to beat the Fakirs player to win my league and I strongly considered just digging all the deserts. Then I spent several days calculating whether I could win, and in the end dig just enough to ensure beating the Fakirs. I was very annoyed when the engineers dropped on their last turn before advancing their ship allowing the swarmlings to win.
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Ryan Feathers
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Thanks for sharing! Lots of interesting thoughts in there. One of the most interesting to me though was the idea that the set up was good for Fakirs even without late D scoring.


CTKShadow wrote:
greenraingw wrote:
(SH/SA, bad for everyone but cultists and maybe darklings/mermaids)


And Dwarves.



Now that you say it, it makes so much sense. Of course Fakirs and Dwarves can do well in these sorts of scenarios because they actually have a good way to generate points in the last round with all their resources while most factions are left with not a lot to do--they can build SH/SA but that's pretty inefficient conversion for points. Upgrading digging is similarly poor. Building temples for cult steps also rarely scores much. So it tends to depress everyone's scores. But with Dwarves and Fakirs that have Fav11 you can be creating points much more efficiently than your opponents and so it might be a great set up for them. Even R5 and R6 TP scoring is probably pretty good as they can build a bunch of TP's R5, opening up a bunch of dwellings to be spammed for big points in R6.

I haven't played Dwarves or Fakirs much at all, but this does open me up to quite a few more situations where I might consider it. The "traditional" advice for both has always seemed to be that you need late D scoring to make it work which has really restricted the times when I'd even consider giving it a go.
 
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Francisco Woodland
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Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. Your alchemist thread is probably the best and most useful thing I've ever read on TM, and I'm finding this post very interesting too.

Like some others have said, the idea that late game D scoring is not good for Fakirs -- I've always thought the opposite, but you are making a lot of sense

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fruityharris wrote:
Perfect timing as I logged on here while prevaricating over picking fakirs in my d5 game, a fairly similar setup. Think I'll go for it and hope to get as much leech as you!

Totally agree about late dwelling scoring by the way, I think fakirs prefer to expand steadily so if anything want to avoid dwelling scoring just like swarmlings want to avoid tp scoring.


Good luck!

I've written out the decision-making process for the second half of the game, so you guys can check it out now
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Brandon Roy
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You mentioned that you are able to plan to the end of the game from round 4. What do you use to plan so far ahead. I always struggle to plan more than 1 round in advance
 
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Bob Boberson
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Can't... think like this...
Must... think like this...zombie
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C TK
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bobacles wrote:
Can't... think like this...
Must... think like this...zombie


My fiancée approves of this comment
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broy2017 wrote:
You mentioned that you are able to plan to the end of the game from round 4. What do you use to plan so far ahead. I always struggle to plan more than 1 round in advance


On the Snellman website, you can use the "planning" tab to plan multiple moves ahead, even multiple rounds. In many cases it's only possible to plan what you will do in the current round with any degree of accuracy, because it's often hard to predict what order people will pass and therefore who will end up with what BONs (and what will be left for you). But sometimes you will have a strong enough economy to handle unexpected contingencies and that can make it easier to commit to higher-reward plans safely. If you are going to do something totally different if and only if you secure both bon3 and act4, then in many cases that plan is not realistic. On the other hand if you will finish a town next round and you only need two of bon3, act4, and tw1 to execute a much better plan, that sort of thing is often more possible and may be worth the risk.
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broy2017 wrote:
You mentioned that you are able to plan to the end of the game from round 4. What do you use to plan so far ahead. I always struggle to plan more than 1 round in advance


Sometimes it's not a concrete plan with a list of actions, it's just about counting and defining an overall strategy.

I give you an example for the thinking process.

Let say you have on board 7d, 2te, 1sh, with 1sh+1te+2d already tied to a town.

If you plan for 2 more towns, then you need 9 powers more on your buildings. 4tp+5d will give you exactly that so that plan is conceivable. That will cost you 13w+22c. If your income is 8w+4pw for r5 and 8w+2c+4pw for r6, then you'll need to find 20 more coins and 5 hexes minus 3w and 8pw. You then just have to count how much you could potentially receive from cult bonuses, leeches, town bonus, bon, act, and any others.

More importantly, you now know that you need 5 more hexes so you can start to identify them, and eventually bridges. In case you can't secure them, you can start counting for other plans, e.g. te or sa with fav5, or else.

Also, round VP and passing VP bonuses might also orient in which order you are taking your actions, and you would want to choose a plan that goes well along these.
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James Wolfpacker
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Skyswooper wrote:
Let say you have on board 7d, 2te, 1sh, with 1sh+1te+2d already tied to a town.

If you plan for 2 more towns, then you need 9 powers more on your buildings. 4tp+5d will give you exactly that so that plan is conceivable. That will cost you 13w+22c. If your income is 8w+4pw for r5 and 8w+2c+4pw for r6, then you'll need to find 20 more coins and 5 hexes minus 3w and 8pw. You then just have to count how much you could potentially receive from cult bonuses, leeches, town bonus, bon, act, and any others.

More importantly, you now know that you need 5 more hexes so you can start to identify them, and eventually bridges. In case you can't secure them, you can start counting for other plans, e.g. te or sa with fav5, or else.

Also, round VP and passing VP bonuses might also orient in which order you are taking your actions, and you would want to choose a plan that goes well along these.


I'll also say this process works great for those using econ favors instead of vp favors.
 
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Chris Harris
United Kingdom
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I just won my aforementioned league game with fakirs https://terra.snellman.net/game/4pLeague_S24_D5L14_G4

Some similarities with CTK - very nice colour setup, 36 points from carpet flights, almost identical town positions.

I got 24 points fewer, roughly how much CTK gained from fav11. I took fav8 (as usual) and then fav6, enabling me to take advantage of juicy water bonuses in r3 (spades) and r4 (priests) - and indeed get 17pts from the cults, which is pretty high for fakirs.

Despite what was said above about late d rounds, I did manage to build 5d on the d scoring round. I also got longest network without increasing my range, which was surprising (and gained me an extra 9pts from my second town).

Basically I spent the whole game feeling like I had more priests and workers than I knew what to do with, which I think has to be the goal with fakirs :-) It does feel like you need to major in Ds and TEs until late on, which is why the R6 tp scoring was appealing in this game.

Thanks for giving me the courage to pick them CTK!
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Robert
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Bocholt
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fruityharris wrote:
I also got longest network without increasing my range, which was surprising (and gained me an extra 9pts from my second town).
I find this the most fascinating aspect of your victory: doing it without taking TW7 (and thus getting a town tile which gave you something more valuable).
 
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Chris Harris
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Yes, I was surprised when I spotted that that would be the best policy (requiring as it did 2 hard digs). It was fairly intricate; I didn't have enough dwellings to connect before forming my final town, and I didn't want to form my final town (and commit to not taking tw7) until I was sure no-one could stop me connecting. It only just worked!
 
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V Vendetta
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I actually think your round 1 double dig was MVP. I'd never dream about that as Fakirs. And probably only happened because Swarmlings went for ACT5 instead (which I can understand) and Alchemists decided to open with ACT2 (which in the context doesn't seem as easy to justify... And I actually fail to see why I'd do that).

Also no SH.

Being the most expensive thing in the game doesn't help (and it is actually somewhat useful for Fakirs because of range, but it gives no power back, which you need so desperately as you can't even dig to save yourself) is probably one thing that just nukes Fakirs coins (and you have to take into account that you are kinda expecting to build 2 temples already, compromising 10 more coins). I was expecting that by picking the favor for coins (as far as I know pretty powerful for Fakirs) you'd build the SH in the last round, but... Maybe carpets were objectively better (and might be most of the time). I'll give this some thought later actually.

Actually I'm trying to figure out if building the SH would actually always hinder your network scoring, since this seems to be the point of allowing ranged carpet flights, besides the built in score... But I'm thinking with Fakirs building 14 - or more - structures seems so hard that, the plan would have to be using the built in scoring... I struggle to justify the timing of the SH since what you really want is the range and since TEs are cheaper and better to make because of the FAV tiles they offer - and as Fakirs you kinda would love having 4 of the 5 following FAVs, probably in this order: 11, 9 (or 9, 11, if you can), 8 (if early enough), 10 and maybe 12, which is yet ANOTHER argument against SH.

(I was checking some high scores for Fakirs - haven't found many with the SH... So I guess it is as I feared "the SH is too early before round 4 and too late after that".)
 
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