Trey Chambers
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I am strongly considering going all-in on this game, but some of the negative reviews have brought up kingmaking and ganging up on the leader as major problems.

I generally love conflict games, but hate the ones that prominently feature kingmaking and/or beat-down-the-leader as self-balancing mechanics. I especially hate games where I have to play sub-optimally on purpose because if I start winning everyone just attacks me until I'm not anymore.

So are the naysayers wrong? Or does this game really allow these possibilities?
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Taylor
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I don't find this game to have kingmaking to be a fundamental part of the game design. There are a lot of ways to counter attacks and anticipate others' moves. When I lose I feel like I lost due to poor decisions, not that the game decided that I am in the lead and needed to be artificially be held back.

That being said, if your 3 friends decide to gang up on you from the get-go, and beating you down trumps all else you are going to have a tough time winning.

So, in my experience everybody who has looked at the game and been interested at all in the concept has really enjoyed the game.
 
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Trey Chambers
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SpaceDragonTank wrote:
I don't find this game to have kingmaking to be a fundamental part of the game design. There are a lot of ways to counter attacks and anticipate others' moves. When I lose I feel like I lost due to poor decisions, not that the game decided that I am in the lead and needed to be artificially be held back.

That being said, if your 3 friends decide to gang up on you from the get-go, and beating you down trumps all else you are going to have a tough time winning.

So, in my experience everybody who has looked at the game and been interested at all in the concept has really enjoyed the game.


I'm not worried about people arbitrarily ganging up on me from the get-go or even halfway through the game. I worry about being close to victory and then others attack me only to allow another player who they didn't attack to win.

That's both beat-down-the-leader and kingmaking combined, and it's sadly possible in most conflict games. Contrast that with something like Chaos in the Old World where if I'm on the precipice of victory, other players often can't prevent it even if they all use everything in their power to try to stop me.
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Ivan Alaiz
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I find this game more in the CitnW end of the spectrum as attacking the leader in this game also gives him combat points. We must have been reading different reviews, in the ones I have read this was the main complaint not kingmaking...
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Peter Dorsett
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In terms of end game point scoring, you can king-make by clearing people's regions, particularly by clearing regions in which the leader has a tower or warrior/hero, as these also score end game points. On top, some regions are worth more points to particular factions due to unlocked abilities.

To counter balance, in one round each player (at maximum [in general]) will only get to move land troops twice with the possibility of sailing and flying once each also. To manage four successful combats is tough as to have an army, a boat and flyer all recruited and attacking requires some precision, but certainly not entirely impossible. It would require pretty much all of your final actions as well though, so it would likely require forgoing more (personally) profitable actions.

The key mechanism in this game is cashing resources for points, making it seem a bit like a point salad conflict game. As mentioned previously attacking the leader will give the leader more opportunities to cash in resources for points through casting spells/ using tactic cards and it may not really be all that damaging to them on the point track. If they cash all their combat resources by defending (a bit like sepuku/ imperial poets in Rising Sun), this then frees up their own personal actions which they can use to score more points. If you know your unit will die, you will also likely sacrifice them to pay the cost of tactic cards that will make point scoring even more efficient. In addition, there are a big chunk of end game points that can't/ can't easily be taken away i.e. capital city level which is worth 10 vp (in a 50-65vp game).

It's also a little like smallworld in that the leader is actually a little tough to pick unless you spend a lot of time AP-ing to add everything up. The scores are often quite close so you might not be kingmaking, as much as you are increasing the leaders lead.

All in all, I would say that leaders can be stopped and its possible to kingmake. However, it's certainly much more in the CitOW spectrum as Ivan has said.
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Trey Chambers
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peteyandycreek wrote:
In terms of end game point scoring, you can king-make by clearing people's regions, particularly by clearing regions in which the leader has a tower or warrior/hero, as these also score end game points. On top, some regions are worth more points to particular factions due to unlocked abilities.

To counter balance, in one round each player (at maximum [in general]) will only get to move land troops twice with the possibility of sailing and flying once each also. To manage four successful combats is tough as to have an army, a boat and flyer all recruited and attacking requires some precision, but certainly not entirely impossible. It would require pretty much all of your final actions as well though, so it would likely require forgoing more (personally) profitable actions.

The key mechanism in this game is cashing resources for points, making it seem a bit like a point salad conflict game. As mentioned previously attacking the leader will give the leader more opportunities to cash in resources for points through casting spells/ using tactic cards and it may not really be all that damaging to them on the point track. If they cash all their combat resources by defending (a bit like sepuku/ imperial poets in Rising Sun), this then frees up their own personal actions which they can use to score more points. If you know your unit will die, you will also likely sacrifice them to pay the cost of tactic cards that will make point scoring even more efficient. In addition, there are a big chunk of end game points that can't/ can't easily be taken away i.e. capital city level which is worth 10 vp (in a 50-65vp game).

It's also a little like smallworld in that the leader is actually a little tough to pick unless you spend a lot of time AP-ing to add everything up. The scores are often quite close so you might not be kingmaking, as much as you are increasing the leaders lead.

All in all, I would say that leaders can be stopped and its possible to kingmake. However, it's certainly much more in the CitOW spectrum as Ivan has said.


Sounds cool, thanks for the replies!
 
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Paul Paella
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This type of end-game situation is also a big concern in games for me too. It's worth noting, this game claims it has a team variant, and this problem goes away in team games (one side vs another). I do not have HoLAS but I plan on getting into this KS.
 
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