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Subject: Containing Woodland Alliance - how to defeat them? rss

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Doug
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I’ve played about 15-20 games of Root now with a mix of player counts and factions. The last 4 have been won by Woodland. Now I don’t think they are OP I just think we aren’t containing them good enough.

1) have to remove sympathy. No sympathy no bases. No bases no troops. No troops, no organize. Killing their bases can be super tough if they are well protected because of their defender advantage. Tips?

2) speaking of organize, this is their coup de grace. A good woodland player can destroy with organize on a final turn for 7-10 points and win a close game. If any woodland ability is op it’s this.

So strategy for keeping woodland at bay?
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Nathan Perry
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Having played this a couple time now myself I came to the conclusion that the Vagabond player is the one that can bring them down in a four player game. The Vagabond doesnt have to pay a card when they use the slip movement so they can move much easier,

In a three player game, it is up to the other two factions(Birds and Cats) to not solely attack each other but attack the Woodland Alliance especially if they have just a sympathy token. In Fact the Birds have a leader that will gain a point for every token they remove, the despot.

This is all easier said than done, but those are my thoughts. I also think it's easy to ignore them because of the lack of physical troops on the board.
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Fabian
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Something that works is to sit on their bases with a ton of warriors. They won't be able to move out because they don't control anything an have to waste time battling and losing warriors instead of moving and organizing.
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Greg Allen
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WA is really overpowering. Very hard to stop them.
 
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algoh wrote:
WA is really overpowering. Very hard to stop them.


Nah, just let me play 'em and they'll go nowhere.
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Matt Albritton
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swpeanut wrote:
In a three player game, it is up to the other two factions(Birds and Cats) to not solely attack each other but attack the Woodland Alliance especially if they have just a sympathy token.


This is exactly how it played out in our first three player game.

The Alliance never got a base the entire game. Cats ended up winning by points.
 
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John Rogers
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swpeanut wrote:
The Vagabond doesn't have to pay a card when they use the slip movement so they can move much easier


The Vagabond token is not a warrior (Law of Root 9.2.2) so he never has to pay a card to move into a sympathetic clearing, even with a normal move action. If he removes a Sympathy Token however, then he must pay a card to the Supporters Stack.
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Nathan Perry
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Thanks for the clarification, but if you are at war with them it does require you to spend two boots to move into their clearings and that is mostly what I was trying to refer to.

Drakenhawk wrote:
swpeanut wrote:
The Vagabond doesn't have to pay a card when they use the slip movement so they can move much easier


The Vagabond token is not a warrior (Law of Root 9.2.2) so he never has to pay a card to move into a sympathetic clearing, even with a normal move action. If he removes a Sympathy Token however, then he must pay a card to the Supporters Stack.
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Mike Gallo
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I think that something that people miss when playing against the WA is how their Supporter Card economy works. Take this as an example;

On their first turn of the game, the WA puts down three sympathy. One is in a Mouse Clearing. They get 2pts three times.

On the Cats next turn they attack the sympathy in the mouse clearing. Its returned to the WA a players board, and the Cat player adds a mouse card to the WA players Supporters box.

On their next turn the WA uses the mouse card he got from the Cat player to put sympathy back into the mouse clearing, gaining 2 more points. The cost to the WA player to put this sympathy down is exactly what he got from the Cat player when the Cat player attacked. By attacking the Sympathy the cat player allowed the WA player to get 2 free points.

The WA isn't limited by how much sympathy they can put on the board if they have enough cards. The only real restriction that they have is that they have to have sympathy before they can place a base. While denying the WA bases is good, bases don't inherently give VPs. Often the WA's warriors can be contained easier then their sympathy

It seems to me that the best way to disrupt the WA's supporters economy is to

1) Keep 3 or more warriors in spaces. This will cause the WA to pay an additional card when placing sympathy.

2) Don't destroy sympathy when it will put it back in the "1 card" tier. Only destroy sympathy beyond that.

3) If possible, look at the board and only destroy sympathy only when;

You can't give them a card matching the area that you just destroyed, hoping they don't get it off the top of the deck (if you think they want to replace the symapthy)- or -

You can give them a card matching the area you just destroyed (If you think that they would prefer to place the sympathy elsewhere, denying them a chance to draw a card that will let them do so)

4) Move into sympathetic clearings as infrequently as possible.
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Necr0mancer wrote:
I think that something that people miss when playing against the WA is how their Supporter Card economy works. Take this as an example;

On their first turn of the game, the WA puts down three sympathy. One is in a Mouse Clearing. They get 2pts three times.

On the Cats next turn they attack the sympathy in the mouse clearing. Its returned to the WA a players board, and the Cat player adds a mouse card to the WA players Supporters box.

On their next turn the WA uses the mouse card he got from the Cat player to put sympathy back into the mouse clearing, gaining 2 more points. The cost to the WA player to put this sympathy down is exactly what he got from the Cat player when the Cat player attacked. By attacking the Sympathy the cat player allowed the WA player to get 2 free points.

The WA isn't limited by how much sympathy they can put on the board if they have enough cards. The only real restriction that they have is that they have to have sympathy before they can place a base. While denying the WA bases is good, bases don't inherently give VPs. Often the WA's warriors can be contained easier then their sympathy

It seems to me that the best way to disrupt the WA's supporters economy is to

1) Keep 3 or more warriors in spaces. This will cause the WA to pay an additional card when placing sympathy.

2) Don't destroy sympathy when it will put it back in the "1 card" tier. Only destroy sympathy beyond that.

3) If possible, look at the board and only destroy sympathy only when;

You can't give them a card matching the area that you just destroyed, hoping they don't get it off the top of the deck (if you think they want to replace the symapthy)- or -

You can give them a card matching the area you just destroyed (If you think that they would prefer to place the sympathy elsewhere, denying them a chance to draw a card that will let them do so)

4) Move into sympathetic clearings as infrequently as possible.


Er, one huge mistake.

VP track for sympathy is:
1
1
1
2
2
3
4
4
4
4

Their first three tokens net the destroyer the same amount of vp's as the WA get for placing them. That's why it's suggested to keep them at 3 or fewer. If you let them have 5 out at once, that's when they suddenly get 3/4/4/4 or however many they can place in a turn. This is where the "Oh wow they are overpowered, they can get 11-15pts in a round!"

Yes, they can, if you don't keep them quashed.
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Sobhi Youssef
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Woodland Alliance is straight up terrible in 3 player vs cats & birds. Super easy to contain just by stepping on sympathy the whole game (which despot birds get rewarded for with a bonus VP). At one point I was getting 6-8 VPs per round as birds crushing WA sympathy.

WA is forced to spread sympathy in cat clearings due to this... but a smart cats player will continue to stomp on your sympathy if birds are not being aggressive enough. If you can't get a base out in turn 2 or 3, you basically have no chance as WA.

4 player is really where WA shines. WA needs the vagabond to confuse/ defocus the COIN forces ;-)
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Mike Gallo
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Ravendas wrote:
Er, one huge mistake.

VP track for sympathy is: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4

Their first three tokens net the destroyer the same amount of vp's as the WA get for placing them. That's why it's suggested to keep them at 3 or fewer. If you let them have 5 out at once, that's when they suddenly get 3/4/4/4 or however many they can place in a turn. This is where the "Oh wow they are overpowered, they can get 11-15pts in a round!"


Definitely a mistake on my part (I was going by the VP track from memory) but I don't believe its a huge mistake. The philosophy still stands, as you are giving the WA free VPs when you attack their first three sympathy.

Because the WA can put out as much sympathy as they like in a turn, the issue is that it costs something to remove the sympathy, but it doesn't cost anything to put it down. Cats cost an action, Vagabond a sword activation, and Birds a slot in their decree. This is all on top of card you likely have to give away to remove it, and possibly the card you have to give the WA to move in.

It doesn't cost the WA actions or the cards that they get for their turn to replace the sympathy.

The Birds may have the easiest time removing them as they could theoretically have as many actions as they like, but there are other "costs" to this attack (not attacking elsewhere, adding risk to their decree). But if the Birds have the Despot as their leader, its likely profitable for them to remove the sympathy as they get an extra VP when doing so. However, the birds are also the most likely to give the WA cards for moving into their clearing as the WA can look at the decree and predict where they will move.

Obviously, the its a good situation to keep the WA at low cards AND keep 3 warriors in locations, but I think its best to just occupy their bases so that they cannot move warriors out and spread sympathy easily with warriors and not feed them supporters which turn into VPs.
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Daniel Kearns
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Haven't played yet but the WA and the Vagabond, I'm a little concerned that the main way to defeat them is to lock them out early.

I'm not sure how I feel about a game's balance where to contain a faction you have to prevent faction from playing.

Note, I haven't come to a hard conclusion about it but reading these threads makes me nervous.
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dkearns wrote:
Haven't played yet but the WA and the Vagabond, I'm a little concerned that the main way to defeat them is to lock them out early.

I'm not sure how I feel about a game's balance where to contain a faction you have to prevent faction from playing.

Note, I haven't come to a hard conclusion about it but reading these threads makes me nervous.


That's the thing, they won't get locked out in a typical game because there's enough else going on that they can't always get focused. It's easy to think that they're someone else's problem, and just do something else that more directly helps you.
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Daniel Kearns
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Ravendas wrote:
dkearns wrote:
Haven't played yet but the WA and the Vagabond, I'm a little concerned that the main way to defeat them is to lock them out early.

I'm not sure how I feel about a game's balance where to contain a faction you have to prevent faction from playing.

Note, I haven't come to a hard conclusion about it but reading these threads makes me nervous.


That's the thing, they won't get locked out in a typical game because there's enough else going on that they can't always get focused. It's easy to think that they're someone else's problem, and just do something else that more directly helps you.

I get that but I'm reading that if you don't stop them at the very earliest stage you kind of miss a window to keep them in check.

So I'm concerned it isn't a matter of making the decision to contain them but rather someone must do so from the outset. I'm concerned that one player has to play kingmaker to decide another player isn't going to win early.

Maybe I'm just not comfortable with how asymmetric the game is and I won't feel differently until I try it so maybe I shouldn't think about it at all. But then I'll be the one teaching... gah.
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dkearns wrote:
Ravendas wrote:
dkearns wrote:
Haven't played yet but the WA and the Vagabond, I'm a little concerned that the main way to defeat them is to lock them out early.

I'm not sure how I feel about a game's balance where to contain a faction you have to prevent faction from playing.

Note, I haven't come to a hard conclusion about it but reading these threads makes me nervous.


That's the thing, they won't get locked out in a typical game because there's enough else going on that they can't always get focused. It's easy to think that they're someone else's problem, and just do something else that more directly helps you.

I get that but I'm reading that if you don't stop them at the very earliest stage you kind of miss a window to keep them in check.

So I'm concerned it isn't a matter of making the decision to contain them but rather someone must do so from the outset.


Nah. They can be even more vulnerable when they get a base out, which takes a few turns. Losing their base costs them a ton.

They're always vulnerable, it's just they're also not an obvious threat. They almost never attack, so they're just that nuisance faction that makes it harder to move around... until they win.

This is why you see new player posts of 'They got 13 points in the final round and won from out of nowhere!' They just don't seem like a threat, until the last explosion of points. You just have to know how they work to be able to keep them from doing that.
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Ravendas wrote:
dkearns wrote:
Ravendas wrote:
dkearns wrote:
Haven't played yet but the WA and the Vagabond, I'm a little concerned that the main way to defeat them is to lock them out early.

I'm not sure how I feel about a game's balance where to contain a faction you have to prevent faction from playing.

Note, I haven't come to a hard conclusion about it but reading these threads makes me nervous.


That's the thing, they won't get locked out in a typical game because there's enough else going on that they can't always get focused. It's easy to think that they're someone else's problem, and just do something else that more directly helps you.

I get that but I'm reading that if you don't stop them at the very earliest stage you kind of miss a window to keep them in check.

So I'm concerned it isn't a matter of making the decision to contain them but rather someone must do so from the outset.


Nah. They can be even more vulnerable when they get a base out, which takes a few turns. Losing their base costs them a ton.

They're always vulnerable, it's just they're also not an obvious threat. They almost never attack, so they're just that nuisance faction that makes it harder to move around... until they win.

This is why you see new player posts of 'They got 13 points in the final round and won from out of nowhere!' They just don't seem like a threat, until the last explosion of points. You just have to know how they work to be able to keep them from doing that.


Ah okay that helps. I see it on the board but I'll be sure to point this out when I teach. That even if they don't look like they have much a presence the points accelerate with more sympathy.

Do you have a good short thing to say about the weakness/strength of the vagabond? I think the vagabonds points mainly come from aiding an ally and point out that the ally can attack the vagabond?
 
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WA wants to use its few warriors to spread sympathy via Organize in the late game. Stacking forces onto WA bases is quite useful to prevent movement (and therefore Organize). It’s much harder for WA to spread sympathy through cards in the late game. They need to build up a mighty supporter stack. If you see their stack building, it’s a good time to go all-out on destroying the least-defended base.

Alternatively, get to 30VP first.
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It seems like WA has interlocking advantages:

1) To beat them you need to concentrate warriors since attacking them is at disadvantage.

2) Concentrated warriors are obliterated by a revolt.

3) Killing lone sympathy, as discussed above, gives them the card they need to rebuild it, so they can spread to revolt wherever they want.

Every faction in Root seems to have a critical point that requires coordinated beatdown once reached. With WA it seems way easier to reach that point unless everyone is already beating you down. It seems very hard to take the initiative away from them.


 
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galfridus wrote:
It seems like WA has interlocking advantages:

1) To beat them you need to concentrate warriors since attacking them is at disadvantage.

2) Concentrated warriors are obliterated by a revolt.

3) Killing lone sympathy, as discussed above, gives them the card they need to rebuild it, so they can spread to revolt wherever they want.

Every faction in Root seems to have a critical point that requires coordinated beatdown once reached. With WA it seems way easier to reach that point unless everyone is already beating you down. It seems very hard to take the initiative away from them.




You don't have to kill their bases, just keep them from moving out. If you have control of a clearing with their base, then they can't leave to spread influence, and they can't revolt there, since there's already a base there.

They have 10 warriors, usually 4-5 of which are officers, leaving 5-6 warriors on the map. If they have multiple bases, they'll have to spread out a warrior or two each to keep them safe, leaving precious few to actually go out and turn into sympathy. Cats should be able to outnumber them, birds also have the bonus of winning ties for control, and lizards can lock them into a place with just a single garden.

Lock their few warriors into place, and they can't have the final turn explosion of points.
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Andre Smothers
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Something that works well is allowing them to get a base out and then destroying it. Losing a base is extremely terrible for the alliance.
 
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Ravendas wrote:
Necr0mancer wrote:
I think that something that people miss when playing against the WA is how their Supporter Card economy works. Take this as an example;

On their first turn of the game, the WA puts down three sympathy. One is in a Mouse Clearing. They get 2pts three times.

On the Cats next turn they attack the sympathy in the mouse clearing. Its returned to the WA a players board, and the Cat player adds a mouse card to the WA players Supporters box.

On their next turn the WA uses the mouse card he got from the Cat player to put sympathy back into the mouse clearing, gaining 2 more points. The cost to the WA player to put this sympathy down is exactly what he got from the Cat player when the Cat player attacked. By attacking the Sympathy the cat player allowed the WA player to get 2 free points.

The WA isn't limited by how much sympathy they can put on the board if they have enough cards. The only real restriction that they have is that they have to have sympathy before they can place a base. While denying the WA bases is good, bases don't inherently give VPs. Often the WA's warriors can be contained easier then their sympathy

It seems to me that the best way to disrupt the WA's supporters economy is to

1) Keep 3 or more warriors in spaces. This will cause the WA to pay an additional card when placing sympathy.

2) Don't destroy sympathy when it will put it back in the "1 card" tier. Only destroy sympathy beyond that.

3) If possible, look at the board and only destroy sympathy only when;

You can't give them a card matching the area that you just destroyed, hoping they don't get it off the top of the deck (if you think they want to replace the symapthy)- or -

You can give them a card matching the area you just destroyed (If you think that they would prefer to place the sympathy elsewhere, denying them a chance to draw a card that will let them do so)

4) Move into sympathetic clearings as infrequently as possible.


Er, one huge mistake.

VP track for sympathy is:
1
1
1
2
2
3
4
4
4
4

Their first three tokens net the destroyer the same amount of vp's as the WA get for placing them. That's why it's suggested to keep them at 3 or fewer. If you let them have 5 out at once, that's when they suddenly get 3/4/4/4 or however many they can place in a turn. This is where the "Oh wow they are overpowered, they can get 11-15pts in a round!"

Yes, they can, if you don't keep them quashed.


BUT, the destroyer has to spend an action whereas the WA do not, necessarily. AND the destroyer is GIVING a card to the WA (-1 for opponent, +1 for WA) whereas the WA action is just spending a card to discard (-1 for WA, 0 for opponent).

So just placing the same influence back and getting it removed over and over is a winning game for the WA, even if it's one of the +1 vp tokens. If you get to +2 or higher, it's of course that much better.
 
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terminus467 wrote:
Ravendas wrote:
Necr0mancer wrote:
I think that something that people miss when playing against the WA is how their Supporter Card economy works. Take this as an example;

On their first turn of the game, the WA puts down three sympathy. One is in a Mouse Clearing. They get 2pts three times.

On the Cats next turn they attack the sympathy in the mouse clearing. Its returned to the WA a players board, and the Cat player adds a mouse card to the WA players Supporters box.

On their next turn the WA uses the mouse card he got from the Cat player to put sympathy back into the mouse clearing, gaining 2 more points. The cost to the WA player to put this sympathy down is exactly what he got from the Cat player when the Cat player attacked. By attacking the Sympathy the cat player allowed the WA player to get 2 free points.

The WA isn't limited by how much sympathy they can put on the board if they have enough cards. The only real restriction that they have is that they have to have sympathy before they can place a base. While denying the WA bases is good, bases don't inherently give VPs. Often the WA's warriors can be contained easier then their sympathy

It seems to me that the best way to disrupt the WA's supporters economy is to

1) Keep 3 or more warriors in spaces. This will cause the WA to pay an additional card when placing sympathy.

2) Don't destroy sympathy when it will put it back in the "1 card" tier. Only destroy sympathy beyond that.

3) If possible, look at the board and only destroy sympathy only when;

You can't give them a card matching the area that you just destroyed, hoping they don't get it off the top of the deck (if you think they want to replace the symapthy)- or -

You can give them a card matching the area you just destroyed (If you think that they would prefer to place the sympathy elsewhere, denying them a chance to draw a card that will let them do so)

4) Move into sympathetic clearings as infrequently as possible.


Er, one huge mistake.

VP track for sympathy is:
1
1
1
2
2
3
4
4
4
4

Their first three tokens net the destroyer the same amount of vp's as the WA get for placing them. That's why it's suggested to keep them at 3 or fewer. If you let them have 5 out at once, that's when they suddenly get 3/4/4/4 or however many they can place in a turn. This is where the "Oh wow they are overpowered, they can get 11-15pts in a round!"

Yes, they can, if you don't keep them quashed.


BUT, the destroyer has to spend an action whereas the WA do not, necessarily. AND the destroyer is GIVING a card to the WA (-1 for opponent, +1 for WA) whereas the WA action is just spending a card to discard (-1 for WA, 0 for opponent).

So just placing the same influence back and getting it removed over and over is a winning game for the WA, even if it's one of the +1 vp tokens. If you get to +2 or higher, it's of course that much better.


If the WA are constantly just replacing their 1VP sympathy tokens, they will not win the game. They won't be able to easily craft if you contain them, and it would require 10 turns to win if you're gaining 3VP a turn. The game doesn't go 10 turns.

Every faction needs to hit a tipping point where they explode in their VP yield. The WA win because people have a hard time identifying that tipping point for them. You need to harass them as much as they harass you and work to keep them at bay.
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terminus467 wrote:
Ravendas wrote:
Necr0mancer wrote:
I think that something that people miss when playing against the WA is how their Supporter Card economy works. Take this as an example;

On their first turn of the game, the WA puts down three sympathy. One is in a Mouse Clearing. They get 2pts three times.

On the Cats next turn they attack the sympathy in the mouse clearing. Its returned to the WA a players board, and the Cat player adds a mouse card to the WA players Supporters box.

On their next turn the WA uses the mouse card he got from the Cat player to put sympathy back into the mouse clearing, gaining 2 more points. The cost to the WA player to put this sympathy down is exactly what he got from the Cat player when the Cat player attacked. By attacking the Sympathy the cat player allowed the WA player to get 2 free points.

The WA isn't limited by how much sympathy they can put on the board if they have enough cards. The only real restriction that they have is that they have to have sympathy before they can place a base. While denying the WA bases is good, bases don't inherently give VPs. Often the WA's warriors can be contained easier then their sympathy

It seems to me that the best way to disrupt the WA's supporters economy is to

1) Keep 3 or more warriors in spaces. This will cause the WA to pay an additional card when placing sympathy.

2) Don't destroy sympathy when it will put it back in the "1 card" tier. Only destroy sympathy beyond that.

3) If possible, look at the board and only destroy sympathy only when;

You can't give them a card matching the area that you just destroyed, hoping they don't get it off the top of the deck (if you think they want to replace the symapthy)- or -

You can give them a card matching the area you just destroyed (If you think that they would prefer to place the sympathy elsewhere, denying them a chance to draw a card that will let them do so)

4) Move into sympathetic clearings as infrequently as possible.


Er, one huge mistake.

VP track for sympathy is:
1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4

Their first three tokens net the destroyer the same amount of vp's as the WA get for placing them. That's why it's suggested to keep them at 3 or fewer. If you let them have 5 out at once, that's when they suddenly get 3/4/4/4 or however many they can place in a turn. This is where the "Oh wow they are overpowered, they can get 11-15pts in a round!"

Yes, they can, if you don't keep them quashed.


BUT, the destroyer has to spend an action whereas the WA do not, necessarily. AND the destroyer is GIVING a card to the WA (-1 for opponent, +1 for WA) whereas the WA action is just spending a card to discard (-1 for WA, 0 for opponent).

So just placing the same influence back and getting it removed over and over is a winning game for the WA, even if it's one of the +1 vp tokens. If you get to +2 or higher, it's of course that much better.


Eyrie with their possible loads of attack actions would love the WA in this situation. Also with their ability to use up birds and control what they slot, the often times will not have the matching card to give up.

So instead it's an action (which they can get many of) to get 2vp (despot) and lose zero cards, whereas the WA just gets 1vp for placing it, and are card neutral (one in, one out).

Eyrie are really good at keeping WA in check.
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Mike Gallo
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charlest wrote:
If the WA are constantly just replacing their 1VP sympathy tokens, they will not win the game. They won't be able to easily craft if you contain them, and it would require 10 turns to win if you're gaining 3VP a turn. The game doesn't go 10 turns.


The issue is that the WA isn't just replacing their 1VP tokens, they are replacing their 1VP tokens in addition to whatever else they are doing. Whatever kind of turn the WA was going to have, they will have that same turn + extra VPs if you destroy their low-cost sympathy. It doesn't cost the WA anything that you won't give them to replace that sympathy. They will get those 3VPs and then do whatever they were going to do on top of that.

IMO the best way to contain the WA is to let them put out the 4 (?) low-cost sympathy and then surround those clearing with 3+ warriors (obviously, a coalition from the other players). This will make it cost 3 cards to put out more sympathy. After that, mostly ignore them until they put bases out.

Unrelated, but I just realized that the WA could have an easier time crafting then Birds/Cats, because they craft before putting down the building/tokens that they use to craft, but the WA can spread sympathy and use it to craft on the same turn!
 
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