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Subject: Why would anyone attack the Lizards? rss

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Trey Chambers
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Just played our first game with the Lizards. As many others have reported, they sucked. But not really for the reason I thought they would. They had warriors all over the map, but we had zero incentive to attack them. So they couldn't do any Conspiracies thus couldn't do much all game besides put more and more warriors out.

Without us feeding them Acolytes, what else are they supposed to do? Of course, not drawing any Bird cards didn't help him either, but I assume the designers planned for this possibility. Except, we have no idea what that plan was? They were so so easy to ignore.

In the last couple of rounds, we did kill some Gardens and thus some Lizard warriors that were defending them, but it was way too late for them to make a comeback at that point.
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Ed Hughes
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Conspiracy isn’t the only way to advance. If nobody was attacking them, it seems like they should have been recruiting until they ruled, then planting gardens and scoring.
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Trey Chambers
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themanfromsaturn wrote:
Conspiracy isn’t the only way to advance. If nobody was attacking them, it seems like they should have been recruiting until they ruled, then planting gardens and scoring.


They had lots of gardens, but the suit kept changing so they weren't getting tons of points, easily outpaced by several of us. They ruled lots of areas, but we just ignored those and did our actions elsewhere.
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Seb

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The Lizards can have warriors all over the map very easily, and then build (well defended) gardens there. If you never attack them they will have a very good shot at winning, lke most factions when left alone.

I would say the Riverfolk are much more dependent on the other players to win. Lizards are more about placement and control (with gardens) than fighting anyway. The acolytes and conspiracies are more of a surgical weapon you use only a few times per game. They first feel like they are the meat of Lizards gameplay, but they are really not.
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Trey Chambers
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twitten wrote:
The Lizards can have warriors all over the map very easily, and then build (well defended) gardens there. If you never attack them they will have a very good shot at winning, lke most factions when left alone.


This is the opposite of what we experienced. The Lizards had lots of Gardens and warriors everywhere. It didn't matter, they were still dead last in points the whole game.
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RJ
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I suspect once the Lizard player declares a dominance victory attempt, they'd get all the attention they want.

Also, if their gardens were spread everywhere, did you make sure to obey 'rule to move'? Not to patronize, but gardens secure rule no matter the number of opposing pieces, and this will result in some non-ideal movement situations.
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Shampoo4you wrote:
themanfromsaturn wrote:
Conspiracy isn’t the only way to advance. If nobody was attacking them, it seems like they should have been recruiting until they ruled, then planting gardens and scoring.


They had lots of gardens, but the suit kept changing so they weren't getting tons of points, easily outpaced by several of us. They ruled lots of areas, but we just ignored those and did our actions elsewhere.


This makes me think that maybe you had one rule wrong. You can score the 3 suits (not birds) every turn as long as you have the cards to discard (which shouldn't be a problem if nobody is attacking your gardens, as you would draw 3 or even 4 cards each turn). Scoring has nothing to do with the outcast.
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Jonathan Rowe
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The main reason to attack the Lizards is yo remove their Gardens and the main reason to do that is tgat you can't Rule where they have a Garden. As the Gardens spread the other factions have fewer and fewer clearings where they Rule: most factions can only use their abilities whete they Rule and movement becomes constrained if you don't Rule
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Andrew B
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I had a similar experience. The lizards can have 3 gardens of each suit on the board and still only score 2 points for each suit and ONLY if they have the right cards to discard. (The probability of drawing 1 of each non-bird suit in that situation is about 3/32, which is super lousy.) Moreover, if the building spaces are occupied, there’s no way to build if you don’t have acolytes.
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Drewkas wrote:
I had a similar experience. The lizards can have 3 gardens of each suit on the board and still only score 2 points for each suit and ONLY if they have the right cards to discard. (The probability of drawing 1 of each non-bird suit in that situation is about 3/32, which is super lousy.) Moreover, if the building spaces are occupied, there’s no way to build if you don’t have acolytes.


Lizards can have all 5 gardens of each suit on the board, unlike birds they are not limited to one per clearing.

They can get up to 12 VP per turn.
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Andrew B
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twitten wrote:
Drewkas wrote:
I had a similar experience. The lizards can have 3 gardens of each suit on the board and still only score 2 points for each suit and ONLY if they have the right cards to discard. (The probability of drawing 1 of each non-bird suit in that situation is about 3/32, which is super lousy.) Moreover, if the building spaces are occupied, there’s no way to build if you don’t have acolytes.


Lizards can have all 5 gardens of each suit on the board, unlike birds they are not limited to one per clearing.

They can get up to 12 VP per turn.


Theoretically possible, yes. But see if it ever happens in an honest game. Remember, you need the building spaces to be available to place the gardens AND you need to draw one of each non-bird suit to use for scoring. It's one of those things that turns out much more difficult that it first sounds.
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Trey Chambers
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-We did not forget about the movement rule. We basically just ignored the areas he built Gardens in. Or evacuated into surrounding areas that WE ruled.

-He had several Gardens but they were spread between the various suits, so point scoring was low. And he was limited to where he could build because we rarely gave him any Acolytes.
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Trey Chambers
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Rontuaru wrote:
I suspect once the Lizard player declares a dominance victory attempt, they'd get all the attention they want..


He could have declared Dominance yes, but we were playing 5 players, all non-Vagabonds, so there were a TON of troops on the board. We would have stopped him easily.

So yes, he finally would have gotten Acolytes at the cost of giving up on winning the game.
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Matt R
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Okay, so it takes 4 mouse gardens to earn +1 card and get mouse clearings into the +3 VP area. It takes 3 rabbit gardens to earn +1 card and have rabbit clearings are in the +2 VP range. Only 2 fox gardens both get the lizards into +1 card and +2 VP territory. Any two gardens of any suit get into +2 VP scoring.

Even with just the 3 rabbit and 2 fox gardens that should be a good 4 VP per turn +2 card draws (so +3 cards a turn) and since the Lizard doesn't have to discard the card used to take the scoring action (just an unused card matching the suit) then that should be a steady 4 VP by that point. That's a pretty decent VP amount per turn until the other factions take notice and start eliminating gardens. And you can still get just two gardens of any type (including mouse) to earn 2 VPs in that suit. If you have two gardens per suit that's a potential 6 VPs per turn although in reality you won't have enough cards to do that as you'd only be drawing 2 cards at the end of your turn due to +1 card draw from the second fox clearing. But that does give you more flexibility in which suit to score in.

Sure, this is definitely harder to do in practice but I have been able to do it before. I still think the Lizards are a bit underpowered in comparison to the other factions but I have won with them before (even if it took a bit of luck and some last minute gardens bumping me in to +3 or +4 VP territory for a big late game boost).

My point is that it sounds like the Lizard player spent too much time building gardens before switching over to scoring them and the Lizard player MUST start scoring their gardens at some point to start earning VP's - perhaps preferably once the Lizard player can start earning at least 4 VP's per turn regularly. That's enough to not overly worry most other players (versus if you're earning 6 or more VP's per turn) but that may be enough to keep the Lizard player at least somewhat competitive until near the end of the game when the Lizard player can (hopefully) ramp up their garden building into +3 or +4 territory and score a bunch of points their last couple of turns.

And yeah, this is somewhat ideal and theoretical and, like I said, harder to do in practice, but it's what I try to do when I play the Lizards.
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Steven Marine
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I can confirm that lizards are good at dominance victories.
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Andrew B
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Noonespecial wrote:
...since the Lizard doesn't have to discard the card used to take the scoring action (just an unused card matching the suit) then that should be a steady 4 VP by that point.


Check the official FAQ here. The designers have set the rule to be to discard the card you use for scoring.

I'm considering returning to the rule as described in the Law of Root, because, as you describe, it will improve the scoring capabilities of the Lizards. But it actually doesn't help as much as one might expect. The lizards seem to need another boost.
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Matt R
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Drewkas wrote:
Noonespecial wrote:
...since the Lizard doesn't have to discard the card used to take the scoring action (just an unused card matching the suit) then that should be a steady 4 VP by that point.


Check the official FAQ here. The designers have set the rule to be to discard the card you use for scoring.

I'm considering returning to the rule as described in the Law of Root, because, as you describe, it will improve the scoring capabilities of the Lizards. But it actually doesn't help as much as one might expect. The lizards seem to need another boost.


Yeah - you're right. I haven't played the Lizards since the FAQ ruling and was recalling it incorrectly when I posted the above - thanks for pointing it out. But yeah, I'm kind of like you - I'm a bit neutral on whether the original method is better than the clarified method though...

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Troy Martin

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The key to success with the lizards is building an efficient engine for scoring. To do that, you need extra cards. So, don’t be tempted to take the mouse clearing with two building spots. Instead, take the bunny clearing in the lower left corner, which is close to two Fox clearings. Once you get those two Fox clearings, you earn an extra card in evening. Then, build bunny gardens. When you build 3 bunny gardens, you’ll have an engine where you will be able to spend multiple cards for points each round.

Also, if the lizards want acolytes, they need to be annoying. The cats are good to annoy, because you can mess with their supply lines. If they leave a clearing without a warrior, place a warrior there. Then, the cats can’t move wood through that clearing anymore. Placing warriors in clearings with defenseless buildings can provoke an attack. Put warriors in clearings where the birds need to attack. Don’t be afraid to use your sacrifice tactic to create acolytes as well.
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Doug DeMoss
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Rontuaru wrote:
I suspect once the Lizard player declares a dominance victory attempt, they'd get all the attention they want.

Also, if their gardens were spread everywhere, did you make sure to obey 'rule to move'? Not to patronize, but gardens secure rule no matter the number of opposing pieces, and this will result in some non-ideal movement situations.


They'll also get attention when they whip out a Favor of the... card. Those are lizard nukes. Ignore gardens and you'll start seeing them, and you won't like it.
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Chris Dennett
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Played Lizards in this same scenario last night (first time, 5 players, no Vagabond) and experienced a similar issue with acolyte starvation. I literally got attacked *once* the entire game, generating a single acolyte. I think I performed a total of 3 conspiracies the entire game (to be fair I never kept many blue cards in hand). I simply couldn't entice anyone to attack me, as they either moved around me or attacked others. The cats were being very passive, so the birds had plenty of room to get around and pick off sympathy or small pockets of cats. And with the tight board, it was extremely hard for me to find somewhere to rule that had an empty building spot. so I never had more than 5 gardens out at one time. i gave up on scoring (other than to get me over 10) and went for a Fox dominance victory (the birds were going for the bird dominance) and had a legitimate chance at winning, but the Otters were rich and stopped both of us to pull off a well deserved victory.

But yeah, the only way I can see anyone deciding to attack the Lizards would be the Birds not having any other choice for a battle (which I tried, but they always had another choice as they never had a non-bird battle action) or being able to cut off the Cat's supply line (something I maybe should have tried harder at). You're simply not a threat with few acolytes and the whim of the Outcast suit, so why would they mess with you knowing it only helps out the Lizards...
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Gregg Speers
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For the reasons above (why would anyone attack the Lizards) is the reason I came up with my variant:

Spaceman Spiff wrote:
10.4.1.1 Evangelize the Lost (NEW RULE). For every 5 cards of the same suit in the Lost Souls pile, gain 1 Acolyte. Bird cards count as wild, and each bird card can either be added once to another suit to complete a set of 5, or can be used as part of a set of 5 bird cards. Additionally, if the Hated Outcast is active, then for every for every 4 cards of the Hated Outcast suit (including will gain 1 Acolyte. The previous rules for using Bird cards apply here as well.
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Andrew B
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spaceman spiff wrote:
For the reasons above (why would anyone attack the Lizards) is the reason I came up with my variant:

Spaceman Spiff wrote:
10.4.1.1 Evangelize the Lost (NEW RULE). For every 5 cards of the same suit in the Lost Souls pile, gain 1 Acolyte. Bird cards count as wild, and each bird card can either be added once to another suit to complete a set of 5, or can be used as part of a set of 5 bird cards. Additionally, if the Hated Outcast is active, then for every for every 4 cards of the Hated Outcast suit (including will gain 1 Acolyte. The previous rules for using Bird cards apply here as well.


I like your variant because its effect scales with the number of players, which I think is important. The only concern I have is the explosive response it has to the Eyrie going into turmoil. Have you tried it out? How did you come to 5 for the number of cards required for a set?
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Matt R
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Drewkas wrote:
spaceman spiff wrote:
For the reasons above (why would anyone attack the Lizards) is the reason I came up with my variant:

Spaceman Spiff wrote:
10.4.1.1 Evangelize the Lost (NEW RULE). For every 5 cards of the same suit in the Lost Souls pile, gain 1 Acolyte. Bird cards count as wild, and each bird card can either be added once to another suit to complete a set of 5, or can be used as part of a set of 5 bird cards. Additionally, if the Hated Outcast is active, then for every for every 4 cards of the Hated Outcast suit (including will gain 1 Acolyte. The previous rules for using Bird cards apply here as well.


I like your variant because its effect scales with the number of players, which I think is important. The only concern I have is the explosive response it has to the Eyrie going into turmoil. Have you tried it out? How did you come to 5 for the number of cards required for a set?


Well, thematically, it would make sense that if the Eyrie went into turmoil that there would be a lot of religious conversions of the woodland people that were affected.
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Gregg Speers
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Noonespecial wrote:
Drewkas wrote:
spaceman spiff wrote:
For the reasons above (why would anyone attack the Lizards) is the reason I came up with my variant:

Spaceman Spiff wrote:
10.4.1.1 Evangelize the Lost (NEW RULE). For every 5 cards of the same suit in the Lost Souls pile, gain 1 Acolyte. Bird cards count as wild, and each bird card can either be added once to another suit to complete a set of 5, or can be used as part of a set of 5 bird cards. Additionally, if the Hated Outcast is active, then for every for every 4 cards of the Hated Outcast suit (including will gain 1 Acolyte. The previous rules for using Bird cards apply here as well.


I like your variant because its effect scales with the number of players, which I think is important. The only concern I have is the explosive response it has to the Eyrie going into turmoil. Have you tried it out? How did you come to 5 for the number of cards required for a set?


Well, thematically, it would make sense that if the Eyrie went into turmoil that there would be a lot of religious conversions of the woodland people that were affected.


I have tested it. I came up with the card count through play testing. The numbers seemed to strike the best balance. It is also creates a lot more interactivity through everyone's discard actions. Especially WA, when they are in play. Which is great since they are the hardest to interact with for the Lizards. If the Eyrie is in play I generally go right after them since they are the easiest to blow up, which forces them to interact with you, which drives your acolyte engine. With the Cats, they have to be a little more cognizant with the cards they burn to send their tokens to the Hospital.
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Andrew B
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I tried the Evangelize the Lost variant. I really like how it uses matching sets in the Lost Souls pile, but finding 5 matching cards was a rarity and the payoff of a single Acolyte seemed small to me. In a couple subsequent games I modified the variant, changing it to instead allow the Lizards to perform the Crusade Conspiracy for free for each 4-of-a-kind set. This got the lizards involved in a bit more conventional moving and battling, which was nice to see. Overall this seemed to put the lizards in stronger contention.

I was playing four factions (Lizards, Cat, Alliance, Eyrie) myself so take these results with a grain of salt. What I couldn’t do solo, and what I think the Lizards really need to do, is to negotiate with the other factions, e.g., wipe out some roosts or bases in exchange for some Acolytes.
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