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Subject: Can they win this turn? "Reach" in root rss

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Jordan Murari
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Washington
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You're planning your next turn. can you win? Do you need to take risks to try to win? or, do you have another turn?

It comes down to a concept I've dubbed "reach". Reach is the number of points each faction can gain in their final turn to push themselves to victory. I'll further break down this concept into "relative reach" and "absolute reach". Relative reach being the ranking of each faction at gaining points, who gains the most on average in a late game turn? "Absolute reach" is an attempt at giving exact numbers of expected points in a single turn in an attempt to end the game.

Knowing the relative reach of each faction is pretty key in knowing how to handle your enemies. My valuations of the relative reach of each faction are based on a fairly average game, assuming no one is way ahead or way behind. In my experience the Birds have the shortest reach, followed by Cats, then the Vagabond, and the WA have the longest reach.

What does this mean in absolute terms though? Just how many points can I expect each faction to gain in a single turn? My experience is based on only about 10 games, more than a casual player but certainly not enough for a detailed analysis. Consider this a working hypothesis rather than a well-tested theory.

Once we've established the relative reach of each faction it is further useful to determine each faction's absolute reach as well. Birds, having the least reach, should be pretty easy to determine. The birds gain points in 3 ways, crafting, battle, and roosts. Disdain for trade makes crafting for VP a tough strategy. Figure that near the endgame, with several roosts in play, the birds can craft maybe 2 items, giving them 2 VP. Battle points can be highly variable, especially if the Despot is being played, keep that in mind during your calculations. Look at the Decree though, you'll see how many battles you can expect the birds to fight. You can do a quick average and figure that they will destroy 2 units in each combat, then estimate their points based on how exposed enemy cardboard is compared to them having to only fight warriors. I've found that 3 points in battle is fairly reasonable, without the Despot. Finally roost points come in, adding another 4 or so. That's a total absolute reach of 8 or 9. You can caluculate this value more exactly during an actual game of course.

Cats reach is a little better, but not much. Without the restrictions on crafting points and the ability to build several structures in a turn lets the cats get points fairly easily if their current infrastructure allows. Since the cats have limited actions you can calculate their reach fairly easily by determining how many points per action they can get. Starting with crafting 2 items, like the birds, you can figure on maybe 3 VP from crafting. Then across their 3 actions the cats can score more points, the exact number of course shifting based on their current situation. In my experience 2.5 VP/action in the late game is fairly reasonable. Putting the Cat's absolute reach around 10-11 VP.

The Vagabond scores points much differently than the previous 2 factions, with the addition of quests and the points available from aiding other factions. Crafting a single item for 1 VP is a much more reasonable estimate for the Vagabond, they are not generally strong crafters. Maybe add a quest in there, 2 VP (average). Past this though the mechanism for scoring points can differ greatly from Vagabond to Vagabond. In my experience though a well-played Vagabond should be able to generate 11-12 points in an end game situation in an attempt to win.

Finally the longest reach belongs to the WA. Crafting can easily give a WA player 2-3 late game VP on a aingle turn, since it's so easy for them to craft. The vast majority of their other points will come in the form of sympathy token placement. During birdsong they will use their followers to spread sympathy. Assuming they have been held to a single base and 3 sympathy tokens it will take them 2 cards per token in Birdsong, 2 or 3 sympathy tokens at this point is 4-6 VP. While the WA can score some points in battle in certain situations, most often they will be using their officers to send warriors to nearby clearings and spread sympathy there as well. I like to play very officer heavy as WA, sometimes having as many as 7 officers. This gives me enough actions to spread sympathy 2 or 3 more times during my final turn. This is another 6-10 points! This gives WA a total absolute reach of around 13-14 VP on a good turn.

Summary:

Birds: 8
Cats: 10
Vagabond: 11
WA: 13

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George Aristides
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I just had a game where the Tinker Vagabond got to 3 hammers and used a "favour of" card to wipe the Alliance and Cats (both hostile to him at that point) gaining 1vp for each unit cleared.

going from something like 14-16 points to over 30.

Short story: Tinker Vagabond has the biggest reach of all once he gets to 3 hammers!
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Mark Watson
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There's no real absolute reach you can calculate outside of an individual game. I've seen Eyrie pull fifteen points out in a turn, WA's ability to score is highly limited if they're out of Sympathy tokens to place, Vagabond can have several quest chains giving him six or seven points each, or he can struggle to muster a single point.

A good rule of thumb is to look at what they scored last turn and the resources consumed to do so. If they have the same or more resources than last turn expect them to score the same or higher. Less resources, expect they'll score less points. Generally speaking assume any faction hitting the 20 points or higher mark is in a position to win on their next turn and plan accordingly.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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nobody82b wrote:
I just had a game where the Tinker Vagabond got to 3 hammers and used a "favour of" card to wipe the Alliance and Cats (both hostile to him at that point) gaining 1vp for each unit cleared.

going from something like 14-16 points to over 30.

Short story: Tinker Vagabond has the biggest reach of all once he gets to 3 hammers!


The Tinker is really in a class by itself, as it plays very differently from other Vagabonds. Vagabonds in general are bad at crafting, really want to loot ruins, and can be controlled by not crafting powerful items early on.

Tinkers are self-contained crafting factories, and their ability to dig through discards is often much more powerful than looting ruins, as it means you can't keep cards from them for long, and they can often craft a single physical card twice on two successive turns to get both copies of a powerful item. Their ability to easily craft Favor cards is an explosive game-ender.

I feel they are ultimately balanced, but other players need to understand their dynamics, and that balance is achieved through ruthlessly beating on them in combat from the start of the game, which can lead to bad feelings on both sides. Other Vagabonds can be contained through slow-rolling crafting until late game, and require less direct action.
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My personal record is a 18 VP Vagabond (Tinker obviously, 7 in quests and a disappointing 11 with a Favor, could have been a lot more) and a 16 VP Woodland Alliance.

Apart from the Riverfolk (unless you feed them like crazy), all factions can pull 15+ VP in a turn with the right circumstances.
 
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Byron S
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twitten wrote:
My personal record is a 18 VP Vagabond (Tinker obviously, 7 in quests and a disappointing 11 with a Favor, could have been a lot more) and a 16 VP Woodland Alliance.

Apart from the Riverfolk (unless you feed them like crazy), all factions can pull 15+ VP in a turn with the right circumstances.

You're disappointed that you ONLY removed 11 buildings/tokens with a favor card? Clearly my expectations are off here!
 
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Andrew Heywood
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nobody82b wrote:
I just had a game where the Tinker Vagabond got to 3 hammers and used a "favour of" card to wipe the Alliance and Cats (both hostile to him at that point) gaining 1vp for each unit cleared.

going from something like 14-16 points to over 30.

Short story: Tinker Vagabond has the biggest reach of all once he gets to 3 hammers!


Is this even possible? The vagabond only scores bonus points for removing hostile pieces in battle, so to score 15 points from a favor, he would have to remove an average of almost 4 tokens/buildings from the favored clearings. I guess this could happen if a cat player just stacked up wood for multiple turns, but I would bet you misplayed this rule.
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Patrick Leder
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My records score with the WA and the Otters are a bit higher but I like where this analysis is going.
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Karl Hiesterman
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nobody82b wrote:
I just had a game where the Tinker Vagabond got to 3 hammers and used a "favour of" card to wipe the Alliance and Cats (both hostile to him at that point) gaining 1vp for each unit cleared.

going from something like 14-16 points to over 30.

Short story: Tinker Vagabond has the biggest reach of all once he gets to 3 hammers!


I did exactly this on Saturday last. 17 points for the win. Two quests, one aid, Favor of the Foxes. They never saw it coming, and all of them were in the 25+ point total.
 
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George Aristides
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AWHeywood wrote:
nobody82b wrote:
I just had a game where the Tinker Vagabond got to 3 hammers and used a "favour of" card to wipe the Alliance and Cats (both hostile to him at that point) gaining 1vp for each unit cleared.

going from something like 14-16 points to over 30.

Short story: Tinker Vagabond has the biggest reach of all once he gets to 3 hammers!


Is this even possible? The vagabond only scores bonus points for removing hostile pieces in battle, so to score 15 points from a favor, he would have to remove an average of almost 4 tokens/buildings from the favored clearings. I guess this could happen if a cat player just stacked up wood for multiple turns, but I would bet you misplayed this rule.


There were three rabbit clearings affected:
- Alliance (me) had one of my two bases there, a sympathy token, and I stacked 3 warriors there in anticipation of an all-out attack (as I was at 24 VP and thought I was about to win the game!). So 5 points.
- Cats had their keep in a rabbit clearing, with 1-2 buildings and 2 cats. Another 4-5.
- I can't remember what exactly was in the third rabbit clearing, but I think it had 2 recruiters and a bunch of cats.

Overall, it could have been avoided if we saw it coming, but it was a very weird game (3p Vagabond/Alliance/Cats, meant not enough board presence to hinder both Vagabond and Alliance, and Cats were mostly focused on containing the Alliance..)
 
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Removing warriors with the favour cards doesnt score the Vagabond VP's, nor does it score extra-VP for buildings and tokens. It's just the regular 1 VP per building / token. "Infamy"-VP's (9.2.9.III.a) are explicitly for pieces removed during battle.
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Matt Albritton
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Edit: Removed because it was redundant. The governing passage is explained above.
 
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George Aristides
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csynt wrote:
Removing warriors with the favour cards doesnt score the Vagabond VP's, nor does it score extra-VP for buildings and tokens. It's just the regular 1 VP per building / token. "Infamy"-VP's (9.2.9.III.a) are explicitly for pieces removed during battle.


Thanks for this! Completely forgot that removing hostile warriors only gives vps during battle!

Seems like I might have won that game (as Alliance) afterall!!
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Tonichi x Tabletop2Go
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csynt wrote:
Removing warriors with the favour cards doesnt score the Vagabond VP's, nor does it score extra-VP for buildings and tokens. It's just the regular 1 VP per building / token. "Infamy"-VP's (9.2.9.III.a) are explicitly for pieces removed during battle.


Oh my goodness! Thank you for this! I thought I lost my last game (Eyrie vs Vagabond) with the Favor.
 
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Jordan Murari
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GreenM wrote:
My records score with the WA and the Otters are a bit higher but I like where this analysis is going.


My analysis attempted to identify some averages, not best cases.
 
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Lord Loki
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Santiago wrote:
nobody82b wrote:
I just had a game where the Tinker Vagabond got to 3 hammers and used a "favour of" card to wipe the Alliance and Cats (both hostile to him at that point) gaining 1vp for each unit cleared.

going from something like 14-16 points to over 30.

Short story: Tinker Vagabond has the biggest reach of all once he gets to 3 hammers!


The Tinker is really in a class by itself, as it plays very differently from other Vagabonds. Vagabonds in general are bad at crafting, really want to loot ruins, and can be controlled by not crafting powerful items early on.

Tinkers are self-contained crafting factories, and their ability to dig through discards is often much more powerful than looting ruins, as it means you can't keep cards from them for long, and they can often craft a single physical card twice on two successive turns to get both copies of a powerful item. Their ability to easily craft Favor cards is an explosive game-ender.

I feel they are ultimately balanced, but other players need to understand their dynamics, and that balance is achieved through ruthlessly beating on them in combat from the start of the game, which can lead to bad feelings on both sides. Other Vagabonds can be contained through slow-rolling crafting until late game, and require less direct action.


Just out curiosity, I've only the played the Tinker, but what do you do as say an arbiter or ranger if people aren't crafting?
 
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GreenM wrote:
My records score with the WA and the Otters are a bit higher but I like where this analysis is going.


What does an end game otter turn look like?
 
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Bryan Vogel
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I just played the otters v. the lizards and cats, who both overfed me payments. I realized in the middle of my penultimate turn I had enough payments to score 9 points off of dividends the next turn if i just sat and did nothing. Since I had 19 troops in my funds, I used the one spare to wipe out a building for an extra point, and the rest made me win the next turn. Kinda felt like a more powerful version of a dominance win, cause at that point all three other players realized I was winning the next turn if they couldn't get to 30 first. But they were too far behind to do it at that point.

To answer your question, otters at endgame-if they have a sizable army of mercenaries, are terrifying, because of the amount of times they can attack. I barely crafted anything the whole game because I was able to destroy gardens and cat buildings so easily with my troops.
 
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Kevin Walsh
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Vogelbee wrote:
I just played the otters v. the lizards and cats, who both overfed me payments. I realized in the middle of my penultimate turn I had enough payments to score 9 points off of dividends the next turn if i just sat and did nothing. Since I had 19 troops in my funds, I used the one spare to wipe out a building for an extra point, and the rest made me win the next turn. Kinda felt like a more powerful version of a dominance win, cause at that point all three other players realized I was winning the next turn if they couldn't get to 30 first. But they were too far behind to do it at that point.

Could no one destroy a trade post?
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Bryan Vogel
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Shoot I just noticed the Trade disruption rule-losing half of my funds yikes! Pretty sure that didn't happen as I had a pretty strong presence on the board with only 2 or 3 trade posts which I didn't lose in the last turn. But I bet if my opponents had known that rule my trade posts would not have survived haha.

So my understanding is that the rule only affects warriors in the funds square i.e. the rule was designed to inhibit players doing exactly what I did. Good to know.
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Vladimir
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Vagabond only earns VPs for units he killed in a battle on his turn (9.2.9 iii) so Vagabond playing favour card only gets points for buildings and tokens.
 
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