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Subject: Share Your Vagabond Strategies rss

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Krystian Majewski
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So I've just finished our first game. I think my entire board game group is hooked. In preparation I've been doing some research too. I've seen a few videos of the game being played by other people. So far I've seen every faction win at least once EXCEPT the Vagabond.

In our game I've been playing the Vagabond too and I ended up somewhere in the middle of the track by the end - a similar result to the games I've watched. It felt like I never had a shot for winning the game.

The Vagabond seems to be tough to figure out to new players like me since there there are so many different ways for him to get points (Quests/Aid/Infamy). You need pick one of his scoring strategies and really drill down to get the same kind of growth the other factions get. Otherwise you just "noodle around" doing a lot of different things but getting nowhere fast.

I've read some tips on how to pull of cool tricks with the Vagabond. But I'd love to hear a rundown of an entire game that you played as a Vagabond and won. How did you go about winning? Did you pick a strategy in advance or did you react to what items/cards the game gave you? At what point in the game did you commit to a scoring strategy? Which one did you pick and why? How hard did you commit to the strategy? Did you go 100% in one direction or did you go for some kind of hybrid solution?
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Michael Ptak
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You'll find players who think very differently and feel the Vagabond is one of the most powerful factions in the game! Also, how easy it is for players to pick up!

The Vagabond is limited only by what items they have with them, and they can never be removed once they've been acquired (except when they exceed their carrying capacity). The only time you're put in a bad spot is if you have to spend a turn in the forest repairing your items. Otherwise, the sky's kinda the limit.

I've seen runaway Vagabonds scoring multiple quests a turn once they're laden with items. They slip into one clearing, fulfill quests there, then boot to another clearing and exhaust 2 more items. Quest escalation I think is the quickest way the Vagabond levels up.

If they need a boost though, pick a fight with the most dominant player on the field (cats usually). Between completing quests and scoring out of killed warriors you can ramp pretty quickly. The only other player out of the base set that I feel does similar is the Woodland Alliance.

Going the quest route means you don't make many enemies on the table and you can just do their thing while everyone else is fighting over clearing ownership. In a 3-hour 6 player game I ran the vagabond ultimately won by staying under the radar and completing quests because nobody suppressed him by taking the effort to attack him.
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Krystian Majewski
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I've heard that Vagabond is considered powerful. I don't think he's easy at all. The idea may seem familiar (RPG-like Questing) but he's certainly a lot more complex than the other factions. Just look at how many pages of the manual are dedicated to him. Certainly very fun tho!

As for Quest Escalation - again I've heard it but never seen it happen.

Here is ho my mediocre game of playing Vagabond went:

In my game I did a total of 4 quests, I think. They were from two factions too. So I got like 6 points from questing in total. Actually just 5 since I drew cards for one of the first quests. At the beginning all quests that came up required a torch or items I didn't have. Which was a huge bottleneck for me since I also needed the torch for Ruins AND for my ability.

I started feeding cards to players meanwhile to farm points and snag items they crafted. But it was hard to push trough all the way to allied status since I drew only one card per turn. The Steal ability wasn't possible because - again, the torch was holding me back. In the end game I slowly got everybody to 3rd level and one player to allied status. But never seen benefits since the game was over at this point. I made 11 points from this.

That's like 16 points plus some change for doing three ruins and removing a token once or twice. I was still at least two to three turns away from getting to 30. Doing a lot of things but getting nowhere fast.

My opponents never did anything against me since I wasn't a threat. Fighting didn't seem like a hot idea. I got a second sword late in the game. Never seen a crossbow. I was never in a position to kill enough warriors to get me any significant points.

I've read these reports of unstoppable Vagabonds and I just never seen anybody pull it off. How does it all come together? I want to hear your stories so I can figure out what the games I've seen did differently.
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Stephen Owen
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It is tempting to lurk round the edges of the game as the Vagabond. I assume you were the Thief and I have fallen into this trap a couple of times with the Ranger. The Vagabond has lots of print allocated to it because of it's various options including using allied warriors and fighting and also it's unusual method of exhausting items to provide actions. There are points to be gained from ruins, quests, crafting and allying but the main one is from fighting. Ideally you need a couple of swords and two boots (to navigate hostile clearings) and then you accumulate 1VP per warrior and 2VP per piece. Try the Ranger next time who starts with a crossbow + sword and can repair items as it's special ability.
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Philip R
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Krystman wrote:
In my game I did a total of 4 quests, I think. They were from two factions too. So I got like 6 points from questing in total. Actually just 5 since I drew cards for one of the first quests.

...In the end game I slowly got everybody to 3rd level and one player to allied status....

Fighting didn't seem like a hot idea.
I think you chose the wrong character for the strategy you wanted to play. If your group of friends is happy to leave you alone, I would recommend taking the Tinker (since he is defenseless). The starting hammer is very valuable, with exploring ruins you could be adding two items a turn without any other player's help. The more items you have, the more quests you can complete, the more cards you can draw. Which is another thing, especially the first Quest of a colour (and even the second one) I would strongly consider using for cards. Unless you get a coins item, this will be your primary source of cards. Cards potentially means more items, means more ways to clear points.

You were also pushing all opponents to allied status, since you took Thief you have a sword and you need to think of how to use it. Unless you have an abundance of sword quests, it would be worthwhile seeing who is in the strongest position and going hostile with them, which could eventually be everybody depending on who is closest to winning.

I feel one of the responsibilities of the Vagabond is to keep other players in check. The vagabond when cooperating with another player can really trash another player's setup (great for breaking bird decrees).
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J Ruble
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I feel like you forgot to give yourself a point each time you explored a ruins. You get one point each time you explore a ruins. Seems like you should have explored three or four ruins before you aided factions. Exploring ruins will get you an extra sword, hammer and boot. Once you have a hammer and two swords you can attack at least two times and often three times in one turn inflicting up to two hits each time. That's pretty powerful!

Once you get a hammer you increase your chances of being able to craft an item yourself for points and increased hits (and the benefits of the item).

Also, you can destroy a defenseless influence token of the WA without causing them to go hostile. You could enter a clearing with a WA. Use a card that matches the clearing to give aid (Possible 1 VP), so it's not in your hand. Attack and destroy the WA token for a point and reveal a hand without a matching card so they draw from the deck. Trimming the WA tokens keeps them in check. BUT you may want them as allies for items. SO you can threaten them and insist they craft an item or you'll police their tokens.

You need to aid factions for several reasons, but many of these reasons are best to wait on till at least the middle of the game:
+To get some value from cards (instead of discarding them or giving them to the WA)
+To get items
+To score points
+To legitimately help a faction in order to lengthen the game so you have more time to accumulate points!

That last one is important. If the Eyrie are on the verge of turmoil early in the game, you may want to pass them the card they need to avoid turmoil. THEN later go hostile and use their troops for points. The bottom line is you want to help the faction that will stall the game most. You may want to help the cats keep pace. Pass them a bird card so they can do more actions. Cats are unlikely to "surge" for points. If they look like they are going to win, you can just start mowing down their troops for points. You should be powerful by then!
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Krystian Majewski
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pipperoni wrote:
You were also pushing all opponents to allied status, since you took Thief you have a sword and you need to think of how to use it.


With just one sword, how many points would you expect to gain from killing warriors over the course of the game?

Also, I see the strategy with the Ranger and the Tinkerer. What would be a good strategy with the Thief tho? Abandon the ruins and try to steal every turn?
 
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Ed Hughes
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I like an aggressive strategy with the Wolf ranger. If you get lucky finding the sword in the ruins early, it’s off to the races, and you can win on points slaughtering cats. They have plenty of warriors, but not so many that they can afford to commit them all to attacking you, and even if they do, your special ability lets you recover fast, and your ability to slip away and hit heir undefended buildings is just cake. The woodland alliance will be all too happy to craft swords and bows for you.
 
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Philip R
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Krystman wrote:
pipperoni wrote:
You were also pushing all opponents to allied status, since you took Thief you have a sword and you need to think of how to use it.
With just one sword, how many points would you expect to gain from killing warriors over the course of the game?

Also, I see the strategy with the Ranger and the Tinkerer. What would be a good strategy with the Thief tho? Abandon the ruins and try to steal every turn?
Items are more valuable than cards, so definitely go for ruins at every opportunity, since all the ruins are in a line, start at one end and work your way down collecting one each turn. Having lots of items will also let you get better utility out of the starting teapot.

If the Tinker specializes in crafting and the Ranger specializes in battle, the Thief is something in between, depending on collected items could go either way. His power gets random cards which will more often be useful for aid, the single sword is going to be best initially for knocking off unguarded tokens, and not going hostile until you see someone clearly pulling ahead.

Like most characters, specific actions will really depend on board situation and player scores.
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Krystian Majewski
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rublegame wrote:
I feel like you forgot to give yourself a point each time you explored a ruins. You get one point each time you explore a ruins.


No, I did. I explored a total of 3 ruins for 3 points, right? I feel like in terms of VP that's peanuts. Certainly not the kind of points I was missing at the end of the game.

By the way: Do you get 1VP in total or 2VP for the ruins? I took 1VP because it says so on my action but now I wonder if you also get another VP because you removed a token?

rublegame wrote:
Seems like you should have explored three or four ruins before you aided factions.


So your strategy is to make sure you use up the torch to fully commit to exploring ruins in the first 3-4 rounds even if it means abandoning quests and not using the Steal ability?

rublegame wrote:
Exploring ruins will get you an extra sword, hammer and boot. Once you have a hammer and two swords you can attack at least two times and often three times in one turn inflicting up to two hits each time. That's pretty powerful!


I got a satchel, a boot and a hammer in that order. Never managed to pull the sword. The hammer was mid- to lategame and I never used it to craft anything. Which wasn't that bad because players crafted stuff for me. I had like 3 boots by the mid-game. I often ended up having an unused boot because I wanted to stay on the front lines where everybody else was.
 
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RP Standlee
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I think you spent too much time aiding other factions, that seriously depletes your items and I can only guess that you weren't getting an item every time you aided? I would focus more on quests than aiding once you've aided gotten to level 1 with each faction and only aid from then on if they have an item you want. Getting to Allied status isn't really all that important and I don't think in practice it happens much(has never happened in the 10 or so games I've played). Also as others have said take the Tinker so you can craft your own items, they're so important to the Vagabond, and crafting nets you a few VP in the process. Only change to one of the other Vagabonds in future games when players are more aware of your threat and start attacking you!
 
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Eric
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In general, I find it hard to figure out how the Vagabond should interact with the other factions.

When I'm playing another faction, I'm constantly looking out for who appears to be in the lead and trying to slow them down or take them out. But the Vagabond can't attack other factions without permanently going hostile, which means you often won't want to do it. Similarly, the Vagabond wants to keep giving cards to "Friendly" factions in order to Allied status, so you're tempted to give large numbers of cards to a faction that may already be winning.

On the opposite side, attacking the Vagabond is also pretty permanent. You can't take a quick swipe at her - attacks will likely make the Vagabond permanently hostile, meaning that you'll be fighting her for the rest of the game.

For these reasons, the Vagabond always seems to float above the game in my games, never really responding to changes in the game state in a meaningful way.

Any tips on how to interact with other factions as the Vagabond? How to interact with or slow the Vagabond as a different faction without committing to a permanent anti-Vagabond war?
 
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Doug DeMoss
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Daravon wrote:
In general, I find it hard to figure out how the Vagabond should interact with the other factions.

When I'm playing another faction, I'm constantly looking out for who appears to be in the lead and trying to slow them down or take them out. But the Vagabond can't attack other factions without permanently going hostile, which means you often won't want to do it. Similarly, the Vagabond wants to keep giving cards to "Friendly" factions in order to Allied status, so you're tempted to give large numbers of cards to a faction that may already be winning.

On the opposite side, attacking the Vagabond is also pretty permanent. You can't take a quick swipe at her - attacks will likely make the Vagabond permanently hostile, meaning that you'll be fighting her for the rest of the game.

For these reasons, the Vagabond always seems to float above the game in my games, never really responding to changes in the game state in a meaningful way.

Any tips on how to interact with other factions as the Vagabond? How to interact with or slow the Vagabond as a different faction without committing to a permanent anti-Vagabond war?


Sometimes the Vagabond CAN attack other factions without going hostile - specifically, when they don't have warriors defending their stuff. Don't be afraid to use this, at least until everybody learns that your boots are meant for walking TO THEM. If nothing else, you can force the birds to keep warriors back to guard their critical eyries (there's often one without which the Decree falls apart). You can also take out Woodland Alliance sympathy more effectively than anyone, although I'd often prefer to use a Dominance to join them if possible.
 
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RP Standlee
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Daravon wrote:
In general, I find it hard to figure out how the Vagabond should interact with the other factions.

When I'm playing another faction, I'm constantly looking out for who appears to be in the lead and trying to slow them down or take them out. But the Vagabond can't attack other factions without permanently going hostile, which means you often won't want to do it. Similarly, the Vagabond wants to keep giving cards to "Friendly" factions in order to Allied status, so you're tempted to give large numbers of cards to a faction that may already be winning.

On the opposite side, attacking the Vagabond is also pretty permanent. You can't take a quick swipe at her - attacks will likely make the Vagabond permanently hostile, meaning that you'll be fighting her for the rest of the game.

For these reasons, the Vagabond always seems to float above the game in my games, never really responding to changes in the game state in a meaningful way.

Any tips on how to interact with other factions as the Vagabond? How to interact with or slow the Vagabond as a different faction without committing to a permanent anti-Vagabond war?


I kinda think the point of the Vagabond is that they are playing their own game in the main, the only interaction really comes if another player is running ahead and the Vagabond is needed to help slow them, or if the Vagabond is running ahead and needs to be attacked with the other players. The Vagabond is the least interactive with the other factions by design I think.
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Daniel Kearns
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All equipment is useful but hammers and especially coins seem like the big ones.

If you are trying to shutdown a Vagabond, do not craft hammers or coins.

EDIT: I played a 5 player game with the Vagabond and lost but not by much. And by game end I had one hammer and no coins. With more of either, it wouldn't have even been a contest. The vagabond is crazy strong IMO.
 
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Geoff C
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ugh....Vagabond wins majority of our games, especially early games. Im about to throw in the towel in a pbem game beacause of him.

Everyone can craft for vp (less so the Eyrie, also havent played much with lizards/riverfolk yet). The cats, alliance and eyrie need territory to place their buildings, roost and sympathy on.

Vagabond doesnt need this and can easily hide within one faction, search ruins, complete quests, aid players and when they get hostile, kill their warriors for vps. That's alot. So much so that in my future games I will encourage everyone to smack him whenever they see him. Might be unfun for the vagabond....
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Mark Watson
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Krystman wrote:

In the end game I slowly got everybody to 3rd level and one player to allied status. But never seen benefits since the game was over at this point. I made 11 points from this.

That's usually a bad idea - while getting the other players to build you items is nice, remember you're also feeding them points at the same time. If you're giving cards to all three other players you'll usually find you're pushing them over the line ahead of you.
A good rule of thumb as the Vagabond is to never give away a card unless you're able to get at least as many points as it's worth in the turn they craft it.
Quote:

Fighting didn't seem like a hot idea. I got a second sword late in the game. Never seen a crossbow. I was never in a position to kill enough warriors to get me any significant points.

Unless you're making a build dedicated to combat it tends to be more of a supplemental income than the main income. Even with one sword you can use that mobility to pick off lone warriors (usually those clearings Cat didn't bother moving their initial warriors out of) for an extra point when moving to clearings to quest or craft. Once you're in the mid-game all of those additional points really add up.
 
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. miriku
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For what it's worth my only Vagabond win so far was a game where I ended up with 3 card draws and then just aid-feeding an ally for the majority of my points.
 
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Stephen M
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Don't limit yourself to one approach -- the best way to score is quests, but you need items, which means questing and aiding, and you need time, which often means slowing down the winner a bit. Luckily, all those things score points too!

1) Explore every ruin ASAP because items are actions and the earlier you get items the more you can do over the course of the game. Every turn early on you should get an item, either from a quest or from a player.

2) Aid everyone a little bit to get the easy relationship points and some items (make sure you tell them to craft if they want cards from you), then possibly choose one (or rarely a second) enemy to become hostile -- whoever is winning, so you can get Infamy points while you slow them down a bit.

3) As you gather a bunch of items, letting you do more per turn, use them to do quests and win!
3a) Aid underdogs only when they have items you want, or you can easily get a relationship boost. Don't strain yourself trying to reach "Ally" status. Those points are a great bonus but not worth going too far out of your way for.
3b) Attack your enemy when they leave a juicy opening, or if you're desperate to slow them down. If you only have one sword, try to use it on poorly-defended areas, or lone warriors.



All of this advice can change a bit depending on which vagabond you chose. And it changes a lot depending on what the other players do -- you need to get involved in the politics! But it's the midpoint strategy, the plan to start with.
 
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