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Subject: Stopping The Marquise rss

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Nathan Surgenor
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Probably a noob question considering the other posts on here regarding how the Marquise scores slowly but how do you stop the Marquise from winning?

So, we had a game were the Marquise put a pile of wood down got lots of early sawmills out and was shooting up the track. So, we decided to stop them by attacking the sawmills to cut off supply and slow down their building.

However, this simply meant that their buildings cost less and space was freed up for them to build again; but if we had left them as is they could have produced a ton of wood and new recruits, taken over other clearings and built there.

What is a general strategy to keep cats under control?
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Ruben Wick
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ndsurgenor wrote:

Probably a noob question considering the other posts on here regarding how the Marquise scores slowly but how do you stop the Marquise from winning?

So, we had a game were the Marquise put a pile of wood down got lots of early sawmills out and was shooting up the track. So, we decided to stop them by attacking the sawmills to cut off supply and slow down their building.

However, this simply meant that their buildings cost less and space was freed up for them to build again; but if we had left them as is they could have produced a ton of wood and new recruits, taken over other clearings and built there.

What is a general strategy to keep cats under control?


Stop them from building too much. If they've already built all the buildings, the only one who win anything by anyone destroying their buildings is the Marquise player
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Nathan Surgenor
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Daye04 wrote:
ndsurgenor wrote:

Probably a noob question considering the other posts on here regarding how the Marquise scores slowly but how do you stop the Marquise from winning?

So, we had a game were the Marquise put a pile of wood down got lots of early sawmills out and was shooting up the track. So, we decided to stop them by attacking the sawmills to cut off supply and slow down their building.

However, this simply meant that their buildings cost less and space was freed up for them to build again; but if we had left them as is they could have produced a ton of wood and new recruits, taken over other clearings and built there.

What is a general strategy to keep cats under control?


Stop them from building too much. If they've already built all the buildings, the only one who win anything by anyone destroying their buildings is the Marquise player


If they DO manage to get a pile of buildings down then (in our game I tried to stop them as the birds but my rolls were baaaaaaad) should we build more ourselves so that they have no purpose for their wood?
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Jeff Thompson
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Simply limit the spots they can build.

I picture the cars similar to Russia in 1941, spread thin and preparing for a fighting withdrawal.

You don't need to kill them, just Rule the Clearings where they want to Build.

The cats will always start scoring first, but eventually they run out of spots. They will be hemmed in. Killing them early one at a time is best. Killing them in groups only makes their field hospitals work for them.

As Stalin said, "one death is a tragedy, but a million, a statistic."
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Geoff C
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They need rule to build buildings. Take rule away from them by reducing their warriors and squatting on clearings the cats want with yours.

They need wood to build buildings. If they go sawmill heavy don't stop until you've eaten all their wood....which are all worth vps too.
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Mr Suitcase
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Talonz wrote:
They need rule to build buildings. Take rule away from them by reducing their warriors and squatting on clearings the cats want with yours.

They need wood to build buildings. If they go sawmill heavy don't stop until you've eaten all their wood....which are all worth vps too.


I just played my first game on the weekend as Marquise. From what I experienced, this advice is sound.

Out of the gate, I was doing fantastic, and was in the lead.

However, once I got to about 15 VP, my border expansion was stopped cold. I now had a problem where I had plenty of wood to build, but the building slots were all taken.

At this point, my VP output was essentially killed.

The crushing birds were massed at my borders. So, to take a clearing, I had to move then battle 2-3 times to get control (more if I wanted to get a VP for a roost!). Let alone do the recruits I needed in between attempts. Anyways, the point of that is that even if I succeeded, I wouldn't have any actions left over to build.

(yes, I was using ALL my bird cards to get extra actions - I may have been unlucky in getting bird cards though).

Crafting was my only way to get VP, which made the trash panda my best bud... but that came at a cost, as he ended up winning with an explosive 5-card AID package at the end, which he gave to me, his "Ally".

Afterwards, I reflected that I should have been beating down on the trash panda, but... I was already starved for actions! So how would I have had even more to beat down on his items if I made him go hostile?

Anyways, real learning game for me, but I concluded that despite having the easiest rules, playing the Marquise to win is probably actually really hard.


TLDR: What else was your Marquise doing to win? Because I REALLY want to know to improve my play!

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Benoît Delcorps
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Alternatively, If you cant rule the clearings they want to build in, you can try to cut their supply line... Don't forget that the wood used to build must travel from its source to the clearing where the new building is placed trough a chain of clearings controlled by the Marquise.

Cats have strong military presence, but in late game, where few spots are available for new buildings, it's often quite easy to cut this supply line just by taking over the rule on a less defended clearing...
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Die Scholle
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mrsuitcase wrote:
[q="Talonz"]
Afterwards, I reflected that I should have been beating down on the trash panda, but... I was already starved for actions! So how would I have had even more to beat down on his items if I made him go hostile?

Anyways, real learning game for me, but I concluded that despite having the easiest rules, playing the Marquise to win is probably actually really hard.


TLDR: What else was your Marquise doing to win? Because I REALLY want to know to improve my play!


I may be wrong, but I don't think he actually goes hostile if you attack him? He only becomes hostile if he kills one of your warriors.

I agree that it's really hard to win as the Marquise. Currently, my strategy is to get a lot of recruiters down in my most heavily defended clearings, then try to win a dominance victory later. Bird dominance (ruling two opposite corners) is particularly do-able if you time it right, and you have a bird ambush card to keep in your hand. If the Vagabond is after you in turn order, you may also be able to persuade the Vagabond to go into a coalition with you before you take the dominance card, which can help to set up the win. (I'm not 100% sure whether this is legal, though? Need to read the rules first.)
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Bishop
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I think the best course of action to win the game with the cats is to do everything you can to seek a DOMINANCE victory.

Recruit, Recruit, and Recruit again! devil

Lock down three clearings as soon as possible!

(Of course you have to meet 10 victory points first, but that is fine because you will get those points by building your recruit stations and sawmills in pursuit of your strategy)

Don't toy around with the idea of thinking you can build and craft your way to victory with the cats - Not going to happen

You must fight from the rooftops, fight on the streets, fight on the shores of Tripoli, fight, fight, fight until you have claimed DOMINANCE of the Woodland! arrrh ninja sauron

Umm, well that's what I do when I play the cats anyways
It has given me my most victories when I've played them!
Happy Hunting!
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Mr Suitcase
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Scholle80 wrote:

I may be wrong, but I don't think he actually goes hostile if you attack him? He only becomes hostile if he kills one of your warriors.


You attack HIM and if, in the attack he kills one of your warriors, then you're hostile with him (unless I'm reading the rules wrong).
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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In twenty games, I’ve seen the cats win once, and that was after the rules changes that buffed them and nerfed the alliance and vagabond. They start off in great shape, but very quickly run out of build spots, and will feel starved for actions when it comes down to carving out more from enemy territory.
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Mark Watson
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Scholle80 wrote:

I may be wrong, but I don't think he actually goes hostile if you attack him? He only becomes hostile if he kills one of your warriors.

Which is what he'll do if he rolls at least a one on his defence die.
Quote:

I agree that it's really hard to win as the Marquise.


She's not the easiest to win with, but I wouldn't say she's the hardest either. Understanding her tempo is key - note she'll score consistently, which is both good (should pull in at least some points per turn) and bad (very few opportunities to increase the number of points per turn). Planning is incredibly important for the Marquise, moreso in my opinion than it is for Eyrie.
One of the most common mistakes I see newer players make is to simply build whatever they have the wood for (or is cheapest) to grab the points, which usually only leads to a mid-game stall - not enough workshops to craft the higher scoring cards, not enough warriors to contest the field and not enough wood or building spots to score from building. Marquise really wants to specialise - if you're going to build recruiters, try and get all of the recruiters and then use your warrior advantage to bring in the points. If you want to craft try and get all of the workshops out so you can craft pretty much anything that comes into your hands. Essentially, commit to a scoring method on turn 1 and stick to it rather than trying to do a little bit of everything badly.
Also note Marquise will usually need to be aggressive and quite ruthless with it. The other factions tend to snowball towards the line, they'll score little (if at all) early game but steadily score more and more as the turns go by. Marquise on the other hand tends to be a much more relaxed stroll towards the finish. She will therefore need to disrupt, stop or otherwise slow the other players at some point in order to carry the win whether by craft or claw. She's well prepared for it though - her field hospitals and recruitment rules means you can almost treat your warriors as a renewable resource, and if your opponents do manage to burn down your buildings you can simply rebuild them for another helping of points.
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Ken Brown
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Another Marquise strategy - build recruiters and workshops on the perimeter of your territory. Your opponents will attack those first for the VP, but you bet more points for building than they will for attacking, you’ll give them incentive to not charge into the heart of your territory, and when your territory inevitably shrinks, you’ll still have spaces to build in. Building from the deepest territory out means you have to fight for more land, whereas building from the edge in means you generally will have spaces and can build cheaper buildings more frequently.
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Orion Harrison
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Santiago wrote:
They start off in great shape, but very quickly run out of build spots, and will feel starved for actions when it comes down to carving out more from enemy territory.


This. How does the Marquise EVER get the space to build all that? I understand a strategy for piling wood and protecting it, but they need clear building spots elsewhere too.
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Nathan Surgenor
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So, another game, another strong Marquise win (different player this time). Eyrie left the VP track to try and get a dominance win, Marquise held them down and was able to score buildings at the same time, Alliance and Vagabond felt helpless to stop anything sitting around 13VP at game's end.

We really MUST be missing something with the conversation in this thread which suggests cats are not an easy win.

Are there any commonly overlooked rules for these guys that might be why we are going wrong?
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Geoff C
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Why did Eyrie go dominance? That always seems to be a backup plan to me, not a primary goal, especially for Eyrie with their faction being the only one that can generate vps based on past roosts. Something fishy there....

And Vagabond and WA are the best factions at messing with the Cats. I suggest that player inexperience may be a huge factor here.
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Nathan Surgenor
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Talonz wrote:
Why did Eyrie go dominance? That always seems to be a backup plan to me, not a primary goal, especially for Eyrie with their faction being the only one that can generate vps based on past roosts. Something fishy there....

And Vagabond and WA are the best factions at messing with the Cats. I suggest that player inexperience may be a huge factor here.


Yes, we had a 'postmortem' and the three of us other than the Eyrie agreed that playing a dominance was the wrong tactic, that should indeed be a last resort. But here's the thing: if that player wanted to pursue that strategy he should be able to do it without throwing off the game; why have those cards available if it throws the balance in your game?

I also agree that player inexperience is a factor here, but my question stands: what are we doing wrong? Both the Vagabond and I (WA) felt powerless to stop the cats or, indeed, make any sort of impact in the game. What should we be doing that we're possibly/probably not doing?
 
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Doug DeMoss
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ndsurgenor wrote:
why have those cards available if it throws the balance in your game?


Because they're a backup plan. Getting clobbered on the VP track? Go Dominance. That's all they are. For EVERYBODY, really.
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Mark Watson
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ndsurgenor wrote:
But here's the thing: if that player wanted to pursue that strategy he should be able to do it without throwing off the game; why have those cards available if it throws the balance in your game?

It's usually a secondary strategy; i.e. when you know another player will cross the line within the next two turns and you have no means of getting there first.
Quote:

Both the Vagabond and I (WA) felt powerless to stop the cats or, indeed, make any sort of impact in the game. What should we be doing that we're possibly/probably not doing?


Hard to say without knowing the strategies you and the Vagabond were employing.
 
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Andre Oliveira
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Build strategy is the winner - basically the more wood a building costs, the more points you can make as a cats (assuming enough wood). Enforce some borders and strike their stockpiles - after all both buildings anf wood tokens are worth 1 vp each.
It might be more effective to destroy their recruiters than their sawmills to take them down. After that try to cut their supply lines
 
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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demoss1 wrote:
ndsurgenor wrote:
why have those cards available if it throws the balance in your game?


Because they're a backup plan. Getting clobbered on the VP track? Go Dominance. That's all they are. For EVERYBODY, really.


Arguably, Dominance can be a primary strategy for the Lizard Cult, between their ability to repeatedly dump warriors into clearings of the same type turn after turn and their special rule that requires eradicating all their warriors and all their gardens to break their control of a clearing. For everyone else, though, it's a Hail-Mary last-ditch backup plan.
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Nathan Surgenor
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Archonsod wrote:
ndsurgenor wrote:
But here's the thing: if that player wanted to pursue that strategy he should be able to do it without throwing off the game; why have those cards available if it throws the balance in your game?

It's usually a secondary strategy; i.e. when you know another player will cross the line within the next two turns and you have no means of getting there first.
Quote:

Both the Vagabond and I (WA) felt powerless to stop the cats or, indeed, make any sort of impact in the game. What should we be doing that we're possibly/probably not doing?


Hard to say without knowing the strategies you and the Vagabond were employing.


What SHOULD the WA/Vb be doing though?

As WA I put down about 5 sympathy using cards and then revolted to get warriors out and into the officers box - should this be done earlier in the game? Should you get a base down ASAP?

The vagabond quested and crafted as the Tinker. Should they aim to attack more? Is the Thief/Ranger a better option for a beginner Vb?

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Nathan Surgenor
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desocupado wrote:
Build strategy is the winner - basically the more wood a building costs, the more points you can make as a cats (assuming enough wood). Enforce some borders and strike their stockpiles - after all both buildings anf wood tokens are worth 1 vp each.
It might be more effective to destroy their recruiters than their sawmills to take them down. After that try to cut their supply lines


In our games both players have gone sawmill heavy, getting all of them onto the board, and haven't bothered with workshops/recruiters too much. Should we be attacking the Cat from turn one? If that's the case why don't they add some suggestions for new players along those lines?

For our group who sticks with games and researches them here on BGG we are keen to explore Root until we can work out what we are doing wrong but a perceived imbalance like this could turn others completely off a game.
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Geoff C
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The short answer is 'it depends'.

But frankly, the Eyrie player sounds like the problem, as the Eyrie must attack every turn if it ever wants to attack (or has the commander as its leader)so should be the primary Cat stopper. Have the best puzzle player/aggressive strategy player take the Eyrie.

Next, the Vagabond player needs to maximize his vps. This alone should put a clock on everyone else as left alone, the Vagabond will win with a competent player.

Third, the WA is one of if not the most powerful faction in the game once everyone knows the game. Get your first base out asap for +card draw, then strategiclly place the rest to blow up your enemies, finally drop favor cards and organized sympathy for massive come from behind wins.

I still dont recall every seeing the Cat win on vps. Up until recently, it was the only only faction I had not won with, and only this weekend won a dominance victory with them. Your group problem is still simply player inexperience, so take the above into mind with your next game.
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David Fenton
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Also remember that the game is a race. The key is to win fastest. For the Marquise, more wood and more buildings built = more VPs per build action (and they have limited actions) = more VPs per turn.

So either don't let them get a ton of buildings out (to reduce VPs/action), or shut down wood production / transport (to prevent building altogether). Remember that they must rule ALL clearings between the wood and the build location (inclusive of those two) to use that wood. Ignore the periphery of the Marquise's territory and hit the supply lines. A clearing with a sawmill and 5 wood is useless if that wood can't be used anywhere.

So the Eyrie can park a group of warriors along the path to prevent new buildings, or the Alliance can revolt in key bottleneck clearings to do the same thing (cut off supply).

If you've let the Marquise spread out and get a good distribution of sawmills (with redundant supply paths to the edges), you've already lost.
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