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Subject: 3p w/o Cats: Impossible? rss

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MJ
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Tonight I won my first game of Root --- and with the Marquise! Victory was sweet, but it was also a good time for all (aren't those the best games?) ...Indeed the game was such a blast that even as I was starting to clear the table, and despite the late hour, my friends were looking at each other & asking why not play again, immediately?

To mix things up then, we went with Eyrie vs WA vs Vagabond. This is not one of the recommends with a torch, but it's in the guide nonetheless, so I figured it was viable.

But only a few turns into the game, we were all at a total loss at how to stop the Eyrie, who had already climbed past 15 points.

We spent 20 mins talking out different scenarios, even imagining what might've happened if the WA had started with a different hand. Every time, we came to the same thing: without another military force in play, the Eyrie score fast, so fast that not even turmoil can slow them down much.

I've never played without the Marquise before. But the more I've played Root, the stronger a hunch I've had that the game *needs* the Marquise in any faction combo. If we'd played Marquise vs WA vs Vagabond, I doubt the former's VP climb would be so fast. Same for the Lizard Cult.

Since Eyrie vs WA vs Vagabond is in the guide (and the guide seems to advise the Vagabond & WA team up and shore up military strength ASAP), I feel there must be a game in it. But right now I can't see anything viable.

What does everyone think? Anyone have any games with this combo?

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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Mountain View
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Barring expansion factions, yes. See this recent image posted by Cole Wehrle showing which faction combinations have enough board presence to make a good game:

https://twitter.com/colewehrle/status/1129107727756779520

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MJ
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Wow, when did they come up with this!

This is very interesting...But based on this chart, the Eyrie vs. WA vs. Vagabond combo is a total reach of 15, and the recommended 3p "viable game sum" is at least 18.
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Asher D.
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So according to that either the cats or the underground duchy must be in the game.
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Invisible Hand
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It's interesting that the Lizards have such a low reach, given that they're considered a Core/Army faction. Is it because they have trouble moving?
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Kevin Walsh
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I played a 4 player game of Eyrie vs Lizards vs Riverfolk vs Vagabond and it was excellent. Lizards squeaked out a victory with Fox dominance.
 
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Viktor Karlsson Mantel
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Intresting, it seems this list is just to make sure there is enough stuff on the map.
I played a game with, Cats,Birds,WA,Lizard.
A reach of 22.

But it was not a good game to many factions that needed building sites. The game really draged. Many rounds of very low or 0 VPs
 
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Odd Tatu
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I once played a 4-player game with Lizard Cult, Eyrie, Riverfolk, and Woodland Alliance (hence a total reach of 17), with not very experimented players. It was really fun actually. I guess many combinations will lead to a fun game even though they do not beat the Reach limit.
 
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Cole Wehrle
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A couple comments:

Really the top chart should read "recommend game sums." Viability is a little bit of a loose term and there are lots of configurations around 17 (even 15) that work as long as players play well. I've been pushing on these numbers for a few months now and I think they are just about right. Our last big wave of underworld testing is going to be primarily about vetting them.

It so happens that I've played a fair amount of Eyrie/Vagabond/WA. You are right that the Eyrie is the faction to be stopped in that configuration. This can be a fun role reversal for the Vagabond, who usually doesn't feel as urgently needed in games where the Marquise plays policewoman. In that scenario I think the Ranger is almost a must-pick though I've seen the Thief used to good effect. The Vagabond will also need to work with the Alliance at some point too, feeding them an occasional card to jump-start their rebellions. They key problem for the alliance is Distance. In games without the Cats they will sometimes be tempted to go to some lonely corner of the board but that will backfire pretty hard here. Ideally they should be hugging the Eyrie border and threaten revolts within. They can usually get away with putting their first base down anywhere quickly just to get the second card draw but their next revolt should hurt the Eyrie bad.
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Michael Ptak
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I played a couple of games yesterday focusing on the Lizards. First game was Cats/Lizards/Eyrie, then Cats/lIzards/Eyrie/WA. My wife, playing lizards, wanted the second game to see if going first as the Lizards made a huge difference. In our opinion the stark change (between Lizards bottom tier and lizards winning in the second game) was if they started with a bird card or not.

I noticed something else though. Both times I started with the Despot as the eyrie, and I won the first game but lost the second. Part of the reason why is because at 3 players there's a more board space for an expansionist faction to push into unopposed. As Eyrie I also won an earlier game against the Vagabond because there was just too much to stop me in a runaway victory with so many roosts.

I think if certain factions are given the room to run in, they'll become the factions to beat because they're running rampant without anyone to check them.
 
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MJ
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Thank you Cole!

In our previous game, my friend playing the WA was playing them for the first time, making our attempted 2nd game also his 2nd...while for me, I've never played the Vagabond (despite being the game's owner!) and chose to play the Arbiter, though at first playing a more aggressive character definitely occurred to me.

The Arbiter really appeals to the type of Vagabond I'd play, but I may have to wait for the right game. I wonder what kind of game that'll be.

In the meantime, we'll work on mastering the WA, particularly managing a bad starting hand, and perhaps once that happens we'll take another shot at this particular combo.
 
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Mark Turner
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This is a really good chart. Is it included in the new expansion?
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A S
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We played a Marquise, Lizard, Alliance game... total reach of 15...? I thought this was recommended based on the Learning to Play guide for Riverfolk expansion...
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Roberto Duca
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MoviinTarget wrote:
Marquise, Lizard, Alliance

Same here, with no particular issue and a Lizard victory. Oh, wait...
 
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JB L1Z1X
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Invisible Hand wrote:
It's interesting that the Lizards have such a low reach, given that they're considered a Core/Army faction. Is it because they have trouble moving?


It's because they have trouble moving and attacking specific places, have lots of turns where its either literally impossible to attack or cost prohibitive, and the other players have some ability to control where they can attack.

They are a core faction in the sense that they flood the board with dudes and buildings and then restrict a ton of movement via Rule, but I think Cole's definition of Reach has more to do with how good the faction is at bashing people.
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