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Subject: The Turtle (modified super defense) rss

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Presented below is a modified version of White Kong's Super Defender strategy. I have used it several times to win or stay close in a number of games. It is focused on getting points when you can and on building enough to win every battle, as well as not losing any buildings. It also does not rely on getting the best die rolls, though those always help!


 

Goods
Focus on Stone, then Wood. These are necessities for all of the buildings in the Wizard's Guild and Fortress rows. Take Stone as your first resource -- it is the most difficult to obtain.

Save your resources to build what you need to.



Points
Get the extra free ones when you can, as these strategy is reliant on them, mainly because you will not generally build buildings in either the high point Cathedral row nor in the Embassy's bonus point.

How? Take the Jester whenever you can, or the Queen if you are able to. Also, the Fortess will provide you with 3-4 points for each victory. Plus, when you win each battle as the most glorious hero that will hand you an extra 5 points. That is 8-9 points that will guaranteed (as much as the Cathedral), with anything from characters being extra.


 

Dice Distribution
If you roll low, take the Jester and the Sergeant when you can. These will add to your point total as per the above.

If you roll middling-high, then distribute your dice to get the maximum goods you need for your buildings. Or take the Queen.



Buildings
Which ones to build? In column 1 build the Watchtower (+1 defense) and Pallisade (+1 defense/+2 vs Zombies). When you can, add the Barricade (+1 vs Goblins; they are your most likely foes). You minimum defense at this point is +3 (including the minimum +1 on the die from the "Aid from the King").

In column 2, rush to build the Stables (+1 Soldier when the Soldier option is selected). This will make it likely that you will win every battle, and makes the Sargeant, General, and King extremely useful to you. Then build the Blacksmith (+1 defense) and the Crane (to make the other buildings easier to construct). Your minimum defense at this point is +4 (including the minimum +1 on the die from the "Aid from the King"), but if you have used the Stables then it should be at least +6.

It is with the column 3 & 4 buildings that the Crane will pay huge dividends. Needing one less resource to build stuff provides you with a lot of flexibility. Sure you need to sacrifice a turn just to build it, but the benefits are long-lasting.

In column 3 build the Stone Wall first (+1 defense, win ties), then the Barracks (trade in goods for soldiers) as it gives you flexibility and is a good point-getter at 4 points. Now, minimum defense at this point is only +5 (including the minimum +1 on the die from the "Aid from the King"), but you win ties so this is an excellent position. Again, using the Stables will add at least another +2 to that total, plus the Barracks can almost guarantee that you will have the most Soldiers.

Moving on to column 4: build the Fortress as quickly as you can (+1 defense, +1 point for winning battles). Then build the Wizard's Guild (+2 defense) and the best military point getter at +6. minimum defense at this point is +8 (including the minimum +1 on the die from the "Aid from the King"). Nothing should be able to harm you, especially if you make use of the Stables and/or the Barracks



Battles
This is where you will make your bones. You will earn points and your foes are likely to lose them. You MUST win every battle, as those 5 points will keep you in the game. Also, having the Fortress early one will add additional points.

Your stress level will be a lot lower than your competitors, who will be sweating as the enemies arise -- this will allow you to think more clearly during the rest of the game. You will certainly not lose points, goods, or buildings to the monsters during the Winter battles. However, if any those high-point religious buildings that your foes have built go, well you will pull into the lead for good.


 

Points
You should have 22 points due to your buildings. Another 8-9 should come from winning every battle. If you can also add at least 2 points a year from visiting the Jester and/or the Queen, well then you will add another 10 to your score. If you happen to have extra gold around and do not want to use it for recruiting Soldiers via the Barracks, then building a Statue might not be a bad move. All of this should have you at 40 or more points. With a little bit of bad luck for your opponents in the Battles (which is more than likely), such a total should be enough to win -- or least be competive.



Conclusion
Victory does not always go to the luckiest player or the one who builds the highest point structures. It often goes to the one who is able to withstand the worst storm that Winter throws at him. So go forth and build a solid shell that nothing can penetrate. When it is all said and done, you might just be the only one with your head held high -- a victor looking down upon your fallen competitors.
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Evan Stegman
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Osiris Ra wrote:
...

Also, the Fortess will provide you with 3-4 points for each victory.

...


The Fortress provides you with only 1 point per victory.
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EvanMinn wrote:
Osiris Ra wrote:
...

Also, the Fortess will provide you with 3-4 points for each victory.

...


The Fortress provides you with only 1 point per victory.


I meant in the aggregate. Over the course of a game the Fortress should, to someone who builds it quickly and makes good use of the Stables, provide 3-4 points.
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John W
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your building picture is in German.
Maybe you wanted the English building pic here?


Nice detailing of a Kingsburg strategy. Very accessible, and easy to follow along with. thumbsup
I don't think 40 is enough to win most games, but it might get 2nd repeatedly, and if multiple low rolls are made for the King's protection, it might pull out a victory.

[expansion idea] Now, if there was a building that would DECREASE the King's protection roll, then you could really start hedging your bets and maybe win more.
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Luca Iennaco
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reapersaurus wrote:
[expansion idea] Now, if there was a building that would DECREASE the King's protection roll, then you could really start hedging your bets and maybe win more.

If you wish harsher Winters, the expansion will offer you the alternative mechaninc of the tokens instead of the roll (deterministic and harder).
It's pretty easy to add to the game even without the expansion, so go forth and try it, if you like.
(If you do not know what I'm talking about, tell me and I'll describe it again.)
Have fun!
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Net value of Fortress/Battle style:
4 VPs for buying it
3-4 VPs generated by it when you win battles
0-5 VPs earned as prize for battles
5 VPs earned for having largest force
Total=12-18 VPs

Ya, I've thought that making the King always send 2 soldiers works. Being able to achieve a perfect defense is still possible, and doesn't require you to waste that much in the way of resources.
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John W
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Luke the Flaming wrote:
reapersaurus wrote:
[expansion idea] Now, if there was a building that would DECREASE the King's protection roll, then you could really start hedging your bets and maybe win more.

If you wish harsher Winters, the expansion will offer you the alternative mechaninc of the tokens instead of the roll (deterministic and harder).
It's pretty easy to add to the game even without the expansion, so go forth and try it, if you like.
(If you do not know what I'm talking about, tell me and I'll describe it again.)
Have fun!
Thanks for continuing to peek into the Kingsburg forums and responding!
You guys are some of the best designers about that. thumbsup

But I know about the tokens - I've played with them quite a few times on the great AI Kingsburg.
I feel the tokens actually make it LESS risky, since you can select the exact one you want, choosing to use the 4 or the 3 when you REALLY need the roll, instead of having to risk it when building to the Embassy.

Do you think it would be fun to have a building that would LOWER the King's soldier roll for everyone?
It would cost resources, but it sure would be a help to the Super-Defense strategy.
Maybe the expansion's cards could have a Character or an Event card that helps out the Super-Defense strategy by lowering the Kings' roll?
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Luca Iennaco
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reapersaurus wrote:
Maybe the expansion's cards could have a Character or an Event card that helps out the Super-Defense strategy by lowering the Kings' roll?

One of the character (the Traitor) of the expansion (from the "characters" module) was able to get gold during Winter to make the Invaders stronger and meaner if undefeated. It was by far the more "discussed" bit of all the expansion, and it was killed in the very last stage of development.
A few events (from the "random events" module) may still boost the Invaders in a way or three.

Besides, there should be two blank create-your-own cards to customize the game even more to your likings (e.g. to bring back the Traitor ).
I hope you'll enjoy it.
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Luke the Flaming wrote:
reapersaurus wrote:
Maybe the expansion's cards could have a Character or an Event card that helps out the Super-Defense strategy by lowering the Kings' roll?

One of the character (the Traitor) of the expansion (from the "characters" module) was able to get gold during Winter to make the Invaders stronger and meaner if undefeated. It was by far the more "discussed" bit of all the expansion, and it was killed in the very last stage of development.
A few events (from the "random events" module) may still boost the Invaders in a way or three.

Besides, there should be two blank create-your-own cards to customize the game even more to your likings (e.g. to bring back the Traitor ).
I hope you'll enjoy it.
wow!
What a cool little tidbit of info - thanks for sharing it!
It's great when designers and playtesters share what bits DIDN'T make it into a final release.

Too bad about the Traitor - any expansion add-on that makes more strategies viable (like Super-Defense) would be a good thing for the game, I'd think.

And I'm trusting that I'll enjoy the expansion - my biggest concern is how can you possibly add 20 characters and many events to make their benefit(s) remotely balanced - but you guys said you took extra care with that aspect, so here's hoping! thumbsup

Maybe you guys can share the details of the Traitor at some later date, if people would like to customise their expansion with him.
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Luca Iennaco
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reapersaurus wrote:
Maybe you guys can share the details of the Traitor at some later date, if people would like to customise their expansion with him.

My Evil Plan is: once the expansion is out, create a "Custom Characters - your own ideas" thread on BGG (maybe with some sort of GG prize too) and then seed it (just to have some first entries) with a few of the "discarded during development" ideas.
I (we?) only need to be patient... ninja
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Luca Iennaco
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reapersaurus wrote:
my biggest concern is how can you possibly add 20 characters and many events to make their benefit(s) remotely balanced

The Events are easier: since they affect all players in the same way, when they are good everyone is hepled, when they are bad everyone is harmed (you could be "incidentally" more favoured or damaged; e.g. strong military shouldn't suffer "+1 strength to Invaders" as much as other strategies, but the difference is what the "random" half of the name "random events" refers to... and since events are revealed at the start of the year, you may still plan accordingly; e.g. in the example above, hire an extra soldier or two).

The Characters are harder to balance, as you may expect (since each one helps only his own player). Besides, some have effects that make them stronger (or weaker) based on how many players are involved.
However, even if I do not consider them to be all perfectly equal (how could they... apart by printing the same text on all of them ), I think we've stil done a good job because:
-) to explore the various characters, you'll still need several games;
-) the presence (or absence) of certains characters or other modules of the expansion may alter the efficiency of some characters, so the combinations to explore are even more;
-) some characters lend themselves better to certain strategies (if you like strategy X over strategy Y, you may find character A to be better than B... but if you'd try strategy Y, your best pick would be B);
-) to have some characters vary in power makes the choices less obvious even after you have some confidence with the expansion (so you should evaluate the characters based on more than simply "Duke, Princess or Miner"? that is, also considering how many players are involved, what modules are going to be used, etc.);
-) the oscillation of powers is small enough to keep the game in check (you see, even an acclaimed game like Agricola cannot achieve "perfect balance"... it's something deriving directly from asymmetry, like that granted by having different cards with a moltitude of effects; but as long as the overall result is within acceptable limits, it adds to the replay value and interest of situations that can come up when playing. It's usually one of the strong points of the good "American" games... but it has found a home in some "European" creations as well).
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John W
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Luke the Flaming wrote:
reapersaurus wrote:
Maybe you guys can share the details of the Traitor at some later date, if people would like to customise their expansion with him.

My Evil Plan is: once the expansion is out, create a "Custom Characters - your own ideas" thread on BGG (maybe with some sort of GG prize too) and then seed it (just to have some first entries) with a few of the "discarded during development" ideas.
I (we?) only need to be patient... ninja
I think this is exactly what more game designers should do. thumbsup

Fans welcome the opportunity to contribute ideas for game expansions - most people use the spectre of fear of lawsuits as (IMO) an excuse to not involve the fans in the game.

Why do so many designers ignore the knowledgable, creative fans who can come up with some pretty interesting ideas?
I think if you guys made that thread like you mentioned (and maybe stated that anyone posting an idea to it forfeits any ability to sue you if you incorporate the idea), it would be a great step forward in bridging the gap between game designer and fan.
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Andrea Chiarvesio
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reapersaurus wrote:

Why do so many designers ignore the knowledgable, creative fans who can come up with some pretty interesting ideas?
I think if you guys made that thread like you mentioned (and maybe stated that anyone posting an idea to it forfeits any ability to sue you if you incorporate the idea), it would be a great step forward in bridging the gap between game designer and fan.


Myself and Luca think to ourselves more as gamers and bggers than "game designers", so that's probably why

Actually, the lawsuit is not such a remote possibility, so I can see designers worried about that.

Including "blank" cards in a game or expansion is imho the perfect way to allow fans to cusomize the game according to their tastes.
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At the last couple of games I joked that with a 19, 20, 21 (+2 market, Markter, extra White Die) the player ought to have gone to visit the Emperor/Empress/High Patriarch. Heck, why not Angels, Demons, or Gods.

Also, an Ancient Greek (or other Ancient civilization) or Medieval China would be an interesting retheming of the game. Let's see: Greecian resources would be Bronze (Gold), Marble (Stone) and leave Wood. The monsters would be quite interesting. Plus with Greece you could have a Naval Track along with the Soldier Track, as enemies could come by Sea as well as Land.
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Peter Folke
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A comment on your strategy:

I don't think it's worth it to build the crane and the +0 battle building. You spend 3 resources (2 wood and 1 stone) to save 4 gold, *maybe* get a further +1 in some battles, and receive 1 measly point.
Far better would be, IMO, to build the statue. 3 points and you still save 1 resource. The Inn would also be a better choice as I see it.

But as a previous poster said: Easy to follow, nice to read strategy article. Those are pretty rare!
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