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Subject: parvus on turn 3 rss

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wayne heeley
Australia
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i'm going to throw a possibly controversial idea out there and hopefully it will provoke discussion, and hopefully that will discussion will convince me i'm wrong...

currently playing my first batch of PUG games - 4 in all. in 3 of the 4 parvus has turned up on turn 3. now of course, that's just good/bad luck (i'm the CP in 2 of those games)

my concern is that an early parvus is a game-decider, and unfortunately a game-breaker - i'd hate to think that the luck of the early arrival of a particular card essentially decides the outcome of the game...

i believe, historically, stage 4 of RR occurred on turn 11 and the end result was an AP 'game' win. if parvus turns up early (turn 3 or 4), i'm struggling to see how the AP can win - delaying the RR even 1 or 2 turns looks to be very hard, and if parvus has turned up on turn 3 i'm not sure that a 1 or 2 turn delay would swing the game, should you pull it off.

before playing PUG i followed a few games online and have read AARs of several others. in almost all those games where parvus showed up early, the CP won.

i should qualify all of this by saying that i'm loving the game so far and as someone who has played many, many games of POG i'm enjoying it MORE than POG, except for the issue of an early parvus.

it's too early in my PUG experience to conclude that an early parvus needs a house rule of any kind, but it worries me.

what are other people's thoughts on early parvus and impact on game balance?
 
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Tom Slizewski
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I agree. Great game. Very tense. No idea if it's balanced. I always feel like I'm losing as either side. But the "lottery tickets" are a bit frustrating.

Parvus is a lottery ticket. Get it early and you hit the jackpot. Get it late and it's "You not a winner. Please enter 2nd place drawing." At least I think so. I've never gotten to the end of the game without one side or the other surrendering.

Churchill is another lottery ticket. Not as severe but it's the all or nothing aspect that makes it annoying. Either, you lose a turn, or you get two units better than anything you have, and a potential 5 steps of Russian reinforcements, a VP, and a partridge in a pear tree (see living rules for partridge).

I'd prefer something as key as the RU revolution be handled more consistently, Too late now but a case could be made that a certain War Status level would trigger it.


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wayne heeley
Australia
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IQTom wrote:
I agree. Great game. Very tense. No idea if it's balanced. I always feel like I'm losing as either side. But the "lottery tickets" are a bit frustrating.

Parvus is a lottery ticket. Get it early and you hit the jackpot. Get it late and it's "You not a winner. Please enter 2nd place drawing." At least I think so. I've never gotten to the end of the game without one side or the other surrendering.

Churchill is another lottery ticket. Not as severe but it's the all or nothing aspect that makes it annoying. Either, you lose a turn, or you get two units better than anything you have, and a potential 5 steps of Russian reinforcements, a VP, and a partridge in a pear tree (see living rules for partridge).

I'd prefer something as key as the RU revolution be handled more consistently, Too late now but a case could be made that a certain War Status level would trigger it.




actually tom, churchill doesn't bother me at all (as either side). the 2 BRelite are nice but don't swing the game, the extra RU RPs are undoubtedly good and i don't think the AP should take the VP because it gives the CP a jihad point and i think that can start a very nasty momentum on jihad. either way, it's luck and i merely think 'nice' or 'ouch', but no big deal

but with an early parvus i think i've just won/lost the game. i really hope i'm wrong...

my gaming instincts tell me that if the RR happens turn 11, then the AP is strongly favoured to win; if the RR happens turn 7, then the CP is strongly favoured to win; therefore, if you split the difference and RR happens turn 9 then parvus hasn't swung the game either way.

it's possible for RR to happen turn 11 but requires bad deck management in mobilisation and bad luck on LW cards; but a turn 7 RR only requires good luck on card draw...
 
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Brad Stock
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I actually find this sort of Parvus discussion quite interesting. And I am wondering if the card's early appearance just needs to trigger a very different mind-set in the AP player. I suspect that most players are too distracted by all the possible good things to do, so they never really focus on the Russian front fully and push the Turks to the breaking point by just devastating that front, which also drives the TU MAX RP problem to the brink.

If you know you are likely to lose the Russian army anyway, destroy it and take the RPs to keep destroying it. I don't think the Turks can keep up easily. If you keep doing that, you are much more likely to get the major advances territorially to actually keep the Russians in the game longer anyway, yielding a historical RU Rev result.

I think the biggest problem, however, is that historically you had two very badly mismatched 'players'. There is almost no possibility that the TU player will be as bad as Enver was, so it is hard to get the Russians as far forward as happened historically (on a consistent basis, that is). But even between two well-matched players, it is still possible for the Russians to make enormous gains.

I think if Parvus shows up early, you simply must do everything you can to push on the Russian-Persian fronts and never give the Turk any breaks at all.

More plays will tell us. But until players adapt in this way and try this consistently, we don't really know that an early Parvus is a game-winner. Players are too used to conserving force -- and this is what I normally observe with AP use of the Russians. The mindset needs to adapt and use the Russians as the Great Destroyers.

Anyway, just my musings. Not at all a criticism. Just my growing suspicion that this is THE solution to an early Parvus.

Just my 2 cents. I am certainly not an expert.... No, really, Brian is the gameplay expert -- and Phillip.... Really....
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wayne heeley
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thanks brad for your open-mindedness on this and i agree with all your comments.

i am very interested to see what brian and philip say on the subject.

the RU strategy you suggest in response to early parvus is very interesting, i've only tried it once - not very successfully - and while the TU max RP situation was dire the CP still managed an auto win shortly after the completion of the RR. i wouldn't like to see games consistently end early because of an early parvus.

my concern is that the luck surrounding the timing of 1 card is almost pure luck, and seems to have such a big effect on the outcome. the AP doesn't have an early card with a similar impact and can't do anything to prevent an early parvus.
 
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Larz Welo
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I only play FTF, but have a couple of plays done, and have discovered some issues that I believe relate directly to this.

First, an early Parvus puts a lot of pressure on the Russians to attack with much aggresiveness (as only the Near East can save the Empire). This is successful some of the time (Its succeeded twice and failed once), and seems fairly balanced. It also generally contibutes to TU casualties. So, early Parvus, not a game-breaker.

Second, a late Parvus will doom the Turks. If Parvus gets played on turn 6, or--Allah forbid--turn 7, the CP don't stand a chance. I did win once, but that was with complete Muslim Revolutions in every country, a strong hold in Egypt, and control of most of Persia. Even then, the Russians almost took Constantinople (only prevented by the GE defenders). It seems that a late Parvus will doom the CPs unless they have benefited from a million miracles before that.

Third, this is probably more play style, but it seems that if the Turks haven't won by turn 9, the best they can hope for is a decent score when the game winds down, claiming a decent victory. I just feel like the CP is forced to be very careful and conservative everywhere but the Balkans (and maybe Eygpt/Persia in the early game), while the AP has a lot more flexibility and can be as aggressive or causious as he wants (while using the RU for the expendable peons that they are).

Fourth, I think the game is brilliant and especially the War Status cards (ignoring the few clunkers) are almost always played for event status and therefore help the game to end quicker, but also with some randomness. Really like the Armistice rules, a lot.

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Philip Thomas
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The Turks can definitely win after turn 9. In fact, all 3 of the Turkish wins in my games occurred after turn 9, two of them ocurring right at the end of the game. In one of those the Russian Revolution didn't even start until turn 15 and the Turks still won.

On the other hand, the other two games I've completed were agressiv Russian victories by midgame. So my experience seems to be the reverse of greatredwarrior's: Late game CP wins vs midgame Allied wins.

But 5 games is far too small a sample for any conclusions, and the game with Turn 3 Parvus did lead to a Turkihs autovictory, so the jury's still out.

I suspect short games will become less common as players gain more experience. The late game does have a lot of nasty features for the CPs.

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Philip Thomas
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In my latest game turn 3 Parvus did not prevent a smashing Allied victory...pushing the Russians hard seems to work, some of the time.
 
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wayne heeley
Australia
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Philip Thomas wrote:
In my latest game turn 3 Parvus did not prevent a smashing Allied victory...pushing the Russians hard seems to work, some of the time.


hi philip,

yes, i noticed your latest game. as brad suggested, i'm keeping track of completed games to see if there's any trend or conclusions to be drawn. too early to say yet (16 completed games, 10 AP wins, 6 CP wins).

however, there have been 7 games with an early parvus (turn 3 or 4). 4 have been AP wins, 3 CP. these 4 AP wins have been early (turns 5,6,7,8). the 3 CP wins have been mid-to-late game (turns 10,11,15).

early days yet, but it suggests the AP can certainly win but needs to go for a quick knockout blow, and if that fails, the CP will win shortly after the revolution is completed.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Most recently, a turn 3 Parvus lead to a CP win at the natural end of the game (turn 17). In another game I'm currently playing Turn 3 Parvus seems likely to end in an Allied win at the natrural end of the game, with the Allies in control of most of Mesopotamia and Azerbaijan. And of course, every game of the 1916 scenario is Turn 3 Parvus, albeit with the Russians having seized more VP spaces than I normally see on a full scenario game.
 
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Joe Kuehler
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As simple as it sounds, the AP player has to realize that Russia will be out, and that it might be half the game. In a way, and keep in mind that I am not very expeienced with this game, the decisions facing the Russians are made simpler by the fact that, in the long term, it doesn't really matter. They can push hard, sweep Persia, and fight batles where one would never fight them with the Brits or Indians, namely 1:1 strength ratios or worse.

After some testing on my own, Persia is huge. Trabizon can be taken with light forces (RU amphib invasion), if enough forces are distracted to the east.I have changed my opinion with regard to the importance of Romanian intervention simply due to RU opportunities in the Balkans.

My opinion is that the timing of the play of Parvus does not dictate the winner of the game. Russian aggression early is what will determine the game. It has to be relentless, and it has to be timed well with other AP operations elsewhere.
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