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Subject: Sunday night gaming rss

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So last night we broke out my copy of CitOW for the first time.

I love the bits, I love the gameplay, I love the theme.

4 player game; took about 100 - 120 minutes including explaining the rules; one person had played once, the previous night; the rest had never played.

The initial distribution of tiles heavily favoured Slaneesh in the lower right corner, with nobles in both locations (Norsca, Troll County). Tzeentch ended up turtling in the ONE region (Kislev) daming (or damning?) everyone out of Slaneesh's corner, repeatedly placing the "+2 cost to place figures here" chaos card.

Khorn started out in the Empire, with eyes on expanding out from the center. Nurgle (me) started in one of the northern populous regions.

Khorn started beating on me early, as Tzeentch walled himself (and Slan) into the corner. I missed out on the first dial completely, and barely got in on the second dial click; basically I was extremely behind the whole game as Nurgle was the one most easily thwarted. I played TWO 3 point chaos cards and had them nullified BOTH TIMES, effectively losing me a total of 9 corruption and wasting 6 points (effectively ONE of the FIVE turns we played). I'm still not sure how to get around this, other than not play the 3 point cards. I guess if there was a bit more competition in the center of the map I would have been less of a target. But I'm not bitter. angry

A misunderstanding of the rules and a penchant for turtling cost Tzeentch his first two dial clicks.

Khorn spent most of the game attacking my vulnerable cultists, and it wasn't until the last turn that I realized my warriors only cost 1 point (I'd been paying two up until then), so I pretty much had two of my turns wasted by overspending or nullification. cry

Slaneesh ended up winning through dial clicks (he got two double clicks early and had all of his units upgraded before I even got my first upgrade card wow) as he was pretty much invulnerable in his little corner, with one area having two nobles, dropping 3-4 corruption a turn.

Only one territory was ruined the whole game (one of Slan's).

In the last round, as it was evident the game was ending, Tz ended up countering MY actions, as he did not want to end up in the basement. I find this kind of play to be somewhat poor. At this point we still had the ability to stall Slaneesh from winning, knocking him back from his hide-away position. It would have taken him a few rounds to get back into the game, in which time Khorn probably would have won.

Note to all area control game players: If you are not trying to WIN, and going after the preceived leader, you're actually making the game easier for the leader, because you are hampering other's ability to knock them down as well - keep everyone as even as possible, with a trick up your sleeve to push you over the top when the time is right!


Out of everyone, the Khorn player played best, by far. His play was thematic, and he really got into the game. Dice rolls ended up to be about average for everyone, so it was Khorn's gameplay, rather than luck, that led him to the success he had.

Slan benefited due to Tz's mistakes, so I think in a more average game, Khorn would have won by a landslide. Admittedly, the Tz player had a cold that I think was affecting his judgement, and I'm still a bit peeved he hit me at the end, rather than the leader. Khorn was one tick away from victory on his dial when Slan rolled his over. Also, due to his lock up of the corner Slan had almost double the victory points as everyone else.

The particular session was less than satisfying for me, but based upon the flow of the game, the components, and the actual gameplay, I think this game will become one of my favourites.

There was some speculation afterwards that perhaps someone will SOLVE the game, and one of the four gods will come out regularly on top, but if it does happen, I think that may have to do more with group-think than anything else.

I look forward to playing the game again soon. This group normally plays a game once, then it gets shelved for one of the many other games out there, but I hope that CitOW becomes a regular for the group.

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Scott Sims
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3 point cards are tough to play, but you I have found it useful to preemptively protect them with a 1 or 0 cost card. As Nurgle, I have had luck with placing a 1 cost card then the 3 point card in the second spot so it's protected, especially in Kislev where you can Dominate with cards alone (or if you can get the Rain of Pus (-2 Resistance) card and the Stench of Death (Place 2 Corruption if you Dominate Region) in The Empire or Bretonnia, then you get Domination worth 4-5 VPs, 1 Dial Tick and 2 corruption tokens without risking figures. Take that Khorne).

The toughest part of Nurgle card placement is Tzeench playing after you. In the 2 games I have played, the Tzeench player has so many 0 and 1 cost cards that mess with cards on board it's tough to get cards to 'stick'.
 
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I don't see anything wrong in the Tzeentch player trying to stay out of last place at the end. Once you know you can't win, many players will try to improve their standings rather than be a kingmaker and help the 2nd place player beat the leader. I understand both philosophies of play.
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Tim Collins
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We had a shameless kingmaker the last time I played (Tzeench) as well, I must admit I found it very unsportsman like as he robbed both khorne and nurgle of potential victories while announcing out loud "I want slanesh to win" and playign a card that nullified the card that would have stopped him from winning. I got over it about 30 seconds later but I found it to be in poor gaming etiquette. As far as improving your placement in the standings, I dont have a problem with that.
 
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I would find it infinitely more sportsman-like to hit the guy above you or the leader, rather than the guy below.

My big pet-peeve with area control games is that if everyone isn't trying to win, then it's not optimal to the game. IMO, in a non-competitive environment (ie: no money or lives on the line) trying to stay out of the basement, not by trying to improve your position vs the people ahead of you, but hitting the guy below you when he's down is poor playing and petty.

My view is still to try to win, while having fun at the same time, and making the game enjoyable for others while playing. I find it's most fun to play with people of the same attitude. I've played far too many games with people who are of the retribution type, who throw their own game to make sure you don't win, or somehow make the game less enjoyable for everyone at the table; I avoid games with people like this as often as I can. This retribution thing did not happen this game, but it was certainly not fun getting kicked while I was down.

I'm not as against kingmaking as I am kicking the basement dweller. Depending on how I felt the current leader or a close #2 played the game, I would support one or the other. The point of these games is to have fun. If someone contributed to me having fun by playing the game well, I would totally help that person win.

As I said in the above session report I was in the middle of the board playing Nurgle, with the Khorn player stomping through my territory and preventing me some early footholds, while the other two turtled. Regardless of the earlier stomping, I think the Khorn played a very good game, and I had more fun in the game because he was playing. Thus I was totally willing to help him win the game, given the opportunity.
 
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DeathInc wrote:
I'm not as against kingmaking as I am kicking the basement dweller. Depending on how I felt the current leader or a close #2 played the game, I would support one or the other. The point of these games is to have fun. If someone contributed to me having fun by playing the game well, I would totally help that person win.


I was the basement dweller in the first of two games we played the same day, and was still getting kicked by the leader to the bitter end. Here's the link:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/444549

C'est la vie. In the second game, I did the kicking! devil

Like you said, we play to have fun. If one game leaves a bad taste, it's best to let it go and move on.

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The initial distribution of the tiles isn't very important for Slaneesh at all since they've got a card that let's them move noble figures to anywhere they want. I'd argue that what happened in your game isn't atypical at all. Slaneesh is supposed to turtle up somewhere in the corner with 2 or 3 noble tiles nearby. It sounds to me like he was being played properly.

It also doesn't sound like the Khorn player was playing all that well since it should be quite easy for him to prevent Slaneesh from getting double clicks (certainly twice). Given that Slaneesh only has 6 cultists, it's rather difficult for him to get more then 2 advancement markers in any one round, something that Khorn should easily be able to match.

I also disagree with you about bashing the leader. I think it shows far more sportsmanship to try to improve your own position then to bash the leader knowing that you still won't win and instead may give the game to the number 2 player.
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fuzzball wrote:
I also disagree with you about bashing the leader. I think it shows far more sportsmanship to try to improve your own position then to bash the leader knowing that you still won't win and instead may give the game to the number 2 player.


Yeah, I agree with you here. I was certainly incomplete with my post.

Given an opportunity to improve my position, I would do that over picking on another player. As a game player I certainly learn more about a game by maximizing my position, trying to turn my game around as best I can, compared to king making or basement wacking.

What I should have said was that "given a position where I would be unable to improve my own standing, I would much rather help pick a winner who played well, than beat on a loser."

I also don't think you should knock a leader down completely. As my posts hopefully convey, I really think you need to work on keeping EVERYONE in the game, for the entire game, in order for you to have a realistic chance of winning. Anyone who messes with that is really hurting the dynamics of an Area Control game. I really think winning an Area Control game is about deflection and performing some surgical strikes that leap you forward, rather than domination.
 
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fuzzball wrote:
The initial distribution of the tiles isn't very important for Slaneesh at all since they've got a card that let's them move noble figures to anywhere they want.


It isn't VERY important, but it can still be QUITE important when they start the game somewhere well protected, with two nobles, and can then move MORE of them into the regions they have consolidated.

Quote:
I'd argue that what happened in your game isn't atypical at all. Slaneesh is supposed to turtle up somewhere in the corner with 2 or 3 noble tiles nearby. It sounds to me like he was being played properly.


I totally agree. The Slaneesh player did play properly, but he was aided considerably by a few misplays from Tz

Quote:
It also doesn't sound like the Khorn player was playing all that well since it should be quite easy for him to prevent Slaneesh from getting double clicks (certainly twice). Given that Slaneesh only has 6 cultists, it's rather difficult for him to get more then 2 advancement markers in any one round, something that Khorn should easily be able to match.


The problem was that the Tz player had created a reasonably impenetrable wall in Kislev. It was too expensive for Khorn to go stomping through when he could hit Nurgle in the middle of the map. In future games, due to more experience, this situation shouldn't happen. Tz would not play blocker for Sl, and Khorn would have a better idea as to how to accomplish their dial hits (I think Sl hit his double dial the first two rounds before Khorn really knew how to play optimally; this is the benefit of the Sl player who had played one game previously compared to us noobs)
 
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Jon Day
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Frankly in the face of that +2 cost card as Khorne you go there anyway, just to slow him down and make a point that you will not be dictated to.

After a few plays I actually think that this is the optimal play, especially with Slaneesh in the corner.
 
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Mark Johnson
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DeathInc wrote:
fuzzball wrote:
I also disagree with you about bashing the leader. I think it shows far more sportsmanship to try to improve your own position then to bash the leader knowing that you still won't win and instead may give the game to the number 2 player.


Yeah, I agree with you here. I was certainly incomplete with my post.

Given an opportunity to improve my position, I would do that over picking on another player. As a game player I certainly learn more about a game by maximizing my position, trying to turn my game around as best I can, compared to king making or basement wacking.

What I should have said was that "given a position where I would be unable to improve my own standing, I would much rather help pick a winner who played well, than beat on a loser."

I also don't think you should knock a leader down completely. As my posts hopefully convey, I really think you need to work on keeping EVERYONE in the game, for the entire game, in order for you to have a realistic chance of winning. Anyone who messes with that is really hurting the dynamics of an Area Control game. I really think winning an Area Control game is about deflection and performing some surgical strikes that leap you forward, rather than domination.


I actually disagree with both of you! That's ok, everyone is different.

In my opinion, if I feel that someone is the most directly responsible for my demise in a game then I don't consider anything wrong with trying to make that person lose, whether it helps or hurts my own position. People may call that sour grapes but I play games to be social and I think that if you choose to make enemies with someone then you're should expect there to be a reaction and you have to know how to choose your battles. Lot's of people talk about kingmaking and how it's wrong and how you should always play to your best. By this logic you're saying the point of playing games is to win. For me, the point of playing a game is to have fun. I don't intentionally try to screw with someone and single them out to have fun. I primarily have fun by trying to win. When I know that's no longer a possibility then I have fun by disrupting the person that most directly affected my position in the game.

One example would be when I played cosmic encounter. My friend caused me to lose MANY ships so that I only had about 4 of 20 to work with for almost the entire game. I knew there was no chance that I could win, so I had an opportunity to end the game which would put me at a higher place than him but in the process handing the win to another player. I guess the second place player might have been annoyed by this but that's what happens in games that are chaotic and can lead to kingmaking.

I guess my point is, if you're going to play games that can lead to kingmaking, you should be willing to accept the consequences of other players actions regardless of what they choose because what they did was legal in terms of the game system and could have provided them with fun. If that's not acceptable then this type of game probably shouldn't be played or you shouldn't play with people who are just out to have some fun.

Here's the kingmaking thread:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/422265
 
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Eeeville wrote:
I guess my point is, if you're going to play games that can lead to kingmaking, you should be willing to accept the consequences of other players actions regardless of what they choose because what they did was legal in terms of the game system and could have provided them with fun.


Well said. It is potentially frustrating, but you're right, it's within the boundaries of the game and one should be prepared for it.
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Just because something is legal doesnt mean it doesnt fall in the realm of poor game etiquette. most games can have a poor player who chooses to let thier attitude affect the game in the most contrived way possible. That doesnt mean its not poor sportsmanship just because they acted in the boundary of the rules.

That being said, one needs to win in the boundary of the rules as well, and if another players actions stop you from doing so then you didnt win. But it is "frustrating" when in poor etiqutte.
 
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Nurgle has a relatively easy time playing late in the round: all you need is the leper upgrade, which allows you to send cultists to 0 power regions to stall a bit. It should make playing 3power cards easier.
That or avoiding playing them first. Chaos in the old world is not too bad in the kingmaking department, because it is pretty hard to plan how things are going to evolve:
For instance, as Nurgle, I had to make Khorne and Slaanesh bith get the exact same number of dial tokens to win on turn 6, as they were both 2 clicks away from winning, while I could reach the 50 points mark. I thought I was doomeed because I didn't have enough power to pull a cultist away from Khorne, which should have given him the edge, but Slaanesh had kept most of his mind control cards for the end, canceling most Khorne's battles, which resulted in both of them getting the same number of tokens, making me win.
Had I been able to pull my cultist away, I would have lost the game to Slaanesh.

It was not really kingmaking, but had anyone else tried to help Khorne win, the result would have been the same (instead of me not being able to do what I wanted). That is what I like in this game:
It is balanced enough to make kingmaking much less sever than in other Free For All games (everyone usually still has a fair chance to win during the turn before the last, and many can still win during the last turn), and kingmaking is not an easy task.
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Galdred wrote:
That is what I like in this game:
It is balanced enough to make kingmaking much less sever than in other Free For All games (everyone usually still has a fair chance to win during the turn before the last, and many can still win during the last turn), and kingmaking is not an easy task.


Yeah, this is what I mean about Area Control games. If played properly by everyone, there should be no need for kingmaking, because everyone should be in the game right up to the end.

I'm not saying you have to play OPTIMALLY, but that everyone is playing to win, keeping everyone else appropriately in check, etc.

I recall complaints about Puerto Rico where if you are sitting to the right of an inexperienced player, you're pretty much destined to lose to the person on the left of that inexperienced player. Passing up the optimal selection for a sub-optimal selection just means that the player to your left gets that optimal selection and gets it out of turn.

I guess I'm not even that annoyed by the basement maker for trying to keep me in the basement, but that he didn't play well, causing the Slaneesh player to win, and then wanted to avoid the repercussions of landing in last for his poor play. That is what I consider unsportsman like.
 
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Galdred wrote:
Nurgle has a relatively easy time playing late in the round: all you need is the leper upgrade, which allows you to send cultists to 0 power regions to stall a bit. It should make playing 3power cards easier.


Agreed. But by the time I got my first upgrade (which was the leapers) it was the end of the 4th round (the game lasted 5 rounds). I will admit I played the game less than optimally.

The two lessons I learned were:

1. READ YOUR CARD, ASSUME NOTHING! I think I was assuming that everyone's warrior unit cost 2.

2. If I plan on playing a big 3 card on a space, try to fill the OTHER space with a low-cost, inconspicuous card the turn before hand.

 
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This whole thread makes me skeptical about whether this game brings anything new to the multiplayer conflict genre. Is it really so wide open that any one player can ruin any one other player's chances? I like the asymmetry and the dual win conditions, but it seems like the same old diplomatic game that's been done to death, just with different bells and whistles.
 
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waddball wrote:
This whole thread makes me skeptical about whether this game brings anything new to the multiplayer conflict genre. Is it really so wide open that any one player can ruin any one other player's chances? I like the asymmetry and the dual win conditions, but it seems like the same old diplomatic game that's been done to death, just with different bells and whistles.


I wouldn't take the discussion here too seriously if I were you. Any game with four human beings can result in metagames, with players being picked on, players telling other players what they 'should' do, etc. The wrong group can ruin any game.

Chaos is superb, and if anything I've seen less of that stuff when playing it than average. Go read some other threads, and you'll find how well it is being received with various groups.
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Sphere wrote:
I wouldn't take the discussion here too seriously if I were you. [...]

Chaos is superb,

Truth be told, your high regard for it, and my high regard for your opinion, is my primary driver for even considering the game. I'm just trying to gather some further opinions, with hopefully some direct focus on my specific concerns ("it's fun" is useful when enough people say it, but we're not there yet, so I'd prefer more specifics).
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