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Campaign Manager 2008» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Deck Building 101 rss

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Dan Dolan
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Deck Building 101


To get the ball rolling I'm gonna start discussing deck building.

I'll be dealing 3 cards for each candidate and discussing which to pick.

McCain:

1. Viva McCain - If Latinos are key demographic all undecided go red.

2. Right to Life - If Catholics are key demographic all undecided go red

3. I Know How To Do That My Friends - Gain 1 support in majority issue and shift state 1 space toward the majority Issue.

McCain has two cards that capture undecided voters and one that can capture either issue.

I'd lean toward I Know How To Do That My Friends as it has a bit of flexibility in that it can place support in either issue.

Viva McCain can do some damage to Obama in Florida if it can be played and the Right to Life can influence some large states as well. But these cards are sometimes best used for discards to gain support with other cards that allow support to be placed based on the number of discards.


*********

Obama:

1. Washington Post - Choose which state is affected by by breaking news.

2. AFL-CIO - If Regan Democrats are the key demographic undecided go blue.

3. Running a clean campaign - Anyone going negative must roll twice and suffer the effects.

Some choices right from the start for Obama.

Controling Breaking News can be big or it can be a dud but having tthe ability to take away your opponents media cards is big. Getting this choie right out of the box is tricky. Do you take it now or wait and take a media card later? But you have two of your media cards in the first draw so you might not get to take one later on.

Are you going to take negative campaigning? If not then Running a Clean Campaign is a very good media card to take. But once again you have to decide now what you want to do.

AFL-CIO can get you some key undecided in Minnesota Missouri AND Pennsylvania. This is a good card as well.

I'd probably take The Washington Post unless I wasn planniing on try to trap the Republicans and not take negative cards in which case Running a Clean Campaign might be a big card if McCain goes dirty.

As you can see the game starts off with decisions that will influence play right from the first cards drawn.

Tomorrow ... the next 3 cards for our candidates.

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Dan Dolan
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Deck building 101: Part II


Here's the second draw for my deck building exercise feel free to comment. If anyone is out here.

McCain:

Cards in Campaign Deck so far: 1. I Know How To Do That My Friends

Cards drawn this time:

1. The Game Changer - Discard 1 card from hand and choose 1 card from those you didn't include and add it to your campaign deck.

2. Direct Mailing - Alter key demographic then draw a card.

3. A Leader You Can Believe In - 1 Support in defense and draw a card.

Some good cards for McCain. Direct Mailing is the weakest of the 3 but A Leader You Can Believe In is a strong card that gives you an additional card right away which is always good.

But the one card that is most interesting here is The Game Changer. It allows you to get another card that you might have been forced to pass over initially and it can counter the Obama No More Politics As Usual card. It would be my choice.

Obama:

Cards in Campaign deck so far:

1. The Washington Post

Cards drawn this time:

1. Oprah-Palooza - Draw 2 cards play 1 and put the other in your hand.

2. Yes We Can - Discard any number of cards shifting a different state 1 toward economy for each card.

3. Judgement To Lead - Gain 1 support in a minority issue and shift that state 1 toward the minority issue.

Three good cards here for Obama but the queen has to be chosen IMO. Oprah-Palooza is a card the Dems need to have in their bag.

It's a shame to have to let Yes We Can go because it has the ability to threaten several states at once if played at the right time.

Judgement To Lead is a solid card that alllows you to possibly surprise an opponent and capture a state that they thought was safe.

But who can deny the power of the Oprah ...
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Remus Rhymus
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So far my choices are right in line with yours and I agree with your commentary.
 
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Jason Matthews
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I like this illustration of the deck building process, Dan. Should be very instructive for new players, in particular.

Jason
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Dan Dolan
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Here’s the third draw in our deck building exercise. Again feel free to disagree.

McCain:

Cards in Campaign Deck so far:

1. I Know How To Do That My Friends
2. The Game Changer

Cards drawn this time:
1. Let’s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes – Gain 1 support in Economy and alter the key demographic in that state.
2. Joe Lieberman – Undecided voter in states with key demographic are Jewish Conservatives go red.
3. Joe The Plumber – Shift a state 1 space toward either issue and change the key demographic.

Well now we get into some choices. No big obvious choices her so you have to choose a direction for you campaign.

Let’s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes lets you fight for the economy in a state and change the demographic. This can sometimes be a surprise win in a state but you are using a card to fight Obama’s strength.

Joe Lieberman can help in Florida and New Jersey, two big states but NJ usually goes Obama and Florida is one both candidates are going to fight over in a big way so he’s really only a one shot wonder.

Joe The Plumber – Shifting issues can be big to prevent your opponent from winning a state or winning it yourself. Altering the key demographic can help if you have the demographic support cards to benefit from the shift.

My thinking here is to take Let’s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes but my close second choice would be Joe The Plumber. This is one of those draws you’d like to get toward the end of the process not right at the front but S#!t happens and you have to deal with it.




Obama:

Cards in Campaign deck so far:

1. The Washington Post
2. Oprah-Palooza

The cards drawn this time are:

1. Reclaiming the American Dream – Gain 1 support in economy then draw 1 card.
2. No More Politics As Usual – Remove from play along with the last card McCain played.
3. The Iraq War Has Made Us Less Safe – Gin 1 support in Defense and alter the key demographic in that state.

One big card and two other that work on gaining support in the issues.

No More Politics As Usual allows you to get rid of one of the big McCain cards like The Governator or something that can be damaging to you in upcoming states.

Reclaiming the American Dream lets you strengthen the economy and get another card. This is one of Obama’s power cards. You need to have this type of card in your deck to keep cards flowing in and win states on your strength (economy).

The Iraq War Has Made Us Less Safe is similar to McCain’s Let’s not Raise Taxes card in that it is fighting in you opponents strength. It can be useful but when you look at the other two cards this time it’s the weak sister.

My choice would be No More Politics as Usual. I like cards that mess with my opponent and this one can really hurt McCain. Reclaiming the American Dream is a nice card but it is going to have to go into the heap. But I’m going to have to take some cards soon that influence issues or it’s going to be tough to win states. These are the things you must keep in mind as you draw the cards. It’s nice to take the power cards that affect your opponent but you have to winn the issues or it’s all for nothing.
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Dan Dolan
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JasonMatthews wrote:

I like this illustration of the deck building process, Dan. Should be very instructive for new players, in particular.

Jason


Thanks Jason. I'm enjoying trying to figure out the best ways to build a deck and I'm looking to get input from others. I figure if I do this whole thing people can comment and it will help me and other new players get up to speed.

People should in no way think I'm any kind of authority on this game as I have only two game under my belt so I'm probably making all kinds of mistakes. I'm hoping to get them pointed out.
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Brian Bankler
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Phlegm wrote:

Let’s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes lets you fight for the economy in a state and change the demographic. This can sometimes be a surprise win in a state but you are using a card to fight Obama’s strength.

I'd phrase it more as "You are using this card to delay Obama." You take economy, which is usually enough to prevent a closeout. Then you are shifting the key demographic, presumably to play it and close it outyourself, or potentially to keep Obama from playing it. If you hit a state that Obama was trying to win via demographic, your opp needs to do two things to counter it.

The nice thing about drafting this early is that now you can grab a few demographic cards and know that you don't have to get your key support later (although one more support would be nice).

Also, you can now draft more economy cards. Combined with "Minority/Majority" cards, you could be a credible threat to steal an economic state. One interesting idea would be to draft a lot more support (economy and defense) and less position shifting. Haven't tried that yet,

Quote:


Obama:

No More Politics As Usual allows you to get rid of one of the big McCain cards like The Governator or something that can be damaging to you in upcoming states.

Or fundraising. Or Media bias.

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Dan Dolan
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Interesting points Brian.

The interaction between the issues and the demographics are a dynamic that causes many decisions on the fly for both candidates. After the first time through your opponents deck you should have an idea of what your opponent is capable of doing. However timing a response to these moves can be difficult.

The No More Politics As Usual card is one of Obama's heavyweights. It can cripple one of the McCain camps valuable cards. I expect to see this and Oprah in almost every Obama deck. Woe to the Democrat who get both of them in the same draw.
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Dan Dolan
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Deck Building 101: Part IV
McCain:

Cards in Campaign Deck so far:

1. I Know How To Do That My Friends

2. The Game Changer

3. Let”s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes


Cards drawn this time:

1. Start Knocking On Doors – Alter key demographic then draw a card.
2. P.O.W. – Gain 1 support in defense then draw a card
3. Stay Accessible – Choose which state Breaking News is applied in.


McCain’s choice this time is pretty straightforward it would seem to me. I’d take P.O.W. because he needs to get his base and it also allows for you to draw a card. Stay Accessible is my next choice but the Breaking News can be hit or miss. It can also burn you at times.

Knocking On Doors is a useful card if you plan on going the demographic route but so far We haven’t so I’m going to go with the base support and se what comes up later.


Obama:

Cards in Campaign deck so far:

1. The Washington Post

2. Oprah-Palooza

3. No More Politics As Usual

The cards drawn this time are:

1. AIPAC – Undecided key demographic Jewish Conservatives become Blue
2. AARP – Undecided key demographic Seniors become Blue.
3. McCain: Out Of Touch, Out Of Ideas – Discard 2 cards and gain 2 support in economy in a single state

Well here we see our first negative campaign card appear and it’s a big one for Obama. It can win a lot of states outright but at a cost. Now is the time to decide if you want to run a negative campaign or one based on demographics as the choices are right there in front of us. I would take the negative card as it is a powerful weapon in Obama’s arsenal.

One thing that shapes your decisions are when these negative cards come up. If it came up with Oprah it would be a tough choice, But with two demographic support it makes it a bit easier to tak IMO.
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HI Dan. Really enjoying this analysis. I think you are doing a great job in highlighting the deck-building aspect of the game, one I think is as, if not more, important than the later card-play. I can understand some of the early reaction where people think just playing 1/3 of the deck is somehow "inferior"; this helps explain this design aspect quite well.

(PS: for an experiment I drafted every demographic card I could last play which completely surprised my opponent and I think I won within 15 minutes! - wont happen again against that opponent though...)
 
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Christian Leonhard
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Really great stuff, Dan. I especially like the way you've emphasized how the choices you make affect the relative value of the cards you'll be drawing later, as you focus in on a strategy.
 
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For the 3rd draw I agree on both choices. The McCain side is a tougher choice and I like shifting issues, but gaining 1 support in Economy seems slightly stronger. I've won by a landslide twice using No More Politics As Usual to remove McCain's Draw 3 cards card (Don't recall the title)
 
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Brian Bankler
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Phlegm wrote:

McCain’s choice this time is pretty straightforward it would seem to me. I’d take P.O.W. because he needs to get his base and it also allows for you to draw a card. Stay Accessible is my next choice but the Breaking News can be hit or miss. It can also burn you at times.

Knocking On Doors is a useful card if you plan on going the demographic route but so far We haven’t so I’m going to go with the base support and se what comes up later.

And here's where we part company. Assuming Stay Accessible is a media support card, (given its effect, I think it is), then it's one of three (It, "Make up with Fox" and "I'm a bad wittle boy" or whatever they call the 'don't roll after a negative card'). The last card doesn't actually control the ZNN deck, but does effectively deny Obama control (and has it's own goodness). So really you only have two media bias cards. McCain also has ~3 "Defense + A card draw" card, but can also get defense via lots of other cards.

Controlling the ZNN Deck is HUGE. Sure, 1/2 the time you won't get to pick an effected state, but the other half it's a game changer. There are only two cards in the deck that do that ... I'm taking this one now. The other cards are fine, but I'll be able to replace them later. What if my other media support card came up with Fundraising? Ugh.

I agree on Obama's pick.

(And let me state for the record, I am really enjoying this, and I only haven't stolen the idea because I'm lazy).
 
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Dan Dolan
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Deck Building 101: Part V
McCain:

Cards in Campaign Deck so far:

1. I Know How To Do That My Friends

2. The Game Changer

3. Let’s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes

4. P.O.W.

Cards drawn this time:

1. A Lifetime Of Service – 1 support in defense then draw a card

2. Voter Vault – Shift a single state toward either issue then change the key demographic

3. Straight Talk Express – Discard any number of cards and gain 1 support in defense in a different state for each card discarded.

A Lifetime Of Service is another card toward McCain’s strength in defense but the other two cards can do some interesting things as well.

Voter Vault can change a states issue in either direction and that can prove valuable to capture or prevent a state from falling. It also allows the demographic to change which can be useful as well.

Straight talk express is a card that lets you do some damage in several states. This can threaten multiple states with capture or push Obama out of the picture in several states.

Nothing relay major here but I think I’d take Voter Vault. It has flexibility. Second choice would be Straight Talk Express.

Obama:

Cards in Campaign deck so far:

1. The Washington Post

2. Oprah-Palooza

3. No More Politics As Usual

4. McCain: Out Of Touch, Out Of Ideas

The cards drawn this time are:

1. Bomb, Bomb Iran – Gain 1 support in defense and economy in a single state

2. Welfare to Work – Gain 1 support in economy and shift issue 1 toward economy.

3. Wesleyan Commencement – Undecided voters in states with key demographic College Graduates go blue.

Obama has some choices here. All three of his cards are wuite useful.

Wesleyan Commencement can swing undecided voters in three large states VA-13, NC-15 and MI-17 to his side. This is a nice card to have if you have the ability to switch the demographics.

Welfare To Work is a card that lets Obama push a state toward his strength and away from McCain’s.

Bomb, Bomb Iran is another negative card that lets Obama hit a state hard in both issues. This can draw a big state back from the brink and threaten or take a state if Obama is one away from either issue.

I’m thinking that Obama is going to be doing some negative campaigning. So why not load up and take Bomb, Bomb Iran? In for a penny in for a pound and it does give control of issues which after all is what you need to do. Hopefully it doesn’t give McCain too much.

One thing to note here for both candidates is the fact that you don’t know what the next three cards are going to bring you. It’s easy to look back and say “I shoulda took X.” But reality is you don’t know what’s coming. I’ve not looked at the upcoming cards so I have no idea of what is coming to better replicate how an actual deck building would go. If you could just go through the deck and pick 15 cards one could probably put together a very strong deck but you have to do it in little chunks and sometimes the chunks are thin and other times thick.

One can have a basic idea on what you want but the draw might dictate changes to that plan. Here we see Obama going negative with 2 out of his first 5 cards and McCain building a deck based on his strength in defense. The dynamic is beginning to take shape as we have now completed the first 1/3 of our decks.
 
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Dan Dolan
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Bankler wrote:
Phlegm wrote:

McCain’s choice this time is pretty straightforward it would seem to me. I’d take P.O.W. because he needs to get his base and it also allows for you to draw a card. Stay Accessible is my next choice but the Breaking News can be hit or miss. It can also burn you at times.

Knocking On Doors is a useful card if you plan on going the demographic route but so far We haven’t so I’m going to go with the base support and se what comes up later.

And here's where we part company. Assuming Stay Accessible is a media support card, (given its effect, I think it is), then it's one of three (It, "Make up with Fox" and "I'm a bad wittle boy" or whatever they call the 'don't roll after a negative card'). The last card doesn't actually control the ZNN deck, but does effectively deny Obama control (and has it's own goodness). So really you only have two media bias cards. McCain also has ~3 "Defense + A card draw" card, but can also get defense via lots of other cards.

Controlling the ZNN Deck is HUGE. Sure, 1/2 the time you won't get to pick an effected state, but the other half it's a game changer. There are only two cards in the deck that do that ... I'm taking this one now. The other cards are fine, but I'll be able to replace them later. What if my other media support card came up with Fundraising? Ugh.

I agree on Obama's pick.

(And let me state for the record, I am really enjoying this, and I only haven't stolen the idea because I'm lazy).


Thanks for the compliments guys. It's a fun thing to do when no oponents are available. I'm glad to see it's generating some discussion on the different possibilities that can occur in deck building. I think it's a great mechanic.

Valid points you made concerning the Stay Accessible card. The Media cards can indeed be game changers. I recently played a game where my opponent played the Obama card that punishes negative campaigning however I had none so was content to let it stay out as it hit him when he played his negative stuff.

I also had my ability to control Breaking News burn me a couple of times when I was forced to change issues when they were the only ones available instead of doing something good I pushed a state away.

One of the conundrums of this game is balancing what you have right now in your 3 cards with what's left to draw yet and what will it come out with?



 
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I agree with Brian on choice 4. If McCain already had a media card in the deck or Fundraising, then letting the media control card slide at this point isn't as critical. But since it's possible for the other Media card to come up in the same draw as Fundraising, then I think you have to grab some media influence while you can. The landslide game I mentioned earlier, I had the media card that allows you to choose which state is affected by Breaking News cards and my opponent didn't have a media control card in his deck! Huge mistake on his part.
 
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On choice 5:

Definitely a tough choice for McCain. I like Voter Vault slightly over Straight Talk Express. I mainly like Voter Vault for it's issue flexibility. Straight Talk can do some serious damage, but at the expense of possibly depleting your hand and losing tempo.

Of the available Going Negative cards go, Bomb, Bomb Iran seems weaker than a straight-up 2 support in economy or 2 support in defense. Those cards will win you big states, so I'll probably pass on Bomb Bomb Iran and try to grab other Going Negative cards later in the draft. I'm picking Welfare to Work. Wesleyan Commencement is good, but I'd rather pick a demographic card that you can use on more states than three. Yes they're three decent sized states, but there will be too much time where this card is useless in your hand except as a discard.
 
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Phlegm wrote:

I also had my ability to control Breaking News burn me a couple of times when I was forced to change issues when they were the only ones available instead of doing something good I pushed a state away.

I don't understand this comment. If you control breaking news and it says "The affected state changes" then you get to pick which is the affected state? How can that burn you unless all four states are already lined up the way you want? And even if they are, you can pick the state you least care about.

If you didn't have breaking news, a state would still change, but you wouldn't be able to control which one.
 
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Brian Bankler
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Phlegm wrote:


1. A Lifetime Of Service – 1 support in defense then draw a card

2. Voter Vault – Shift a single state toward either issue then change the key demographic

3. Straight Talk Express – Discard any number of cards and gain 1 support in defense in a different state for each card discarded.

A Lifetime Of Service is another card toward McCain’s strength in defense but the other two cards can do some interesting things as well.

Voter Vault can change a states issue in either direction and that can prove valuable to capture or prevent a state from falling. It also allows the demographic to change which can be useful as well.

Straight talk express is a card that lets you do some damage in several states. This can threaten multiple states with capture or push Obama out of the picture in several states.

Nothing relay major here but I think I’d take Voter Vault. It has flexibility. Second choice would be Straight Talk Express.

Given that we already have one change key demographic card, I'd rather load up on support (at least, until we have an interest group or two). Taking a second "Support + Card" means the deck is more reliable. The Straight Talk express gives some oomph (the ability to push two states to the brink usually means we can win one the next turn). So I'd probably rate Voter Vault as the least. Of course, I plan on taking "Support + Shift" and "Shift 2" cards, so I could get hosed if they clump.

I'd probably grab Straight Talk express, under the theory that it's unique and lets me use sometimes trade cards for tempo, which is tough to do without going negative.

Quote:

Obama:

1. Bomb, Bomb Iran – Gain 1 support in defense and economy in a single state
2. Welfare to Work – Gain 1 support in economy and shift issue 1 toward economy.
3. Wesleyan Commencement – Undecided voters in states with key demographic College Graduates go blue.

Bomb Iran is one of those interesting cards, in that it helps avoid losing on defence while building economy, and (with a lucky draw) you can actually fight McCain on defense.

That being said, I'd personally grab welfare to work. Most states will sit on the edge of defence + economy, and "Support + Shift" wins states. Wesleyan is out because we don't have any key demographic control, and i'm sure we'll wind up with 1-2 support groups just by luck. So no need to grab one now.
 
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Brian Bankler
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remus wrote:

Of the available Going Negative cards go, Bomb, Bomb Iran seems weaker than a straight-up 2 support in economy or 2 support in defense. Those cards will win you big states, so I'll probably pass on Bomb Bomb Iran

But remember that those other cards also force you to discard two cards. They do win states outright (or should!) but that's 3 cards. This will usually let you play this card, roll, then win with a simple "Support" card next turn, so they save a card (edit -- And a card draw!). The Defense keeps your opponent from finishing off the state next turn, the offense sits you up for a win. So you can afford to play this for medium states like Iowa, and not just big states like PA or NC or FL. You can realistically play this every time you draw it.
 
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Dan Dolan
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This is getting interesting now with the different views on the interaction of the cards.

You guys are also starting to view the choices based on the previous cards chosen and the upcoming cards. This is something that newer players (like me) need to keep in mind. You want to form a coherent strategy not just pick what appears to be the best of the three cards in your hand at the moment.

Good stuff guys thanks, keep it up.
 
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Bankler wrote:
remus wrote:

Of the available Going Negative cards go, Bomb, Bomb Iran seems weaker than a straight-up 2 support in economy or 2 support in defense. Those cards will win you big states, so I'll probably pass on Bomb Bomb Iran

But remember that those other cards also force you to discard two cards. They do win states outright (or should!) but that's 3 cards. This will usually let you play this card, roll, then win with a simple "Support" card next turn, so they save a card (edit -- And a card draw!). The Defense keeps your opponent from finishing off the state next turn, the offense sits you up for a win. So you can afford to play this for medium states like Iowa, and not just big states like PA or NC or FL. You can realistically play this every time you draw it.


Good point Brian. On the other hand, there are many cards which allow you to place support without "Going Negative". The question is: "Is one support in Defense and Economy in a single state worth Going Negative for?" I can see where that would be more helpful than just one support on either issue in some situations, but only one issue wins you the state, so essentially the 1 support in the minority issue at the time of winning the state doesn't really do you any good. The card does make your candidate's presence stronger in a state in general, but that state can still be manipulated and won by your opponent. I've only played 5 games so far, but my general thinking is that the only time I will "Go Negative" is if it wins me a medium to large state. That situation is worth the possibility of my opponent getting to draw free card(s), or gain support, or manipulate an issue. Yes this card can win you a state, but not much more than a typical "Gain 1 support" can.

Your point is well taken about the 3 card cost for the "Gain 2 support" cards, but if you have other cards in the deck that allow for extra draws, that will mitigate some of the possible tempo loss. The other thing about Going Negative is timing. If you play Going Negative to win a state in a situation where there are other comparable states on the board and at least one of them are within your opponents grasp, the roll of that die might just win your opponent that state. So, if I spend 3 cards to win a state, roll the die and my opponent wins a comparable state without spending a card, then unless my candidate is way ahead, it might've been too risky to play at that time. So, I will hold on to those Gain 2 support Going Negative cards. I will build up my hand to play the card at the right time while using some of the other cards to attempt to set the state board up in a way that favors playing the card (and possibly win some small states in the process). It sounds like alot of work, but If I can play it right and win big states this way, the die roll effect is minimized and I'll probably win the game. I guess it depends on whether you'd rather pick off alot of little states or invest more time in winning big states. I think the big states will win it for you, because while you're focusing on getting the majority of the big states, you can snag some little ones too.
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Dan Dolan
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Deck Building 101: Part VI
Here is the 6th set of cards for our deck building exercise. As always feel free to critique.

McCain:

Cards in Campaign Deck so far:

1. I Know How To Do That My Friends

2. The Game Changer

3. Let’s Not Raise Anybody’s Taxes

4 P.O.W.

5. Voter Vault


Cards drawn this time:

1. The View – Undecided voters where women are the key demographic go red.

2. Face The Nation – Shift a state toward either issue then draw a card.

3. We Don’t Have Time For On-The-Job Training – Discard 2 cards and gain 2 support for defense in a single state.


Well McCain get to choose if he wants to go negative. The choice is does he want a card that can win a state at the cost of 3 cards?

He also has a demographic card that can potentially influence 5 states in The View. This is also useful as one of those cards to discard for other cards.

Then he has Face The Nation. This lets him shift an issue either way and draw a card. This can be very useful to either stop Obama or grab a state.

Tough choices here but I’d lean toward Face The Nation. So far the campaign deck isn’t set up toward discarding cards so I’d stick to getting cards that can affect the issues. Although I might consider We Don’t Have Time as well with the chance to power a state into the McCain column.



Obama:

Cards in Campaign deck so far:

1. The Washington Post

2. Oprah-Palooza

3. No More Politics As Usual

4. McCain: Out Of Touch, Out Of Ideas

5. Bomb, Bomb Iran



The cards drawn this time are:

1. Si Se Puede! – Undecided voters in states where Latinos are the key demographic go blue.

2. Visiting The Troops – Gain 1 support in defense then draw a card.

3. Vote For Change – Gain 1 support in economy and alter the key demographic in that state.


Obama must choose here between defense and economy or demographics. I would lean toward Visiting the Troops to help counter McCain’s defense strength and keep cards flowing into your hand.

Vote For Change can help with economy but there are more out there and Obama needs to counter McCain’s defense campaigning. At this point the demographic card for 3 small and one large state just isn’t that appealing.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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My picks so far, just going through the draws and choosign before I read the comments, and before I see what comes later:

McCain:
1) I know how to do that my friends (+1 Majority supp, move 1 to Majority).
- Took this over two demographic cards. While I like them, this card is versatile because it plays influence to either side. It solidifes your attack so they cant swing it right back.

2) The Game Changer (Special).
- I feel this is an important card to have as McCain. Not enough experience yet to know if I'm wrong, but its extremely versatily.

3) Joe the Plumber (Jewish Demographic).
- In pick 1 I took the non-demographic card so I'll switch here, I want to get a couple demographics in the deck to focus on. If 'lets not raise taxes' was the Defense + demographic switch I'd probably take it, but this one seems worse to me. I want to be able to attack the states that I do demographic in, so I want to combo that with attacking in my strong area, not the weak area which is more for defense.

Of course, this opinion could change with more experience.

4) Stay Accessible (Media Control)
- Got to pick my first media control if its not paired with something critical!

5) A Lifetime of Service (1 Defense, Draw).
- Seems good to have one of these, cycles the deck faster while attacking. Straight talk express seems like good tempo but very inefficient. At its most efficient its 6 actions for 4 benefit (5 draws, 1 play, for 4 support). Thats good tempo but you cant focus it, some is wasted on little states. More experience needed to see if I am wrong.

6) We Dont have time for on the job training (Disc 2, 2 Defense, Negative).
- Took the Obama one and I am taking this. It wins the big state fast.


Obama:

1) Washington Post (Media Control).
- Got my media control now while its not paired with something amazing. Maybe the other one will be, that would suck if I hadnt taken this.

2) Oprahpalooza (Draw 2 play 1 Fundraiser).
- One of the best cards in the game, if not the best. Must take. Kindof sad to lose out on Judgement to lead, but oh well.

3) No More Politics As Usual (Special - remove McCain card and this from game).
- Nails a McCain fundraiser or media control out of the game, most likely. Key card.

4) Out of Touch, Out of Ideas (Disc2 to get 2 economy, Negative).
- This is my one attack card that I want in my deck. Its the kill card, you use it for large tempo to win the big state. Its a heavy sacrifice but when you win the 20 pt state, you can sit back and reload for a bit while they win something smaller. I believe its probably good to have one of this card in the deck, so here it is.

5) Welfare to Work (1 Economy, shift to Economy)
- Love these cards, when fighting over a state they help you win in two ways. Your opponent can be winning the state on their side, and then you both flip the issue AND threaten to put it away!

6) Vote for Change (1 Economy and alter Demographic)
- I want a way to change the demographic in my deck, to go with the couple demographic cards I plan to have, and I like getting the economy support to go with it, lets me threaten to just win the state once I get the undecided voters!

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Alex Rockwell
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Here are my early thoughts on what I want to end up in my deck, (not much experience yet though):

'Specials'
1 Media Control card. In both cases I prefer a standard card. McCain's other card seems better than Obama's.
1 Special Card (Obama - remove the McCain card, McCain search undrafted for a card)
2 Fundraising Cards (Draw2 play1 and Draw3). These are very
efficient and help all strategies.

'Demographics'
2 Demographis cards. Very efficient when they work. When the states are used, they can be discarded to something.
1 Support + Demographic flip card. My favorite card that flips a demographic, it also pushes toward the win.

'Issues'
3 Support + Issue cards. Minority Issue seems best. When the opponent steals an issue away from me, I steal it back AND continue progressing towards the win! My strong issue is the other great one. These all seem good though.
1 Change card. (Move 2 towards Minority issue). Flips the issue and plays great defense, or if we are both building support on different sides, flips it to my side where now I am threatening.

'Support'
1 Attack card - 2 Support in my strength, Discard 2. 'The finisher'.
1 Support in strength + Draw a card.
1 Support in weak issue + Draw a card.

(Note that I also have my support + Issue movers as support cards, so I really have ~6 total)

1 Other.



General Priority List. Most powerful cards prioritized first, then the cards that there are the least of that I need to get:

Fundraisers (Both)
Special Obama - remove McCain card
Media Control (until I have 1) - the normal media control cards.
Special Mccain search for undrafted card.
Issue + Support cards (I want about 3 out of 5)
Change card (2 issue move) (1 of 2)
Attack card (2 support in strength) (1 of 2)
Weak Issue support + Draw. (1 of 2)
Support + Demographic flip. (1 of 3)
Strong issue support + Draw. (1 of 4)
Demographic cards (many options) (2 of 10)

This leaves 1 leftover card.
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