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Subject: Two for Tzeentch rss

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Joe Stude
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Played two more games tonight with two of the usual suspects (Mike and Steve) and another Mike, a newbie. Much to my surprise, Tzeentch won both... though the last game was a theft of the highest order.

Game 1: As usually happens in just about every game involving a new player, the new Mike drew Khorne as his god. The other Mike drew Tzeentch, Steve Nurgle, and me Slaanesh. Khorne Mike had a bad start due to inexperience, plopping down in Estalia and then spinning his wheels while the other Mike, the Tzeentch player, hunkered down in Norsca and Troll Country. Two turns later, with Tzeentch double-ticking both times due to the early lack of interference and then Khorne overcompensating by hammering me down in Kislev instead of paying Tzeentch the attention he deserved, we all found ourselves behind the 8-ball. With Khorne mucking about elsewhere, I ended up bringing a noble into Norsca and charging in trying to do SOMETHING to disrupt Tzeentch while making up for getting booted out of Kislev by Khorne. This stopped the bleeding, but then Khorne followed me into Norsca and Tzeentch promptly left. I survived the extra attention somehow, finally clearing Norsca, but ended up being completely sealed off from the rest of the continent by a large Khorne force including a bloodthirster. Meanwhile, Nurgle was doing his best to interfere with Tzeentch Mike, but with Tzeentch only needing four more dial advancements in 5 turns for the win it was practically impossible to stop him. He eventually won by dial victory, though Khorne Mike double-ticked at least once the rest of the game and definitely made up some ground. I finished the game two ticks from dial end.




Game 2 was... well, here:

Mike T: Slaanesh
Mike L: Nurgle
Steve: Tzeentch
Joe (me): Khorne

I always enjoy playing Khorne because it's nice being the chaser instead of always being chased, so I was looking forward to this one. The very first turn, we drew an event that allowed only one battle dice total to be thrown in The Empire and one other region I can't recall. Not an illustrious start. Tzeentch in particular took huge advantage of this, ruining The Empire in two turns. I'd actually hoped to drop a single Bloodletter in there, even for just one combat dice, but a Temporal Stasis played there made it pretty pointless to even try. Meanwhile, though, I started out my first turn with three Blood Frenzies in hand and used them all to great effect, disrupting all but Tzeentch from first-round ticks and double-ticking myself.

After turn 1, Mike T. decided because I deprived him of a first turn tick that, instead of trying to recover and continue pushing his agenda, he was going to immediately switch gears to both interfere with me solely as much as possible, but that he was going to attempt to make the world win. Nice, whatever. I didn't expect he was going to have much success taking a military war into my face.

Turn 2 saw him summon his Keeper and a Daemonette to Bretonnia, so I responded in kind with a Bloodthirster to go with the warrior already there. Meanwhile, running from the scariness up north, Nurgle set up shop in Kislev while Tzeentch chose Norsca and Kislev. Battle occurred again and I again double-ticked, though oddly enough a total of nine battle dice were rolled in Bretonnia with only a single hit (mine), so no kills took place there.

I was pretty confident I could ride out single ticks the rest of the game and win by dial at this point, but just to keep myself in the VP running my first upgrade was for the Bloodthirster to allow him to count as three figures.

Turn 3 saw Mike T continuing to be petulant, throwing two more Daemonettes into Bretonnia. Up until this point he hadn't even attempted to satisfy his dial condition. This time the battle dice were kinder as I pulled off four hits, killing off two Daemonettes (allowing me to draw two cards due to a Ritual Slaying I'd played there) while losing the warrior I had there in kind.

Turn 4's event really shook up the game, putting hero tokens in nearly all of the populous regions (including Bretonnia). Mike T pulled out and I used Blood God's call to follow him into Tilea. Meanwhile, nothing else much was happening elsewhere. Steve and Mike Tzeentch and Nurgle were earning ticks, but only single ones, so they weren't making up much dial ground.

This is where things started going south for me, to the tune of a million little cuts. In fact, the rest of my game ended up being a steady barrage of figures being lost to heroes (thanks to my high threat) and getting completely pummeled by eveyrone else's chaos cards. Over the next handful of turns I repeatedly lost warriors and cultists to heroes (some of them intentionally so I could continue getting ticks, others due to being teleported by Tzeentch), lost six chaos cards due to Tzeentch's ability (four in one turn!), got hit by The Final Rotting twice, got stumped due to Slaanesh's "no battle dice" effect at least twice... etc. Due to the other players not being aggressive in the slightest, I was literally the only target for all of this.

Despite this I managed to keep achieving single ticks and entered turn 6 with two ticks left to go and just behind the leader (Steve) in VP However, the event for that turn was 'Franz's decree', taking us to the final turn of the game. Suddenly I was faced with the prospects of needing to double-tick to win and, with no one else even close to victory by any means, it looked like Mike T was going to get his wish (that the world would win).

However, as had been happening most of the last part of the game, a triple-team effort in the final turn (including a Field of Ecstasy, two Power Drains targeting me specifically, and a Teleport) resulted in me failing to tick at all in the final round, Meanwhile, the other players were so focused on dicking me over that three regions were ruined in the last turn, allowing Steve to jump up over 30 VP on the final turn, winning the game with 52.





Nearly all of my CitOW games have been really fun, even in defeat, but this one REALLY stunk. I felt like I played just about as well as one could but because Khorne's M.O. is aggression out of necessity, I ended up taking both barrels from everyone around the table. I think the game's lost a little of its sheen after tonight because I'm starting to realize, after winning one game out of the 12 I've played, that no matter what god you choose, your opponents have far more control over your chances at victory than you do.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Jowjow wrote:
I think the game's lost a little of its sheen after tonight because I'm starting to realize, after winning one game out of the 12 I've played, that no matter what god you choose, your opponents have far more control over your chances at victory than you do.


In our group, we've always felt the person playing best has won.
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jon dee
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Sphere wrote:
Jowjow wrote:
I think the game's lost a little of its sheen after tonight because I'm starting to realize, after winning one game out of the 12 I've played, that no matter what god you choose, your opponents have far more control over your chances at victory than you do.


In our group, we've always felt the person playing best has won.


winning is often a poor substitute for being remembered!
 
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coony
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Quote:


winning is often a poor substitute for being remembered!


Well said. I draw Khorne in almost every game we play. Frankly, I got used to other people stopping me at any cost. Being the main threat in every game is the most fun for me. So, I just try to be as strategic as possible and smash everything I can get my hands on . The winning part is just a bonus
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Matt Vollick
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Jowjow wrote:
Nearly all of my CitOW games have been really fun, even in defeat but this one REALLY stunk. I felt like I played just about as well as one could but because Khorne's M.O. is aggression out of necessity, I ended up taking both barrels from everyone around the table. I think the game's lost a little of its sheen after tonight because I'm starting to realize, after winning one game out of the 12 I've played, that no matter what god you choose, your opponents have far more control over your chances at victory than you do.


I know plenty of games that aren't fun when you win let alone when you lose.

 
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Joe Stude
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Sphere wrote:
Jowjow wrote:
I think the game's lost a little of its sheen after tonight because I'm starting to realize, after winning one game out of the 12 I've played, that no matter what god you choose, your opponents have far more control over your chances at victory than you do.


In our group, we've always felt the person playing best has won.


You're fortunate. In almost every game I've played it's either been Khorne or the player Khorne left alone the most.

Regardless, I definitely do not think Tzeentch deserved to win this one. If anyone, Slaanesh did for having the nuts to go toe-to-toe with me and then later still trying to make a game for himself (although it was far too late at that point). Meanwhile, Tzeentch sat in a corner that no one else tried to get into but me... and... yeah.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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Vollick1979 wrote:
Jowjow wrote:
Nearly all of my CitOW games have been really fun, even in defeat but this one REALLY stunk. I felt like I played just about as well as one could but because Khorne's M.O. is aggression out of necessity, I ended up taking both barrels from everyone around the table. I think the game's lost a little of its sheen after tonight because I'm starting to realize, after winning one game out of the 12 I've played, that no matter what god you choose, your opponents have far more control over your chances at victory than you do.


I know plenty of games that aren't fun when you win let alone when you lose.



For me part of playing the game, no matter which god you are, is staying off the radar of the other gods. Even as Khorne you go after the leader because if you don't you won't win. It is also a game where you don't want to be the obvious leader at the end of the game with no obvious way to reach the finish line. I have not gotten to play a four player game yet, but my first win was by stopping the leader and passing him on the last turn and my second was by being the leader by such a large VP margin that I spent the last turn trying to help the other two players find a way to stop me from winning, unfortunately I failed to find one, as did they devil .

It seems that your group doesn't go for heavy cultist play/domination, as I can't imagine playing without someone close to the VP limit by the end of the game. Although living in Honduras makes it hard for me to find players to have the experience that I would like to have with this game.
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Joe Stude
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dlhammond wrote:

For me part of playing the game, no matter which god you are, is staying off the radar of the other gods. Even as Khorne you go after the leader because if you don't you won't win.


This game was unusual for a few reasons (just to clarify):

-Slaanesh took himself out of the game intentionally and didn't even get his first tick until the fourth turn of the game or so. Still, I kept interfering with him to pursue my own tick goal until he got the Keeper of Secrets upgrade and made it too pricy for me to mess with him en masse. Regardless, he wasn't an issue.

-Nurgle was played by our newbie and I pursued him mercilessly, though only in the spirit of gaining ticks for myself. Regardless, though he was getting ticks for the most part, he was extremely hampered on VP and was nowhere near winning.

-That left Tzeentch. One of the things I've learned as Khorne is that it's important to keep your tentacles spread over the entire realm even as you're making pushes elsewhere... so I didn't want to throw my entire army into Norsca and risk being trapped over there with no one to kill and no way out but walking. That said, especially over the last few turns I still went after Tzeentch the hardest, even though he was only in the mid to upper 20s VP wise, just two VP ahead of me, until the very last turn. I used Blood God's call to relocate the Bloodthirster and a warrior in Troll Country, chasing Tzeentch out of there. Three times I placed single warriors into Norsca, once getting a couple of kills but the other two times being teleported away to empty regions with heroes in them.

The point is, way ahead on dial advances and only two VP off the pace until the very end, I WAS the leader and played so that my way to the finish line was VERY obvious. Problem is, as strong and annoying as Khorne can be, one player, no matter which god it is, just can't deal with getting hit by all other players from all sides... nor should they be able to. In essence, this ended up being a kingmaker game.

dlhammond wrote:

It seems that your group doesn't go for heavy cultist play/domination, as I can't imagine playing without someone close to the VP limit by the end of the game. Although living in Honduras makes it hard for me to find players to have the experience that I would like to have with this game.


Actually, they normally do. This game was no exception really: in fact, the two players who were actually trying to win spent so much time pulling cultist shenanigans that I ended up choosing the three least conflict-oriented upgrades (bloodthirster, power, and cards) just so I could keep up. Well-timed Battle Cries, the Grail event, the heroes mucking about the populous regions, and Khorne urban sprawl really curtailed that for both of them as well.
 
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Colin Clarke
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In essence, this ended up being a kingmaker game.

Sounds more like Tzeentch just outplayed you, from the report.
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Joe Stude
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That's certainly one perspective. That he sat in his corner, using his weapons to only defect attackers, and suffered not one iota due to game events... that's certain. I don't think you can really call that outplaying if you consider each god's agendas... but whatever.
 
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Bruce Scott
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Jowjow wrote:
That's certainly one perspective. That he sat in his corner, using his weapons to only defect attackers, and suffered not one iota due to game events... that's certain. I don't think you can really call that outplaying if you consider each god's agendas... but whatever.


Quote:
I was pretty confident I could ride out single ticks the rest of the game and win by dial at this point, but just to keep myself in the VP running my first upgrade was for the Bloodthirster to allow him to count as three figures.


This in itself is sufficiently bad play that you don't have much of a leg to stand on.
 
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Joe Stude
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Things happened that aren't necessarily in the session report. Based on some of those things, there was a good reason for choosing that upgrade at the time. Let's just leave it at that and move on rather than trying to pick apart my play, eh?
 
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I guess, from reading your session report, the thing I would ask, and I mean this as something in no way critical, is that if you had been in third or fourth place, would you have done the same to the other players?

You say: the other players have a lot more say in your victory than you do. And that is certainly the case when you are in a 3 vs. 1 situation.

My question would be, why didn't they equally hit this Steve guy? If he was just as likely to win as you were, than there was equal responsibility on the part of Slaanesh and Nurgle to stop him. And given that this is the case, my other question would be, how much table talk and negotiation did you do with the others to prevent the kingmaking from occurring?
 
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Joe Stude
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Trying to come from behind and win? Of course, anyone would. What I wouldn't have done, though, is what the Slaanesh player did, getting pissed that he missed ticking on turn one and skewing the rest of the game out of petulance. This game is precariously balanced enough without someone going off like that.

They didn't hit Steve simply because he was in Norsca and Troll Country and they weren't. Slaanesh was over in Tilea only with his only interest being messing with me and causing us to lose. Nurgle had his GUO in Kislev during the last turn of the game but, after spending the entire game bouncing back and forth between two or three of the Populous regions and nowhere else, never set foot in Norsca or Troll Country either. Also worth mentioning - none of those three played a single negative card against each other the entire game.

Table talk? Slaanesh wanted me/us to lose and he was fully aware where Tzeentch was at the entire game, so no amount of table talk was going to sway him at that point. I'm quite sure he didn't expect Steve would be able to win at that point, so he did nothing against him in the last round. Tzeentch? He did exactly what he should have done - he let the piling-on happen (and helped no small bit) and took advantage of it.

Anyway, the whole point is they spent so much time hammering me that they failed to account for what eventually happened... and no matter what upgrades I selected, I was powerless to stop it.

Edit: In hindsight, there was something I could have done differently: knowing everyone was going to pile on in the last turn, I could have played for the World win instead of trying to play for my own victory condition, by dumping everything I had into the regions that ended up getting ruined on the last turn. Preventing any of those from being ruined would have caused the World win... *shrug*
 
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Than based on all of this, it sounds like it wasn't your fault and you mostly did everything RIGHT. The real issue is whomever that Slaanesh player was, was just being an ass - he clearly wasn't playing to win, he was playing to ruin you.

You note that after these games, CITOW "lost some of its shine" but I think your frustration might be misplaced--don't fault the game, fault the jerk player who was metagaming against you. It *isn't* that CITOW has a delicate and easily disturbed balance; MOST games break in this way if one player decides he doesn't care about winning, only seeing another player lose.

You have a couple of choices: don't play another game with this guy, or alternatively, go ahead and play another game with this guy, but metagame right back--see how he feels when you stop playing to win and just try to make him lose.
 
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Joe Stude
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The loss of shine isn't necessarily just due to this one game... this one was an extreme example of how the balance can be thrown off, prompting my comment, but I've also seen a bunch of other games that were decided in large part due to the newbie factor (mostly players using certain gods for the first time). The players can make up for this somewhat, but they have to be both capable and WANT to. As much as they might like to, for example, a Nurgle player just isn't going to be able to make up for a Khorne player not "doing his job".

Regardless, this was actually an anomaly with this guy. I've gamed off and on with him for a number of years now and was a little surprised to see him get so bent after one turn. I don't expect to see it again (nor do I think metagaming right back and blowing another game out of the water is the right thing to do either. ).
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