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Subject: Points for breaking the gates rss

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Matt Tonks
United Kingdom
Bedfordshire
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Had my first game today with several occasions of consulting the rulebook (which is bad, unfortunately)... one thing struck me as odd unless I am missing something.

The rules state that the game ends when the Invader has broken through the gates or has breached a wall such that his Advantage to greater than the Defender's strength. OK...

Now, when you set the game up; what if the Invader draws two Phase 2 cards to choose from & neither of them enable him to build the battering ram? It seems as if there is a great disadvantage in this such that (a) the players know there won't be any gates broken & that is practically 5pts the Invader cannot get, and (b) it means the Defender doesn't have to worry about the Barbican, just the walls. So the Invader looks at a significant disadvantage without the ability to build a battering ram.

Am I overlooking something?
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Tomasz Podgórski
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You overlook one tiny detail.
Ramming is hard Invader needs to put a lot of resources to be able to pack some decent punch at the gate. In most plays I have seen ram was a little threat to defender in terms of breaking in. It always saps away defender resouces if used wisely though and can earn an invader 1-2 glory points.
But thats basically it. I am yet to see an invader win when the ram is the focal point of the offensive.

Instead of building a ram you can get also quite nice other machines so its not really bad
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Charles Simon
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Ashley
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There are problems with the battering ram, unfortunately.

It is a virtual impossibility for an Invader to break through all three gates on even the most minimally competent Defender. I love the game, but the battering ram is really a broken mechanic.

The Invader is better off without it. In order to make any use of it the Invader needs to commit too many resources to it and far too many troops. The best result that the Invader can realistically hope for is to break through the first two gates (though it will usually be just one gate). That is a LOT of resources and troops to spend on just 1 or 2 bonus points.

You won't win by breaking through the third gate. So you still need to breach a wall section and the gates are just bonus points at that point.

You're better off avoiding the battering ram all together and committing the resources and troops elsewhere.
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Eric Engstrom
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Mount Prospect
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To answer your question, it is only 2 points at risk.

1 point for breaking first gate.
1 point for breaking second gate.

The three points for breaking the 3rd gate are simply the 3 points you gain if you breach the stronghold, whether you do so at the gate or a wall.

And, as stated above, it is very difficult to actually breach the gate. There needs to be a tweak.
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Sam Brown
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I just saw my first game with the ram, and it was how the attacker eventually breached, on turn 9, final score 14 to 11, defender wins.

A couple notes about how the battering ram wasn't actually that bad:

1) The attacker only ever played one major dispatch in an entire 9-turn game. This saved the attacker something like 20 hourglasses over the entire game, starving the defender for time, compared to what you'd normally expect. (Because they could get all their troops out of camp with the 5 to each of 3 destinations.)

2) The attacker dropped a saboteur in the church early and replaced them when they were flushed out. Since the defender's only option vs. the ram outside of putting range attacks on the high towers is the sniper, this made it expensive for the defender to keep the battering ram under-crewed.

3) Because the attacker had an extra turn worth of victory points from the ram's bonuses, it gave his catapults time to range in, making his bloodstone spell especially dangerous. Bloodstone is one of the swingiest spells in the game: defender loses their best troop, attacker still has full strength.

4) With that extra turn, they had an easy time collecting their other bonus victory points.

So, while the ram still lost, it was the eventual breach, and applied pressure in unexpected ways. I'm not ready to write it off yet.
 
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