Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Campaign Manager 2008» Forums » Strategy

Subject: What am I doing wrong as McCain?? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So far in about 10 plays its been about 8-2 Obama. This didnt feel like random chance, rather, I've played on both sides and Obama feels much, much easier. (Maybe this is correct from a historical perspective, but its annoying in game terms if this is actually the way it is.

So my question is: what is wrong with my McCain strategy that makes it this way?


Here is where the difference stems from, the candidate's special cards, the cards that are different from among the decks:

Obama has:
No More Politics as Usual- Remove "No More Politics as Usual" from play, along with the last card played by the McCain player.

Net cost to play: 2 actions (draw+play). Net result: McCain loses the 'Draw 3' card permanently. (This is usually the case, but if you feel something else is better like maybe Media, you could take it).


The Audacity of Hope- Discard any number of cards from your hand, then draw the same number of new cards, playing one of them immediately and adding the others to your hand.

Cost: Draw audactity (1), Play audactity (1), Discard X cards (2X), cost = 2X+2.
Gain: Draw X cards (2X), play one of them (1), gain = 2X+1.

Net cost = 1 action. For one action you can essentially swap a full hand of cards (that you just played the good cards from), for the other half of the deck. I find that this makes your 'Draw 3' and 'Draw2/Play1' cards happen much, much more often. Playing one of those cards provides +1 action of efficiency that counteracts the audacity's cost. And the cycling benefit is incredible.

This card ends up not costing efficiency overall (due to more frequent play of the two efficient cards), and it provides much, much greater flexibility. When McCain has a dead card, he is kindof stuck with it. When Obama does, he uses Audacity.



McCain has:
The Game Changer - Discard 1 card from your hand, then select any card from those you did not include in your campaign deck and add it to your hand. Remove "The Game Changer" from play.

Net cost: Draw GameChanger (1), Play it (1), Discard a card (1).
Net gain: Add the new card to hand (1).

This costs 2 actions to play in the end, to result in adding a strong card to your deck (but not the strongest, which you already drafted).

The cost is the same as Obama's No more politics card, yet Obama removes McCain's best card and McCain simply gets to replace it with a good card.

This is a net gain for Obama. While you could argue that McCain has versatility in what card he gets, Obama similarly can choose to remove whatever card is most damaging.


Note: I have been playing thi card as that it cannot retrieve the card that Obama removed from the game with 'No more politics'. If that is incorrect, then these two cards balance each other out. I hope that is how it should work!!



McCain also has:
Stay the Course- Discard 1 card from your hand, then select any card from your discard pile and add it to your hand.

Cost: Draw this (1), play this (1), discard 1 card (1).
Gain: Get 1 card from discard (1).

Net cost is 2 actions, to essentially switch a card into a different card.

If you switch a card into Draw3 or Draw2/Play1, then you play it, you still are at a net -1 action, so thats a bad plan.

To use this you need to be getting something critical to use, but its VERY expensive. Obama's Audacity is much, much better! Audacity gets the card you need also (probably), while also letting you get back your efficientcy gain cards (Draw3/Draw2Play1), and while costing one less action!


To summarize:
Obama's Audactiy is much, much better than McCain's Stay the Course. Obama's No More Politics is a bit better than McCain's Game Changer (or even if I am playing Game Changer wrong).


I feel that Obama's Audactity is one of the strongest cards in the game, while McCain has no good comparable card. His Stay the Course actually ends up being a poor card and inefficient overall.


I feel like to balance this, maybe Obama's Audactiy needs to not allow you to play the card immediately, while McCain's Stay the course should? Then the stronger effect would be paired with the higher cost, not vice versa. (This might take it a bit too far the other way, but I am not sure).


I havent felt any imbalance in states vs initial Obama +2, so thats good. My worry is primarily about the strength of the Audactiy of Hope card, the lack of any comparable strong card for McCain, and that 'No more politics' seems a bit better than 'Game Changer'.


Thanks for your thouhts, I hope someone can point out some factors I am missing.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonas
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't played enought to tell for sure, but knowing your track history, I'll say that you are correct in your analysis.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chessduffer wrote:
I haven't played enought to tell for sure, but knowing your track history, I'll say that you are correct in your analysis.


I think I would need a lot more experience than I currently have to declare this as definitive.

I do trust the designers and Jason has said that he felt the game is balanced, so currently I am approaching this as "I have figured out a good Obama strategy, but not the good McCain strategy, or the counter to it". I'm looking for what I am missing.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonas
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well of course with Twilight Struggle most people formed the opinion that USSR was easier then USA, also with 1960 early on most people said Nixon was better then Kennedy. I haven't played enought TS, but for 1960 most of my games come out even for both. But i have seen another post that puts Obama cards above the McCain cards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Sosa
United States
Newark
Delaware
flag msg tools
badge
I will break him.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just finished 5 games as McCain and lost all of them against a strong player. I thought I was not drafting correctly, and now think that perhaps I did not make the best tactical plays. Yet my draw 3 card was removed twice, and somehow Obama managed to win Florida 4/5 times. One game was close, but the other four weren't.

Need to switch sides with this player and see the results.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Lapham
United States
Glenview
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've only got a few plays under my belt, but one key factor to consider is the composition of each player's state deck. Perhaps McCain has a slight advantage here. A quick comparison of the big states, looking at the states in descending order of electoral votes:

Florida(M) vs Penn(O)

Florida is worth 6 more votes and both states start out with the issues favoring McCain.

Ohio(M) vs Mich(O)

Ohio is worth 3 more votes, but here Obama has the edge in initial issues.

North Carolina(M) vs NJ(O)

Equal votes and issues favoring Obama

Missouri or Indiana(M) vs Viriginia(O)

Viriginia has 2 more votes, but issues favor McCain.

Based on the state composition deck, my initial sense is that McCain should focus almost completely on the big states, making sure his deck has cards that will be most effective in those states, including key demographic cards, cards that shift demogrpahics, and attack cards to close down the big states when needed.

McCain's special cards also appear to support a big state strategy linked to demographic support and attack cards, enabling him to avoid the consequences of negative campaigning and alter his deck and hand composition in highly focused ways when necessary, such as switching out the Jewish Conservative demographic support card after Florida and New Jersey are decided.

Finally, it seems prudent for McCain to try to avoid having two big states active at once, given the difficulty of being able to be competitive in both.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Just wanted to make sure everyone had notice of the ruling in this thread, as we have several related discussions going.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/492378/mccains-retrieve-...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Given that the Game Changer can get back the card removed by No More Politics, these two pretty much directly counteract each other, and should be very close to even. And in fact, it might even be very slightly in McCains favor, as he gets to discard a poor card from hand to replace it with the removed card, which we assume is very strong! So this might get him one extra play of fundraising, for example! I think this is probably a small gain for McCain

So that only leaves the Audacity of Hope card as a major source of difference between the two sides decks.


Obama advantages:
Audactiy of Hope is very, very strong. This is a major advantage.


McCain Advantages:
Game Changer with the ruling is now probably a bit stronger than No More Politics.

McCain's alternate Media card (no rolls for himself) is better than Obama's, which is of unreliable benefit (opponent might not have attacks). I see this as minor however, since it can be hard to maintain media control, especially for McCain who faces Obama's Audacity cycling.

Perhaps we will develop a great McCain media/attack strategy that is enough of an advantage to counteract Audacity? We'll see.

Stay the Course - is it a reasonable card? This is McCain's version of Audacity. On first analysis, its mostly just inefficient. It feels to me like it needs to be able to play the card immediately, like Obama's Audacity does.


Demographics / States / Starting +2 Obama pts. - Does either candidate have an advantage here? I honestly have no idea yet. It at least seems fairly close.


The 'Game Changer' ruling certainly puts the two at least a bit closer together.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lafe wrote:

McCain's special cards also appear to support a big state strategy linked to demographic support and attack cards, enabling him to avoid the consequences of negative campaigning and alter his deck and hand composition in highly focused ways when necessary, such as switching out the Jewish Conservative demographic support card after Florida and New Jersey are decided.

Finally, it seems prudent for McCain to try to avoid having two big states active at once, given the difficulty of being able to be competitive in both.


Very interesting! I'll have to test this.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alexfrog wrote:
Given that the Game Changer can get back the card removed by No More Politics, these two pretty much directly counteract each other, and should be very close to even. And in fact, it might even be very slightly in McCains favor, as he gets to discard a poor card from hand to replace it with the removed card, which we assume is very strong! So this might get him one extra play of fundraising, for example! I think this is probably a small gain for McCain


I disagree with you here, Alex. I think "No More Politics" is more powerful, not so much in terms of its actual game power but in terms of its consequences for drafting and tactics. Consider:

1) Drafting - the threat of "No More Politics" means that the McCain player has to draft "The Game Changer," even if Obama doesn't have or doesn't intend to use "No More Politics." McCain can't risk going into a game against "No More Politics" without "The Game Changer." So McCain must draft his super-special card, while Obama can opt out and probably not be much worse for wear.

If (suicidally) McCain decides not to draft "The Game Changer" (or if he's forced into the unenviable choice of either "Game Changer" or "Fundraiser"), he now must carry duplicates of every card he fears Obama might zap with "No More Politics." He must carry two media support cards, because if he only has one and Obama has one and "No More Politics," Obama will dominate the media for most of the game. He should probably carry two "shift two toward the minority issue" cards as well because being without one at all would be bad. This really isn't a viable choice. McCain must draft "The Game Changer," while Obama can opt out of "No More Politics" at no great loss. Advantage Obama.

2) Tactics - for at least the first cycle of cards, if Obama decides not to draft "No More Politics" he essentially has an extra useful card to play. It's only safe for McCain to use "The Game Changer" to dig for a powerful card after he's seen all of Obama's deck and is sure that "No More Politics" isn't in it (or after Obama has already played "The Game Changer," of course).

Consider the Obama player who discards "No More Politics" as part of his "Audacity of Hope" deck milling. The McCain player either has to wait until Obama uses "No More Politics" or until he is sure he's seen Obama's entire deck. If Obama never reveals the whole deck (which "Audacity of Hope" allows) McCain is stuck either with "The Game Changer" clogging up his hand or with the risk of using it only to discover the Obama was hiding "No More Politics" and can now use it when McCain has no counter-move.

I always feel hamstrung when I play with McCain because I'm just waiting for the "No More Politics" shoe to drop. When Obama finally plays it, I have to spend a card to get back a card I may not even be able to, or want to, use right away (consider a deck in which I have only one media support card, for example). So Obama can use "No More Politics" to gain tempo. Advantage Obama again.

The only benefit I can wring from "The Game Changer" is that it puts the good card right back into McCain's hand. So if Obama does zap the "Fundraiser" card and McCain happens to be holding "The Game Changer," McCain can get that 3-card draw back quickly. That might be a slight short-term gain, but it also suggests that Obama shouldn't use "No More Politics" on that card but rather on something that McCain won't want to, but will be forced to, waste tempo getting back (something like media support). And once again (with feeling), all of this is predicated on the mere threat of Obama having and/or using "No More Politics." Obama can simply choose not to draft it and let McCain squirm.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To put my last post more succinctly:

Since the threat of "No More Politics" means that McCain has to draft "The Game Changer," the best case scenario for McCain is that Obama does not draft "No More Politics" and McCain has to use one of his early actions to essentially complete his draft (albeit with the slight advantage of being able to draft any card from the remaining 30).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Blair
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alexfrog wrote:
"I have figured out a good Obama strategy, but not the good McCain strategy, or the counter to it". I'm looking for what I am missing.



Me and my wife are on our 11th game, and so far it's 11-0 to McCain... I find that his 'Place one support and draw a card' combos means you can be running a big hand and maintain quite a momentum, plus I find him easier to have a joint Economics and Defence deck to cover most eventualities.

The other tactic that has been picked up on here is (as McCain) to try and only have one major state in play as it's hard to cope when there are 2 or 3.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.