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Subject: Dropping the Bloodthirster in the first round rss

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Guido Gloor
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The discussion in this other thread, starting with this post, actually is quite interesting. It's a pity it's in the wrong thread. I'd be interested in more opinions myself.

Personally, I don't see dropping the Bloodthirster in the first round into the Empire or Bretonnia as always making a huge lot of sense. Somebody did it in our last game because he had read how awesome it was on here, and his greater demon ended up stuck in the Empire - a region where due to the Greenskins Invade old world card in round two, only one battle die could be rolled. He also tried to pursue a Khorne VP strategy, with limited success - he nearly won with the dial despite going for VP in the first rounds (and failing to get a lot of it).

The rationale behind dropping the greater demon first is that a cultist or warrior might be teleported to the borders (Norsca or Badlands) by Tzeentch, denying Khorne a good start.

Now, why I believe dropping the Bloodthirster in the first round is not always good:

1) It commits three power points, in the important early rounds where region control and spread is first established. Nurgle might drop a warrior or two as well in round one, a sensible Tzeentch or Slaanesh player however will probably focus on spreading their cultists and avoiding combat wherever possible. The Bloodthirster will somewhat block a region for them, but they have tons of alternatives. Essentially, Khorne will drop 3-4 figures and establish control in one region, while the others drop 5-6 and start sprawling and controlling - less mitigated by Khorne than if he'd have spread out more.

2) Khorne limits itself to the regions around the Bloodthirster in the middle term (which would be, admittedly, a good choice if he had to commit to one area - which he doesn't, he's better off striking everywhere and doing a little bit of damage in as many regions as possible), while dropping lower-cost figures would allow more flexibility in rounds two and three, when the first controlled areas start to emerge, even if those lower-cost figures would start out at the edge of the map: Having a cultist teleported to worst-case Norsca, he can then drop another cultist in Troll Country and one in Kislev (which is already a Populous region) - always assuming the worst case, that nobody is in these regions, asking for Bloodletters, either. This cultist placement gives him quick access to this entire side of the map later on, making going there riskier for the other gods. After this it should be risk-free to drop a Bloodletter in the Empire, giving Khorne access to the entire center area.

3) The reason for this first play is fear of Teleport - it forfeits a lot of first-round flexibility for that. But the odds for this are not that high even if Tzeentch really only wants to hurt Khorne: In nearly one third of all starting hands, Tzeentch does not have a teleport (see "scary maths", below). Even if all he really wants in round 1 is to teleport your first Bloodletter or Bloodsworn, he only gets to do it in 7 out of 10 games. What really sucks is when he then also locks Khorne in with a Temporal Stasis - but the chance that he has both of these at once is even lower, it's only two fifths.

4) If he drops a Bloodthirster there for fear of Tzeentch, he should also be afraid of Slaanesh: Slaanesh has as many Dark Influence as Tzeentch has Teleport, and a lone Bloodthirster is a very tempting target for a hero token placement spot. Only Slaanesh has a higher starting threat than Khorne, and he can easily avoid the area he wants to send a hero into. If Khorne drops a Bloodthirster because he's scared of Teleport, and then doesn't protect it with a Bloodsworn for fear of Dark Influence, he's asking for three power points (nearly half a round) to go to total waste.

Note that I am not saying that dropping the Bloodthirster in the first round is always bad. Establishing a foothold like that can make sense, depending on the gaming group and on how aggressive Tzeentch is in playing Teleport cards against Khorne. This will in turn be influenced by who has a history of being how good with which god, of course.

What Tzeentch wants to do also depends on the map layout: If the Warpstones are on different sides of the map, Tzeentch might be better off sending his own cultists there and thus using Teleport, for getting a better starting position himself. If all Tzeentch does is stopping Khorne, he's freeing the way for Slaanesh and Nurgle.

So, it's a possible first play, and definitely not the worst one - particularly if Khorne can wait for enemy figures popping up first, playing a chaos card once or twice. But by no means it's always the best or the only reasonable way to play Khorne.

What do you think? And, where am I mistaken?


Scary Maths

Only 4 out of Tzeentch's 24 cards are Teleports (same goes for Slaanesh and Dark Influence). The chance that he doesn't even draw one with 6 cards (including one he discards because he desparately wants a Teleport) is thus the chances for there not being one in each card draw, multiplied:

20/24 * 19/23 * 18/22 * 17/21 * 16/20 * 15/19 = 28.8%

I don't feel like working out the exact chances for him having both including discards, but ignoring discarding trouble (with there being 3 Temporal Stasis, thus the chance for there being no Temporal Stasis in the starting hand being 40.3% with the same formula) he only has both in 42.5% of all games:

(1 - .403) * (1 - .288) = 42.5%
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Ragh Gavar
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I think the Greater Daemon to the Empire can be a good first play if you have one or two Skull Thrones and want to go for VPs.
 
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Joe Stude
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Mordenthral wrote:
I think the Greater Daemon to the Empire can be a good first play if you have one or two Skull Thrones and want to go for VPs.


I was going to mention this because I actually started one game with THREE of them in-hand and happily dropped my bloodthirster first. I also still managed a first-turn tick if I recall.

I agree with the general sentiment, that there are plenty of reasons not to drop him first, but every once in a while...
 
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Joel Schuster
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Oh yeah with Skull Throne it certainly makes alot of sense. Just make sure an easy Changer of Ways or Abyssal Pact doesnt ruin all this effort
 
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Ed Bradley
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I think it's fair to say that dropping a turn 1 Bloodthirster CAN be a strong play in the right circumstances, but it's not intrinsically powerful in isolation.

I wouldn't disregard its psychological impact either
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Alex H.
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Though I initially did not see this move making much sense, the more I follow the discussion the more the standard reply to general strategies in CitOW seems adequate: it all depends on the Old World cards in play, on your hand and on the distribution of the tokens.
Bottom line: IF warpstones and nobles make a strong presence in the central regions of the map very likely and if your hand supports it, go ahead and drop the demon. In some/many other situations it might not be the best first move for Khorne.

Just to add my 2c to Guido's excellent analysis:
- drop demon and get 3 fighting followers on the map. You probably won't see anyone else in the region where your big guy is sitting and your two warriors can only spread to adjancent regions (or by bridging to one adjacent and in a distance of 2).
- drop 3 warriors and one cultist. You lose dice (2) but gain presence. You risk to get teleported away. Chances are, however, that your opponents will not necessarily run away screaming just because you throw a warrior on them. After all, you may roll badly.

Having read this and the original thread I think I will give this strategy a try next time it seems opportune.
 
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Trey Chambers
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alex352 wrote:
Though I initially did not see this move making much sense, the more I follow the discussion the more the standard reply to general strategies in CitOW seems adequate: it all depends on the Old World cards in play, on your hand and on the distribution of the tokens.
Bottom line: IF warpstones and nobles make a strong presence in the central regions of the map very likely and if your hand supports it, go ahead and drop the demon. In some/many other situations it might not be the best first move for Khorne.

Just to add my 2c to Guido's excellent analysis:
- drop demon and get 3 fighting followers on the map. You probably won't see anyone else in the region where your big guy is sitting and your two warriors can only spread to adjancent regions (or by bridging to one adjacent and in a distance of 2).
- drop 3 warriors and one cultist. You lose dice (2) but gain presence. You risk to get teleported away. Chances are, however, that your opponents will not necessarily run away screaming just because you throw a warrior on them. After all, you may roll badly.

Having read this and the original thread I think I will give this strategy a try next time it seems opportune.


Exactly. I'm not saying ALWAYS drop the "big guy" in the Empire first, but depending on your opening hand and the initial Old World card, I think it is more often than not the best play.

If you have a Bloody Frenzy or a Skull Throne, I definitely think it makes sense depending on the Old World card.

If there is a large crown/warpstone concentration in the central regions, I also think it makes sense as long as the Old World card doesn't interfere.

So I would say in 80-90% of my games this will be my opening Khorne move. And I have yet to lose with Khorne.
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Dean Esam
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I don't understand the 'teleport fear' at all...

Tzeentch teleporting Khorne's first unit into an out of the way location is a terrible move.

This move helps Slannesh and Nurgle far more than it does him.


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Chris K.
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twistau wrote:
I don't understand the 'teleport fear' at all...

Tzeentch teleporting Khorne's first unit into an out of the way location is a terrible move.

This move helps Slannesh and Nurgle far more than it does him.




Oh, but spotting THAT takes a lot more experience than spotting "OMG, I can totally Maximum screwage teh Khorn!!!11!!oneone!"

So it is very reasonable that it will come up every once in a while.
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Trey Chambers
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twistau wrote:
I don't understand the 'teleport fear' at all...

Tzeentch teleporting Khorne's first unit into an out of the way location is a terrible move.

This move helps Slannesh and Nurgle far more than it does him.




It doesn't really help Slaanesh or Nurgle if Khorne is teleported ON to Nurgle or Slaanesh.
 
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Steve Hope
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Teleporting Khorne's first piece avoids the "Khorne snowball", where Khorne gets 2 dial advancements in the first turn and wins in a laugher. That probably isn't a big concern among experienced players, at which point it comes down to where the warpstones/nobles are. If you have warpstones in the North or the South it's reasonable to send Khorne to the opposite place, or even if you have them in Kislev and want to send him to that space out to the West.

So I think it's true that you wouldn't banish Khorne JUST to banish him, but to the extent you can create trouble for Nurgle/Slaanesh it's reasonable.
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Dean Esam
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stephenhope wrote:
Teleporting Khorne's first piece avoids the "Khorne snowball", where Khorne gets 2 dial advancements in the first turn and wins in a laugher.


Unless you get an incredible first draw as Tzeentch, you generally want Khorne double clicking first turn. You want Slannesh and Nurgle worried about Khorne right out of the gate.

And the best use of a first round teleport is almost always to establish your own board position. I might be tempted to teleport Nurgle's first piece onto Slannesh (Trust me, Khorne will follow with you having to do anything), but that requires poor play from Nurgle.
 
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Trey Chambers
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twistau wrote:
stephenhope wrote:
Teleporting Khorne's first piece avoids the "Khorne snowball", where Khorne gets 2 dial advancements in the first turn and wins in a laugher.


Unless you get an incredible first draw as Tzeentch, you generally want Khorne double clicking first turn. You want Slannesh and Nurgle worried about Khorne right out of the gate.

And the best use of a first round teleport is almost always to establish your own board position. I might be tempted to teleport Nurgle's first piece onto Slannesh (Trust me, Khorne will follow with you having to do anything), but that requires poor play from Nurgle.


Allowing Khorne to double tick in the first turn is a great way to hand the victory to a veteran Khorne player.
 
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Joe Stude
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agreed with this, 100%. No way do you allow Khorne to double-tick the first round.

(Loving the different opinions on this)
 
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Dean Esam
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Jowjow wrote:
agreed with this, 100%. No way do you allow Khorne to double-tick the first round.

(Loving the different opinions on this)


If Khorne plays for corruption / VP, which is viable for him, Tzeentch is playing dead, there is no way you win, as five regions will be ruined _very_ quickly.

Allowing Khorne to double click first turn is the best way to get the other three working against each other and ignoring you...

In a straight VP race Tzeentch comes last!

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Rauli Kettunen
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twistau wrote:
In a straight VP race Tzeentch comes last!


How do you figure? He has the most Cultists, so can drop the most Corruption, giving him not only Ruiner's VPs but also first place Ruination points. He can also Ruin a Region single-handedly in a turn, though a lot needs to go his way, namely that his Cultists starts in Regions with Warpstone, then drag those to your chosen region. 8 Cultists + 4 Warpstone = 12 Corruption when counting for Ruination. True, he starts with 6PP like all but Khorne, but he can up his total with the 0-cost Chaos Card that sucks a PP from others.
 
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Trey Chambers
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twistau wrote:
Jowjow wrote:
agreed with this, 100%. No way do you allow Khorne to double-tick the first round.

(Loving the different opinions on this)


If Khorne plays for corruption / VP, which is viable for him, Tzeentch is playing dead, there is no way you win, as five regions will be ruined _very_ quickly.

Allowing Khorne to double click first turn is the best way to get the other three working against each other and ignoring you...

In a straight VP race Tzeentch comes last!



If Khorne even single ticks on turn 1, he is already a dial threat. Hell, I've won with the dial even without ticking at all in turn 1 (double ticked every subsequent turn, won in turn 6). But that is also why I almost always drop my Bloodthirster in the Empire, because now I always tick at least once in turn 1 and am in good position for VPs as well.

But back to your response, I understand fully that Tzeentch has trouble staying in the VP race and he is the god who has the least wins in our group, but I think letting Khorne double tick in round 1 is cutting off your nose to spite your face.
 
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Joel Schuster
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Shampoo4you wrote:
But that is also why I almost always drop my Bloodthirster in the Empire, because now I always tick at least once in turn 1 and am in good position for VPs as well.


There is no way you are guaranteed a tick. All it needs is a FieldOfEcstasy. More likely, all others will avoid the Empire completely and you need to spread out further anyways. Then you're prone to be teleported away with your warriors again. It wont set you to a corner of the map completely, but getting early dice on the board is precious, especially if you're low on BloodFrenzies to start with.

There are still many scenarios where you may end up with no tick at all in Turn1 despite the Bloodthirster in the Empire (RainOfPus, Teleport, TemporalStasis, WarpShield, FieldOfEcstasy, DrainPower, ...) Speaking of the other regions, not the The Empire directly of course. I am not considering anyone mad enough to chime in on that Khorne claim to the Empire right away
 
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Trey Chambers
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Umbratus wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
But that is also why I almost always drop my Bloodthirster in the Empire, because now I always tick at least once in turn 1 and am in good position for VPs as well.


There is no way you are guaranteed a tick. All it needs is a FieldOfEcstasy. More likely, all others will avoid the Empire completely and you need to spread out further anyways. Then you're prone to be teleported away with your warriors again. It wont set you to a corner of the map completely, but getting early dice on the board is precious, especially if you're low on BloodFrenzies to start with.

There are still many scenarios where you may end up with no tick at all in Turn1 despite the Bloodthirster in the Empire (RainOfPus, Teleport, TemporalStasis, WarpShield, FieldOfEcstasy, DrainPower, ...) Speaking of the other regions, not the The Empire directly of course. I am not considering anyone mad enough to chime in on that Khorne claim to the Empire right away


It would take a Rain of Pus, a Field of Ecstasy, and some very inconveniently placed Warp Stones to prevent me from getting a turn 1 tick with a Bloodthirster in the Empire. And I have uncanny luck with drawing a Blood Frenzy on turn 1, so I think you severely underestimate my chances. devil
 
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Joel Schuster
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Thats a moot point. I've heard of people having uncanny luck with drawing these exact cards aplenty and Khorne dealing with inconveniently placed warpstones and nobles. So I think you are severely underestimating their chances

Of course Khorne is supposed to draw at least one BloodFrenzy turn 1. The question is will that be enough. I was talking about quite a wide range of cards that help deny Khorne his one tick. And because of that wide range his overall chances are rather low to succeed with that plan.
 
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Dean Esam
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Dam the Man wrote:
twistau wrote:
In a straight VP race Tzeentch comes last!


How do you figure?


Because Tzeentch sucks at scoring domination points!
 
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Joel Schuster
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twistau wrote:
Dam the Man wrote:
twistau wrote:
In a straight VP race Tzeentch comes last!


How do you figure?


Because Tzeentch sucks at scoring domination points!


On the other hand Tzeentch rocks at scoring ruination points, since he can put more corruption on the board than anyone else with his 8 cultists.
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Rauli Kettunen
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twistau wrote:
Because Tzeentch sucks at scoring domination points!


In I would say majority of the games I've played (10), domination points have been very few, usually just Slaanesh in the corner regions if they have Nobles on them and Nurgle in Populous Regions. Nobody cares much about domination, just drop Cultists, Ruin Region, score real VPs (which also nets you domination in most cases for a turn or two). Instead of 3-4 for domination (Empire is usually Ruined by turn 2 anyways, unless Khorne sits there, sometimes even then with Field of Ecstasy) gets those 13+ VPs.

Could be just play style issue, since I don't see any reason why Tzeentch couldn't compete in a straight VP race, given his meddling cards and most Cultists available.
 
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Joel Schuster
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You certainly have to consider the points awarded by domination as well. If you dominate the Empire one turn its 5 points (without any noble) which is 10% of the points you need to win a game, so dont underestimate that. Domination points is a good income. Its still just one source of points, ruinations of course a very worthwhile. And especially Tzeentch has the means to take part and head for 1st and 2nd places alot with his many cultists. For taking part alone, WarpShield a cultist just SOMEwhere and then resummon or even Teleport him where a region is about to be ruined. Thats a save 3-5 VP
 
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Dan
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This thread delivers.

(I will continue lurking until I have something to add, or I get more games in with my group. We seem to have less developed strategies...)
 
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