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Subject: How to use the 90 piece? rss

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Kaiwen Zhang
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Hey,

Played this game at Origins, great stuff!

I have a question about the 90 piece. It seems weak. It is the slowest piece of the game and performs similarly as the 80 piece. However, the 80 piece is faster with same range and can block the 90 quite effectively. The 80's special is better than the 90's single adjacent influence.

How are you supposed to use the 90? Quite often it is the piece that is left out at the end of the game for me, so a starting hand that includes the 90 puts me at a big disadvantage. It increases the variance of the game (not desirable)
 
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Chris Cieslik
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johncraven wrote:
Hey,

Played this game at Origins, great stuff!

I have a question about the 90 piece. It seems weak. It is the slowest piece of the game and performs similarly as the 80 piece. However, the 80 piece is faster with same range and can block the 90 quite effectively. The 80's special is better than the 90's single adjacent influence.

How are you supposed to use the 90? Quite often it is the piece that is left out at the end of the game for me, so a starting hand that includes the 90 puts me at a big disadvantage. It increases the variance of the game (not desirable)


Effective use of the Court Noble depends heavily on the use of its special ability: 'Place an influence within 1 space'. With clever use of it, the 90 can block off one side of an enemy piece, regardless of its speed. I don't often want to play the 90 first, but in the next few turns it can be quite strong.
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Reis
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angelkurisu wrote:
Effective use of the Court Noble depends heavily on the use of its special ability: 'Place an influence within 1 space'. With clever use of it, the 90 can block off one side of an enemy piece, regardless of its speed. I don't often want to play the 90 first, but in the next few turns it can be quite strong.

When scoring, are you supposed to "walk around" influence markers as well as other peoples' pieces, combat zones, and mountains?
 
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Kaiwen Zhang
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angelkurisu wrote:
johncraven wrote:
Hey,

Played this game at Origins, great stuff!

I have a question about the 90 piece. It seems weak. It is the slowest piece of the game and performs similarly as the 80 piece. However, the 80 piece is faster with same range and can block the 90 quite effectively. The 80's special is better than the 90's single adjacent influence.

How are you supposed to use the 90? Quite often it is the piece that is left out at the end of the game for me, so a starting hand that includes the 90 puts me at a big disadvantage. It increases the variance of the game (not desirable)


Effective use of the Court Noble depends heavily on the use of its special ability: 'Place an influence within 1 space'. With clever use of it, the 90 can block off one side of an enemy piece, regardless of its speed. I don't often want to play the 90 first, but in the next few turns it can be quite strong.


this seems relatively situational (likely not to use it in most games) and I think I only came up with one situation on the board with 3 mountains in a row where you could use the 90 to seal off someone without too much effort, but the 90 itself doesn't score a whole lot of points either. There's also the possibility of denying an agent by playing the influence on a city. If I draw it at the beginning of the game, it limits my options.

I think if the 90 was allowed to place its influence diagonally it would be much more useful.
 
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aaron belmer
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Yeah I save the 90 until 2nd or 3rd to last placement. If a 10 or 20 has blocked off my already claimed city, I'll usually try to reclaim for at least 1 influence by placing the 90 nearby and placing one on the city.

I find that I'm usually saving my 10 piece for the last placement of the game. With more plays I'll find if this is optimal, but seems to be doing the dirty work.

This really is a deep and fantastic abstract game. Lots of subtle strategy. As soon as I started placing more pieces to block that of my opponent, my play improved greatly. It's all about influence denial, and your one 80 or 90 piece off in a safe corner that no one notices will win you the game.

 
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Kaiwen Zhang
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zenmazster wrote:
I find that I'm usually saving my 10 piece for the last placement of the game. With more plays I'll find if this is optimal, but seems to be doing the dirty work.


I don't think this is optimal. You want to use your 10 mid-game to move some pieces to free up rows/columns for the late game.
 
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Chris Cieslik
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Luce wrote:
When scoring, are you supposed to "walk around" influence markers as well as other peoples' pieces, combat zones, and mountains?


Yes, you cannot trace influence paths through any obstacle. An obstacle is any mountain, conflict marker, enemy piece, or enemy influence.

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Chris Cieslik
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johncraven wrote:
zenmazster wrote:
I find that I'm usually saving my 10 piece for the last placement of the game. With more plays I'll find if this is optimal, but seems to be doing the dirty work.


I don't think this is optimal. You want to use your 10 mid-game to move some pieces to free up rows/columns for the late game.


It's a tradeoff -- freeing yourself up mid-game by having multiple pieces in one row or column is good, but sometimes a two-space move on the very last play can be devastatingly good, combined with blocking one duchy off by playing first with the agent.

There are lots of good and varied strategies to be had
 
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Reis
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angelkurisu wrote:
Luce wrote:
When scoring, are you supposed to "walk around" influence markers as well as other peoples' pieces, combat zones, and mountains?


Yes, you cannot trace influence paths through any obstacle. An obstacle is any mountain, conflict marker, enemy piece, or enemy influence.

Ooh, I missed that influence is also an obstacle for my first game. Nasty!
 
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Kaiwen Zhang
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wow this forum is active!

in one game, my starting hand was 10 20 90. I didn't want to use either 10 or 20 so I started with a 90 that ended up crappy for me and cost me the game.
 
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Jessica "Kit" Cain
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It's a good way to claim cities from opponents when you know you won't get it any other way. It may be slow, but being able to place that influence marker right away makes a really big difference.
 
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R. Eric Reuss
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Thanks for the kind words!

The influence isn't nearly as useful for blocking as the 80's conflict is, but it lets you trace paths through it. This can let you place the 90 into situations where the 80 would be instantly hemmed in - diagonally adjacent to a Knight or Scholar, for instance - and use the influence to bridge the gap and score the area beyond.

I tend to find the Court Noble at its most useful in mid-to-late game, but not the last turn or two because it plays so late (I'm not likely to get board choice, which can result in terrible placement). It is somewhat worse in short/teaching games due to usually having a choice of one board instead of two. If I need to play the 90 early-game, I'll often use it as a stalking-horse to attract blocks, then either scoot it out (if it's poorly blocked) or play into the gaps elsewhere (if it's thoroughly blocked).

It can also do a corner-claim (placed with a 1- space border between it and two board edges) and put its influence nearby to discourage blockers (eg: adjacent to the board-edge, thwarting a Scholar-in-the-corner-space counterplay) without eating into its own territory.
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