Recommend
159 
 Thumb up
 Hide
876 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [36] | 

A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Can France Beat Britain's "Settle Halifax, Besiege Louisbourg, Besiege Quebec" Strategy? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: yes [+] [View All]
Michael Fritz
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My opinion of A Few Acres of Snow is falling because it seems that Britain has a strategy that is extremely difficult for France to counter.

Background
In our game group, France has lost 5 games in a row against Britain's "Settle Halifax, Besiege Louisbourg, Besiege Quebec strategy." In other words, even when France sees it coming, France loses. France has tried several strategies to counter it. Before explaining how France attempted to counter the strategy, however, I will describe Britain's strategy to you.

Britain’s Strategy
Britain always starts turn 1 by settling Halifax. We've done some rough calculations and the probability that Britain can successfully settle Halifax on turn 1 is extremely high, about 90%.

After drafting some key early cards (Home Support, Governor) and settling Baltimore (for the money), the British player spends the next few turns mostly using Merchant-Draft military combos for his 2 actions.

Using superior military, the British player then starts his siege of Louisbourg. While besieged, the French player loses the ability to play 1 point of military from his deck (represented by Louisbourg's 1 ship symbol) and loses the ability to Pirate.

After successfully besieging Louisbourg, Britain is safe because Louisbourg is immune from French raids. The British player will then continue to draft military and use Merchant while responding to any French counter-strategy. For the final killing blow, the British player besieges Quebec. The siege of Quebec prevents France from achieving a cube or disc victory while the British win immediately after a successful siege of Quebec.

Possible counter-strategies for France
1. Fight Military with Military: This strategy is an obvious loser for France. The British money engine becomes much more efficient as more of his military cards are sitting on the siege space. Moreover, Britain simply has more infantry. This counter-strategy did not work for France at all.

2. Fortify Louisbourg, Try to Raid Halifax, Fortify Quebec: Early French raids on Halifax were successful in slowing down Britain’s march to Louisbourg. But Britain countered this strategy by fortifying Halifax (after it had been successfully raided once). Moreover, the fortification +2 defense on Louisbourg and Quebec didn't phase Britain's superior military.

3. Native American Onslaught: Simple enough, except that it requires you to settle at least to Ft. William Henry for the raids to bear fruit in the form of cubes or discs. That slightly gums up your deck and besides, Britain can easily counter with fortifications.
When not raiding, France can try to ambush the British military. The problem is that France must try to gain money to sustain the raids and ambushes. Moreover, even with all but 1 of the Native Americans and both priests, the British could easily gain enough money to buy replacement Militia (for cannon-fodder) or just continue buying Infantry.
Additionally, going heavy on the Native-Americans means that France, with its limited resources, can't afford enough military to stop the inevitable siege of Quebec, since it has to pay to ambush and raid.

Summary
I'm at a loss as to how to effectively counter this strategy. Balancing French military and Native Americans did not work because it left France with a so-so military and not enough Native Americans to effectively raid. Britain easily wins any attempt by France to win a siege through attrition because Britain’s deck becomes increasing efficient at generating money. France’s deck becomes more efficient too, but not to the same degree.
The closest that France came to beating the Strategy was by settling New York (after raiding it twice). But here again, Britain has an advantage. Besieging Quebec takes away one of France’s few settler cards, assuming the French player had enough money to buy the 7-cost neutral Settler.
France can’t seem to win a cube or disc victory because Britain can just besiege Quebec to stop it.

Any thoughts?
46 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ambush would be your only hope I would think. And Ambushing doesn't have to be expensive, and will make it harder for the Brits to win any sieges.

But my British opponent starts every game getting home support, and just plowing through his deck, doing pretty much whatever strat he wants, as his cards rarely force him into any tough decisions, as he has them all in his hand.

cry
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Brant
Canada
Stittsville
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
what happens when you try to not win the sieges, but instead prolong them indefinitely?

All you need to do to prolong it is keep the siege track marker in the grey zone. Unless the the British have lots of pure military cards, they need to use their location cards with the ship and military icons. Doing this will strip them of their money making cards bringing their strategy to a halt. While this first siege is being dragged on and on, you can either a) ambush to attempt to remove the pure infantry cards they do have, b) fortify key locations and/or c) start a siege yourself elsewhere.

Perhaps instead of waiting for them to siege you after they have bought some pure military cards, siege them first at Pemaquid. The French starting deck starts with the 2 Military card but the Brits need to buy theirs. Take the fight to them and tie them up before they can build up their army and do it to you.
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Sohn
United States
Cranbury
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think prolonging the sieges is the right way. First fortify L'burg and Quebec. Ambush or raid from Port Royal. Oh, pick up that neutral settler and expand out West to tap out the towns ASAP.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1. I do believe that the thin deck -> military -> siege is the best British strategy.

2. I am not convinced that the game is 100% balanced. Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are. Based on that, I have doubts whether they purposely exploited certain abusive strategies that Dominion and Magic players would have been familiar with.

3. With properly thinned decks and using the reserve, and ignoring ambushes, the British should be able to take even a fortified Quebec

- British have available +4 mil in location cards to French (it's 6 to 2 if British have Port Royal, Halifax and Louisburg, and French can't use Quebec)
- British have +4 in their extra Regular infantry and +1 extra ship
- French can use Fortifications for -1.
- This gives British +8 points, more than the +7 they need to win.

4. To prevent this, French player would need to either 1) pick up both neutral Fortification cards, 2) successfully ambush to keep British from maxing military, or 3) raid from Fort Beasejour to prevent the use of Halifx and Port Royal in the Quebec assault.

That said: I think the best French response in this case is to strike first.

French have a slight military advantage to start, with their free Regular Infantry. If British settle on turn 1, then you should lay siege to Halifax (if settled) or Pemaquid immediately. (This ties up the Halifax ship card, which could otherwise be used in offense.) With French troops tied up in siege, the French player can play trader for 8 coins per turn. In this case, French have a 6 to 4 military advantage. If you let the British siege first, then the advantage is gone and it is 5 to 5, since you lose the ship on Port Royal or Louisburg and they can use the ship on Halifax.

You probably won't win the siege, but this will serve to keep the French military cards tied up while freeing up the trader to enable the buying of all the military cards.

While this is going on, you can attempt to settle Fort Beausejour -- key to Nova Scotia defense via raiding -- or fortify Louisburg, which only slows British as they then go to Fort Beausejour and Gaspe. Once all the military cards are in the decks, ambushing becomes supremely important.

This is where French will have the edge as they have: better militia (block raids and ambushes), an extra loyal Indian, and an extra Priest. The French should be able to eventually control more of the neutral Indians, which theoretically be able to keep the British military at bay.

When I play as French, my plan is for the game to proceed like above, but for me to sneak in upgrades on Tadoussac, Gaspe, and Trois Rivieres, and then to either Reserve, or better yet Governor, those cards away. At this point, I should be able to settle -> upgrade -> governor those cards as they become obsolete.
71 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
As I posted on another thread, I am thinking the French opening has got to depend on what cards they start with. Someone posted about reserving the Bateau and then besieging Pemaquid, but you have to have the right cards by the second turn to do this. I think there needs to be a comprehensive approach to the French position depending on what's available at the start. For example, just saying "fortify Louisbourg" is still going to require several turns just to get the fort card in hand the same time as Louisbourg, by then the Brits may well have taken Port Royal and be laying siege already.

Also, someone earlier in this thread posted about slowing the Brits down by raiding Halifax, but then the Brits fortified Halifax. Since they lost the Halifax marker due to the raid, this would take two sets of actions -- one to re-settle, then a second to siege, right? My understanding of the rules that, once you lose the marker in a location, you cannot use that card for any purpose.

Rather than the early attack described here, I think what's more troubling might be the "slim deck, early money" British strategy set forth by Alan Paull which seems really tough to counter. The intent is not to settle Halifax, but to siege the forward French positions like Port Royal and eventually Louisbourg and possibly Gaspe, gaining the French cube(s) in addition to a guaranteed British settlement since a card with a Settler on it is almost guaranteed to be in the Brit's hand when the location falls.

Anyway, I have only played 5-6 times thus far, so would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others. Taking Ft. Beausjour and doing a combined ambush/raiding strategy may be a possible option for the French. In any event, it does look like the British player can set the early tempo and put the French player on the defensive, but I have got to believe there are some counters out there but a solid French plan has got to take into account the fact it may take awhile to get all the card combinations you might want. However, even after the Brits might win a successful, hard-fought siege, that British deck is no longer going to be that thin and then maybe the French might have a chance to develop some counterplay ...
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
badge
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are.


Tim, from where does this information come? Did you hear it from Martin Wallace himself?

We already have certain people, not you, Tim, who have taken it upon themselves to be the "oracles" in regards to the rules, for better or for worse. Now we have those who claim that the game is unbalanced. The irony is that some of these people have heaped praise upon the game.

Perhaps we need Martin Wallace to the threads, sweep away the wanabe oracles, and take up our queries.

goo



5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bentlarsen wrote:
Quote:
Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are.


Tim, from where does this information come? Did you hear it from Martin Wallace himself?

Comes from Wallace himself. The fact that he thinks reshuffling is some Magic arcanum indicates that he doesn't play Dominion, either, since deck reshuffling timing is more of a Dominion question than a Magic question.

Quote:
We already have certain people, not you, Tim, who have taken it upon themselves to be the "oracles" in regards to the rules, for better or for worse.

Clearly for the better, given that has resulted in much-needed clarifications, and even some rule changes from the designer. I don't quite get why you seem so opposed to this.

Quote:
Now we have those who claim that the game is unbalanced. The irony is that some of these people have heaped praise upon the game.

This is not much of a stretch, nor is it contradictory to praise a game that might have balance issues. I've been involved in professional game balancing for AAA video games in the past and it is no easy matter; in fact most games, even after a year of large team balancing, get released anyway and suffer several iterations of patches before approaching some form of balance at top tier levels. The sad fact is that a board game of this sort, without self-balancing mechanisms like drafting or auctions, is next to impossible for a designer with a small genepool of playtesters to balance properly.

Edit: Additional evidence comes from the fact that the rules were changing even as things were going to print (reason for the contradictory rules on the player aid) and from the lack of clarification on raiding routes, which should have been discovered after even a few dedicated plays with players trying to "break" the game, which is what game balancers should be trying to do.
70 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Clarke
Canada
Port Coquitlam
B.C.
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i wouldn't despair yet. I think the jury is still out on the merits of a well implemented French strategy such as the one Tim's already outlined.

I don't think the French strategy is obvious....but I do think it's completely different. Need more plays. It's definitely tougher playing the French, but that just makes it more of a challenge!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Stein
United States
Westerville
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
Quote:
Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are.


Tim, from where does this information come? Did you hear it from Martin Wallace himself?

Comes from Wallace himself. The fact that he thinks reshuffling is some Magic arcanum indicates that he doesn't play Dominion, either, since deck reshuffling timing is more of a Dominion question than a Magic question.



So based on one sentence, the game is broken because Wallace and his playtesters are idiots who've never played Dominion?

Wow.

However, I do have one or two locals who are saying the same thing. I note three weeks ago they proclaimed the French as unbeatable. Anyway several strategies have been suggested and time will tell if the British military strategy is indeed unbeatable or if we've simply discovered another possible strategy to the game and now the French can't lose.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bordgamer wrote:
out4blood wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
Quote:
Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are.


Tim, from where does this information come? Did you hear it from Martin Wallace himself?

Comes from Wallace himself. The fact that he thinks reshuffling is some Magic arcanum indicates that he doesn't play Dominion, either, since deck reshuffling timing is more of a Dominion question than a Magic question.



So based on one sentence, the game is broken because Wallace and his playtesters are idiots who've never played Dominion?

Wow.

Talk about hyperbole.

How does someone go from "I am not convinced that the game is 100% balanced" to "the game is broken".

"Wow" is right.

Do you really believe that people who have not played Dominion are idiots?
62 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
3. With properly thinned decks and using the reserve, and ignoring ambushes, the British should be able to take even a fortified Quebec

- British have available +4 mil in location cards to French (it's 6 to 2 if British have Port Royal, Halifax and Louisburg, and French can't use Quebec)
- British have +4 in their extra Regular infantry and +1 extra ship
- French can use Fortifications for -1.
- This gives British +8 points, more than the +7 they need to win.
"Ignoring ambushes" is why this analysis works.

In the last game I played, I asked the British to throw all of their efforts towards military and Nova Scotia. They resigned after about 25 turns, frustrated by how effective ambushing and piracy were against them. They never had more than 5 or so money and when they could buy a Regular Infantry, I could always ambush it back out of their deck. Seriously guys, this isn't a hard strategy here, you just aren't playing the French right. If the British have a small deck, it's trivial to determine when they have military in their hand and if you have enough ambushers in your deck, you will be able to deny them the ability to attack you.

The game isn't broken, the players are.
34 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Fritz
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
If British settle on turn 1, then you should lay siege to Halifax (if settled) or Pemaquid immediately. (This ties up the Halifax ship card, which could otherwise be used in offense.) With French troops tied up in siege, the French player can play trader for 8 coins per turn. In this case, French have a 6 to 4 military advantage. If you let the British siege first, then the advantage is gone and it is 5 to 5, since you lose the ship on Port Royal or Louisburg and they can use the ship on Halifax.


Thanks a lot for this bit of feedback in particular. Of all the advice so far, I think it's the most compelling counter to Britain's siege of Halifax. Certainly, it's a better move for France than trying to besiege Pemaquid, because Pemaquid is an absolutely useless location for Britain (no ships) and I don't see how it benefits France long term. Also, I didn't realize how efficient the Trader action is for France in the early game. (I had always thought of it as a good way to cycle through Western locations mid- to late-game.)

I also think that French players (including myself) may be underestimating the utility of using the 5 reserve slots to temporarily rid their deck of useless cards (Exhibit A: Bateaux).

I'm eager to see how this counter-strategy plays out.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you're going to take the time to quote and reply, it helps if you read the whole post and not take things out of context. The paragraph you quoted is purely a comparison of max potential static military strength. The very NEXT paragraph talks about the French can respond to this.

Quote:
4. To prevent this, French player would need to either 1) pick up both neutral Fortification cards, 2) successfully ambush to keep British from maxing military, or 3) raid from Fort Beasejour to prevent the use of Halifx and Port Royal in the Quebec assault.

I think I do a pretty good job in the rest of the post explaining what the French options are for dealing with the British military rush.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Fritz
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
John Weber wrote:
My understanding of the rules that, once you lose the marker in a location, you cannot use that card for any purpose.


You can use the card later, even if you lost the location, assuming that you regain control of that location. (Yea, sort of confusing). The rulebook says that "You cannot use a location card in any manner if you do not have control of that location." While it's true that you cannot use the location card while you do not control the location, you can use the location if you later have control of it.

The FAQ has a helpful clarification/example:

"Q: If I have lost a location to a raid, but I have it, a fortification card, and the means to resettle it in my hand, can I resettle it and fortify it in the same turn?

A: Yes."

Hope this helps.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
But you wrote (first):
Quote:
1. I do believe that the thin deck -> military -> siege is the best British strategy.

2. I am not convinced that the game is 100% balanced.
...which to me implied that you did not believe your own analysis...or something...and so I did not quote it. I was imply responding to points #1 and #2. I'm not sure why you wrote what you wrote, but I don't think your first two statements are at all true, and the French ambush strategy is why a thin deck can actually haunt the British, assuming their opponent knows what they're doing.

I would say that any strategy that takes advantage of your opponent's mistakes is the best strategy. There is no one true strategy for the Brits, nor for the French.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
de Gustibus wrote:
out4blood wrote:
If British settle on turn 1, then you should lay siege to Halifax (if settled) or Pemaquid immediately. (This ties up the Halifax ship card, which could otherwise be used in offense.) With French troops tied up in siege, the French player can play trader for 8 coins per turn. In this case, French have a 6 to 4 military advantage. If you let the British siege first, then the advantage is gone and it is 5 to 5, since you lose the ship on Port Royal or Louisburg and they can use the ship on Halifax.


Thanks a lot for this bit of feedback in particular. Of all the advice so far, I think it's the most compelling counter to Britain's siege of Halifax. Certainly, it's a better move for France than trying to besiege Pemaquid, because Pemaquid is an absolutely useless location for Britain (no ships) and I don't see how it benefits France long term.

It benefits France because it's a stepping stone to Boston. With French in Pemaquid, they cannot effectively lay siege elsewhere for fear of a French siege on Boston. This may force the British to retake Pemaquid (a wasteful diversion along the road to Quebec, but a necessary prophylactic) or maybe even to fortify Boston.

Quote:
Also, I didn't realize how efficient the Trader action is for France in the early game. (I had always thought of it as a good way to cycle through Western locations mid- to late-game.)

Yes, it's your primary moneymaker. However, this brings up a key point: you should avoid "western locations" when the British are rushing military. You won't be able to keep your deck lean enough to fight against them. Achieve military parity (as much as you can), and then begin ambushing the military-dense British. If you have Indian superiority, you can afford to reserve your military and they cannot.

Quote:
I also think that French players (including myself) may be underestimating the utility of using the 5 reserve slots to temporarily rid their deck of useless cards (Exhibit A: Bateaux).

Yea, you gotta reserve (and later, governor) the bateaux. If you use it for settling, it and the location cards clog your deck so you can't counter the military rush.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
de Gustibus wrote:
out4blood wrote:
If British settle on turn 1, then you should lay siege to Halifax (if settled) or Pemaquid immediately. (This ties up the Halifax ship card, which could otherwise be used in offense.) With French troops tied up in siege, the French player can play trader for 8 coins per turn. In this case, French have a 6 to 4 military advantage. If you let the British siege first, then the advantage is gone and it is 5 to 5, since you lose the ship on Port Royal or Louisburg and they can use the ship on Halifax.


Thanks a lot for this bit of feedback in particular. Of all the advice so far, I think it's the most compelling counter to Britain's siege of Halifax.
I agree, it's spot-on. This is exactly what the French should do. Actually, it's sound strategy for both sides, but more compelling for the French. Tying up your military in a siege is a perfect way to make a lot of money, for both sides. I also believe Halifax is a key location for either side, so sieging there is even better than sieging Pemaquid, in my opinion. I especially like the extra Ship it gives you.

Quote:
I also think that French players (including myself) may be underestimating the utility of using the 5 reserve slots to temporarily rid their deck of useless cards (Exhibit A: Bateaux).
Also very true. Over in the "most useless cards" thread, everyone seems to love the Governor, but I try to play a game where he isn't needed, and where I can use the Reserve as a mini-Gov. Ships got ragged on in that thread, but if you consider Nova Scotia to be the key theater of the war, then the card's usefulness becomes more apparent.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clydeiii wrote:
But you wrote (first):
Quote:
1. I do believe that the thin deck -> military -> siege is the best British strategy.

2. I am not convinced that the game is 100% balanced.
...which to me implied that you did not believe your own analysis

If your first interpretation after reading 500 words is that the person doesn't believe what they wrote, then maybe you ought to reconsider.

Quote:
I'm not sure why you wrote what you wrote,

Because it's what I believe.

Quote:
but I don't think your first two statements are at all true

That's fine. You don't have to but I would like to see some British alternatives before I give up my fixed position.

Quote:
the French ambush strategy is why a thin deck can actually haunt the British, assuming their opponent knows what they're doing.

There are also ways to counter an ambush strategy. It all depends on whose deck is better.

Quote:
I would say that any strategy that takes advantage of your opponent's mistakes is the best strategy. There is no one true strategy for the Brits, nor for the French.

Normally, yes. But in this game the British are on the clock. If they don't get going, the French can win just by developing. They only need to lay out 9 disks. So the British are essentially forced to take the initiative. Since the British are acting instead of reacting, what is the a priori strategy that serves them best?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoffrey Ulman
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If the (perceived) imbalance is relatively slight, perhaps it could be solved "organically" by bidding for sides at the start of the game (a common balancing mechanism in war games):

1) One player announces the side they wish to play and the amount of bonus starting money they are willing to give to the other player in order to let them.

2) The other player can accept the offer or counter with a higher offer to allow them to play a side of their choice.

3) Once one player isn't willing to outbid the other, the game begins.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
Normally, yes. But in this game the British are on the clock. If they don't get going, the French can win just by developing. They only need to lay out 9 disks. So the British are essentially forced to take the initiative. Since the British are acting instead of reacting, what is the a priori strategy that serves them best?
Ah! I was confused. You believe the game tilts toward the French... I can see that line of argument. It may be the case, but this thread appears to be about the game being tilted towards the English.

The Brits' main advantage is their small deck. If they can allow the French to hang themselves with a deck that's too large, they should be able to win. The trick is using the English might to force the French into crafting a large deck.

Most of the articles here on BGG argue in favor of some very aggressive opening move: buy two green settlers, settle Halifax, siege Port Royal, etc, and all of them are designed to gear up for a specific strategy. I think more important is being flexible, which is why I like the opening move of buy Home Support. Wait until the French have a weakness in their deck, then exploit it. Go the Halifax->Louisborg->Quebec route, but only after you've allowed the French to hang themselves with the 2 green settlers.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
flag msg tools
SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
Quote:
We already have certain people, not you, Tim, who have taken it upon themselves to be the "oracles" in regards to the rules, for better or for worse.

Clearly for the better, given that has resulted in much-needed clarifications, and even some rule changes from the designer.


Thank you. In the sense that an oracle was supposed to be channelling the words of the god, maybe. (Though I hope less cryptically than the Delphic Oracle.) All I do is collate and edit answers from Martin, though I encourage him to give some. I've made a judgment call that I'm just collecting "hard" questions. If anyone wants to collect the "easy" ones together the field is open, all I've done is create "an" FAQ list as it carefully says.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
flag msg tools
SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clydeiii wrote:
Go the Halifax->Louisborg->Quebec route, but only after you've allowed the French to hang themselves with the 2 green settlers.


The French can't afford two green settlers. But neither do they need them, just the one is enough to significantly improve their settling. Having two makes British denial of that unreasonably expensive.

Not that I'm suggesting that as an early French strategy, though it might be interesting combined with fortifying Louisbourg (that's the critical point) and enough defence to hold it. Might be interesting, but it's not my first plan.

Settle Halifax first is interesting, haven't seen that one played yet. I'm away from home as I type this, must check what symbols are on the British Halifax card (and the French one).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Eugene
Oregon
msg tools
Avatar
mb
out4blood wrote:
bentlarsen wrote:
Quote:
Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are.

Tim, from where does this information come? Did you hear it from Martin Wallace himself?

Edit: Additional evidence comes from the fact that the rules were changing even as things were going to print...

Let's be reminded of the last minute change to the Reserve rules, where the limit of five cards in the Reserve was added just before release. Until then, there was no limit. That the degenerate strategies with no Reserve limit were not recognized until late in the design process suggests very gentle play from the playtesters.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Paull
United Kingdom
HUNTINGDON
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:

2. I am not convinced that the game is 100% balanced. Martin Wallace has clearly not played much of deck-building games, and neither have his playtesters, whoever they are. Based on that, I have doubts whether they purposely exploited certain abusive strategies that Dominion and Magic players would have been familiar with.


The game may well not be 100% balanced. Discussions on BGG seem to suggest it isn't. But then again, some think it favours the French, others the British. Views seem to be quite mixed.

Some play testers at least had extensive deck-building skills, I can assure you. I played an early version at Conference of Wargamers and (along with others) was able to play abusive strategies and break that early version. [I've played a lot of deck-building games, including several years MtG, lots of Dominion, and so on, though I don't consider myself anywhere close to professional level.] Playing to break the game is what a lot of play testers do. The designer made extensive changes in response to this play testing, and I'm sure made further changes in response to the rest of play testing.

However, placing AFaOS alongside Magic or Dominion in terms of extent of play testing is a little unfair. The resources for play testing that MtG had are just not available to a small independent company. And even MtG let through many broken cards and several broken strategies, despite thousands of play tests, particularly in the early days.

Also, in defence, I would say that AFAoS is more robust than, say, Twilight Struggle. [duck-and-cover!]
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [36] | 
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.