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Subject: Everything is ambushable rss

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Clyde W
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I just had an interesting thought that would make it much risker to adopt the thin deck strategy: what if every card was ambushable? All you must do to ambush is say which card you're hoping to ambush, similar to how you must say which location you're raiding before performing the raid action.

A couple other key points: cards in reserve are not ambushable, unless they have the ambush symbol on them, and only after all ambushes performed on your turn does your opponent show you their hand to prove that they do not have the cards you hoped they do. You must, of course, still play all costs of an ambush, regardless of success.

You could add in a rule for thematic consistency that states that Rangers, CdB, Natives, Forts, Ships and French Militia, and fortified locations cannot be ambushed.

We might also consider the rule that ambushed locations cards go into the discard pile instead of back into the location deck, otherwise ambushing would be too powerful, perhaps. Another way to make it less strong is to double its cost.

In either case, it definitely hampers the thin deck strategy, especially if ambushing becomes a free action.
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Martin G
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I like the spirit of this. The problem with thin decks is that their predictability makes them too strong; this counteracts that by making their predictability a weakness.
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Clyde W
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Precisely. It does this at the cost of making ambushes less effective against a thick deck. BUT, it also adds a fun new combo: when combined with a Indian Leader/Priest (after your opponent has showed you his hand), it can be very effective against a thick deck too.

What's also nice is this rule change helps both sides fairly equally, and also allows the British to slow quick French expansion rush (which I've always thought was the lamest way to win).
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Christopher Dearlove
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Frankly, I don't see this one flying, especially if you are including locations, but not even if you are not.
 
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Clyde W
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Why not? To be fair, it's the only fix proposed thus far that accomplishes its goal without modifying anything else about the game. It's a simple rule to understand, and it works for both sides, so it won't throw off the balance at all.

It also has an intersting little feature that makes it such that ambushing is strong at the start of the game but raids become more powerful as the decks grow thick and ambushes are more difficult to pull off, which makes thematic sense: the regulars, say, could be anywhere once the empire has expanded, but if it is smaller, they're easier to ambush, because their location is easier to pinpoint.

Honestly, it's the most satisfying, clean fix I've seen thus far, and if you object to the concept of settlements getting ambushed, then the theme could be that you're ambushing the items located there (the money/merchant, the settler, the military, etc).
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clydeiii wrote:
Precisely. It does this at the cost of making ambushes less effective against a thick deck. BUT, it also adds a fun new combo: when combined with a Indian Leader/Priest (after your opponent has showed you his hand), it can be very effective against a thick deck too.

What's also nice is this rule change helps both sides fairly equally, and also allows the British to slow quick French expansion rush (which I've always thought was the lamest way to win).

There's a charm to this, I'll admit. But I think it puts an over reliance on the use of IL/P and NA/R/CdB early and often for hitting any empire card or location in the game.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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clydeiii wrote:
Why not? To be fair, it's the only fix proposed thus far that accomplishes its goal without modifying anything else about the game.

Accomplishes what goal? There's no evidence it accomplishes the real goal, the only goal it definitely accomplishes is defined by what it does. And that's true of several of the suggestions. This is also anything but proof against the law of unintended consequences (I'll predict it has some).

But it completely changes a mechanism of he game, and completely distorts the whole idea of what an ambush is. What exactly are a small group (of native Americans or Rangers) doing when they ambush a town? Especially one that can't even be raided.

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It's a simple rule to understand

Not really, as you have this whole messy concept of old style ambushing, new style ambushing, and status of the the reserve.

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and it works for both sides, so it won't throw off the balance at all.

Definitely not the self-evident comment you seem to think it is. Probably even not true.

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Honestly, it's the most satisfying, clean fix I've seen thus far

Honestly, it's not clean, not satisfying, and probably not a fix.
 
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Clyde W
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Quote:
Accomplishes what goal? There's no evidence it accomplishes the real goal, the only goal it definitely accomplishes is defined by what it does.
One goal (out of many I suppose) is implementing a rule change that makes the thin-deck strategy very, very risky. Now, the best proposal (other than this one) I've seen so far, in my opinion of course, is disallow abuse of HS via either HS First Action Only or Delayed Discards, and Ambush as a free action. Implementing those two changes make thin-deck very risky.

Now that's one way of approaching the problem. The problem, just to reiterate, is that when the deck is small, there's no luck and you can abuse a loophole in the rules involving Home Support. What this ONE (not two) rule change does is turn that lack of luck back against itself, which is a different approach that any other fix proposed so far. I think this is in the spirit of the game's design. The smaller you make your deck/empire, the easier it is for your opponent to pinpoint the target for an ambush. The larger you make your deck/empire, the harder it will be for your opponent to target you. This makes thematic sense.

Now, what does it mean for a ranger to ambush a location? Again, I refer you to the symbols on the cards. They're ambushing the fur hunters, or the port, or the shipment of money, or merchants, or traders, or military. Ambushes of things other than military did occur during this war, of course.

I understand you don't like the idea, but I think Martin should at least be aware of it. It opens up some interesting directions for the game, and, of course, yes, it must be tested well before it can be an official rule change, but I think it has a shot of doing what we want without us having to change anything else, even without us having to close the loophole on Home Support.
 
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clydeiii wrote:
Now, what does it mean for a ranger to ambush a location? Again, I refer you to the symbols on the cards. They're ambushing the fur hunters, or the port, or the shipment of money, or merchants, or traders, or military. Ambushes of things other than military did occur during this war, of course.

There are three avenues of competition in the game: Settlement, Overt War (Sieges), and Covert War (Ambushes/Raids).

I think the "Everything Ambushable" option puts too much reliance on the Covert War avenue. I think players will quickly draw out Native Americans, Indian Leaders, Priests, Coureurs d'Bois, d'Bois and Rangers to maximize their ability to knock cards out of their opponent's hand. I think a lot of the game will be spent doing that to one another.

Second, when you ambush a location, you're knocking out every available use of the card. Especially for areas that begin the game settled, it doesn't make historical sense that natives and foreign woodsmen appear out of nowhere to paralyze all shipping, commerce, security, and citizenry of a well-established place like New York.

The mechanism for formally knocking out a location is the Raid action. When would you go through the effort to set up Raid actions if you can tag a place like that with Ambush from the locations at game start?

As it is, Ambush is good for taking out military cards that are vulnerable to it. Siege Artillery, Regulars, and the British Militia are vulnerable and it is those cards that are a part of the thin-deck strategy. So I think that angle is covered, too.
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Clyde W
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BradyLS wrote:
As it is, Ambush is good for taking out military cards that are vulnerable to it. Siege Artillery, Regulars, and the British Militia are vulnerable and it is those cards that are a part of the thin-deck strategy. So I think that angle is covered, too.
Sadly, it has been shown that even without Home Support abuse, it's very difficult to make ambushing effective against thin-deck. I would go so far as to say that ambushing is broken, under the current rules, at least as a counter to thin-deck strategies.

What's interesting about this variant is that, yes, it would be tempting to go after locations at the start of the game. The obvious counter to this, of course, is to make your deck thick, such that it will be hard for your opponent to predict when you'll have a certain location in your hand on any given turn. Basically, the threat of, say, Philadelphia, getting knocked out of commission for a bit is drastically reduced if it is just one of 25 cards in your deck.

The other thing that's interesting is that ambushing under this variant is not just a duplicate of raiding. In raiding, you're actually taking away points from your opponent and leaving the location open for settling. With ambushing, you're just taking that card out of your opponent's deck until they can resettle it, which is quite easy to do. Of course, Ambushes are still blockable, so if you're very worried about a specific card getting ambushed away, always have a ambush blocker in hand at all times.
 
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Well, try some games that way. Let us know how it goes! Personally, I think they'll take awhile with all the Ambushing and (re)Settling.

...I don't suppose if a place is fortified it'd be immune to your Everything Ambushable rules?
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Clyde W
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BradyLS wrote:
Well, try some games that way. Let us know how it goes! Personally, I think they'll take awhile with all the Ambushing and (re)Settling.

...I don't suppose if a place is fortified it'd be immune to your Everything Ambushable rules?
Sounds like a good suggestions, sure.
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A.J. Sansom
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Would it work any better to say that any non-location card is ambush-able? I've only played twice so far (so I'm not in this discussion looking for a fix to certain strategies), but the ambush option always seemed underwhelming thus far.
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zollom
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clydeiii,
what I am proposing in the other thread is not to make every card ambushable(is that a word?), but instead of my opponent choosing the card, I get to choose the card and remove it. That would make the thin deck a little bit more risky, especially if you don't have an indian card to block it. So, if you have an infantry or a siege cannon in your hand or reserve, I get to choose which one? Of course I'd choose the more expensive, stronger siege cannon.
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A.J. Sansom
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zollom04 wrote:
clydeiii,
what I am proposing in the other thread is not to make every card ambushable(is that a word?), but instead of my opponent choosing the card, I get to choose the card and remove it. That would make the thin deck a little bit more risky, especially if you don't have an indian card to block it. So, if you have an infantry or a siege cannon in your hand or reserve, I get to choose which one? Of course I'd choose the more expensive, stronger siege cannon.

I like this idea; have you been able to play and try out this variation yet?
 
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zollom
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I don't get to play much of anything. modest

I'll try to push a friend of mine to play this weekend. Another thing is that we're not experts at this game or even good at the HH. It might take some time but I'll work something out.
 
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Clyde W
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You really must convince the HH experts of your ideas, or become an HH expert yourself, otherwise any playtesting this idea is pointless.

In fact, really, you should become an HH expert before you suggest any ideas, really. You must understand the problem before you can try to fix it.
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zollom
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Although I agree with you for most of that, I think I can understand the basic concept of the HH and it's problems. Although I don't have a physical opponent sitting across from me, I still can pull out the game and walk through several of the steps to get a fairly good understanding of the problem. I can't get real time experience but saying I can't understand the problem is completely wrong.

Now, saying my suggestions are spot on, well I can't say that, but they shouldn't be shunned just because I don't get to play as much as others. Do I have tested experience?, no.
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Clyde W
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zollom04 wrote:
Although I agree with you for most of that, I think I can understand the basic concept of the HH and it's problems. Although I don't have a physical opponent sitting across from me, I still can pull out the game and walk through several of the steps to get a fairly good understanding of the problem. I can't get real time experience but saying I can't understand the problem is completely wrong.

Now, saying my suggestions are spot on, well I can't say that, but they shouldn't be shunned just because I don't get to play as much as others. Do I have tested experience?, no.
If you can't even break the game yet, why care that it's broken? Just play and eventually it'll either break or it never will. At that point, you can hope a fix is underway or fix it yourself.
 
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zollom
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Will do!
 
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