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Crusader Rex» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Defeating the Saracen's turtle Strategy rss

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Rich Radgoski
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As in, how do we?

Playing 2.0. Forth game vs son. This time, I've got him on the ropes through most of the game. He does still have 4 victory towns, but I've got almost all my guys on the table (less about 5 in the dead pile). I've played dang near a perfect game. And in the last year, he plays two 3's in a row and moves all his army (mostly using musters) into his victory towns before I can get to him. Now, all for have 5 or more defenders and I have no hope of defeating him. I try, of course. Since Antioh, Damascus and Jeruselum have about 7 armies each, I attack Egypt with 5 armies. His to 'A' armies, however, make mince meat of my armies before I even get to fire. Two more combat rounds later, I'm slinking off the field with half my army dead. I have no hope of bringing more armies to bear all the way down here (and no hope attacking any of the 7's) so I admit defeat for the final two cards.

This is now his standard last turn. I'm sure the best defense against this is to not allow him a 4th city, but it's not that easy. Still, there seems something inherently wrong and broken about this. (as a game). Since most of his folks (all??) move 3 and the Franks only move 2, I just can't keep up with this tactic.

What is everyone else doing...???

 
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Rich Radgoski
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no one have any ideas???
 
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C Sandifer
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Arkobla Conn wrote:
no one have any ideas???


I'm still at my original three plays, unfortunately. I'm hoping to play more soon...

Like you, I'm curious to hear about others' endgame experiences.

Edit:

I also wonder how many players switched over to v2.0. It could be that a nontrivial fraction of CREX fans are happy with v1.4, but I honestly have no idea.

I wonder how many copies of 2.0 were sold.
 
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Ron Draker
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My Frank strategy is to leave Antioch open, have Tripoli defended with 2 four step knights and concentrate my forces in the south. In the few games I've won as the Franks I was able to take Egypt and hold on to Tripoli (barely), Acre and Jerusalem. The Saracens are tough to beat, especially if they play a patient game and are happy to sit on defense after they get their 4th city.

I suspect a game between two competent opponents will favor the Saracens, but I have to play more to be sure.
 
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Rich Radgoski
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Thanks - I think my son has that patient thing down now. I'm going to have to open up my end game. The only way to do that is to work hard at not allowing him free roads. If I can play strong and healthy early (like I was able to do in games 3 & 4), then I will have to play tough later, sacrificing units for the common good. I can't defeat him if he has so many units in his victory cities, so I need to try to stop him from getting those units in place.
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Peter Hutchinson
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There is no easy way I think to avoid turtling in games with fixed VP objectives and fixed duration other than in knowing this to try to act preventatively in the ways you were referring to.

Prior to the end turn you will have to deny the Saracen (or whoever has the lead number of cities) ease of movement by blocking roads to slow those muster moves. The more restrictive road limits should help, but that cuts both ways. You should try to retain control of ports to enable faster (albeit more costly) movement and be prepared as you say to sacrifice units. And I think you need to have a plan to optimise force concentration in the right place at the right time (yes I know, easy to say when you draw a hand laced with "1" cards and event cards on the last turn!!!).

The surrender of Antioch, perhaps the Franks more vulnerable city, to focus on Egypt, the Saracens more vulnerbale city, may be an option. Certainly Frank control in the south of the map and penning in the Saracen's Egyptian forces can help free up blocks for other uses.

Happily the new rules make the prospect of holding onto Tripoli a better option for the Franks although it may be move costly pulling out and dropping in blocks one at a time.

I think the Frank also needs to be bold in counter attacks or spoiling attacks to wrest the strategic intiative away as soon as possible from the Saracens who enjoy a lot of freedom of movement in the early to mid game.

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Rich Radgoski
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Thanks Peter!
 
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