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Subject: Wisdom From Several Plays rss

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Since this is such a new game and there's so little written about (non-coop /non-solo) strategy, I thought I'd contribute some basic points to stick to.

1. Don't dump your hand every turn. It may seem like this is a dominant strategy: whoever moves through their deck fastest gets to play all their cards, while everyone else only has one more turn and then whatever cards they didn't play they won't get to play this round. However, the efficiency you gain by using cards in optimal situations, powering cards up with the source, and having big turns greatly outweighs the loss of not playing a few cards.

2. Know what "one card" or "one mana" means. What do I mean by this? Your basic action deck in general will give you 2 Attack/Block/Move/Influence per card. Use this as a baseline!!!! Realize that a card played sideways is half a card. More importantly, realize that ONE MANA = ONE CARD. Why are crystals so damn good? They're a card that you've stored away to play later, exactly when you need them.

2b. Learn where Units, Advanced Actions, Spells, and Artifacts fit into this. They may be harder to value than your basic deck, but not by much. This is a bit more personal and a bit more heuristic, but coming up with some basic number helps to value things a lot. For example, as I said, I value a basic action at "2" in general. An Advanced Action, however, to ME, is 2.5, and a spell is 3. Why is a spell only 3? It always needs mana, and remember that we value mana is at 2, same as a regular card. I'm still toying with these numbers though, and they'll remain estimates forever. Units' value varies based on level, with additional complexities of absorbing wounds and whatnot, but try to at least look at them with this mindset even if you do not ultimately assign a value to them.

Disclaimer on 2 and 2b: This is obviously very rough. However, assuming you take it with a grain of salt and remember that these numbers are for estimation, it's incredibly helpful.

3. The deckbuilding game wisdom that "Awesome + Poor >>>> Mediocre + Mediocre" is alive and well in MKBG. This game rewards setting up giant turns. The most obvious example is the fact that it's pretty damn hard to take down a city in one turn, especially if you don't want to your character to look like a raw steak afterwards. Across the board though, if you take little turns(this goes back to point number 1) and store up mana and useful cards, you'll find it quite easy to take down dragons and the like even without sitting on keeps and drawing 12 cards. That being said, that 12 card turn can and will win you games. Take it as often as you can.

4. Know when to poach, and when to take what you are given. There's a decent amount of luck in this game, especially with map revealing. It should go without saying that you should never flip a map tile that you can't guarantee you'll be the first one to move on to. The player who runs across three cities and lots of monsters that he can easily defeat for good rewards has an advantage over the player who flips empty tiles and monsters that are nearly impossible to defeat. What I mean with the original piece of advice is that sometimes, if you're the player flipping poorly, what you have flipped is good enough and you should do your best with it. Sometimes though, it's worth spending two bad turns trekking across the map to poach a kill and take two wounds. I've watched a lot of players try to make a hard and fast rule about this. There isn't a rule to be made, so don't do it! This is one aspect of the game that you have to evaluate on a case by case basis.

5. Flexible cards are better than non-flexible ones. This seems obvious, but I keep seeing players stuff their decks full of "sweet" attack cards, or "crazy" movement cards. These cards are good, there's no doubt. However, they aren't as good as the less exciting looking cards that let you do nonsense with mana, or give you options. Cards like Maximal Effect and Mana Storm are good in almost every hand.

6. Know your deck. Even if you can't memorize every card, you can pretty easily know, "Gosh, I haven't seen a whole lot of movement yet, and my deck is getting thin." Plan around these things! If you know your last two turns are going to be hands made for murder, set yourself near lots of enemies! If they're going to be movement-filled, take care of what you can in your immediate proximity knowing that you're going to be getting on your pony soon.

7. Be APPROPRIATELY afraid of wounds. Wounds suck. A lot. However, you will lose if you avoid them no matter what. Remember that they can be healed, and even an unhealed wound or two in your deck won't lose you the game. Try to have a plan to heal them, but it isn't necessary to avoid them at all costs, especially if the reward is good enough.

8. Don't be tempted to sacrifice artifacts early in the game. I promise, you'll have a better use for the sacrifice later, and you'll get to see the card a few times before then too.

I will refine this list and add to it, since it was written hastily.
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Dave Mansell
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Thanks for this post. Can you please outline a way in which someone could have a 12-card turn? That seems a little high to me, and I'm wondering if you or I may have a rule wrong somewhere.
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John DeLuxe
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This could happen with:

7-card basic hand
2-card city/keep bonus
Motivation skill
Tranquility powered.

With things like Sparing Power, Great Start, 3-4 keeps or Maximal Effect on Tranquility this could go higher.
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David Debien
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ignorantpenguin wrote:
1. Don't dump your hand every turn. It may seem like this is a dominant strategy: whoever moves through their deck fastest gets to play all their cards, while everyone else only has one more turn and then whatever cards they didn't play they won't get to play this round. However, the efficiency you gain by using cards in optimal situations, powering cards up with the source, and having big turns greatly outweighs the loss of not playing a few cards.


As a corollary to 1 above, you have to know when to let cards go as well and just play them sideways. I have seen both new and experienced players hold to too many attack cards and then get stuck in a situation where they are only drawing one or two new cards in a vain attempt to get the move points they need to attack the monster they have been saving up for.

Also, I have see players over value Improvisation far too much, holding it in their hands for several turns. This is a card that requires you to discard a second card to get a basic effect at value 3, which is the same as playing any basic card plus a sideways card. For the mana enhanced effect, the value is 5, which is again the same as playing a basic card with mana plus a sideways card. Now, the fact that Improv can be used for Move, Attack, Block or Influence makes it incredibly versatile, but if you know exactly what you are doing next turn, that versatility goes down significantly.
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beakachu wrote:
This could happen with:

7-card basic hand
2-card city/keep bonus
Motivation skill
Tranquility powered.

With things like Sparing Power, Great Start, 3-4 keeps or Maximal Effect on Tranquility this could go higher.


12 was just a high number I was throwing out (more often huge turns are 9ish), but to add to the list of nonsense Time Bend after Tranquility can help too.

casualgod wrote:
ignorantpenguin wrote:
1. Don't dump your hand every turn. It may seem like this is a dominant strategy: whoever moves through their deck fastest gets to play all their cards, while everyone else only has one more turn and then whatever cards they didn't play they won't get to play this round. However, the efficiency you gain by using cards in optimal situations, powering cards up with the source, and having big turns greatly outweighs the loss of not playing a few cards.


As a corollary to 1 above, you have to know when to let cards go as well and just play them sideways. I have seen both new and experienced players hold to too many attack cards and then get stuck in a situation where they are only drawing one or two new cards in a vain attempt to get the move points they need to attack the monster they have been saving up for.

Also, I have see players over value Improvisation far too much, holding it in their hands for several turns. This is a card that requires you to discard a second card to get a basic effect at value 3, which is the same as playing any basic card plus a sideways card. For the mana enhanced effect, the value is 5, which is again the same as playing a basic card with mana plus a sideways card. Now, the fact that Improv can be used for Move, Attack, Block or Influence makes it incredibly versatile, but if you know exactly what you are doing next turn, that versatility goes down significantly.


This is a decent point. However, I've seen fewer people doing this and I also think it's less detrimental than aggressively dumping your hand every turn.

And on Improv, agreed 100%. It's a hand fixer, but not at all a strong card that should be saved. Honestly, it's one of the last cards you want to save.
 
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Kevin Walsh
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Wilikai wrote:
Thanks for this post. Can you please outline a way in which someone could have a 12-card turn? That seems a little high to me, and I'm wondering if you or I may have a rule wrong somewhere.

I did it in one of my first Solo Conquest games by controlling 5 Keeps. My Reputation was in the toilet and I couldn't afford to recruit any units, but I was able to play huge hands. And I had Call to Glory so I was able to get units anyway.
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Dave Mansell
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Amaranth wrote:
I did it in one of my first Solo Conquest games by controlling 5 Keeps.


I'm pretty sure you have to be on or adjacent to your keep to get the bonus.
 
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Chris Linneman
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Wilikai wrote:

I'm pretty sure you have to be on or adjacent to your keep to get the bonus.


You do, but the bonus is equal to the total number of keeps you control, which in his case was 5.
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Alex Rockwell
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You can get a 9-10 card hand by being in a village (that you pillage) next to a keep. This is generally a monster turn if you can pull it off.
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Norlo Zapata
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Really nice tips!

Thumbs up and thanks for sharing!
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Luis Fernandez
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ignorantpenguin wrote:
2. Know what "one card" or "one mana" means. What do I mean by this? Your basic action deck in general will give you 2 Attack/Block/Move/Influence per card. Use this as a baseline!!!! Realize that a card played sideways is half a card. More importantly, realize that ONE MANA = ONE CARD. Why are crystals so damn good? They're a card that you've stored away to play later, exactly when you need them.


Great advice! the game is about strategic planification, and the mana are almost the currency! always try to store some mana always is useful to boost something in your turn.

ignorantpenguin wrote:
7. Be APPROPRIATELY afraid of wounds. Wounds suck. A lot. However, you will lose if you avoid them no matter what. Remember that they can be healed, and even an unhealed wound or two in your deck won't lose you the game. Try to have a plan to heal them, but it isn't necessary to avoid them at all costs, especially if the reward is good enough.


The wounds aren´t the worse thing happened to you, you could play some euro strategy of no feeding your peasant making more with your time to compensate the points its remove. I´m sure there should be an evil solution to win over the wounds, but they really awful part is how they bother your hand during the game, at the end of the game you could take several for something superior.


i would like to add an aditional advice:

9. Try to end your movement in a location, specially mines or the glades; don´t end in open unless is imperative necesary, remember that this gave you some benefits to be used during the game.
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