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Subject: Difference Between Giants' and Nomads' Stronghold Abilities rss

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Chris Linneman
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Although they are worded differently, I fail to understand the difference between the stronghold abilities of the Giants and the Nomads.

The Giants' ability is as follows:

Stronghold: After building the Stronghold, take an Action token. As
a Special action (once per Action phase), get 2 free Spades to transform a reachable Terrain space into your Home terrain. On this space, you may
immediately build a Dwelling by paying its costs. Use the Action token to keep track of using this Special action.

And the Nomads':

Stronghold: After building the Stronghold, take an Action token. As a
Special action (once per Action phase), you may transform a Terrain space directly adjacent to one of your Structures into your Home terrain (Sandstorm). On this space, you may immediately build a Dwelling by paying its costs. (This ability is not applicable past a River space or Bridge.) Use the Action token to keep track of using this Special action. (The Sandstorm is not considered a Spade.)

The only difference I can spot is that the Giants' ability applies to "reachable" Terrain spaces (i.e., directly or indirectly adjacent), whereas the Nomads' ability only works on directly adjacent spaces.

Other than the ability to span rivers, is there anything else to distinguish these abilities?

If not, the Nomads seem way better than the Giants. The three-dwelling start as well as not needing to pay two spades to terraform seems well worth the requiring direct adjacency for the stronghold ability. Am I wrong?

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Christine Mertens
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For me, the other difference is :

- the nomad can change every type of terrain into home terrain (did not depends of a number of spades)

- the giants can only use two spades. So they can use one spade on two different terrains or two spade in the same. And they were not oblige to change the terrain in home terrain. And, if the terrain need three spade to be change in home terrain you will not have your home terrain (you need to make an other action to use one more spade).
 
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Dominic Lauke
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A other difference is that the giants get 2 spades with their ability. And maybe you know that their are some bonus effects, which give you victory points by using spades. The nomands don't use spades with their stronghold effect.
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Christian Fuerst-Brunner
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I think the two abbilities are basically the same.

The difference lies in minor things, e.g. two spades may net you four points in some rounds or that the giants abbility works also indirect adjacently.
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Chris Linneman
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Wow, that really surprises me. I thought I had to be missing something. The Nomads seem so much better than the Giants.

Krissou wrote:

- the giants can only use two spades. So they can use one spade on two different terrains or two spade in the same. And they were not oblige to change the terrain in home terrain. And, if the terrain need three spade to be change in home terrain you will not have your home terrain (you need to make an other action to use one more spade).


From reading the text, it appears the Giants are obliged to transform the terrain into their home terrain ("transform a reachable Terrain space into your Home terrain.") Also, for the Giants all terrains require 2 spades to transform, so the 2 spades will always be sufficient.

I don't believe they can use 1 spade on one terrain and 1 on another (for no effect). I also don't see why they would want to.
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Juho Snellman
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The Giant stronghold is also cheaper and gives a higher income.
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Chris Linneman
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jsnell wrote:
The Giant stronghold is also cheaper and gives a higher income.


You're right. I had noticed the cost, but wrote it off since 2 coins didn't seem like much. But the income is a different story. It seems the Giants should be one of the factions that wants to build their stronghold ASAP.
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Benjamin Lindvall
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QBert80 wrote:
Wow, that really surprises me. I thought I had to be missing something. The Nomads seem so much better than the Giants.

Krissou wrote:

- the giants can only use two spades. So they can use one spade on two different terrains or two spade in the same. And they were not oblige to change the terrain in home terrain. And, if the terrain need three spade to be change in home terrain you will not have your home terrain (you need to make an other action to use one more spade).


From reading the text, it appears the Giants are obliged to transform the terrain into their home terrain ("transform a reachable Terrain space into your Home terrain.") Also, for the Giants all terrains require 2 spades to transform, so the 2 spades will always be sufficient.

I don't believe they can use 1 spade on one terrain and 1 on another (for no effect). I also don't see why they would want to.


You're right QBert, they can't. Only 2 spades may be used by the Giants, and only on 1 space per turn. If they receive 1 from the power action or the bonus card, they can use workers to gain the 2nd needed one, and then that is it. I don't believe they can ever get 3 in a burst. If they get 1 during the Cult bonus time, it is wasted and cannot be used. They can never do a partial transformation, they don't use the terraform wheel at all. There aren't any spades pictured on it even.
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miklos kuti
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The reach of the stronghold abilities is indeed different and it maybe important in certain situations, but I think that the big difference between the two races is when you want to terraform without using the stronghold ability: the giants always need 2 spades whereas the nomads given the right reachable landscape type may use 1 spade to change a landscape type to its own. Therefore it is more important for the giants than the nomads to build their stronghold early.
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Frank Heeren
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Cyberian wrote:
...the giants abbility works also indirect adjacently.


besides the possible four victory points this is the key difference. the giants can use their ability on indirect adjacent terrain, that means across the river. the nomad can not do that.

and to correct Christine: the giants can never split their spades. one spade is useless to them since every transformation is always 2 spades for the giants, regardless the terrain.
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Gemini6Ice Gemini6Ice
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the giants' stronghold ability strictly better than the nomads' ability (and is this difference balanced by getting nerfed elsewhere?)

-Both abilities terraform into their home terrain.

-The giants can build their stronghold for 2 fewer coins than the nomads can.

-The giants' ability can terraform any reachable tile, but the nomads' ability can terraform only adjacent to built structures.

-The giants can immediately build a structure after terraforming with their stronghold ability. The nomads cannot.

-The giants use spades when they terraform with the stronghold ability, and so get any spades bonuses (if there are any for the current round). The nomads cannot get bonus points from terraforming with the stronghold ability.

It seems to me that the giants' "2 spades" terraforming rule is perfectly balanced on its own, because 2 "3 spade" terrains and 2 "1 spade" terrains both become "2 spade" terrains.

So am I missing how the giants are not a better race to use than the nomads?
 
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Pete Goch
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Gemini6Ice wrote:

-The giants can immediately build a structure after terraforming with their stronghold ability. The nomads cannot.


The Nomads can also immediately build a dwelling.

However, you forget the 4 power income the Giant's stronghold gets compared to the 2 the Nomads get.

Quote:
It seems to me that the giants' "2 spades" terraforming rule is perfectly balanced on its own, because 2 "3 spade" terrains and 2 "1 spade" terrains both become "2 spade" terrains.

So am I missing how the giants are not a better race to use than the nomads?


Upgrading dig is nearly pointless for the Giants. The Nomads can make use of it. Use of the single shovel power action, bonus card and cult bonus are also more or less unusable by the Giants. If the Giants are going to terraform it's either via the stronghold ability or a double dig bonus action. Any other method would be ill advised. The Nomads have much more flexibility in their options for expansion.
 
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Chris Linneman
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Gemini6Ice wrote:

So am I missing how the giants are not a better race to use than the nomads?


The nomads are more popular than the giants for a couple reasons:

They start with three dwellings, which is a big advantage. That's one more worker income for the whole game and a higher likelihood of forming three towns, not to mention greater access to hexes for building and power leeching.

They can terraform some terrains for one spade. The giants always need to spend two spades to terraform, which is a disadvantage since in practice the vast majority of the hexes you terraform are one-spade hexes with a few two-spades thrown in. So the average cost for terraforming for other races is something like 1.2 spades per hex. For the giants it's always 2 spades per hex.

Of course, one of the hardest things to measure when evaluating a faction is its hex layout on the board. I would argue that yellow is one of the worst layouts, having little to no use for shipping. Red can make a lot of use of shipping, so in this field the giants have an edge. And of course the stronghold is cheaper and better for the giants as well.
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Enon Sci
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QBert80 wrote:

The Giants' ability is as follows:

Stronghold: After building the Stronghold, take an Action token. As
a Special action (once per Action phase), get 2 free Spades to transform a reachable Terrain space into your Home terrain. On this space, you may
immediately build a Dwelling by paying its costs. Use the Action token to keep track of using this Special action.



I'm sure everybody is correct in their interpretation, and I've never paid much attention to the giants yet (I'm a new player). However, I wanted to ask why the alternate reading of this to mean "the giants get 2 free spades" isn't correct?

Until now, I had never assumed those 2 spades would terraform any space into the home terrain, and I can still see my original interpretation in the structure of that sentence. Was this clarified elsewhere?

For the non-English speakers, a point of clarification: If I were to say, "here's $2 so you can go to the movies," that doesn't necessarily imply I'm giving you the total to achieve that goal. I'm just giving you a free element to put towards that goal. Why isn't this capable of being interpreted the same way?

Thanks

(just anticipating future debates around my table ).
 
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Chris Linneman
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Spades can only be spent to terraform, they must be spent immediately upon being generated, and all terrains turn to red for the giants with the application of 2 spades. How else can this be interpreted but that those 2 spades are for terraforming a hex to the giants' home terrain?
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QBert80 wrote:
Spades can only be spent to terraform, they must be spent immediately upon being generated, and all terrains turn to red for the giants with the application of 2 spades. How else can this be interpreted but that those 2 spades are for terraforming a hex to the giants' home terrain?


It can be interpreted to mean they get 2 free spades, and can naturally pay for additional spades if they need to do more than a single degree of terraforming, unless I'm missing something.

In other words, it would just be a "use this action to get a free spade" action, but since the Giants need 2 spades it reads as two.

To further clarify, if the reachable terrain space would normally cost 3 spades to terraform, using this ability demands only the expenditure of two (since they get the freebie from the Stronghold).

 
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Gemini6Ice Gemini6Ice
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
However, you forget the 4 power income the Giant's stronghold gets compared to the 2 the Nomads get.


Thank you! That's one more point in the giants' court.

Quote:
Upgrading dig is nearly pointless for the Giants. The Nomads can make use of it. Use of the single shovel power action, bonus card and cult bonus are also more or less unusable by the Giants. If the Giants are going to terraform it's either via the stronghold ability or a double dig bonus action. Any other method would be ill advised. The Nomads have much more flexibility in their options for expansion.


In the game I played, the giants did a lot of terraforming by multiple means: stronghold ability, regular terraforming, and the on-board special abilities.

I think I will likely pick giants over nomads, if I have a choice, in future games.
 
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Juho Snellman
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Anarchosyn wrote:
It can be interpreted to mean they get 2 free spades, and can naturally pay for additional spades if they need to do more than a single degree of terraforming, unless I'm missing something.

All Giant terraforming costs exactly 2 spades no matter what the starting terrain is. Not 1, not 3.
 
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Chris Linneman
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Gemini6Ice wrote:

In the game I played, the giants did a lot of terraforming by multiple means: stronghold ability, regular terraforming, and the on-board special abilities.


You realize regular terraforming costs 6 workers for the giants? I am hard-pressed to think of a scenario in which this is not prohibitively expensive.
 
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Gemini6Ice Gemini6Ice
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QBert80 wrote:
Gemini6Ice wrote:

In the game I played, the giants did a lot of terraforming by multiple means: stronghold ability, regular terraforming, and the on-board special abilities.


You realize regular terraforming costs 6 workers for the giants? I am hard-pressed to think of a scenario in which this is not prohibitively expensive.


Not if they level up their digging capability to 1 worker/spade?
 
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Pete Goch
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Gemini6Ice wrote:


Not if they level up their digging capability to 1 worker/spade?


Not a really good idea for the giants. For one they won't be getting their priest income until later than most given they need to build their stronghold first. Consequently they won't be able to upgrade dig until later in the game and would get relatively little use out of it. Add that to the fact that they must dig twice to terraform it's half as efficient as anyone else using it.
 
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Chris Linneman
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Gemini6Ice wrote:


Not if they level up their digging capability to 1 worker/spade?


Not a really good idea for the giants. For one they won't be getting their priest income until later than most given they need to build their stronghold first. Consequently they won't be able to upgrade dig until later in the game and would get relatively little use out of it. Add that to the fact that they must dig twice to terraform it's half as efficient as anyone else using it.


Yes. I mean, in theory, if the game were longer, it could make sense for the giants to upgrade digging. But in practice by the time they get the 4 workers, 10 coins and 2 priests required to upgrade their shovels, they can't really afford to spend 2 workers terraforming and another building enough times to see the hefty investment pay off. What turns out to be more efficient is looking to use the 2 spade power action frequently and of course using the stronghold special power. Note that upgrading digging weakens the relative strength of the stronghold power. Late cult bonuses that give spades can be of interest to the giants as well provided they are advanced far enough to receive 2 spades.
 
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jsnell wrote:
Anarchosyn wrote:
It can be interpreted to mean they get 2 free spades, and can naturally pay for additional spades if they need to do more than a single degree of terraforming, unless I'm missing something.

All Giant terraforming costs exactly 2 spades no matter what the starting terrain is. Not 1, not 3.


I said exactly that in the line following what you quoted.
 
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Juho Snellman
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Anarchosyn wrote:
jsnell wrote:
Anarchosyn wrote:
It can be interpreted to mean they get 2 free spades, and can naturally pay for additional spades if they need to do more than a single degree of terraforming, unless I'm missing something.

All Giant terraforming costs exactly 2 spades no matter what the starting terrain is. Not 1, not 3.


I said exactly that in the line following what you quoted.

No, you didn't. The following line didn't really make any sense at with the rules as written. (Not quite sure what your misinterpretation is).

Quote:
In other words, it would just be a "use this action to get a free spade" action, but since the Giants need 2 spades it reads as two.

To further clarify, if the reachable terrain space would normally cost 3 spades to terraform, using this ability demands only the expenditure of two (since they get the freebie from the Stronghold).

No. The reachable terrain space will never cost 3 spades to terraform. It will cost 2, and it will always be transformed exactly to the home terrain. That is how the Giants work. It costs 2 spades to transform a yellow to a red. It costs 2 spades to transform a black to a red. It's impossible to transform anything to something that's not red. There is no terraforming wheel unlike with the other factions. There's no extra "degree of terraforming" to pay for.
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jsnell wrote:

No, you didn't. The following line didn't really make any sense at with the rules as written. (Not quite sure what your misinterpretation is).



Wow. I'm not sure if it's a poor grasp of the English language, or you're just a disagreeable person, but talking to you is a painful experience. This will be the last I do that.

Anarchosyn wrote:

In other words, it would just be a "use this action to get a free spade" action, but since the Giants need 2 spades it reads as two.





This was the line I was referencing. That wouldn't have made any sense unless the speaker recognized that Giants needed 2 spades.

Nevertheless, in the bit you reprinted above, when I said "3 spades" I was using the word "spade" to mean "terraforming degree," since almost every context they're synonymous. My apologies for the loose speech, but I wasn't speaking to you or anybody else besides Chris (i.e. I was clarifying at Chris' request). Given the context of the commentary as an attempted restatement of the prior statements, but in a different way, I felt it was clearer than it may have been.

Now stop talking to me.
 
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