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Subject: Unbalanced? rss

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Robert Birmley
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Well, after 6 games, and numerous checks to make sure we were playing it right, we've concluded that the game is just too unbalanced in favor of the defender. That's a shame because I really want to like this game, but it's sucked the enjoyment of it out. I've heard on threads here that say that after you master the invader role then the win 40% of the time. Frankly, I don't want to have to put in hours and hours of gaming just to make the game less unbalanced. My opponent and I are both experienced gamers and have already spent close to 15 hours playing the game - and whoever plays the defender always wins (without much thought on the defender's part, I might add). We're going to try tweaking the hourglasses awarded to the defender: none at the start of turn, and 3 and 1 for dispatches, instead of 5 and 3.

Thoughts?
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David S
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I disagree. The Invader is playing a game of efficiency, and it sounds like the Invader in your games needs to improve on this aspect.
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Charles Simon
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I disagree as well. I definitely think that there is a higher learning curve for the Invader and a specific frame of mind that the player needs to take (never think it is more than a 7-turn game), however, as the Invader I'll win most games against a less experienced player. So, skill and understanding of how to play does matter. Against my wife (who is the person that I know who has the most experience and skill as the Defender), I'll win at least half of my games, if not a little more. Give me certain combinations of cards and I average even better.

My best advice for the Invader player is to look to breach on Turn 6. Pretend the game ends at the end of Turn 7--because unless the Defender makes big mistakes or you force extreme defense maneuvers, it is over for the Invader anyhow by then.
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Robert Birmley
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So you don't believe there is a steeper learning curve in playing the invader as opposed to the defender?

We switch sides every game to see if the other player can find some untapped strategy that the other was unable to. Seems odd that both me and my son would encounter the same issues, and from the posts on these forums, it doesn't sound like we're alone in this.
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Robert Birmley
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Charles, posted my reply to the David's post before seeing yours.
 
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Charles Simon
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I posted a couple of strategy related articles on the game in the forums, but here is one where I discuss the timing of the Invader:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/481573/


And here is a pictorial session report that I had dissecting a typical Invader strategy and win:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/676235/


I love the game and the theme and I really tried to get the timing issues of the Invader out there because it was a frustrating issue as the Invader as we were learning the game. The ten turns gives an illusion to having more time than you really do as the Invader. It is -possible- that you could still win later than Turn 7, but highly unlikely unless the Defender pulled the Honor Guard and was forced to commit a number of dishonorable acts.

Anyhow, I hope these help! Don't give up, it's a great game!
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Robert Birmley
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It just seems unbalanced if one side has to do all the work to win. But thanks for the tips.
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Charles Simon
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Perhaps. Though I love games with asymmetrical balance. The game is strategic planning (the Invader) against tactical response (the Defender). It is true that the Defender has time on his side and could never spend an hourglass to win. However, what the Defender lacks is troops and reinforcements. The Invader adds troop and troop while the Defender has a set amount of resources. And, the real trick to playing the Invader, is learning that despite the timing and everything else, you are the one with all of the power. It is completely up to you how much time you give the Defender. Shutting down the amount of Hourglasses the Defender gets at the end of a game is a huge power. To me, that makes up for all of the work the Invader has to do.

But the differing roles actually appeals to my wife and I. I love the Invader, but find the role of Defender boring and too reactionary. She loves the Defender, but finds to Invader role too unforgiving.

Perhaps this is why our marriage works.
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David S
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thinwhiteduke wrote:
I love games with asymmetrical balance.


This is it right here. The game is asymmetric, but that doesn't mean it's not balanced. Initially, the invader has a steeper learning curve, probably, but I wouldn't say that's a bad thing.

Additionally, I can only agree with everything else that Charles mentioned.
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Pedro Pereira
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Pico de Regalados
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Zythal wrote:
thinwhiteduke wrote:
I love games with asymmetrical balance.


This is it right here. The game is asymmetric, but that doesn't mean it's not balanced. Initially, the invader has a steeper learning curve, probably, but I wouldn't say that's a bad thing.

Additionally, I can only agree with everything else that Charles mentioned.


Agree with these guys. I have played it only a few times, maybe up to 10. Whenever I play as the invader I loose. The reason for this is very simple to me (to be fair, the first 2 or 3 games where to get some rules straight), as the invader I always try to do everything!! And I know I can't... I mustn't. I loose to many opportunities.

The invader really needs to focus on two or three combos and then start attacking with full power by round 3 or 4... I still haven't won as the invader, but with every game I'm closer. Just need... not... to ... want it all!!!!
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Robert Birmley
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Thanks for all the input, but it all just seems to reinforce my original thoughts on the game: it's much harder and takes more thought and practice to win as the invader.
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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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Make Hospital heal only 1 cube.
It is simplest way to help Invader.
If Invader starts to win all the time, go back to the standard Hospital rule.
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Rafael Castrequini
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I've saw a thread at "Stronghold: Heroes" that caugth my attention:
LordJesse wrote:
Why is the Heroes 'Officer' so much weaker than the base one? I feel that it should have the same rules, not inferior ones. The Heroes 'Warrior' is exactly the same!

Any thought on this?

Jesse


and then:
Adonai_80 wrote:
Maybe it was a balance issue, and the cards 'corrected' it if you were to use them?

For those without that rule...here it is
Heroes expansion's rule wrote:

MArk Tavic (a.k.a. weaker officer): Each soldier (defender's green cubes) receives a +1 strenght bonus on the wall section where Mark is located. Futhermore, Mark can increase the strenght rating of the wall section by paying between 1 and 4 hourglasses (each hourglass adds +1)


Original thread over here.
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Flawed Hero
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Asymmetrical games are fine, but usually in an asymmetrical game, both sides still have an equal chance of winning. laugh

In seriousness though, I have owned this game for 2 years and have dozens of plays in. At first it was overwhelming how easily the defender won. Now it is only slightly better. I love the game and will keep playing it. But I do feel like it is so unforgiving that if you make one mistake, it is darn near impossible to overcome.
We have had to make a few rules tweaks, similar to what was mentioned here regarding the Hospital. It's just frustrating watching every move you make swatted away easily by the defender, when you've planned well and moved carefully. I daresay our issue is not due to an inferior invader player (we've switched on and off and have had plenty of practice now).

I'm not saying the invader isn't able to win; I have. It's just so much work to finally do so that it feels hollow sometimes.
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Riku Riekkinen
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Late to the party, but our games gradually swithed to invader winning more (at start we felt the same way).
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Thor Larsen
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After 6 games, we now worry whether the game os balanced in favour of the defender :-).

Nothing wrong with a learning curve, it made for a very exciting competition for first invader-win, which have been a very unique and intense experience...
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Peter Van den Broeck
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Does the expansion make the game more balanced?

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/72851/strong...

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