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Subject: Can you come back after losing a major city rss

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Chris Leigh
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So I just got my first play of CoC under my belt tonight.

Around round 3 one of the players pushed and then took out another players main city (am I right in saying a city with a fortress and no people is always defeated by 2 armies?)

At this point the guy who lost his main city gave up, and I can kinda see why, he had 2 smaller cities (size 1 and size 2 and lost his only well positioned city, whereas the guy conquering took the city and then got a great person immediately making the city happy and could fill it up with troops.

So how do you come back if you've been shut out of the game like this? It tarnished my first play tbh, I've tried it twice solo and loved it but its a shame my first play got aborted at the end of round 4. The aggressor was incredibly lucky by always having first player and getting 4 great people as the free techs triggered events.

Curious as to what to say to a player who ends up in the same situation, as the guy lost his city he saw his subsequent choices as quite simple, and then the waiting on the other players turns made him a bit low.

Would appreciate thoughts. Obviously a simple solution is to garrison your cities, but if the worst has happened how do you recover?!
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Brent Wilson
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Some things to consider:

I've come back to win after losing my largest (size 4) city sometime in the mid-game. What saved me was having enough resources to quickly recapture it. From there, I used verbal negotiation to convince my opponent that it wasn't in his best interest to continue his assault. But that wasn't the only option.

Consider launching a counter attack into the opponents other cities (even without recapturing the lost city) since those cities would reward spoils unlike the already pillaged city. Depending on the geography and the remaining threat in the pillaged city (how many units are left), this may be more or less viable of an option.

Always try to use negotiation-- both players want to win and neither are well served by squabbling over rubble.

If one player starts militarizing, it's important to think up a counter strategy-- that might just be "keep extra resources in case of attack" or "build a couple units and a fortress", or "negotiate a non aggression pact", or "trying to setup situation where you'll score objectives off of the aggression".

You don't "get lucky with having 1st player". You earn first player by focusing on yellow and blue techs so that you have the most and get to choose yourself as first player.

A city with a fortress and no units doesn't necessarily lose to 2 armies-- it's possible that action cards could save them, but I can't remember which ones would help (if any).

If you aren't going to be able to put up any kind of defense, you probably don't want to sit your primary city on the frontier. Have another city of similar size behind it and/or keep the "important" cities deeper in your empire.

As soon as the map is mostly revealed, I find that it's important to think of distances in terms of the number of turns required for an enemy to travel. If an enemy could attack you with 3 actions (one turn) you have to put up some kind of defense (or pact) immediately. If it would take more than 1 turn, you need to keep in stock whatever you need to be combat ready with 1 turn of notice. If it would take them more than 2 turns, you don't have much to worry about right now.


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Erik Rodriguez
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Building up Armies for defense is CRITICAL in this game. Make sure you stress this to new players. It is the number one mistake new players make and it causes the exact situation you mentioned to happen.

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket without anyway to protect the basket.
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Brent Wilson
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foxtrot2620 wrote:
Building up Armies for defense is CRITICAL in this game. Make sure you stress this to new players. It is the number one mistake new players make and it causes the exact situation you mentioned to happen.

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket without anyway to protect the basket.

My argument is that you don't necessarily have to build up armies for defense, but you need to have a plan to get them on short notice if you do need them.
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Joseph
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I was.in a 4 player game where almost the exact same thing happened at around the same point. The guy that lost the city came back and won.
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Chris Leigh
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Ye I think long game me and the agressor would have blunted our advances on each other (I tend to retaliate on others behalfs in games) and the smallest threat would have invariably pulled it back.

Nevermind, I'm playing again on Sat I hope I'll get a whole game in this time!
 
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William Korner
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In our games the cities dont seem to be attacked until the later rounds and i have not seen any big comebacks after major cities have been taken over.
 
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Jeff Kayati
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blunder1983 wrote:
(am I right in saying a city with a fortress and no people is always defeated by 2 armies?)


Not always, but pretty close to always. Tactics cards and the die from the Fortress might allow for the defender to kill two attacking armies.

But I wouldn't want that to be my main defensive strategy.
 
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It's difficult to recover from losing a major city unless you're able to retake it promptly. I'm guessing the real issue is that he didn't appreciate that his opponent could take the city. All that can be done about that is trying to really reinforce that danger when teaching new players.

Also, it's a bad idea to leave a fortress city undefended or under-defended because when an opponent conquers it, they benefit from the fortress.
 
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Chris Leigh
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Played another couple of games now, one ended at the 45 minute mark with one guy being obliterated, next one ended with 7 turns, epidemic wiped out my armies and in 2 turns all my cities were gone.

Bit saddened in a way to see that without significant focus on military you lose in the game.
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Jeff Kayati
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blunder1983 wrote:
Played another couple of games now, one ended at the 45 minute mark with one guy being obliterated, next one ended with 7 turns, epidemic wiped out my armies and in 2 turns all my cities were gone.

Bit saddened in a way to see that without significant focus on military you lose in the game.


Yeah because cultures that had no military lasted forever and ever.
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Joseph
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blunder1983 wrote:
Played another couple of games now, one ended at the 45 minute mark with one guy being obliterated, next one ended with 7 turns, epidemic wiped out my armies and in 2 turns all my cities were gone.

Bit saddened in a way to see that without significant focus on military you lose in the game.


I'm curious, are you sure you're following all the rules? You know you can't move armies until you researchTactics, right?
 
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Daniel Corban
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blunder1983 wrote:

Bit saddened in a way to see that without significant focus on military you lose in the game.

What you mean to say is that without a significant defence against an attacking force, you can lose the game. Focusing on military does not prevent you from losing against opponents who spend their actions building infrastructure while you spend actions moving and building armies.

If a neighbour is building armies, then, yes, you will have to consider building military. A sure sign is someone taking Steel Weapons. No one takes Steel Weapons "just in case" or just for the 1/2 VP.

Military helps you win just as technologies help you win, or larger cities help you win. You must balance your objectives and strategy, and be flexible.

Note that events are completely under your control and are always bad in some way (even the "good" ones deplete a resource). If you are under threat of attack and decide to pull an event, you need to calculate the risk.
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I definitely agree with the OP. I play regularily with aggressive opponents and it happened several times. If you lose one of your 3-piece cities early on, you have no chance of winning the game against competent opposition. The advice of building up defense forces is good only in theory - you would need to recruit in most, if not all of your cities to be safe, while the attacker can simply recruit 4 units in one city and attack you at your weakest spot. By doing so you lose more precious resources (which could be better spent on developing your civilization) than your opponent, placing you at an disadvantage. Also, recapturing a city is usually not worth it - spending 6-10 mood tokens for improving it mood from angry to happy is not worth it even if you have them. The way I handled it, I made it clear for everyone that because such an attack will remove me from the competition, I will spend all my further efforts on harassing them and assuring they not only won't win, but will end last or second to last. The only real countermeasure is build far from everyone else, and especially far from seas, as invasion by sea is so much easier.

A related problem is the huge incentive to attack - not only is it easier to attack then to defend because, as stated above, you can focus your forces in one spot, while the defender has to spread their armies, but you lose nothing (but your units) if you lose, and deal a huge blow if you capture the city. This is a grave issue, as you can do almost nothing to improve your odds as a defender even if you are certain of the attack and able and willing to commit resources to the defense - the stronghold is a small advantage in battles of bigger armies. So, you'll lose your city with a probability of almost 50% - or more, if you don't have time or resources to prepare fully for the attack, as is often the case.

That is why I seriously consider giving some combat bonus to the defender in a city - either +1 to every die rolled, or an averaged +2 CV. I intend to test it during my future games.
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Yes, military will rule this game if players want it to. If that is a problem with your group then there really is no solution. My buddy that I thought would love this game won't even play it now as a result.

If you don't like the military moves, then the 3P game is the way to play this. The threat of the flank attack will allow for the rest of the game to go the "non-military way."
 
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Daniel Corban
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Clearly, military is unbalanced in the two player game. Three or four players "fixes" it.

Also note that smart exploration can help, or hinder, military movements. I am now careful to explore in such a fashion as to control where the water appears.
 
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dcorban wrote:
Clearly, military is unbalanced in the two player game. Three or four players "fixes" it.

Also note that smart exploration can help, or hinder, military movements. I am now careful to explore in such a fashion as to control where the water appears.


Building cities near woods are huge as they very much limit moves. I find that builing my cities with forests in the basic path between my enemy and myself is important.

Of course, easier said than done.

I definitely try to explore to arrange the water the way I want it.
 
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This is a Civ type game. It is a characteristic of most games in the genre that if one player goes heavily into military, other players must do so as well or risk being run over by the superior forces. This comes up in every one of these types of games. It's not unique to CoC. Every play group will end up striking a different balance over time, but the threat of military superiority is a major component in the genre because... well... that's how history was, after all.

schizoferret wrote:
I definitely agree with the OP. I play regularily with aggressive opponents and it happened several times. If you lose one of your 3-piece cities early on, you have no chance of winning the game against competent opposition. The advice of building up defense forces is good only in theory - you would need to recruit in most, if not all of your cities to be safe, while the attacker can simply recruit 4 units in one city and attack you at your weakest spot. By doing so you lose more precious resources (which could be better spent on developing your civilization) than your opponent, placing you at an disadvantage. Also, recapturing a city is usually not worth it - spending 6-10 mood tokens for improving it mood from angry to happy is not worth it even if you have them. The way I handled it, I made it clear for everyone that because such an attack will remove me from the competition, I will spend all my further efforts on harassing them and assuring they not only won't win, but will end last or second to last. The only real countermeasure is build far from everyone else, and especially far from seas, as invasion by sea is so much easier.


You start at opposite sides of the map. In order for someone to have the reach to blast any arbitrary one of your cities before you could react, they would have to be establishing cities near you and learning military advances that very obviously indicate aggression. And even then, it'd take an awful lot of work to do so. It's not like travel is cheap in this game: even with roads to overcome the terrain limitations, the aggressor is going to have to pay resources, which you can see him stockpiling.

If you're playing against aggressive opponents then you watch for that aggression and adjust. But I think it's a bit of hyperbole to suggest that early in the game an aggressive player can just gank any one city he desires: it's just not that easy. He's probably going to go after something close to you or something with a friendly terrain/sea approach, and those are things you can guard for and counteract.
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I just realized that he said invasion by sea is easier. It most certainly is not. Not only it is more costly in actions and resources to build ships and advance in the several required technologies, but it is limits your invasion to two armies at a time, unless of course you spend even more actions to have them land first, before assaulting the city.

It is also easily defended by empty ships in your port.
 
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dcorban wrote:
I just realized that he said invasion by sea is easier. It most certainly is not. Not only it is more costly in actions and resources to build ships and advance in the several required technologies, but it is limits your invasion to two armies at a time, unless of course you spend even more actions to have them land first, before assaulting the city.

It is also easily defended by empty ships in your port.


Why do you say two armies at a time? If I have two ships with two armies each, I'm attacking with four armies. If I'm REALLY motivated, I have four ships carrying 8 total armies. I land 4, if I win great, if not the second part of move action sees the next 4 hit the city.
 
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dcorban wrote:
I just realized that he said invasion by sea is easier. It most certainly is not. Not only it is more costly in actions and resources to build ships and advance in the several required technologies, but it is limits your invasion to two armies at a time, unless of course you spend even more actions to have them land first, before assaulting the city.

I'm not sure how you infer this, as a group of ships can carry 2 armies each and I don't see any problem in landing 4 armies as a group move on the 2nd/third turn. Indeed it is the standard way of launching an attack on a decently defended port city, as it is cheaper than roads in resource terms.

As for a blockade defence, this presumes only a single sea hex adjacent to the port, which can't be guaranteed.
 
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It seems you are suggesting that armies on different ships can be part of the same group. We certainly have not been playing this way and I will have to research this rule.

We have been playing that as soon as you move two armies off a ship into the city, the battle occurs.
 
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Daniel Corban
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The rules say:
"Instead of moving on Land, you may move Land units onto a Ship in an adjacent Sea space, or, if they are already on a Ship, have them disembark to an adjacent Land space."

This seems to me to say only one ship can be involved. It says "onto a ship", a single ship. I do not see how this section of the rules could be interpreted to allow all armies on all ships in a space to disembark simultaneously.

If the designer has clarified this, a link would be appreciated.
 
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dcorban wrote:
It seems you are suggesting that armies on different ships can be part of the same group.
Land units on ships don't 'move' at all - they are carried, so they do not constitute a group at this point. (See example under Transporting Units p.9 Col.2) They move as a group when embarking or disembarking, so that is why you can land a group of 4 units from a fleet.
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misteralan wrote:
dcorban wrote:
It seems you are suggesting that armies on different ships can be part of the same group.
Land units on ships don't 'move' at all - they are carried, so they do not constitute a group at this point. (See example under Transporting Units p.9 Col.2) They move as a group when embarking or disembarking, so that is why you can land a group of 4 units from a fleet.


Alan is correct.
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