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Tactics, or: getting the short end of the stick


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#1 leptokurt

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:26 AM

When reading the thread about spirit getting the silver spoon in this game, I got the idea to proof that spirit might be the greatest sphere there is, but that tactics can stand its ground, too. Even in solo mode. Even against a tough scenario. All these cool new cards, eagles and stuff - hey, the must be good for something, right? So I decided to build a deck around two tactics heroes (Háma and Brand). I added Théodred as my third hero. As my opponent I chose Journey Down the Anduin and… hey, can I hear some of you laughing already? Yes, Tactics vs Anduin! AND WHY NOT?

 

That's why:

loosewinlooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooselooseloose (1-16)

In half my games my fellowship was already wiped out after three or four turns, and they reached stage 2 in only 3 games.

 

Ok, so perhaps this was all Theo's fault. So, Théodred out, enter Bifur and his fantastic lore friends. Result:

looselooselooselooselooselooseloose (0-7)

 

After having one core set, all Mirkood expanison, KD and everything until The Long Dark, I am not able to get a win ratio of 10 percent against Anduin? I had not expected this, and it shows that they still have to improve tactics a lot. I mean, if it cannot defat one of the earlier adventures after almost 2 cycles, something is clearly wrong. The main problem seems to me that either you have two tactics heroes and thus not enough WP and flexibility (plus a rather high starting threat), or you have only one tactic hero and you're not able to pay for all these expensive tactics allies.

Or you have no tactic hero and no problems.



#2 lleimmoen

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:43 AM

I will address more of this. But I ask you first (and I did elsewhere but got no answer) why do you use Brand in solo? For his willpower, his defence? I think Legolas would do better for his ability (and a bit lower threat cost).



#3 lleimmoen

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

And yes, the only winning way with Tactics solo seems to run one hero only. And then you're indeed not able to pay for much but the events are still good. Háma or Boromir can play this one Tactics hero role quite well even in solo I'd say.



#4 richsabre

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:48 AM

i think the problem is, that in solo play especially, tactics is naturally going to be the weakest- after all when it comes to it, questing is the main thing you need to do, and tactics sucks at this, so by including tactics in your deck you are making it weaker

and yeah of course you need to defend and attack, but everyone must agree this is secondary……..in fact my strategies rarely include 'tactics' style attacking, there are far more efficient ways to deal with enemies using the other spheres


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#5 leptokurt

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:18 AM

lleimmoen said:

I will address more of this. But I ask you first (and I did elsewhere but got no answer) why do you use Brand in solo? For his willpower, his defence? I think Legolas would do better for his ability (and a bit lower threat cost).

 

Oh, sorry for not answering that! Brand has 2 WP (main reason) and 3 ATT when it comes down to kill Mr Troll. His 2 DEF can be handy when you're in stage 2 (can't really tell, because I haven't been thee too often). Gimli's and Boromir's threat are both too high and Legolas'  WP too low. Elladan need his family to get his stuff together and Thalin - well he's better underground.

 

In JdtA you have to face 3 threat at least in round 1, so I wanted to make sure to have enough WP to balance this out, Otherwise the troll would attack me too soon.



#6 leptokurt

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:21 AM

richsabre said:

i think the problem is, that in solo play especially, tactics is naturally going to be the weakest- after all when it comes to it, questing is the main thing you need to do, and tactics sucks at this, so by including tactics in your deck you are making it weaker

and yeah of course you need to defend and attack, but everyone must agree this is secondary……..in fact my strategies rarely include 'tactics' style attacking, there are far more efficient ways to deal with enemies using the other spheres

There is a lot of fighting in JdtA, but these locations - well, they are actually dangerous, unlike most of the new ones. Necromancer's Pass or Gladden Fields during the setup is like a death sentence for every tactics driven deck.



#7 lleimmoen

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

But -1 initial threat will eagual out the +1 questing. It is really of matter on round one staging. And Legolas can get you rid off a location. But I see what you're saying.



#8 wellist

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:54 AM

 I have been having a moderate amount of success with a Boromir/Theodred/Glorfindel(spirit) deck. It is designed around lowering threat, and relying on Boromir to bash stuff.  Though the deck runs into trouble if I shuffled badly (stupid fingers!) and don't get an early Light of Valinor.  Good luck and shuffle well!



#9 souhei719

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:11 PM

I understand this is about solo, but I think tactics really stands out in 2-player.  Early on during the core only days, I really enjoyed using Legolas and often considered him a star hero in our games.  I still haven't beat MaO yet but the closest I got was with Legolas and Brand taking down everything.  2-player also allows for higher survivability though and I think the longer a game goes, the more powerful tactics gets from sheer allies.  In terms of scoring though, no I don't think they can be as effective but after you reach a certain point, at least the allies can serve you with a bit of survivability.



#10 lleimmoen

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:04 PM

Oh yeah, I think for 2-player, it would be almost foolish to go without a Tactics hero, especially as they're so good, Boromir, Háma, Legolas, Brand but I finally got even the Brothers going (and Dwarves are strong as a team naturally).

But this was obvioulsy about solo. And Tactics-major which really is a big problem at the moment. I haven't even tried that out that many times but I am totally convinced by the OP about the results. I think it doesn't stand a chance in MOST quests. Actually I might try out the Long Dark as I find that one almost hard to lose with the current pool. If I pick two Tactics heroes and make as good a deck I can (with all the cards available) and still stand no chance, there certainly is an issue.



#11 Boris_the_Dwarf

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:35 AM

 I've had quite a bit to say on this subject over the last few months, so I won't bother repeating it all here. Essentially, it comes down to two problems in design with this game:

 

1. The designers don't understand (or perhaps don't care) that the ability to place progress tokens on quest cards is the key to victory, and most of the time that means questing. By intentionally creating characters in the Tactics sphere that are incapable of doing that due to the lack of Willpower, they are hosing the sphere out of the solo game. For people who primarily play solo, FF is essentially creating worthless, unuseable elements as part of the game.

2. In an effort to make other spheres more able to handle the solo game, FF has (perhaps unknowingly) created Tactics cards that are actually part of a different sphere. For example, the Mirkwood Runner.



#12 schmoo34

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:29 PM

I am not going to proclaim tactics to be the one deck to rule them all, however I feel tactics is a mental style that playing spirit/lore decks don't use.  Spirit/Lore players use finesse to win games and they rely on event cards and their heroes to do most of the work along with well timed allies.

 

To win with a tactics deck, you need attachments, attachments, attachments, and allies, allies, allies.  I read another poster in a different thread comment that tactics can be powerful but you are at the mercy of your deck.  I agree with that.

 

For starters, Legolas is a required member because the sylvan bows and sylvan swords allow him to slice through enemies, and he gets to automatically put two progress tokens on locations and quests.  Doesn't sound like much, but every little bit helps especially when folks complain about questing being the primary component of the game.

 

Now, on to the eagles.  There are eagles and allies who contribute more willpower than the heroes do…and that is precisely what you are supposed to use and do.  The heroes are for bashing, the eagles are for questing.  Gimli can absorb damage and dish out attack unlike any other hero…but if he isn't needed, he can also add two willpower…and if you get that surprise enemy attack, Gimli can likely absorb the damage undefended…or there are eagles with 4 defense and so on and so on.

Put Radagast in your deck…he will earn money alongside your heroes, he will also do questing for you so your heroes can focus on other things.  He can heal your eagles or buy them so you can spend your $$ on attachments.

In the end, you rely heavily on your deck to win with tactics…but doesn't a spirit player also rely heavily on theirs?  The issue is that your heroes are not the questers, the allies are.  Some quests which limit your allies or certain treachery cards can be devastating. 

 

My gripe with the eagles is that they are expensive.  If you don't get Radagast early, you could be sitting on great cards which you can't bring into play. 

 

Now that I spent all of this time defending the tactics deck…I do admit that my favorite deck is Legolas, Gimli, and Dain.   By having Dain in the midst, you get access to more attachments and heroes, plus some interesting events but more imortantly you get Dain's bonus to willpower which allows the completion of questing to be a bit easier.

 

My largest bane with this deck…locations.  It is easy to get mired in locations with this deck…the fine balance is can you accumulate the allies quick enough.  I feel many will argue the spirit/lore route offers you higher consistency.  I'm not sure I can argue with that…I just like the brute force approach.  It is more enjoyable for me.  If I can ever find a 2nd player, I enjoy it even more.



#13 leptokurt

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

schmoo34 said:

I am not going to proclaim tactics to be the one deck to rule them all, however I feel tactics is a mental style that playing spirit/lore decks don't use.  Spirit/Lore players use finesse to win games and they rely on event cards and their heroes to do most of the work along with well timed allies.

 

To win with a tactics deck, you need attachments, attachments, attachments, and allies, allies, allies.  I read another poster in a different thread comment that tactics can be powerful but you are at the mercy of your deck.  I agree with that.

 

For starters, Legolas is a required member because the sylvan bows and sylvan swords allow him to slice through enemies, and he gets to automatically put two progress tokens on locations and quests.  Doesn't sound like much, but every little bit helps especially when folks complain about questing being the primary component of the game.

 

Now, on to the eagles.  There are eagles and allies who contribute more willpower than the heroes do…and that is precisely what you are supposed to use and do.  The heroes are for bashing, the eagles are for questing.  Gimli can absorb damage and dish out attack unlike any other hero…but if he isn't needed, he can also add two willpower…and if you get that surprise enemy attack, Gimli can likely absorb the damage undefended…or there are eagles with 4 defense and so on and so on.

Put Radagast in your deck…he will earn money alongside your heroes, he will also do questing for you so your heroes can focus on other things.  He can heal your eagles or buy them so you can spend your $$ on attachments.

In the end, you rely heavily on your deck to win with tactics…but doesn't a spirit player also rely heavily on theirs?  The issue is that your heroes are not the questers, the allies are.  Some quests which limit your allies or certain treachery cards can be devastating. 

 

My gripe with the eagles is that they are expensive.  If you don't get Radagast early, you could be sitting on great cards which you can't bring into play. 

 

Now that I spent all of this time defending the tactics deck…I do admit that my favorite deck is Legolas, Gimli, and Dain.   By having Dain in the midst, you get access to more attachments and heroes, plus some interesting events but more imortantly you get Dain's bonus to willpower which allows the completion of questing to be a bit easier.

 

My largest bane with this deck…locations.  It is easy to get mired in locations with this deck…the fine balance is can you accumulate the allies quick enough.  I feel many will argue the spirit/lore route offers you higher consistency.  I'm not sure I can argue with that…I just like the brute force approach.  It is more enjoyable for me.  If I can ever find a 2nd player, I enjoy it even more.

Two weeks ago I would have agred with you. Howeverm, after my experience against Anduin (I had 7 more losses with an all tactics deck,although this one fared better than the other two) I have to say that tactics is still not playable. Even with Legolas I would have lost all those games. My hand was ful of eagles, but I lacked the resources to play them all (even with Radagast, but then Anduin is a special scenario). Perhaps tactics need some more cards like "Horn of Gondor", for example an attachment that produce a resource for each slain enemy. Or something like "Ancient Mathom".

In conclusion, after 30 losses, and being a somewhat experienced player, I can say that tactics is not fit for solo play. The only thing tactics can do better than any other sphere is attacking. They're not even outstanding at defending, as lore and leadership offer simpler and cheaper ways to build a wall (Bilbo the Wall, Dáin, Dúnedain Warnings) against your enemies.



#14 Budgernaut

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:01 AM

 I think the true point comes down to solo vs. coop play. We've seen debates on and off about cards being made that are tailored to one play setting or the other. Is it too much of a jump to just say that this is an entire sphere that's optimized for solo play? Sure, that means that Tactics really is getting the short end of the stick for solo play, but maybe that's like trying to force the wrong piece in a puzzle.


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#15 gatharion

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:57 AM

 I'm sorry, but this is such malarky.

Yeah, you're not going to beat every quest with a solo tactics deck. So what? WHY DOES THAT MATTER???

And tactics isn't at all useless in solo, not when it isn't your only focus. I most recently beat Journey down the Anduin with an eagle-heavy deck with Eowyn, Elrohir, and Elladan and also with a Dwarf deck using Dain Ironfoot, Bifur, and Gimli.

 

In each of those cases the Tactics elements were very crucial to my success, but that's the nice thing about this game…you don't have to rely on just one sphere.

Journey Down the Anduin is a tough quest in solo play. Period. I'm having a hard time thinking of a pure Leadership deck that could reliably beat it and Spirit and Lore would really require getting the perfect combination of cards at the beginning.

 

I VEHEMENTLY disagree that there is a flaw in the game design because it's hard to win solo games with just Tactics. When you start asking for Tactics to have more Willpower, have more card drawing, etc, you're basically asking for the theme of each sphere to become more diluted. If there was no functional difference between what you can do with each sphere, then you lose a major component of this game. Unless you're playing four player, you are generally better served trying to find a way to balance the abilities of each sphere in your decks (part of the challenge of the game).

 

I'm not trying to say Tactics couldn't have a bit more variety, and Ancient Mathom is a nice example of a card that uses the strength of that sphere to get an affect generally associated with another sphere, but i think Tactics is a good and powerful Sphere as is too. Just not for mono-sphere solo-play, which is one tiny aspect of this game.



#16 leptokurt

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:18 AM

gatharion said:

 I'm sorry, but this is such malarky.

Yeah, you're not going to beat every quest with a solo tactics deck. So what? WHY DOES THAT MATTER???

And tactics isn't at all useless in solo, not when it isn't your only focus. I most recently beat Journey down the Anduin with an eagle-heavy deck with Eowyn, Elrohir, and Elladan and also with a Dwarf deck using Dain Ironfoot, Bifur, and Gimli.

 

In each of those cases the Tactics elements were very crucial to my success, but that's the nice thing about this game…you don't have to rely on just one sphere.

Journey Down the Anduin is a tough quest in solo play. Period. I'm having a hard time thinking of a pure Leadership deck that could reliably beat it and Spirit and Lore would really require getting the perfect combination of cards at the beginning.

 

I VEHEMENTLY disagree that there is a flaw in the game design because it's hard to win solo games with just Tactics. When you start asking for Tactics to have more Willpower, have more card drawing, etc, you're basically asking for the theme of each sphere to become more diluted. If there was no functional difference between what you can do with each sphere, then you lose a major component of this game. Unless you're playing four player, you are generally better served trying to find a way to balance the abilities of each sphere in your decks (part of the challenge of the game).

 

I'm not trying to say Tactics couldn't have a bit more variety, and Ancient Mathom is a nice example of a card that uses the strength of that sphere to get an affect generally associated with another sphere, but i think Tactics is a good and powerful Sphere as is too. Just not for mono-sphere solo-play, which is one tiny aspect of this game.

I'm not talking about "a deck", but about (almost) a whole sphere apparently not working in solo mode. After 30 devastating losses in a row (incl. decks feat. spirit and Éowyn) I can say that tactics/eagles simply doesn't work. Tactics/dwarfs gets the job done better because of Dáin, but those eagles suck completely. I expected tactics to be a tough challenge, but I didn't expect to have no chance at all. Which is a flaw in game designing.

I'm also not talking about a deck having difficulties to beat a difficult quest, but about a whole sphere not being able to beat a difficult quest at all. Give me some random two heroes from the other three spheres, and I will built a deck around them that beats Anduin at least 3 out of 10 times.



#17 gatharion

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:23 AM

leptokurt said:

 

 

I'm not talking about "a deck", but about (almost) a whole sphere apparently not working in solo mode. After 30 devastating losses in a row (incl. decks feat. spirit and Éowyn) I can say that tactics/eagles simply doesn't work. Tactics/dwarfs gets the job done better because of Dáin, but those eagles suck completely. I expected tactics to be a tough challenge, but I didn't expect to have no chance at all. Which is a flaw in game designing.

I'm also not talking about a deck having difficulties to beat a difficult quest, but about a whole sphere not being able to beat a difficult quest at all. Give me some random two heroes from the other three spheres, and I will built a deck around them that beats Anduin at least 3 out of 10 times.

I really don't understand what you mean by "a whole sphere"? You don't find Tactics cards helpful in your decks?

I don't buy it. Tactics can be incredibly useful in solo, just not as the tentpole of your whole deck.

This is also the first time I have EVER heard someone say that the Eagles don't work. Which I don't get, cause they rock!



#18 gatharion

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:36 AM

 Would someone please post an example of a Leadership deck that can beat Journey Down the Anduin with some regularity?



#19 MyNeighbourTrololo

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:57 AM

I think, tactics is pretty good for duo play. 



#20 Dam

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:03 AM

gatharion said:

 Would someone please post an example of a Leadership deck that can beat Journey Down the Anduin with some regularity?

With 3x Sneak Attack, Gandalf will be making a LOT of visits, then you have Faramir to race through 2B, while Steward of Gondor fuels the economy (not to mention Theodred if you use him). Unless you're talking pure Leadership, Coragorn + Stone could even add Will of the West to deal with running out of cards.


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