Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Polybios

Tactics and strategy

Recommended Posts

Hey,

 

I am playing this game with a friend and we are getting more and more into it. It's much fun and we are enjoying the sessions more and more.

 

However, we are looking for some general advice and we are astonished that there is neither discussion about some situations coming up during the game (e.g. "I had this cards (x) on the table, my opponent these (y). What should I do if I have the initiative?") nor any general hints. If you google AGoT card game, you will only find posts on deckbuilding (which I can perfectly understand as well).

To be more specific: When playing our last 5 games, my friend and I, we went for unopposed challenges.nearly all the time. Is this alright? Of course, it depends on many other factors and it is not easy to answer my question in general, but do all the other players experience the same phenomenon? I would say that 4/5 challenges go unopposed, which makes the whole game slightly akwards, since it looks like "chase-and-run".

 

That being said, I would also like to ask whether some players could give some general advice (on the challenge phase, on marshalling, but not on deck building). E.g. do you try to bring as much cards on the table as possible to outnumber your opponent or do you stick to some other tactics?

 

And one last point: I would find it pretty useful if there would be some "exercises" to solve, e.g.: 

"TAR plays against LAN:

Captain Groleo (Cor) and Pyat Pree (QoD) are on the table, Arrogant Contender (LotR) and Enemy Informer (Core) on the other side. Which challenge order would be best for Tar if he has the advantage?" (I know that this is an isolated problem, but like in chess where you can learn from specific constellations, this would certainly give some insight for newbies like me).

 

Does anybody know a site providing such exercises?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll answer in reverse order here:

1) No such site depicts those, because in the vast majority of cases, scenarios require knowledge of hidden information (player hands, top cards of decks, next 3 plots likely to be played) to solve truly optimally. The amount of information that could influence a (difficult) decision just doesn't make these kind of puzzles very worthwhile to create, unless they're as a form of testing your knowledge of certain rules. If you're looking for that kind of puzzle, the article series "The Quill & Tankard Regulars" on cardgamedb is where to start!

 

2) General advice is "don't over extend". In many games, you want to play exactly enough characters to win the challenges you need without letting your hand size, and ability to recover from a Valar Morghulis (present in 9/10ths of plot decks) cripple you. 

 

3) I think what you're asking in a general sense might be best answered by referring you to recorded matches (either from large tournaments, through FFG's twitch or Team Covenant's Youtube channel), or regularly commentated videos of online play. Currently, Scantrell24 on cardgamedb regularly records his games for viewers. For unopposed challenges in general, military challenges are rarely left unopposed (since you're going to lose a character to it anyway, it might as well block before it dies), while intrigue and power might be more often left UO depending on the board state. It's rarely as binary as trading unopposed blows - especially with effects that might punish you severly for losing (Die by the Sword, Daenarys Targaryen (ancestral home)) or losing unopposed (Rise of the Kraken) incentivize blocking or winning on defense over the opportunity to win your own challenge later. 

 

Overall, I recommend you watch some Commented games online, and check out the rich history of articles on cardgamedb - probably your best resource for tournament reports, deckbuilding advice, etc. Furthermore, you might enjoy either of the popular AGOT podcasts: Beyond the Wall or 2Champs1Chump, both also available on cardgamedb. Finally, check out Scantrell24's new player guide.

Edited by -Istaril

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, it depends on many other factors and it is not easy to answer my question in general,

 

As Istaril says, this is why there are so few "general strategy guides" or discussions available in this game. Because of all those factors you mention, there are almost no "general strategies" that cannot be thrown for a loop by a single card or point of STR.

 

 

I would say that 4/5 challenges go unopposed, which makes the whole game slightly akwards, since it looks like "chase-and-run".

 

Everyone goes through this phase at some point while learning the game. A good chunk of the "art" of this game is knowing when do defend and when not to. People tend to go through the following three phases when learning the game:

1. Defend just about everything they can because you can't let your opponent have that extra power, and if you can avoid claim effects, you should.

2. Defend just about nothing because you can't win by defending.

3. Defend the challenges you can't afford to lose or give unopposed to, save character to attack in the other challenges.

 

At some point, you gain the experience to know which challenges you can't afford to lose. The game stops looking like "chase-and-run" when you get to that level of experience.

 

 

That being said, I would also like to ask whether some players could give some general advice (on the challenge phase, on marshalling, but not on deck building). E.g. do you try to bring as much cards on the table as possible to outnumber your opponent or do you stick to some other tactics?

 

 

As mentioned before, this is very hard because the general advice you follow depends almost entirely on the deck you've built. Istaril's advice about not over-extending (because you should always expect a "reset" like Valar) and maintaining a certain amount of hidden information and/or ability to recover from a reset is about the most universal general advice you're going to find.

 

The next most common bit of strategy advice is to do the Intrigue challenge before the others because you could always pull something from your opponent's hand that would help them in the Military or Power challenge. But that advice changes completely depending on board position, Sometimes, you need to do the Military challenge first in order to win the Intrigue challenge, or you do the Power challenge first because you can go for the win without messing around with anything else.

 

The third piece of advice I find myself giving to a lot of new players is that there are times you should attack, even if you probably can't win the challenge. You force your opponent into a position of "defend and win (but kneel out potential attackers to do so), or let the challenge through." Either is usually good for you.

 

And one last point: I would find it pretty useful if there would be some "exercises" to solve, e.g.: 

"TAR plays against LAN:

Captain Groleo (Cor) and Pyat Pree (QoD) are on the table, Arrogant Contender (LotR) and Enemy Informer (Core) on the other side. Which challenge order would be best for Tar if he has the advantage?" (I know that this is an isolated problem, but like in chess where you can learn from specific constellations, this would certainly give some insight for newbies like me).

 

 

As Istaril said, there really aren't any sites that do this because, as you noted yourself, the number of variables involved in the above situation are staggering. What plots do each player have revealed? What are the agendas, if any? What events are in the players' hands, and how much gold/influence does each player have to pay for them? (And remember, if you provide this information, the exercise becomes completely unrealistic because you wouldn't know what your opponent has in his or her hand.) How much power does each player have on their House card?

 

For example, going just on the characters, you'd probably say that the Targ player should attack with Pyat Pree alone, on Intrigue. This pretty much forces the Lanni player to defend with the Arrogant Contender and win on defense and win the challenge (all his other options lead to worse outcomes for him). At which point, the Targ player would probably do a Military challenge with Groleo, which the Lanni player will let go unopposed, kill the Arrogant Contender, then do his own military challenge with the Enemy Informer. -- But all that changes if the Targ player is at 13 power (he'd do an unopposed Power challenge with Groleo and win the game, assuming the Lanni player had power on his House card), or the Targ player had control events like Wars are Won With Quills or You've Killed the Wrong Dwarf in hand. Or if the Lanni Player had Loyalty Money Can Buy as his revealed plot. Or if the Targ player has Flame-Kissed or Khal Drogo (Core) in hand. Or any number of other things that completely change what is "best" because of what the opponent might do and how you react to it, or how you could capitalize on doing something that seems "less than optimal" based just on the characters on the board. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all: many, many thanks to -Istaril and ktom for giving such quick and detailed answers! I was amazed and I can say right now (after having checked on the links you provided and having read through all the thoughts you have given) that I already have massively benefitted from them and that I found some very interesting ideas which I will pursue during the next hours.

 

I'll answer in reverse order here:

1) No such site depicts those, because in the vast majority of cases, scenarios require knowledge of hidden information (player hands, top cards of decks, next 3 plots likely to be played) to solve truly optimally. The amount of information that could influence a (difficult) decision just doesn't make these kind of puzzles very worthwhile to create, unless they're as a form of testing your knowledge of certain rules. If you're looking for that kind of puzzle, the article series "The Quill & Tankard Regulars" on cardgamedb is where to start!

 

2) General advice is "don't over extend". In many games, you want to play exactly enough characters to win the challenges you need without letting your hand size, and ability to recover from a Valar Morghulis (present in 9/10ths of plot decks) cripple you. 

 

3) I think what you're asking in a general sense might be best answered by referring you to recorded matches (either from large tournaments, through FFG's twitch or Team Covenant's Youtube channel), or regularly commentated videos of online play. Currently, Scantrell24 on cardgamedb regularly records his games for viewers. For unopposed challenges in general, military challenges are rarely left unopposed (since you're going to lose a character to it anyway, it might as well block before it dies), while intrigue and power might be more often left UO depending on the board state. It's rarely as binary as trading unopposed blows - especially with effects that might punish you severly for losing (Die by the Sword, Daenarys Targaryen (ancestral home)) or losing unopposed (Rise of the Kraken) incentivize blocking or winning on defense over the opportunity to win your own challenge later. 

 

Overall, I recommend you watch some Commented games online, and check out the rich history of articles on cardgamedb - probably your best resource for tournament reports, deckbuilding advice, etc. Furthermore, you might enjoy either of the popular AGOT podcasts: Beyond the Wall or 2Champs1Chump, both also available on cardgamedb. Finally, check out Scantrell24's new player guide.

 

I'll answer to all of these points:

1) I totally agree with you and I already feared (when posting my issue) that my request might be slightly off the track.

2) Alright, that is good advice. I will remember that as I sometimes tend to overextend during my games.

3) Thank you for all the links. Especially the podcasts seem to be very useful (I would never have guessed that there would be some hints for beginners as I considered them to be made only for tournament players). Concerning the games being recorded, I found your suggestions very beneficial. However (but this should not concern you, it is rather an encouragement for all players recording their games), I always find it difficult to identify the cards and their texts, when they are only displayed on the table. I found some videos from wildfire gaming oz. They show the card which is played or which is attacked in the challenge in a close-up, which makes it easy for me to follow the gameplay. I know, of course, that it is very laborious to do something like that, but for beginners like me, it is superb!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As mentioned before, this is very hard because the general advice you follow depends almost entirely on the deck you've built. Istaril's advice about not over-extending (because you should always expect a "reset" like Valar) and maintaining a certain amount of hidden information and/or ability to recover from a reset is about the most universal general advice you're going to find.

 

The next most common bit of strategy advice is to do the Intrigue challenge before the others because you could always pull something from your opponent's hand that would help them in the Military or Power challenge. But that advice changes completely depending on board position, Sometimes, you need to do the Military challenge first in order to win the Intrigue challenge, or you do the Power challenge first because you can go for the win without messing around with anything else.

 

The third piece of advice I find myself giving to a lot of new players is that there are times you should attack, even if you probably can't win the challenge. You force your opponent into a position of "defend and win (but kneel out potential attackers to do so), or let the challenge through." Either is usually good for you.

 

 

As Istaril said, there really aren't any sites that do this because, as you noted yourself, the number of variables involved in the above situation are staggering. What plots do each player have revealed? What are the agendas, if any? What events are in the players' hands, and how much gold/influence does each player have to pay for them? (And remember, if you provide this information, the exercise becomes completely unrealistic because you wouldn't know what your opponent has in his or her hand.) How much power does each player have on their House card?

 

For example, going just on the characters, you'd probably say that the Targ player should attack with Pyat Pree alone, on Intrigue. This pretty much forces the Lanni player to defend with the Arrogant Contender and win on defense and win the challenge (all his other options lead to worse outcomes for him). At which point, the Targ player would probably do a Military challenge with Groleo, which the Lanni player will let go unopposed, kill the Arrogant Contender, then do his own military challenge with the Enemy Informer. -- But all that changes if the Targ player is at 13 power (he'd do an unopposed Power challenge with Groleo and win the game, assuming the Lanni player had power on his House card), or the Targ player had control events like Wars are Won With Quills or You've Killed the Wrong Dwarf in hand. Or if the Lanni Player had Loyalty Money Can Buy as his revealed plot. Or if the Targ player has Flame-Kissed or Khal Drogo (Core) in hand. Or any number of other things that completely change what is "best" because of what the opponent might do and how you react to it, or how you could capitalize on doing something that seems "less than optimal" based just on the characters on the board. 

 

 

Especially the advice with Intrigue challenge first is very useful for me. Of course you might say that this is just a basic advice but I was exactly looking for such hints. And because of the reason, which lies behind it, I learned something. The same applies for the third advice.

 

Concering the last issue: I absolutely agree with you. These problems would be too artificial, but I could imagine a problem like mine with the addition of "Player A has 13 points, Player B 8; Player A has the event card x on his hand. What should he do?" I know that this sounds very specific, but I - like I said - know similar problems from chess (also a very complex game) and I still think that beginners could learn from such riddles a lot concerning the micro game mechanism. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chess is quite complex, but any board state can be defined by (at most) 32 values. There is no 'hidden' information for a chess puzzle, except an assessment of the level/kind of player you're facing. There's also a fixed alternation of moves; your opponent can't make two moves in reply to your one. Those are two of the key factors that make AGOT puzzles... a difficult proposition. If you limit your puzzles to 'that turn only' and strip your opponent's hands of cards entirely, you might be able to create some interesting ones, although they'd rarely be representative of anything you'd encounter in-game.

 

As for the podcasts, they vary - I'm one of the hosts on Beyond the Wall, and while we'll often gloss over what a card does (assuming all our listeners know - a hard habit to kick), we do focus certain segments on very basic things like building decks, explaining tools for deckbuilding, hidden knowledge, learning how to analyze the meta-game, card reviews, building up a local meta to play with... it's hit or miss, but by reading through the descriptions you should find some that address topics you're interested in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...