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Guillaumericher

Tides of battle - with or without ?

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Title pretty much sums up what I want to discuss on this tread.

 

On our very first play, my group mutually agreed that Tides of battle would introduce a randomness to the game that could spoil strategies. For this reason, we have left out ToB cards. Since then, we have kept on with this rule.

 

I recently give some thought on this decision and realized that RNG could bring a more realistic aspect to the game since there always is unknown in a battle.

 

I am interested in knowing how you guys play the game. 

 

Do you guys use tides of battle card?

 

What are your thoughts on ToB ?

Edited by Guillaumericher

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Yeah, it sums up my thoughts.

 

I've played many games and the last one seemed repetitive. I'll try to get my group to use them for the first time, to see how it goes.

 

My only concern is that the winner get decided by a random ToB card :(

Edited by Guillaumericher

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I still haven't got that many logged plays, so I play without the ToB cards. I can definitely see a point with them though, once everyone know how everyone plays and I am sure that we will use them at some point in the future.

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If you think that it would add too much randomness, you can always pick the cards you want in the ToB, choosing not to play with +3 or +2, for example. I like to use the +1 card with towers and swords (and the skull) cause it adds that randomness of death, very sutiable for GoT context.

Edited by r1ddl3

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Exactly what r1ddl3 says; editing the cards and removing the craziest ones makes for a better experience.

I prefer to play without the card and only adding them when I'm playing with a group of experienced players. For that purpose they work nicely.

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I'm a fan of them, simply because I have 20+years of war gaming experience behind me...I defy anyone to find a solid tactical or strategic-level war game worth its salt that doesn't incorporate dice.  It's not so much that dice add randomization, though they do, as much as they reflect the 'fog and friction' of war.

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Skulls and rarely +1 cards I use in some games with exp'ed players. They are interesting and add some charm. 
Though +2 and +3 are always thrown away, too much random kills strategic aspect of this game.

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We started with out and enjoyed it, thinking them as bad, strategy braking. Now we play with and enjoy it more. 

I'd have to say to newcomers... Play with out, then add them in after about 5 or 6 games. Best way for sure as there's a lot to learn already. Once everyone starts to realise tactics TOB cards level the game again, adding for some new, OH NO or YES! moments.

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I'm a fan of them, simply because I have 20+years of war gaming experience behind me...I defy anyone to find a solid tactical or strategic-level war game worth its salt that doesn't incorporate dice.

I'm a big fan of Diplomacy myself. Diplomacy, like A Game Of Thrones, thrives on hidden information (via simultaneous action) to keep the players guessing and "gambling". It seems to work great!

Edit - aGoT has other random factors (such as not knowing when you get to build new units and adjust your supply capacity). This throws another wrench in to keep the game from being to predictable.

Personally we've never played with ToB, but I'd be willing to try sometime.

Edited by crimhead

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I played without them for a while, but my group grew tired of seeing some of the same House-specific strategies used game after game. Also, players with experience know that with X players, House Y has an advantage, etc. The TOB cards, in my opinion, add a nice, moderate level of mystery that make the game really fun.

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I have removed all cards that is not a simple +1 and 0. That way, the uncertanty is there and you have to think twice or overpower your armies to be sure, but the randomness doesnt feel too OP.

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I've made a series of house rules that make the battle for more strategic game I still use tides  of battle using dice to take place of the cards, to speak to the randomness that takes place in any battle. my leaders have a military strategy number that adds to the battle, in addition to certain special abilities. Individual leaders have. unlike the standard rules,  leaders stay with the Army They are marching with, and are not discarded after each battle, leaderes can be killed or captured in battle, each house has 10 leaders, some with greater military strength. Some with greater diplomatic strength, some with more intrigue and backstabbing. Also have modified the sword track , which is determined by the popularity of the leader amongst the common people (ie the guys doing the fighting) hero tokens are the opposite of influence tokens usually that which the nobles like the common people detest and vice versa, so I havethe higher you are on the iron throne track the more the common people will rally to a rebel house, giving them a greater military advantage.

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Our first couple of plays as we were learning the game we did not use them. Now I could not imagine us playing without them. It has added a randomness to the game that we really needed. We have also seen it lay waste to some well laid plans. 

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playing with tides of battles you might as well play with a deck of cards and play war

playing a game where you get others to help you and possibly break their alliances with the player you are attacking just to have some random card decide all your units were lost  breaks the spirit of a battle game. play axis and allies if you want random things to decide the outcome of the game.

you don't roll dice in chess to take a piece why this game?

if you want randomness try the house card variant. tides of battles is not what true wargamers want.

Edited by jhagen

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and as for games that don't use dice that are battle/war oriented:

small world (1 dice for the final attack you do, and rarely used)

civilization (Avalon hill/Old)

civilization (Sid Meir's/New) 

Diplomacy

to name few but really good games

 

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On 2/1/2017 at 10:26 AM, jhagen said:

if you want randomness try the house card variant. tides of battles is not what true wargamers want.

You do realize this game has lots of randomness with the Westros phase already, right?  Trying to frame this as a chess-like war game ala Diplomacy is inaccurate.  And the suggestion that players who prefer using an optional official expansion should go play entirely different game (A&A) instead is wholly silly.

I mean if you don't want Tides Of Battle that's fine (not really interested myself beyond a curiosity).  But claiming that anybody who does want them to be less of a "true wargamer" than you are is unfounded, subjective, irrelevant,  and serves no purpose other than to intimidate other posters.  Is AGOT even a "true" wargame?

Somebody might want to use TOB:

  • To simulate realism
  • To add strategic dilemmata to combat decisions
  • To reduce the advantage of the more experienced players
  • To add tension and excitement to battles
  • On occasion, to add variety

These are valid motivations.

Edited by crimhead

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wholly silly is saying tides of battles cards:

Somebody might want to use TOB:

  • To simulate realism - LUCK DECIDES BATTLES THEN, AND NOT CAREFUL PLANNING AND EXECUTION.
  • To add strategic dilemmata to combat decisions - LUCK CAUSES YOU TO THINK TWICE IF OVERKIILLING AN ATTACK BY 2 IS ENOUGH.
  • To reduce the advantage of the more experienced players -LUCK TO BEAT THE GOOD PLAYERS.
  • To add tension and excitement to battles - LUCK DECIDES WETHER YOUR WELL DESIGNED PLANS FAIL.
  • On occasion, to add variety -LUCK

These are valid motivations.

-AND SO IS TO JUST FLIP A COIN.

-OR ROLL A D6 AND ADD THAT TO THE STRENGTH OF THE SIDES OF THE BATTTLE.

On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 11:47 AM, crimhead said:

I mean if you don't want Tides Of Battle that's fine (not really interested myself beyond a curiosity).  But claiming that anybody who does want them to be less of a "true wargamer" than you are is unfounded, subjective, irrelevant,  and serves no purpose other than to intimidate other posters.  Is AGOT even a "true" wargame?

like you are intimidating me by directly calling me out and insulting me.

my, my keep up the good fight SJW.

 

Troll is so troll.

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 - LUCK DECIDES BATTLES THEN, AND NOT CAREFUL PLANNING AND EXECUTION.  Luck is part of reality.  It's not realistic for a close battle to be 100% predictable.

 - LUCK CAUSES YOU TO THINK TWICE IF OVERKIILLING AN ATTACK BY 2 IS ENOUGH.  It's called risk analysis.  And a healthy safety margin =/= overkill.  That's part of the challenge.

 - LUCK TO BEAT THE GOOD PLAYERS. Gives us a challenge.  It's more fun beating weak players if they have a chance. 

 - LUCK DECIDES WETHER YOUR WELL DESIGNED PLANS FAIL.  It already does when the Westros cards go bad.  I've had plenty of "well designed plans" go to pot because of an excessively long wait to adjust supply. 

Luck doesn't necessarily make a game worse or easier to play well.  Having to hedge one's bets requires strategy, and a different kind of thinking.  Do you think poker is all luck too?

  • On occasion, to add variety -LUCK.  Variety in that opening strategy will be different because good players will adapt and re-evaluate.

These are valid motivations.

-AND SO IS TO JUST FLIP A COIN.  Straw-man much?

-OR ROLL A D6 AND ADD THAT TO THE STRENGTH OF THE SIDES OF THE BATTTLE.  True, but a D6 is far more extreme.   D6 adds 1-6 per side, with a mean of +3.5.  ToB add 1-3 per side, with a mean of  +0.917.  If you are not willing to distinguishing between a lot of randomness vs a little randomness, this game is already a no-skill crap-shoot because of the Westros deck! 
The skulls icons are a cool mechanic too, IMO.

 

On 3/5/2017 at 5:41 AM, jhagen said:

like you are intimidating me by directly calling me out and insulting me.

my, my keep up the good fight SJW.

 

Troll is so troll.

Do you find it intimidating when you are called out.  Really?  You don't need to be this sensitive - I'm just disagreeing with your claims.  Nothing personal, mate!

I'm "calling you out" (disagreeing with you) because you are claiming to speak for "true war-gamers" (whatever that is supposed to mean).  And you are some how implying that anybody not part of this elite group (aka, those who want ToB) should go play something else.  Why shouldn't they just play AGoT with ToB if that's what they want? 

If you were to write something meaningful about why you think AGoT mechanics would clash with randomness in battles (explaining why this works in other games but not this one), that might be a good read and it might help people leaning toward ToB find a game they like even more.  Simply telling these people they are not true war-gamers; I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish by that.

As for insulting you, please quote the passage where I've personally attacked you (hint, it doesn't exist).  You've called me a troll and a SJW ( I'm not sure how any of this even relates to political ideology).  Who is insulting whom?

Just relax and play some games, friend. 

Edited by crimhead

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Didn't expect this to turn into a witch hunt on me. My apologies for offending you or anyone else in some way.

Play your game your way I'll play my game my way.

Edited by jhagen

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For those who are interested, another motivation to play with Tides Of Battle is to punish "throw away" attacks intended to cycle house cards.

This is common between players who are working together in alliance.  They arrange a battle that will have no effect (or no significant effect) just to burn their less useful cards.  I Some people think this tactic is a little too "gamey".  Tides Of Battle puts a potential price on this move because either (or both) players could easily lose units.

 

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I've started to get into this game, and I find TOB cards help solve a lot of problems.


First, something not many people are talking about.... I have found that TOB cards dramatically improves the Greyjoy > Lannister problem. It also creates an environment where:

  • underdogs can recover
  • tyrants can topple
  • support (and therefore diplomacy, alliances and betrayal) are much more important

TOB cards are a disincentive for early / close call combat. Preventing the early Greyjoy bumrush of Lannister (either through disincentive or a lucky TOB draw for Lannister) improves Lannister's winrate pretty substantially. It incentivizes Greyjoy to send ships to raid Stark and Tyrell and build power a bit, which gives Lannister a bit more time/space to build strength and alliances.

I think TOB cards are a really important component to have in the game. All combat should be intrinsically risky and be somewhat non-deterministic, and keeping it this way discourages people from simply trying to memorize other players' house cards and play the same stale house-specific strategy every single game, and instead can add variety to the course of standard strategies that make players think outside the box.

EDIT:

One more thought. People are concerned about luck in TOB and compare it to flipping a coin. I think this is unfair. If I have a power of 9 and my opponent has a power of 6, it is NOT a 50/50 chance of me losing. It's not 0% either, of course, but the point is that TOB still rewards careful planning on average by skewing probabilities. It makes you think "How badly do I need to win this? Can I take the risk of a low probability of not winning, or should I throw down Stannis?". In a deterministic game without TOB, you never need to make that calculus because you know if you're gonna win or not

I much prefer war games where players never (or rarely) find themselves in a position where they have a 100% chance of winning or losing, and that careful planning or bad mistakes can push your odds higher or lower, but not in a binary way.

This is a personal preference! I never liked chess for that reason; it's too deterministic for me. Lots of people complain about AGOT becoming stale after a while because everyone follows the same strategy every game.... that has never been a problem for me with TOB cards, because TOB makes unlikely situations (like an early Lannister and Martell lead) much more common. Plus I like a bad loss due to chance sometimes, that makes a victory even more sweeter to me :-)

To each their own!

Edited by othito

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