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Eu8L1ch

Game Economy: Honor, Fate and Cards

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I've started pondering on this topic after seeing that, contrary to my predictions, Fate tends to be by far the most precious resource, whereas Honor is not as much of concern unless you're playing Lion, and Cards are usually quite abundant.

As for the last two, I think the reason for that is that Honor doesn't really matter as long as you have more than 5 and your opponent has less than 20. This means both players will usually draw lots of cards: a player could start bidding low to force their opponent to do the same, but he would have to concede an advantage of 6-8 cards first (since all three Clans previewed so far start at 11 or 12 honor). A 6 cards advantage in the early rounds is truly massive, especially considering how many powerful 0-cost Conflict cards exist (For Shame!, Banzai, Fine Katana just to mention the neutral ones). I've won games with Lions in which I bid 1 for the first 3 rounds, since I had Historians and/or Recruits in my early flops, but I have the feeling having non-"honor dependent" characters and drawing extra cards would've served me much better.

Fate, on the other hand, seems to be a lot more precious than one might think at first. Since you need Fate to 1) pay for characters 2) pay for events/attachments and 3) to have characters stick around, you have basically never enough Fate.  So now I'm considering a more "theorethical" question:

How much is a single Fate worth compared to a Conflict Card?

It's safe to say a Conflict Card is worth a 2 Honor difference. The important thing to note here is that when you gain a Honor and when you make your opponent lose one Honor your are actually working towards two different victory conditions: this means that the price for a card during the Draw phase is "split" between those two independent paths, so that it is less pricey than if it were to be, say, a straight 2 Honor gain for your opponent. As a result, cards in the Draw phase are cheaper than what they might appear.

So what about Fate? What Fate does that Conflict Cards do not is buying you characters. The easiest thing to take as reference point for characters is their statistics - of course this means possibly missing the strenght of their abilities, which is not as easy to quantify - so we could try to compare them to Conflict Cards that give bonuses to raw stats. Fine Katana - and Ornate Fan, if speculation is confirmed - seem to be the best cards to consider for this comparison: for the price of 0 Fate 1 CC a character gains a permanent +2 to a Stat. Since Conflict Cards can be played as Actions, it usually means the character will get the bonus for the characterstic that's relevant for the current Conflict, meaning it's more worthwhile than a +1/+1 split between Mil and Pol. Let's compare this to the stats you gain per Fate spent: characters with a cost of 2 or more tend to have stats more or less equal to at most their cost (mostly depending on how strong their ability is considered), i.e. a 2 cost char usually has at most 2 Mil 2 Pol. This means a Katana/Fan would provide a stats increase roughly equivalent to 2 Fate. So the Hypothesis is 2 Fate = 1 CC. Let's also simplify things a bit compared to what I said above and make it 1 CC = 2 Honor; so 1 Honor = 1 Fate. I'll bring a few examples from the cards we know so far that, I think, confirm this equation (keeping in mind, however, that when designing games such things are generally used as guidelines, not as strict equations).

Honored Blade vs Fine Katana: 1 additional Fate, conditionally gain 1 Honor (possibly more, but there is a strict requirement of winning the Conflicts). Check.

Height of Fashion vs Ornate Fan: 2 additonal Fate for +2 Pol = +1 Ornate Fan for an extra 2 Fate => 1 Ornate Fan = 2 Fate => 1 CC = 2 Fate. Check.

Ancestral Daisho (Kitsuki's Method) vs Fine Katana (Ornate Fan): 1 additional Fate to gain 1 card back and 1 additional Fate to replay it => 2 Fate = 1 CC. Check.

So it would seem that, indeed: 2 Fate = 2 Honor = 1 CC. However I think Fate is actually a lot more worthwhile than that. The fact that a single extra Fate put on a character with a cost of 2+, or a character with attachments, essentially gives you a copy of that character for the next round makes it so that 1 Fate is worth a lot more in the long term than it would have if you spent it on something else this round - think about how good Good Omen turned out to be. Since even quick games of L5R take at least 3 rounds, there is always going to be the need for extra Fate to be put on characters. This of course requires a balance between Tempo considerations and long-term ones (I propose the term Momentum as a shorthand), so one cannot say 1 Fate on Yokuni = 5 Fate; however that Fate put on a Clan Champion is surely worth at least 2 Fate, possibly more depending on the situation. Economy cards, i.e. cards that sacrifice the short term for a long term gain, exist in all card games - in this game, the best economy involves keeping your characters around, thus having additional Fate. The fact that Conflict Cards are so cheap to acquire makes, by comparison, Fate even more important.

My conclusion is that we should look at cards that generate/manipulate Fate (or are free to play) with attention, since they might end up being stronger than what they would seem to be on paper, and, conversely, we should probably evaluate cards that are Fate-intensive with additional caution.

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I believe that all of the resources, (fate, conflict cards, honor) do not have a stable relationship to themselves. The board state determines what is needed and to what degree. If you have 24 honor, a one point honor gain is more important than if you have 10 honor. if you start a turn with 7 fate and 24 honor,  a 7 to 1 ratio will win you the game.  However on turn one that would never be a good play.

The challenge with card draw is some cards will be incredible for some situations and useless in others. The fact that draw is based on honor risk is misleading in some situations as far as their absolute value. Each card you draw is honor risk and a possible fate cost.

Once the scorpion are revealed we will have a much better idea of the downside of honor and card draw. currently the majority of what we have seen is positive honor momentum. That will revise a lot of thoughts on honor to card ratio. 

Fate though is it's own thing and far harder to quantify in relation to the other two. I dont have good answers yet, and it is possible that in this game there will never be solid ratios.

 

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I agree the value fluctuates. The exchange rate honor-cards through the dial is fixed though, as are the "exchange rates" for the cards mentioned. The value of those cards changes depending on the circumstances, but I don't think that any attempt to generalise is useless; trying to find an 'average value' is what you do when you decide whether to include a card in your deck or not. I don't have a clear idea on what are the main elements influencing the value of a card yet, but I think that by looking at the core mechanics we could start gaining some insight.

As for the Scorpion, I wrote in the article about Clan speculation that they will use dishonor to control the opponent's draw, and playing the game only reinforced the idea that dishonor is a control tool; I'd add though that in my opinion they will try to time their bids to draw more than their opponent at critical times (some of their cards also require that you bid higher or that you are less honorable), so I strongly doubt that they will use dishonor as their primary win condition: unlike Crab which might be fine bidding 1, due to their relative lack of synergy with their conflict cards and their 'economy cards' (Pyre, Yasuki), Scorpion will want to draw many cards. The way I see it right now, playing Scorpion will be a fine balancing act between taking honor and options away from their opponents, only to convert them into card advantage at the right moment.

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3 minutes ago, Eu8L1ch said:

I agree the value fluctuates. The exchange rate honor-cards through the dial is fixed though, as are the "exchange rates" for the cards mentioned. The value of those cards changes depending on the circumstances, but I don't think that any attempt to generalise is useless; trying to find an 'average value' is what you do when you decide whether to include a card in your deck or not. I don't have a clear idea on what are the main elements influencing the value of a card yet, but I think that by looking at the core mechanics we could start gaining some insight.

As for the Scorpion, I wrote in the article about Clan speculation that they will use dishonor to control the opponent's draw, and playing the game only reinforced the idea that dishonor is a control tool; I'd add though that in my opinion they will try to time their bids to draw more than their opponent at critical times (some of their cards also require that you bid higher or that you are less honorable), so I strongly doubt that they will use dishonor as their primary win condition: unlike Crab which might be fine bidding 1, due to their relative lack of synergy with their conflict cards and their 'economy cards' (Pyre, Yasuki), Scorpion will want to draw many cards. The way I see it right now, playing Scorpion will be a fine balancing act between taking honor and options away from their opponents, only to convert them into card advantage at the right moment.

I like what you said here. I think it is odd with all the people who think scorpions will want to draw 5 cards. I have played against one or two dishonor Crane decks and you don't draw cards when trying to dishonor somebody. You bid low and you vs ray low. I am very curious how scorpion will play. 

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Fate I feel is a much more stable currency in the game.  This is reinforced by fact that everyone has a flat floor they reset to each round and the majority of the ways (so far) to gain more fate is common to both players. 

Honor's value fluctuates wildly depending on the situation and remains slightly anomalous to us how just to value it.  Also the honor options across faction are not symmetrical (both card options and starting honor).  The fairly common thought is that honor is effectively worthless until it's a problem.  At that point it's probably the most important thing since it's on the verge of either threatening a win or a loss.  That discontinuity is for sure bogus and it probably just signals a non-linear curve for the value of honor depending on the current honor totals of both players (it's worth considering that honor isn't a straight tug of war since there is four distinct end conditions.  It's a tug of war with an elastic rope where we can also win by stretching ourselves far enough to an outer boundary as well as pulling the opponent into an inner boundary).  Since the value of honor fluctuates so heavily so does cards that add honor effects.  Many honor effects cause a swing of both you gaining honor and your opponent losing honor.  These cards like Levy, Katika Asami, Ring of Air, dueling effects, conflict honor bidding etc are effectively throttles that adjust the speed on which you travel across the "honor value function".  The default speed being a slow honor attrition for both players when no action is taken to change the stat of the honor game.  My point being we are comparing a flat value function for fate to a function that is non-linear and maybe even exponential at points when either player is approaching an extreme.  Though since the fate cost of an honor generating effect is effectively fix there definitely will be points in the game where honor effects will be undercosted or overcosted.

I feel a similar thing is going on with card draw.  You can continue investing in card draw, but cards don't have a flat value like they do in say Conquest or AH TCG unless you are playing something like Duelist Training.  Therefore a card drawn may not be entirely relevant to the situation you are trying to solve.  So card draw is more a potential value rather than a fixed value.  Kind of like buying an extra die to add to a roll to hit a target number.  It may cause you to pass.  It may not.  In this way Card Draw is actually a sort of measured risk in this game.

All that said if the mission is to evaluate how the designers have valued cards rather than their true practical value or potential value then you seem to be onto something considering the handful of points you analyzed.  Considering how expensive they seem to have valued honor when compared to fate I'd have to assume they've priced honor conservatively (rather than take an average value for instance), which is a good thing in my opinion.  To me that says that playing the honor game is a huge investment up front, but the value will present itself down the line as you push yourself into a favorable position and once you are in that position the value will come in line with the fate cost.  Until then you will appear to be losing the economic race.  I don't think that's such a radical statement to make considering what we've all seen so far.

44 minutes ago, Devin-the-Poet said:

I like what you said here. I think it is odd with all the people who think scorpions will want to draw 5 cards. I have played against one or two dishonor Crane decks and you don't draw cards when trying to dishonor somebody. You bid low and you vs ray low. I am very curious how scorpion will play. 

To me it's clear that a true dishonor strategy needs honorless card draw since bidding high in the conflict phase works against your goal.  The Crab have that, but don't have the dishonor throttle options the Crane have with cards like Katika Asami or The Art Of Peace, or Hotaru's ability to double pump the air or fire rings.  It would be interesting to see just what the Scorpion have at their disposal.  If the Scorpions have both at their disposal in their dynasty deck in the core I think dishonor pressure will be a real thing out of that faction.

ADD: that said we've seen several sub themes in each faction so far so  it's probable that Scorpion won't need to play strictly a dishonor pressure deck.  We've seen plenty of cards that just reward Scorpion for having lower honor than their opponent.  This seems almost at odds with a pure emphasis on dishonor since that means you'll also be pushing your self down at a faster rate than your opponent.  I suspect going all in on this sort of mechanic means giving up on a dishonor win.  If that strategy is also very conflict card driven (which it probably is) then I can see a playstyle for Scorpions where they just always bid high and just dishonor to keep your opponent from hitting an honor ceiling.

Edited by phillos

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@phillos

You make some good points. Fate surely is more stable than honor if you consider its usefulness from an in-game perspective (i.e., at all times of a game, the value of a Fate token will be more or less the same). Honor on the other hand - again, from an in-game perspecitve - has no worth until you approach the winning/losing threshold. I think that reasoning is mostly correct (it's the same I made in my economic speculation article: only a handful of cards reward you for having high honor), but is a partial view on the subject. What could allow us to better understand what's going on is trying to put ourseleves in a strategic/game-as-a-whole perspective.

By doing that, I think, the statement changes from "honor has no worth until you approach the w/l threshold" into "honor has no worth unless you approach" it. In other words, one has to ask themselves whether or not it is likely honor will end up mattering for them, or, more precisely, how much honor they could afford to lose/will have to gain over the course of that specific game so that it will (or will not) end up mattering. That quantity usually  changes as a function of the deck you are playing and the deck you are playing against (and the type of opponent, in a way, but since the deck dictates the best play there's no point in complicating things further). For example, if you are playing against Lion - which do not have enough honor-gaining effects to reliably grab a Honor win before a province win, but also have enough honor-gaining effects to avoid dishonor loss - you know you can pretty much safely play a 'simmetric' game, by matching their bids. Even better, you can probably afford to draw a few more cards than them: if you give them just 4-5 honor (which means you draw 4-5 cards more than them, since they don't have the tools to dishonor you and make the 2 honor swing count for both sides) they're still quite far from an honor victory. A deck with card draw coming from card abilities and some dishonor pressure is a lot more troublesome: if you're playing against Crab, you'd better be conservative, because you might be throwing honor away faster than you can break their provinces. In that situation, you have to estimate how much it will take you to win the game and bid accordingly, because 4-5 honor is not a safe spot to be in when you are playing against a deck that could force a few points of honor loss, so you want to make sure your bids don't take there too quickly. The conclusion is: I think making the correct play hinges on knowing your deck and the matchup; some decks will want to make honor matter, others won't: the main point is making sure that, if you are the deck which wants to play the honor game, you should bid 'asymmetrically' and force your opponent to play on your terms (but you'll have to be ready to give some card draw away for that to happen). In my opinion, the games in which it will be the correct move for both decks to bid 5 will probably be only a handful.

 

RE: card draw, I think that again is a function of how you built your deck. A deck full of powerful 0-cost events/attachments will probably be super happy to draw 5 every round, whereas a deck with powerful but expensive control effects will be at its best when drawing 2-4. Finally, a deck with a weak conflict deck (or poor synergy compared to their opponent - for example, the Dragon clan needs all the cards they can get for their strategy to work, so it is wise for their opponents to limit their draw options IME), will be fine bidding 1 all the time. The way you describe it, I think what you are considering in your example are situational cards: decks running situational cards will probably *very* hungry for cards (but then those cards have to pull their weight when they do get played, otherwise they're just bad cards), to ensure you can get something useful for the given situation. (By the way, buying an extra die does help you pass, on average - otherwise why would you buy it? The fact it saves you only, say, 1 time out of 10 has to do with variance, which is a completely different thing from value. )

 

Finally, I agree that they've priced honor conservatively. As of now, I think it's pretty clear that, for most decks, 1 Fate is worth quite a bit more than 1 Honor, but that is subject to change. I think the last batch of neutral conflcit cards that was revealed (Court Games and Charge above the rest) just raised the value of the average card by quite a significant margin; if we see more honor-gaining effects (maybe in the coming cycle?) it could very well happen the same to honor. I suspect it was very tricky for them to find the correct spot for honor, making it a viable win condition without it being so important that games risk becoming solitaires.

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"honor has no worth unless you approach it"  I agree that's a better way to state it.  If you never approach the threshold than the investment is effectively wasted.  Though in that case since you've given yourself an honor buffer you can play more recklessly with honor, which itself has value.  The nice thing about this game is you always have tools to take advantage of honor even if your deck wasn't built specifically for it so it all comes down to how you pilot.  I think the key item to understand as you point out in the OP is really when we talk about the value of honor we aren't talking about 1 unit of honor.  We are talking about the difference between my honor and my opponents honor.  That difference is potentially equally valuable if I gain two honor, my opponent loses two honor, I gain one honor and my opponent loses one honor etc.  Moving us farther apart in honor is what creates the imbalance and therefore creates honor pressure.  If I cause you to lose honor but I am losing honor at the same rate I've not actually gained anything.  I've put us both in the same honor situation and have generated no real pressure on my opponent.

I was flagging card draw as a random element rather than a sure benefit.  Taking an action to gain fate or gain honor gives you a definite benefit.  A card draw even in a focused deck is still a random element.  I might need to bolster political in a particular moment and draw 2x fine katana and 1x charge.  They are still valuable cards for the deck, but if the game hinges on winning a political challenge they've effectively just offered me no value (and still potentially cost me honor and maybe gave my opponent honor).  That card draw had no immediate benefit.  It may be an investment for the future, but then whether it's value will be realized is uncertain.  I am talking about variance.  I have no way to ensure a card draw will be universally beneficial in any given moment.  Rereading my post I think the die analogy is more fitting for a game like Conquest where each card still can have a default value (i.e. shields) or Netrunner (since cards are discarded as damage) or AH TCG (where all cards have an icon value) and therefore even if the situational effect of the card is worthless in the moment I can still get some immediate value out of the card.  That value is moving me closer to a winning board state.  I think in this case texas holdem poker is a better analogy maybe.  I spend chips to see a bid and stay in to see the flop.  I've just spent chips and the flop may or may not improve my current status in the game (because I don't know what will be drawn and I don't know what my opponent has in his hand).  In the same way honor has a fluctuating value in this game, in any given moment the chips also have a similar changing value in texas holdem if you are playing with escalating blinds.  Though in poker the blinds always go up as the game continues and never goes down.  The blinds going up cause you to be more and more wary about seeing a bid to see the flop.  In this game you have the potential to make the blinds go down again if you fight against it and thus make the bidding process less stressful.  I think that starts to more accurately describe the relationship between honor and card draw.  Though you need to draw cards in this game because that's where all your potential power lies.  I just think in this game valuing card draw is interesting because we have a  struggle that's playing out across potentially three different axis (military, political and honor).  Most cards offer benefit to one of these axis, few offer benefit to all these access.  Something like Watch Commander giving you a benefit to all three struggles is very interesting because it's a universally useful card.  At the same time it doesn't charge far down any one path.  The honor loss is dependent on the opponents choices, and the military/political bonus is slightly underwhelming compared to other choices like fine katana or ornate fan, but the utility of it never being a dead draw does have some appreciable value.  With all this considered in my mind effects that give me benefit for discarding conflict cards all of a sudden becomes much more valuable in this game compared to many other games.  I would pay special attention to when those effects appear (like on duelist training).

That all said I'm not attempting to completely devalue card draw compared to your original analysis.  I was just trying to group honor and card draw together as unstable currency compared to our more or less fixed currency axis "Fate".  This sort of reinforces your conclusion that Fate generating effects is something you should definitely pay attention to in this game.  My primary reason for agreeing with you is Fate is universally valuable and therefore is always working you toward an economic advantage where the other two currency axis in the game are more conditional.  Even a player who constructed a Conflict deck of all 0 fate cost cards will still need Fate to generate an economic advantage in the Dynasty phase.  Also what you use your Fate for is a big decision because not all purchases are created equal.  Ignoring the unstable value of card draw and honor since we covered it already I think you are exactly right to point out that putting Fate on characters can be a supremely more valuable way to spend your Fate and needs to be considered carefully against your other spending options.  That said it's also not an immediate benefit but an investment in the future.  Everything that can be classified as a future investment rather than an immediate benefit does need to be scrutinized because it's easily possible for your opponent to mitigate that investment and thus negating the economic gain you were working on building.  You are effectively taking your Fate and gambling with it, but when that gamble pays off it's a potentially a huge economic swing in your favor.

I think this is all working toward the core decision space that the player needs to wrestle with each match.  In any given moment based on what I know about the current board state do I spend my resources now for immediate gain or do I risk my resources in a future investment.  Therefore I think I've just spent a lot of words justifying the statement that sometimes you need to lose the battle to win the war.

Edited by phillos

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I've had similar thoughts myself recently regarding fate on my consideration of how good Togashi Kazue is in practice. 3 fate for an attachment is huge, and claiming that fate back requires that they put a fate loaded guy in front of it, twice, for you to make a profit on it(-2 from them, +2 to you, netting +1 fate).

On top of that, like you say, games typically last between 3-5 rounds, and since it takes either setup or two turns for her to be of real value, one really needs to see her early on cause a Kazue on round 4 isn't really gonna be worth losing a guy on board. Or you just play her as a 3/3 I suppose.

But yeah, anyways, good topic.

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The complication with evaluating Kazue's perceived economic potential is that we also need to take into account the character fate cost for the character on which we removed fate versus the cost of the character we are putting fate onto while at the same time realizing that the later in the game we do this the less valuable that fate is likely to be since potentially the game may end well before the affected characters ever fate out. That said we can more effectively leverage her ability to accelerate the fate loss into an immediate benefit if we stack her with things like the void ring, water ring and Mirumoto Raitsugu.  We could potentially not only remove a future investment, but remove an immediate benefit.  Getting someone down to no fate all of a sudden allows us to more easily completely mitigate the initial investment, which greatly increases the value of all those actions and creates more of an economic swing than just 2 fate.  I think that's the key thing to appreciate.  Putting fate on characters not only keeps them around for future turns but it also protects them against quite a few effects that completely mitigate their entire economic worth.

Edited by phillos

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Fate is the most important when the game begins as nobody is close to an honor win/loss and board state is essentially the same. 

Fate's importance will fluctuate with characters leaving the board when fate runs out.

I think honor victories win be hard to obtain in the core set only environment but think down the road it will be more potent.

 

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Good post phillos! I agree with what you wrote.

 

2 hours ago, Daigotsu Steve said:

I've had similar thoughts myself recently regarding fate on my consideration of how good Togashi Kazue is in practice. 3 fate for an attachment is huge, and claiming that fate back requires that they put a fate loaded guy in front of it, twice, for you to make a profit on it(-2 from them, +2 to you, netting +1 fate).

On top of that, like you say, games typically last between 3-5 rounds, and since it takes either setup or two turns for her to be of real value, one really needs to see her early on cause a Kazue on round 4 isn't really gonna be worth losing a guy on board. Or you just play her as a 3/3 I suppose.

But yeah, anyways, good topic.

My personal experience with Kazue is a mixed bag. My opinion is that she has a situational effect which is very powerful but with significant downsides.

The pros:

- By removing a Fate token on a powerful enemy character, she is going to provide a signficant help for the next round - the bigger the opponent the better.

- She can be decisive in allowing one of your big (or powered up, or both) characters to stay in play potentially until the end of the game or, at the very least, for another round.

Thus, all she needs to be a justified expense, in my eyes, is being able to trigger once on a powerful character when attached to one powerful character of yours: that's not too tough to achieve. Best case scenario, she's taking the last Fate away form your opponent's Kisada and putting it on your Yokuni/Raitsugu/Niten Master.

 

The cons:

- You have to be certain your opponent isn't playing Let Go, because otherwise you might find yourself down 3 Fate for nothing, which is a huge blow.

- She's a big tempo hit: she's costing you 3 Fate for no immediate impact on the conflict whatsoever (unless you're playing Raitsugu, but even then you probably could've targeted something else instead). For 3 Fate 1 Card you can usually get a massive boost to your stats. She also takes 3 of the 10 slots for characters.

 

For me, the "cons" outweigh the "pros", not in an absolute sense but in a relative one: the cards I usually put in my decks do not have such massive downsides. That being said, if you can play her early enough and on the right character she warps your game, but she's such a huge investment that it's very hard to afford her while retaining a decent board position.

Edited by Eu8L1ch

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Having tested the new L5R a little bit (solitaire only; my husband won't play it with me until it comes out) I'm not sure that there is such a thing as an "honour strategy" or "dishonour strategy" any more.

Most of the honour gain or loss occurs, in my limited experience, from the card draw bid. A deck which bids low will gain honour; a deck which bids high will lose it. Because of this, a deck which attempts to win via honour gain and a deck which attempts to win by dishonouring the opponent will play very similarly. They may even be the same deck.

It's entirely possible that the "dishonour victory" decks will be, of all things, Crane or Lion.

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On 7/20/2017 at 5:16 PM, Eu8L1ch said:

For example, if you are playing against Lion - which do not have enough honor-gaining effects to reliably grab a Honor win before a province win, but also have enough honor-gaining effects to avoid dishonor loss - you know you can pretty much safely play a 'simmetric' game, by matching their bids. Even better, you can probably afford to draw a few more cards than them: if you give them just 4-5 honor (which means you draw 4-5 cards more than them, since they don't have the tools to dishonor you and make the 2 honor swing count for both sides) they're still quite far from an honor victory. A deck with card draw coming from card abilities and some dishonor pressure is a lot more troublesome: if you're playing against Crab, you'd better be conservative, because you might be throwing honor away faster than you can break their provinces. In that situation, you have to estimate how much it will take you to win the game and bid accordingly, because 4-5 honor is not a safe spot to be in when you are playing against a deck that could force a few points of honor loss, so you want to make sure your bids don't take there too quickly.

I find this interesting because it's exactly the opposite of what our group has found in testing. I have zero concern about being dishonored against Crab (I actually think Crab are the worst clan by far on the whole, but that's a different story). Conversely, against Lion, I find I have to adapt from the get-go and bid low consistently to prevent them from honoring out, provided I'm not playing Lion or Crane myself.

I'll be interested to see how the core set meta evolves before the first pack hits.

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