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cadleo

Lannister concerns. Game is unbalanced.

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That doesn't really have much to do with the Greyjoy-Lannister problem. Baratheon in a 4-5 player game is a different matter all together. Baratheon have the advantage of being able to capture the south without any resistance.

As far as anyone knows, there is no was to solve the Greyjoy-Lannister problem without changing the board or how Lannister starts. The way I've dealt with it is I always have Greyjoy played by a very fair and seafaring person who doesn't like smashing Lannister as they are too easy. I always play as Lannister and I manage to win later on when I'm secretly gaining strength without him knowing.

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I've been playtesting this issue a fair bit - it's **** near impossible for Lannister to win in four/five player assuming all the other players know the rules and are competent players. Four-player is especially broken, with Baratheon usually strolling to victory provided they keep Shipbreaker Bay, followed by Greyjoy who tend to come second due to favouring the Fiefdoms over the Iron Throne when it comes to bidding. We playtested the suggested 'fix' of swapping Greyjoy for Tyrell, only to watch them walk all over Baratheon (Loras is an absolute monster, and a well-used Mace and Queen of Thorns can really ruin a day) and win every time. Lannister reamined pinched, though they were able to build when I always think of as the 'fist'  - a defensive bulwark of Lannisport, Riverrun, Harrenhall, sometimes Seagard and the crucial Stony Sept (an army with a Support order here can defend nearly everywhere). The problem is they can't really risk breaking out of this fist without being taken apart. They did better without Greyjoy, but still didn't - almost couldn't- win.  

We recently got our hands on the Dance for Dragons POD expansion, however. It's a game-changer. Firstly, the Greyjoy have been weakened considerably. Balon is gone, as is Victarion's ship-boosting power. The loss of these two cards no longer guarantees a canny Greyjoy player can waltz all over Lannister. The Lannister deck is also much improved, I'd say - you have swords and towers on more than one card and you get some excellent new powers. The 0-card, Qyburn, takes the combat value and symbols (but not the special rules) of a discarded enemy card for two meagre power tokens - with a bit of timing, that gives you two 3/4 strength cards. One of their strength two cards has a variation of the old Kevan's power - raising the strength of Knights to 3, but only when attacking. It encourages more aggression. But playtesting showed us that the new decks weren't enough to prevent a Baratheon victory in four-player nine times out of ten - the Lannisters are more powerful, but the Greyjoys (weaker, true) are still on their doorstep. Tjhe new Stark deck is a little one-trick pony. It's got Ramsay Bolton (3/4 and three swords. Special rules boost him and make it easy to get him back in yuor hand by losing a fight with the 0 card, Reek) and Roose (4, one sword), giving them an excellent offense. I've not seen them take Shipbreaker bay with them, but that might be a way to break Baratheon… but it would almost certainly cost you Winterfell to an enterprising Greyjoy. 

But there may be a solution. We've started playtesting the Tyrell variant using the new cards, wwth promising results. In our first game it really was anybody's game - every faction was on equal footing in the final turn. It was a great game, too - some castles kept changing hands. The Lannisters actually took Winterfell, which is something I'd not even seen in three-player. The new Tyrell deck is less aggressive, especially without Loras, and has one incredible defensive card (albeit of limited use) and the Queen of Thorns who is now value 1 and removes the opponent's special rule. This works out more defensive, as their nearest neighbours are Baratheon. Their new deck is really shockingly nasty, but very, very situational and reliant on special rules, meaning these two play very well against each other. 

We'll be running a few more playtests, but I'm hopeful that we may actually have balanced the game. 

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Hi, I registered on these forums just to post on this thread.

 

My gaming group played the first edition of this game addictively for years after it came out.  Probably played it around 50 times.  However, the problem with Lannister was very real, and while some would argue that this makes for "exciting role-playing" or encourages diplomacy, nobody in our group thought it was fun, both to have Lannister in the game, or to play Lannister. 

Since I loved this game, I collaborated with a friend of mine on trying an assortment of house rules over the years to see if we could fix this game in a somewhat elegant fashion without going as drastic as redesiging house cards and territory boundaries.   We got close, but it was never enough. 

The game as it stands is fundamentally flawed, and I say that as a person whom loves this game and always champions it.  I say this in the hopes that FFG will actually delve into the issue and fix it.  I'm not a game developer, I don't like having to try to fix games after the fact, and I am more than willing to pay $ to have it fixed. 

I did so with the second edition.  I had super high hopes that they addressed the Lannister-Greyjoy issue.  Unfortunately, they did not.  I played the second edition only 3 times but it was readily apparent that all the new rules coalsced together to create a very similar Lannister experience to the first game.  The only material difference I've seen is that Greyjoy no longer has a strong contention for winning, and it is almost embarassing how the second edition passed quality control at FFG with regard to Baratheon's now dominating advantages.

Please fix this game, and not with a scenario (I think that is a cop-out).  Either fix the map, tweak the core rules, or errata some stuff.  As it stands now, we haven't played this game in about 3-4 years besides trying the second edition, and a LITTLE bit of attention to fixing the flaw of this game would go a long way in revitalizing interest in this game.

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raiden14 said:

there are two variant solutions to increase balance in the 4 player game.

first one is to simply switch greyjoy with tyrell like in the original first edition

second one is to block Sunspear, Yronwood, Princes Pass, Three Towers and Oldtown so the Baratheon can´t expand so much into the south areas and is forced to clash with other powers but still have a chance to get some areas by the sea.

or you can use ToB cards to help the neutral forces. it dependes on you gaming groups…

 

Could you plz provide the details of the tyrell variant ?

Are there official setup rules ?

What areas are completely closed off or have Neutral armies ?!?

Thanks

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I find it strange that this is being discussed so little, but after 3 games with Lannister I think I can see some clear disadvantages it has, not only compared to Greyjoy but to everyone else: Lannister house cards suck.

Not in terms of combat power, mind you, they have the same numbers as everyone else, but in terms of abilities:

- Cersei has 0 power, yet her ability is conditioned on winning the fight. Well how often can you expect to win the fight by playing a 0 card?! (Especially while using the ToB cards, which my group does.) Maybe once every 3 games? Next to useless. I can't name a single time I've seen this card's ability activated in the 5-6 games I've played so far.

- Tyrion is pretty much only able to block your opponent from using their highest card in hand. Anything else and your best move will typically be to leave their card alone for fear of escalation. With only a power of 1 on your card, this will rarely mean you can gain any combat points on your opponent, most of the time it will just help you cut your losses (get attacked with a 3 instead of a 4, a 2 instead of a 3 etc. - most combinations don't give you any combat advantage with your measly 1 combat point). Not so useless, but still disappointing - feels like a perpetual loser's card.

- Kevan (the most broken of all) doubles the (already small!) power of your footmen once every 7 fights and that's only if you're exactly in the right kind of situation to initiate an attack with enough participating footmen every 7 fights. In order to do this, you pretty much have to squander your supplies and keep around weak armies of footmen for all other 6 out of every 7 fights (when Kevan is discarded), while enemies at the same supply level as you will have happily recruited knights and siege engines instead and will be using them to devastating effect. This card's ability is a catastrophe of bad design. Trying to use it hurts you more than it helps you, you're better off just ignoring the text on the card.

 

How I would fix the Lannister deck:

- Switch Cersei and Tyrion's abilities. (Both characters use trickery, manipulation and politics in the story, so this should pose no problem.) Tyrion, with his combat power of 1, will be in a somewhat better position to satisfy the "if you win" condition at least some of the time so that the "remove an order from anywhere" ability will no longer be quite so useless.

- Cersei gains the rather disappointing ability to force the enemy to switch their card for any of their others, but now is in an even worse position to benefit from that as she has 0 combat power. This ability needs its own fix: make it force the enemy to switch the first card they've played for another card with strictly lower combat power (or no card at all if a lower-powered one is not available). In most cases this will have the same effect as before - it will prohibit the use of the highest-powered card in hand - but in some other cases it will be clearly better:

* If the enemy for some reason tries to play something other than their best card - probably for its ability - they can now be prevented from doing that without fear of combat power escalation.
* If the enemy tries to use their weakest card at any point, they can be blocked from using any card at all for that combat (whereas before this was only possible if they were down to their last card - a rather narrow window of opportunity that doesn't necessarily sync up with a fight with Lannister). This is a brilliant side-effect because it extends Lannister's ability to slow down Greyjoy's card cycle, which is a bit faster than others due to Aeron. So this would also help specifically with the problem of Lannister-Greyjoy balance.

- Finally, correct Kevan's ability so that it adds +1 power to all participating Lannister knights, not footmen, and this should solve the supply-wasting problem I described above, not to mention it would be a better fit for Kevan's depiction on the card, where he's shown holding the reins of a horse. :P

Any thoughts?

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We've had issues with Lannister with the first few games. However, it was always because Lannister and Greyjoy were getting in a neverending war because of their proximity. Now, With a few games under out belt, Lannister and greyjoy don't fight as much as they used to do. I think the problem is that Lannister are harder to play and since they are closer to more people, playing with over-aggressive/new players usually makes for a hard lannister game.

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abm said:

I find it strange that this is being discussed so little, but after 3 games with Lannister I think I can see some clear disadvantages it has, not only compared to Greyjoy but to everyone else: Lannister house cards suck.

Not in terms of combat power, mind you, they have the same numbers as everyone else, but in terms of abilities:

- Cersei has 0 power, yet her ability is conditioned on winning the fight. Well how often can you expect to win the fight by playing a 0 card?! (Especially while using the ToB cards, which my group does.) Maybe once every 3 games? Next to useless. I can't name a single time I've seen this card's ability activated in the 5-6 games I've played so far.

- Tyrion is pretty much only able to block your opponent from using their highest card in hand. Anything else and your best move will typically be to leave their card alone for fear of escalation. With only a power of 1 on your card, this will rarely mean you can gain any combat points on your opponent, most of the time it will just help you cut your losses (get attacked with a 3 instead of a 4, a 2 instead of a 3 etc. - most combinations don't give you any combat advantage with your measly 1 combat point). Not so useless, but still disappointing - feels like a perpetual loser's card.

- Kevan (the most broken of all) doubles the (already small!) power of your footmen once every 7 fights and that's only if you're exactly in the right kind of situation to initiate an attack with enough participating footmen every 7 fights. In order to do this, you pretty much have to squander your supplies and keep around weak armies of footmen for all other 6 out of every 7 fights (when Kevan is discarded), while enemies at the same supply level as you will have happily recruited knights and siege engines instead and will be using them to devastating effect. This card's ability is a catastrophe of bad design. Trying to use it hurts you more than it helps you, you're better off just ignoring the text on the card.

 

How I would fix the Lannister deck:

- Switch Cersei and Tyrion's abilities. (Both characters use trickery, manipulation and politics in the story, so this should pose no problem.) Tyrion, with his combat power of 1, will be in a somewhat better position to satisfy the "if you win" condition at least some of the time so that the "remove an order from anywhere" ability will no longer be quite so useless.

- Cersei gains the rather disappointing ability to force the enemy to switch their card for any of their others, but now is in an even worse position to benefit from that as she has 0 combat power. This ability needs its own fix: make it force the enemy to switch the first card they've played for another card with strictly lower combat power (or no card at all if a lower-powered one is not available). In most cases this will have the same effect as before - it will prohibit the use of the highest-powered card in hand - but in some other cases it will be clearly better:

* If the enemy for some reason tries to play something other than their best card - probably for its ability - they can now be prevented from doing that without fear of combat power escalation.
* If the enemy tries to use their weakest card at any point, they can be blocked from using any card at all for that combat (whereas before this was only possible if they were down to their last card - a rather narrow window of opportunity that doesn't necessarily sync up with a fight with Lannister). This is a brilliant side-effect because it extends Lannister's ability to slow down Greyjoy's card cycle, which is a bit faster than others due to Aeron. So this would also help specifically with the problem of Lannister-Greyjoy balance.

- Finally, correct Kevan's ability so that it adds +1 power to all participating Lannister knights, not footmen, and this should solve the supply-wasting problem I described above, not to mention it would be a better fit for Kevan's depiction on the card, where he's shown holding the reins of a horse. :P

Any thoughts?

 

wow i would love to see those fixes, they definitely give a kick for lannisters…

however if u switch tyrion with cersei, his combat strength will be zero and as u mentionned the opponent will be forced to play his zero card or nothing which makes it more like balon greyjoy….

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No it doesn't, it just improves its power a bit. If you have 3 or more cards in hand you are guaranteed to be able to play one of them and if they're anything other than 1-1-0 or 2-2-0 you will not be reduced to 0. Also, if you have 2 cards left and neither is your 0 you will still be able to use some combat power against Lannister, so again not reduced to 0. Like I said, in most cases it still has the same effects as the current Tyrion card - it prevents you from playing your highest card - but is still far from Balon's power of always reducing you to exactly 0.

And I didn't say the Tyrion and Cersei characters should switch places, only their abilities. It would be wrong to give Cersei a power of 1 as a military commander while Tyrion has 0 of the same. :) No, the characters stay where they are, they only switch abilities (and then Cersei's new ability gets corrected a bit to account for her lack of military power).

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I agree with the Jamie house card being underpowered. With my mates, we place one castle icon on that house card so Jamie is 2 + 1 sword + 1 castle

About Lannister +  Greyjoy balance problem: I think it is basically is balanced depending on strategy and chance. I think its an even fight if you manage to anticipate what the other player will do. Lannister raid order in golden sound or lannisport is a must if you want to survive. At first hand, if I see Greyjoy has a march order on the sea, I use the raven to put a march order in the golden sound to pull my ship back to lannisport. This way I can prevent my ship from being destroyed without using and housecards, and ensure that Greyjoy can get no support from golden sound. With this strategy I also move my footman from Stoney Sept to Harrenhal, to muster with Special Consolidate Power. 

I think with the Messenger Raven Lannister can adjust his strategy to counter Greyjoy's movements and with the 3 special orders Lannister is able to place, he can even the odds with special consolidate power mustering. However I do accept that Lannister can get absolutely crushed if he's unlucky or has made a mistake, whereas Greyjoy will not be destroyed even if he makes a mistake or loses a battle. What I'm trying to say is that consequence of winning and losing is not the same. (But the chances of winning and losing are about the same.)  This is why it seems unbalanced I think. 

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I have made a PLAY VARIANT that will solve most the issues with the card imbalance:

 

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=252&efcid=1&efidt=630678&efpag=0#631874

 

TLDR for the wall of text on the link:

Shuffle all the cards and deal them out randomly to players:

4 3 2 2 1 1 and a 0 combat value

 

The reason most people dont like playing games like "axis and alies" is that the axis player is designed to lose, and only wins with great luck or an incredible tactical error on the opposing force.

There is a lot of "back and forth" regarding the canon of the cards and their values as opposed to what they may seem to be in the lore.

Just remember all this is a game, and the cards and their abilities/values need to be balanced.

 

Try it out on your next game!

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since Lani goes before Grey, try taking his navy the first turn and add a special consolidate on your capital in case you dont beat his navy. If his navy attacks the first turn, use your Raven to change your navy order to defend.

 

In my experience, Grey either gets pawned by Lani or tagteamed by him and Stark.

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It is very important to defend the ship  in the Golden Sound. Put a special defense order, and hope that Greyjoy won't use the big boys on that one. Then... assuming Greyjoy moves knight and footman into Riverrun in turn one and there's no mustering in turn two, do as follows: Turn one: Special consolidate power in Lannisport (one ship in the PORT and upgrade Footman with Siege). CP in the other footman. Turn two: Use a raid with the ship in the Golden Sound to prevent naval support, attack Riverrun with Siege and Knight with March +1 and support +1 with footman in Stoney Sept. 

Lannister: 9 combat points.

Greyjoy: 3 (or 4, if uses defend).

Win.

 

If there is a Mustering and Greyjoy put 2 knights and a footman in Riverrun, Lannister drops a footman and a Ship in Lannisport...:

Greyjoy; 5. (10 with Euron and blade)

Lannister: 10 (choose a card at will)

Win.

 

And Lannister have the crow, so it's all good. From then on, just play smart and don't make mistakes.

 

Now.. If you lose the ship, and Greyjoy supports the battle:

(no mustering scenario)

Greyjoy: 5 (10 with Victarion, 9 with Euron, 11 maximum with blade)

Lannister: 9. Use the mountain to clean up that mess.

Win.

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In the RAW (rules as written) 6p game, the win/loss statistics speak for themselves.  None of the above Lannister strategies (all of which I have seen tried, and have tried myself, alter the inherent imbalance of the game; the RAW game is inherently imbalanced against and therefore "No Fun" for the Lannister player).  See below.

 

From the PBF Stats Box, posted on BGG:

 

House           Wins            Percentage

Greyjoy           17                   26%

Stark               15                   23%

Baratheon       12                   18%

Tyrell                9                    14%

Martell              7                    11%

Lannister          5                      8%

 

From Vassal, Stats I have collected from games I have played in, observed, or GM'd:

 

Victories by House:
Greyjoy 9
Baratheon 7
Tyrell 5
Martell 4
Stark 2
Lannister 1
 
Player Eliminations by House:
Lannister 5
Greyjoy 2
Stark 1
Martell 1

 

We play the T6 Rules, they work quite well, they have been play tested, and they result in a much more balanced, "fun" game, where any given player has an equal probability of winning, with any given house during any given game.

Edited by SFRR

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I have played the game a few times, RAW, and haven't noticed the problem addressed here.  I have a question for those who point out that Greyjoy can take Lannister.  If Greyjoy does go after Lannister hammer and tongs, does it win?  And by that I don't mean does it win against Lannister, I mean does it win the whole game?  The reason I ask is that I have played another similar multi-player game (Samurai Swords/Shogun/Ikusa) extensively.  What happens often on there with supposedly "good" players, and by often I mean pretty much every single game, is that one of the players will be disadvantaged and one of the other players will move to eliminate him.  However, the losses the "victor" takes in the process of eliminating the weak player will guarantee that the player who "wins" that fight will also effectively lose any chance of winning the game in general.

 

I have pointed this out to that community, and the general attitude is that the weak player left themselves vulnerable so of course another player eliminated him.  I have yet to convince anyone (in that community) that if you have a brain in your head a player who cannot defeat you, but can render you so weak that you cannot win against your other opponents, is not really vulnerable to you.

 

So again I ask, if Greyjoy goes all out for Lannister does he reduce or eliminate his chance to win the game?  In the games I have played that is exactly what happens when Greyjoy and Lannister go head to head immediately.  Whether or not Lannister can take Greyjoy one on one is immaterial.  If Greyjoy goes for the throat immediately, he effectively eliminates himself along with Lannister.  He also removes an effective counter for Tyrell.  At the end of the throwdown Lannister may indeed be gone, but Tyrell and Stark are in so much better position that Greyjoy has pretty nearly handed the game to one of the two of them.  On the other hand, when Lannister and Greyjoy join forces they can both be effective and real contenders for victory.

 

Am I only seeing it this way because of how my group plays, or is this generally true?

Edited by KineticOperator

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I have played the game a few times, RAW, and haven't noticed the problem addressed here.  I have a question for those who point out that Greyjoy can take Lannister.  If Greyjoy does go after Lannister hammer and tongs, does it win?  And by that I don't mean does it win against Lannister, I mean does it win the whole game?  The reason I ask is that I have played another similar multi-player game (Samurai Swords/Shogun/Ikusa) extensively.  What happens often on there with supposedly "good" players, and by often I mean pretty much every single game, is that one of the players will be disadvantaged and one of the other players will move to eliminate him.  However, the losses the "victor" takes in the process of eliminating the weak player will guarantee that the player who "wins" that fight will also effectively lose any chance of winning the game in general.

 

I have pointed this out to that community, and the general attitude is that the weak player left themselves vulnerable so of course another player eliminated him.  I have yet to convince anyone (in that community) that if you have a brain in your head a player who cannot defeat you, but can render you so weak that you cannot win against your other opponents, is not really vulnerable to you.

 

So again I ask, if Greyjoy goes all out for Lannister does he reduce or eliminate his chance to win the game?  In the games I have played that is exactly what happens when Greyjoy and Lannister go head to head immediately.  Whether or not Lannister can take Greyjoy one on one is immaterial.  If Greyjoy goes for the throat immediately, he effectively eliminates himself along with Lannister.  He also removes an effective counter for Tyrell.  At the end of the throwdown Lannister may indeed be gone, but Tyrell and Stark are in so much better position that Greyjoy has pretty nearly handed the game to one of the two of them.  On the other hand, when Lannister and Greyjoy join forces they can both be effective and real contenders for victory.

 

Am I only seeing it this way because of how my group plays, or is this generally true?

No, by critically weakening, or even eliminating, Lannister, Greyjoy wins.  This is not "Risk" - fighting does not cause casualties to both parties, only the loser of the battle.

 

Again, the win/loss statistics speak for themselves...the T6 Rules correct the imbalance, and the RAW Lannister House Cards do suck; adding Qyburn and Ser Addam Marbrand (removing Cersei and Kevan Lannister), while adjusting the units in starting set-up DO make a difference, a valuable difference, and IMPROVE an otherwise imbalanced game.

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Fighting does not cause casualties.  It does however require that you use your most powerful house cards, and all of your forces.  If I am Stark and I see Greyjoy do this, then I expand dramatically into unguarded areas.  If I am Tyrell, I move north into unguarded territories as well.  I have never seen a situation, in theory or practice, where Greyjoy can leave himself in a better position vs. Stark and/or Tyrell at the end of his fight with Lannister.  The house cards used alone will guarantee that Greyjoy will get crushed by both Tyrell and Stark when the fighting begins.

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Fighting does not cause casualties.  It does however require that you use your most powerful house cards, and all of your forces.  If I am Stark and I see Greyjoy do this, then I expand dramatically into unguarded areas.  If I am Tyrell, I move north into unguarded territories as well.  I have never seen a situation, in theory or practice, where Greyjoy can leave himself in a better position vs. Stark and/or Tyrell at the end of his fight with Lannister.  The house cards used alone will guarantee that Greyjoy will get crushed by both Tyrell and Stark when the fighting begins.

I completely agree with you actually...the problem is that it takes Stark too long in most cases to build the forces necessary to push back Greyjoy "early game" - and in RAW, Lannister cannot defend themselves against Greyjoy with the Sword - So..."yes" Tyrell and Stark "Mid Game" or "Late Game" can proceed as you suggest (no doubt, I have seen this multiple times), but the issue is (for me at least) that Lannister cannot adequately defend themselves in RAW "Early Game."

 

Since you have clearly played the game a few times...and you know that the expert players in the "Early Game" fight their first few battles for House Card advantage (ie, play low cards 1st to see if they can sucker their enemy into expending their best cards), positioning 2nd (positions which can provide support to multiple key spaces), and VP's 3rd (again, this is in "early game")...imagine Lannister with Qyburn and Ser Addam Marbrand...having started with 2 Knights.   Now, Greyjoy with the Sword will still win all of the early battles in game rounds 1 & 2...but at what cost (?)...when Lannister can counter with Qyburn or Ser Addam Marbrand..."Balon" (Greyjoy) is no longer the immediate "auto-victory" - try the T6 Rules...trust me...anyone can win...Lannister no longer needs to depend on the benevolence of Greyjoy - this makes for a much better game.

 

Just fyi, I have won a game on Vassal in RAW 6p with Lannister...but honestly...ONLY because both Baratheon and Greyjoy in that game were complete newbs and sucked.

 

thanks for your post.

KineticOperator likes this

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Fighting does not cause casualties.  It does however require that you use your most powerful house cards, and all of your forces.  If I am Stark and I see Greyjoy do this, then I expand dramatically into unguarded areas.  If I am Tyrell, I move north into unguarded territories as well.  I have never seen a situation, in theory or practice, where Greyjoy can leave himself in a better position vs. Stark and/or Tyrell at the end of his fight with Lannister.  The house cards used alone will guarantee that Greyjoy will get crushed by both Tyrell and Stark when the fighting begins.

I completely agree with you actually...the problem is that it takes Stark too long in most cases to build the forces necessary to push back Greyjoy "early game" - and in RAW, Lannister cannot defend themselves against Greyjoy with the Sword - So..."yes" Tyrell and Stark "Mid Game" or "Late Game" can proceed as you suggest (no doubt, I have seen this multiple times), but the issue is (for me at least) that Lannister cannot adequately defend themselves in RAW "Early Game."

What I have noticed is that Stark doesn't have to have a lot of forces to push Greyjoy into irrellevancy. Elimination is a much more difficult proposition. In this sense, Stark is the check move keeping Greyjoy from expanding and then massing overwelming military by the 3rd-5th turn and arguably Stark must do this if he wants to amass a military of a respectable size prior to the end of the game, due to him only getting "easy" access to 2 forts additional forts outside Winterfell, 3 if you count Eyrie (I don't). By contrast, other nations get access to 1 castle and 1 fort or the potential for 2 castles and 1 fort expansion early on.

 

If the Lannister and Greyjoy are going after each other aggresively, which forces the Greyjoy player to utilize his better generals (and power tokens, if the Greyjoy player is using the bait and switch into combo methods), that does all the work required by turn 2 to get Stark into Seaguard. If the Greyjoy player does burn through his power tokens and generals at a quickened pace through being attacked by 2 sides, Tyrion's ability to bump out the last general in his hand becomes more useful, albiet briefly. I am somewhat surprised that Tyrion's text ability doesn't shorten the hand (forcing a discard prior to the swap) making the ability far more interesting and playing to the strength of attrition based warfare. Furthermore, this entirely assures that if a vote sequence comes up, that he will lose the Valerion Sword and military position to either Martel or Tyrell. Once this happens, It just comes down to a question of if the Tyrell player had fire burning under is butt and did a hard push north into Searoad Marches threatening the Lannister capitol Lannisport.

 

Martell, similar to Stark, is a check move to Baratheon in that he should engage in combats with small risk and eliminate his position on the throne. This, concurrently, will likely draw out Baratheon cards with swords to eliminate the units early on and allow "safer" combats to occur, as they will occur often on that side of the board given Martell's need to acquire addition power icons more commonly found towards the center of the map.

 

 

This said, I have never seen Greyjoy come out ahead overall and typically gets bottled up in his home territory of Pike. Lannister's wellbeing seems entirely hinged on what Tyrell chooses to do though and can get wiped off the map entirely if Tyrell doesn't engage Baratheon or Martel.

 

The only times I've seen Lannister and Greyjoy do well, would be to act against their own (fictional) nature and cooperate with each other with Greyjoy conceeding Riverrun to Lannister and Turtling up Greywater watch, The Twins, and Seaguard while being a pirate and moving to control Bay of Ice with his ship(s) and using raid orders to prevent consolidation of power moves in the north until he can push through Moat Cain successfully.

 

What I don't like about the early game so far, is how the kings court track seems to be on the weak side along with the raven initially. When you have a lot of armies and issuing a lot of orders, being able to drop down 3 special orders and swap out 1 order is very strong, but when you can only drop down 3 orders total early in the game and only swap out one, but two of your orders issued are going to be move orders by default, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference at all. While the Iron Throne Track along with the Fiefdom Track give immediate and lasting benefits throughout the game. I also find it weird that more units are given to Baratheon and Greyjoy initially. Sure, they should have larger navies initially, but the other houses should have larger land based armies and or territories to start with to compensate.

 

edit: typos/grammar

Edited by Phades

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Updated Win-by-House stats I have been keeping (majority of these games have been played on Vassal, which uses RAW rules):

 

"The below statistics are for games I have played in, GM'd, or observed.
 
Victories by House:
Greyjoy 10
Baratheon 10
Tyrell 7
Stark 6
Martell 4
Lannister 3
Arryn 1 *(have only had Arryn in [1] 7-player game, which they won!)
 
Player Eliminations by House:
Lannister 6
Greyjoy 5
Stark 1
Martell 1"

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I find it weird that Greyjoy is both at the top win wise and almost at the top elimination wise. I have issues understanding how they win, unless Stark does nothing early on.

 

Eliminating Baratheon or Greyjoy is a major pain in the butt, due to their Naval warfare bias and territory that allows for cross support. I am surprised that Greyjoy is actually eliminated that often over the course of 41 games (~12% of the time). Lannister doesn't come as a surprise if there is a Tyrell player and he pushes hard north (those games Baratheon tends to win by default, due to weak opposition with most everyone getting tied up on the west side of the map).

 

Is there anything that stands out trend wise in the matches you saw?

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The Greyjoy eliminations that I have witnessed arise when Greyjoy trusts too greatly in a Lannister alliance, and then Lannister, along with Stark, sometimes even assisted by Tyrell, take Pyke, and Seaguard.  It has happened several times, per the numbers above, but the circumstances seem to have always been the same:

1. GJ & Lanni ally early, 1st game round

2. GJ goes all out for Stark, generally reducing him to 1 VP, and taking Winterfell (WF)

3. GJ has very little defense left behind

4. Lanni backstabs GJ with Tyrell help, GJ gets eliminated

 

It comes from a strategic error on the part of GJ, and is preventable.

 

But the win stats for GJ and Bara speak for themselves, after 41 games.  That's why my group when we play FtF, use the T6 Rules, any House can win then.

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