The new scenario can be downloaded here.
I tried it with 3 players this afternoon and this new scenario added an interesting interaction to game. However, we found this scenario at first seemed to favor the military minded builds as we saw a lot of 5s and 6s rolled for King's reinforcement resulting in a lot of gnashing of teeth and the lamentation of the girly governors. The player that followed the super defense strategy never faltered. I abandoned the farm strategy midgame (after losing my market to the filthy orcsies) to pursue the Wizard's Guild tech but was too late at that point. Our newbie player finished with a grand total of 2 VP! I told him the Embassy line was quite good you see...
After the game ended and I had another good look at the scenario. It was then that I realized I had made a huge boo boo: We played that growth tokens that were added reset each year. So each year we started with the setup number of growth token (ie: reset to 9 growth tokens)! Oh shooooooooooot! Big mistake. I hope to try the correct version soon.
In the meantime anyone tried this scenario yet? What did you think (military too strong, etc)?
...Now get to FIGHTIN!!!
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While I haven't had a chance to play the new scenario yet, the Super Defensive strategy seems to be the way to go. It seems that the defense strategy allows you to manipulate the soldier outcome with minimal loss. You'll likely be the strongest militarily which means if you failed, everyone failed and it allows you to kill the growth counters to make it harder on the other players.
Though I really like the idea of different scenarios, everytime you introduce something that manipulates the King's soldier option, you tend to favor the super defender route and limit everyone else's options (take the soldier token expansion coming up for example). I will have to play through this to see if the scenario actually plays out like it looks but it seems to really favor one strategy. It could be, however that other expansion add-ons (like the Governors or other building tracks) mitigate this effect but we won't really know until the expansion is released.
Winter is coming
...everytime you introduce something that manipulates the King's soldier option, you tend to favor the super defender route and limit everyone else's options (take the soldier token expansion coming up for example).
Although what you've mentioned have been a concern in the back of my mind for awhile now...I've not given much thought until a play through this scenario...or at least what we thought was the correct play. Maybe these design choices may have been influenced by some of vocal outcries calling for a tougher winter battle. I will try this scenario a few times (correctly) before the expansion comes out, then if I find it lacking I may introduce a patch...something like:
A bonus of 2 Growth Counters are added if all governors pay both tribute that year. The king sends a bonus +1 reinforcement for each value that exceeds 6 when computing (ie: # growth token divided by number of player).
In a 4 player game, if the growth token numbers 28-31, then the king sends a d6+1 reinforcement.
In a 4 player game, if the growth token numbers 32-35, then the king sends a d6+2 reinforcement.
In a 4 player game, if the growth token numbers 36-40, then the king sends a d6+3 reinforcement.
In a 5 player game, if the growth token numbers 35-39, then the king sends a d6+1 reinforcement.
I figure it's hard to hit the upper limit unless more than a few player dedicate themselves to building tracks that farm resources. In a best case 4 player scenario, the group of govs will get d6+4 roll for reinforcement by year 5. d6+3 for a best case 5 player scenario..a highly unlikely case because more often than not, some will not be able to pay tribute and some will intentionally choke (-1 VP & -1 Growth Counter). This change will not be make the super defense strategy weaker, but its risk management advantage is somewhat mitigated as others receive a lower grade advantage.
...Now get to FIGHTIN!!!
I played a 5-player version of this scenario this past weekend. While you do need some defensive buildings (and I was shooting for the super defensive strategy myself), it seemed like the stables in combination with either the 5 spot or ESPECIALLY the 10 spot were the keys to the game. Influencing the 10th advisor (even without the stables) not only landed you two more additional reinforcements, but let you see the strength of the winter foe. In no other previous game were these two spots as highly sought-after and as highly contested. As a result, having the inn and the market, and being able to manipulate the dice in order to land these spots frequently, was what the eventual winner did (I came in 2nd and lost by one point).
Since the Scenarios designer is Luca, I can freely discuss them ;)
For sure the Demanding Capital focus the game a little more on the military side. Unless all players decide to please the king... it goes a lot towards military if most or all players stop sending supplies to the Capital. It may be a nice change of enviroment. And still mostly depends on the players.
If you want to make it less "military oriented" an easy fix is to start with 4 tokens per player and not just 3.
My favourite one so far is the Shifting Alliances.. that doesn't effect the winter battles (honestly I believe they're fine the way they are).
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