I've only had the chance to try out the two player setup for this game but I'm finding the strategy to be almost contrived when following the normal rules of play. This is especially apparent in the option to "pass" as there is really no reason to do so in a two player game. The rules state that "the player who has not passed may continue playing cards, one at a time, until he chooses to pass." So what would stop one from playing their entire hand every battle?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine the general strategy element of the game is to weigh the pros and cons of playing too many cards in one battle and not saving enough for the next. But in a two player match, there's really no reason not to throw your entire hand down so that you can refresh up to your limit for the next battle. If/When your opponent passes you can just play all of your mercenaries consecutively until you run out to guarantee not only a refresh of your cards but effectively forcing your opponent to discard all but two of his hand.
Now maybe this is just part of the strategy of the two player game but it just seems kind of cheap. It also renders passing useless because if one of you were to pass early in the round to conserve cards, the other player would play his hand entirely rather than go into the next battle with less cards. Thus, in a two player game following these rules, the game loses its strategic angle and relies more on the luck of the cards.
Anybody else playing differently or am I missing something?
Conversely, playing a two player match using the "draw after each battle" variant seems to solve this problem, or at least adds a new strategic element in playing your hand carefully in order to plan ahead for the next battle. Either way, I still really enjoy the board/card design of the game and look forward to playing with more people to see how the strategy changes.
Thanks and happy gaming!
"So shines a good deed in a weary world." - Willy Wonka
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I thought you were given enough cards to reach a minimum of 10 cards every turn. If you pass with 5 cards in your hand you can only keep two of them, minus any mercenaries, for the next turn. Then when the turn starts you are given 8 new cards from the re--shuffled deck to meet the minimum 10 cards per turn, plus another card for every territory you control. You can't take more than 2 cards with you from a previous turn into the next turn.
I'll have to read the rules again to see if we've been playing this game wrong.
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I have been playing primarily two player games.
It really depends on what cards you are given, with there being only 2 players it really boils down to what you are dealt more than strategy, but there is still an air of planning.
We have had some amazing games where a territory win was achieved through fantastic hand/card manipulation and deception…mainly with the throwing down of a scarecrow or a surrender during opportune moments and well timed bishops.
As for playing a whole hand, from my experience it is rare. You only need 1 point more to achieve victory, no sense in wasting two good cards you can keep for the next round. The only time we have ever played both our hands is during the opening, getting an early lead is nice, and when it comes down to the final victory point, where it is defeat or trying to prolong the war for at least one more battle.
It isn't as hectic or strategic as a 3+ player game and 2 players does rely more on luck of the draw, but it still has moments of genius.
“I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded,
- H.P. Lovecraft
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