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Leder games Oath chatter

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20 Aug 2020 23:47 #313316 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
www.kickstarter.com/projects/2074786394/...-exile/posts/2908764

I'll be that guy. The sleeves do look great.
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23 Aug 2020 19:29 - 23 Aug 2020 19:30 #313426 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I played a couple more two player solo games of this and I do think they have to look at the rules to make this thing work at 2. The advantage is just too great for the Chancellor, it only gets worse after the Chancellor wins the first game.
Last edit: 23 Aug 2020 19:30 by Gary Sax.

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24 Aug 2020 00:11 #313427 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Do they have the new sites in TTS yet? That will level things a bit, but my guess is that 2p is just always going to be hard.

I was thinking about this, and the crucial move for the solo Exile is to grab and defend the Darkest Secret (unless that's the win condition, then I'm at a loss...) Like, Turn 1 if possible. You have to make the Secret economy work (which sadly require a little luck in the draw).

The deck fishing bonus is the best way to make the most of your slight action advantage, and Visions can't go off unless there's at least three drawn anyway. The Chancellor needs advisors, but they quit drawing (especially on the expensive world deck) pretty fast. So since you're doing the work drawing. make it cheap.

What you want is of course to find the Vision that you need, but be flexible if something else comes up (like People's Favor). Competing for Oathkeeper is always going to be stiff, so I think a Vision win is the best available path. Darkest Secret is the easiest of those for an Exile in my opinion, and the synergy with the world deck draw makes it more so. The Chancellor can fight you for it, but that opens the door to something like a People's Favor Vision victory.

But like most Wehrle games, I don't think 2p is really in the sweet spot for the game, but sort of an "edge of the viable envelope".

I honestly (based on our games) would probably not play 2p with either People's Favor or Darkest Secret (especially this!) as the Oathkeeper win condition. Those are just too easy for the Chancellor to deny from a single Exile, and also rob them of one of the only viable alternate paths.
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24 Aug 2020 04:40 #313429 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I wonder if it would make for a more thrilling game if the Exile starts with long lost heir face down in their advisors by default? Then it creates two fronts for the chancellor to protect from the outset with worry that a vision will create a third. Meanwhile the Exile then has more than one way to pursue victory and keep the chancellor from turtling. I think the world deck probably needs to be stacked with fewer cards as well, but then again having the Darkest Secret as yet another front to fight on is going to up the pressure even more.
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24 Aug 2020 13:45 - 24 Aug 2020 13:46 #313444 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I think the main thing that needs to happen is in low player counts there needs to be a pretty severe limit on how much the Chancellor brings over. It still doesn't totally solve it, because as long as they hold a cradle with 2-3 installed cards that's already a big advantage in 2p. Completely agree on how central the darkest secret is in 2p, though even securing it initially by sacrificing 2 secrets (iirc it starts with one, 1 minimum) is a stunning setback just to get to a more even footing for the exile.



In other news, some early looks at the design. It'd be a vastly different game but part of me would like the original design idea of each regime being different in fundamental function depending on how the last game was won.
Last edit: 24 Aug 2020 13:46 by Gary Sax.

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24 Aug 2020 14:31 #313445 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Does it start with one? I'd thought both it and People's Favor start with nothing on them, but you have to commit at least one to claim them.

I'd read the "minimum one" as "what it takes to claim this", not as a mandate that they always have at least that much. I think I got to that because the setup doesn't mention putting initial secrets or favor on them, just setting them out.

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24 Aug 2020 14:32 #313446 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Could be!

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24 Aug 2020 16:30 #313454 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic Leder games Oath chatter

Not Sure wrote: Does it start with one? I'd thought both it and People's Favor start with nothing on them, but you have to commit at least one to claim them.

I'd read the "minimum one" as "what it takes to claim this", not as a mandate that they always have at least that much. I think I got to that because the setup doesn't mention putting initial secrets or favor on them, just setting them out.


I think my Playbook is as updated as it gets (Aug 6 version), and in Step 7 of setup for a first game it has:

"Put 1 favor token on the People’s Favor, and put 1 secret token on the Darkest Secret."

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24 Aug 2020 16:50 #313456 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter

JoelCFC25 wrote:

Not Sure wrote: Does it start with one? I'd thought both it and People's Favor start with nothing on them, but you have to commit at least one to claim them.

I'd read the "minimum one" as "what it takes to claim this", not as a mandate that they always have at least that much. I think I got to that because the setup doesn't mention putting initial secrets or favor on them, just setting them out.


I think my Playbook is as updated as it gets (Aug 6 version), and in Step 7 of setup for a first game it has:

"Put 1 favor token on the People’s Favor, and put 1 secret token on the Darkest Secret."


Okay, you both are right. It's in my Playbook, and it's also in both of the PDF rulebooks in setup (1.5), "place 1 Favor Token on the People's Favor and 1 Secret Token on the Darkest Secret". I think my confusion was from TTS setting up many things but not that, and I somehow missed it when looking before.

That's going to slow down the Exile a bit, since you'll need to get another Favor from somewhere (possibly using your Secret), and then find a matching denizen to get that second secret. Needs a lot of luck in T1, and then in theory you could grab it on T2 if the Chancellor didn't already. If there's a site that starts with Favor or Secrets (like the Mine), that's probably your best bet. One other slim advantage of an Exile is choosing their start space.

The only upside is that it doesn't matter too much that you pay 2 to get it, since you should get 1 back from claiming it. It's net 1, but you have to be able to pay two unused Secrets to grab it.
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29 Aug 2020 00:35 - 29 Aug 2020 00:36 #313601 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Played 2-3 solo two handed games on the newest (last?) TTS kit, it's kind of my new stress reliever because it has a nice thrust/counter-thrust, even if the Chancellor still has a big advantage on games past the first.

The relic change is brilliant imho. Finding relic locations like the drowned city are very exciting. You might end up with a very powerful relic for two burned favor which is very cheap, *and* you'll get that secret at the start of next turn if you do it later in your round.

Their homeland fix/huge nerf is pretty simple and works great.

More of the art is in and it's looking very good.

All and all, I'll probably keeping playing this kit idly but most of all I'm excited to get a final product and get a Chronicle going, even if it's mostly likely to be a TTS Chronicle.
Last edit: 29 Aug 2020 00:36 by Gary Sax.
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30 Aug 2020 20:50 - 30 Aug 2020 20:51 #313615 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Mezike and I played a pickup 2 player game from his Chronicle and it was very good, I squeeked a victory (but see below). Pretty tough on the exile---I think the exile is going to want to do visions most of the time. We had several dramatic battles for the darkest secret to win the game, one of which I barely pulled out by killing all of my armies. He didn't know it but he actually won there---attackers use all attackers on their board and there's a rule that you can't pull the final warband from a site!

The virtually closed economy of this game is much better than it has any right to be. It's kind of the hidden secret in this game. 2 player works because if the Chancellor doesn't start off too powerful it is possible to maneuver people out of making money without doing some expensive travelling.

Mezike commented on how much he likes the Chronicle but I'll let him elaborate, but I like it a lot too from a narrative perspective where it really works but also from a strategy perspective. It's fun to get familiar with card combos and cards, remembering how you used them before, but then get really surprised by a new addition that you didn't expect. Again, I absolutely think there's no way any one should be looking at the cards added to the game during the Chronicle phase. You want that total surprise.

This game rules and I'm glad I went all in on it, even the dumb sleeves. I want to encourage this sort of thing going forward.
Last edit: 30 Aug 2020 20:51 by Gary Sax.
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01 Sep 2020 06:51 #313660 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I think that between your post here and the other one you posted over on TOS you sum up my own thoughts very well. The only musing I would add to the comparison between Oath and Root is that I think Root is a game where it is important to play consistently with the same group of players whereas Oath is a game where you want to play consistently on the same chronicle even if the players are in rotation.

Root has a meta that revolves around assessing faction capability beyond a simple glance at the VP track (and I believe is behind the common complaint of the game being chaotic or random; it isn't, people just aren't grasping situations when first place isn't a threat and last place is about to swing hard into victory, or how they can leverage the game to make those power swings.) Oath however I find very much about the developing state of the game and the emergent narrative, which becomes richer over time but which you can also parachute into. I love the mini -history that it now feels important to explain at the start of a chronicle game - "here are the shattered remains and ruined edifices of a once-mighty empire that was burnt to the ground by the scheming double-cross of a citizen who was raised to power on the promise of saving all that we loved but who instead stole everything they could and broke what was left. Our proud Nomad history and happy welcoming Hearth have been usurped in recent times by Order and Discord." - and the amazing thing is that this kind of stuff gets written and rewritten on every single game. There is no blurb on the box or rulebook that locks the game narratively in place, and no pre-scripted text that limit where the game can evolve into, but this kind of summary sets the scene and perfectly explains what kind of state the game is currently in. The chronicle is not just a lightweight conceit to legacy play, it is the fulcrum of the playing experience.

Neither game is a straight-story in terms of how they play, the goal may be clear but how to achieve them is anything but. Cole has repeatedly made a point that people seem to keep skipping over that Root holds your hand part of the way by at least telling you how to score points, but in Oath you are completely on your own. Instead of having an asymmetric faction ready to play you instead build your own by ruling sites and collecting advisers - any meta involved is something that develops organically during each play which is why I think it is better suited to situations where the players are coming and going but the rich history of the chronicle continues to develop throughout.

Regarding our 2p game I'm glad that my strategy paid off even if we didn't realise it at the time. There are people around who are questioning the ability for Exiles to win but instead of talking about how to approach the game as an Exile player they are just devolving into the tired old mantra of "my strategy doesn't work so game must be broke, plz redesign to my specification kthx"

I've latched onto the realisation that you have to keep the Chancellor on their toes and fighting on multiple fronts, and one of the most important things you can do, which is also counter-intuitive, is to keep cards face down in your advisers so that you do not give away your capabilities or intentions. Slow build and a fast strike can imbalance the Chancellor and put them into a position where the game boils down to a high-risk and last-ditch assault (as was the case three or four times in a row in the thrilling climax to our game)

Visions are vital, even just as threats, and one method that I think is particularly effective is to dig for the vision that matches the Oath because then you can grab Oathkeeper for +1 defence and create a panic as you don't have to wait for the Usurper to slowly turn around in order to win. I think that there is also a little-explored avenue of binding promises and carrying those over into future games - for example, forming a coalition of Exiles who intend to win together and form a Commonwealth in the next game. This is totally a game where you can choose to transform it into a team game part way through rather than playing all-out for a purely selfish win, especially as it allows you to shape the content of the world deck - an action that could well persist for the lifetime of that chronicle.
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01 Sep 2020 10:23 - 01 Sep 2020 12:20 #313662 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
On your last point, I've been thinking a lot about the Imperial Seat and the binding deal cards. I don't use them because I play mostly low player or solo stuff where it doesn't make much sense. You could literally bring all the exiles, first turn, to the imperial seat and *bindingly promise* never to voluntarily become a citizen. Or to never campaign against each other. Completely open ended, Sidereal Confluence style.

Also, I completely agree on your Root point. The challenge once you're just ok at Root (as I am), past the noobie stage, is correctly scrying through the board state to see who's winning while also scoring your own points. It's not totally on rails, you can make surprising risky moves particularly related to warfare. But Oath esp as the exile it is a game *about* making surprising moves or putting together juggernaut player combos.
Last edit: 01 Sep 2020 12:20 by Gary Sax.
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01 Sep 2020 12:17 - 01 Sep 2020 12:25 #313666 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Oh yeah, I'm itching for that first time that the "Exile Alliance" gather together, renounce their fealty, and swear to bring down the tyrant chancellor. Particularly cool if playing more than one game back to back - what exactly happens to those noble rebels when they eventually, inevitably, become the new despised order?
Last edit: 01 Sep 2020 12:25 by mezike.

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06 Sep 2020 12:20 - 06 Sep 2020 13:33 #313817 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Was watching Space Cats Peace Turtles, who are somewhat hit or miss for me, play a newest playtest stream in the background while I played Crusader Kings 3... it looked like a pretty bad time, they were stupid and played 5 on a somewhat learning game. Downtime was real rough. And there was a baby which is always bad for a stream.

I'm a broken record on this but I *still* think this is going to be an incredibly niche product lots of people are going to hate, like even people more disposed to this sort of thing who aren't pure euro. The first game or two are going to be agonizingly long---ours with Jexik was long for example---and anyone can bring the game to a screeching halt by taking forever sequencing their turns or way overdoing the citizen negotiations. Also the economy is tight, so unless you understand well enough to get favor and secrets you're fucked. Matt from space cats, who is prone to being a big baby about games, kept his cards hidden for too long and refused to satisfice to make money or secrets so had a real bad time and was convinced it was all luck.

It's interesting because it has been one of my top games, even in the playtest, of the last couple years.
Last edit: 06 Sep 2020 13:33 by Gary Sax.

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