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Leder games Oath chatter

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22 Nov 2020 13:16 #316439 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I definitely shouldn't have left, but I was focused on getting myself back into things rather than a round ahead. Pretty sloppy from me all game.

It's a very good game, but the chronicle stuff isn't just a clever add-on, it's the real game. I sense a lot of these hitting the secondary market after the one-and-done crowd plays it one evening and moves on to other things.

It's a fun sandboxy multi-powers thing by itself (although probably not sufficient for its cost and complexity just on that), but the business of planning ahead and some of the late-game citizen haggling is utterly useless without a notion of a future game.

I'm really glad we've had a pretty consistent group eager to play out of the same deck. It's opened up what were a lot of hazy design goals and shown that they really do hit the target. I'm glad this game is being made, even if my physical copy is probably only going to croak away on the forever shelf.
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22 Nov 2020 15:13 - 22 Nov 2020 15:18 #316440 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I tend to agree. I said this way back, but I kind of feel like the initial game in the box is a little limiting. It's a balance, you don't want to overwhelm people with such an open sandbox, but there aren't many big *WOW* cards in the deck from the get-go besides maybe Long Long Heir (which I think is out of our Chronicle by now). Cards like longbows and elders help you grok the basics but don't give you much of the wildness to shape strategy around.

Like, next game is going to be a little off the hook because it's darkest secret but it should have Tome Guardians, the +/-3 arcane card w/darkest secret, and some other darkest secret assist stuff that's escaping me in there... AND three new arcane cards which often trigger off the secret.

I played a few games in my long running solo chronicle a month or so ago which had the deck pretty order tuned. Completely different character to the game. You really wanted to hold site cards and conquer with it (toll roads, keep, garrison, some other defense granting cards). Our chronicle right now is sort of moving away from a control oriented direction... it still has a few things (e.g. grasping vines) but a lot of it is more utility stuff you can move to and use but may not feel any compulsion to control by owning the site.
Last edit: 22 Nov 2020 15:18 by Gary Sax.

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10 Dec 2020 03:50 #316974 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
I just had this pretty deep realization that I think I've been fucking up the conquest and relics and banners visions. So for the Oath on those two things, you're still in the lead if someone ties you (2.11). For the vision, there's no such language I can find in section 3---most presumably means most and ties aren't good enough even if you got there first. I think I've been playing the Visions like the Oath for those two conditions. So I mean Conquest is really even more impossible and relics and banners are also much more difficult.

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10 Dec 2020 12:57 #317005 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Yeah, I think there's a "check time" there. The Oathkeeper doesn't transfer unless someone has more, but it does transfer immediately when they do, and doesn't transfer again until someone else exceeds them.

For Visions more is only really checked during that player's "Wake" phase, there's no scheduling of a win or anything.

Am I saying the same thing you're thinking, or did I miss something in there?
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10 Dec 2020 13:32 #317008 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Yeah, basically. You can win on Oathkeeper for conquest if tied because you still have Oathkeeper/Usurper even if you're tied. Vision is just a check for "most" which means you have to have most at that moment.

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14 Dec 2020 05:55 #317136 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Last night mezike and Not Sure got together to play another game in our chronicle. The gaming was fun as always but the game itself was a bit of a mess. I drunkenly stumbled my way into a very undeserved citizen victory.

We were playing Oath of Devotion with mezike as Chancellor. Past experience told me that becoming a citizen and stealing the Grand Scepter is the easiest way to win this oath. When I drew Bewitched (allows you to become a citizen if you have more secrets than the Chancellor, including the Darkest Secret) in my opening hand and started with the Drowned City faceup (gives a free secret on Wake) I thought that this would be an easy way to force myself into becoming a citizen. Unfortunately everyone decided to run up the secrets economy and quickly started to outpace me. I had one early turn where I could've triggered Bewitched but I failed to do so and from then on continued to lag behind the Chancellor's secret total.

With my original game plan falling to pieces I started fishing the world deck for a win condition and drew the Vision of Sanctuary (most relics). Unfortunately the cost of most relics available involved burning secrets which tore me between two conflicting game plans. Not committing to either meant I was behind on every front.

Not Sure eventually threatened to win by holding the Vision of Rebellion (People's Favor). I had no way to stop him with no battle plans, sites or warbands so that left it to the Chancellor to stop him. He kindly offered me citizenship in hopes that it would help him with his gameplan but that allowed me to continue (albeit via a very circuitous route) my original game plan. Unfortunately I was like the dog that caught the garbage truck as I had no plans on how to hold onto what I was chasing. I seized the Scepter but had my/the Chancellor's armies decimated in the process. This left everyone in a pretty weak state. In the end, mezike was left to influence who would win out of me and Not Sure and he chose me because a Commonwealth win felt closer to a Chancellor victory than an Exile win.

In this game I think I wasn't alone in feeling totally lost at what to do. Some turns I considered wasting supply as I had nothing better to do. Main learnings:
- Chancellors should almost never offer citizenship during an Oath of Devotion, it leads to nothing but pain. It really needs to be a "this game will end if I don't make you a citizen" type situation.
- Commit to a game plan and when it falls through immediately commit to another game plan. Hedging your bets does not pay off. I say that despite winning as my win was purely due to other people's choices, not mine.

Other thoughts: I think the automation of the chronicle in TTS does a disservice to the game. We kind of messed up the chronicle process due to the automation and had no way to reverse the process. I think the automation should be a bit more subtle in terms of instructing you what to do rather than fully automating it so that you get a feel for what's actually going on. In any case, despite being a bit of a weird one, I still really like the game and am looking forward to the next one!
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14 Dec 2020 07:49 #317138 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter

sornars wrote: - Chancellors should almost never offer citizenship during an Oath of Devotion, it leads to nothing but pain. It really needs to be a "this game will end if I don't make you a citizen" type situation.


Yep, and that was exactly my thinking - You were very close to taking the Darkest Secret via conventional means and I just wanted to take that risk away so that I could focus on one threat at a time and maybe even force you into military action against Not Sure with the notion of back-stabbing you into exilehood once you had thinned out your forces.

My big plan was to use the People's Favour to spam cards over and over onto the single slot at my location and to churn the earned favour into building up a big army. Unfortunately the card draws did not work out in a way that would support that plan and I felt forced into revealing an advisor when I would have preferred to stick with none, which immediately made me vulnerable to losing the Darkest Secret. I then compounded matters by wasting some actions instead of building up my army so when I did offer citizenship I gave you too much scale with which to attack for the sceptre. Having to play with some risk is inevitable and you have to figure out when and where to open up to that, it felt like the right time to do that but maybe I hadn't prepared well enough. There was a point where I almost kicked you back out into being an exile anyway but again I just couldn't get my army up to a decent size and giving you maximum supply would have been dreadfully bad. It would however have given me a lot more supply to play with in the final rounds.

The kicker at the end though was that I could potentially have struck back to regain control but Not Sure had whistled me into the Charming Valley, and as random and unintentional as it was the additional +1 cost to travel made it impossible for me to move and campaign in the same turn. It was a really tough way to end, throwing the dice knowing that I was on the losing side no matter how the roll came out, but was still so much fun. Maybe Not Sure, knowing that I could not win the game in any way at that point, should have offered me citizenship in the next game in order to stop the dice roll and secure victory on his vision? Always got to think about the meta game.

The other issue we all faced was a lack of battle plans in play resulting in a really messy game with some fluffed dice rolls This may be due to the chronicle being influenced a lot by Arcane and Nomads.

I agree with you completely on your second point about sticking to a plan, the situation can swing so quickly that there are always opportunities to come back in contention.
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14 Dec 2020 09:29 #317144 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Leder games Oath chatter

mezike wrote:
Yep, and that was exactly my thinking - You were very close to taking the Darkest Secret via conventional means and I just wanted to take that risk away so that I could focus on one threat at a time and maybe even force you into military action against Not Sure with the notion of back-stabbing you into exilehood once you had thinned out your forces.


I consider myself a pretty empathetic person capable of imagining what other people are thinking but this game really puts that belief to the test!

I didn't understand why you were offering me citizenship but now that you've explained it, it makes total sense. If you had to deal with Not Sure's army you would've slowed down your accumulation of secrets and I could've started to catch up and just recover the Darkest Secret the normal way. I was so fixated on my "become a citizen" plan that the two pronged threat of my strategy wrt secrets wasn't obvious to me at all. I suppose you didn't know how difficult it was for me to generate secrets at that point :D!
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14 Dec 2020 12:05 - 14 Dec 2020 12:09 #317157 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter

mezike wrote: The kicker at the end though was that I could potentially have struck back to regain control but Not Sure had whistled me into the Charming Valley, and as random and unintentional as it was the additional +1 cost to travel made it impossible for me to move and campaign in the same turn. It was a really tough way to end, throwing the dice knowing that I was on the losing side no matter how the roll came out, but was still so much fun. Maybe Not Sure, knowing that I could not win the game in any way at that point, should have offered me citizenship in the next game in order to stop the dice roll and secure victory on his vision? Always got to think about the meta game.

The other issue we all faced was a lack of battle plans in play resulting in a really messy game with some fluffed dice rolls This may be due to the chronicle being influenced a lot by Arcane and Nomads.


This is probably true, I still tend to treat the game as "this game" when I definitely should have made the citizenship offer to sweeten your choice.

Four shields from eight blue dice was probably still weighing on me, I was sure I'd had that game wrapped up.

edit: also, the fact that the Chronicle automation seems to have done something weird this time and has no way to back out sure didn't help. I think I got it all repaired for next game, but there might even be extra deck uncertainty.
Last edit: 14 Dec 2020 12:09 by Not Sure.
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02 Jan 2021 18:14 - 02 Jan 2021 23:54 #317650 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
The 4p game between our usual group was interesting today. I felt completely at 6s and 7s and out of the game for the first four turns, just making an obvious and clumsy attempt at the conquest goal as an exile. The Chancellor (sornars) had us in complete lockdown, even the citizen mezike, until a late card play by citizen mezike stole a ton of money from the Chancellor and took the succession condition.

This game felt like a completely stable empire with the exiles sitting churning deck to put together anything interesting. I don't think it was the game at its strongest but then mezike made his move and all hell broke loose, ending with some heroic rolls by Not Sure and I for a conquest win by me, something that seemed *impossible* in even turn 5.

I need to think about the strategy lessons that were in this game. I really need to work on preparing for my vision as an exile but not tipping my hand until I'm more ready to seize it strongly.
Last edit: 02 Jan 2021 23:54 by Gary Sax.
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03 Jan 2021 06:40 - 03 Jan 2021 06:44 #317662 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Leder games Oath chatter
From my perspective as Chancellor, I felt that was my game to lose and I certainly lost it. I had the means to beat any one of you at your economies of choice (mezike on favour, Gary Sax on military and maybe Not Sure on secrets but if not, also by military); however my instincts to play reactively as a Chancellor betrayed me when I declined to buy the People’s Favour and mezike ended up stealing all of my favour which forced me to pursue all three at once.

As a chancellor, generally slow playing and waiting for a threat to emerge before quelling it works but since all of the exiles were searching for so long (and the citizen was believed to be in check), I should’ve been more proactive in managing my threats. I think my understanding of game state was correct but what I needed to do was manage timings so they didn’t happen all at once in which case a preemptive strike against one of you would’ve been warranted.

I agree that was not the best showing of the game but the few moments of drama were amongst some of the best I’ve seen. A bad game of Oath is still pretty damn good!
Last edit: 03 Jan 2021 06:44 by sornars.
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03 Jan 2021 09:12 #317664 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Totally. What came to the fore was the point at which we all decided to take a risk; I personally would have preferred to wait just one more turn but I felt that I wouldn’t get away with it if I did so I took a punt knowing that I realistically had only those two dice rolls on which to win. We all took an unsatisfactory gamble at some point. In the final round, if winning was important then I should have followed through on kingmaking one of GarySax and Not Sure in order to get on the winning side, but it was much more fun to risk it all on the off-chance of one more dice roll under succession!
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14 Jan 2021 03:20 - 14 Jan 2021 05:44 #318013 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Here's an unboxing video of the retail copy of the game: www.twitch.tv/videos/872374797

It goes without saying but the production looks fantastic and the promise of being easy to set up and put away looks to have been fulfilled. I'm usually ambivalent on upgrading tokens but the Kickstarter coins and resin secrets look incredible as well.
Last edit: 14 Jan 2021 05:44 by sornars.

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14 Jan 2021 13:21 - 14 Jan 2021 13:22 #318021 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Yeah, it looks gorgeous, they really take their time on the details and it shows. Seing the product not on TTS always reinforces what a bright color palette the game has, which I adore.
Last edit: 14 Jan 2021 13:22 by Gary Sax.

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17 Feb 2021 19:14 #319301 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Just got an address confirmation request so looks like it is about to ship soon. I have no idea though whether this means it is about to leave the factory in China or about to arrive at local distributors though. Either way, we're all looking forward to getting a chance to play it together soon!
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