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Strategy: Blight and Presence - When to cut your losses

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Foote
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Strategy: Blight and Presence - When to cut your losses

Ever since the strategy was explained to me, I have been taking a much harder line on a "prevent builds" priority over my initial feeling of "prevent all blight" priority (which has worked out very well so far). But there are situations that crop up where I still feel extremely inclined to stop whatever I'm doing and throw the kitchen sink at preventing Ravages. Those include:

A) When the Ravage would move the land from Healthy to Blighted and

B) When the Ravage would destroy my presence

There have even been times where I'll have performed an early reclaim action, sacrificing a lot of tempo in the proccess, to protect either my presence or to keep the land healthy for as long as humanly possible just incase we draw a blight card like Downward Spiral or something similar.

Here is my question. When do you decide to cut your losses and eat Blighted Lands and lose presence? For Unhealthy Land, should your personal tempo and keeping up preventing builds/explores outweigh the consequences of Blighted Land cards and blight until youre a bad cascade away from an outright loss? For presence, am I slightly overvaluing the value of each marker on the map and that it's ok to have a few destroyed (this obviously doesn't apply to Rampant Green).

Maybe there is a larger macro question within the specifics here. Under what conditions are you compfortable and willing to sacrificing tempo and later game control for immediate threat managment? I personally feel that there are times in retrospective when I am way to quick to make this sacrifice, but in the moment it always feels like I have no choice.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to disect the question generally or from the perspectives of different spirits.

grysqrl
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In general, I try to reclaim my power cards as seldom as I can, preferring to get more presence out and take a chance on getting something useful when gaining a new power card (obviously, this doesn't work for spirits who can only gain new power cards when they reclaim). A single blight (unless it's doing some critical damage) doesn't really matter to me, but there are a few times when I'll divert my attention to focus on a ravaging land:

  • If the land contains presence that is needed for targeting powers. I don't mind losing a presence or two, provided I have more on the board somewhere. But it's obviously a problem if losing that presence is going to disrupt my plans (i.e. if I needed that presence/sacred site in order to use a particular power).
  • If the land appears under multiple invader actions i.e. if they're going to ravage, and then build, and then ravage there again the next turn. In this case, we're talking about at least three blight (after the cascade) - if I can stop all of that with one or two actions, that's very valuable.
  • Usually, if the land has Dahan in it, I'm more inclined to intervene. I really like to use Dahan retaliation to take out invaders because it tends to require less effort. So, saving a group one or two Dahan so they can retaliate is often worth it. If the group is huge and enough will survive to retaliate (e.g. four Dahan vs an explorer and town), I might ignore it.
  • If letting a land blight means that we'll have a corner of the map filled with blighted lands, I'm more likely to intervene because I don't want them to have an area in the future that is likely to have multiple cascades.
  • Any situation where we are in danger of losing the game gets more attention. To a lesser degree, any situation that is likely to flip the blight card.

This list is not exhaustive, but should give you a sense of the kinds of things I'm thinking about. Ultimately, presence, dahan, blight, energy, and power cards are resources - their values will change from game to game and you need to figure out how to spend them.

dpt
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I don't have a lot to add to what grysqrl said, I think that was a great summary. With respect to this:

grysqrl wrote:
In general, I try to reclaim my power cards as seldom as I can, preferring to get more presence out and take a chance on getting something useful when gaining a new power card (obviously, this doesn't work for spirits who can only gain new power cards when they reclaim).
I feel like I could do a better job with playing Vital Strength of Earth by reclaiming a little more often, since it's the only spirit that gets better presence placement when it reclaims.

And this is the key:

grysqrl wrote:
Ultimately, presence, dahan, blight, energy, and power cards are resources - their values will change from game to game and you need to figure out how to spend them.
I might add "progress on presence tracks" as a separate resource from "presence on the board", but yes, there are a lot of things that are effectively resources in the game, and they need to be balanced against each other. (Eg, Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares wants to preserve Dahan much more than many other spirits, because that's the main way it has of actually getting pieces off the board.) I remember explicitly realizing this at some point. Thinking about things as resources helped my gameplay.
Chaosmancer
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Cascading is almost always a reason for me to try and stop things from happening, but I'm only just starting to get away from the "prevent Ravages" style into "preventing building and exploring" style, so it is actually harder for me to think of a time when I would let a ravage happen as opposed to when I would try to stop it.

 

 

Which, worth confirming I think, when a cascade happens you add a blight to the landm then a Blight in an adjacent land, then if that land is blighted cascade again. So, it is theoritically possible to have a single land with say 3 or 4 Blight tokens within it, correct?

dpt
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Chaosmancer wrote:
Cascading is almost always a reason for me to try and stop things from happening, but I'm only just starting to get away from the "prevent Ravages" style into "preventing building and exploring" style, so it is actually harder for me to think of a time when I would let a ravage happen as opposed to when I would try to stop it.  Which, worth confirming I think, when a cascade happens you add a blight to the landm then a Blight in an adjacent land, then if that land is blighted cascade again. So, it is theoritically possible to have a single land with say 3 or 4 Blight tokens within it, correct?
Correct, although that's not all that related to the cascading blight question.

Arcanist Lupus posted about a game earlier that ended with a blight in every single land. In that situation, adding any blight anywhere would result in an infinite sequence of cascades.

Eric R
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Which, worth confirming I think, when a cascade happens you add a blight to the landm then a Blight in an adjacent land, then if that land is blighted cascade again. So, it is theoritically possible to have a single land with say 3 or 4 Blight tokens within it, correct?

Yup, that can happen.

(And by the time you're forced to double- or triple-cascade, it's likely that much of the Presence in that part of the board has been destroyed, making it harder to prevent further Builds and Ravages in the area.)

Chaosmancer
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Thanks for confirming cool