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Thread: City of Remnants Initial Strategy Impressions?

  1. #1
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    Default City of Remnants Initial Strategy Impressions?

    For those who have the game (I don't) and have played it, I'm curious about your initial strategy impressions.

    How important is it to gain influence? Do you modify your strategy or do an inefficient turn in order to make it happen? Once somebody gets ahead in influence, does it seem like a big advantage?

    How painful are the YCUs? Are they a nuisance? Have they truly ruined your day and taken a development off of you?

    Are players specializing at all? Are some more military and spread out while some are more close and tight and focused on developments?

    How different is each game depending on the development tiles that are available? Are some games very produce->sell heavy while others aren't?

    What is bidding for gang members like? Have you upped the price or even stole away a gang member just to spite someone who really needs it?

    Is there a lot of "gaming the system" in the bidding? i.e. getting super-cheap gang members when there's less people with ARCs/actions available to bid on them?

    How much money do you have from turn to turn? Is it extremely tight? Or do you start piling it up after a while?

    All this and more, please tell me.
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  2. #2
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    There are likely not representative impressions, but just to get the ball rolling, I'll share my thoughts after one play, a play fraught with distractions and with a group comprised half of players who don't seem accustomed to deeper direct confrontation games (Wiz-War went over well because it was silly, Mice & Mystics because it was co-op, Ascension because you don't get directly in each others' faces much) and mostly just turtled without actually developing much.

    I rapidly got up to 7 influence while the others didn't get past four for awhile. I was low on gang members and avoided developments that used product, so my dependency on influence was low. Having the extra cards in hand was nice, though since you can play from the top of your deck in battle, it just removed a little of the uncertainty.

    The YCUs were not bad. Our two players who didn't want to fight other players constantly fought them for no reason (and of course the Die of Doom as we called it kept rewarding them, so it was hard to explain why this was not necessarily a good plan), and they would always win. I found I was using a Refresh as my last action many rounds to make sure I was able to handle them, so maybe they were a nuisance in that way, but I was prepared. I don't think anyone ever lost a tile to them. And toward the end of the game I was sitting on a good bit of bank thanks to forgetting I could buy renown, so I just bribed them more often than not.

    My YCU impressions are probably the least representative. Because two of the players were barely doing anything on their turns and never attacked another player except once or twice (one guy never attacked anyone but cops), it was easier for us to hold onto cards for the patrol phase.

    Money is extremely tight early on. Our game had some developments that increased your start of round income, so that helped accelerate a bit for the two of us who were constantly fighting.

    Bidding is fun. We probably played the game a bit backwards, buying developments before bidding much, when maybe you should bolster your numbers first to be able to defend the developments better (hard to say from one play). Because of this, there wasn't much outbidding until mid- to late-game. I would often make a token bid on something just to make someone pay but wouldn't go farther than that. The guy playing the humans would use his cards to outbid people, though that can backfire if you don't win it since the cards are discarded anyway (I believe). He and the green player (thieves) had huge bidding wars that went in double digits while red and I (I was blue) would just shrug and take the next gangsta in line if people outbid us by much.

    Continuing on that note, if you expect to be outbid, the obvious thing to do is not to open an auction on someone really valuable first off. A benefit to this though is that your opponents are wasting actions out of turn and so you will have a nice comfortable reaction space at the end of the round when you get to act potentially multiple times after them, allowing you to wait and see how they move or if they refresh before deciding whom to attack, if anyone.

    As for specializing, due to the way these guys play games and being more of video gamers than strategy board gamers (this is at a LAN cafe thing that is trying to get a board game night going, but I am the only one who brings games), I couldn't really say. The red and yellow players should by all rights be the most antagonistic players, from what I can tell, and it was the complete opposite. So they basically specialized in beating up cops while I specialized in beating up green and green specialized in offering me deals that boiled down to "Please give me my developments back."

    I am hoping to get to play it with my usual group this weekend or whenever possible to see how it changes with different players and a different number of players. I really enjoyed the game despite the odd circumstances and can't wait to play again. Hopefully next time when they know better how it works we'll see more interaction. I think I will try attacking one of them instead of the other guy who is more into this kind of game to force their involvement.

    On a tangent: Another thing that might be good for teaching new players is to purposefully keep your renown face-up, which I did not do. They were shocked when I revealed 80-something (there is 200 renown total) and mostly had 30-something each. I think if they had seen how much I was getting from the developments over time, they would have sooner realized that beating up cops, while sometimes profitable, is not a game-winning strategy... or at least, it doesn't seem like it is.

    I'm eager to hear different thoughts from people who have played more!
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  3. #3
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    I've only played one game as well, but here are the answers based on that game. Gangs in play were Yellow (me), Blue & Green.

    How important is it to gain influence? Do you modify your strategy or do an inefficient turn in order to make it happen? Once somebody gets ahead in influence, does it seem like a big advantage?

    I was very late in getting my influence up, the others were at 7 about a round before I got to 5. But I still managed to finish in second place. Getting a higher influence definetly is something to shoot for, but you should be able to do it without needing to alter your strategy too much. It will be likely be best to pick the three that mesh best with your strategy and then keep an eye out for more oportunistic chances to gain influence if they arrise (such as overcommitting to an early YGU fight to get the 18+ attack value for an easy influence gain).

    How painful are the YCUs? Are they a nuisance? Have they truly ruined your day and taken a development off of you?

    They aren't too painful, but can be dangerous. I lost two sections (one a development) due to being a bit to conservative with my card placement when battling YCU. In part because I thought my die roll would be better, and later because I didn't have the right cards for the battle. You absolutely have to keep the Yugai Patrol phase in mind though as you never know when one of those 9 or 11 Attack Value patrols will land on your critical development.

    However, the Blue & Green players were happy to fight the Yugai any time they had the opportunity, even when the response die penalized them. Oddly they never wanted to fight any other players though, i think because they felt it would weaken them and leave them open to atack.

    Are players specializing at all? Are some more military and spread out while some are more close and tight and focused on developments?

    I should have specialized more around recruitment and harrassment as the Yellow gang, but tried to fight it out in the development acquisition war. The bad rolls with the YCU battles hurt on that front, while the other players had better overall infrastructures.

    I could easily see players jockeying for specializations and focusing either on Territory Acquisition & Control (taking in renown through a large number of developments), Territory Denial & Conquest (trying to take over another gangs developments and focusign on keeping them off the board & weak as you build), and a Production specialization where you focus on pulling in Arcs that you then convert into Renown using a few highly lucarative developments and trying to keep a strong defensive front.

    How different is each game depending on the development tiles that are available? Are some games very produce->sell heavy while others aren't?

    I can see it being very different, even though I've only played one. We had a lot of cash reward developments (some that gave +3000 arc at the start of a round, Underground casinos that awarded 6,000 Arc on a die roll of 2+ every produce >>> develop action) and most of the rest produced some high selling products.

    We also had strongholds (enemy units moving in roll a d6 on a 1-4 they are destroyed) and a fight club (at the start of a round take a renown from another player), even a slave market (use a sell action to sell off a gang member for 6k Arc).

    There seems to be a wide enough variety, and limited enough supply of the good developments, that it will create a good mix between plays. Especially when you factor in what black market and gang member cards are added to the mix.

    What is bidding for gang members like? Have you upped the price or even stole away a gang member just to spite someone who really needs it?

    We didn't counter bid too often, either because people were out of actions, or someone had so many arcs it was pointless. As Yellow I should have focused more on the recruitment than I did (Yellow has cards that lock people out of bids or add a free 2,000 arcs to a bid) but with the game focused on our own development corners we focused more on getting Arcs than on spending them on gang members.

    Though I think if we had been more aggressive on the board then the bidding would have been more fierce as we fought to keep each other from building our ranks.

    I also think we played a rule wrong where if a player didn't win a bid they just chose a different action to take. So it made the bidding portion less cruicial.

    Is there a lot of "gaming the system" in the bidding? i.e. getting super-cheap gang members when there's less people with ARCs/actions available to bid on them?

    The yellow gang will love to "game the system" in bidding by locking people out or upping bids for free, but you have to balance that against if it is worth giving everyone esle "free" actions at the end of the phase since you'll use up one action out of turn to accomplish that. So I think there's sufficient consequence to keep people from doing it on a whim.

    How much money do you have from turn to turn? Is it extremely tight? Or do you start piling it up after a while?

    Our game started with money tight, but had the Blue and Green players really piling up the cash as they both controlled Underground Casinos (an almost guaranteed 6k every produce >>> develop action). Blue never paid full price for a development thanks to his cards, and so was able to build a stockpile nicely. Green got a nice black market card that gave him 3,000 arc at the start of each round (in adition to the default 2k) then he got a development early that did the same. They also got an early lead in influence which let them sell off their product for a very good return. However they didn't spend any of their stockpiles on renown, which would have ended the game sooner and left me in a distant third place. My money was always tight as i only had a few developments that produced products and I had to buy everything at full price for most of the game. Though I did get a gang member who let me sell off 3 products without using a sell action, so that helped a bit.

    One other thing is that hand management is going to be a big part of the game, and that some gangs (like yellow) will find more value in the refresh action than others. Yellow has 3 action cards "Rally the People" that let you get 1k Arc and draw a card, as well as a few default gang members that let you draw 2 cards. That meant I was cycling through my deck much faster than Blue or Green, and there were a few times that left me flat footed during the Patrol phase since I didn't have a draw pile to help battle YCUs.

    Like Adam I look forward to seeing what more experienced players have discovered.

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    One thing I've seen is that early game aggression in both of my games has not paid off. One player would attack another leaving both weakened, then a third party comes in and roughs up whichever one is closest/weakest.

    This has leaves the third party in a pretty good position, and the others in a pretty bad place. Recruiting, territory, and combat are usually priority for the players in my games. I think maybe this is why my games have been so long. Most players don't even consider developing until at least round 2-3, which means little to no renown rewarded.

    Usually aggression dies down when a player puts down a Stronghold (this was available in both games). Then everybody starts digging in and developing, with just the occasional skirmish on the borders.

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    If you don't win the bid you began, you attempt to recruit another gangsta until you win one, pulling off the top of the deck if you run out mid-action.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ino View Post
    One thing I've seen is that early game aggression in both of my games has not paid off. One player would attack another leaving both weakened, then a third party comes in and roughs up whichever one is closest/weakest.

    This has leaves the third party in a pretty good position, and the others in a pretty bad place. Recruiting, territory, and combat are usually priority for the players in my games. I think maybe this is why my games have been so long. Most players don't even consider developing until at least round 2-3, which means little to no renown rewarded.

    Usually aggression dies down when a player puts down a Stronghold (this was available in both games). Then everybody starts digging in and developing, with just the occasional skirmish on the borders.
    Really? my dad wa red and he killed me off pretty early, which eventually won him the game. I think this may be true for Blue and green, but not yellow or red. Red has a lot of strength, and can reuse units in a fight. Yellow should have so many units, that a shortage shouldn't be a problem. We fought each other a lot at the begging and end of the game. we were going to fight for green the entire game but some Yugai kept forcing my dad back. It was 2 player, but my dad repeadedly got attacked by high level Yugai directly after attacking me, and didn't have too many problems.
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    Influence is very hard to come buy if you go for the wrong ones. Generally, I find red wants to flood the board and get high attack values, which knocks off 2. From there, you decided on whatever works. Blue will want to create developments, which knocks off 2. From there, you generally want to buy the last influence, or flood the board. Yellow wants to flood the board and achieve the high attack. Directly after, they almost always want to fight their way to the last renown. Finally, green wants to get whatever is appropriate. They will always shut off exactly 4 paths after the 2 or 3 rounds, and after you get one, another opens up. (Exception is the 2 development-influence things).

    YCU's i love because they don't bother the weak, powerless plaers huddled up in the slums near their entry point. They generally hit the big empires that belong to players with huge renown leads. I have lost spaces to Yugai, particularly if i get hit with an 11 and anything else. Bribing them also feels appropriate, and the risk of losing ARC's/renown by attacking them makes sure people don't hunt them.

    Yellow and Blue generally like to build up. Red will do the same, but only half as much, as they also attack a lot. Yellow and blue also attack, but blue only does it to take the heights if they need it and yellow does it only towards the end. Green does whatever he wants, because they can pull off either a red style or a blue style strategy.

    Yes, they are. my first game wasn't very productive, because only 1 development actually could produce. On the other hand, 5 of them could in my second game, and i was very productive in it. 4 or more producers generally means its worth it to produce a lot.

    Yeah, sometimes you will snipe people out of a bid. my favorite thing to do is to bid on something, pretend to let someone drive the price up, and dump it on them. Usually, you can't steal a card if your opponent wants it...and if you can steal a card, they will bid on something they don't want as much, usually the second choice they make for a bid if the 1 choice is taken. It is very fun though, and creates very interesting situations where you don't know if you want to up the bid, or if you just want to stop bidding so you don't get said unit dumped on you.

    Depends. The great thing is, when somone has a big ARC lead, its toward the end of the game. The beggining of the game is when people bid a lot. And that is also when everyone, more or less, has an equal amount of ARCs. Besides, at that point, you usually want to buy black market cards and devlopments vs. gang members. Gaming the system will only happen if a player goes overboard on ARCs and gets weakened by attacks. Then you really have to get more gang members so that you don't get exterminated.

    Money will be tight in the beggining, until you can really get a deelopment going. I find that you will have to go on a budget if you don't sell a lot of stuff, but if you do, then you will be filthy rich. Or if you combine gamblers and thieves with the huge discounts given by the Nei'Su, you can get rich that way.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the responses. Getting excited about this one!
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    How important is it to gain influence? Do you modify your strategy or do an inefficient turn in order to make it happen? Once somebody gets ahead in influence, does it seem like a big advantage? So far in both games I've played, both of us maxed our influence. That said, I don't think we were changing strategy just to do so. In fact, I met one of the requirements and didn't even notice it until a couple of turns later. I can't imagine a time when I would pay 12,000 ARCS to up my influence. Maybe early in the game to get a head start - it just seems like that money would be so much more useful spent on a development that will yield resources or renown. Not sure how you'd get that many ARCS early on either. Controlling 2 green dev's and controlling 5 total go hand in hand and you need that to get renown anyway. Fielding 10 mini's isn't hard - you start with 7. It just doesn't seem that difficult to up your influence, so why not? It seems to happen naturally in the course of the game.

    How painful are the YCUs? Are they a nuisance? Have they truly ruined your day and taken a development off of you? Mostly no big deal - I find myself fighting them as ARCS are scarce early on, but once I'm producing on some devs, I'll typically bribe them. Once in my first game, I rushed in the first round to take the center space for 3 renown. Ended up having to fight 2 YCU tokens for a total of 20 attack. At that time I wasn't playing the rules right so when I lost I removed a figure and discarded on of the tokens. Still, I think they really only pose a serious threat if you spread yourself too thin or if you get double tokens.

    Are players specializing at all? Are some more military and spread out while some are more close and tight and focused on developments? I really think it starts initially with your start deck - each one will lend itself to one thing or another. Still - in the end, you have to control devs to get renown, whether you build them yourself or take them from other players. You can get it other places, just not as quickly. You can battle a lot, but then you run through your deck and have to pause to refresh.

    How different is each game depending on the development tiles that are available? Are some games very produce->sell heavy while others aren't? I don't think I've played enough to say.

    What is bidding for gang members like? Have you upped the price or even stole away a gang member just to spite someone who really needs it? I think we were still just figuring out the game - neither game I played was very aggressive in this or on the board. I can definitely see where there's an element of "screw you" to it though. I'm going to take it from you just because I can or I'm going to drive the price up so you've got less money to work with.

    Is there a lot of "gaming the system" in the bidding? i.e. getting super-cheap gang members when there's less people with ARCs/actions available to bid on them? Again, not enough games in yet to tell.

    How much money do you have from turn to turn? Is it extremely tight? Or do you start piling it up after a while? In both games I found it started piling up. Both games I played blue and yellow though and it seemed that yellow was able to get more early on, but after 2 or 3 rounds, blue had far exceeded what yellow was working with.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joepinion View Post
    For those who have the game (I don't) and have played it, I'm curious about your initial strategy impressions.
    (assuming 4 players)
    To answer this, everyone needs to be knowing what they're doing, or things might end up lopsided pretty fast. I'm sure there is a lot of strategy there, but a lot of it is "meta", which requires familiarity with the game to be "played-out". I'm talking playing at least 5(?) times with any given color to "be able to play the game".
    (also red is weak :])

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