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Author Topic: Article draft: Chopsticks  (Read 1613 times)

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Article draft: Chopsticks
« on: March 20, 2013, 05:35:40 pm »

After winning another game with Chopsticks, I just realized how strong this card is, so here we go...

Chopsticks (yellow, age 1) - void, leaf, leaf, echo
echo: Draw a 1
dogma: If the 1 deck has at least a card, you may transfer its bottom card to the available achievements.

So let's say both you and your opponent (assuming 2p, I have no experience with 3 or 4p games) have managed some early scoring for 20-30 points each, grabbed a few achievements, and are ploughing your way through ages 3-5.  Somehow, you manage to draw Chopsticks, perhaps through some random dogma - or perhaps you saved it carefully since the beginning.  If the 1 deck is not empty, then you can suddenly grab an achievement per turn: apply the dogma of Chopsticks, and achieve the 1 you just transfered.

There are a few reasons why Chopsticks is so strong.  First, it does not care about sharing: because you play the dogma after your opponent in case of a share, you can make sure only one new 1 is achievable (and in case of a share, your opponent gets to draw a 1 while you draw a 1 and a card of your current level, which is a good trade...).  Second, it is very hard for your opponent to stop you: he has either to steal Chopsticks of your board (I actually don't think this is possible in the early ages), cover it by sharing some meld action (fairly random and unefficient), or attack your score pile (Medecine and Mapmaking are probably too slow, and even at age 4 there is only Anatomy and Toilet which hurt just a little bit more).  Note that score-pile attacks that transfer points to your opponent's score hurt less than normally, because as long as you have enough points, you can keep the rhythm of one achievement per turn, while your opponent needs normally at least three actions per dogma (score, tech up, achieve).
Another thing that hurts Chopsticks is depletion of the 1 deck.  If this is a concern, there are cards that can return 1s, or you can try to draw (or have you opponent) draw Echo 1s instead of base 1s.


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Re: Article draft: Chopsticks
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 05:49:41 pm »

Sharing does matter in the sense that sharing depletes the 1 deck.  But it certainly is high on the list of shareproof cards.
Also you probably are an expert if you buy two bureaucrats early.


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Re: Article draft: Chopsticks
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 01:09:02 pm »

It's worth noting, for players who are new to the Echoes of the Past expansion, that the point requirement to claim a standard achievement increases linearly based on how many standard achievements of that number you have. That is, claiming your first 1 achievement requires 5 points, your second 1 requires 10 points, your third requires 15 points, etc. So in a 2-player Echoes game where 7 achievements are required, you are golden as long as you have, say, 25 points and you got at least two achievements out of 2/3/4/5.

However, you still only need a top card of 1 or greater -- that requirement doesn't go up. Which means another great thing about this strategy is, if you actually do have enough achievements already and there enough 1s left in the 1 pile for you to win on, you don't care about the other cards on your board at all! All you need is a 1 top card, e.g., Chopsticks itself. So any attack that affects your highest top card can't even slow you down.

Depending on the game state and if your opponent is able to share "Draw a 1," it is likely that you will run out of 1s before you're able to add four or five new 1 achievements, but you're going to put a ton of pressure on your opponent to keep you from winning later.

Remember that the 1 drawn by Chopsticks second Dogma effect depends on whether or not the player drawing has at least one base set card in hand but no expansion card in hand. If you are trying to win via Chopsticks, it behooves you to set up your hand so that you're drawing from the Echoes pile.

I believe the card added to the available achievements must always come from the base set 1 pile, and if that pile is empty, no card is transfers to the available achievements. That Dogma effect doesn't say "draw a card." Yet I didn't see this clarified in the FAQ of the new Echoes setup errata.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 01:12:24 pm by hoff »
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