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Author Topic: Advanced Mechanics: Icon Blocking  (Read 1200 times)

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Advanced Mechanics: Icon Blocking
« on: March 23, 2013, 04:19:09 pm »

Advanced Mechanics: Icon Blocking

*Before you actually try to understand this, first you must know all the 105 cards in the base set, at least what icons on it and what dogmas they carry. Of course the color too. To extend these knowledge to echoes play would require further knowledge in the echoes play.

Icon Blocking is one of the icon mechanics that I am usually talking about.

Icon Blocking is to 'defend your opponent from using dogmas in the optimum position'.

It might not be always means that you have to dominate the icons of some type in order to force your opponent to share some effects to you, sometimes it may be even better if your opponent don't share something to you, say Oars, Domes, Alchemy, Physics, Education, Printing Press, Chemistry, etc.

(*these cards may still benefit you from sharing, it is all about the situation. Since I assume you know all the cards already I am not going to discuss about it)

The simplist case is that your opponent have The Wheel and you have Oars, so your castle is behind(2 vs 3) and now you start with 1 action.

If you got City State, which contains 1 castle, you meld it and now both have 3 castles.

Your opponent might first meld a card with some castle from his hand and go for The Wheel and draw 2 (1), but then he will be demanded by your City State right at next turn, since none of the age 1 card contains 3 crowns, if he meld anything with a castle his amount of Crowns must lose to you(3).

This is the simpliest kind of Icon Blocking.

It looks simple but this involves a lot of concept already:

1. Since City State only demands opponent who has at least 4 castle, your opponent can only have at most 3 castles unless they are prepared to be demanded. Therefore, if you can get yourself at least 3 castles you can always check your opponent from using castle dogmas alone.

2. Since your opponent only has 1 card in his/her hand, and none of the age 1 card can supply enough crown(3) to block your demand, multiple crown cards will be required. This is a use of card knowledge, in order to deploy icon blocking efficiently you have to know basically every possibility of your opponent's possible icon modification next turn, say you know someone might go Tools next turn and jump to age 3. If he can get 2 leaves from Machinery your hand will be robbed immediately, so you might consider meld Pottery or Agriculture against it.

3. If your opponent actually have 2 cards and melding them all would generate enough icons, you still successfully block him/her from using that paticular dogma, at least from his/her next turn. This is because he/she do not have enough actions to go for that paticular dogma effect.

4. Based on 3. if you are only playing base set and you want to block some icon, you have to consider about what modification can be done by your opponent after his/her first action, since activating a dogma will require a dogma action.

Consider these cases, you can see the icon mechanics is not only about the dogma effect of some cards, but the game itself as a whole (actions, hand, board, dogma, score).

In fact, it is quite common that some card on your board is actually used for icon instead of dogma. This is actually a step of evolution as an innovation player, from dogma based approach to utility based approach. Each card serves as utility on your board while some of them are there for icon manipulation.

This is only a little part of the whole icon mechanics thing. Though I might keep writing.
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