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Author Topic: Advanced Mechanics: Rhythm(1) - Deck Consumption  (Read 1683 times)

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Advanced Mechanics: Rhythm(1) - Deck Consumption
« on: April 02, 2013, 06:27:50 am »

Advanced Mechanics: Rhythm(1) - Deck Consumption

*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.

Each player will have 2 actions per turn. Each action you are going to do something(which means that skipping an action is not possible by rule, though you may produce the same effect by other means). And, when you are doing something, you usually used up a certain amount of age deck and transferred them to elsewhere. (e.g. score pile, hand, board, etc.)

A big part of the game rhythm control depends on how fast these age piles are being consumed.

Say, you have 2 actions, and consider doing the following things:

a. Draw a card (-1 to your current age pile)
b. Use 'The Wheel' to draw 2 age 1 cards (-2 to age 1 pile or corresponding pile if age 1 pile is empty)
c. Use 'Agriculture' to score a card from your hand (+1 to a designated pile, -1 to next age's age pile)
d. Share a 'Writing' to your opponent (-2 to age 2 pile or... and -1 to your current age pile)
e. Achieve an age (0 to any age pile)
f. Work on something irrelevant to age pile (eg. Code of Laws, Road Building) (0 to any age pile)

assume the age 1 pile is empty and you are working in the age 2 with your opponent now, you can easily simplify these,
which comes with a conclusion of: {a. -1, b. -2, c. 0, d. -3, e. 0, f. 0}

And since you have 2 actions, you can generate an age pile consumption of a range [0, 6] assume that you have enough hand to pay for Agriculture.

Conduct a similar analysis for your opponent's next turn by his/her current state, and combine the range altogether, by then you can predict how much age pile cards are left next turn. Say if your opponent got a Fermenting Pottery which can draw a maximum of 4 cards next turn, then the greatest consumption by your next turn is 10 cards, which is a bit more than an age already. (Remember, for your info, each age before age 10 got only 9 cards since one of them is being used as achievement)

Base on the prediction you can work on the rhythm itself, either slowing it or accelerating it. The application part is extremely case-dependent but the general rule is: These knowledge do not allow you to draw more cards than what you can originally do, but it allows you to draw less cards since you can always choose to do something else rather than drawing like hell.

Another insight is that, sharing dogmas usually speed up the pace of the game due to the free draw you can have, plus doubling any possible consumption effects to the age deck. Use the case above as an example, although the wheel allows you to draw 2 cards, but it is actually a shared writing who generate the greatest consumption to the age deck (-3 cards). It doesn't means that The wheel is worse than writing, but it means that with this -3 card effect you may possibly increase your reach and 'touch' a card in the next age. (Say the age 2 pile only have 2 cards left a Writing shared actually allows you to draw a 3 while The wheel will only give you two 2's) This is an example of extended reach via sharing.

Yet another idea based on these observation is that, in order to keep a good control to the age deck consumption, your optimum board should contains dogma effects of:
1. Drawing multiple cards;
2. Shared effect for 'reach extension';
3. Card returning effect;
4. Effects which allow you to do nothing to the age pile;

A few things to talk about these are:
a. You don't actually need an effect to draw 1 card if you are going for age pile consumption control, since you can always draw a card. This do not means that such an effect is useless in rhythm control. An effect which allows you to draw a higher card or lower card may affect the rhythm too;
b. An effect which allows you to 'do nothing' is actually surprisingly useful if you comes into such a situation that you don't even want to draw a card. It sometimes happens. I won't list a lot of examples here since this is not in the scope of the topic, but a general indicator is that when you feel that you are going to win in the next turn if you don't do anything in your second action anyway (+ you have no insurance move right now) , then the 'do nothing' dogma could be your best action for you.

There are a lot more on the game pace and the rhythm thing, real.  8)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 06:29:24 am by BitTorrent »


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Re: Advanced Mechanics: Rhythm(1) - Deck Consumption
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 02:43:32 pm »

I find this rhythm is especially important when claiming early achievements.  It is very important to be as efficient as possible when you are the early scorer, so that you can put as much action pressure on your opponent as possible.

For example, if you have Pottery/Sailing, and you are considering Sailing to draw/meld a 3 to claim {3}, maybe it makes sense to use Pottery some more, then use Sailing to draw/meld a 4 and then claim both {3} and {4}.
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