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Bort

To kill or not to kill, that's the question.

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(Sorry, long story for a simple question. But I felt some background / detail was required)

 

I played a Reckoning game (My Hoffman vs. Brewmaster) recently.

Note. I have an unholy fear of the Whiskey Golem ever since a terrible game in closed Beta where it killed Justice and Hoffman and poisoned all of my crew in about 2 turns. So my view on the thing is maybe a bit biased. 

 

 

The following situation came up:

At the end of the 2nd turn I had already killed a model that turn (so Reckoning point earned).  I also had the Whiskey Golem and one other model down to 1 or 2 wounds.  And my opponent's hand was either empty or severely whittled down at this point.

 

Last activation (both sides done) of the turn was Joss. Last action on Joss,who could take a shot at the Golem.  Now Joss' range attack ignores armor, and with minimum 2 dmg he was in a very good spot to kill the Golem.  The Golem on the other hand is quite close to Ryle (who is also in a bad spot at this stage), as well as able to charge into my lines spreading poison at will.

 

Opponent points out that I'm now in a perfect position for the Strategy. With 2 models on low wounds I should easily be able to get my T3 Reckoning point as well.

I gamble it and lucked out. I pass up the shot on Joss, focussing instead.  Win initiative (by cheating in a 13, but still). Activate Joss first, then take the shot and kill the Golem. Giving a really good T3 start for Reckoning.

 

So, my question is this: 

Did I make the right choice?  Leave the scary thing for better "Reckoning"  or just kill it when the easier opportunity is there. 

 

 

On the one hand things turned out perfect. T3 reckoning scored. Golem killed before he could do more damage. Etc.

On the other hand, if I had lost the initiative the Golem would have most likely killed Ryle, giving my opponent his Reconing point, and probably spread some more poison into my guys before going out. And taking the shot with control hands refilled (and already cheating a 13 to win the initiative) is much harder.

 

 

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I think it basically comes down to...

Are you ahead/likely to secure other points? If so, kill the golem, shut down the game, and coast to victory.

Do you need the points to have a chance of victory, or are behind? Then take the risk and leave it up.

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There isn't a clear cut right answer.

You played the game, do you think you would have managed to get the Reckoning points on turn 3 if you had killed the golem turn 2? If you had lost initiative, just how badly would the golem have disrupted the rest of the crew?

You took the risk and it paid off. What I can't say from the description is how great the risk was.  If you did the same thing 100 times, how many do you think you would win Iniative, and be able to force through to kill the golem turn 3, and how many times do you think you couldn't get the 3rd turn reckoning point if you killed it early?

 

That said, I personally would probably make the play for Victory points and so do what you did.

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As above, it dependens. That's a high risk / high reward move.

My suggestion for that kind of scenarios: If you are behind and need the points, then go for the ballsy play and get those points. If you are ahead, push your advantage by killing his model which will deny him the posibility to catch up, even if you score less in the end (unless we are talking about a tournament where you really want to push your score and are still reasonably sure you can win that game even if that movement backfires).

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Thanks for the replies.

 

Ok, so gut feeling that I should just try to kill the Golem and be done was probably the safer choice.

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27 minutes ago, Bort said:

Thanks for the replies.

 

Ok, so gut feeling that I should just try to kill the Golem and be done was probably the safer choice.

Not necessarily. No point in playing too safe, you can keep every model alive and still lose a game.

Did you have any pass tokens to boost initiative? Did you have a high card in hand to save for initiative? Did you have other things to do if he won initiative and killed joss? 

Note you were virtually guaranteed killing the golem, right? It was just a question of how much damage it did before giving you a point.

In a vacuum initiative is 50/50. So that is a 50% chance of going first and smashing the game, and 50% chance of an outcome you could probably salvage (a point for each side with you each killing a major piece).

That is an oversimplification, but it is a good way to do risk analysis. If your split outcomes are fantastic/mediocre, you take the risk. If your split outcomes are good/bad, it is a much harder call.

I can't say which was applicable to your situation, but the one takeaway you should absolutely avoid is thinking:

1. There is a definitive best.

2. Safe play is always the best option.

A good opponent forces you to take risks to win the game.

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9 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Not necessarily. No point in playing too safe, you can keep every model alive and still lose a game.

Did you have any pass tokens to boost initiative? Did you have a high card in hand to save for initiative? Did you have other things to do if he won initiative and killed joss? 

Can't recall all the exact details, but no pass tokens or high cards.  Would have had to purely rely on the draw and flip of the next round.  So in this case it was a really big gamble. Obviously my opponent didn't know that, so he couldn't be certain of the size of the gamble.

 But thanks. I get that its very situational, and in my case it worked out.

I was just curious to see how more experienced players would have handled the situation.

 

9 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Note you were virtually guaranteed killing the golem, right? It was just a question of how much damage it did before giving you a point.

Don't always know my opponent's stuff, and he was healing a lot.  But in retrospect a lot of this is self healing by drinking from flasks, which the Golem doesn't have.  At that point in the game I was under the (mostly incorrect) impression that the golem could easily be healed back up again.

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@Bort sounds like you're reasoning it out pretty well! Nothing to do but play heaps more games!

And when in doubt, doing something that sets up scoring more points is probably a good path (if it helps, I had a draw that should have been an easy win recently precisely because I was too aggressive with killing models in reckoning).

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More often than not in that situation I would go for the kill. By not going for it I worry about losing initiative, giving my opponent a chance to heal, and perhaps take out my model (like Joss in this case) and get the point themselves. It might mean I wind up with one less strategy point in that game and my differential suffers, but removing a key model from the board will usually help me ensure my scheme points and lock in a lower margin victory rather than gamble for the higher margin victory. As others have said, it is the safe play. I don't think however that the risk here you're taking is against a better player. I do agree that you should take risks regularly, but with this situation (not knowing anything about the rest of the game) I would guess you're less likely to let the golem live against a better player. 

Having said that, if it's a situation where you're behind in points or the kill won't give you a path to winning through schemes, then you'll have to take the other path.  

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On 2/10/2020 at 7:52 AM, Bort said:

At the end of the 2nd turn I had already killed a model that turn (so Reckoning point earned).  I also had the Whiskey Golem and one other model down to 1 or 2 wounds.  And my opponent's hand was either empty or severely whittled down at this point.

 

Last activation (both sides done) of the turn was Joss. Last action on Joss,who could take a shot at the Golem.  Now Joss' range attack ignores armor, and with minimum 2 dmg he was in a very good spot to kill the Golem.  The Golem on the other hand is quite close to Ryle (who is also in a bad spot at this stage), as well as able to charge into my lines spreading poison at will.

 

Opponent points out that I'm now in a perfect position for the Strategy. With 2 models on low wounds I should easily be able to get my T3 Reckoning point as well.

I gamble it and lucked out. I pass up the shot on Joss, focussing instead.  Win initiative (by cheating in a 13, but still). Activate Joss first, then take the shot and kill the Golem. Giving a really good T3 start for Reckoning.

I think your opponent was trying to bait you and you made a mistake by not killing golem. Loosing Ryle before he could even activate on turn 3 could be disastrous and lead to a snowball effect due to the way how schemes and strats are scored in 3rd ed (you can't score half of the scheme points before the game ends, and you need to put more and more effort to score strategy every turn). Had it been turn 4, not turn 2, then securing the point would have been more reasonable.

Edited by thatlatinspeakingguy
not Joss, Ryle

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3 minutes ago, thatlatinspeakingguy said:

I think your opponent was trying to bait you and you made a mistake by not killing golem. Loosing Joss before he could even activate on turn 3 could be disastrous and lead to a snowball effect due to the way how schemes and strats are scored in 3rd ed (you can't score half of the scheme points before the game ends, and you need to put more and more effort to score strategy every turn). Had it been turn 4, not turn 2, then securing the point would have been more reasonable.

Nope, that Golem was dead.

It wasn't a competitive game by any definition - so discussing the game and finding the better play is a learning experience for both.

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