Friday, 1 May 2015

Know Your Basics #1: Ironworks Rush

Game Log


...with Shelters.

Despite the Shelters and the Colonies, this game has to be an Ironworks/Silk Road rush. The problem is, there just isn't anything else to do. You can play for Stables, but this is just too slow. And you can play for a mix of that with Herald, but lowering the Herald pile actually speeds the Rush up even more than you in that case (as the Rush player is pretty happy with Heralds, but really really happy with the easily-empty-able pile). Adding Doctor to your Stables engine doesn't help too much on average (though I guess you can give it a whirl on 5/2 exactly - I don't *think* it's enough even there). It helps a Herald engine a good bit more, as those cards work synergystically, but again, the Herald engine just has NO time, and you have to look to Navigator as your payload or give in and get Platinum anyway.

In the actual game, my opponent goes for Doctor/Ironworks into... some kind of Herald thing where he prefers Golds to Stables for a while. I flounder around a bit trying to keep my options open and figure out what he's doing, oscillating a bit between playing to be able to go a bit long (probably close to just being wrong) with some Duchies and just ramming home the piles. In any case, I am able to close it out on turn 14, and it wasn't as close as the 32-10 final score would make it look.

In cases like this, it's important to note that the Rush player is going to have both the point lead and all the control over how the game is being steered, and that is not something you want to go up against - you need a LOT of raw power to overcome it.

Anyway, it's important to know a few of these basic concepts, like a rush, not so much because they will always be right (it took the rest of the board being fairly weak here, given the Shelters and Colonies), but because you need to have some plan that doesn't just roll over to them.

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