Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

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Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Moto Damasko on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:33 pm

While I'm probably not gonna try rebuilding my entire deck (Again!) I did sit down and think hard on movement cards and defensive skirmishing...   I bulleted my thoughts and I wanted to ask about effectiveness and worth in the current environment. 

Defensive Skirmish: 
- Dangerous if they have ring of earth in general, or if they have kill actions (ranged, dueling etc)
- Only works against military opponents.
- Does nothing against defensive decks with alternate win conditions, sometimes even hurts you (the action has pull out of the battle as a cost)

Specific Cards: 
- Storm-forged:  I love the style of this card but is it really worth it?  I can never tell... 
- False Route:  Strong action but costs you possible force, allows you to pull away attackers to deal with in a solo nature...   Dangerous if they are holding the ring of earth in certain decks. 
- Advance Warning:  Awesome card, works while bowed or unbowed, even if the person doesn't move it takes effect.  
- Strategic withdrawal:  Not a bad card, costly, similar effect to advanced warning but can be countered, I think it's better out of a deck with more bodies.  
- Defensive Grill:  Hard to impossible to use on the attack for anything worthwhile, I think it has a place against defensive dueling to drag a body in and make it hard to "come on at a time", on the defense relies on the opponent activating battles wrong. 

In general defending is a rough choice and should only be done in a limited nature, these cards allow you to defend and have an immediate effect and "get out".  But is it really worth it in place of other cards?   I can see advanced warning as a multipurpose card (contribute while bowed, take multiple provinces with cavalry, hard defense with big force bodies), but cards like false-route, defensive grill and strategic are more closed in their use.  

I guess my real question if I choose to play a defensive style skirmish deck WHAT is the key nature of the deck, what cards are too narrow for the deck type, what is the "biggest" reward, and can this style be splashed into the deck in place of other Tempo mechanics (force pump, reprisal, etc).    That's where I see that advance warning is hugely powerful because it's so multi-purpose, and with cavalry it essentially doubles your biggest body, but relies on the opponent not defending and mucking up your attack. 


On the negative side of defensive skirmish I see that defending activates some kill actions...    Namely weakness exposed...   While I don't run ominous specifically for this, if you try a defensive trick and get ring of earthed into a weakness exposed, that's probably good game or at least a huge hit.  On the other hand cards like sujikaro punish lion greatly for these kinds of small skirmishes if you escape unscathed, running a few multipurpose cards to deal with those defenses that also work on the attack (in my case I like ominous armor and turtle shell) so you can punish and pull out "safer", make these kinds of defensive skirmishes painful for an opponent, especially if your actions are coming from cards on the table (printed kill actions).   


I don't know, after seeing Anthony's skirmishing crane deck I was kind of envious but he is a stronger player and the deck had stronger synergy with an action type that that allowed for commitment that if not countered won games (bow out the opposing army during a skirmish and if they don't have the straighten they lose, if they do you bow out with the sensei and the next battle they are screwed due to printed bows).
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Kakita Hideo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:06 pm

I could defend out of that deck because I would honor out if they didn't come to me on my terms. I also went first all the time and took early provinces and had more dudes in play. You want to defend? Don't play Unicorn. They are a avoid battle till the end clan.
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Moto Damasko on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:19 pm

Kakita Hideo wrote:I could defend out of that deck because I would honor out if they didn't come to me on my terms. I also went first all the time and took early provinces and had more dudes in play. You want to defend? Don't play Unicorn. They are a avoid battle till the end clan.

I entirely agree, which is why I wanted to discuss it, while I like the play-style, I don't think it's the same for you as it is for me.   I tend to have a higher investment in my personalities, you have an alternate win condition (switch to honor on average gaining 3-4 honor per body instead of 2-3 for me) and you start higher. 

I guess my question is, is it worth running these cards in the current environment, splashed.  So 3x advanced warning to control the tempo of the game (slow down a lion player, or allow me to take multiple provinces when I couldn't paired with expensive.



While it all depends on hands, for example against richard's lion deck I would only defend if I knew I could survive a kill action (ranged 5 for instance on average holding turtle shell with a 6 force body).   My biggest problem is my investment...    I invest more per body, avoiding battle or only taking very limited parts in battle (defend and advanced warning out with no ring of earth showing against a non-dueling deck).  This gets back to whether having a themed action suite (all send home, or jack of all, or skirmishing) is something I can change to meet or not...   While I'm not exactly sure I can achieve a pure action suite, I still want to weigh other options (swapping for different attachments, haramaki-do is high on my list for removal).
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Kakita Hideo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:27 pm

Ive built very different deck list for you. You always alter them back to the mid ground of jack of all trades master of none. Decide that you will always play that style and go with the best of but you can't complain about focus when you always deconstruct focus for variety.
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Moto Damasko on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:52 pm

While I appreciate the different perspective on the deck the only major change from your deck is a lack of the drag-in (something that feels counter-productive to the idea of avoiding battle), I swapped it out for protection and proactive actions.   My focus is on sleep's comments about defensive tempo control and whether I can incorporate things like advanced warning into a deck type, continue with the mind-set of avoiding, sleazing and speeding my tempo up (or slowing my opponents down), and bring minimum risk to my investments (bodies and attachments) until the last battle.
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  panku on Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:56 pm

Honestly, Unicorn only has 2 real options of play atm, excluding stuff like Oni.

Option 1 is hyper agressive blitz. You use expensive achievements and force pump to take early provinces and a ton of send home as presence removal to avoid engaged combats.

Option 2 is Mobility. You use cavalry and other movement to ensure that you only fight battles that are to your advantage.  It runs harpoon to whittle down opposition then cavs into combat and wins battle.

Right now pat, you are somewhere in the middle. Optimize your deck so that you are either a blitz deck or a combat deck.

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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Moto Damasko on Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:14 pm

I guess I'm still confused...   So by blitz you mean consistent taking of a province turn 3.   This requires, any four force body, an attachment, and a force pump or expensive.   Would a holding that offers a force pump be better in the slot?  Higher PS presents a slight issue, offset if I switch to 3 force attachments.  



If I want to be a combat deck, I need to run harpoon?  Can't I just threaten multiple province takes, which forces them to defend and cavalry to the better one (cavalry gets this by it's nature).  Which is exactly the same as all in on one and harpoon, but actually better because, I don't have to have a slot that could be a dead card against some fringe cases?   The only change I would need to make is to make sure I run very little infantry (tobita gets dropped and I pick up another cav body). 

Early game Turn 3-4: I have 1-2 bodies max, harpoon here would be bad, so I go unopposed and attempt to sleaze turn 3 or split turn 4 and cavalry to the better if they defend.  Reserve is helpful here. 
Mid-game Turn 5: I have 3-4 bodies maybe, I'd prefer to just split and if they defend cavalry away or to the better battle. 
End-game Turn 6-7:  Depends on who I am against. 

- Players ahead of me are on their last 1-2 provinces, I am forced to defend or split for two.  
- Players behind me are on their last province so I only defend if they split for two.  


I guess my question is does it really effect me if I have the blitz option in the deck vs dedicated blitz, vs dedicated combat harpoon?  It's the same 3-5 cards that swap out, slight differences in the attachments force and cost.  

Expensive comes out, harpoon goes in.  
Some battle action comes out, marshall your strength goes in.  

In both cases I'm already running the same action suite: Incapacitated, Souls sacrifice, deliberations, versatile army, some combination of minor actions that only slightly change the deck (unholy strike vs entrenched position vs any other action card; I switched to unholy specifically for this reason to make mid-game defenses painful to the opponent). 


Edit:  Can't use marshall your strength, don't have the Honor for it...   Holding that does the same (+2 force)?
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  panku on Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:58 pm

Let me point out that right now your strategy is extremely reliant on specific attachments and gets hosed by Unsettling.

Terrains like Come one at a time and Encircled also wreck your day.

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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Moto Damasko on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:15 pm

panku wrote:Let me point out that right now your strategy is extremely reliant on specific attachments and gets hosed by Unsettling.

Terrains like Come one at a time and Encircled also wreck your day.

How does one deal with the above cards?
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  panku on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:18 pm

You have 8 guys who can play souls sac, and are relying on haramaki do to make it work. I dont like how in reliable that is.

Terrains destroy terrains.

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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Kakita Hideo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:19 pm

you play terrains and dont fight opposed battles unnecessarily
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Kakita Hideo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:20 pm

panku wrote:You have 8 guys who can play souls sac, and are relying on haramaki do to make it work. I dont like how in reliable that is.
 3 fate for 8 dynasty works. increasing the odds with haramaki-do makes it really consistent
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Re: Defensive Skirmish - A Discussion

Post  Moto Damasko on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:26 pm

Kakita Hideo wrote:you play terrains and dont fight opposed battles unnecessarily

Or you could just play around them... 

cavalry, advanced warning and expensive to deal with the encircled population cap, and ominous to "somewhat" deal with the come one at a time.   You accept a loss when coaat drops no matter who you are, bow, sendhome, kill, destroy terrain all work equally effectively vs coaat with the one caveat being if they have ring of earth, ominous helps here but only slightly to protect a second attachment.

That's why I went down to 2x souls sacrifice, but it's kind of fringe case, I just tend to cycle for other cards...   The ending hand should usually be some combination of 3-4 (deliberations, incapacitated, souls sacrifice) and 2-3 (straighten, move in, uniques)  depending on what I get to cycle throughout the game.
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