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Is Political better than Military?


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7 replies to this topic

#1
sparrowhawk

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I believe it's better to focus on Political than Military for these reasons:

Pacifism can longterm neuter a Military big guy (not Moto Horde) but Captive Audience only lasts for that conflict (2 Political clans have cancel).

Shiba Peacemaker is also so efficient as is Hiruma Yojimbo but because they can't attack you, they can't exploit your weakness in Military.

Military is more high variance due to Banzai, Charge, Way of the Lion so when you go in heavy in Political, your calculations are more of a sure thing, whilst you can probe with Military and if insufficiently opposed, Banzai or Charge the break.

Political wants minimum strength 3 to evade the Crane stronghold and Shoju (without help) whilst there is no floor in Military.

Because balanced Dragon play Niten Master and 6x Weapons, Dragon veer towards Military hence many Clans play Entrenched Position over Ancestral Lands (also because Military totals are so unstable and can reach huge levels). Military Crab with Defend the Wall also decreases Ancestral Lands usage.

There are more great events played that key off Political or Courtiers than there are that trigger off Military or Bushi. This is partly caused by Fallen In Battle being so disliked (outside of Crab Unicorn to Captive Audience in defence or Doji Challenger in future). It should be cost 0. Currently its rejection means there is a disturbance in The Force.

Political is how you Honour and Dishonour outside of Fire Ring and not only is that Glory swing usually bigger the more you invest (hence longer lifetimes), both Clan kills are linked to status markers.

I would really like to be proven wrong here so please post your counter-arguments and thoughts below.
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#2
JoeFromCincinnati

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The best counter argument I can come up with is if I have naturally high military skill, I can forego the more common military buffs and focus on instead using those deck slots fixing the weaknesses or double down on my strength. This means I can maybe drop Katanas and Banzais to add more cards that are necessary to be good in certain areas I want to focus on whereas Crane or Scorpion basically need to use all of those cards to make them even remotely even keeled in conflicts.

 

Crane needs Banzais and Katanas to break on military and, even then, mainly when it's unopposed. Crab can, however, break military without much effort and then use those slots I didn't spend on the military buffs to include, say, Spies at Court to increase my hand pressure or Assassinations to increase my board pressure or, why not, contingency plan to increase my honor pressure.

 

There aren't a lot of good cards to replace the standard military buffs with in core, but I'm sure there will be more good neutrals and clan specific cards worth splashing to help sure up the political weakness, whereas political clans will basically need to automatically slot those military buffs into their decks or else be basically noncompetitive in military for the length of the game (which is not a great way to build a deck or win a game.)

 

Of course, that's a relatively weak argument. I agree that politically inclined clans are definitely stronger right now.


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#3
sparrowhawk

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Thanks, Joe, for the valiant effort. You make good points but, as you admit, Military is still in deficit.

There is also "the meta will adjust" argument but such a living self-balancing mechanism will need a bigger pool.

It occurred to me when I was trying to work out why I don't like Unicorn - it's because they are Military biased and high Glory with all the Honour/Dishonour tech in Political whilst Crab are Military biased and low Glory.

Now there is something that buffs Military - duels. One of the reasons that I listed Duellist Training in the "other splash options" of the Dragon Thread OP is because it's potentially abusable with a 2 Weapon wielding Raitsuga. With Daimyo's Favour adding multiple Duellist Training and Above Favour cover for free at 1/turn, and each action able to be activated once, he is a one-man initial cost 3 (hence plenty of Fate life) province breaker with set-up. And Dragon have Let Go for Pacifism and Wanderer to avoid Military beat-sticks.

With duels being able to done in Political, this may be the key balancer between conflict types. But there aren't enough of them in the Core Set. A perceived mistake with Fallen In Battle (is this groupthink?) plus a few other asymmetries listed above may have caused an initial imbalance.

I recall when very early on in Conquest whilst doing the theorycraft waiting for the cards to arrive in the UK, I asked "Elites - What Are They Good For?". Despite protestations from almost everyone (Kingsley alone supported me), they did address it eventually. And it did nothing to decrease my wild enthusiasm for that game.

Here I hope there is a marked bias early on towards Military, perhaps expanding on the under developed Duels, but also Shadowland cards that are not known for their Political prowess!

Charge Kisada + Reprieve + late Good Omens is still incredibly efficient. Military definitely have more tempo speed.

#4
Asklepios

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The primary benefit of military is that it is easier to generate spikes of strength, which is exactly what breaking Provinces runs around.

 

For political decks to get through Ancestral Lands on the stronghold, that takes a lot of committed force. For military decks to get through Entrenched Position on a stronghold, well it's the same big number, but it's easier to attain that big number.

 

Also worth noting, there's a card to turn political conflicts into military ones, but not vice versa.

 

But yes, I'm just playing devil's advocate. I also agree that from a number of factors, politically-centred decks are stronger right now.


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#5
RaistlinTN1

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Definetly Mil is more high risk/reward than Pol.

 

Although i have noticed that is far more difficult to break a province using Mil.

 


 

Also worth noting, there's a card to turn political conflicts into military ones, but not vice versa.

 

This is a huge advantage for Mil oriented clans. Although 2 of the 3 Pol clan have event cancel

 

In adition there is the Political Rival, an splasheable card which give you a 6 str defender that could not be coverted. And this leverage the balance

 

For me, i wouldn't say Pol conflicts are stronger than Mil ones. Is true that they could win conflicts more often even down on hand cards, although they break provinces with more difficulty. And personally I think that this is a great desing choice


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#6
sparrowhawk

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So is it simply a case of...?

Military = Aggro
- greater pumps possible for higher totals
- greater variance in conflicts (Banzai)
- best for short-term efficiency (Charge)
- incentive to build tall military (Duellist)
- incentive for overkill (Fallen in Battle)
- easier to force an overlap needed to break
- quicker progress to the 4 province breaks

Political = Control
- more stable controlled conflict resolution
- slow incremental benefits (Ring benefits)
- soft control bow (For Shame)
- buffs/debuffs (Court Games), set-up for kill
- denial of options/planning (Spies at Court)
- honour theft (Blackmail Artist / Asami)
- slow, requires time to gather forces to break
- in future more suited for alternate victories

Yes, that makes sense.

It's great they have such unique asymmetrical approaches (in fact the rout/outwit mirror annoys me as much as the Toturi/Hotaru mirror, both feel like running out of ideas though I'm sure there are good reasons).

So the question I am asking should be:

Is the slow-and-steady incremental gains Control approach (Political) currently better than the fast runs-out-of-steam Aggro approach (Military)?

Actually, considering we are learning the game and exceeding time limits as a result, it makes more sense to play Aggro until we develop game familiarity to play the longer Control game.

Maybe how each of us view the balance between the two is a reflection of our own natural card-gaming tendencies. As a control player, I am respecting the control elements more and I need to respect the aggro elements more. Or is it that control elements have a slight upper-hand in the Core set (which is fine), perhaps to counter-act the tournament advantage of Aggro's shorter game plan?

I'm suspecting this is far more subtle than I first thought.
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#7
Caldera

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Actually, considering we are learning the game and exceeding time limits as a result, it makes more sense to play Aggro until we develop game familiarity to play the longer Control game.


I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I'm sure things will speed up once we have more practice and the card pool expands (enabling more optimised decks). But until such time, games seem to be running considerably longer than tournament time rules would allow. So you can spend your time judiciously planning and incrementally gaining an advantage in terms of board state and hand-size ready for a final killer round that....never comes because the tournament referee shouts "time!" and whoops - you've lost on tie-break points.

Anyway, I agree with most of your thinking in your previous post, but I would add that one advantage of MIL over POL is that there are fewer caveats: So anyone can play a Banzai! or a Charge!, such that even traditionally weaker Clans in that field can have a shot at winning a MIL conflict (maybe even breaking a Province while they are at it). But a lot of the POL effects have limiting or undesirable caveats like 'participating Courtier' or 'Dishonour a friendly character in order to X', etc.

I guess the crux is that being weaker in Military doesn't automatically mean you'll be more advantages in Political
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#8
Hakkor

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The game has three huge layers that must be considered in conflicts: military, political and rings (not my words, but a friend's). Plus, there are up to 2 conflicts of each and a maximum of 4 rings claimed. If you forego one of these layers in your game, you will be in the losing side. Even if you focus more in one of the sides, you need to fight in political and also in military, as well as make wise decisions around the rings.

 

It's obvious why each side have slight different mechanics: avoid every conflict to be repetitive and the usual "strongest character/strongest event, autoinclude and not worth playing else".

 

Military works more on buffs and political in debuffs (or bowing, which sort of works the same way in the end). Then you have cards that work with bushis and courtiers, which are not always linked to one conflict type. And then you have clan events that usually are closer to one side than the other. You can combine the cards as you please, but in the end, as I said, focusing in a single type of conflict will leave you powerless in 2 out of the 4 possible conflicts. The outcome is less ring claiming, more broken provinces and a harder time getting the Emperor's Favor.


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