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Chivalry allows you to put one cube on one event card for each red die in your district (excluding the ones you use). Joust operates in the same vein, but requires the total value of the red dice in your district to be higher than everyone's else to gain 2 VP per activation.

However, those 2 activities disregard the red dice you use to activate them, which make those 2 seemingly less useful than Troubadour, Pilgrimage, Journeyman, Goldsmith and Sculptor for VP engine.

Also considering that one citizen at the palace costs 2 coin to upkeep, and it's easy to be expelled.

What's the best way to use those 2 cards as VP engine?

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2 Answers 2

Chivalry by itself is difficult to be a good VP engine. Its strength lies in that you can distribute the cubes anywhere so it can help you gain fight events regardless of the typical dice color. As you noted in your question, the challenge with Chivalry is that it it gives you a cube for each red die you have left after the cost is paid. Since you typically lose 2 to 3 red dice just battling events, it can be hard to effectively defeat events this way.

As the previous answer suggested, this can give you some good end game points if you spread out the cubes and get the 1 VP credit for having a cube per event card at the end of the game.

Where I've seen Chivalry used extremely effectively is with the Captain which gives you that same bonus when activated. If you have a good number of cubes spread out on event cards and activate the Captain multiple times you can have a powerful VP engine.

Joust took me a bit to fully understand, but this one can be a very good source of VPs. The key to remember is that you don't need to have the highest # of red dice (after you've paid to activate it), but instead the highest total of pips on the red dice you have left. This means that if there are 2 red dice left and you have one that has only 1 pip and an opponent has one that has 3 or more pips, you can buy that die from them and activate Joust and score your VPs. Also b/c it only costs 3 to activate, this is one that you can activate multiple times fairly easy.

One last thing to consider is the VPs you get for being first or second to purchase. Chivalry only pays 2 for the 1st player and 1 for the 2nd player. Joust pays 3 for the 1st and 2 for the 2nd. So if Joust first position is available and you can get the dice to make it work, I'd strongly consider it.

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Since you are considering using these activities, I will assume you have a decent amount of red dice (3/4) and a decent denier engine that allows you to support them. Here's my two cents:

At 4 pips per activation, Chivalry is an expensive Activity card to use, especially since you have to use your remaining red dice to determine the amount of cubes you can place in the Event cards. And since most Event cards require at least three cubes to defeat, using them as a VP engine may not be your best choice; it may be more cost-effective to counter the Event cards directly.

Having said so, using Chivalry can set you up to score a bunch of VPs on a future turn, since you can place these cubes on different Event cards, and get the majority/ preferential spot on more than one (whereas attacking them directly limits you to placing all your cubes on the same card).

Joust, at 3 pips, is more likely to be useful, and it guarantees you are getting the VPs you want. There's only six red dice on the board, so as long as you have a decent red roll (or spend Influence points to re-roll/flip) you are likely to have the red pip majority on your section of the board.

You should always buy a red die from another player for 2 deniers so you can use your total red pip count to activate Joust (and if you buy it from a player who has red pip majority, it puts you back on top). Hopefully you can do this several times in a row (once no one else has red dice, you can start using your own red dice to activate the card; you'll still have majority!).

As always, the Activity cards combination will greatly affect the strategy you have to follow in order to win the game. Without knowing what other Activity cards are revealed, it's hard to say this plan will work for you 100% of the time.

For example, if the Blacksmith Activity card is in play (which adds 5 pips to your red dice selection), then you are pretty much guaranteed to have the greatest amount of red pips on the table, so you should definitely follow this plan (as long as you are the one who activates it!). However, if that one isn't in play and there's no easy way to get Influence points, you probably won't want to spend them to re-roll your red dice, and you will be stuck with whatever roll you get, which may diminish the effectiveness of this strategy.

YMMV

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