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Without taking into account any other packets that might be opened over the course of a game (no spoilers please, only use the starting rules, starting scars, starting stickers).

1) What is the best starting power for each faction that is likely to result in the most bonus troops or fewest troop losses in the first game?

2) Which faction is the best overall at this?


  • Die Mechaniker

    1) Your starting HQ is always treated as FORTIFIED (+1 to both dice) when you defend it.

    2) If your defense roll is two natural 6s, that territory cannot be attacked again for the rest of the turn.

  • The Saharan Republic

    1) You can make your maneuver at any point during your turn.

    2) When making your maneuver, you may maneuver between any two territories you control, even if they are not connected.

  • Imperial Balkania

    1) When recruiting troops, round up when dividing your territory and population by 3, not down.

    2) You still draw a resource card at the end of a turn where you expanded into 4+ territories, even if you didn't conquer a territory.

  • Enclave of the Bear

    1) The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die in the first territory you attack during your turn.

    2) If your attack roll is a natural three of a kind, and at least one defending troop is defeated, you conquer the territory. Remove all defending troops.

  • Khan Industries

    1) At the start of your turn, place one troop in each territory that has an HQ you control.

    2) When drawing a territory card, you may place one troop into that territory if you control it.

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I'm not sure there's a provable "right" answer here, just opinions. –  lilserf Jan 21 '12 at 16:58
    
But EotB #2 could destroy any number of troops and DM #2 could "hold off" any number, for example. I just think this question would be more answerable in a form like "what are the pros and cons of the various starting powers" rather than an absolute "which is best?" –  lilserf Jan 21 '12 at 21:44

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Die Mechaniker

1) Your starting HQ is always treated as FORTIFIED (+1 to both dice) when you defend it.

2) If your defense roll is two natural 6s, that territory cannot be attacked again for the rest of the turn.

Reason: The odds of getting two natural 6s on a single roll is 1/36. Therefore, the odds that we have not rolled a pair of 6s by the nth attack is, (1-1/36)^n. This is roughly 50% by the 25th-26th attack. This means that in half the games that you roll with two defenders 25 times, you will still not have recieved a bonus from this power. I would say on average, the first game lasts anywhere from 3-5 rounds, and considering you will probably only get 3-5 troops per round, for a total of 8+[(3*5)|(5*5)]=[21|33] troops. If you only received the minimum troops each turn, you more than likely would never get the faction bonus. Even if you are lucky enough to roll 66, the only fair way to count troops saved would be to divide the troops that you could have lost by the odds of you rolling 66 (approximately 21/25 or 33/25, somewhere close to 1 troop. If you could get the 5 troops per turn (probably only likely by getting a continent bonus from Australia/South America/Africa, you would be much better off with a FORTIFIED Headquarters.

A fortified HQ gives you +1 to your High and Low dice. This bonus will result in you losing ~0.388 troops when compared to a normal unmodified attack. This means that you only need to have 4-5 troops within your HQ before this faction power is certain to have a greater effect than the pair of natural sixes power.

The Saharan Republic

1) You can make your maneuver at any point during your turn.

2) When making your maneuver, you may maneuver between any two territories you control, even if they are not connected.

Reason: While neither of these power directly results in fewer troop loses, the ability to maneuver at any point in your turn could allow you to move troops that were previously on one of two different fronts (South America/Africa), for a final assault against two opponents HQs. I will edit this with a little more detail later on troop loses that could be avoided because of this.

Imperial Balkania

1) When recruiting troops, round up when dividing your territory and population by 3, not down.

2) You still draw a resource card at the end of a turn where you expanded into 4+ territories, even if you didn't conquer a territory.

Reason: You aren't likely to be able to get 10+ territories in a 5 player game. At least with the second faction power, you will most likely get 1-2 resource coins. This will amount to at least 2 troops over the course of a game.

Enclave of the Bear

1) The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die in the first territory you attack during your turn.

2) If your attack roll is a natural three of a kind, and at least one defending troop is defeated, you conquer the territory. Remove all defending troops.

Reason: From the same statistics link above (Die Mechaniker), you can see that -1 do the defenders low die will result in 0.14 less troop loses, but only for the first territory that they attack in a turn. A clever opponent though can place a 1-2 troops in front of their main defenses to mitigate this power somewhat. The odds of rolling a natural 3 of a kind that kills at least one troop is 125/7776. The number of turns before that is likely to happen is about 43 attacks with 3 troops. I don't think you are likely to see this within the first game. Even if you did, you probably would only kill at most 5 troops, saving you about 5 troops yourself (5/43=0.116). Two attacks with Enclave of the Bears first power would already save you more troops in the long run, and is much more likely to happen.

Khan Industries

1) At the start of your turn, place one troop in each territory that has an HQ you control.

2) When drawing a territory card, you may place one troop into that territory if you control it.

Reason: You are certain to get 1 troop as long as you control your HQ. This will likely gain you 3-5 troops before the first game ends. The second power only gets you a troop if you defeat an enemy, and if you have that territory under your control at the end of the turn. You might have to waste a maneuver to bring those troops to the front lines, but you will earn more troops with the first power.

Overall, I think that Khan Industries is likely to earn/save you the most troops in the first game. With Die Mechankier placing a close second, if you can place your HQ at a good choke point.

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Wow, Imperial Balkania's powers are both pretty mediocre. Last time I played, nobody wanted to be them. Every other faction has one power that is amazing and another that is unlikely to ever help. Last time I played, every faction had their lame power, and still nobody wanted to be Balkania though. I think I'll give every faction their good power this time, and give Balkania both powers just to try and keep up. –  Nick Retallack 5 hours ago

I have personally found that Enclave of the Bear's The defender subtracts 1 from his lower defense die in the first territory you attack during your turn ability to be the most beneficial starting power, both at the start and throughout the campaign.

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user1873 is correct in all but one respect: Imperial Balkania. The reason is that the first ability (expand into 4+ territories for a card) will likely only get you as many as 3 cards in any given game, while their second power (round up for territories) can be unlimited. And what he is forgetting is that, while no you arn't likely to get 10 territories in a 5 player game, you are if you include population. I know this doesn't apply in the first game, but remember these powers are permanent and there will be cities in every other game (this isn't a spoiler, you know this from the rulebook) and if you control 20% of the territories, which is 8 or 9, all you need is 1 or 2 cities for this to apply.

I would take the round up power, without doubt.

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Hi! Welcome to the site! Please don't enter multiple answers for the same question. Create your own best answer for the question, revise and extend it as needed. Thanks! –  Pat Ludwig Jan 23 '12 at 5:37

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