As many of you probably know season 2 of the discord cup is over. Yours truly got knocked out in the top 8 by the eventual champion wydwen. One of my favorite things about this Cup is the matches are all streamed and saved in youtube. Not only that it has excellent commentary by some of the top players in the game right now and can
serve as excellent teaching tools for new players. This also gives me the opportunity to go over my loss and point out where I feel I went wrong and readers can compare my thoughts with those of the casters. I think this is a particularly good time to do it as well as there are a lot of Lion players struggling with Scorpion right now. The one in the link I am providing is my game with Wydwen (scorpion). There is also other games in the playlist for the round of 16 and 32 where I faced another Scorpion and Lion.
When Lion players see Keepers in the province and discard pile we begin to see red when it comes to the Fire ring. This is not a bad thing altogether as it forces our opponent to defend it as well or get outvalued with all the free keepers. Ironically enough I am actually happy with my ring selection in the challenges I lost in the
beginning and less happy with my choices in the end.
As a Lion player there is nothing you want more than to have your Military attacks contested. It is the thing you do best and drains your opponent of resources very quickly while costing you almost nothing. You may notice in the commentary that chat and the casters were making a big deal about my huge fate advantage. Part of it is fate management but most of it was because the Scorpion player spent 8 fate just defending against my Military challenges. Think about it. That is 8 fate over and above any cards or characters used.
While the rings were right in the beginning they may not have been right in the end when both players were getting low on honor. I may be wrong but I think I did not trigger the Air ring once in the entire game. I may not even have challenged for it. There are times when we get too caught up in our own pre game plans and forget to adjust in
For most of the game I was attacking the Rally to the Cause. I think this was the correct decision. For most of the game I really did not mind not breaking provinces as my attacks were designed to drain my opponents of resources. I knew that if I could somehow get the Keepers out I could break during the Political conflict of that turn.
The mistake I feel comes from the one time I actually broke a province. There was a point where I sent in an Honored General and a Gunso to attack. My opponent had just spent all his cards last turn. My opponent and I both knew I would break most likely unopposed. Even the casters knew it. Since I was sure that I would break the province
it would have been better to go after any of the unrevealed provinces as they are guaranteed to be much more harmful than rally. This would have let me farm Rally later on in the turn and in future turns.
There was one conflict in the game where I felt that I did not assign characters properly. There was a conflict where I assigned both Gunso and Prodigy to a Military conflict. My mindset was to ram that conflict through no matter what and I would then use the resulting Keepers for Political. In my mind I thought the Prodigy would at least be a +1 military with the house ability.
This was a mistake because of the nature of Military buffs. In L5r most buffs give bonuses in multiples of 2. Given the fact that Toturi was coming in and the Keepers would have as well if I succeeded my opponent would have been forced to defend with their sole remaining character. Leaving my Prodigy to score an undefended Ring later on.
The biggest lesson I can draw from this game is that sometimes it is just as important to play not to lose as it is to play to win. This is particularly true when you are ahead, which I felt like I was for most of the game. The first instinct you will always have is to try to
advance your win condition. If you look at my placements of honor/dishonor tokens and challenges you will notice that I did almost nothing to prevent myself from being honored out instead focusing on honoring my opponent out. This is made worse by the fact that I was ahead if we both continued on the province break path I would have had
a bigger chance of winning.
I hope the video and analysis of this game helps other players improve their decision-making. Every game in the cup is worth watching so I would always recommend taking a look at the rest. Tell me what you think in the comments.