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Best setup for 3 new players?


I have just received Codex, and will play tomorrow with 2 friends and we will play FFA.

I guess we will start with 1 hero each. What 3 heroes do you recommend ?

Then, we will move to 3 heroes. How should we select those 3 heroes ?
If my understanding is correct, we cannot choose an hero from the same color because the starting cards are identical and I only have one set, right ?


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I think the best colours to start with if you’re talking about three hero mode, would be Green, White, and either Red or Black.

I recommend green, red and white for a 3 player FFA. If you want to play with single heroes, just select one hero from each color.

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Bashing and Finesse are also good choices for single hero, since they are explicitly designed to work well in 1 v 1.

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one hero apiece FFA is tricky because outside of the starter set no hero was meant to go solo vs another solo hero so you could have some funky mu and potentially bad experience if your hero doesn’t have an answer to something.

In this situation I’d recommend playing River vs. Troq vs. Calamandra

I’d also preface before the game that this isn’t the full game and normally you’d have a lot more options to pick from during a game.

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[quote=“lillumultipass, post:1, topic:999, full:true”]

I have just received Codex, and will play tomorrow with 2 friends and we will play FFA. [/quote]

Wait. Which version of Codex did you receive? If you only have the Core Set, you only have one red starter deck and one green starter deck and cannot actually support a 3-player FFA game without also getting the Starter Set or one of the expansions.

If you have the Deluxe set, you have two Neutral Starters and the starter for each of the 6 colors.

I guess we will start with 1 hero each. What 3 heroes do you recommend ? [/quote]

Any set of the Neutral, Red or Green heroes should be reasonable for a 3-new-player one-hero each FFA game.

Then, we will move to 3 heroes. How should we select those 3 heroes ? [/quote]

For new players you likely are best sticking to monocolors - either let people pick their favorite colors by aesthetics or provide a brief summary for each color’s playstyle “Green is about nature, gold gain and lotsa big critters” “Red is about blowing things up”, “Blue is about limiting opposing options”, “Purple is about trickey manipulation of Time”, etc.

If my understanding is correct, we cannot choose an hero from the same color because the starting cards are identical and I only have one set, right ?[/quote]

True for 1 hero mode FFA, not necessarily true for 3-hero mode FFA.

You must chose a starter deck which matches the color of one of your chosen heroes. In single hero mode, that means each player’s starter deck matches their hero. But in 3 hero mode where people are running multicolor decks, they can split the heroes from a given color between multiple players - although they will have to decide who gets each starter.

In general, the best setup for teaching 3 new players is to have 2 of those players play head to head 1-hero Bashing vs 1-hero Finesse while the other player spectates and looks up rulrs questions that arise.

Then the spectating player swaps in against the winner, the winner swaps Specs and the loser takes over rules reference.

After those two games and five minutes of explanations about game mode differences such as Spec choice at tech 2, lending patrollets, how the additional add ons work, mercenary tokens and the bounty for killing units, you should be good to try a 3-hero each monocolor FFA game.


Imo River Vs Troq Vs Grave is better. Cala has no flyers at all :confused:

She does have anti air though. The problem I see with playing Grave is Snapback. When playing for the first time players should be able to see what heroes can do. Snapback is also a lot stronger in 1 hero mode then standard 3 hero mode.

Maybe Midori would work out better? But then Moments Peace is a lot better when the other guy can only bring out a single hero.


come on man, snapb just resets level in 1 vs 1

I forgot that last sentence existed. But still none of the starter stuff has that strong of a hero affecting ability. If Troq was in the game he could have a bad time of it.

Well, imo grave or Orpal. his starter is def better than neutral but the relatively weak hero makes up for that.

Thanks a lot guys for all the answers!
So, how did it go ? Well, I let my 2 friends play 1 vs 1 with the neutral starter decks and, including the explanations, the game lasted about…2 hours! So I am wondering what is the generally accepted length for Codex, because I know we are generally a bit slow, but 2 hours seemed quite a lot for a 1 hero game ! I am afraid of what it will be with 3 heroes and 3 players…

I wonder whether my friends were not too “conservative” in their choices. I know that they also did not create a worker every turn but stopped at about 6 for some time, then went to 8 and abrely made it to 10.
Well, anyhow, we concluded that we did not have time to play a 3-player game, so that’s for another time. All in all, I think they liked the game and found it quite deep and challenging. I think though that they are worried of the 3-player length as well. Maybe we should introduce timers…

They also remarked that it looks like that when 1 player starts having an advantage, it is hard to “make a come back”.

If they were making workers the game would’ve lasted much less time. If one player brings out a tech three, the game ends quite quickly.

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Play-by-forum tournament games (177 played so far) end on turn 6 or before 40% of the time, turn 7 30% of the time, and after that the other 30%. Almost all games have ended by turn 10.

Workering every turn speeds up the game in 5 ways:

  1. Fewer units are in play, so the board state is less complicated, and deciding attacks/patrols is easier
  2. As Bomber noted, opening up the stronger Tech II and Tech III options pushes the game to a conclusion
  3. Getting to 10 workers lets you stop teching, so you have more consistent draws in turns 6+
  4. Removing weaker cards increases the swing in board position that happens each turn
  5. Having more gold also heightens the swing in board position

Eventually, one player or the other has a big enough board position advantage on their own turn to force through either a Base destruction or multiple tech building destruction. Typically, everything trades off more or less at parity, but when you get 10+ gold, you can do things that overwhelm the opponent’s residual 3-6 gold worth of stuff (even without Haste/direct damage: playing a Trojan Duck + Iron Man + Tenderfoot against an opponent with, say, a Leaping Lizard, and a Grounded Guide makes if very likely that your Duck survives to attack), which is just impossible if you’re only getting 6 gold.


thanks a lot that’s very interesting!
Indeed, they played way past turn 10 which explains the length !
However, I guess 3-player games should last past turn 10 because of alliances. Well, anyhow, if we are able to do it in about 1H30, that should be fine!

Excuse my candid question, but if most games are over by turn 10, does it mean that tech III is never (or almost never) reached?
If that is so, isn’t it a bit sad not being able to play all those nice units ?

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I haven’t tracked it explicitly, but I think the breakdown is something like:

10% of games end due to an early advantage (eg Metamorphosis) or concession, with the winner never building a Tech II, and the loser never getting a Tech II card into play
50% of games end with both players at Tech II, having played Tech II cards (or at least tried to - maybe one player’s tech II stuff prevented the other player from getting their own Tech II stuff into play), but not building their Tech III
30% of games end with one player building a Tech III, but not playing a Tech III card. Either because their Tech III gets destroyed and they lose, or because they were already ahead, and the opponent just concedes
10% of games involve one or more Tech III cards being played by one or both players. This usually happens in more defensive games, and around turn 8 or 9.


In my teaching games, my friends tend to stop workering around 8 workers because they are feeling pressure to keep board and are favoring hand size over workering. I keep workering at least past 10 and usually at least build tech 3.

You’re probably making the mistake of ten turns=ten workers.
Remember you start with four or five, so tech three can be built on turn 5/6.
More often it’s built a little after, but they do get played.

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Ah yes, you are right, my bad!

But indeed, during my friends’ game, a tech 3 building was only played on the very last turn before one of them conceded.

Another question : what would be the best way to improve at Codex ? I saw that there are many play by email games in the forums. Would replaying through them be a good idea?
Any one in particular to recommend?


100% recommend reading through forum games to improve, as well as playing some of your own (taking a turn a day isn’t too time consuming and totally acceptable for most players).

There aren’t particular games I’d recommend so much as players. I’d check out players who include their thoughts in turns, as that helps you see how people are thinking about the game. EricF, Legion, CarpeGuitarrem, and myself seem to pretty consistently include turn thoughts.

Also, the two headed dragon community game would be a great place to see a lot of discussion and reasoning about how to play (albiet in a non-standard format).