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What's the Play - Gotta stop their R&D!

There hasn’t been one of these in ages, and this situation came up in my game against @holytispon (hopefully he doesn’t mind me sharing it here!) It seemed a good What’s the play puzzle, so I’m hoping he doesn’t mind if I post it here. Don’t look at that thread (or my deleted post in the rules forum!) if you don’t want spoilers of what I did…

You’re playing as Blue vs Purple. Purple got an early lead on board position, but you got your Tech II up, and you’ve stabilised. In the hope of finding a juicy Community Service target, you immobilise some patrollers, give your opponent a tech draw (and yourself some juicy Insurance payout!) and take a peek at his hand using Lawful Search… What’s the play?

Opponent’s board State:

In Hand:
Forgotten Fighter
Research and Development
Time Spiral

In Patrol:

  • :psblueshield: Squad Leader: Stewardess 3/3A
  • :psfist: Elite: L1 Vir 3/3
  • :ps_: Scavenger: Seer 3/1
  • :pschip: Technician: Fading Argonaut 3/3, fading 3 (insurance rune)
  • :target: Lookout: Mox 2/1
    In Play:
  • Battle Suits
  • Geiger L5 3/4
  • :heart: Base HP: 20
  • :heart: Tech I HP: 5
  • :heart: Tech II HP: 5 (Present)

Economy Info:

  • Hand: 4
  • Deck: 5
  • Disc: 0
  • Gold: 2
  • Workers: 8

You started this turn with

Quince available to summon

L1 Oni (2/3)
L1 Bigby (2/3)
Brave Knight (3/3)
Insurance Agent (2/2) [insurance rune on Forgotten Argonaut]

9 workers, Base - 20, Tech I - 5, Tech 2 (Law) - 5

So far this turn you:
Got paid + float ($10)
Bigby cast Injuction on Tech I, disabling Stewardess and Seer ($7)
Oni trades with Forgotten Argonaut, opponent draws (tech draw already included above), you get a card and 2g ($9)
Bigby casts Lawful Search on opponent’s hand, you draw ($8)

Your hand:
Insurance Agent
Manufactured Truth
Spectral Aven
Community Service
Building Inspector

Your deck (top to bottom):
Traffic Director

Your discard:
Liberty Gryphon
Liberty Gryphon
Lawful Search


[spoiler]Depending on the interaction of Insurance Agent and Brave Knight…

Play Insurance Agent ($7), target Brave Knight.
Trade Knight with Vir, get 3 gold ($10) and draw TD, Knight goes to hand, Bigby gets 2 levels and midbands.
Play Scribe ($8), draw Arrest
Arrest Mox ($6)
Bigby swings and hits Geiger, lives with 1hp.
Insurance Agent swings and kills Geiger, Bigby maxbands and heals.

Now you have 6 gold, an Insurance Agent and a Scribe, and L5 Bigby, and BK, MT, Aven, CS, BI, and TD in hand.
Opponent has disabled Seer, Stewardess, and Mox, no units in hand, and can summon Prynn as their only patroller. You can worker something, resummon the Knight and play the Aven, and/or stash CS. Or build your tech 3.

An alternative line is to summon Quince, feed him levels instead of Bigby, Bigby dies, but you resummon BK and have a Knight and Mirror Knight next turn in addition to the Scribe and Insurance Agent and Quince to attack with, against Prynn. Which means you can probably smash his tech a bit.

Or summon Quince instead of playing a thing so that you have a mirror without summoning sickness next turn.

I forgot to pay for targeting the Mox but whatever. This isn’t the real play.

If the Insurance Agent does not work on Brave Knight, which I strongly suspect it doesn’t based on the rulings, then…

Brave Knight trades with Vir, goes back to hand. Bigby midbands.
Play Spectral Aven ($6)
Play Manufactured Truth ($5) to turn Mox into a Spectral Aven. This is free because MT doesn’t target.
Play Insurance Agent ($4) and pay $1 ($3) to target enemy Spectral Aven with the Rune, killing it. You don’t get anything, but it actually dies. That clears his patrol.
Old Insurance Agent and Bigby kill Geiger. Bigby maxbands and heals.

Now you have 3 gold left to make a worker, play a thing from hand, or summon Quince. You can alternatively level Quince to maxband and let Bigby die, but I prefer keeping him and stashing Community Service. You have Scribe, BK, CS, and BI in hand. So probably either play Scribe, then worker Traffic Director, or worker Building Inspector and summon Quince.

I like summoning Quince and stashing CS with the option to max Quince next turn and then CS something good out of their hand and copy it. But playing Scribe to get more board presence isn’t terrible either.

Anyway, that leaves you with Bigby, an IA, Scribe or Quince, 10 workers, and facing down disabled Stewardess and Seer, and at most additionally Prynn. Fishing the best unit out of their hand with Community Service next turn probably gives you a killer board advantage.[/spoiler]

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Manufactured Truth:
“One of your tech 0 or I units becomes a copy of another tech 0 or I unit until end of turn.”

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There is way too much information in this puzzle.
This is why I didn’t try to solve it.
I think ‘whats the play’ puzzles should not have any irrelevant information except for those that are deliberately left to trick us into considering wrong lines of play.

I just put the game state as it was in that game. I guess it is a lot of information, but the point is to replicate fun puzzles which come up in codex games. Here, it just so happens that you know your opponent’s hand, and there’s a clear goal (how do I stop my opponent from casting R&D next turn). I guess I could have omitted your discard pile, but I thought someone might have wanted to know what’s in it, and (at least in theory) you could potentially draw through your deck and want to know what your reshuffle and draw might be…

I think the extraneous information is all the plays that were made before the puzzle starts, and an opposing board state that reflects where things stood before those plays.

This level of information is 100% appropriate and should be considered standard for these kind of puzzles/discussions. In a real game, you have to make your own decisions about what is relevant or not.

Also, an interesting consideration here is deciding if stopping R&D is even worthwhile, or if just going to Tech III with the Tech Lab: Truth (and playing the Scribe to draw further) is going to lead to a sufficiently good outcome.


Then there are two different things in my mind

A) Turn analysis thread -> full situation laid out and readers analyze the situation and provide the best/optimal play.

B) Puzzle -> OP provides relevant info plus extra ‘tricky’ info and tasks readers to achieve a specific goal. Usually there is only few (preferably only one) solutions that require clever play.

I was under the impression that “whats the play” is strictly type B.

To be fair, the reason I put the thread up was it felt like a B) scenario. I think we maybe just disagree about ‘relevant’.

I could only find 1 solution, but it’s possible there are others. I thought @Caphriel had found another one until @Bomber678 pointed out the problem with it.

I think treating it as an A) type scenario is also completely fine though, and I think discussion of game-states would be a good thing to see more of on these boards.


Despite my earlier statement, I actually don’t think there needs to be a distinction between type a and b.

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Huh. Okay, been playing that wrong since forever.