Am I playing it right ?

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Am I playing it right ?

Post by hellfiremaga »

Hello everyone

I'm a total noob on this game, began playing a few days ago and I always lose with like 30 turn missing to do something. I even wonder if I play it right since i lose in like 4 turns ?!

I mean, the game is pretty, looks fun but what is the point if the strat to win is discarding all your hand to get mana and take a victory point generator and feed it as hell ? How can a game with such a broken mech won the as d'or? It feel like the game as a "I won" button that hardcore players push non-stop.

The only good point I see in it is that I won't lose money to buy it physically. Since I mostly see people who are okay with it and good critics, I'm asking : Am I playing it wrong ? Am I the only one who don't have fun getting ruined in 4 turns by discarding my cards instead of playing them?

Thanks for your time :)
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Re: Am I playing it right ?

Post by RicardoRix »

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Everyone must have got very excited when they talked about the ideas for expansions.

I think they missed the meeting when they discussed, if you're going to put dragons in the game, then they'd better be cool.

and then the follow-up meeting, if you're going to have magic and monsters then we need an awesome fighting mechanic.

In no other game ever made, will you hear:
I attack with my dragon, to force you nothing because you've finished your turn. nothing because you don't have any cards in your hand. nothing because you don't have any blue mana. nothing most of the time, because I can't even pay the resource to summon it. nothing because I discarded it already.
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Re: Am I playing it right ?

Post by Wolfjäger »

The strat to win is discarding enough of the initial hand to get a powerful engine in the first round.

Consider carefully Places of Power that generate resources, visible 1VP Monuments, and the Artifacts in your hand. Remember which Artifacts will come from your deck. Find some combo that can generate 10 VPs in 4 rounds, and adapt to luck of the draw, and opponent's play.
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Re: Am I playing it right ?

Post by gnominho »

Yes, You playin' it right but not not enough (5 games based on your profile),
This game is deep, very deep and people used to understand (smb like ;) ) after 20+ games,

RicardoRix wrote: 07 November 2022, 13:33 Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Not, it is not ''sums it up'' at all,
With full of respect - You cannot make a bottom line after 3-10 games.

For my opinion - the best rating for board game is... no, not BGG rate or some tower blogger review,
it is how many games You played it, and when I see that some players has over 3000 games (!!!) in Res Arcana - it's says a lot! For me :)

Play more if you want to taste it and enjoy or leave it :)
It's not harmfull to play, harmfull — to not play. (c)somebody
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Re: Am I playing it right ?

Post by Palapapa »

the game won awards and is loved by a lot of players because it has deep strategy, a lot of different options, no 2 games are the same, and beautiful artwork.

The goal of the game isn't to play as many artifacts as possible but to find a strategy than can at least reach 10pt by round 4. Most of the time, it involves playing several artefacts but you have to figure which ones will be usefull for your strategy and when to play them. Sometimes the best strategy is to discard all artefact to buy dragon lair or catacombs but when you become more experienced and understand all the strategies available you realize that those easy strategies that could feel overpowered and boring when beginning, are rather nothing-else-to-do strategies used when draft or other Pop are weak.

It's not an easy game when you are a beginner. It takes a lot of time to master it.
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Re: Am I playing it right ?

Post by grochanard »

This game is a gem with a great balance of strategy, tactics and luck.

Strategy : you should be able to plan your whole « ideal » game when you get your first 3 cards and select your mage : will you go for this place of power ? or can this other place of power be an alternative, and how ? or will you go big on gold ?

Tactics : your plans can go awry and you need to adapt to your opponent’s actions when they deny you the magic item, monument or place of power that you targeted. Actually this is where all the « interesting » interaction resides in Res Arcana, much more than in attacks. Direct attacks are secondary, they often are the side effects of a strategy oriented to PoP such as Sorcerer’s bestiary or Sacrificial pit. And even so, attacking takes up a whole action and should not be made lightly in that regard, unless you want to delay your passing. Remember Res Arcana is a race.

Luck : this is a card drawing game, and although a deck of 8 cards seems very short, it does seem enormous when a key card is the 8th of your deck… You go for Temple of the abyss and yes, of course homunculus will be the 8th card of your deck, why should it not ? 😉
In the contrary, can you kill the game in 3 rounds by pushing your luck on the monuments deck ?
How can you manage your hand and your discard so that you get the right card at the right time ?

I ckecked 2 of your games and even if you don’t draft, learn to recognize which cards are stronger. You can easily find some tips on the internet : ... egy-guide/
+ youtube tutorials
« Ultimate guide » might be a bit overrated (even more so since it reviews only the base version of the game) but it is a good start. Yes, Windup man (automate) is a trap, or at least I ve never witnessed a game where it was a winner. And with the 2nd expansion it gets ridiculously overpowered. There should be an option to ban it from the game, just as Agricola can be parametered with or without certain cards.

A good way to improve your skills is to play but also to watch high ranked players play, if you have a premium account. Res Arcana games are easy to watch and understand, as it is a rather quick game. Avoid watching games > 4 rounds.

Bonne chance !
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Re: Am I playing it right ?

Post by yazavats »

I write this not specifically in reply to OP because it's not sacrilege if he doesn't like it, but more as my thoughts on what people expect vs. what they get.

In regard to the appeal of Res Arcana, the game is different than what people expect from it at first glance. Once they acknowledge it's not about building your engine for a showdown with lots of "take that" and "gotcha" moments, there's still a great game to discover. It presents a frontloaded puzzle where you have to focus at the start and detect the best beeline to victory while factoring in what the opponent/s will be doing. With draft enabled, there are few unknowns. Mainly the opponent's mage and their two first picks. So a good way to go about the draft process is to have a narrative about the net benefit of your choices and remember what you passed on. The rare "gotcha" moments in this game happen when someone plays a first pick card that is a perfect counter to the opponent's engine. But even with draft disabled you can glean out their plans early on. It increases the luck factor though. Sometimes, even with draft, you can make the optimal play and still lose. Like a poker player that loses on the river. But that's part of any game where the luck factor isn't zero.

In regard to discarding cards being the winning strategy, if you go to anyone's statistics and look at the winner's average for the drawn to discard ratio, you'll see that it is at 11 to 5. So the winning strategy in most cases is, in fact, to build out your engine first. Naturally, you don't just put out whatever you are dealt. The plays where people discard most of their cards are usually when they rush to buy Dragon's Lair or Catacombs in the first round. That's two strats everyone picks up early on, and, depending on the combo of their mage, cards in their deck, turn order, and items available, they might be the best beeline they have on offer. They can also be a trap that leaves you dead in the water. Takes a bit of experience to know when to go for them.

In regard to dragons, I agree that they're thematically underutilized. They're more like showy workers rather than powerful battle creatures. It's rarely viable to attack with them unless you have a place of power that doesn't care whether they're tapped or not. That ties into this game not being about showdowns and attacking.

With all that said, I think that after a while you do reach a point of familiarity with the game where you start playing it on cruise control (i.e. it feels like you've solved it and only luck is out of your control). I haven't reached that point yet, but I hope Perlae Imperii will eventually become available on BGA to freshen it up.
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