Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mr. Rackham's Disruptions

Many players still underestimate, how disruptive a Smiling Jack really is to their game and to the whole table. If you look at the cumulative blood/pool, you see how much more the player who doesn't control the Smiling Jack actually pays.
  • Turn 1 - 0 pool -- 0 blood or pool
  • Turn 2 - 1 pool -- 1 blood or pool
  • Turn 3 - 2 pool -- 3 blood or pool
  • Turn 4 - 3 pool -- 6 blood or pool
  • Turn 5 - 4 pool -- 10 blood or pool
  • Turn 6 - 5 pool -- 15 blood or pool
  • Turn 7 - 6 pool -- 21 blood or pool
  • Turn 8 - 7 pool -- 28 blood or pool
  • Turn 9 - 8 pool -- 36 blood or pool
As you can see the difference is quite enormous. Outracing the Smiling Jack, might be looking good sometimes .. but if one (or more) player is ousted, then the chances of removing the Smiling Jack just sank drastically. And that's because by ousting the player the number of minions have been reduced who can remove the Smiling Jack.

As conclusion, I can only advise any player, that the whole tale should make a joint remove to the Smiling Jack. And please, start not just after the first player has been ousted, start rightaway. The player with the Smiling Jack is more likely to let go off the Smiling Jack, if there a no or very few counters on it, but he will try to defend it with his life when 4+ counters are on it.


Boris said...

The numbers are off by one turn: Jack comes into play with 0 counter on it so it only starts to deal damage on the second turn.

It is not always clear whether burning Jack really helps you or not. If Jack's owner chooses to defend it, the first player who attempts to burn it will waste a lot of resources to effectively prevent his prey from taking damage (too late for him: he already paid in his untap phase). 1vp is still better than 0, even if that means giving the rest of the table to Jack. Don't be the guy who commits suicide for the other players.

extrala said...

Depends what you count as turn 1 (or turn 0, for that matter).

Juggernaut1981 said...

Actually, I'm usually the reverse... I will defend it heavily until it gets to 4 or so. Until then, it hasn't done its work. After 4 or 5, it's done enough damage...

floppyzedolfin said...

If you don't have to defend it and it reaches 5, you win.

Interesting table talk: "Oh, sure, I will let you burn it when it hits 3 counters."

Jelsky said...

Extrala, you foil my well-laid plans again. Now everyone will remove my Jack! Its hard enough to win with a wall deck as it is ;)

My opinion when playing Jack: punish your prey and predator hardest for removing it, and hopefully the rest will fear you for it. And a lesson I learned somewhere along the way: don't ever defend something with your life, even if it's Smiling Jack. It sucks to be ousted because you wasted all your wakes on defending Jack. There will be another chance (or Jack)..

Advice when playing against Jack: pretend you give it all when trying to remove it, but save resources; especially when you're not Jack's prey.

Anonymous said...

Boris,I think you are totally wrong. This kind of decission is tipified as suboptimal(pareto) equilibrium on a decission system.
Everyone thinks on his own, no one tries to burn jack until its to late and jack-player wins. That is exactly what happened on the European final that Floppy winned.

Joscha said...

If you have at least one Boris ( ;o) ) at your table you'll win with Smiling Jack.