It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a post, but I’ve got a few things coming our way over the next month: I’ll be reviewing each of the pugs, going over what went into creating them, what I like about them, where the idea came from, and tips and tricks for maximizing the skills of each pug! Our first pug will be the Brave Pug who I’ve talked a bit about already with the Brave Pug design, but I’ll go into a bit of where the idea came from and the best ways to approach playing the pug.
Part 1: Inspiration and Design
The Brave Pug really grew out of a couple things. I had already moved pretty far into the creation of the characters, and I felt like I needed to create something extremely unique in the group. I already had many different themes applied to other pugs, like the chaos of the Mischief Pug, the stealing of cards with the Fast Pug, and the gambling of the Curious Pug. I wanted something that was distinctly different from all of those things, and, while brainstorming, I settled on the idea of a “support” type pug.
The idea of support had a lot of different ideas initially attached to it. I thought about sharing points with allies, destroying disasters, shielding opponents, and sharing cards. The issue I consistently ran into, though, was how to manage helping allies without it just being a straight power grab. The ability had to feel like I was legitimately doing something to help another player but at the same time be worthwhile for the player to actually want to use the treat. Since it was already helping an opponent, the power level had to be substantially higher than just about any other pug ability and because of that, it also had to be successfully counterplayed to make it not feel completely ridiculous. You can read a lot more about this in my other post, linked above.
The other core reason I wanted to create this pug was because I had created a lot of my pugs with respect to certain friends/family and the styles of play they liked to perform. For instance, I created the Mischief Pug specifically for my wife, Savannah, because she loves screwing around with everyone and generating full chaos (even if it doesn’t necessarily help her). For this one, I wanted to create something my mom would enjoy because she’s kind of my hero. She’s always helping everyone out, and I just wanted to create something like that for her to play in the game. While the final version of the pug was more complex than I would have wanted as her pug, I do still like to think it’s a pretty solid addition in part inspired by her.
Part 2: Tips and Tricks
The Brave Pug lives a pretty dangerous life. She loves to pull disasters on top of her to protect others, but it also means she needs to deal with having way too many disasters. Here are a few ideas to help play the Brave Pug optimally!
-She’s constantly limited in the areas in which she can earn points because she always has disasters on her, so having the ability to earn points in any area is imperative if you’re planning to play a treat.
-Stacking treats one after the other can be pretty useful. It not only allows more disasters to build up on the board, but if someone tries to block you from earning points in an area, you instead just add the disaster to your pool and earn extra points next turn. If this lets you get to three disasters, even better!
-Playing off the above tip, burying an extra treat can be extremely useful. It’s kind of the “trump” move because if someone does try to block you, you immediately have the response of adding the disaster and potentially clearing all of them.
-Removing disasters even from someone about to win late in the game can be beneficial, as long as you can make use of the 2x or 3x point bonus.
The Brave Pug is arguably the most intense pug of all of them. She’s got the savior side we discussed, but she’s also got a little bit of daredevil and mind gaming in her as well. If that sounds fun to you, definitely play this pug!