After a few months in the Neath, I have to admit that I’m a bit clueless when it comes to Connections. I’ve just been enjoying poking around and exploring the storylines. I’m not much of a strategist and I haven’t worked out what my long-term goals are; mainly for this reason, I’m reluctant to sacrifice a Connection with one faction in favour of another and end up making costly mistakes or eliminating opportunities that I might want to have available to me down the line.
I am an Author and recently became a POSI; I generally enjoy Persuasive and Watchful challenges the most. I like to think of myself as subversive and potentially revolutionary, but I also enjoy hobnobbing with the cream of society at court. I have a strange fondness for Rubbery Men and I was very proud of being on excellent terms with devils until I failed (twice!) at robbing the Brass Embassy and was thrown out on my ear.
Currently my Connections are as follows:
[ul][li]Great Game 8[/li][li]Church 13[/li][li]Tomb-Colonies 12[/li][li]The Widow 21 [/li][li]Rubbery Men 43[/li][li]The Duchess 16 [/li][li]Benthic 3
[/li][li]Somerset 13[/li][li]Shroud 20 [/li][li]Bohemians 34[/li][li]Urchins 25[/li][li]Hell 17[/li][li]Docks 13[/li][li]Revolutionaries 13[/li][li]Constables 29 [/li][li]Society 50[/li][/ul]
Which friendships would you advise me to cultivate? In your opinion, which Connections are the most helpful or unlock the most interesting storylines?
The one faction you don’t have on your list: Criminals.
The Implacable Presence card offers a very good exchange rate and getting connections in The Flit is a great way to build up your Shadowy stat.
I used to have Connected: Criminals around 12 but lost it all when I devised a method for detecting counterfeit echoes… and my Connected: The Docks would also be higher if I hadn’t foolishly cashed it in for expedition supplies.
You usually don’t need high connections to unlock branches on storylines. 25 will generally be the highest you need, so feel free to focus on the connections you want to consider yourself aligned with and don’t be afraid of the conflict cards. They aren’t one time incidents, and for all but two of the cards it’s possible to alternate sides for a net gain in both those connections. The two exceptions are Widows/Docks (unlocked at 30 in both) and Criminals/Constables (unlocked at 50 in both). They can’t be discarded, and while the former is good for Strong-Backed Labour the other isn’t all that great.
On the other hand, if you want better chances of drawing specific cards you could pick factions to stay aligned to and dump all the connections in the ones that conflict with them. For the most part you won’t notice the difference, and while it can be a little inconvenient to raise something from 0 to 25 this situation is rare enough to make trimming those cards worth it. I personally prefer to stay connected with everyone (except Hell and Revolutionaries), but this approach is equally valid.
Most conflict cards give you -15 cp on one but +30 cp on the other, so you could simply betray both alternatively. Apparently both factions appreciate that.
I like having high connections - they are useful for so many things. Item conversions; trading favours; increasing stats. So I always play the conflict cards- normally siding with the lower connection, but some of them give menace reductions or increases so I play those depending on the relevant menace.
Certain scraps of text in a later story are also unlocked by having 40 levels in certain factions, some of which are easier to grind/obtain than others. It’s only “cosmetic” at the moment, as it only gives exclusive text, but I still found it interesting.