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Star Realms» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Has anyone beaten Mission 49: Colossus yet? rss

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Anon Ymous
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This is the hardest mission I've ever played, and I'm trying on Normal. Only twice out of scores of attempts have I even managed to destroy even ONE of the three Plasma Conduits, and I always lost the next turn.

I've tried every strategy I can think of. It's absurdly difficult.

Thanks,
J
 
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Ian Taylor
United States
Massachusetts
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I have. I also designed the mission.

Well, it's a boss fight, so it's meant to be hard. But I managed to get it on my first time. On subsequent plays, it was tough to do it consistently. I found my best strategy was to go for Trade and Blob cards (with a few Cult for scrap), so I can get a good, solid card drawing engine, and get enough Combat to take out one Conduit per turn until satisfied. With a bit of luck, you can snatch the Brain World early.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games
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Anon Ymous
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Hey, thanks for answering! I can't believe you got it on the first try. I am clearly not a very good player then. Even getting the Brain World, I haven't come close. Do you get Explorers when there aren't any Trade Fed. or Blob ships available?

Also, do you go for bases or outposts at all?

Thanks,
J
 
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Anon Ymous
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HOLY CRAP I BEAT IT!!!

After a handful of terrible failures, I managed to get a couple Cutters and a Freighter, plus a couple Trade Bots and a Trade Pod (there was little Blob to start with). The AI was just getting bases. After thinning out some from the bots, I started getting the Freighter and Cutters together, which led to a Command Ship, and that really turned the game.

I finished with 51 health and one win (after maybe 100 tries).

Thanks so much!

-J
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Ian Taylor
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Congrats!

I was very lucky to get it on the first go. My win rate is around 30% with that one.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games
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Alistar Gamer
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@IanWWG Can you please clarify whether you mean on normal mode or hard? We've been having this discussion in another thread. I'm not a neophyte to the game; I've beaten every scenario up to Colossus Hard. I do not see many ways of beating Colossus Hard even once, let alone with a 30% win rate. It's not possible to acquire 20 damage capability that quickly and have it execute with enough regularity in the 6-8 starter-card-ridden plays before the AI wipes you out. That scenario is the equivalent of someone inviting you to play Yahtzee, giving you only four dice while they take six.

If you do mean that you beat Colossus 30% of the time on hard mode, I'd like to hear that explicitly. I'd also very much like to see anyone--dev or otherwise--YouTube ten consecutive plays of that scenario, winning three of them.
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Andrew Kapish
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Total unplayed games in my collection: 7
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IanWWG wrote:
With a bit of luck
…a bit? I think we're playing different games.
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herb sawyer
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I'd be interested in know how to get a 30% win rate on Hard Colossus. I can get good win rates on most of the other levels, even on hard. But Hard Colossus... the damage clock is just too quick.


IanWWG wrote:

Congrats!

I was very lucky to get it on the first go. My win rate is around 30% with that one.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games
 
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David Low
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Hard Colossus done. Finally. Early Freighter into early Brain World, then hardcore defence while trashing furiously and acquiring middle-range damage. Bottomed-out around 15 Authority, then from that point it was all up, to the inevitable ***-victory.

Please, don't make scenarios like this one again. When the victory is accompanied by relief rather than triumph, and all the way hoping that a promising set-up isn't going to get rolled by the draw...it's frustration, not achievement.

Just my AUD0.025, natch.
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Charles Bailey
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IanWWG wrote:

I have. I also designed the mission.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games


I'm having trouble understanding why you'd admit that in public. Designing a practically unbeatable scenario isn't difficult, it's just a sign of bad game design. If you only beat easy mode 30% of the time that means hard mode is designed extremely poorly.
 
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Ian Taylor
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Demoyn wrote:
IanWWG wrote:

I have. I also designed the mission.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games


I'm having trouble understanding why you'd admit that in public. Designing a practically unbeatable scenario isn't difficult, it's just a sign of bad game design. If you only beat easy mode 30% of the time that means hard mode is designed extremely poorly.


Because I've never been one to shy away from the truth, and I'm not ashamed of the work I did, or embarrassed by the results that came from it.

I was given the instructions to make it difficult, and it was playtested by people that are way better at Star Realms than I am. If people think it should be scaled back, that's a conversation we can have.

Now if we charged $1 for continuing with an extra 25 Authority, you'd have a much stronger complaint.

Ian Taylor
Director of Organized Play
White Wizard Games
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Jo Wo
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I think I've played this scenario on hard around a hundred times. I've come close a few times, but I found all it takes is one thing to not go in your favor to unravel a promising start or even a really good start. And there's not a darn thing I could do to prevent or mitigate the impact.

Because the conduits count as Blob bases, that tiny Blob fighter becomes free damage/card, because it always draws another card. And from my perspective that card advantage is just a little too much over the course of the game to overcome.

In essence the opponent starts off with a 9 card deck, not 10.

Another thing that compounds things are bases like the Blob Hive. I can't destroy bases like the Blob Hive because the conduits act as a combined 60pt meat shield for them. This means any base that isn't required to be destroyed first before targeting an opponent remains in play forever. So free damage, card drawing, or trade, for the rest of the game.

Put these two things together, and it becomes a near impossible task.

When the AI gets a hold of a Blob Hive, I find it's pretty much game over no matter what stage of the game I'm in. The AI will soon be drawing six cards and dealing 6 damage every turn for free. And there's not a darn thing I can do.

To me this scenario on hard isn't about skill or playing the scenario well. It's about waiting for the perfect set of circumstances and then having to play flawlessly, and hope the AI doesn't get anything good in the trade row to win. And that's not fun.

I love a challenge, but at the same time I don't like feeling that I'm playing a rigged carnival game either. On easy mode, it felt like if I just played it right, I would always have a chance, but on hard, not only do I have to play well, I have to wait for the luck of the draw.

With that said, what kind of tweaks would I suggest? Maybe one of the following.

1 - How about not counting the conduits as bases, so they're not 60pt meat shields for bases like the Hive. I mean if I can't destroy conduits with cards like Missile Mech, why should they be counted as bases?

2 - find another card other than Blob fighter to put in the starting deck. I'm not sure which one, but not one that allows them to draw cards or to thin their deck.

3 - How about if a card allows the player to gain X authority, double the amount gained instead?

4 - Pad the AI deck out with more vipers and scouts.


The impetus for some of these suggestions is to give the player a little more time. I constantly find myself at the point where I have the deck set up to start pushing back, but I'm dead before I even have a chance.

Not fun. Not challenging. Not a chance I'm playing this again.

I've played lots of different games from Magic to this, and I think I have a decent grasp of what feels fair, and this isn't it. At least for me.

With that said, maybe I'm just slow, and need another 100 games to figure it out. So if anyone has a strategy that allows you to beat this scenario on a consistent basis on hard, please share.
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Jeremy Hager
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Nah, you've summed it up. It's even moreso luck based than any other scenario, because you are vastly disadvantaged, and I'll throw in with the others that I don't find that 30% hard percentage believable
 
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Emily M
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I would also vote that cards like Embassy Yacht don't apply with the Conduits, and agree that the base-destroying cards should be able to affect the non-outpost bases. I still haven't won, and leave the game if I don't get a strong start -- I've gotten really close on normal.
 
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Which expansion is this mission in? Events or Heroes? I don't have the mission, and those are the two xps I don't have. But this all kinda makes me want to give it a go.
 
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David Low
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Chapter 7 (Heroes), the final "Boss" level.
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dlow wrote:
Chapter 7 (Heroes), the final "Boss" level.

Wow, that thing's a pretty wild ride. Done on Easy after many attempts, but I'm still learning the dynamics of the fight. Things I've noted so far for the Easy battle:

- There are some cards AI mustn't get. If they get one of these with all 3 conduits up, you lose: Embassy Yacht, Hive, Barter World, Fleet HQ, Central Office. Counterpick these at all costs.

- Blob heroes are gold. Do not fire them until you can get a conduit or a Recycling Station. Similar but not as strict with Star Empire heroes, that extra damage can make a big difference.

- 6-butt outposts are a huge deal for you, they may survive several turns against the 3-combat conduit spam. Out of these Mech World is probably the best.

- Trade Fed heroes and Machine Cult help you get there, TF can be great for hitting the ally auth/combat but don't get suckered into buying a shuttle just coz you got the Special Ops guy. That shuttle will kill you later.
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David Low
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Hard gives your opponent a Blob Fighter in their starting deck. That changes the dynamic somewhat cry I also *think* that the Hard level plays a better AI/strategy/approach, but I could be wrong there.

Make sure that when you win, you win with the *** achievement This is one of the missions where, if you're going to win it, getting the *** achievement is straightforward. There are others in the campaign where winning is easy, but achieving the win at the *** level is the real challenge!
 
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dlow wrote:
Hard gives your opponent a Blob Fighter in their starting deck. That changes the dynamic somewhat cry I also *think* that the Hard level plays a better AI/strategy/approach, but I could be wrong there.

Make sure that when you win, you win with the *** achievement This is one of the missions where, if you're going to win it, getting the *** achievement is straightforward. There are others in the campaign where winning is easy, but achieving the win at the *** level is the real challenge!

Yep, that was a rough fight! It took quite a few attempts (bear in mind, I'm english, "quite a few" means "until my fingers bled") but I got all 3 stars on Hard.


Winning run was the "this beats anything" path of Freighter => Brain World => Command Ship. Some more tips I picked up along the way:

- It's tempting to buy everything which seems like it might save you, but churning the row is your enemy. Every card you flip brings you closer to the Hive or Blob Destroyer which ends your run. Buy with caution...

- ... especially on a locked row. A row where AI can't afford anything is a row you can win, if you carefully nurse your trade. It usually won't work, but if it does, it's the easiest path to victory.

- Blob Destroyer is also a run-ending card, as it makes it difficult for you to survive until your endgame deck comes together.

- Early damage is meaningless. Trade bot is better than missile bot.

- But early scrap is actually a trap, as it leaves you too weak to bring the game home. Your scrappers need to be the 6+ bases (or red heroes, but see warning above about churning), and the winning suit is actually blue.
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Just a note of appreciation for the subtle touch of simply swapping a Viper for a Blob Fighter on Hard. Such a small change to the initial conditions, leading to a VERY different fight!
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I just finished this mission on hard with 3 stars. Here are some observations, though most of it is simply reinforcing what others have said on this thread.

The AI acquiring bases is worse than him acquiring outposts, since you can't hit bases until you've destroyed all 3 plasma conduits. This is why I think the card with the biggest swing here is The Hive. If he gets it, he draws 6 cards per turn, and gets an extra 3 attack. This, in combination with the attack from 3 conduits, is enough to kill any base.

So keep him from getting bases, draft heavy on blue, scrap with Patrol Mech/Battle Mech + Red Bases + Heroes, and worship at the altar of anything that allows you to draw more cards.

And Ian, I just wanted to say that you have done great work with the Star Realms app. I've put 130 hours into the Steam App, and plenty more in the android version. Most of that time has been spent conquering the campaign mode with all of the achievements. This is far and beyond my favorite game, and I hope you make more missions.



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Jeremy Hager
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two four hour flights playing it. Still can't beat it. Unbelievably hard, and not at all enjoyable. If they get the hive, you're f*cked. If they get the carrier, you're f*cked. If they get any embassy shuttles, you're f*cked. If they get the destroyer, you're f*cked. If they get more blob fighters, you're f*cked. If you don't get freighter or trade blob, you're f*cked. Oh, you got a freighter and space station and trade blob and there is a command ship or carrier or brain world out there? How about some hot double viper action?

I'll disagree that I don't think it's well designed. Sorry. I won't have any sense of achievement if I ever beat it, because it requires immense amounts of dumb luck to beat it AS WELL as skill. Guess I don't need that avatar.
 
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