$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 54.26

3,983 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
25.1% of Goal | 30 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Cry Havoc» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Machine Strategy rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Adam McArdell
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmb
I've been itching to hear what other people's experiences with the game have been, because after playing once, I had a lot of fun. However, the final VP scores after 4 rounds (since it accelerated) were something along the lines of:

Pilgrims: 64
Humans: 61
Machines: 16

I was Machines in this case. I know for a fact I did something wrong, but I've been sort of scratching my head wondering how to catch up to what the Pilgrims and Humans can both seemingly do.

Pilgrims: We interpreted the "draw cards" icon on their base deck to mean "as many icons as you just played", which means our Pilgrim player drew 5-7 cards after his every round, since he could also play 5-7 cards anyway with the boost. A few times he drew, but otherwise he was moving 6, reinforcing 6, activating all of his buildings to stash mega crystals, and it was an intense VP farm.

Humans: Once he cleared space for a couple Artillery, he could bomb a few areas, move just a couple guys in, and clean up Trogg with absolutely no issue. His artillery added 2 to Attrition, which was farming up at a minimum 2 easy VP without him having to worry about competing for region control or imprisonment. He was able to secure the areas around him by prepping them pretty simply, then going in for the kill. With a default skill that I believe also generates VP, his last move caught him up quite well with a few regions of acquisition.

Machines: Before I get started here, let it be known that while the other two were appropriately putting their drawn terrain card into their hand, I was shuffling it into my deck for 3 out of the 4 rounds, which hurt intensely badly. I didn't draw any movement whatsoever in Round 3, and since I wasn't putting my terrain card into my hand (which could have been at least 2 movement), I could hardly do anything at all. So that's my fault. Also, I was the first player to move, I did some exploratory movements, and I drew 3 Trog to fight right out of the gate. Since I only moved I think two guys in to fight them, and since I had to go first, I was just punished hard. I also had no idea what all the terrain cards could do, so I didn't prep for the battles as properly as I could have. Mistakes were definitely made out of complete ignorance for sure.

However, Machine things seem to cripple potential VP earnings more than they help, and they don't seem to be as universally helpful. So for example, at one point I triggered a Trog nest, it only had 1 guy, and I walked in to fight. I thought "I've taken enough losses, I just want this region", so I used a Shredder Drone activation and blew it up, canceling the battle. Afterwards I realized that I just axed 3 VP out of my potential equation from the fight alone, plus the 1 crystal which could have been another couple VP, all because I used my building. If the Human uses his building, it very directly benefits his VP, because it just adds into Attrition without him worrying.

I realized that with Orbital Sniper and Shredder Drones, it's a fine balance between "helping you win the fight" and "simply costing you VP", which make them seem awkward. I probably should have used the Matrix much more heavily for the combat advantages and maybe just tried to snipe across the map/use Shredders defensively if someone moves in to fight, but that gets to my next point:

Humans and Pilgrims don't seem to need more than a few regions to really kick the VP up to the moon. Granted, it helped them that the very first event was to drop 1 crystal everywhere that didn't have a crystal already, and I lost out on my big 5-6 VP zone because it had 3 Trog, then a Nest sitting on it feeling impossible to take back starting Turn 2. If I were to try to hamper one of the players in order to gain some combat VP and stifle their control VP, who do I choose, and how does that not basically just buy the other person the game? I'm not sure there are enough cards to play for the Machines to harass both very well unless I get some really key snipes off or something, as if you lose any number of units, you have to spend a fair amount of time trying to get back in the game it seems, and by then (since it doesn't last long), the game's probably close to over.

TL;DR: How does everyone feel about Machines in a 3-player game? What have you seen work, and what were you up against when it worked? Are additional skills the answer to helping bring Machines back up into some semblance of VP generation instead of stifling their VP with a couple of their more attractive (imo anyway) buildings?

Thanks!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Both games I played at GenCon, the Machines lost horribly. They seem very weak. They are constantly starved for cards relative to the other two races. There may be an optimal way to play them, but it's certainly much less obvious than the Humans and Pilgrims.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Martineau
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
True Player for Real
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
I've only played once, but I won with machines. I used the shred drones, orbital sniper and bunker pretty heavily on 1/3 of the map. I used snipers aggressively to limit the amount of troops near me and the shred drones to tilt battles in my (or the Trogs) favor.

Granted, this was a game where everyone as new and we had some rules errors regarding Trogs.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Snow
United States
New York City
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
goo I don't have the game yet, but the in the new interview with Man vs Meeples, designer Grant says you can get all five Machine kinds of buildings (others only have three) going on the same turn, which makes them awesome "like a Death Star!"
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam McArdell
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmb
RageGoblin wrote:
I've only played once, but I won with machines. I used the shred drones, orbital sniper and bunker pretty heavily on 1/3 of the map. I used snipers aggressively to limit the amount of troops near me and the shred drones to tilt battles in my (or the Trogs) favor.

Granted, this was a game where everyone as new and we had some rules errors regarding Trogs.


Sure, using shred drones and orbital snipers to try to help control the game is all well and good, but if you have 1/3rd of the map, do the Humans/Pilgrims not have the other thirds? What are they doing while you're sitting on your third? Based on what I saw, Pilgrims can farm up crystals and hit some heavy VP payouts with their default skill, while Humans can also farm VP with their default skill and some Trog farming.

I'd be really curious to see what the other players in your game did. I know you mentioned they were new, but I can't even visualize a Machines player winning without good luck on Trog tiles and the other players just completely missing how their races farm VP (which, the Machines don't really seem to have a way, besides man-moding into the middle of the map and sitting on it. But if that takes 3 turns to accomplish, then you theoretically only even collect that VP 3 times at max. Maybe that's enough?).

chas59 wrote:
goo I don't have the game yet, but the in the new interview with Man vs Meeples, designer Grant says you can get all five Machine kinds of buildings (others only have three) going on the same turn, which makes them awesome "like a Death Star!"


In theory that sounds great, but I have to wonder how much card commitment that requires, and how much everyone else is doing while you're building up a building deathball. Even then, it seems like the only place to move it would be the interior zones, which you better hope for a good draw, good tiles, or know precisely what order to do everything, since that feels like a delicate proposition. Needing to know exactly what you need to do as Machines isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when our Pilgrim player nearly immediately said "I don't know what you guys can do to stop this", then demonstrated the power of playing almost an entire hand every round, it makes me scratch my chin.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Martineau
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
True Player for Real
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Cogbyrn wrote:
RageGoblin wrote:
I've only played once, but I won with machines. I used the shred drones, orbital sniper and bunker pretty heavily on 1/3 of the map. I used snipers aggressively to limit the amount of troops near me and the shred drones to tilt battles in my (or the Trogs) favor.

Granted, this was a game where everyone as new and we had some rules errors regarding Trogs.


Sure, using shred drones and orbital snipers to try to help control the game is all well and good, but if you have 1/3rd of the map, do the Humans/Pilgrims not have the other thirds? What are they doing while you're sitting on your third? Based on what I saw, Pilgrims can farm up crystals and hit some heavy VP payouts with their default skill, while Humans can also farm VP with their default skill and some Trog farming.


In that game, 1/3 of the map was under my (machine) control, blue was stuck in her HQ (and maybe one space before I moved in and took it back) and yellow had a wall of 7 trogs plus token (rules error) on one side and me zapping his stuff on the other. The middle of the map was unexplored, as it has been in both 3 player games I've played.

I will definitely not say that my opponents played well, but we were all first timers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam McArdell
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmb
RageGoblin wrote:
In that game, 1/3 of the map was under my (machine) control, blue was stuck in her HQ (and maybe one space before I moved in and took it back) and yellow had a wall of 7 trogs plus token (rules error) on one side and me zapping his stuff on the other. The middle of the map was unexplored, as it has been in both 3 player games I've played.

I will definitely not say that my opponents played well, but we were all first timers.


Gotcha. Thanks for the extra info, that makes more sense. It does seem like pushing on one player while sniping the daylights out of another might be the best way to try to balance the aggression so one doesn't get their free farm on, but I am wondering how much the game is impacted by the randomness of the discovery tokens + Trog tokens.

If only I had the opportunity to play more! I'll have to live vicariously through those who continue to play more games and evolve their gameplay.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Rivea
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
mb
Ready for your advantage?

You do NOT need ANY recruitment cards.

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Also, you have a building based mechanism to get cards! The terrain scanner!

Using the factory, bunkers and the Transform Skill card you can populate machines without recruit cards. This is a huge advantage.

First move should take the non trog territory, to build EVERYTHING. Explore the parallel areas to that territory, use the shred drones to tip that fight to you.

Use the move building skill to move your drones, and transform to convert buildings into troops or vice versa turn troops into build tokens.



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin Boatman
United States
New Iberia
Louisiana
flag msg tools
Funny thing is, everyone knows that is the strategy to use with machines. Problem is, they still seem to lose, lol. I am almost at the point where when someone tells me they dominate a human player with machines I immediately think "must be a terrible human player", not "must be a great machine strategy", lol. I have played that strategy of all build/activate since my second game. If the human player remembers to activate his default skill every round he will always do well, at least from my games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Rivea
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
mb
You make a good point -

I think the skills are a huge swing determination on what path Machines need to take to victory: If you get the FIREPOWER skill, then the "murder them all" miiight be a way to squeeze more points out of the constant battles the Machines seem to need.

I also propose that aggressive action across the tunnels toward the humans should be considered to take advantage of their card heavy scoring tactics.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
This game is just so out of balance for the various factions. Either Humans dominate in 3-player game or Trogs in the 4-player game.

While the Machines can be so fun to play (esp. with their Orbital Snipers and Shredders), they have so much trouble moving their forces, esp. when compared with Humans. And the Pilgrims just need to take 3 regions, hold them, and then create their self-defending crystal-generating system.

3-player game we played yesterday, with the new player as the humans versus 2 others who had played the game (me as the Machines, game's owner as Pilgrims) was just a total rout for the Humans. Who occupied about half the board. Even though I used 2 Orbital Snipers and 1 Shredder to remove ALL of their minis except from the HQ. I even advanced my Machines to their HQ and took over 3 regions they had cleared out of Trogs before.

BUT... the final score wasn't even close. Humans had more points than the Machines (3rd place) and Pilgrims (2nd place) combined!

My only real option as the Machines was never for 1st place but only for 2nd. I chose to help the Pilgrims by dedicating my attacks on the Humans. But, if I had chosen, I could've exterminated the Pilgrims easily, taking all of their regions. But then the Humans likely would've scored about 4 times as many points as our combined total instead of just twice as many points.

Sure, this is a "fun" game to play, but it is mostly a waste of time for the Pilgrims and Machines in a 3-player game and a waste for all the races except the Trogs in the 4-player game. I've never encountered such a broken fighting/area control game.

This game needs an entire rule re-write with new balancing powers and cards. Otherwise, it is just a silly fun waste of time.

And, of course, as usual the "runaway leader" (in this case the Humans) triggers the end-the-game-a-round-early problem. Which is just so amazingly stupid. The "runaway leader" ensures his opponents lack the rounds necessary to catch up. Go figure? Such idiocy of a design.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Snow
United States
New York City
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Totally disagee, simply because this has not been my experience. If the players keep an eye on the Humans, they can be stopped.

It will be interesting to see the upcoming Strategy Guide for the Humans. In a recent thread, Grant said "The Humans have lots of weaknesses."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
Pretty easy for even the newest player with no experience to play both the Humans (3-player game) or Trogs (4-player game) to victory. The path is laid out pretty clearly. The Humans can dominate the board early in the 3-player and the Trogs do the same in the 4-player. The Machines lack the time in the ALWAYS 4-round game!

Just curious, what percentage of your games have gone to 5 rounds? I've never seen one.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris thatcher
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
5 games so far. no machine wins.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
Tariff wrote:
5 games so far. no machine wins.


What percentage of those games went the "full" five rounds?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Snow
United States
New York City
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
More than half of my 14 games went the full five rounds. I will note that an option in the upcoming expansion "Aftermath" will make this mandatory.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris thatcher
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That im not sure of. I know the last game went the full 5 rounds. Machines ended last, as in all games weve played.

Trogs also seem to dominate in 4 player but humans are always close 2nd.

Quote:
Sure, this is a "fun" game to play, but it is mostly a waste of time for the Pilgrims and Machines in a 3-player game and a waste for all the races except the Trogs in the 4-player game. I've never encountered such a broken fighting/area control game.

This game needs an entire rule re-write with new balancing powers and cards. Otherwise, it is just a silly fun waste of time.

And, of course, as usual the "runaway leader" (in this case the Humans) triggers the end-the-game-a-round-early problem. Which is just so amazingly stupid. The "runaway leader" ensures his opponents lack the rounds necessary to catch up. Go figure? Such idiocy of a design.


I agree. The game is super fun!, more fun than any doods on the map game ive played. BUT.. it is super unbalanced. Something im sure a future expansion can address.

Now i love it (warts n all) but i would have to express all its faults when i recommend it. Some people just will not want to play the machines if it a 99% assurance you will lose.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Played it today, as a four player game. I wasn't last with the machines - I think that was our Trogs, who just got smacked around from all sides. But the human player had a huge lead - the free 4-5 point action card each turn helped, and his massive artillery barrages (usually dropping two artillery plus two watchtowers on each territory in range) meant that he was completely unassailable. I know, I tried on the last turn, but even with my snipers, shredders and seven units I still got mullered.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Gass
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Something useful you can do with machines in those circumstances is start a battle in a territory with artillery/watchtower tokens, and then next turn just shred all the humans in the battle. No battle means you don't get hit by the tokens, and then you can invade further in. Only works if there aren't tons of humans in the province.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The human player wasn't using any units. He was just relying on his tokens to win the battle. Are you saying that he needs a unit in the fight to participate? Because that would have made a HUGE difference!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
RDewsbery wrote:
Played it today, as a four player game. I wasn't last with the machines - I think that was our Trogs, who just got smacked around from all sides. But the human player had a huge lead - the free 4-5 point action card each turn helped, and his massive artillery barrages (usually dropping two artillery plus two watchtowers on each territory in range) meant that he was completely unassailable. I know, I tried on the last turn, but even with my snipers, shredders and seven units I still got mullered.


How many rounds did the game last? 4 or 5?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Five. Don't remember hearing any rule about it ending earlier. And even five rounds seemed VERY short & fast to me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Frost

Iowa
msg tools
mbmbmb
RDewsbery wrote:
Five. Don't remember hearing any rule about it ending earlier. And even five rounds seemed VERY short & fast to me.


The games I've played ended in 4 rounds, because when one player passes the events quickly it ends the game a round sooner. Never had one go 5 rounds. The "runaway leader" gets the bonus of having the game end sooner so his opponents can't stop him. Go figure. Absolutely insane game design.

But reportedly the expansion will have a variant that mandates a 5-round game. I won't play the game ever again unless the players agree up front to have it go 5.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If the game ought to end on round four if a player goes past the final scoring event then yes, our Human player smashed straight past it in round four. But nobody had picked up on the fact that the game could end so fast. Twelve actions per player isn't a game; it's a variable setup to be performed before the real game gets started!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fito R
Argentina
flag msg tools
RDewsbery wrote:
If the game ought to end on round four if a player goes past the final scoring event then yes, our Human player smashed straight past it in round four. But nobody had picked up on the fact that the game could end so fast. Twelve actions per player isn't a game; it's a variable setup to be performed before the real game gets started!
No, it doesn't matter if someone passes the 49 point marker in round four, the final round will always happen.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.