$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 75.38

5,137 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
32.4% of Goal | 28 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift» Forums » General

Subject: Meta Race Selection: Octanis? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok, just 'cause I'm on a roll:

So in playing with the new races the first time, it seems like the Evolution tile bag is *really* powerful, and as such, Octanis is really powerful. Like, I'm not gonna say they are necessarily *too* powerful, but they seem like they have a lot of advantage available to them, assuming that they have free reign of the Evolution bag.

As such, it seems like, from the perspective of the Meta-Race-Selection game at the start of the game, if someone picks Octanis, I'd imagine that someone else would feel compelled to also pick Octanis, so as to not let a sole Octanis player have sole access to the Evolution bag (one player having sole control of the Evolution bag gives them a huge advantage; two players sharing it both still have a good thing going, but at least one guy isn't gonna run the bag). And as if no one picks Octanis, the last player (i.e. first player) can pick unopposed Octanis, and as such, someone who is earlier in the line probably needs to pick Octanis before the last player picks Octanis. Which means, I'd imagine, that most games will contain two Octanis players. And as a result, the other two races (Shapers and Pyxis) seem like they would be risky to pick; if you pick, say, Pyxis early, someone else can pick Octanis and have sole control of the Evolution bag. As such, it seems like a sub-optimal move to pick Shapers or Pyxis (I mean, like, the Time Rift bag is powerful too, but it seems much less powerful then the Evolution bag, and there is no mechanism that forces them to share anyway).

Like, having sole possession of the Evolution bag means you can freely churn through the bag with colony ship flips till you find the exact right ones, which gives you a very significant and powerful leg up. At least if there are two Octanis players, they are then fighting over the Evolution bag, and it'll be a lot harder to get the exact ones you want.

Does this seem to be the case from people who have played a lot of games with these races so far?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
Ok, just 'cause I'm on a roll:

So in playing with the new races the first time, it seems like the Evolution tile bag is *really* powerful, and as such, Octanis is really powerful. Like, I'm not gonna say they are necessarily *too* powerful, but they seem like they have a lot of advantage available to them, assuming that they have free reign of the Evolution bag.

As such, it seems like, from the perspective of the Meta-Race-Selection game at the start of the game, if someone picks Octanis, I'd imagine that someone else would feel compelled to also pick Octanis, so as to not let a sole Octanis player have sole access to the Evolution bag (one player having sole control of the Evolution bag gives them a huge advantage; two players sharing it both still have a good thing going, but at least one guy isn't gonna run the bag). And as if no one picks Octanis, the last player (i.e. first player) can pick unopposed Octanis, and as such, someone who is earlier in the line probably needs to pick Octanis before the last player picks Octanis. Which means, I'd imagine, that most games will contain two Octanis players. And as a result, the other two races (Shapers and Pyxis) seem like they would be risky to pick; if you pick, say, Pyxis early, someone else can pick Octanis and have sole control of the Evolution bag. As such, it seems like a sub-optimal move to pick Shapers or Pyxis (I mean, like, the Time Rift bag is powerful too, but it seems much less powerful then the Evolution bag, and there is no mechanism that forces them to share anyway).

Like, having sole possession of the Evolution bag means you can freely churn through the bag with colony ship flips till you find the exact right ones, which gives you a very significant and powerful leg up. At least if there are two Octanis players, they are then fighting over the Evolution bag, and it'll be a lot harder to get the exact ones you want.

Does this seem to be the case from people who have played a lot of games with these races so far?


I think you overestimate the capabilities of the Octantis. We have had them present in a couple of games now and they only felt considerably stronger than the other races if they ALSO got the rare tech for evolution in the first third of the game. Otherwise the Mutagen generation and unfavorable and unmodifiable trade rate for it are effective limits on their effectiveness.

Admittedly, they are VERY versatile and can easily mimic most other race advantages over the course of the game, but usually only part of the racial advantages of any specific race and for the stronger ones only by about the mid third of the game. And then they still need to have some mutagen left over to get some of the VP tiles to be in the running for anything.

Also I do not believe that having a second Octantis around puts too much of a damper on their game. IIRC there are always at least two of any single evolution tile in the bag and since all the evolutions are very situational both in what phase of the game they are valuable as well as to what board situation they help in there is enough "chaff" that it is not a given that redrawing a lot will give you the tile you need in time to still do a lot with it, since you do not discard exchanged tiles but put them back into the bag after drawing the new one.

The only "Meta" choice I consider essential is making sure that they don't get the Rare Tech. Especially in the first third of the game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
I think you overestimate the capabilities of the Octantis.


Again, like, I don't think they are insanely powerful or anything, but the Evolution bag seems powerful (flexible?) enough that much like if someone next to you picks Hydra, it is in your best interest to take, like, Orion, it seems like if someone next to you picks Octanis, it would be a good idea to also pick Octanis, just to spread out the Evolution tiles. I mean, like, it is kind of a sacrifice play--you take Octanis and share the bag (which is less good that being a lone Octanis player) to avoid someone else getting sole possession of the bag.

Quote:
We have had them present in a couple of games now and they only felt considerably stronger than the other races if they ALSO got the rare tech for evolution in the first third of the game. Otherwise the Mutagen generation and unfavorable and unmodifiable trade rate for it are effective limits on their effectiveness.


Yeah, them getting that Rare Tech does seem like it would be crazy town.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
I think you overestimate the capabilities of the Octantis.


Again, like, I don't think they are insanely powerful or anything, but the Evolution bag seems powerful (flexible?) enough that much like if someone next to you picks Hydra, it is in your best interest to take, like, Orion, it seems like if someone next to you picks Octanis, it would be a good idea to also pick Octanis, just to spread out the Evolution tiles. I mean, like, it is kind of a sacrifice play--you take Octanis and share the bag (which is less good that being a lone Octanis player) to avoid someone else getting sole possession of the bag.



What specific effect do you expect from the "shared bag" compared to sole possession?

Also, since your premise is that now both Octantis would be considerably weakened, why would you do so if it sets you up to loose just as likely as the other player?

Picking Orion next to Hydran is different because it is not just a problem for the Hydran and thereby helping the rest of the table win but a strong play in itself because Orion has better chances to win if they have Hydrans as neighbors.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
What specific effect do you expect from the "shared bag" compared to sole possession?


With two people pulling from the bag, each player is less likely to get the perfect draws of Evolution tiles.

Quote:
Also, since your premise is that now both Octantis would be considerably weakened, why would you do so if it sets you up to loose just as likely as the other player?


I don't know that they are both severely weakened. Just likely weak enough. I suspect that single Octanis player has too much freedom in drawing Evolutions from the bag. I suspect that having two players pulling from the bag evens things out some. And as noted, taking the second Octanis specifically so the first Octanis doesn't have free bag reign is saying "I'll make us both ok rather than let you be too good".

Quote:
Picking Orion next to Hydran is different because it is not just a problem for the Hydran and thereby helping the rest of the table win but a strong play in itself because Orion has better chances to win if they have Hydrans as neighbors.


I don't know that that is true. I have seen *plenty* of games where someone picked Hydran and then their neighbor (sometimes me, sometimes others) immediately picked Orion and the end result was Hydra not winning, but Orion also not winning. Hydra being left alone wins the game. Orion next to Hydra, hassling them either a lot or a little results in Hydran probably not winning the game, but Orion not necessarily winning either. as such, I generally see taking Orion in response to your neighbor taking Hydra as pretty similar to how I see taking Octanis 'cause someone else too Octanis (although not necessarily your neighbor as the effect is sharing the bag rather than hassling them). Like, you might be hamstringing yourself a little, but you are doing so to prevent someone else from getting away with murder. Possibly?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Morton
msg tools
bakija wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
What specific effect do you expect from the "shared bag" compared to sole possession?

With two people pulling from the bag, each player is less likely to get the perfect draws of Evolution tiles.

I find this statement suspicious, mathematically. How many total tiles is one Ocantis player usually seeing during one of your games? More than half the bag? (I don't recall offhand how many tiles are in the bag...)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
Chrondeath wrote:
I find this statement suspicious, mathematically. How many total tiles is one Ocantis player usually seeing during one of your games? More than half the bag? (I don't recall offhand how many tiles are in the bag...)


Mathematically, I don't think it matters specifically how many total tiles are drawn.

If there is one player, that player is drawing 5 tiles of 34 to start, and then a new tile every time they use one, and then a new tile whenever they flip a colony ship.

If there are two players, they are both drawing 5 of 34 to start (reducing the number of tiles available to the other player), and then they each draw a new tile every time they use one (reducing the number of tiles available to the other player), and then a new tile whenever they flip a colony ships (again...).

If one person is drawing tiles from the bag, they have access to all the tiles in the bag. If two people are drawing tiles from the bag, one person does *not* have access to all the tiles in the bag. If I want, say, the tile that says "Get +1VP for each Evolution tile you have in play", if I'm the only person drawing from the bag, I can theoretically churn tiles with colony ships until I find it. If two of us are drawing from the bag, if you get the tile (or both--I don't know off hand how many are in the bag and don't have the game near by), I can't get it.

Competition for the bag means you are less likely to get the tiles you want. Simply 'cause someone else might already have it (or them). If only one person is drawing from the bag, there is zero chance that the tile you want is completely unavailable to you. If two people are drawing from the bag, there is a greater than zero chance that the tile you want is completely unavailable to you (due to being in the possession someone else). I'm not sure how this is suspicious math :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan-Willem van Leeuwen
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, the only effect another Octantis player really has is by ditching evolution tiles that you don't want. It's not unthinkable that another player could be looking for different tiles than you, making it even more likely that you get what you want than if there wasn't another Octantis player. But usually the other player will want the same tiles so there is some competition.
I'm not sure that this means that Octantis are best opposed by other Octantis players. Since Octantis is a slow start race, maybe their natural enemy are strong start races like Orion or Eridani.
In any case, I wonder how effective it is to spend colony ships to search for better evolution tiles. Of course, if you have one spare it's a good idea but I wouldn't sacrifice colonizing a planet for a chance of a better tile.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
janwillemvl wrote:
Well, the only effect another Octantis player really has is by ditching evolution tiles that you don't want. It's not unthinkable that another player could be looking for different tiles than you, making it even more likely that you get what you want than if there wasn't another Octantis player. But usually the other player will want the same tiles so there is some competition.
I'm not sure that this means that Octantis are best opposed by other Octantis players. Since Octantis is a slow start race, maybe their natural enemy are strong start races like Orion or Eridani.
In any case, I wonder how effective it is to spend colony ships to search for better evolution tiles. Of course, if you have one spare it's a good idea but I wouldn't sacrifice colonizing a planet for a chance of a better tile.


That is my thinking as well. Most of the tiles are highly situational, so unless both Octantis end up with similar resource distributions and situations it is unlikely they will be competing for the same tiles. It is more likely that they will remove tiles from the pool that are "chaff" to the other player anyway.

In the first three rounds they probably won't be churning tiles a lot since getting cubes down is more important.

I do believe they need some early harassing to be kept in check so that they cannot afford to trade resources for Mutagen. This way, in terms of abilities, they will be at a disadvantage during the first third of the game, on par during the middle and maybe, just maybe superior for the last 2 or 3 rounds.

And that is better achieved by going with one of the quicker races as you suggest.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
janwillemvl wrote:
Well, the only effect another Octantis player really has is by ditching evolution tiles that you don't want.


No, they get to pull tiles that you might want, and get to hold onto tiles you might want out of spite.

Like, again, I don't have the game handy, so I don't know the exact composition of the Evolution bag (someone wanna post that? :-), but if there are only 1 tile of a given super good Evolution (+1 VP per Evolution; +1 tech tile for research; -3 cost dreadnaughts; whatever), you are competing for those. Yeah, it is possible that sometimes both players won't want the same tiles, but some of them are so good that it seems likely that both players will want them (+1 tech tile for research is so good as to be a total no brainer, for example). If there are two in the bag, one player can potentially get one, Evolve it, get the other one, and just sit on it in their pool of 5 tiles while churning the other 4 as needed. Just to spite the other Octanis player.

Quote:
It's not unthinkable that another player could be looking for different tiles than you, making it even more likely that you get what you want than if there wasn't another Octantis player.


Sure, but again, some of them are total no brainers--if you are playing Octanis at all, you want the one that is +1VP per Evolution (as that way you get to win more by just doing what you are already doing); you want +1 tech for a research action as that is just stupidly good in this game. After that, well, the rest are a lot more situational. But those 2? And maybe -3 cost dreadnaughts? Total no brainers. Both players playing Octanis want those.

Quote:
In any case, I wonder how effective it is to spend colony ships to search for better evolution tiles. Of course, if you have one spare it's a good idea but I wouldn't sacrifice colonizing a planet for a chance of a better tile.


I'm not advocating using colony ships to swap Evolution tiles instead of colonizing planets. As that would be dumb. But at a certain point, you are mostly done colonizing. And then can churn 3 or more tiles per turn to find the ones you want. Like, sure, it won't be super efficient to use a lot of influence actions just to flip colony ships for Evolution churning, but if you are doing well and have an action to spare, it is probably worth doing to try and pick the specific Evolution you want, on top of the other 3 re-draws you were likely doing anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
That is my thinking as well. Most of the tiles are highly situational, so unless both Octantis end up with similar resource distributions and situations it is unlikely they will be competing for the same tiles.


Many of them are highly situational. That is true. But +1VP per evolution Tile? Not at all situational. You are the Octanis. You are making Evolution tiles. You want more VPs. That is the least situational thing I can think of. The one that gives you +1 tech per research action. Also not at all situational. If you have a reasonable amount of science production, it fills your tech track. If you suck it up and have limited science, you *still* can then get a double action of Evolving and picking up whatever science you were going to pick up anyway. Also a completely non situational Evolution tile. If you are Octanis, you want both of these. Every game. As they are both completely generically useful all the time.

After that? Yeah, ok, they do depend more on your particular set up and situation and the dynamics of the particular game. But even then, -3 cost dreadnaughts is also probably a total no brainer (although it might be very expensive; no game handy at the moment).

Quote:
In the first three rounds they probably won't be churning tiles a lot since getting cubes down is more important.


Sure, but even then, having two players pulling from the bag means that each of them are less likely to get the ones they want--I pick 5, you pick 5. Your 5 might have the ones I want instead of my 5. If one player controls the bag, that one player has zero chance of having a tile completely unavailable (due to being in the hands of someone else). If two players share the bag, there is a chance that a tile you want is completely unavailable.

I'm not saying that, like, a sole Octanis player is wildly overpowered. Yeah, the bag draws are random, and even with sole possession of the bag and lots of re-drawing, you still might never see the Evolution you want. But giving one Octanis player sole control of the bag seems, at least for my money, to be bad enough of an idea that it is worth picking Octanis as well, just for the sake of keeping them in check.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
That is my thinking as well. Most of the tiles are highly situational, so unless both Octantis end up with similar resource distributions and situations it is unlikely they will be competing for the same tiles.


Many of them are highly situational. That is true. But +1VP per evolution Tile? Not at all situational. You are the Octanis. You are making Evolution tiles. You want more VPs. That is the least situational thing I can think of. The one that gives you +1 tech per research action. Also not at all situational. If you have a reasonable amount of science production, it fills your tech track. If you suck it up and have limited science, you *still* can then get a double action of Evolving and picking up whatever science you were going to pick up anyway. Also a completely non situational Evolution tile. If you are Octanis, you want both of these. Every game. As they are both completely generically useful all the time.

After that? Yeah, ok, they do depend more on your particular set up and situation and the dynamics of the particular game. But even then, -3 cost dreadnaughts is also probably a total no brainer (although it might be very expensive; no game handy at the moment).


Of course, nearly all of the tiles are "usefull" all the time, but they are not necessarily more usefull than other tiles all the time. So the opportunity cost of not taking the other tile needs to be considered. Hence I believe we disagree on these specific tiles being no-brainers.

Barring any trading or Rare Tech you only get 20 Mutagen per game to spend.

1VP/Evolution
1VP/Tile costs 8 Mutagen, leaving 12 to spend. Most others cost about three. So it gives you about 5 VP. If you stick to the weak ones for 2 Mutagen, it puts you at 7 VP.

For just 6 Mutagen you can get 1 VP/Battle Token (3-4 VP), 1 VP/2 Hexes (2-3 VP) for a total of 5-7 VP.

So, barring any additional Mutagen production, 1 VP/Tile is not your best option and it is therefore situationally dependent on either having stupendous amounts of production to afford more trade ins, getting the rare technology or being able to stick to the weakest evolution tiles to squeeze more VP out of the remaining 12 Mutagen.

And even with the latter you only get up to 7 VP, which is not particularly better than what the 6 Mutagen investment above buys you while leaving the remaining 14 available to do fun stuff with.

+Research
Unless you have very good science production (10+) it will only save you about 1 action per round. So you are spending 5 Mutagen and hence it needs about 5 rounds to break even on the investment, assuming a cost of about 3 Money per Action. And you probably won't buy it before round 2 or 3, leaving only about 7 rounds to use it in ...
So unless you have very strong science production, other tiles are probably more effective for you at 5 Mutagen. Hence it is situationally dependent on 10+ science production, which doesn't generally come around before mid game, if at all.

-3 Dreadnought
That depends on a Dreadnought being the best idea which is dependent on you needing to go on the offensive a lot.
If you have the extra mobility available, Nanobots and decent drives in your ships, I would argue that Interceptor rebate is more valuable (50% building rebate vs 37,5% rebate). This is doubly true if you are more on the defense than offense.


bakija wrote:

Quote:
In the first three rounds they probably won't be churning tiles a lot since getting cubes down is more important.


Sure, but even then, having two players pulling from the bag means that each of them are less likely to get the ones they want--I pick 5, you pick 5. Your 5 might have the ones I want instead of my 5. If one player controls the bag, that one player has zero chance of having a tile completely unavailable (due to being in the hands of someone else). If two players share the bag, there is a chance that a tile you want is completely unavailable.


All Tiles except the "Extra Planet" and the "Building Rebate" tiles come in doubles in the bag.

All the "Action changing", the "+ 1 Battle Token per Battle" and "+1 Colony Ship" and the 1VP/Evolution Tile come in doubles in the bag.

I would argue that the limiting effect you hope to have from two people drawing is negligible in regards to the tiles you are most worried about.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
Barring any trading or Rare Tech you only get 20 Mutagen per game to spend.


There is likely to be *some* trading, I'd imagine, most of the time. I mean, yeah, not a huge amount a lot of the time, but you are gonna probably get more than 20 total Mutagen.

Quote:
1VP/Evolution
1VP/Tile costs 8 Mutagen, leaving 12 to spend. Most others cost about three. So it gives you about 5 VP. If you stick to the weak ones for 2 Mutagen, it puts you at 7 VP.

For just 6 Mutagen you can get 1 VP/Battle Token (3-4 VP), 1 VP/2 Hexes (2-3 VP) for a total of 5-7 VP.


If it turns out that these are going to be better based on what you are doing at the time, you can still get them. The +1 VP/Evolution tile is something you *know* is going to be something that pays off. 'Cause, well, you are buying evolutions. You might not have a lot of territory. You might not have a full run of combat tiles. But you know you are going to have Evolutions. Yeah, sure, if you end up with only 3 of them 'cause you get all the expensive ones, that's a bad move. But in general? Seems like a solid play.

Quote:
+Research
Unless you have very good science production (10+) it will only save you about 1 action per round. So you are spending 5 Mutagen and hence it needs about 5 rounds to break even on the investment, assuming a cost of about 3 Money per Action. And you probably won't buy it before round 2 or 3, leaving only about 7 rounds to use it in ...
So unless you have very strong science production, other tiles are probably more effective for you at 5 Mutagen. Hence it is situationally dependent on 10+ science production, which doesn't generally come around before mid game, if at all.


Yeah, this strikes me as a dubious argument. Having +1 tech tile per research action is far and away the best power in the game. As a single action gets you two techs (that improve your in game position) and also VPs (that improve your chance of victory). I'll give you that the +1VP/Evolution might be less generally useful than I am giving it credit for (mostly due to the high cost), but this one is going to *always* be good to get, assuming you get it reasonably early.

Quote:
-3 Dreadnought
That depends on a Dreadnought being the best idea which is dependent on you needing to go on the offensive a lot.


This one was qualified by "maybe". I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that -3 cost dreadnaughts is *probably* gonna be more useful than -1 cost interceptors in most situations. -1 cost interceptors can certainly be useful in some situations, but in general, I'd think 5 cost dreadnaughts is gonna be more attractive, most of the time.

Quote:
I would argue that the limiting effect you hope to have from two people drawing is negligible in regards to the tiles you are most worried about.


It isn't a matter of "worried". There is nothing "worrying" here. It seems as if giving one player full control of the Evolution bag gives them more of an advantage than they probably need. Much like when your neighbor picks Hydra, and it is to your advantage to pick an aggressive race. If your neighbor picks Hydra, and you choose to not pick an aggressive race, you end up giving them a leg up. Same thing here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
Barring any trading or Rare Tech you only get 20 Mutagen per game to spend.


There is likely to be *some* trading, I'd imagine, most of the time. I mean, yeah, not a huge amount a lot of the time, but you are gonna probably get more than 20 total Mutagen.


Obviously that will be what you want to do, but the question then is: Why are you under so little pressure from your neighbors that you can spare those resources ;-). 6-9 other resources for the cheapest evolutions is a pretty tall order in most games.

bakija wrote:


Quote:
1VP/Evolution
1VP/Tile costs 8 Mutagen, leaving 12 to spend. Most others cost about three. So it gives you about 5 VP. If you stick to the weak ones for 2 Mutagen, it puts you at 7 VP.

For just 6 Mutagen you can get 1 VP/Battle Token (3-4 VP), 1 VP/2 Hexes (2-3 VP) for a total of 5-7 VP.


If it turns out that these are going to be better based on what you are doing at the time, you can still get them. The +1 VP/Evolution tile is something you *know* is going to be something that pays off. 'Cause, well, you are buying evolutions. You might not have a lot of territory. You might not have a full run of combat tiles. But you know you are going to have Evolutions. Yeah, sure, if you end up with only 3 of them 'cause you get all the expensive ones, that's a bad move. But in general? Seems like a solid play.


Well, you know that it pays of for about 5 VP. Winning without a full combat VP track is generally not an option and any less than 2 systems does also not sound like a winning score, hence you can also assume 5 VP for the other version. All I am saying is that I believe that 8 Mutagen can generally be translated into more than 5 VP if you play to the strengths of your board situation rather than the "Vanilla" choice of the VP/Evolution.

bakija wrote:


Quote:
+Research
Unless you have very good science production (10+) it will only save you about 1 action per round. So you are spending 5 Mutagen and hence it needs about 5 rounds to break even on the investment, assuming a cost of about 3 Money per Action. And you probably won't buy it before round 2 or 3, leaving only about 7 rounds to use it in ...
So unless you have very strong science production, other tiles are probably more effective for you at 5 Mutagen. Hence it is situationally dependent on 10+ science production, which doesn't generally come around before mid game, if at all.


Yeah, this strikes me as a dubious argument. Having +1 tech tile per research action is far and away the best power in the game. As a single action gets you two techs (that improve your in game position) and also VPs (that improve your chance of victory). I'll give you that the +1VP/Evolution might be less generally useful than I am giving it credit for (mostly due to the high cost), but this one is going to *always* be good to get, assuming you get it reasonably early.


The ability does two things:
It allows you to buy two techs at a time, which sometimes leads to you getting a good tech AND a cheap tech where you would normaly choose one.
It saves you one action.

With 8 or less Science production you will rarely, if ever, do more than 2 research actions a round. With 2 Mutagen Production you will never do more than one Evolution per round. Without the ability this takes 3 actions. With the ability it takes 2. Hence in most rounds it will save you one action and unless you do a lot of them or have a large empire your last action costs about 3 money throughout most of the game.

It does not really get you a lot of extra VP, since the number of techs you get in total is primarily determined by your science production and rebate patience. It helps you slightly with the rebates. I will give you that.

Hence, it is good if you get it extremely early (turn one or two, when you don't really have colony ships to spare and churn and hence control of the bag is irrelevant) and/or if you have 10+ science/round, where you will often do a third research a round. THEN it is an absolute nobrainer. Otherwise it's not as easy a call due to other strong plays avaiable.
That's why I call it situational.

I am not saying it is a "bad" choice. It rarely is. I just think that the "obviousness" of its benefit may blind a player to many situations where those 5 Mutagen can buy them better options.

bakija wrote:


Quote:
-3 Dreadnought
That depends on a Dreadnought being the best idea which is dependent on you needing to go on the offensive a lot.


This one was qualified by "maybe". I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that -3 cost dreadnaughts is *probably* gonna be more useful than -1 cost interceptors in most situations. -1 cost interceptors can certainly be useful in some situations, but in general, I'd think 5 cost dreadnaughts is gonna be more attractive, most of the time.


Of course there are plenty of situations, where it is a good choice. That's why I call it situational. Because there are both situations where it is the better choice compared to its peers and situations where it is worse.

bakija wrote:


Quote:
I would argue that the limiting effect you hope to have from two people drawing is negligible in regards to the tiles you are most worried about.


It isn't a matter of "worried". There is nothing "worrying" here. It seems as if giving one player full control of the Evolution bag gives them more of an advantage than they probably need. Much like when your neighbor picks Hydra, and it is to your advantage to pick an aggressive race. If your neighbor picks Hydra, and you choose to not pick an aggressive race, you end up giving them a leg up. Same thing here.


I just disagree that another Octantis player is a stronger choice than early agression races as their neighbors. Like any late bloomer race they need to get pressured early before they run away. I just remain unconvinced that "sole control of the bag" is a significant factor in their strength. They are just too flexible to be dependent on any specific combination of tiles. Sure, some synergize better than others for any given situation, but there are plenty of options for them to choose from.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
Obviously that will be what you want to do, but the question then is: Why are you under so little pressure from your neighbors that you can spare those resources ;-). 6-9 other resources for the cheapest evolutions is a pretty tall order in most games.


Fair enough. I mean, like, it seems not unusual for pretty much everyone to trade resources a few times a game, and I can't see how Octanis would be any different. I mean, like, they aren't gonna be mining 10 Mutagen through trade in a given game, but 2 or 3 points? Sure. Especially if they, like, stumble into some resource discoveries--they get, like, +8 Money? I'd be likely to turn 3-6 of that into Mutagen most of the time. But yeah, without the Evolution Tech, +/- 22 Mutagen seems about what'll get spent in a given game.

Quote:
Well, you know that it pays of for about 5 VP. Winning without a full combat VP track is generally not an option and any less than 2 systems does also not sound like a winning score, hence you can also assume 5 VP for the other version. All I am saying is that I believe that 8 Mutagen can generally be translated into more than 5 VP if you play to the strengths of your board situation rather than the "Vanilla" choice of the VP/Evolution.


Sure, but then you can also, like, get +1VP per Evolution and then +1VP per Combat Shield on top of that, and even get the +1 bonus VP for the Evolution :-)

Quote:
It does not really get you a lot of extra VP, since the number of techs you get in total is primarily determined by your science production and rebate patience. It helps you slightly with the rebates. I will give you that.


And it saves you actions. Likely a lot of them. Like, just from a generic standpoint, most of the time, a given play position spends a lot of time (actions) Researching. Even the worst play situation generally sees you Research, like, 10 techs. And if you are doing at all well, you are gonna get twice that many. I mean, yeah, once and a while, you suck and have no science, and don't research much. But then you are losing anyway, and it isn't worth worrying about that. Being able to get 2 techs a turn speeds you up, maximizes your rebates, and gives you a much better chance of filling up your science track (assuming a 4 player game where you don't run into tech scarcity issues :-). This Evolution is gonna get you a lot of benefit, assuming you are doing well at all.

Quote:
I am not saying it is a "bad" choice. It rarely is. I just think that the "obviousness" of its benefit may blind a player to many situations where those 5 Mutagen can buy them better options.


I'm gonna say if you can play it on turns 1-3, it is a total no brainer. If you get to play it on turns 4-6, probably situational. Turns 7-9, fairly corner case.

Quote:
I just remain unconvinced that "sole control of the bag" is a significant factor in their strength. They are just too flexible to be dependent on any specific combination of tiles. Sure, some synergize better than others for any given situation, but there are plenty of options for them to choose from.


I guess we just gotta play more games :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:


Quote:
Well, you know that it pays of for about 5 VP. Winning without a full combat VP track is generally not an option and any less than 2 systems does also not sound like a winning score, hence you can also assume 5 VP for the other version. All I am saying is that I believe that 8 Mutagen can generally be translated into more than 5 VP if you play to the strengths of your board situation rather than the "Vanilla" choice of the VP/Evolution.


Sure, but then you can also, like, get +1VP per Evolution and then +1VP per Combat Shield on top of that, and even get the +1 bonus VP for the Evolution :-)

Quote:
It does not really get you a lot of extra VP, since the number of techs you get in total is primarily determined by your science production and rebate patience. It helps you slightly with the rebates. I will give you that.


And it saves you actions. Likely a lot of them. Like, just from a generic standpoint, most of the time, a given play position spends a lot of time (actions) Researching. Even the worst play situation generally sees you Research, like, 10 techs. And if you are doing at all well, you are gonna get twice that many. I mean, yeah, once and a while, you suck and have no science, and don't research much. But then you are losing anyway, and it isn't worth worrying about that. Being able to get 2 techs a turn speeds you up, maximizes your rebates, and gives you a much better chance of filling up your science track (assuming a 4 player game where you don't run into tech scarcity issues :-). This Evolution is gonna get you a lot of benefit, assuming you are doing well at all.



Well, that's the point: It does not really get you more techs. Maybe one more, because you are more effective at using rebates. But beyond that it just saves you 5 actions (10 techs for 2 techs an action) compared to not having it. So about 1 per Mutagen spent. And, as mentioned before: It is obviously a LOT better if you are doing better on science production and hence end up with 14-21 techs by game end.

I would argue that at the same premise any of the action savers will save you about 1 action per mutagen in a typical game if you buy them in the first round and most of the rebates will save you about 3 resources per Mutagen spent if bought early.

And then they get a lot better if you are in a position to leverage them and hence use their action more (more Material production for more build actions, more science for more research actions, more move actions in a more offensive approach, etc.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
Well, that's the point: It does not really get you more techs.


Sometimes you don't fill up your tech tree 'cause you don't have enough actions. Sometimes you don't fill up your tech tree 'cause you don't have enough science. Getting +1 tech per action saves you from not having enough actions. It does not save you from not having enough science, no, but it also helps mitigate that as you are more likely to have more cheap techs to help with rebates. Being able to spend a single action getting the medium priced tech that you need this instant (Plasma Cannons, Fusion Source, whatever) along with a cheap tech that you wouldn't have purchased otherwise, as you needed the other tech more (Gauss Shield, Nanobots, Fusion Drive, whatever), means you fill up your tree quicker, and can afford more pricey Tech sooner. It snowballs.

If a race has +1 Tech Buy ('cause they are Hydra. Or Octanis with this Evolution), they are generally more likely to have more techs than races that don't. 'Cause getting +1 tech per tech buy makes that possible.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
Well, that's the point: It does not really get you more techs.


Sometimes you don't fill up your tech tree 'cause you don't have enough actions. Sometimes you don't fill up your tech tree 'cause you don't have enough science. Getting +1 tech per action saves you from not having enough actions. It does not save you from not having enough science, no, but it also helps mitigate that as you are more likely to have more cheap techs to help with rebates. Being able to spend a single action getting the medium priced tech that you need this instant (Plasma Cannons, Fusion Source, whatever) along with a cheap tech that you wouldn't have purchased otherwise, as you needed the other tech more (Gauss Shield, Nanobots, Fusion Drive, whatever), means you fill up your tree quicker, and can afford more pricey Tech sooner. It snowballs.

If a race has +1 Tech Buy ('cause they are Hydra. Or Octanis with this Evolution), they are generally more likely to have more techs than races that don't. 'Cause getting +1 tech per tech buy makes that possible.


I think our experiences differ then. Outside of learning games I don't remember ever seeing someone have spare science at the end for lack of actions.

And as mentioned, I do accept that being more efficient about the rebates helps a bit, but I don't think that effect is larger than one or maybe two mid tier techs.

And for Hydrans correlating with lots of tech VP and their ability it is a bit of a fallacy since they also start out with advanced labs and games where they don't have 10+ science by the end of round 3 are rare (and ones that they probably won't win). Edit: and I am guessing for Octantis that there are more people like me that would only get the +1 Research if they had decent research production in the first place.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
I think our experiences differ then. Outside of learning games I don't remember ever seeing someone have spare science at the end for lack of actions.


I think more the point is that if you are taking a regular (non +1 tech) research action, and, say, you have 8 science, you are gonna get the one, more expensive tech that you want to have at that moment, and leave a bit of spare science around. If you have the +1 tech ability, you are more likely to use your science to get two techs, even if doing so is slightly less optimal of a tech pick. If I have 8 science, and I can pick 1 tech per research action, I'm gonna get something that costs 6-8. If I have 8 science, and I can pick 2 techs per action, I'm gonna get something that costs 5-6 and also something that costs 2-3. Which results in more techs in the long run.

As a regular race, I *often* buy, like, a 2 or 3 cost tech on the last turn, just to try and fill out my tracks. If I had the ability to get 2 techs an action, I'd probably have purchased all of those turns and turns ago.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bakija wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
I think our experiences differ then. Outside of learning games I don't remember ever seeing someone have spare science at the end for lack of actions.


I think more the point is that if you are taking a regular (non +1 tech) research action, and, say, you have 8 science, you are gonna get the one, more expensive tech that you want to have at that moment, and leave a bit of spare science around. If you have the +1 tech ability, you are more likely to use your science to get two techs, even if doing so is slightly less optimal of a tech pick. If I have 8 science, and I can pick 1 tech per research action, I'm gonna get something that costs 6-8. If I have 8 science, and I can pick 2 techs per action, I'm gonna get something that costs 5-6 and also something that costs 2-3. Which results in more techs in the long run.


Hm, that does happen occasionally, but hardly more than once or twice in a full game since a) generally by round three or four you will have bought at least Nanobots, Improved Hull, Plasma Cannon, Advanced Robotics and Neutron Bombs if you were able to get your hands on them, leaving only about 3 techs available at that price point and b) before the last 2-3 rounds you are very likely in desperate need of those higher priced techs and at only 8 science and it turns into a choice of buying one essential techs or two very optional ones.

If you buy only 10-12 techs a game, you can afford very few fillers and need to stick to the stuff that gets you the abilities you need as much as reasonable.

bakija wrote:

As a regular race, I *often* buy, like, a 2 or 3 cost tech on the last turn, just to try and fill out my tracks. If I had the ability to get 2 techs an action, I'd probably have purchased all of those turns and turns ago.


That sounds to me like you are saying the tech actually saves you only one action. I am sure that is not what you mean.

Also, if you do that on a last turn, then it is probably for lack of anything better to do, since you probably try to figure out if you could just as well spend that action for anything that gives you more than 1 VP.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Bakija
United States
flag msg tools
Q: Are we not men?
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
That sounds to me like you are saying the tech actually saves you only one action. I am sure that is not what you mean.


No, I'm saying that there are often cheap techs lying around that I didn't get earlier, and would have probably picked up as a side buy if I could have purchased an additional tech with a single action.

Quote:
Also, if you do that on a last turn, then it is probably for lack of anything better to do, since you probably try to figure out if you could just as well spend that action for anything that gives you more than 1 VP.


Well, yes. Sometimes, your best move at a given action on the last turn, however, is to buy a cheap tech that you didn't already get for the VP. If you already had all those cheap techs due to getting 2 techs a buy actions, you'd be using that action to do something else. As your tech tree is probably already full.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.