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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Game Seven rss

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Jon Snow
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Game Seven 2 1/2 hours (Chas Klingons, Nick Federation, Nick II Romulans)

An almost solid belt of Phenomena walled me as the Klingons off from Federation territory, in yet another major variation on possible system table set ups. The “Conference(?)” Exploration Card let us all trade with each other without connection. I haven't read through the Exploration Cards on purpose, and they are always surprising us quite a bit! So I concentrated on expanding on my own local area and building nodes. But the Romulans connected with the Federation Whereupon the Federation attacked them and pushed them back several systems.

The Federation and Klingons both got to Ascendancy Level Two. After the Romulan player suggested a route I hadn't seen to connect up to Federation territory, I put two fleets into Warp for a while, as well as a single ship. Meanwhile I was getting Production counters from trade with both while they stopped trading with each other. Also, the Fed ships and fleets all moved over to the conflict area they had with the Romulans, probably figuring I wouldn't be able to get through to their space.

The Feds were getting many Research tokens by putting single ships into Phenomena. These single ships could mess me up by forcing my fleets to stop and have to risk the Phenomena hazards! Then one Fed ship was finally destroyed by a hazard, and I pounced!

In the most complex coordinated Warp move I had every managed, first my single ship connected two Phenomena, one from my side and one from the Feds' side. It was destroyed, but it had done its job. Both my Four Warp Fleets traversed all the danger zones, appearing out of warp to Invade one of their three node planets with a Star Base but no ships. I took it over. With only a half hour left to play before the store where we were gaming had to close, I offered to analyze the situation with the others.

I had plenty of Commands left,, and could easily now take over Earth, not far from my recent conquest. The Romulans had little to stop me because the territory into which they had been pushed back was relatively resource poor. So with one “Pearl Harbor” maneuver (surprise attack) on Sherman's Planet, a quick but unexpected stroke won me the game, as the others decided to concede. Final score Klingons 2 Ascendancy, Federation 2, and Romulans 1.

Although we counted it as a Supremacy Victory, because I was just completing the tech that would give me a free ship on each of my planets (of which there were a good eight at least), it could have just as easily been considered as an Ascendancy Victory, since at this point I was gaining five Culture tokens a turn, and could have started building one of those big golden tokens each turn!

I was happy because it was my first Klingon victory. And I had been roughly handled by Klingons in previous games. However, I think this kind of win could have been executed by any faction, since I won it without having to fight a single Space Battle, and only one Invasion.


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Nova Cat
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I'm interested in the fact that no one got above ascendancy 2 after 2.5 hours. Was everyone just hyper-focused on military? Was no one producing culture, or was it just being spent somewhere?
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Jon Snow
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In many of my games, we've too busy using the Culture tokens otherwise to rush ahead in Ascendancy. There has been some criticism of that, which I don't understand. Leaving yourself unable to build colonies or etc. seems to be a quick road to economic/military defeat! Producing Culture is in fact always a priority with us, for obvious reasons.

Its also been true in several games that a runaway leader has forced concession before actual game end. This has usually been the result of an overwhelming military campaign which then adds valuable territory to the victor while taking it away from a rival. Sometimes the third player is not in a position to immediately come in and balance that out.

While its too early to criticize the game design, I don't see any sense in criticizing all of the half dozen or so very good players here either. More likely I'd just guess that the game is not finished yet without some expansions and a slightly larger player count. (But where will I find the extra table space required?) After all, with the Cardassians available at GenCon, it would seem that most demo games there were in fact Four Player situations.

The last thing I want to do is conclude that there is a design flaw, and I don't think there is. But our games seem to resolve before most of the advancement tech can be developed, most of the ships built, most systems explored or many weapons/shield enhancements made. I don't have a problem with that, but it seems not to be the experience of some others here.
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Angelus Seniores
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the game is set to be fast, and indeed most tech will normally not yet be developed by game's end.

i think its a choice that players have to make regarding culture, sometimes its better to just collect what you get than trying to spend it to acquire more planets/nodes.
its finding the right tipping point where additional culture spending is actually slowing your ascendancy process than speeding it up.
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Chris Schenck
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I think what some folks are now experiencing is a playstyle issue, rather than a design issue. The game will adjust itself based on how it's played. If players concentrate on military, it's going to result in a militaristic victory. If players focus on infrastructure and exploration/ascendancy, it'll result in an ascendancy race. I think that's a great feature of the game, not a deficit.
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Grish
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Thanks for posting about all the games you've been playing
 
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Alex Almond
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Btw you don't have to go into the hazardous systems to blow up the ships in them.

You still have to waste commands clearing them out but there's no hazard risk.

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Jon Snow
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Alex,

Of course--good point. As the others learn the rules, they can also help me avoid my own mistakes, made in the heat of a game!
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