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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Game Eight rss

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Jon Snow
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Game Eight 4 ½ hours
Nick III: Federation Marlon: Klingons Victor: Romulans Chas: GM

With the opportunity to teach three new players at once, I opted to just be Game Master this time. So the long playing time included a moderate period of me introducing the rules. Everyone was very cautious, and didn't connect their territories. The Federation found the richest, but was handicapped a bit by finding no civilizations, since Hegemonizing is their advantage. The Klingons never developed more than five systems. The Romulans found more, but three were Phenomena. The Exploration card (“Conference”(?) once again allowed all to trade without first contact. The Klingons found civilizations, but lost five times on a 50% chance to Hegemonize a Warp II civ which was the first one they discovered! The Romulans were having similar but less dramatic trouble with the civs they found.

This was partly because ships on the table were very thin, and most disappeared during colonization efforts. Eventually fleets appeared, as The Federation and the Romulans reached Ascendancy Level 2. Both of these powers commissioned two Star Bases, but the Klingons were late in building just one.

Much later on, with all systems out on the table, there was still no contact, although connections could still be made with just space lanes in the now crowded galaxy. As the Feds had the highest culture node count and culture income, it was clear that they would be declared the winners, even if the game was not finished, as midnight was approaching and had been called as the time limit.

As the last turn began, the Federation was still ahead on resources and culture income. The Klingons surprisingly passed on their last opportunity to connect with either of the other rivals. But the Romulans had had enough; they connected with the Feds and successfully attacked, winning one Space Battle, passing the planet there, to conquer another system and then the Earth itself!

Who won in a technically unfinished game? I proposed giving the win to the Romulans, evaluating their now superior culture income. But the others agreed that if the game continued, the Feds could strike back and retake the Earth, as the Roms didn't have any backup for their now depleted attack fleet. And the Klingons could connect to either player and come in. So we called it a Three Way Tie. Everyone had a great time with this new design (as usual).
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Chris Schenck
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Wow, that was a very strange session. Sounds like the Romulan player started to get the right idea, but too late to do much about it.

The group turtling should have given the Fed player a big benefit, but I guess as a new player he didn't really know how to press it to his advantage.

I'm glad everyone had fun! It'll be interesting to hear how their playstyles change now that they have some experience. The real fun starts when they start incorporating table-talk and negotiation. I've learned this rarely happens in a first game, since players are focusing on learning the rules and basic tactics.

What are your thoughts on that conference event? In theory it should quickly ramp up the speed of the early game. But it sounds like maybe it contributed to the turtling behavior with this group.
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Jon Snow
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Chris,

I love the cards that shake the game up. These include Conference, Lost Colony, Q, The Traveler, Orion Trader and others.

The Conference card actually encourages more player interaction by introducing the trade mechanism. So ultimately I think it helps break down isolation.

Game Nine, just submitted, will show yet another totally different game. And yet, most of the players are of course new. So you're right. I do try to include a few "Advanced Player Tips" now when I teach it--the few that I've figures out so far. I'll have to make a list of these! Of course, eventually you're not just playing the game, but the other players. For example, in Game Nine as the Klingons I tried to appear totally inoffensive rather than ferocious, in a game where not only was one player a newbie, but I hadn't even met him before!
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Thomas Landy
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Would love to see some video sessions. :-)
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