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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne» Forums » Strategy

Subject: First game with Ghost of Creuss rss

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Martin Larouche
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I played a game with the Ghosts yesterday.
I played that the flagship cannot go through it's own wormhole (see rather long forum post on this subject)
I won... rather easilly i might add.

4 player game: Ghosts, Yssaril, Arborec and Sol. We were using the alternate strategy from the first expansion, with Trade III and Assembly II from the newer expansion.

The conclusion: however you want to look at it, the Ghosts are among the top tier of races.

My preliminary objective was to destroy a ship in a system adjacent to another player's home system.

Turn 1) expand and get some systems.

Turn 2) Spend my entire resources building the flagship, with the planets taken during turn 1 and numerous trade goods from Trade III. The build was done using the secondary of production.
I had Warfare II, so i moved the Flagship faster since with a move of only one, it has to at least get through the "gate" homesystem that has nothing of interest in it.

Turn 3) Took Warfare II again to make the flagship go faster to bring itself closer to an opponent. At one space per turn. having one more space to cross to reach anything (the Gate home tile), it makes it REALLY slow to do anything before mid-game... Produced some ships at the home system.

Turn 4) Took Warfare II... for the third time in a row... again to make the flagship go faster to be able to reach an system adjacent to an opponent going through an asteroid field doing so... Brought the fleet from home through the flagship.
Researched the racial tech to generate wormholes.
Achieved the preliminary objective by finally reaching a system adjacent to an opponent and destroying a lonely carrier with the Flagship, a destroyer and 2 carriers with 6 fighters and some ground troops.
Got the secret objective to obtain Mecatol Rex with a space dock and 4 dreadnought there.
Using the recently discovered tech, i put a wormhole "B" on an empty system near Mecatol, as Mecatol itself was not empty (custodians were present).

Turn 5) AGAIN had to take Warfare II to move the slow as can be Flagship to Mecatol with it's escort. Took control of Mecatol. Build 3 dreadnoughts on my home system.

Turn 6) Built the fourth dreadnought in my home system using production. Moved the escort fleet away from the flagship, leaving him badly escorted, but with no significant threats around it. The next turn, brought the 4 dreadnoughts to Mecatol and built the space dock in the same activation. I had to move the escort fleet first because of a limited fleet supply... i had so far only focused on Warfare to move the flagship faster and i was using all my resources for either the flagship, the expansive racial tech or dreadnoughts, meaning i couldn't afford more command counters by spending influence. I was starving for command counters.
Luckily, it seems i was always moving the one big flagship fleet around, meaning not a lot of command counters to put on the map to move that one fleet.
Succeeded with the secret objective.
Placed the "A" wormhole from the racial tech on a far away artifact.

Turn 7) moved the entire fleet to the artifact as i didn't care about Mecatol much anymore and secured it going from my own custom wormholes A to B (the ghost can pass from A to B to their leisure). At the end of the turn, the wormhole that was on Mecatol was moved to another artifact, leaving the "A" wormhole on the big fleet with the recently aquired artifact.

Turn 8) moved the fleet through the custom wormholes again, securing a second artifact and gaining victory with the smaller objectives i could complete along the way (techs of the same colors, getting a planet with 1 ground force on it and so on...)
The next players had 6 victory points.

Here's what i discovered while playing them:

- The ghost are the most mobile of forces once they can get their racial tech to generate wormholes and then waiting 2 turns to put both on the map. Put a wormhole under a fleet, put the destination where you want to go next turn. Move there then move the origin wormhole to a new system. The origin wormhole becomes the new "destination" wormhole and vice versa.
Since no one can pop-up on your own fleet using those wormhole, it essentially gives a ghost fleet intant acces to almost the entirety of the board, unless the board is mined by ships on every systems from your opponents as this seem the ONLY way to stop the Ghost from popping up anywhere as they won't be able to put their wormholes.

- The drawback of the Ghosts are their slow as can be Flagship. The only way i could make such a decisive win was by taking Warfare II again and again to move it a bit faster. Their off-map homeworld means it's really hard to attack, but it also means one more system to cross before going anywhere. With only 1 move, it's awfully slow.
Sure, the "teleport anywhere" technique is good, but it takes a LONG time to set-up. Gaining the tech cannot really be done on the first turn since it's so expansive and then you have to wait at least 2 turns to set both wormholes.

- Because the flagship is the fastest way between the board and the home system, it means that the Ghosts tend to only have one big fleet moving around. When you need to bring reinforcements, you need to move the flagship escort away for an action before bringing the reinforcements from the homeworld. This is a crucial step where the flagship is highly vulnerable. It can cripple the Ghost player to no bounds if an opponent gets the timing right to destroy it. It will take him forever to bring that flagship back. The game might be over before the new flagship can actually do anything.

- Having as an entry point on the board a moving flagship means your own planets are much harder to secure. You could still make your reinforcements come the "traditional way", but the flagship needs constant recinforcements too as it will tend to be at the front, near conflict to do a secret objective somewhere most of the time.

- The ghost homeworld is so far that opposing players will have no interest to pick them as a target to attack the homeworld. Especially since the escort to the flagship can come back at any moment to defend it.

- Using the worhhole nexus... if there's an artifact there. The ghost just need to put a lonely ship there and no one will be able to attack him. He'll have scored an easy VP. Opponents cannot attack the Ghosts through wormholes and this is the only way to gain access to the nexus.

In conclusion:
The ghosts are the most maneuverable race of the entire game... but they are highly dependent on their racial tech - which is highly expansive - and on their flagship.
The slowness of their flagship is their ONLY drawback.
Adding to the debate in the other thread, if the flagship could appear anywhere on the map using it's own wormhole from the homeworld, then i would suggest the following racial ability:
"If you pick the ghosts, you win the game immediately".
They would be THAT overpowered.

Also an interesting notion about the Yssaril tribe:
In the latest expansion, they have been nerfed. They are less powerful than they were and that's for sure as another player found out. The reason: the preliminary objectives.
The Yssaril's strength was always in their initial placement. They could position themselves faster than any other race. They still have that ability, but now they cannot position themselves to gain a strategic advantage according to their secret objective as they don't have any.
They can position themselves for having a quickly made preliminary objective and this is what hapenned. The Yssaril were the first to do the preliminary objective to gain +1 VP. But then, the board was set-up by the variious races. When the Yssaril gained their secret objective, they couldn't make full use of their territory grab to position themselves for the secret objective. Tried as they might, they could never complete their secret (to attack system neighboring two homeworlds from two players).
Their main fleet was too close to a single opponent and too far from any other one player to launch an attack.
If they had received such a secret right from the start, he would have split his forces in two and positionned themselves to attack both opponents real fast using his starting units and techs. Now he was all over the place and couldn't re-organize in time.

Edit: added an observation
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Jeff S
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Maybe instead of taking Warfare so much, you could have researched the new blue tech. Dependent on the board layout, but seems the Creuss could get a big speed boost off of it in combo with their racial tech.
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Henry Coleman
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Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?
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Andrew
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boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.
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Martin Larouche
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sirjonsnow wrote:
Maybe instead of taking Warfare so much, you could have researched the new blue tech. Dependent on the board layout, but seems the Creuss could get a big speed boost off of it in combo with their racial tech.


There was no gravity rift anywhere on the board... making that particular tech more than useless.
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Greycloak
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You would still be able to get +1 movement when starting your movement adjacent to a Wormhole. Still dependent an the map though...
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Greycloak
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Question. When placing your starting units, did you place them in either HS? Did you place your GF and FI on the Carrier in the Gate system rather than in the Rift System?

I'm just curious as to if the placement in the Rift only is needed to balance them.
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Andrew
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Aaron Kurtz wrote:
Question. When placing your starting units, did you place them in either HS? Did you place your GF and FI on the Carrier in the Gate system rather than in the Rift System?

I'm just curious as to if the placement in the Rift only is needed to balance them.


They start out with XRD Transporters, making their starting move equivalent to a race that starts out on the board, but without XRD Transporters. There's no reason for them to be able to place starting units in the Creuss Gate.
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Evgeny Reznikov
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Except for the rules as written, you mean?
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Andrew
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azuredarkness wrote:
Except for the rules as written, you mean?


The rules as written don't seem to allow it either. At least not Ground Forces. How about you can place the Carrier in the Creuss Gate if you want, but have to go back to the planet to pick the Ground Forces up?
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Sebastian Adamiak
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wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

Show me that in rules.
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Andrew
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kaimada wrote:
wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

Show me that in rules.

TI3 FAQ/Errata pg. 8 wrote:
Q: When are systems containing matching Wormholes considered adjacent?
A: These systems are considered adjacent for movement purposes only (including Transfer Actions). This means that you cannot fire PDS cannons through, annex planets through, or use the Integrated Economy technology through.

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Greycloak
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Quote:
They start out with XRD Transporters, making their starting move equivalent to a race that starts out on the board, but without XRD Transporters. There's no reason for them to be able to place starting units in the Creuss Gate.


I could see your point if there were not two other races that start with the exact same two starting techs and in the normal place on the board. Also one could argue that Simulated Early Turns (I know, not a great option to begin with) does set a precedent for Ground Forces, PDS, and Fighters being placed on a planet-less system as long as there is adequate support for them.
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Scott Lewis
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azuredarkness wrote:
Except for the rules as written, you mean?

The rules of written do not say you can put your starting forces on carriers.
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Scott Lewis
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wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

I'm confused by what you mean by "technology" purposes. Which technologies are you referring to that the adjacency doesn't apply to?
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Martin Larouche
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Another element i could point out is that the Creuss, at least in my game, didn't populate planets the way other races do.

The other races populate by making a "bubble" around their homeworld and expanding from that point.

The Creuss, not so much. Their gateway to the map is not so much the second "Gate" homeworld, but the flagship itself as it was built very early.

This means that wherever the flagship went, it colonized planets around it. The colonized planets were not around the gate home system, but around a moving flagship.

This means that the Creuss developped an empire that was more a wedge into the map than a bubble around the gate. Some planets adjacent to the gate home world system were left unclaimed for the entire game, including a three planet system as it was just not in the path of the flagship. Ground forces needed were always sent to the flagship and never to claim those nearby systems.

Why? Because the planets around the flagship are, in fact, CLOSER to your homeworld (1 space away) than the system adjacent to the gate system (2-space away).
Where would you rather claim a planet: near a large fleet that's with your flagship even if it's at the other end of the map, or near an empty gate where the bulk of your fleet isn't?

Therefore, it is a moot point that the starting units can start at the home system or at the gate. As it was said, the carriers start with 2 move, meaning they can reach a planetary system on the first turn, even with the gate. From there on, the carrier should dictate planets acquired (it should be built ASAP anyway as it takes forever to enter a meaningful position).

In short, this whole debate doesn't impact the game much at the end. Start with ships wherever you want, the gate or the planet... in the end, it doesn't change a lot for the initial deployment.

The real kicker about that set-up is having to pass the Flashship through an empty system without much interest (the gate). You cannot put a custom wormhole with the racial tech there, meaning that every flagship will need to enter the map the slow, long way before being able to go into any meaningful position (unless you abuse Warfare II like i did i guess). I am pretty sure this is intentional as the Creuss would be overpowered otherwise (they are already strong enough as it is).
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Andrew
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sigmazero13 wrote:
wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

I'm confused by what you mean by "technology" purposes. Which technologies are you referring to that the adjacency doesn't apply to?


What I mean is, when "Gravity Drive" requires you to be "adjacent to a wormhole", I don't believe you can say that you are "adjacent to a wormhole" simply by virtue of the fact that you are in a system that itself contains a wormhole and like-wormholes are considered adjacent.
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Martin Larouche
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Oh also...

You havn't experienced joy in Twilight Imperium 3rd like i have until you have played the Creuss and those things happen (as it did):

- Having a player discovering a new wormhole in a distant suns counter! oh the pure joy!

- Political card to be voted, as requested by the Creuss: "Closing the wormhole gate" turns up. I never saw so much interest in a political action as if it passed, it would have meant:
i) free access to wormholes for the Creuss player as he would be the only one not affected by the law (they are already pretty strong with them in the first place).
ii) a free unclaimed artifact located in the nexus system for the Creuss
I, as the Creuss player, gave a promisory note to the Sol player to let him win with one less victory point if he voted "for". He, of course, agreed.
The other players burned all their trade goods, tried to murder councillors as much as they could and did everything in their power to prevent that law from passing.
In the end, the law didn't pass, 13 votes for and 15 against...
Never saw so much passion for a law in TI3 before
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Scott Lewis
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wardac wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

I'm confused by what you mean by "technology" purposes. Which technologies are you referring to that the adjacency doesn't apply to?


What I mean is, when "Gravity Drive" requires you to be "adjacent to a wormhole", I don't believe you can say that you are "adjacent to a wormhole" simply by virtue of the fact that you are in a system that itself contains a wormhole and like-wormholes are considered adjacent.

Ah, gotcha.

I actually agree with that, to be honest. I think with Gravity Drive, it allows you to slingshot around those gravity anomalies. But if you start next to the anomaly you want to slingshot around, you aren't going to get the desired effect

(Granted, movement doesn't have to be THROUGH the Rift/Wormhole system, so the analogy doesn't completely fit, but it's good enough for me).
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Fedor Syagin
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Interesting indeed. I have couple of questions.
Which wormhole you used on turn 5 to get to mecatol? I know you placed one next it as exit point - was there a wormhole right next to homeworld planet you invaded or you have put one there at turn 5 but didn't put that in description?

You are not playing with distant suns tokens I assume?

Otherwise solid play. Congratulations on good luck with secret objective (with particular strategy you selected it indeed was a nice pick.)
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Martin Larouche
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garfielder wrote:
Interesting indeed. I have couple of questions.
Which wormhole you used on turn 5 to get to mecatol? I know you placed one next it as exit point - was there a wormhole right next to homeworld planet you invaded or you have put one there at turn 5 but didn't put that in description?

You are not playing with distant suns tokens I assume?

Otherwise solid play. Congratulations on good luck with secret objective (with particular strategy you selected it indeed was a nice pick.)


I went the "slow" way... I moved there using again.., Warfare II the old fashioned way. the wormhole next to it could have been used, but it was the same distance to make (2 systems).

And yes, there was another wormhole discovered with a distant suns token where i was (which answers your second question).

The thing is, we usually don't play with the distant suns, but we wanted to try the new space domain counters and we thought it didn't make sense to use those new ones without their counterparts.

The space domains were very fun and i doubt we'll play without them. The Sol and Arborec player fought over a derelict space station discovered in empty space (that gives it's owner 1 less victory point required to win the game). There never was so much fighting for an empty space system in any game before.

So, i now doubt we'll play without space domain counters anymore. And i guess the distant suns won't be far behind as it would look weird to have one and not the other.
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Sebastian Adamiak
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wardac wrote:
kaimada wrote:
wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

Show me that in rules.

TI3 FAQ/Errata pg. 8 wrote:
Q: When are systems containing matching Wormholes considered adjacent?
A: These systems are considered adjacent for movement purposes only (including Transfer Actions). This means that you cannot fire PDS cannons through, annex planets through, or use the Integrated Economy technology through.


But are you sure it is also about Ghosts?
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Andrew
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kaimada wrote:
wardac wrote:
kaimada wrote:
wardac wrote:
boxjuggler wrote:
Thanks for the write up. As Jeff says the new tech would help move the flag ship 2 most of the time, if the speed bonus counts connected wormholes as adjacent?


Wormholes are adjacent for movement purposes only. While the tech does affect movement, Wormholes aren't adjacent for technology purposes, just movement.

Show me that in rules.

TI3 FAQ/Errata pg. 8 wrote:
Q: When are systems containing matching Wormholes considered adjacent?
A: These systems are considered adjacent for movement purposes only (including Transfer Actions). This means that you cannot fire PDS cannons through, annex planets through, or use the Integrated Economy technology through.


But are you sure it is also about Ghosts?


How could it possibly have changed as pertaining to the Ghosts of Creuss?
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Sebastian Adamiak
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Coz I thought that if it was going to be just "normal wormhole" there would be:
"you may treat Wormhole A as if it was B and B as if it was A". Here we've got treat Wormhole SYSTEMS as if they were adjectent. That's why I am not sure.
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Andrew
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kaimada wrote:
Coz I thought that if it was going to be just "normal wormhole" there would be:
"you may treat Wormhole A as if it was B and B as if it was A". Here we've got treat Wormhole SYSTEMS as if they were adjectent. That's why I am not sure.


I'm not sure about the distinction you are trying to make, but I'm sure that all wormholes work the same general way.
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