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Subject: Is Plasma Missile a must-pick technology? rss

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stephen biggs
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tublefou wrote:
100% missile offensive forces are easily countered.
In the example given here, just pop as many star bases with 5 Improved Hulls as needed to survive the blow. Then the attacker would have to retreat.

If you have turtled to the point where their is only 1 hexes to enter/leave your territory that might work. If you have to spread defense over 2 hexes. You can't build enough starbases.
 
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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XAos wrote:
If you have turtled to the point where their is only 1 hexes to enter/leave your territory that might work. If you have to spread defense over 2 hexes. You can't build enough starbases.

- Your DN would be easily pinned to the hex where I build the starbases.
- One such starbase survives one of your DN. So 2 starbases are enough to resist your 2 DN, leaving 2 others to defend other hexes.
- Attacking consumes more actions than defending, so it's likely I can wait until you pass to pop the starbases on the right hexes. Not even talking about what I can do with my actions until you pass.
- I do not have to rely only on starbases, standard vessels can be used too.
 
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David Jackman
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rook2pawn wrote:
Imagine a player gets Plasma Missles and Gluon Computers, then amasses a large fleet of super cheap Interceptors armed with one Gluon and on Plasma Missles each. That immediately should change the dynamics of the game. To that end, YES, plasma Missles warp the game sufficiently.

In Magic The Gathering, any card in a specific format which warps or completely changes the game is usually banned. Just saying.

I was in a game where I picked up Gluon Computer and no other Gluon Computer tiles came down, then I picked up the Plasma Missles and no other Plasma Missle tiles came down and had a 6 turn Technology lock on Gluon and Plasma Missles.



So, in this example, you have 8 plasma missiles that hit on a 4-6. That is an average of 16 damage.

if you have -1 shields, then the average amount of damage is reduced to 10.6.
If you have -2 shields, then the average amount of damage is 5.3.

Not exactly mind blowing for 24 materials worth of ships sporting two very expensive techs.

Look - its rock, paper, scissors.
The best counter against missiles is good HP and shields.
The best counter against good HP and shields is antimatter cannon.
The best counter against antimatter cannon is high initiative ships.
The best counter against high initiative ships is - you guessed it - missiles.
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Ian Kelly
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Saan wrote:
So, in this example, you have 8 plasma missiles that hit on a 4-6. That is an average of 16 damage.

if you have -1 shields, then the average amount of damage is reduced to 10.6.
If you have -2 shields, then the average amount of damage is 5.3.


Gluon computers are +3, so they hit on 3-6. The average damage would then be:

21.3 damage unshielded
16 damage with -1 shields
10.7 damage with -2 shields
5.3 damage with -3 shields or more
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David Jackman
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Peristarkawan wrote:
Saan wrote:
So, in this example, you have 8 plasma missiles that hit on a 4-6. That is an average of 16 damage.

if you have -1 shields, then the average amount of damage is reduced to 10.6.
If you have -2 shields, then the average amount of damage is 5.3.


Gluon computers are +3, so they hit on 3-6. The average damage would then be:

21.3 damage unshielded
16 damage with -1 shields
10.7 damage with -2 shields
5.3 damage with -3 shields or more


oops. Got confused on my computer types.

Well, if I remember right, both of those techs cost around 14? for 28 points of research, 21 hits, on average, isnt that crazy at all.
 
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Steve W
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I'm not really sure why people go with interceptors as their PM boats. If you want to go with one computer, then it's eating up half of your useful slots. If you do a one computer design on a cruiser, it's only 1/4 of your slots, and even less on a dreadnought. Not to mention the cruiser is more cost effective and more Move action effective.

Pinning's a difference, sure, but overall I think you're way better off using the larger classes for your computer (or shield) heavy designs.
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Ian Kelly
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MrThud wrote:
I'm not really sure why people go with interceptors as their PM boats. If you want to go with one computer, then it's eating up half of your useful slots. If you do a one computer design on a cruiser, it's only 1/4 of your slots, and even less on a dreadnought. Not to mention the cruiser is more cost effective and more Move action effective.


One reason is to keep the initiative high. A dreadnaught is likely to get fired at twice after it fires its missiles, before it's able to retreat. An interceptor with a gluon computer and a good drive, probably only once. If you're using all your space for missiles and don't have any hull, you may thus take fewer and cheaper casualties with the interceptors.
 
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Jim Schroder
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rook2pawn wrote:
I was in a game where I picked up Gluon Computer and no other Gluon Computer tiles came down, then I picked up the Plasma Missles and no other Plasma Missle tiles came down and had a 6 turn Technology lock on Gluon and Plasma Missles.


Were there special circumstances that allowed this? I'm wondering if this could happen easily or if it's a very rare sequence of events that allowed it.

How did you pay for those two techs by the 4th turn? What ships did you put them on? How many did you build?
 
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Steve W
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Peristarkawan wrote:
One reason is to keep the initiative high. A dreadnaught is likely to get fired at twice after it fires its missiles, before it's able to retreat. An interceptor with a gluon computer and a good drive, probably only once. If you're using all your space for missiles and don't have any hull, you may thus take fewer and cheaper casualties with the interceptors.

True, but you're giving up 50% of your damage to retreat one turn earlier against a presumably larger enemy fleet. I guess whether that's a good tradeoff really depends on the makeup of the enemy fleet, but overall to me it feels like you're generally better off with the cruisers. Also, you have the option of using 2 x computer cruisers, which should generally give you equivalent initiative to the interceptors at higher accuracy and the same firepower.
 
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Chris Miller
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Jim1701 wrote:
rook2pawn wrote:
I was in a game where I picked up Gluon Computer and no other Gluon Computer tiles came down, then I picked up the Plasma Missles and no other Plasma Missle tiles came down and had a 6 turn Technology lock on Gluon and Plasma Missles.


Were there special circumstances that allowed this? I'm wondering if this could happen easily or if it's a very rare sequence of events that allowed it.

How did you pay for those two techs by the 4th turn? What ships did you put them on? How many did you build?


Interesting, I didn't even think of that when I read that post. I can't see how it would be possible to afford both of the techs by turn 4.

And not sure if your other question was rhetorical but I would say it is indeed a very rare sequence where these two technologies only came up once in a game. That would depend on the number of players in the game of course, in a 2 player game it's a bit more likely but still not very.
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Chris Miller
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MrThud wrote:
I'm not really sure why people go with interceptors as their PM boats. If you want to go with one computer, then it's eating up half of your useful slots. If you do a one computer design on a cruiser, it's only 1/4 of your slots, and even less on a dreadnought. Not to mention the cruiser is more cost effective and more Move action effective.

Pinning's a difference, sure, but overall I think you're way better off using the larger classes for your computer (or shield) heavy designs.


My guess is for the low cost of deployment and the number that you can have in play at once. It's probably not the most effective use given the difficulty of moving a large fleet but the prospect of facing a large number of interceptors with PMs is scary.
 
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Tom W
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Well you all play however you like but 6 games now with every permutation of anti-missle fleet you can do just cant stop missles. 2 dreads each with a -2 shield, one or two 2 + 3 computers, 1 plasma cannon, and the rest (2 or 3 slots) missles; put two of them together add a few cruisers missled out too and theres no hope, even with the shield / lots of hull designs. there realy arnt that many options its fairly easy to try them all against each other

It makes me feel bad (a little) that when I teach people this game and just teach it straight forward; I wait till maybe 6th or 7th turbn, then buy missles and slaughter the lot of them. After that they all hate missles so much they are al open to the following house rule:

Tech: Shard Hull.. 14/7. Gives four hull points per slot

.

Antimatter cannons do 5 points of damage

leave missles the way they are.


The above fix has worked well for us. Now I know the BGG is notorious for fanatical devotion to all our various points of view, so I dont frankly care if you like this idea or not; but for those who dont like missles note the following with the above rules:

Missles still rock
Shard Hull makes missles nigh useless
Antimatter cannons make shard hull nigh useless
a whole bunch of interceptors makes antimatter cannons nigh useless
MIssles make a bunch of interceptors night useless


everything has a counter, and it tends to encourage combined-arms fleets.



Flame away! I wont check any of the replies. I have ruined enough games with plasma missles that my buddies have adopted the above solution whole heartedly, so well be too busy having fun.


 
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Chris Miller
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Burrito_X wrote:

Flame away! I wont check any of the replies.


Why bother posting at all?

In case you decide to reply to my reply (because I know you'll read it despite what you said) I would like to know how the actual game score outcomes were in the games you've played where missiles dominated?
 
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Iron James Rackham
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Burrito_X wrote:
Tech: Shard Hull.. 14/7. Gives four hull points per slot
Antimatter cannons do 5 points of damage

As far as variants go, this doesn't seem that bad (fwiw I don't really think the missiles are overpowered, but I can see why many have issues with them), but I do think Shard Hull would need some energy consumption since the only thing that beats it, Antimatter, draws huge amounts of power.
Furthermore, you didn't say which track it goes on. And now there are two different techs in the 14/7 slot of that track, how do you handle that? And how many Shard tiles are there in total?
 
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Russell Bryan
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Burrito_X wrote:
It makes me feel bad (a little) that when I teach people this game and just teach it straight forward; I wait till maybe 6th or 7th turbn, then buy missles and slaughter the lot of them. After that they all hate missles so much they are al open to the following house rule

Excellent strategy. Ambush your friends so that your preconceptions go unchallenged. Be sure to rinse their brains thoroughly after washing.

I, of course, discussed effective strategies and the relative strengths of technology and weapons with my friends before and during the game. You know, 'cause they're my friends, and I like them.
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Tery McAlister

Louisiana
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What I don't like is that at end-game plasma missiles simply turns into whoever goes first wins. Earlier in the game you can usually balance it out with additional hulls or shields or whatever - but with an end-game sized & optimized fleet it just comes down to whoever goes first - especially in missile vs missile fights.

In one particular game on the final turn 2 star bases of mine (1x Gluon, 4x Plasma Missile as Hegemoney) took out 2 dreadnoughts, 3 Cruisers, and 4 Interceptors simply because they went first.

This feels degenerate to me.

The 'fix' I think doesn't lie in tweaking the tech to include energy, or in removing the tile, or anything along those lines. It involves one simple game rule


page 20 wrote:
Missiles
All Ship types of each player equipped with Missiles fire their Missiles in Initiative order. You roll two orange dice for each Missile Ship Part.


Should become:

page 20 wrote:
Missiles
All Ship types of each player equipped with Missiles fire their Missiles simultaneously. You roll two orange dice for each Missile Ship Part.


This would, I think, promote a more mixed and balanced ship design. Additionally a fully focused missile build would be vulnerable to a standard build that includes a single missile part.
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Chris Berger
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Maeltne wrote:
page 20 wrote:
Missiles
All Ship types of each player equipped with Missiles fire their Missiles in Initiative order. You roll two orange dice for each Missile Ship Part.


Should become:

page 20 wrote:
Missiles
All Ship types of each player equipped with Missiles fire their Missiles simultaneously. You roll two orange dice for each Missile Ship Part.


This would, I think, promote a more mixed and balanced ship design. Additionally a fully focused missile build would be vulnerable to a standard build that includes a single missile part.


I'm not sure whether or not this is necessary for balance reasons, but I like this rule simply because it makes more sense thematically (and doesn't seem to unbalance anything.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Maeltne wrote:


page 20 wrote:
Missiles
All Ship types of each player equipped with Missiles fire their Missiles in Initiative order. You roll two orange dice for each Missile Ship Part.


Should become:

page 20 wrote:
Missiles
All Ship types of each player equipped with Missiles fire their Missiles simultaneously. You roll two orange dice for each Missile Ship Part.


This would, I think, promote a more mixed and balanced ship design. Additionally a fully focused missile build would be vulnerable to a standard build that includes a single missile part.


I played my first three games thinking this was the standard rule.

Something else I think might be interesting following this idea ... rather than having missiles blow up both sides, you could have missiles blow up other missiles. Thematically you would say that the heat seeking missiles targeting computers locked onto the opponents missiles. I know it would certainly change the balance of things!

As it is, in my group missiles are not dominating.
 
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Chris Miller
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For those that are suggesting that PMs are too powerful, I'd really like to know how many games you have played and in how many of those games did the possession of PM technology determine the actual game winner.

I maintain that most of the feelings towards PM technology is because of the effect it has on combat, although those rounds of combat had little effect on the actual victory point totals and determining the game winner.

This isn't meant to be a game of just ship to ship combat, so combat effectiveness isn't meant to be perfectly balanced. There are many paths to victory and combat is not crucial to all of them, I feel it's not the easiest either.
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Jim Richardson

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I think most people are perfectly capable of determining how much combat affects the overall game. It's not relevant in terms of analyzing the brokenness of any given ship tech. Whether it determines 5% or 50% of Eclipse games doesn't matter. What matters is its comparison to other weapon choices.

It's clear that a weapon that always strikes first, hits for 4 damage AND requires zero power is broken, in spite of its limitations. The thread should focus on analyzing and redressing that problem, not sweeping it under the rug.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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ParticleMan wrote:
It's clear that a weapon that always strikes first, hits for 4 damage AND requires zero power is broken, in spite of its limitations. The thread should focus on analyzing and redressing that problem, not sweeping it under the rug.


It's worth noting that it's not "clear" that the Plasma missiles are broken. Ideas for variants are great since at least some folks do have a problem with it, but you can't just say by fiat that "it's clearly broken."
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Chris Miller
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ParticleMan wrote:
I think most people are perfectly capable of determining how much combat affects the overall game. It's not relevant in terms of analyzing the brokenness of any given ship tech. Whether it determines 5% or 50% of Eclipse games doesn't matter. What matters is its comparison to other weapon choices.

It's clear that a weapon that always strikes first, hits for 4 damage AND requires zero power is broken, in spite of its limitations. The thread should focus on analyzing and redressing that problem, not sweeping it under the rug.


If that is how you feel then I would be interested in knowing what your actual experience is with playing the game. What your saying is the same as someone claiming that Wormhole Generators are broken because they allow a player to move across borders that other players cannot, and therefore give an obvious unbalanced advantage that can't be matched without having to adjust your plan to compensate.

Wormhole generators are powerful and unbalanced in how they affect mobility. Mobility is a large part of the game, therefore Wormhole Generators affect the game in a negative way. Or, Wormhole Generators by themselves do nothing to ensure a player will win a game, they are just one of many tools to facilitate that end.
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Jim Richardson

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I've played Magic the Gathering on and off since 1994. In Magic a lot of the deck-building strategy is based on finding and exploiting the broken cards. Due to that game I've gotten into the habit of analyzing any aspect of any game to determine its relative brokenness.

I may have overstated it for emphasis. But plasma missile, as currently written, is overpowered. I have no interest in further debating it with you since your opinion isn't going to change. I am content knowing it from my own experience, and in being in the clear majority opinion on the issue.

As for wormhole generator -- I can't yet state whether I consider it broken/overpowered for the cost, but I can address important differences in the techs:

- WG is mostly for offense; PM can be used equally for offense and defense
- WG doesn't help you that much if your fleets suck (and if your opponents have any skill at the game, to avoid/resist stock inty neutron bombing)
- PM is very useful against ancients and GCDS, WG is primarily PvP

That last bit is quite important since at least in my case, most of my play group remains very averse to PvP. They want to be "nice." Last game, 2/4 players turtled hardcore, and WG tech was on the board (unbought) the entire game. I was busy fighting the 3rd player (Eridani), and would have purchased WG round 9 to grab a few key VP systems from the turtling players, but was forced into other more straightforward actions (holding the center) due to too much Eridani opposition to my fleet.

PM remains overpowered in all cases, regardless of how much people are turtling.
 
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Dan Bigmore
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ParticleMan wrote:
I may have overstated it for emphasis. But plasma missile, as currently written, is overpowered. I have no interest in further debating it with you since your opinion isn't going to change. I am content knowing it from my own experience, and in being in the clear majority opinion on the issue.

I think this was my favourite bit. zombie
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Joseph Cochran
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You know, every time I see this thread I have to wonder what the other players are doing in these overpowered PM games. How is it that people are able to get these ridiculous fleets of PM ships and move them around the board seemingly at will: do their opponents not react to what they're doing? Have they just fallen into a groupthink situation where they roll over and capitulate as soon as someone gets PM?

PM is not a cheap technology and that it takes some serious resources to build a fleet of multiple gunships (not to mention the computers that also seem to "always" be there), so what in the world are the opponents doing that lets the PM player get that big of an economic engine lead? And if the PM player DOES have the resources to make mega-PM fleets, isn't that kind of a sign that they're probably doing really well in the game anyway?
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