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Subject: Hero balance and drafted ships with empire points/balance rss

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UA Darth
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Two separate questions here.

The hero is the only difference between starter decks. My group found Baron Viktar(I believe that was his name)'s ability to be the weakest by far. You have the option to sacrifice up to three ships to each grant 1 extra ground point. Does anyone else find this to be completely underwhelming compared to the other heroes?

I also found that whomever happened to have the first turn marker when a ship came out that gave empire points just essentially got the freebie. It was a draft 7 cost and gave 5 empire points(with a 4 bonus that I don't think is worth it if you have it out during the final turn). This is imo gives too many empire points for the relatively small cost, to be determined by luck(turn order).

What do you guys think?
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Andrew Parks
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Hi, UA Darth.

Others will weigh in with their experiences, but just wanted to answer based on our playtests:

1) Baron Viktor can be one of the most powerful Heroes in the game if used with a Starfighter strategy. Yes, he is weaker early on because all you have are Snub Fighters. But, late in the game his versatility can be massive. For example, imagine in Sector 5 you have 2 Claw Fighters (3 Fleet Strength each) and an Argossian Gunship (5 Fleet Strength). With Viktor out, you now essentially can convert all 11 Fleet Strength into 11 Ground Strength as needed. Or perhaps you can just convert some of it at your discretion. For example, you can have the Gunship convert its 5 Fleet Strength to 5 Ground Strength but keep the 6 Fleet Strength from the Claw Fighters. In such a versatile position, you will be completely unpredictable to your opponents, and will probably be able to take any Core World that you want.

2) The Sector 4 ships worth Empire Points are partially a balancing mechanism, giving an advantage to players who will not go first during Sector 5. Also, drafting the World Ship (which is worth 5 Empire Points) costs 9 Energy, and drafting the Goliath (which is worth 3 Empire Points) costs 7 Energy. For some players, 7 - 9 Energy is most of their Energy, and those players will be unable to do much else during that Round. Another player can conquer a Sector 4 World worth even more Empire Points and set up for Sector 5 if they keep their Energy available. In other words, while it's nice to draft those Units, doing so can cost you other opportunities vital to winning the game.

Thanks,

Andrew
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Marco Wong
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shadow9d9 wrote:
Two separate questions here.

The hero is the only difference between starter decks. My group found Baron Viktar(I believe that was his name)'s ability to be the weakest by far. You have the option to sacrifice up to three ships to each grant 1 extra ground point. Does anyone else find this to be completely underwhelming compared to the other heroes?

I also found that whomever happened to have the first turn marker when a ship came out that gave empire points just essentially got the freebie. It was a draft 7 cost and gave 5 empire points(with a 4 bonus that I don't think is worth it if you have it out during the final turn). This is imo gives too many empire points for the relatively small cost, to be determined by luck(turn order).

What do you guys think?

During my last game (which is also our first), 1 player gets 5 startfighters on board together with the Baron. That way He's ultra-versatile and we other 3 could hardly guess what would be his next target. He is also the one who got the 5 Empire Point ship and he won the game at the end.
 
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UA Darth
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Andrew Parks wrote:
Hi, UA Darth.

Others will weigh in with their experiences, but just wanted to answer based on our playtests:

1) Baron Viktor can be one of the most powerful Heroes in the game if used with a Starfighter strategy. Yes, he is weaker early on because all you have are Snub Fighters. But, late in the game his versatility can be massive. For example, imagine in Sector 5 you have 2 Claw Fighters (3 Fleet Strength each) and an Argossian Gunship (5 Fleet Strength). With Viktor out, you now essentially can convert all 11 Fleet Strength into 11 Ground Strength as needed. Or perhaps you can just convert some of it at your discretion. For example, you can have the Gunship convert its 5 Fleet Strength to 5 Ground Strength but keep the 6 Fleet Strength from the Claw Fighters. In such a versatile position, you will be completely unpredictable to your opponents, and will probably be able to take any Core World that you want.

2) The Sector 4 ships worth Empire Points are partially a balancing mechanism, giving an advantage to players who will not go first during Sector 5. Also, drafting the World Ship (which is worth 5 Empire Points) costs 9 Energy, and drafting the Goliath (which is worth 3 Empire Points) costs 7 Energy. For some players, 7 - 9 Energy is most of their Energy, and those players will be unable to do much else during that Round. Another player can conquer a Sector 4 World worth even more Empire Points and set up for Sector 5 if they keep their Energy available. In other words, while it's nice to draft those Units, doing so can cost you other opportunities vital to winning the game.

Thanks,

Andrew


Does the balance with the empire point giving ships hold true with the variant that essentially lets everyone have a chance to claim the core worlds?

Even if 7-9 is most of their energy, it is certainly still more points than claiming a world at that time...
 
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Andrew Parks
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Hi, UA.

The Variant does not eliminate the turn order advantage completely, particularly in regard to claiming the Prestige Cards.

Regarding high VP Units, remember as well that Sector 4 Worlds also provide Energy as well as VPs. I'm not saying the high VP Units are not worth it. It is simply that they are rarely the deciding factor amongst experienced players.

Andrew
 
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Eric Taylor
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Honestly, we've found that Simon the Fox is trickiest to use well. Not necessarily bad per se, but tricky. All the others seem to be about equal, but they've obviously go their own shticks.
 
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Andrew Parks
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Snipafist wrote:
Honestly, we've found that Simon the Fox is trickiest to use well. Not necessarily bad per se, but tricky. All the others seem to be about equal, but they've obviously go their own shticks.


Here's the key to Simon's success: use your Home World's power to discard cards during the Energy Phase that you can then pull out of the discard pile with Simon. Also, try to draft some of the early combat Tactics (like "War Room" and "Native Alliance"). Discard them for the extra Energy point during the Energy Phase, then play them from the discard pile with Simon.

The other nice thing about Simon is that he enables you to discard all your cards at the end of the round (rather than keeping a key Tactics in your hand, as many players do), and then pull that Tactics out of the discard phase during the following round.

But you are correct: using Simon well can be tricky. Would you expect anything less from a guy nicknamed "The Fox"?

Andrew
 
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Eric Taylor
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Andrew Parks wrote:
Snipafist wrote:
Honestly, we've found that Simon the Fox is trickiest to use well. Not necessarily bad per se, but tricky. All the others seem to be about equal, but they've obviously go their own shticks.


Here's the key to Simon's success: use your Home World's power to discard cards during the Energy Phase that you can then pull out of the discard pile with Simon. Also, try to draft some of the early combat Tactics (like "War Room" and "Native Alliance"). Discard them for the extra Energy point during the Energy Phase, then play them from the discard pile with Simon.

The other nice thing about Simon is that he enables you to discard all your cards at the end of the round (rather than keeping a key Tactics in your hand, as many players do), and then pull that Tactics out of the discard phase during the following round.

But you are correct: using Simon well can be tricky. Would you expect anything less from a guy nicknamed "The Fox"?

Andrew


Oh I agree on how to use him, and it's a good trick in general. The problem is that if you can't quite set up for a planet invasion quickly enough, your discard piled gets shuffled back into your main deck and then Simon has nothing to draw from. Otherwise, he works pretty well. Double Feint, Native Alliance, and War Room are all great with him.
 
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Andrew Parks
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Agreed, that's happened to me a few times, and it does indeed make things tricky.

And yes, I had forgotten about using him with Double Feint. Nothing infuriates an opponent more than when you yank out your Double Feint with Simon. That would be what Frank Herbert refers to as "plots within plots."

Did I mention that the picture of Simon used in our prototype was of a Ninja?? ninja
 
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Lukasz Biernat
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The problem with Baron Viktor is that you have to pay energy and lose actions to deploy those starfighters first. So the extra ground power for Baron costs A LOT resources to set up. We really dislike that guy.
 
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Eric Taylor
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Biernath_John wrote:
The problem with Baron Viktor is that you have to pay energy and lose actions to deploy those starfighters first. So the extra ground power for Baron costs A LOT resources to set up. We really dislike that guy.


We find we prefer his "kamikaze" ability because it keeps him very flexible. He can just grab up ground troops and starfighters and have a lot of versatility in going after mid air/mid ground planets or low air/heavy ground planets. It's like a very selective use of double feint almost.
 
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UA Darth
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Snipafist wrote:
Biernath_John wrote:
The problem with Baron Viktor is that you have to pay energy and lose actions to deploy those starfighters first. So the extra ground power for Baron costs A LOT resources to set up. We really dislike that guy.


We find we prefer his "kamikaze" ability because it keeps him very flexible. He can just grab up ground troops and starfighters and have a lot of versatility in going after mid air/mid ground planets or low air/heavy ground planets. It's like a very selective use of double feint almost.


I only see this possible in the late game. As said already, his ability requires other disposable ships to be paid for to get on the ground.

Other heroes get abilities that you could use right away for cheap.
 
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Eric Taylor
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shadow9d9 wrote:

I only see this possible in the late game. As said already, his ability requires other disposable ships to be paid for to get on the ground.

Other heroes get abilities that you could use right away for cheap.


Not really. A lot of the early planets are relatively low defense (usually 3 points spread between air and ground), which means Baron Viktor and two Snub Fighters are enough to take almost anything you want. It's also good for "blocking" other players off from planets they want and leaving them only with planets they can't take.

I also fail to see how Chancellor Augustus, Simon the Fox, and Prince Aaron are good early-game choices. In the early game, doing most anything takes exactly one energy but actions are scarce, so Augustus doesn't really help much (he's great mid-to-late game when you start deploying more expensive infantry, though). The early-game in-combat tactics are overkill, and hence near-worthless for taking the low-defense starting planets, making Simon of very limited value (once again, he's good for mid- and late- game when you get more tactics and the bonuses from Tight Formation and Coordinated Assault can be clinch). Prince Aaron's bonus to other starships is also largely overkill in the early game and he is similarly "meh" until the higher-defense planets start coming out in the mid-game.

The only other good early game hero is Lord Banner, who can single-handedly conquer ground planets on his own, which is good all game long, although I would argue less so as the game goes on (because he's a bit of an energy pig for what he does).
 
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