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Subject: Doomsday Machine solitaire scenario rss

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Steve Armitstead
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Space Empires 4X

Set-up of the Doomsday Machine solitaire scenario

Firstly you are only playing with the basic tokens, so that removes about half of them, and of course only using one player colour. So once the tokens have been sorted it looks quite manageable.

First you place your Homeworld with 3 scout ships, 3 colony ships, a miner and 4 ship yards on the correct hex in your home system. Then you place the 26 home system markers face down in the rest of the hexes in your home system marked on the map. Next (although the rules don’t explicitly state it but I assume) you need to put aside the three Doomsday Machines from the Deep Space counters, and then you put as many counters as needed face down randomly on the rest of the map being played on, leaving five entry points blank

OK ready to play!

You have three turns, each of which are tracked on the board, then the Economic phase.

Turn 1 – only my Scouts can move by themselves into unexplored space, so I move all three into hexes around my Home World. After moving there is no combat to resolve so I can explore the hexes my Scouts are in. I get a Mineral deposit, a barren planet and Andromeda. Good!
Turn 2 – I send a Colony ship to Andromeda and colonising starts immediately. My Miner goes to the Minerals. My Scouts move out again. Exploring I get more Minerals, a Nebula and Prometheus. (Nebulae and Asteroids only affect movement and combat.) Going well!

Turn 3 – My Miner brings home the Minerals worth 5 CP (Construction Points) and I send my second Colony ship off to Prometheus. My Scouts move further out. Exploring I get Minerals and two Planets.

Economic Phase 1 – record 20 CP for my Home World and 5 Mineral CP (one off). Deduct 3 CP for maintenance on my 3 Scouts, leaves me with 22 CP. Great I can now develop (purchase technology Ship Size 2 for 10 CP) and build a Destroyer for 9 CP. It is placed with my Ship Yards.

Next my colony is established producing 1 CP. Lastly, I carry over 3 CP to the next Phase.

That’s it for the first Phase. Easier than I thought and I really enjoyed it! Onto my next one.
Economic phase 2

Turns 1-3 – explored more home system space getting Minerals, Planets and some Asteroids.

Economic Phase 2 – record 21 CP and 4 maintenance, carry of 3 leaves 20 CP to spend. I spend 15 CP for next Ship Size of 3 and 5 CP on another Miner because there is quite a lot of Minerals unclaimed. Lastly my colonies grow, so I have a 3 CP colony in Andromeda and a new one in Prometheus.

I am slowly building my military capacity to take on the first Doomsday Machine to come on in EP 7. I am on Easy level, so the first DM comes in at level 1 (of 10).

Dangers of space exploration

Turn 2 – discovered a Black Hole and rolled a 5 for no effect (phew!).

Economic Phase 3 – have Colony Income of 24 plus 5 for Minerals less 4 maintenance.

Now shall I buy Cruisers or upgrade and wait for Battlecruisers? I could do with some Colony Ships too. Tough decisions!

If I am going to buy Cruisers they may as well have Exploration technology, so I opt to get that and build a Colony Ship too. Total cost 23.

Turn 1 – another Black Hole escaped!

Decision re colonising: do I build close together to defend them or spread them out to slow down the DM getting to them? Spreading out a bit to stop them coming straight at my Home World is also a factor.

Turn 3 – a Scout destroyed, cause unknown!

Economic Phase 4 – have Colony Income of 28 plus 10 for Minerals less 3 for maintenance. I built 2 Cruisers with Exploration technology. At end of phase all 3 original Colony ships have built colonies. So far, so good.

Turn 1 – another Scout got lost and blundered into a Black Hole; I am still waiting to hear from it.

Turn 3 – Scouts (including the one that was lost) are being withdrawn from the increasing dangers of Deep Space to let the more advanced Cruisers take over exploration. They will form a last ditch defence of Terra, the Home World instead.

Economic Phase 5 – have Colony Income of 31 plus 5 for Minerals less 7 for maintenance.

Had to take a break there, getting late and getting tired.

Even though I haven’t encountered the DM yet, I have really enjoyed the game so far.

Second Session

Feeling refreshed I make some important decisions. I decide to expand my Colony Fleet right away. Maybe I should have done this earlier, as playing against DM is different to building an Empire. We’ll see.

Turn 1 – a Cruiser has spotted an unknown danger in a nearby deep space quadrant and launched a warning beacon. Danger averted.

Turn 2 – another Cruiser has done the same in a different quadrant.

Turn 3 – one of the Cruisers has detected an Alien Ship Wreck. These can be a valuable source of technology! A Miner has been diverted to collect the Wreck.

Also three Colony Ships have reached their destination systems well on schedule and colonisation will be able to begin straight away.

That was a very satisfactory era of exploration and expansion. But there is a dark shadow looming over the Empire. Rumours of an old and evil Alien Empire are beginning to circulate...

Economic Phase 6 – have Colony Income of 34 plus 15 for Minerals less 7 for maintenance.

Planned build of a Battlecruiser is shelved as the rumours of the Alien Empire are confirmed. The space wreck is a recent one, and is heavily battle scarred by weapons of immense power. Development plans for a Battleship are hastily drafted.

Turn 1 – A nearby star has gone Super Nova. There is no threat to any inhabited planets, but all ships must avoid the area.

An Alien Doomsday

Economic Phase 7 – Breaking news – an immense Alien vessel is spotted and it is moving towards one of the colonies. It is armed and dangerous; it wreaks havoc on the systems it passes through. Colonists call it the Doomsday Machine!

We have managed to get the other alien craft back to a colony. They have discovered one of the alien technologies is compatible with our existing ones. What luck (rolled a 1); we will be able to build a Dreadnought now, the most powerful warship ever built by humans. It takes nearly all the capacity of our 4 Ship Yards, but I build the Dreadnought with upgraded Attack technology. Impressive!

I just hope it’s a match for anything the Aliens have. Perhaps I had better build some more!

Turn 3 – Dreadnought and a Destroyer race the DM to reach the colony on Eden. Fortunately the small fleet reaches it in time to engage the DM before it can attack the colony

The advanced weaponry of the Dreadnought is able to hit the DM before it can fire first, but sensing the weaker range and defensive capability of the Destroyer it attacks that first. It is able to eliminate the Destroyer before it can get an attack in.

The DM massive weaponry is able to also engage with the Dreadnought and does damage to it.

Tactical decision

Having tested the DM in battle, it is obvious we cannot defeat it without reinforcements. Knowing that the colony on Prometheus has almost completed its defensive base, the decision is made to drop back there to meet with some reinforcements, make repairs and fight a defensive battle. Meanwhile more reinforcements from Terra will be completed and launched.

Unfortunately the abandonment of Eden left the colony to a terrible fate. The DM must not reach Terra at all costs.

Economic Phase 8 – have Colony Income of 40 plus 5 for Minerals less 9 for maintenance.

Purchased a Base and a Dreadnought.

The Battle of Prometheus

The first round of combat was worrying after all four Empire ships failed to hit, but a Cruiser was damaged. After three rounds of combat our forces have fared rather better. Both Cruisers had sustained hits and withdrew to be screened, but the Base and Dreadnought were undamaged. Meanwhile the DM had taken 4 hits. This was a battle to the death; retreat was unthinkable.

Fourth round and a hit each from the Base and Dreadnought, and the DM exploded in a bright fireball that could be seen on Prometheus. Worried Prometheans cheered and partied through the streets as the news broke that the fireball was the DM and not an Empire warship.

The news quickly reaches all corners of the Empire and everyone is optimistic.

Economic Phase 9 – a second DM has been detected, in the worst possible location! On the other side of the Empire, where there are no colony systems between it and Earth in which to hold a defensive battle with a Base. I upgrade my defensive tech and build a new Dreadnought with it. I was planning on decommissioning the old Scouts to conserve resources, but now the threat is so great I will keep them for an extra screen for Terra. You never know they may survive the first round of combat and get a lucky hit in.

Early reports come in that this new DM is bigger and more powerful than the first!

There is just time to recall all fleets to be upgraded by Terran Ship Yards. We will rush out from Terra to meet the DM just outside the Terran system!

Economic Phase 10 – resources are scarcer in war, only have enough funds to build a Battleship and the all important Base for Terra.

Turn 1 – the Battle Fleet heads out to engage the DM. Battle is commenced.

The 3 Dreadnoughts and the Battleship open fire scoring an incredible 3 hits (lucky dice!). The DM retaliates targeting the Cruisers destroying one and hitting the other. After firing the surviving Cruiser drops back behind the heavy ships. They incredibly score four hits (very lucky!) and the second and tougher DM is destroyed. With the advantage of firing first, and a lot of luck the battle has turned out much easier than could have been expected.

I don’t think the next one will be as easy.

Economic Phase 11 – capacity is still a problem I don’t have time or resources to solve. As the next DM is detected I only have enough capacity to build one Dreadnought. All other combinations fail to deliver an improvement in offensive capability.

The next DM appears in the same spot and heads straight for Terra!

Economic Phase 12 – a mistake; I forgot that the DM would not reach Terra before the next EP. I had time to develop capacity or tech before building. I am not sure how it would have affected the position. Anyway I can build another Dreadnought with increased attack.

Turn 1 – our fleet moves out to fight the DM. The fleet scores 3 hits first, and then the DM destroys the Battleship and hits a Dreadnought. We score another 4 hits incredibly with the damaged Dreadnought being screened. The DM scores 4 hits destroying the new Dreadnought.

Tactical retreat

The fleet chooses to retreat to Terra. This will enable damage to be repaired and involve the Base in the combat.

The Battle for Terra

Turn 2 – The Alien Doomsday Machine, heavily damaged, follows into the trap. The powerful defence Base fires first and delivers the Coup de Grace. The final Doomsday Machine is defeated and the Terran Empire is safe once more.

My impression after first game

It was very enjoyable. I liked all the exploration, colonisation and tech development. The fleet building and combat was very good. Unlike my experience with Civ games where the older units are totally outclassed by newer units, here the difference is by degree not magnitude. Plus upgrading them is easy and worthwhile.

I didn’t find the counters fiddly or the book-keeping too much, I quite enjoyed it actually. The tech development is also straightforward.

There were some difficult decisions and resources were scarce at times, but none of it was frustratingly so.

I am eager to take on the Alien Empire scenario, but I might have another DM game on the next level but on the larger map, if needed.

As I said: very enjoyable game play.
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Paul Sacco
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Sauron was not of mortal flesh, he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose & returned to Mordor. There he dwelt, dark & silent, until he wrought a new guise, an image of malice & hatred made visible; the Eye of Sauron.
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One moment only it stared out as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye. The Eye was not turned on them, it gazed north but Frodo at that dreadful glimpse fell as one stricken mortally.
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Fantastic read - as I'm sure you could tell by the thumbs and .
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Peter Kossits
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Just got my copy 2 days ago and haven't broken it out yet. This was exactly what I needed to see. There aren't too many AARs for solo play on here and this was one of the best. So exciting!
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Rodrigo Matos
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Great report, need play this game again
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John Lagerquist
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We played a 3 player co-op Doomsday scenario a few days ago. We lost the first but won the second. It was a great time.
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Steve Armitstead
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Sacco wrote:
Fantastic read - as I'm sure you could tell by the thumbs and .


peterk1 wrote:
Just got my copy 2 days ago and haven't broken it out yet. This was exactly what I needed to see. There aren't too many AARs for solo play on here and this was one of the best. So exciting!


John00 wrote:
Great report, need play this game again


Thanks! I enjoyed doing it and I just told it as it happened. Although it does make the game longer, writing it up was very satisfying. I think it's a very evocative game and easy to narrate; the narrative sprung to mind as I wrote it, and added lots to my enjoyment of the game.

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement; I will try to do some more AARs on solo games I am playing.

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Stephen Dearn
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Really enjoyable read Steve and thanks for documenting your game. I felt i was part of your experience as you must have lived it.
Congrats my friend
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Peter Kossits
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Just wondering if you've tried the Alien Empire solo scenario yet?
I was inspired by this AAR to get my own game on the table and play against the Doomsday machines, It was fun, a great way to learn the mechanics, but a little one dimensional. Last night I started an Alien game and now the game is really starting to shine. The book-keeping is not bad at all to control 2 AI players and it's actually kind of fun doing the rolls to see how the enemies develop. Lots of suspense and tension as you build up and gradually move towards your first military engagements.

I had to laugh. As I played my last turn last night before going to bed, I sent a cruiser to open up a path in Deep Space preparing for my first attack on an alien empire. He flipped a doomsday machine and promptly got clobbered by it. I thought I was done with those stupid things! In addition, the empire I was planning on attacking decided to launch his own fleet shortly thereafter.

From hunter to hunted in a few brief seconds. The fighting starts after I get home from work today. Can't wait!
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Steve Armitstead
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peterk1 wrote:
Just wondering if you've tried the Alien Empire solo scenario yet?
I was inspired by this AAR to get my own game on the table and play against the Doomsday machines, It was fun, a great way to learn the mechanics, but a little one dimensional. Last night I started an Alien game and now the game is really starting to shine. The book-keeping is not bad at all to control 2 AI players and it's actually kind of fun doing the rolls to see how the enemies develop. Lots of suspense and tension as you build up and gradually move towards your first military engagements.

I had to laugh. As I played my last turn last night before going to bed, I sent a cruiser to open up a path in Deep Space preparing for my first attack on an alien empire. He flipped a doomsday machine and promptly got clobbered by it. I thought I was done with those stupid things! In addition, the empire I was planning on attacking decided to launch his own fleet shortly thereafter.

From hunter to hunted in a few brief seconds. The fighting starts after I get home from work today. Can't wait!


I haven't managed to yet; I think I am spreading myself too thin
I have been looking forward to the Alien AI scenario, and the Doomsday Machine was a warm up for it. However, I was a bit surprised how much I enjoyed it! I should get on with the main attraction, shouldn't I?

That's cruel though, flipping a DM at that point. It can only get better laugh


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Peter Kossits
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Fortunately, the Doomsday scenarios only help to a certain point to prepare for the Alien Empire scenario. There's plenty of techniques that still have to be learned, as I found to my dismay last night.

The doomsday machine that I woke up fell quickly to my CV and fighter squadrons. It seems that these doomsday machines are of a much gentler breed. They will kill the ship that discovers them, but after that if a fleet is nearby, they should have no problem dealing with them.

Next, the green alien empire decided to attack. Unfortunately they were outnumbered and outclassed and died quickly. One DD against 4 CA and a CV. This seemed to be more of a simple reconnaissance mission.

Full of confidence my main fleet of 4xCA and a fully loaded CV move onto the green home world to hopefully dispatch one of my two enemies. I failed to bring minesweepers, because up until this point they didn't seem worth it. A single enemy mine explodes, targets my CV and in a flash my 8 units are reduced to 4 as the CV is destroyed and 3 fighter squadrons are stranded. The 2 enemy bases open fire - in the alien empire games, the enemy can have multiple bases per colony rather than the usual one - and easily kill one of my cruisers before I can fire. The other 3 cruisers withdraw, sensing that it is a losing fight. This fleet is now effectively crippled and they must hover for several turns waiting for reinforcements.

On the other side of the galaxy, the red alien is sending its first large fleet forward. It shouldn't be a problem to deal with, but we are a long way from being able to take on their home colony, since their defense budget is 3 times what we saw at the green base.

All offensives on hold until minesweepers can get built and sent forward to both fronts and until we can replace our destroyed CV.

What I really like about the AE scenario, is that once the fleets start getting launched, the pace of the game really slows down and it begins feeling much more epic. I played 10 turns in my first session, but only 2 in my second session. This is definitely a scenario you'd want to leave set up for a few days (and stare at over your morning coffee).
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Steve Armitstead
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peterk1 wrote:
Fortunately, the Doomsday scenarios only help to a certain point to prepare for the Alien Empire scenario. There's plenty of techniques that still have to be learned, as I found to my dismay last night.

The doomsday machine that I woke up fell quickly to my CV and fighter squadrons. It seems that these doomsday machines are of a much gentler breed. They will kill the ship that discovers them, but after that if a fleet is nearby, they should have no problem dealing with them.

Next, the green alien empire decided to attack. Unfortunately they were outnumbered and outclassed and died quickly. One DD against 4 CA and a CV. This seemed to be more of a simple reconnaissance mission.

Full of confidence my main fleet of 4xCA and a fully loaded CV move onto the green home world to hopefully dispatch one of my two enemies. I failed to bring minesweepers, because up until this point they didn't seem worth it. A single enemy mine explodes, targets my CV and in a flash my 8 units are reduced to 4 as the CV is destroyed and 3 fighter squadrons are stranded. The 2 enemy bases open fire - in the alien empire games, the enemy can have multiple bases per colony rather than the usual one - and easily kill one of my cruisers before I can fire. The other 3 cruisers withdraw, sensing that it is a losing fight. This fleet is now effectively crippled and they must hover for several turns waiting for reinforcements.

On the other side of the galaxy, the red alien is sending its first large fleet forward. It shouldn't be a problem to deal with, but we are a long way from being able to take on their home colony, since their defense budget is 3 times what we saw at the green base.

All offensives on hold until minesweepers can get built and sent forward to both fronts and until we can replace our destroyed CV.

What I really like about the AE scenario, is that once the fleets start getting launched, the pace of the game really slows down and it begins feeling much more epic. I played 10 turns in my first session, but only 2 in my second session. This is definitely a scenario you'd want to leave set up for a few days (and stare at over your morning coffee).


It sounds like you are having a great game! I definitely need to get this down again soon. I think I will take your advice too and go on to the Alien Empires scenario. I will have to leave mine down for several evenings and play it in sessions like you are, and I am looking forward to that 'Epic feel' you describe; tremendous.
 
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