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Subject: Tranship Point strength/drawback? rss

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Tibs
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Tranship Point is a zero-cost world that is worth 2VP. My immediate thought is that, like Pilgrimage World, it will have some drawback (to clarify: PW forces you to be mindful of the fact that you'll have zero goods left after every consume, which can change your strategic options in a profound way).

Its special abilities are -1 to settling a rare element world, and before producing, you move all your rare element goods on top of the Tranship Point card. This effectively frees those worlds up to produce more rare element goods.

Forgive me, but I don't see the drawback. Am I missing or misunderstanding something critical? Are the relocated goods functionally penalized in some way?
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Mark Delano
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From my experience I would say Tranship Point is tougher to use well than Pilgrimage World. PW is an easy world to throw down late and collect a pile of points on a Consume/X2. Tranship Point requires setting up to take advantage of the rare element collection. Otherwise it is just a -1 on Rare worlds.
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Pilgrimage World doesn't necessarily have a drawback, although it does definitely have that potential. If you have a lot of production (say, 5 goods per produce) and no consumption, it's one of the quickest and cheapest ways to set up an 8 VP per 2x cycle.

Based on a couple of plays with Tranship Point, it does not have any real negatives, but both positives are fairly situational. The big issue is that even if you store a bunch of Rare goods there, when are you going to have time to actually use those goods? It does make a naked Produce safer, but you may wind up with more goods than you have time to consume if the game is near ending.

Both planets are Gray 0/2 Civilian planets, and actually are somewhat synergistic for the reason I just mentioned. The key thing to consider is that both take a Settle slot without actually giving you any production or goods, and the benefits they provide are situational. 2 free points is nice, but often a 0 or 1 point planet that can make goods will be better, and your opponents will have an opportunity to place those during that Settle.

Is TSP typically better than Pilgrimage World? Yes, I think so, but I don't think it's a huge difference and they're both kind of niche plays that make a nice insurance policy if you're afraid of not having enough cards when Settle is called.
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Noble Knave
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frunkee wrote:
From my experience I would say Tranship Point is tougher to use well than Pilgrimage World. PW is an easy world to throw down late and collect a pile of points on a Consume/X2. Tranship Point requires setting up to take advantage of the rare element collection. Otherwise it is just a -1 on Rare worlds.


To elaborate on this point a bit, PW is potentially gangbusters late game in a high produce, low consume tableau, but can be a liability to play early or mid-game if it disrupts your Trades. TSP is a safer play early or mid-game, but the benefits it provides don't have the same explosive potential and may not get used at all.
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Tom Lehmann
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kungfro wrote:
Forgive me, but I don't see the drawback. Am I missing or misunderstanding something critical?

It's a "gray" world, that neither produces nor consumes a good, takes a Settle tempo to place, and costs you a card in hand that could have been spent to place something else.

These are opportunity costs. They are real.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
It's a "gray" world, that neither produces nor consumes a good, takes a Settle tempo to place, and costs you a card in hand that could have been spent to place something else.

These are opportunity costs. They are real.


Disregard the Settle tempo and "costs you a card" remark, because that applies to every possible card you could play. Every card played from your hand is one you can't spend, after all.

So then, why would I want to pick Refugee World (for example) over this? Refugee World is worth 1 fewer VP, and docks me a military. Its only benefit is that it is a novelty windfall, but that means, just like Tranship, it doesn't produce or consume a good. If you counter by saying that the proper card will help produce windfall on RW, then too the proper card, indeed cards, would benefit from the Tranship rare-good move. AND Tranship lets you settle some worlds more easily.
Edit: Likewise, I could get a card on RW with a Produce action. But that's also an additional burden, just like a windfall-producing card.

My concern is that, compared to other cards of similar cost and similar printed VP, Tranship Point seems far superior. Does moving the rare goods make them less viable for use or something?
 
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Tom Lehmann
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kungfro wrote:
Disregard the Settle tempo and "costs you a card" remark, because that applies to every possible card you could play.

Exactly. That's what an opportunity cost *is*. Look up the term. Just because a cost is shared with other things doesn't mean that it isn't a cost. Sometimes, not playing a card is the right move in RFTG.

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why would I want to pick Refugee World (for example) over this? Refugee World is worth 1 fewer VP, and docks me a military. Its only benefit is that it is a novelty windfall, but that means, just like Tranship, it doesn't produce or consume a good.

This is just false. To produce a good on Refugee World, simply call Produce. If you have, say, Old Earth and just Tranship Point instead, you can call Produce all game long and no good will ever appear.

The extra good from a windfall world can often allow a player to enter Produce/Consume 2x one round faster (by being one step further along in building your "engine"), which may well be the difference between winning and losing.

Quote:
Compared to other cards of similar cost and similar printed VP, Tranship Point seems far superior.

I disagree. Situationally, Tranship point might be better or worse than Refugee World, Dying Colony, or Pilgrimage World. Context is everything.
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John
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kungfro wrote:
Tranship Point is a zero-cost world that is worth 2VP. My immediate thought is that, like Pilgrimage World, it will have some drawback.?


My first thought on seeing the card was to make the same comparison. However I've not seen it used effectively yet (I've only play ~20 games, but still). Settle discounts make the 0 cost less important in AA too.

I think I'd far rather have Mining Robots, yes it costs 2 & only worth 1 but it has two powers I might use and scores an extra 2VP for Mining League.

kungfro wrote:

So then, why would I want to pick Refugee World (for example) over this? Refugee World is worth 1 fewer VP, and docks me a military. Its only benefit is that it is a novelty windfall...

Last turn when you're doing a produce consume strategy & have more consume powers than goods then Refugee World world is worth 3 VP (1 face value, 2 for it's good - I'm assuming your excess consume power is card -> 1VP)
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Exactly. That's what an opportunity cost *is*. Look up the term. Just because a cost is shared with other things doesn't mean that it isn't a cost. Sometimes, not playing a card is the right move in RFTG.

I know full well what opportunity-cost means. And, yes, I didn't mention playing Produce; clearly I won't intentionally play Produce if I have nothing to produce, so that's kind of a null example. And "not playing" can also apply to any number of cards, so it's again not relevant here. In case there is still confusion, my original question was essentially: "shouldn't this card cost more than zero or be worth fewer VP?"

Right, okay, it's situational. I get it. I'm interested in the stats report in the far future, in any case.

zabdiel wrote:
Settle discounts make the 0 cost less important in AA too.

Last turn when you're doing a produce consume strategy & have more consume powers than goods then Refugee World world is worth 3 VP (1 face value, 2 for it's good - I'm assuming your excess consume power is card -> 1VP)

Interesting points. So one kind of needs to be nurtured, but the other is more of a desperate-move or quick-vp/good sort of thing.
 
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kungfro wrote:
I know full well what opportunity-cost means. And, yes, I didn't mention playing Produce; clearly I won't intentionally play Produce if I have nothing to produce, so that's kind of a null example. And "not playing" can also apply to any number of cards, so it's again not relevant here. In case there is still confusion, my original question was essentially: "shouldn't this card cost more than zero or be worth fewer VP?"


It's certainly not a null example. If you have 2/3 other Production worlds, there's a good chance you'd want to call produce. In that case, Refugee World is strictly better unless you have spare Rare goods floating around you want to cache and can actually use later.

TSP doesn't cost more than 0 or is worth fewer than 2 VP because Tom and company decided that was where the planet was at the balanced point relative to other similar planets. You can agree or disagree with that premise, but there's plenty of people arguing here that it feels pretty balanced there. Tom even mentioned that it's so niche that it was pretty bad at 1 cost; I think a similar argument could be made for if it were 1 VP.
 
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I specified that Tom's example of "If you have, say, Old Earth and just Tranship Point instead, you can call Produce all game long and no good will ever appear" is null because I wouldn't choose Produce in that case.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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kungfro wrote:
it's again not relevant here

No, it *is* relevant. Dismissing arguments as irrelevant -- instead of addressing them -- doesn't advance a discussion; it's just contradiction.

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my original question was essentially: "shouldn't this card cost more than zero or be worth fewer VP?"

Not quite. Your original post contained the assumption that zero-cost worlds must "have some drawback" to balance them. This just isn't true. Zero-cost worlds are balanced, in part, by the opportunity cost of simply playing a card.

Richard Garfield has written about how the Ornithopter (0/2, flying, artifact, 0 mana to place) was a breakthrough for him in truly understanding Magic's costs. It was with this card that he realized that Magic cards had an opportunity cost of being in a deck -- that some other cards weren't in a (minimum size) deck or being drawn -- and that he could design 0-cost cards without them being inherently unbalanced.

You say you understand the concept of opportunity cost, but by assuming that any card with zero cost has to *have some drawback to balance it*, this certainly raises the question in my mind of whether, in fact, you truly *do* understand this concept.

You wrote that Pilgrimage World has a drawback (correct; it has several) without acknowledging that it can also be a huge win (in certain circumstances). This resulted in several posts by others pointing this out.

You then wrote that a windfall world is the same as Tranship Point, in that "it doesn't produce or consume a good". This is false. A gray world without consumption nor windfall production can't be a (straight-forward) part of a produce/consume "engine"; any (single) windfall world can trivially be part of one, due to the Produce bonus.

So, to address your restated question -- Tranship Point is not under-costed due to A) opportunity cost and B) because -- unlike Refugee World, Dying Colony, or Pilgrimage World -- it cannot easily be part of a Produce/Consume "engine", since it neither can directly supply a good nor supply consumption. It can supply goods (via storage) over time, but -- as various posters have pointed out -- in practice, this is fairly hard to arrange within the limited length of a RFTG game.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
No, it *is* relevant. Dismissing arguments as irrelevant -- instead of addressing them -- doesn't advance a discussion; it's just contradiction.

That's not really fair. I immediately addressed it then and earlier: I said that all cards offer opportunity-cost by virtue of the fact that they must be spent from the hand (and use a Settle action) to be played. Since all cards do this, then it's not a drawback that's specific to this card more so than other 0-cost cards (or even any-cost cards). I was asking, then, about in-play drawbacks.

One thing I hadn't considered was time-of-game utility, and as others pointed out, Pilgrimage World is far more likely to rake in VP late in the game. Tranship is only useful as a late-game play if you happen to be making a fair amount of rare goods already.

Quote:

Not quite. Your original post contained the assumption that zero-cost worlds must "have some drawback" to balance them. This just isn't true. Zero-cost worlds are balanced, in part, by the opportunity cost of simply playing a card.

But that's still one card fewer than a 1-cost world, so I would imagine that such a world's utility must be weaker, on the average, than a 1-cost world. Tranship's printed abilities are 100% benefit, and it still offers 2VP, so I had to ask. It sure seemed like too-good of a deal. It obviously doesn't have to impose some direct disadvantage.

Quote:

You say you understand the concept of opportunity cost, but by assuming that any card with zero cost has to *have some drawback to balance it*, this certainly raises the question in my mind of whether, in fact, you truly *do* understand this concept.

Well, a zero-cost card technically does have a drawback: on average it's less powerful or useful or worth fewer points than a costlier card (or should be).

Quote:

You wrote that Pilgrimage World has a drawback (correct; it has several) without acknowledging that it can also be a huge win (in certain circumstances). This resulted in several posts by others pointing this out.

Yes, that (those) was a very good point. This relates to my failure to consider time-of-game plays.

Quote:

You then wrote that a windfall world is the same as Tranship Point, in that "it doesn't produce or consume a good". This is false. A gray world without consumption nor windfall production can't be a (straight-forward) part of a produce/consume "engine"; any (single) windfall world can trivially be part of one, due to the Produce bonus.

Yeah that thought was a bit rushed. I was ignoring the Produce bonus, because the option of having to select Produce to refill that windfall world is the opportunity cost here. But both Refugee and Tranship require additional cards to "do their thing" automatically.

~~~~

Well, okay. I'll handle Tranship with some new perspective. Thanks everyone.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
No, it *is* relevant. Dismissing arguments as irrelevant -- instead of addressing them -- doesn't advance a discussion; it's just contradiction.

Look, I came here for an argument.
(sorry, couldn't resist) meeple


I never thought about this before, but now I'm imagining a game where you get tranship point out early with some brown worlds, build up a whole lot of brown goods on tsp, then place pilgramage world near the end and consume x2 all those goods with one card.

This will probably never happen, but it sounds cool in my head.
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Michael Grankin
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The main drawback IMO is that it is just a poor settle - in game where each settle action is precious, Tranship Point is very low on priority list due to not producing/consuming/costing a lot of points.
 
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Tranship Point has a major drawback - It is a card that you want to play early but not only does almost nothing by itself, it actively encourages you to do nothing with your goods for a while too. Where are your cards and points then coming from? The settle discount for brown worlds is nice but situational (and imo settle discounts bonuses are much weaker on worlds than on developments) and the special ability requires very specific circumstances to do anything at all - you need an excess of brown production early on and an excess of consume abilities later on. Most of the time you have better options than losing a tempo when working around those weaknesses in your tableau/hand.

Finally as someone else stated 2 points for free is not all that special in AA.

 
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You are right that Pilgrimage World, in the worst case scenario, is worse than Tranship Point. But you don't play cards for their worst case scenario.

Really, any card with a mandatory consume power has the potential to work against you. That doesn't make them worse than non-consuming cards.

You can think the "risk" of Pilgrimage World consuming all of your goods as a slight extra cost. With that extra cost, comes extra opportunity (the points you get from the consume). In many cases, this will make it the better pick against Tranship Point.

Overall, I don't think there is much value on comparing cards on the basis that they have the some cost and point value - it's a very arbitrary thing to focus on.

Dropships and Space Marines are more directly comparable than these two cards.
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kungfro wrote:
I specified that Tom's example of "If you have, say, Old Earth and just Tranship Point instead, you can call Produce all game long and no good will ever appear" is null because I wouldn't choose Produce in that case.
I thought the argument was having ANY windfall world instead of TP has the advantage that it can give you access to a good. Not so much whether or not you'll call V itself.

kusinohki wrote:
Tom Lehmann wrote:
No, it *is* relevant. Dismissing arguments as irrelevant -- instead of addressing them -- doesn't advance a discussion; it's just contradiction.

Look, I came here for an argument.
(sorry, couldn't resist) meeple


I never thought about this before, but now I'm imagining a game where you get tranship point out early with some brown worlds, build up a whole lot of brown goods on tsp, then place pilgramage world near the end and consume x2 all those goods with one card.

This will probably never happen, but it sounds cool in my head.
I'm sure it can happen, but there just seems a lot of ducks in a row to line up first.
 
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ackmondual wrote:
kusinohki wrote:

I never thought about this before, but now I'm imagining a game where you get tranship point out early with some brown worlds, build up a whole lot of brown goods on tsp, then place pilgramage world near the end and consume x2 all those goods with one card.

This will probably never happen, but it sounds cool in my head.
I'm sure it can happen, but there just seems a lot of ducks in a row to line up first.

That was the first thing I thought of when I saw tranship point. I've not seen it happen, in fact I don't think I've seen more than one good on it and most games when it's played it's been because it was either play that or skip the settle.

Edit - my wife says I'm wrong as she's played TP and used it properly.
 
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zabdiel wrote:
I've not seen it happen, in fact I don't think I've seen more than one good on it and most games when it's played it's been because it was either play that our skip the settle.

I've had one game where i played TP "properly". It was very hard to play and a long time ago, so i don't recall too much. But i definitely got a glimpse of how to V V V x2 x2 x2 with it. Pretty sure it involved a brown for 2vp power.
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I have felt better about calling V when I'm sitting on top of a mountain of brown goods with TP. If no1 calls IV, then the V won't go to waste, as the goods go to TP and I'll get a new batch of Rare Elemental goods.
 
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I suppose in that scenario it allows you to use any draw if you produce powers too.
 
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A few weeks ago I had my first (!) win ever with the Pilgrimage World. Somehow I can't usually make use of it. It was in a 3 player game - it may be easier in 2P Advanced.

Of course 2 VP for 0 cards is nice in itself, no two ways about it. Good to keep in your hand just in case someone drops a Settle. But I'm talking about the Consume power.

To make good use of Pilgrimage World, you need to have unbalanced production. Much more production than consumption, ideally (?) no consumption at all since PW can satisfy all your Consume needs. So... what else goes well with mass production ? Merchant Guild! 2VP per production world, AND juicy +2 cards in Produce.

* * *

Dozens of games and I still can't make spectacular use of Transship Point. Yes, 2VP is nice, yes, brown discount is nice. But that produce power...

It could make a hilarious win when you win a tie-break with it.

Okay, I have an idea! TP + TP combo. The first TP is Terraforming Project. You play Tranship Point (or Pilgrimage World) for 0 cards, then place a fat planet for 0.
 
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I've once got Tranship Point to work well. There's a world (forgot the name, sorry!) which consumes all remaining goods for N-1 VP. Dropped Tranship at the start, then developed for the rest of the game, leeching on others' Produce calls to build a stack of goods. Then last Settle dropped the consume world for, I think, a 9 VP bonus. Mainly I was building 6 devs for free off the various discount and rebate devs.

Not a game winner in itself, but a very nice bonus to a non-produce-consume engine.

Cheers,
Graham
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Serge Levert
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therealbuserian wrote:
I've once got Tranship Point to work well. There's a world (forgot the name, sorry!) which consumes all remaining goods for N-1 VP.

Pilgrimage World, it's in almost every post in this thread. ;) Your play sounds like a good use of the combo.
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