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Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit» Forums » General

Subject: We broke this game . . . but we still love to play rss

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Brian Schlichting
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I've played this game about 40 times now, mostly with my friend Kevin. All of the different gameboards and unique strategies make this massive dice roller a blast to play.

The thing is, in the last 30 games we've played, only 3 have been won by the Trade Federation. Of course, some of this has to do with the style players we are, but here's what we've found.

Naboo Palace Rush Strategy

The goal of the Naboo player is to get and play as many Window Ledge cards as possible, and there are a lot of them. If you are lucky enough to draw 4 in your opening hand, the game is over before it begins. The rush the palace strategy seems to only be able to be countered by a series of REALLY bad dice rolls. Rush the palace wins about 90% of our games.

Here's why. The players have 4 options - obviously, the Jedi battle, Ani, Naboo, and the Palace. If the Naboo player concentrates solely on the palace, the game comes down to card draws for good palace cards to play, where the Naboo player has a serious advantage. Darth Maul cards, while are plentiful for the TF, are almost useless. Darth Maul cannot kill both Jedi and get to the palace in time to counter a palace rush, and the alternative is moving one or two droids with those cards - almost useless versus the 4 or 5 characters that are moved with the Naboo player's palace cards.

Unless you get a horrible draw at the beginning of the game, the Naboo player can usually have at least a couple of guards on the third floor in the first turn, and enough to make a play for victory in the second or third. This keeps the battlefield cards from getting played much. Sure, those bonus cards are nice, but if the Naboo player is rushing the palace, the TF player HAS to counter with his Darth Maul cards (using them to move droids), or the game will be over in a turn or two at most.

In a palace rush strategy, you NEVER play an Anakin card, and you play a Jedi card ONLY when you have no other viable option, which is almost never. You play a battlefield card ONLY when you don't have a palace card to play, and if you win in the battlefield, you draw palace cards. The Trade Federation player now has limited options. Darth Maul will not kill both Jedi in time to save the palace, so those cards are useless. Ani is not in the game, so starfighter cards are useless. So it comes down to playing every powerful palace card the TF draws, and then using battlefield cards to draw more palace cards.

Like I said, after about 30 games purposely using this strategy, 90% of the wins go to the Naboo player.

Still, the game is a blast, and we have been purposely agreeing to fight some of the other battles for the sheer fun of it. It's a bummer that our experience is that the game is "broken" in this way - but that doesn't keep us from playing. This is still a great game. It just makes the game all that much more challenging for the Trade Federation player.

I wonder if others will have the same experience. Try a Naboo palace rush strategy. Do not be tempted to play any other cards, PALACE ONLY, and if you don't have any, battlefield to get palace bonus cards. If possible, use the palace guard marching (non-window ledge) cards first to get them forward on the first floor, and mercilessly play every window ledge card to move guards up to the third floor. If you don't make any tactical errors (counting out spaces and such) you should be able to move every palace guard to the third floor every time you use a window ledge card, and have 6 to 12 of them up there by turn 3. Always shoot at destroyers until they are dead, worry about the battle droids later, as the TF player can usually only use one or two of them each round anyway. If you get the cards a bit late (the draws aren't so good) and the TF is able to block the windows, don't lose faith. Go to the second floor instead and take the stairs. Forget about the Jedi - let them die, chances are you will win before that happens anyway. Forget about Ani, the TF ends up with some pretty useless cards when starfighters are just blockers in his hand. I'm fairly confident you'll have the same results.
 
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Ken B.
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Brian...unless I'm missing something, not only do you have to have Palace majority, but you must ALSO blow up the TF battleship with Anakin as well. From reading your post, it's not clear if you are following that rule or not.

Last we played, the Fed managed to do a number on the palace and get majority in the throne room, but Anakin got stuck. I managed to get some Destroyers far enough to take a few potshots at Obi, and finally I did him in before Anakin could bust through the last space.
 
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Martin Villemaire
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Yeah I made the same discovery, although I didn't play the game nearly as much as you did. (10 or so times)

We introduced the fix that to get to the 3rd floor with the window ledge movement, you must start next to a window on the 2nd floor... so it takes two cards to do it.
 
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Ken B.
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From the FAQ:

"Does Anakin HAVE to reach the control ship to win?

No. It is possible to destroy all the droids manually and then have a majority in the throne room without Anakin ever reaching the control ship."


This of course assumes that the Gungans can slaughter the droids on the battlefield, which is certainly no mean feat. It's technically possible but I don't think I've ever read about it being done.



On a tangent, a good hand of Anakin cards can in fact end the game prematurely, assuming some lucky rolls. Not much that can be done about that.
 
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Matthew M
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PopeBrain wrote:

In a palace rush strategy, you NEVER play an Anakin card, ...Ani is not in the game, so starfighter cards are useless.


How is this possible? I think you may be playing incorrectly.

The game only ends if all the TF droids are destroyed. Just making it to the throne room isn't enough. This can be done the hard way, but is typically done with Anakin. If the NA player has three surviving units in the throne room at that point he wins - having units in the throne room alone does not win the game. If at any point the NA alliance player has fewer than 3 units in the palace, he loses.

Thus even if you rush the palace, ignoring Maul means he will likely emerge from the reactor core untouched, making it relatively easy for him to cut through the rest of the NA palace units before Anakin can make it through the fighters.

-MMM
 
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Steve Cates
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The rules say on page 13
Quote:
Winning the Game:Naboo Forces: The Naboo player wins when he/she shuts down the driods... AND (emphasis added) has a majority in the palace throne room.


I have yet to see the Naboo win (3 plays) so I was surprised to see you say it was broken the other way.

We've followed the same strategy, get people in the throne room early, but the hard part is holding it long enough to take out the droid ship. The trade federation can hack down your troops like wheat and getting in the throne room seems to be the only defense. Read the strategy.txt file on the file section of BGG for more.

I think you'll have a lot more fun with the game once you fix it.
 
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Brian Schlichting
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Oh my . . . 40 games and we played it wrong every time. shake I think our games will be longer now. There were mahy games where we ended it in turn 3 or 4 by getting a majority in the throne room. Amazing how fun the game is playing it wrong . . .

I guess we can forget about my fine strategy article.

"We broke this game ... " how right I was.

Move along . . . nothing to see here.
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Vinay Chandrasekhar
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My experience has been that it is difficult for the Naboo forces to win. It is hard to rush the palace for me because:
1) If you ignore Maul and he survives then he will likely wipe out the naboo forces before anakin completes his journey.
2) A good TF player will usually block the easy window ledge movement

I feel the TF player has an edge because of the advantage in the battle field that can generate bonus cards. Overall a very TACTICAL game.
 
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