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Subject: 10 things I've learned losing to Keldon rss

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James Sitz
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I had played maybe 50-100 face to face games, mostly 3-4p. I tried a bunch of 2p advanced games this last week against the AI and I learned some things that should be obvious and others that were a little counterintuitive to me. I played about half with just the base game and half with TGS.

These are my early thoughts. I'd like some direction from some veterans.

1) It really is a race. If you don't set up your engine or card flow in a hurry, you'll lose. There's also a huge difference between scoring 4, 6, or 8 points per consume cycle. It's also important to see how quickly your opponent is scoring.

2) Having cards is important. If you set your IV/V engine up too late with no card draw, you'll get buried by the building phases that you're unable to leech.

3) Tourist World is better than Galactic Trendsetters. Costing one less card helps you get it down sooner, but more importantly, I used to look at it as "needing two goods, and you get 1.5 VP each." But once I shifted my perspective to, "consume one good for 2 VP, and another for 1 VP," I saw that TW enables early engines so much better. Galactic Trendsetters can still be a good late game play if you have too many goods sitting around.

Mining League is better than I thought at first for the same reason (2-3vp). I've had trouble setting up Galactic Genome Project.

4) Galactic Federation and New Galactic Order are actually pretty good friends. At first it seemed counter productive to have two cards devoted to discounting different phases, but they're both trying to rush the tableau. The huge spikes in cards you get from selling genes or alien tech are great for dropping expensive developments, since you aren't spending as many cards on worlds anyway. Some cards (Drop Ships, Space Marines) become really efficient, and both GF and NGO benefit from deep explores for high scoring cards. Then there's stuff like Improved Logistics!

5) Windfalls play a lot differently in 2p.
Unless you're a mind reader in 3p+, the ability to go III/$ is huge. If I start with Alien Robot Sentry as New Sparta, things are looking up. When going the p/c route, having one windfall seems pretty desirable since it will help with your card flow early to help get your other worlds out.

6) Diversified Economy and Consumer Markets can be traps. They enable great engines, but if you take too long trying to get it set up or find the third world for your piece, you'll lose. New Sparta is surprisingly a better candidate for Diversified Economy than Alpha Centauri much of the time. Wasting your windfall slot on a brown makes it tough to complete. Damaged Alien Factory or Ancient Race are probably the best, although if you get Doomed World into LSAW, good for you. The thing about Consumer Markets is that a decent number of the blue worlds have consume powers baked in, so you really only need the card draw, but if it sets you back a bunch of turns to play the development you'll be in trouble.

7) Alien Toy Shop! Man, what a card. (See 5). I stumbled across having it in your opening hand with Earth's Lost Colony and it's bonkers. Snooping around a little I see that beating it is one of the "campaigns." The correct play for turn one is usually III/$, right?

8) Don't get too attached to your early 6-devs. This isn't always true as there are some insanely good draws out there, but looking around for the pieces to make your expensive early play pay off is backwards. It's better to get your cards or engine in place and then I+5 for one of the few 6-devs that will score you a lot of points.

9) Despite 6) and 8), Some plan is usually better than no plan. I've lost a number of games just selling some windfall goods with no end in sight. Unless you draw Terraforming Guild, this probably won't work.

10) The game really isn't solitaire. Having tunnel vision on what I'm trying to do has lost me more games than anything. I think to really get good you have to carefully weigh what you want to do with what your opponent will do when you call those phases. As you can probably tell, I used to default to simple produce and consume cycles to win, but doing it blindly or a little too slowly can make you lose.

It's quite a balancing act.
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Jexik wrote:
7) Alien Toy Shop! Man, what a card. (See 5). I stumbled across having it in your opening hand with Earth's Lost Colony and it's bonkers. Snooping around a little I see that beating it is one of the "campaigns." The correct play for turn one is usually III/$, right?


III/V is another option, particularly if you are expecting your opponent to consume on the first turn. With this move, you are giving up any further builds, but you are starting your engine one turn earlier.

The general consensus is that good cards + good play will beat the ELC+ATS combo, but that it will win otherwise. In other words, it sets a pretty strict clock to beat. III/$ provides some flexibility to switch out of the engine if your opponent starts to do well, but III/V puts a little bit more pressure on them.

That is a very good list, very observant points.
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Eric Brosius
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Another lesson: this is not a game of luck!
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Matt Boehland
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I've learned that I'm not as good as a computer at Race for the Galaxy.
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Todd McCorkle
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Matt Boehland wrote:
I've learned that I'm not as good as a computer at Race for the Galaxy.

Mind you that computer effectively played, what?, 10,000 or 100,000 games to get that good?

I'd expect to lose to a human opponent who played much less games more than me.




(much less games more?? hope that made sense. Only on a Mon...)
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Serge Levert
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Rainstar wrote:
III/V is another option, particularly if you are expecting your opponent to consume on the first turn. With this move, you are giving up any further builds, but you are starting your engine one turn earlier.

Yeah (5 round game).

In BoW i vastly prefer III/$ because there are many ways to improve to an 8vp engine resulting in the same turn clock but more points (5 round game).

That said, X2/V is also an option vs a probable settle (4 round game).

kusinohki wrote:
Mind you that computer effectively played, what?, 10,000 or 100,000 games to get that good?

Pretty sure it was 100x more than that, 1,000,000 or 10,000,000.
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Dan The Man
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kusinohki wrote:
Matt Boehland wrote:
I've learned that I'm not as good as a computer at Race for the Galaxy.

Mind you that computer effectively played, what?, 10,000 or 100,000 games to get that good?

I'd expect to lose to a human opponent who played much less games more than me.




(much less games more?? hope that made sense. Only on a Mon...)

WARNING: GRAMMAR POLICE

"Fewer," referring to integer-counted items, is the proper term. "Less" refers to material that must be measured differently, say by volume or weight.

devil
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