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Subject: Map Building Strategy rss

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Tim Bell
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Hey all,

So now that we have played through some initial scenarios with the prescribed setup for first time plays (4 hour game w/2 players, 7 hour game w/4 players...), we are going to play a 2 player game building the map ourselves.

I have a feeling that building the map well is very important for winning. I imagine moreso in a 4 player game, but it is still important in 2, I gather.

Does anyone have any tips for building the map? I know in a 2 player game there won't be a ton of options but still curious! Thanks.

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Rocky Borg
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I think it would mostly depend on the factions involved. Eldar want planets broken up with void spaces as much as possible. Orks are the opposite, they want as many adjacent planets as possible so they can move without ships.

Chaos Space Marines probably want tile placement to take advantage of their special ability where they can move a cultist to an adjacent system.

Space Marines aren't very mobile. So you probably want a map with 2 areas separate from each other and build a solid front line as much as possible so other factions can't get in behind you.

These are just rough things I've come up with I'm by no means an expert. And this is also excluding the fact that tiles are double sided and it may be better to take certain resources vs a better map layout in certain situations.
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Tim Bell
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Those are some solid one line answers! Thanks. I'll let ya know (but probably won't) how it goes tonight!
 
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Zach Moore
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Good topic!

A few ideas to add, be wary of early aggression from your opponent. Especially if you are first player. It can be hard to respond when the second player gets to place the last order token.

Don't place objective tokens on low skull value planets, they are very hard to defend.

Pay attention to early materiel values and what you have access to when using a dominate order.

Be very careful of first turn warp storm placement. Placed correctly, they can give you time to tech up and block early enemy aggression. Or, leave paths open for you to be aggressive. Depending on your strategy.

Keep an eye on ground and void paths, especially if you are eldar or orcs.

I'll probably add more later, but this is a good start.
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Dan Heck
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In my play-throughs so far, it's interesting how much materiel density matters. It's great to have a home system with an adjacent 3 materiel planet in one system, and an adjacent 2 materiel planet in another system. That gives you 8 materiel in a very dense, defensible space that you can quickly occupy. If you don't pay attention to this, you can easily end up needing to hold all the worlds in 3 or 4 systems to get and defend that much materiel.

Also, it's worth considering how planet location within a system impacts the speed at which you can cross it. If a system has two adjacent worlds and is oriented the right way, it takes two moves to cross "by land", or it takes control of two space areas. Requring at least two ships means that it is harder to defend a legal path through space in the system, harder to colonize on turn one, and it is also easier to defend an objective in that system by placing a fleet right next to the world with the objective. In contrast, when the planets are diagonally oriented, a single ship can get you to both worlds. So it can be helpful to have diagonally-oriented planets in systems you want to colonize early (even with Orks, using ships or Ork Roks). It is also nice to have diagonal planets in systems that you want to cross to get to objectives. On the flip side, good placement of adjacent-planet systems can sometimes buy you a turn, if you place the enemy objective token on the far end of the system from their approach...especially if you place a fleet next to the planet with the objective. A game can definitely come down to your decision to place an objective token on a system with adjacent planets instead of diagonal ones!

Of course, faction considerations also come in here. An Eldar player might feel more comfortable defending two space areas in a diagonal system, which blocks passage through it. But even in their case, there are some benefits to an adjacent-planet system. Even an Ork player who is just advancing on "the ground" still needs to use a move to take a planet and establish a legal path, even if there's nothing on the planet at all. And even Orks can get up to 8 dice for the single fleet combat (striking at the weaker fleet) that's needed to get a path through a diagonal system. On the other hand, if you have good fleets in both space areas in an adjacent-planet system, they'd need to take out both fleets to get a legal path via space to both planets...and this is where the Eldar ship advantage really shines.

The ideal defensive scenario is one where you have an objective token on a planet with 5 skulls, next to a planet with one skull. Your objective-token planet is sitting in the corner of the map, and a system with your well-defended core planets is on the other side of the space areas. This drives your opponent to approach their objective through the planet with one skull. If you get a chance to counter-attack before they can make a second move in that system, getting in there can really be hell. (If you're focused on it, they'll have to best you at some rock-paper-scissors hijinks with their order tokens to get their two consecutive movement orders lined up...or take a detour through your core system.)
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stephen biggs
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A big choice in setup is do you place your systems for maximum defence: i.e. adjacent to each other, in either an L-shape at a map corner or along one edge. Or do you place one of the tiles where it can be used to attack your objectives.
Some further thoughts on this, a corner position has fewer adjacent tiles and hence less opportunity to attack. This may be acceptable for Eldar who can use Warp Gate to expand. But poor for other races. The increased defence is gained at the cost of needing to expend orders just to move between your own tiles.
It's also possible that the last player can be forced to separate their 3rd tile from their first two.

Because of the way the map-limits are determined, you're early tiles should be played to determine those limits to your best advantage. e.g in a 4-player game:
tile-1 placement is utterly irrelevant.
tile-2 must be adjacent to tile-1 so only it's side & rotation matter.
tile-3 should continue the line-up.
The 4th player has the opportunity to fix the major-axis of the map. And choose which end of the map they are on. They should take that opportunity by finishing the line of 4. If they place their first tile in any other position they give more control of the map to player-1 or 2.

The sequence of order placement during the planning step favours the player placing later that turn.
As player-4 you move after player 3 on 6 out of 8 turns.
Conversly player-1 moves after you on 6 turns out of 8. So for player-4 to setup adjacent to player-1, guarantees your nearest enemy a major tactical advantage.
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Andrew
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XAos wrote:
Because of the way the map-limits are determined, you're early tiles should be played to determine those limits to your best advantage. e.g in a 4-player game:
tile-1 placement is utterly irrelevant.
tile-2 must be adjacent to tile-1 so only it's side & rotation matter.
tile-3 should continue the line-up.
The 4th player has the opportunity to fix the major-axis of the map. And choose which end of the map they are on. They should take that opportunity by finishing the line of 4. If they place their first tile in any other position they give more control of the map to player-1 or 2.
I agree with 1, 2, and 4 but why should player 3 continue the line-up? If they make an L then 4 will make a square, 1 will place anywhere, and 2 will set the map edge. Then 3 can place adjacent to the already placed tile establishing another edge so he can probably safely place a factory.

That seems like a better position for 3.
 
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Soren Hedberg
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Acidveins23 wrote:

Don't place objective tokens on low skull value planets, they are very hard to defend.


They are also super easy to take back before the end of the turn, though.
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stephen biggs
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Acidveins23 wrote:

Don't place objective tokens on low skull value planets, they are very hard to defend.


In the 4-player game, you don't get that choice. Every planet that can have an objective will have an objective.
In 3-player games, you choose 1-system that won't have objectives. Make sure that system has you're best planets. Because it's the system with best odds of not being invaded. For everyone except Marines, that's you're home system.

AnSteWe wrote:
I agree with 1, 2, and 4 but why should player 3 continue the line-up? If they make an L then 4 will make a square, 1 will place anywhere, and 2 will set the map edge. Then 3 can place adjacent to the already placed tile establishing another edge so he can probably safely place a factory.

That seems like a better position for 3.

This ?
12
43

Assuming players 1,2 & 3 play for their best advantage that becomes some variation of this.
--2-
112-
-433

As player-4 I'm not at all happy with thatgulp I'm far too exposed to attack by player-1 who moves after me on 6 of the 8 game turns.

As player-4 if player-3 forms an L I'd respond with
12
-3
-4

It's fairly sure that given the option player-1 & 2 will then fix the map edges
1--
122
-3-
-4-
 
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Colin Sham
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Ontario
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That's exactly what a Cylon would say!
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XAos wrote:
Acidveins23 wrote:

Don't place objective tokens on low skull value planets, they are very hard to defend.


In the 4-player game, you don't get that choice. Every planet that can have an objective will have an objective.
In 3-player games, you choose 1-system that won't have objectives. Make sure that system has you're best planets. Because it's the system with best odds of not being invaded. For everyone except Marines, that's you're home system.

I thought in a 3p game, you can have 2 tiles with 1 objectives in them, and another tile with 2 objectives?

You could choose to have a tile with 0 objectives, and 2x2 objective tiles. Not sure that's the best option though.
 
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Richard McLaughlin
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Texas
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During Tile placement step c. Place Objective Tokens: The player MUST place objective tokens on each objective token space (bold text in rules too BTW)

In a three player game the first two tiles you place must have objectives placed on them. The third tile you place will have zero.
 
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Richard McLaughlin
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Texas
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Acidveins23 wrote:
Don't place objective tokens on low skull value planets, they are very hard to defend.


Not always true. A Tier 1 units, Bastion, and Reinforcement Token can be very costly to dislodge from a low Unit Capacity Planet.

Acidveins23 wrote:
Be very careful of first turn warp storm placement. Placed correctly, they can give you time to tech up and block early enemy aggression. Or, leave paths open for you to be aggressive. Depending on your strategy.


I concur but for different reasons. Placing a defensive Warp Storm next to your home world may not be a good idea especially if you started in a corner. Warp storms tend to remain in the same general area so that defensive wall you place turn one could be a frustrating barrier to expansion later turns.

If a player blocks 50% of his home system off first turn I like to block the other 50% off for him so he is 100% safe and unable to expand!
 
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steven mathers
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yeah those 1 skull planets can be painful to take for the attacker due to the unit loss even if they win.

Not such an issue if its the last flag they take though.

As you generally have to give up a few 'easy' flags that will be taken early, you might as well place them on low skull planets so that the planet is doing some of the damage for you.

although... those 1 skull planets tend to have mucho materials. I think there is one or two that dont though.
 
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