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Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts» Forums » General

Subject: How to play Uplift Researchers ? rss

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meles meles
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Uplift Researchers strikes me as a weak homeworld for a few reasons.

Aside from a weak Explore bonus, all of its powers are in the III phase. And they're not great settle powers. Sentient Robots also have a settle discount, and they trade the X power for +1 military and an extra card in Produce. Rebel Mutineers also have the explore bonus and a settle bonus (+1 military) and a keyword like the researchers, but a blue windfall instead and can potentially produce more.

I think the power changing chromosome planets to civil planets is particularly weak and niche. All but one are weak green military worlds with a windfall. If you get 2 points of military, that power becomes completely obsolete. How many green windfalls do you need anyway ? No, you can't count on getting one of the green scoring 6-devs or Alien Uplift Chamber. Contact Specialist also makes the power redundant, except now you're placing them at 0 cost.

If I were to gather green windfalls in a hurry, I'd rather use Imperium Supply Convoy than predictable, one by one settle.

So how to play the homeworld effectively ? Not get military at all ? Get military and treat the lame chromosome power as early game springboard only ?
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Serge
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This one definitely grew on me. It's great for blazing fast setup of an engine, and especially strong with 4 color Diversified engines. Bang out an Uplift windfall, a blue and brown production world, and like Alien Fuel Refinery and you're laughing. Often featuring Interstellar Trade Port. It also makes Tourist World and Galactic Trendsetters a lot better.

The +1 look also helps for eventually finding that 4th world color you're missing for the cherry on top.

Engines are king in this expansion, and Diversified engines are the king of engines, so i wouldn't be surprised if this homeworld is the strongest in the format.




b0rsuk wrote:
So how to play the homeworld effectively ? Not get military at all ? Get military and treat the lame chromosome power as early game springboard only ?

Certainly, gaining military with this homeworld is inefficient and redundant. Less than ideal that's for sure. Though sure, if all it ends up serving as is an early game springboard, you could do a lot worse.
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meles meles
Poland
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Better for this purpose than Sentient Robots ?

Extra card from production also helps to find that 4th color, and by the way diversified doesn't really benefit from 4th color, it's mostly Interstellar Trade Port.
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b0rsuk wrote:
Better for this purpose than Sentient Robots ?

Extra card from production also helps to find that 4th color, and by the way diversified doesn't really benefit from 4th color, it's mostly Interstellar Trade Port.


It is all situational, obviously. But Sentient Robots military power lets you settle very few planets directly. You need to pair it with a military dev to be usable. Whereas Uplift Researchers alone allows you to play many green windfalls for one card cost. Early game, that is hardly weak, and has a better tempo (Settle-Trade vs. Dev-Settle-Trade). And the -1 settle will save you ~4-8 cards across the game. Again, hardly weak.

Add in the number of cards that score on Uplift, and this isn't as bad as you seem to think. Like many AA cards, though, it is a bit of a "jack of all trades".

Which would I choose? Depends on the hand I have. If I have a chromosome windfall in hand and no cheap military dev, Uplift Researchers. If I have a non-chromosome windfall and a cheap military dev, Sentient Robots starts to look better. If I have no military cards, I'd only be playing either for the settle bonus anyway. The Produce bonus probably swings slightly towards Sentient Robots.

Cheers,
Graham
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John
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I think for finding cards early in the game +1 look on explore is better than draw a card on produce. We usually happens more often early game (particularly if other players have explore powers).

I don't think the 4th colour is usually needed, but there is usually something you need whether that's another production world, consume power or a 6-cost.
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meles meles
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therealbuserian wrote:
But Sentient Robots military power lets you settle very few planets directly.

Frontier Capital, Imperium Fifth Column, New Survivalists, Outlaw World, Rebel Fuel Cache, Rebel Uplift World, Runaway Robots, Star Nomad Lair, The Last of the Uplift Gnarssh

9 cards. Granted, two of them are homeworlds. But pay-for-military-windfall power affects 7 cards. Hard to cite this as an advantage. If, as Sentient Robots, you get Expedition Force or one of the four cost 1 planets that improve military, chromosome settle power looks just bad.

For so many symbols and text the card has on it, Uplift Researcher's power is very bland. Would it be overpowered if it worked with all military greens instead ? It would also affect Malevolent Lifeforms (4 cost green production) and Rebel Warrior Race (the 3 cost green windfall with +1 military). Was that so important to guard against ? Or was it using the chromosome symbol at all costs ?

Too bad there is only 1 chromosome planet that's not green. Too bad there are NO chromosome planets above 2 military.
 
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Kester J
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Yes, Sentient Robots is slightly better for running an engine, but for setting up I find you often want to push settle a lot early on when the other player(s) can't keep up. Both Uplift Researchers (henceforth UR) and Sentient Robots are pretty equivalent at that stage, and it's usually the stage at which you can win the game.

On UR specifically: firstly, don't underestimate the Explore power. I did at first, but Alien Artifacts is the expansion where card quality is most emphasised over card quantity, so Explore powers are at their most useful. Secondly, it has potential to score well with 6-devs: Uplift is the most potentially lucrative keyword in the expansion, and unlike Sentient Robots, UR scores for Terraforming Ultd and Wormhole Prospectors, both of which are excellent 6-devs that will score your production worlds in a produce/consume strat. Both of these points might seem minor, but I've found through experience that UR tends to consistently end up with more points density in tableau than any other start world in Alien Artifacts.
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meles meles
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Some nice advice here. I especially like the bit about Interstellar Trade Port - because it's a planet, and the discount works. I disagree that P/C engines are necessarily the best in this format, it's not obvious with Galactic Investors and Frontier Capital in the set.

Another way of looking at things is "Would you play this homeworld from your hand?". I usually wouldn't. Pay 2 cards for 1 card discount ? That will take a while to pay off. In contrast, Sentient Robots is still nice because with military any extra point can be crucial, and the other powers remain useful.

On a side note, what expansion uses the chromosome (green X) symbol most best ? In AA it's a subset of green military, it feels like a missed opportunity.
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Tucker Taylor
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b0rsuk wrote:
I disagree that P/C engines are necessarily the best in this format, it's not obvious with Galactic Investors and Frontier Capital in the set.

Are you familiar with Keldon's Race AI? I've played a lot (probably high two figures) of AA games against it, and I've consistently found P/C to be what wins games.

Quote:
On a side note, what expansion uses the chromosome (green X) symbol most best ? In AA it's a subset of green military, it feels like a missed opportunity.

The first arc is pretty serious about Chromosome cards.
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b0rsuk wrote:
it's not obvious with Galactic Investors and Frontier Capital in the set.

Galactic Investors is stupidly good, that's for sure.

b0rsuk wrote:
On a side note, what expansion uses the chromosome (green X) symbol most best ? In AA it's a subset of green military, it feels like a missed opportunity.

XI, undoubtedly!
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meles meles
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JazzFish wrote:
b0rsuk wrote:
I disagree that P/C engines are necessarily the best in this format, it's not obvious with Galactic Investors and Frontier Capital in the set.

Are you familiar with Keldon's Race AI? I've played a lot (probably high two figures) of AA games against it, and I've consistently found P/C to be what wins games.


Yes, I am. I don't think it's so black and white. Develop and settle strategies win much more games than in the core, where P/C was the way to go. I had plenty of games where P/C couldn't win even with very good cards.
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meles meles
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Okay, after a few more games I agree Uplift Researchers is a fine card, and especially good for setting up Interstellar Trading Port / Diversified Economy. The main advantage is the discount, and yes the pay-for-chromosome is lame but it doesn't matter.
 
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b0rsuk wrote:
the pay-for-chromosome is lame but it doesn't matter.


... it makes every 2/2 chromosome green windfall cost 1 to play. It is like having a plethora of Empath Worlds in the deck (not to mention the Gnarrsh!). I can't count the number of games with Uplift Researchers where I have started by playing a chromosome windfall to generate cash. It certainly does matter.
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John
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Rainstar wrote:
It is like having a plethora of Empath Worlds in the deck (not to mention the Gnarrsh!).

Yes, with 5 2/2 uplifts + Gnarrsh then that's 6 green more windfalls you can place for a cost of 1 or 0. The -1 discount means it's probably as good a New Sparta for early settle/trade possibilities. (I usually pick up my hand then pick up my start worlds, if I have an uplift I'll be hoping for New Sparta and/or Uplift Researchers.)
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