Michael
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I bought a copy of AtS which includes many extras from a guy who got it in a math trade.

I can't find info on everything I have: 20 races, many extra cards and more - where are they from (Kickstarter exclusive, promo, etc.), do any have special rules, which races are more powerful than the others, and especially, what are my options for incorporating various parts when we play? I have one of the suggestion charts from the files section (you can see it in one of the pics); is that a good place to start? Are there better resources for using what I have?

Check out the pics and let me know what you think. Thanks!

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Carl Bussema
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Put away: Events, Taxation, Ambassadors, Bureaus, Alliance Inspection. Two of your images aren't loading so I can't tell what all you have. If you have Experimental Reactors or Blueprints, you don't need those either. You can get those out later after several games.

Start with just the basic locations; they all have a 3 or 4 in the bottom corner. Since you have at least Ambassadors and possibly Revival in there, you have a lot of them. For each color, pick 3 different names and then grab all 4 copies of them [assuming you will normally play with 4 players; setup for 3, 5, or 6 is a different problem beyond the scope of this thread; there are other threads on it]. For Green, make sure you do not take the one that refers to Ambassadors. Set these aside. That gives you a base of 5 types * 3 names * 4 copies = 60 cards. If you can fit these in a tuckbox, I recommend making this the "core" of a couple games, because it's time-consuming to set this up. When you want to change the game up, you can take out all 4 copies of several locations and replace them with a different set of 4 from the same color.

For races, there's not a huge power differential; just don't use the one that refers to Ambassadors. Some are harder to play than others, but you have enough that you can easily give each player a choice from 2 or 3.

When you're ready to play:
Find all your special locations; these all have an S in the bottom right corner instead of a 3 or 4. These are ALWAYS all shuffled together. So go ahead and do that now. After you shuffle them all, add 36 (without looking at them) to that pile of 60 cards you got out earlier. Shuffle that entire stack, give everyone a choice of 2 or 3 races, a starting reactor in their color, and you're ready to rock.

Play a few games that way. After that, come back and we can talk about what to add next based on how it's going over with your group.
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Michael
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Looks like good advice. Thanks.

Also, looks like I have Ambassadors and Expanding the Alliance, plus promos. I don't seem to have Revival. Not sure, though. I have Experimental Reactors but I can't see blueprints at the moment.

We were going to play it tonight but life got in the way.

Edit: fixed the pics. All four should be visible now.
 
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Connor Cranston
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hi, i have made a file with every card from ats and all the expansions and ks. this should help you see what you have. it's in the files section.

let me know if it helped.

there were no rulebooks included for all the expansions?
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Michael
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Khonnor wrote:
hi, i have made a file with every card from ats and all the expansions and ks. this should help you see what you have. it's in the files section.

let me know if it helped.

there were no rulebooks included for all the expansions?


Yes, that helps me figure out where everything comes from. Thanks.


The only rulebooks in the box are for the base game and Ambassadors.
 
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Carl Bussema
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You don't really need a rulebook for Expanding the Alliance; and if the original owner got the cards from ETA from being a kickstarter backer, s/he wouldn't have one anyway. You can get the PDF of it for later, though.

Since I have a minute here:
3-player changes: Remove all "4" basic locations from your set that you made (so you have 3 copies of 3 cards in each of 5 colors), then add 27 special locations (instead of 36).
5-player changes: For each of the 5 basic location types/colors, pick another set of 4 cards with the same name and add all 4 copies (20 cards total) to the mix, then add 40 special locations (instead of 36).
6-player changes: Add a 4th and 5th set of 4 basic cards per type/color (40 more cards), then add 44 special locations (instead of 36).

There are other variants for setting up the deck, but the general idea is a large core of basic locations, which each have 4 copies (except 3-player), and then about a third of the deck is special locations, which are generally unique (there are 2 copies of most special locations, but the odds of both being in the game are small). I generally like to explain that difference to new players so that they understand details like "this card that refers to itself/other cards with the same name, there are 4 copies of it, but look around and see if anybody else already has one;" vs. "this card with an 'S'; if you pass it by, you probably will never see it again, so if you want it, you should get it now."
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Michael
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Well, just finished the first game. I set it up like this:

Random #3 base cards in equal proportions: 15 x 3 = 45
27 random Special Location cards
Ambassadors

Final scores: 105-91-80. How is that for a 3-player game with ambassadors?

I think we played correctly. Found out after the fact that the Archives is meant to have layers of cards around it. I got all three Trade Shows and think I scored it correctly, getting 9 end game points for the total $9 on them (doesn't make sense that each would score 9 for a total of 27).

Am I right to assume that the game speeds up when you get to know the locations and special abilities of the ambassadors? We weren't taking too long to think, but we were doing a lot of reading, which wasted time.

Any other thoughts or suggestions?
 
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Carl Bussema
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Ambassadors slow the game down greatly. I never use them. Familiarility with the base locations helps immensely (thus playing a few games with the same base cards), and then it's just a matter of quick reading the special cards... and even though you probably won't remember every special location, you learn to recognize patterns (cards that do the same thing just for a different type/color; or almost the same thing with a slight twist).

Those are some very high scores. It's been a while since I played, but over 100 seems very good. Three trade shows is definitely worth 9 extra VP, that's correct, and shame on your opponents for letting you get away with it.
 
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Michael
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Maybe we'll try it without Ambassadors once. They are fun, although not equally powered. I don't think it will take long for us to get used to the cards. They are high? My son, who won, used the Vak power to get two objectives and gain multiple other endgame points.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Vak is always powerful, and if multiple objectives are "most of type," it's definitely a nice head start being Vak. Combine that with special cards like Opera House or basic cards like (I think) Restaurant, you can get some nice bonuses. I don't know that I'd call any race overpowered, but Vak is at least very strong and simple to play (as opposed to say, that race that gets 13 credits but can't earn more; they're more powerful than beginners tend to think, but they're difficult to play because of that tight economy). And then there's Humareen... never my first choice, since you generally will get 2 points, or 3 if you really work for it, and in doing so will take yourself out of competition for at least one objective normally, which would be 4 points.

Maybe Ambassadors increase the scores too; like I said, it's been a while since I played at all and even longer for Ambassadors. I could be misremembering what our high scores were.
 
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Michael
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How would you rate the 20 races I have? Your insight will help us balance the game as we are learning. Thanks.
 
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Carl Bussema
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DISCLAIMER This is a highly subjective list. Your milage may vary.

I will give each race a POWER score from 1 = worst to 5 = best and a DIFFICULTY score from 1 = easy to 5 = difficult. (I would say Power and Toughness, but we wouldn't want to offend WOTC!) In general, I think a more powerful race will, all things being equal, score better at the end of the game than a less powerful race, when played by players of equal skill level and given other factors equal, etc. Difficulty represents "how hard is it to achieve the full power of this race"? Assumptions are a 4-player game with objectives, but no other special modules like Ambassadors, Events, Experimental Reactors, etc.

Zebuti: P4, D5
Difficulty: Make the money last.
Monzeerian: P3, D4
Difficulty: knowing which immediate abilities will truly be worth a lot more points at the end of the game.
Wiss: P3*, D2* (varies based on basic locations in play; when many basic locations have power requirements, P down and D up; these scores are based on an "average" power distribution)
Difficulty: You have 5 cubes. Maybe you'll get one of the special cards to give you a 6th, but that's about it. In some games, that will be plenty; in others it will be dreadfully short.
Feronsy: P3, D1
Difficulty: there's minor skill finesse in knowing who and when to hit for money, but it's pretty hard to get the coincidence of you wanting to discard and an opponent who you know REALLY needs that extra $1 or $2.
Vak: P5, D1 (Power down to 4 with more objectives that aren't "Most Locations of [type]")
Difficulty: None.
Sissaurians: P5, D3
Difficulty: remembering to use this before the hand no longer has any special locations; determining which special locations to remove from the game and which to put back in the hand (for cases when you draw nothing you want or when there are multiple special locations in the hand; a common beginner mistake is not swapping the other special locations in the hand to poison the hand for their opponents)
Sheptas: P4, D2 [Power 5 if "most credits" objective in play; also be sure to play that they cannot score for credits above $10; e.g. 13 is still worth only 5 VP.]
Difficulty: Planning ahead to have $10 at end of game, or knowing when it's worth it to spend more aggressively.
Ludons: P3, D3
Difficulty: There's some luck in what cards come up in the draft this round, but also you need to watch what your opponent who's picking before you is going to want, and don't pick that token this round.
Qualeen: P3, D2
Difficulty: It's usually easy to secure a "most of type" goal when nobody else is going for it, but other goals may require more work, so it depends a bit on the luck of the draw in your bonus objectives.
Garrn'Athok'Nok: P4, D3
Difficulty: timing is critical here. It's easy to use as "I want two cards from this hand, so I'll take one and then activate the power next turn." But the real power is "I want two cards from this hand. My next opponent is very unlikely to take the card I want, so I can wait, and use this in 2 turns if my next hand has a good card."
Debos: P2, D4
Difficulty: Extremely situational; you'll need to first have a card that cares about where it's built (fortunately there's a lot), then have a spot to move it to that will improve its score, or that by moving will open a spot next to a different card that cares about proximity (and has a delayed ability).
Hythian: P3, D1 (* based on average power requirements, see Wiss)
Difficulty: Can be tempting to build more reactors than you need. The bonus point for empty reactors is now harder to get.
Exodai: P4, D2
Difficulty: money can be tight at times; and you can't predict when an ambassador will show up that you want, so you somewhat need to keep a little more money on hand than usual
Nyxtos: P1, D2 [Power goes up to 2 in a 2-player game.]
Difficulty: I really hate this race. Your superpower is just being a jerk; it doesn't help you win, it just hurts one opponent at a time by varying degrees that you somehow hope add up to being worth a few points? That said, figuring out when to use it "oh, this hand has a card worth 7 VP to my next opponent" is pretty obvious, but when is it better just to hate-draft that for money/reactor and save the Nyxtos token?
Minireen: P4, D1
Difficulty: Just minimal timing; too early and there aren't as many good options; too late and you risk hurting your selection for next round if there are multiple good cards in there.
Humareen: P1, D1
Difficulty: You can more or less play without thinking about this and you'll get +2 points which isn't bad, but most other races can leverage their abilities for more than that. Trying to get +3 from this may cost you far more than 1 point in opportunity cost(s).
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Michael
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Wow.

Wow, thanks!!
 
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