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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Security Fleet rss

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Thomas Leitner
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I have serious concerns about the project card Security Fleet.

For the cost of 12 megacredits, this card allows the owner to spend one titanium to place one ship on the card. At the end of the game, each ship is worth one point.

In my four plays, this card has been put into play twice, both times fairly early in the game.

The first game, a 3P, the owner scores 11 points. In my 4P game today, the owner scored 14.

No other card in the game allows anywhere near that kind of scoring, leading me to believe the card is too powerful.

While there are some cards I'm aware of that can score reasonably well, they all require the use of other cards in combination...for example projects which give points for animals or microbes. The most I've seen anyone score from one of those was seven points.

However titanium is a resource you gain from income, no other project required.

I'm seriously considering removing security fleet from the game, but as I'm only four plays in, I'd be curious to hear other's thoughts.
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Phillip Wood
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You didn't specify but I assume the players who played the card won the game?

If so, by how much?
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Thomas Leitner
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One did, one didn't.

I'm not evaluating the power of the card in terms of wins and losses, at least not yet.

My concern is that this card appears to be strictly the single most powerful in the game, by a large margin, and may affect game balance once people become more fluid at playing.
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Steve Carey
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Security Fleet is an excellent card - I played it early today in a 3P game and scored 10 VP's.

However, I also gave up 10 Titanium to do so which hurt me in the playing of Space cards and also in the Mining Award at the end of the game (I could have had 5 VP but ended up with only 2 VP).

Oh, I finished in last place.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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This is a good thread to illustrare the balancing difficulties in a dynamic game like this. All card costs are balanced fairly mathematically to the effects of the card. First, it costs 3 to draw to your hand, then 12 to play. Requirements on cards lower the costs because they are otherwise harder to play. This card requires titanium production to use, or an influx of titanium resources from placement bonuses, which is generally pretty hard to get. I am not the designer, only a brother to him, but my reasoning goes something like this: The card would be worth 3+12 M€ to get and play. Each time you use it, you lose 1 titanium which is worth approximately 3M€. So to gain 14 points, you basically need titanium production, then pay 3 to get it, 12 to play it on probably the first generation in the game, spend 14 titanium, each being worth 3 M€. So the cost is 57M€, with 18 (3+12+3) being paid the first turn, where you would normally want to increase production instead. Note also:
1) many other cards - especially ones that give production of a resource - are also worth more than their cost in the long run. Thus, choosing security fleet instead of a production card might give you more VPs in itself, but the other card would've given you more resources to invest in other VP-giving cards later on.
2) you seldom know in advance how many generations are left. But if you have a good production of VPs per turn, you might want to prolong the game. In a similar manner, if an opponent has a steady income of VP, you might want to end the game sooner, Terraforming away.
That being said, 14 points for security fleet is VERY good, might just be the best use of it I've heard of. But it is not the most VPs on a card I have seen. Then again, this is but one strategy to get a lot of points.
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Thomas Leitner
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Fair enough. It's entirely possible the project is well balanced, but I'll keep an eye on it over the next several plays.

I appreciate your thoughts, as well as all the work that obviously went into the game. It's just terrific.
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Love Nilsson
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Trelleborg
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Security fleet is a great card. I love it when I can play it and I dislike seeing other players play it. But titanium is the hardest resource to get production in and it's very useful. Getting 10 for it is good, getting 14 for it excellent.
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Thomas Leitner
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Ironically, I got it last night for the first time. I didn't get a single card, in a drafting game mind you, that raised my titanium production. I had an opportunity to claim a tile space which would have given me two titanium resources which I could have converted into two VPs, but didn't bother.

The card sat in my hand until I eventually just sold it off. A pretty underwhelming performance for the card in this instance
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