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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » General

Subject: Actual Play Time? rss

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Chris McGuire
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So, those of you that have copies already and have managed to play a full game:

What is your experience with the actual play time of the game (and with what player count)?

Apparently The Secret Cabal guys said they played a 3 player game and it took 6 hours!! surprise

I haven't listened to their podcast yet to hear that for myself, but that's what one of my friends told me. So now I'm a bit worried. I don't mind long games, but I want to be able to get this to the table more than a 6 hour playtime would allow.

Thanks for any info!
 
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Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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An hour per player is about right once you have a game or two experience. I listened to the Secret Cabal talk about the game and they kept stopping the game to discuss various episodes of Star Trek that inspired exploration cards.
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Jason Preder
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I agree, if you have experience, I would say about 1 to 1.25 hours per player.
If you play with the speedup rules, probably less.
Having AP players could kill you though on time, so make sure you got a group that is not prone to this.

 
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Jon Snow
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goo With two players, it only takes about two hours, with all standard rules.
 
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John Godwin
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We just played a game. It took 4 1/2 hours. Two of us had read the rule book but still had a lot of rule checking during play. It would have gone longer but the Klingon Player chose to attack me instead of preventing a Romulan victory.
 
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Jason Preder
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John1701 wrote:
We just played a game. It took 4 1/2 hours. Two of us had read the rule book but still had a lot of rule checking during play. It would have gone longer but the Klingon Player chose to attack me instead of preventing a Romulan victory.


Klingons do that. devil
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John Godwin
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MilkFromACow wrote:
John1701 wrote:
We just played a game. It took 4 1/2 hours. Two of us had read the rule book but still had a lot of rule checking during play. It would have gone longer but the Klingon Player chose to attack me instead of preventing a Romulan victory.


Klingons do that. devil


It made them lose the game though! Lol
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Chris Byer
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Even our first learning game ended up being pretty close to 1hr/player not counting the initial rules explanation.
 
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Brandon Holmes
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Considering I could play 3 player Fleet Captains in that time I am starting to question if I should buy this game. How do they compare in terms of rule complexity? I find Fleet Captains tough to teach.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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ascendancy is pretty straightforward to play; the rules arent complex, you just need to be aware of what you can or cannot do.
the summary card shows which actions you can do on your turn.
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Marc Bennett
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the thing about ascendancy is that nothing in the game actually pushes you forward. so if all the players decide to "just play" rather than "play to win" then the game will never end.

personally i like games like this. i dont feel constrained by the rules.
 
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Dustin Shunta
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Glad this thread is here.

We just finished our second game. It took about 7 hours with rules explanation for the 2 new players.

After a few turns of exploration and expansion, we had a few turns where invasions destroyed most of the resource nodes on the board, including all of the home planet resource nodes. The pace of the game slowed to a crawl.

We noticed that every time a control node/culture node was destroyed it was actually removing culture from the game. At some points in the game we were dangerously close to a stalemate where noone was capable of generating culture.

The Romulans had the tech that let them cancel battles and the Federation never left 3 ships in a sector - so Klingons could not score a culture with their special ability.

There were no more spots for the Federation to explore while staying within bounds of the board, so no culture for them that way.

The Romulans had researched every single tech in their deck.

At this point, the only way to score culture left in the game was through culture nodes. At one point in the game there were only 2 culture nodes left on the board - taking them and using that culture to build a culture node seemed to be the only way to generate culture and because of how even the military game was, it just never seemed to happen.

I did not see any rule that allows you to break your culture ascendancy into 5 culture, that might have helped by allowing someone to build a node, but we weren't sure if it was allowed.

Anyhow, I'm interested to get some feedback to see if perhaps we were missing a fundamental rule or if others have seen this happen.


 
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Jason Preder
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Jimb0v wrote:
Glad this thread is here.

We just finished our second game. It took about 7 hours with rules explanation for the 2 new players.

After a few turns of exploration and expansion, we had a few turns where invasions destroyed most of the resource nodes on the board, including all of the home planet resource nodes. The pace of the game slowed to a crawl.

We noticed that every time a control node/culture node was destroyed it was actually removing culture from the game. At some points in the game we were dangerously close to a stalemate where noone was capable of generating culture.

The Romulans had the tech that let them cancel battles and the Federation never left 3 ships in a sector - so Klingons could not score a culture with their special ability.

There were no more spots for the Federation to explore while staying within bounds of the board, so no culture for them that way.

The Romulans had researched every single tech in their deck.

At this point, the only way to score culture left in the game was through culture nodes. At one point in the game there were only 2 culture nodes left on the board - taking them and using that culture to build a culture node seemed to be the only way to generate culture and because of how even the military game was, it just never seemed to happen.

I did not see any rule that allows you to break your culture ascendancy into 5 culture, that might have helped by allowing someone to build a node, but we weren't sure if it was allowed.

Anyhow, I'm interested to get some feedback to see if perhaps we were missing a fundamental rule or if others have seen this happen.




7 hours seems very excessive. From your described scenario, it almost sounds like you all turtled too long and then focused strikes on planets started eliminating the culture resource?
Maybe, instead of winning with culture, you should have switched gears and focused a few strong fleets on someone's homeworld and tried for a military victory. After reading your OP again, how DID you end up with only 2 culture nodes left on the board? Each homeworld should have one. Did you manage to even destroy someone's homeworld and then not have the force to hold it?
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Angelus Seniores
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that sounds like a weird game, only 2 culture nodes on the board seems highly unlikely or nobody bothered to defend their planets?

it sounds like systems were getting attacked easily, but given the required nr of commands to do so it seems unlikely when properly defended (2 commands or more to move the fleet next to it, 1 to attack defending ships, 1 to invade). it should take several turns before you get to all of a players planets, thats time you get to collect culture tokens.

and planets got razed often it seems? at least the culture nodes on them?.

from midgame on you shouldnt be building culture nodes anymore, just collect the culture and level up.

how many systems were in play?
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Dustin Shunta
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both good questions/inquries. I'm sure that all three of us played sub-optimally.

I think all but maybe 4 systems were in play by the end.

I played as the Klingons. I explored toward the center in the early turns. I used by early turns to build 3 research nodes. Over the first 5-7 turns of the game I upgraded my weapons/shields and got started on Romulan cloaking technology.

I used my marauders to attack a stray ship of the Romulans, and then promptly ran away.

I had an early trade agreement thanks to a first turn diplomacy pull from the Federation that let them trade with both me and the Romulans. After I got Romulan cloaking technology I attacked the Federation to try and take over some culture nodes. I rolled fairly poorly on these attacks and destroyed the nodes.

the Federation saw me coming and set up a huge set of roadblocks with ships in the space lanes.

Eventually I got the technology that lets you get a command back if you win a battle without a casualty. That let me get through the Federation roadblocks fairly efficiently.

I used all of the culture I got to upgrade my Ascendancy. I never built a culture node. I was hoping to win militarily, but wanted to keep my Ascendancy high to give me a backup plan.

Anyhow, I was feeling pretty good, and then out of nowhere Romulans got a new cloaking technology that allowed them to move through my ships that were blocking him. He attacked the Federation home world an my home wolrd on the same turn. He successfully took the Federation homeworld, but had complete annihilation on Kronos. This turned out to be rather awkward.

That Romulan cloaking technology turned out to be super annoying for me, because it meant I could never get culture by attacking Romulans. He would just put his ships to warp whenever I attacked him where he had 3 or more ships. (I only needed 2-3 more culture by this point in the game).

Anyway, this should provide some more context for the game. As I mentioned above, I'm sure none of us played strategically perfect. The issue I had was that it seems like you can get to this spot in the game where the game could draw to a stalemate. It is possible to get to a situation in the game where noone can generate culture and the military victory is practically impossible.
 
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Pat Doyle
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Well, if the Klingons caused the Romulans to retreat, then that counts as a defeat, which, if there were 3 romulan ships, would count toward getting the Klingons some culture... but only if there were 3 romulans that were defeated and its likely the Romulan would catch on after the first defeat.
 
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Alex Almond
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Unfortunately not due to the way Adv. Cloaking is worded.

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Kain
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Speedup rules, for startup and winning conditions and play simultaneous turns before first contact with another player. You can actually blow through this game at less than 40 minutes a player.
 
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