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I'm talking about the idea that you can leave ship(s) in several adjacent sectors and force your opponent to spend a command in order to engage each one.

I played the game before I read about that strategy on here and I have to say it sounds extremely cheesy to me. The idea that X ships spread out among X sectors is technically better at defending a planet than the same amount of ships in one fleet is (fleet bonus notwithstanding) just rubs me the wrong way.

I guess it's balanced by the fact that someone had to spend the commands to get those ships into position in the first place but it still doesn't sit right with me.

I'm wondering if I'm overreacting and so just curious if this is a widespread thing people are doing or just some BGG theorycrafting that hasn't happened much in many peoples real games.
 
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Marc Bennett
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well both the romulans and klingons have a tech that will offset that strategy. and the federation is probably the one using it lol.
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John Godwin
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With the Cardassians you will just about have to. But I've done this in the key sectors at least.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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As you said, this is balanced by the fact that both players have to spend the same amount of command (defender to place the ships, attacker to attack). The advantage thus lies with the attacker which can pick the single ships off 1 at a time.

I don't see this becoming a viable strategy to be honest.
 
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Marc Bennett
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Vardaine wrote:
As you said, this is balanced by the fact that both players have to spend the same amount of command (defender to place the ships, attacker to attack). The advantage thus lies with the attacker which can pick the single ships off 1 at a time.

I don't see this becoming a viable strategy to be honest.


it is viable for defense. its not effecient long term but if you only need to hold out a couple turns to build up your culture, slow them down however you can.
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Alexander Steinbach
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Klaxas wrote:
Vardaine wrote:
As you said, this is balanced by the fact that both players have to spend the same amount of command (defender to place the ships, attacker to attack). The advantage thus lies with the attacker which can pick the single ships off 1 at a time.

I don't see this becoming a viable strategy to be honest.


it is viable for defense. its not effecient long term but if you only need to hold out a couple turns to build up your culture, slow them down however you can.


I guess it can work as a delaying tactic. But then you need to have something powerful to back it up with. Like an imminent win within the next turn or something.

Because if the opponent commits to it (i.e. spends 4 command to keep attacking each time) it is quite easy to clear the entire space lane in a single turn. In that case it wouldn't be better than amassing your ships together I think.
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I didn't see it as an issue until I learned that Warp travel is interdicted also by single ships on space lanes, and not just by enemy systems. I think that's an unnecessary rule, an oversight that allows for this exploit.

If clogging is overused, you may want to house rule that only ships at impulse can be blocked on space lanes.
 
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Nova Cat
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I don't see how it could ever be considered overpowered. At best, you might force an opponent to spend as many commands to invade your territory as you spent defending it. But consider that, almost always, you're going to spend *more* commands than the invader, since you'll have to defend multiple paths, while the invader only travels along one of them. Also, this defense strategy will cause the invader's fleet to be FAR more efficient than your defending ships, especially if they have First Strike. So the opponent can penetrate your defense forces with far fewer ships and casualties than if your defenses were all clumped up.

The only possible benefit of this strategy is that it might buy you a round or two of security against an otherwise superior opponent, which you could potentially use to grab that last Ascendancy. Still, it would take several rounds and lots of production invested into it, so your opponents are likely to see what you're doing, and stop you if they're so inclined.
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Angelus Seniores
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i dont see this strategy as very good, but it can be useful as a delaying action depending the situation; each races techs in play and the turn order, there can be situations where clogging up the lanes is useful.

what the federation can do vs klingons is to put a big fleet in defense as closest as possible to the klingon starting point.
then as the klingons move in to attack, you retreat after the 1st round of combat at impulse 3 (this tech is a must).
Also, they have some chance of inflicting casualties in that round of combat, which will cause the klingons to forego their free command refresh.
this way the klingon does need to spend more commands than you as they can only move 2 sectors during the tactical maneuver, needing 1 more command to move adjacent again.
the only drawback is that the ever victorious rule will give a culture for each such retreat but if the federation is ahead in culture and only needs to delay 1-2 turns to win it certainly becomes a useful option.

also, when in defense, you might have more commands available (as you tend to use less in actual attacks) than the attacking players so using 1 for 1 commands is a good trade off. you dont need them, they do.

vs romulans its only good if you can exhaust their advanced cloaking device so they must stop at each blockade (its possible depending the turn order), and quite powerful to pull off since the romulans dont freely refresh commands for easy battles.

vs the cardassians, it will indeed work each time, but as they can build ships almost anywhere, they can attack you from any direction
 
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Nova Cat
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Angelsenior wrote:
you retreat after the 1st round of combat at impulse 3 (this tech is a must).
Also, they have some chance of inflicting casualties in that round of combat, which will cause the klingons to forego their free command refresh.
this way the klingon does need to spend more commands than you as they can only move 2 sectors during the tactical maneuver, needing 1 more command to move adjacent again.

That won't work. The klingons can move adjacent with their free tactical move.
 
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Zenvious
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Novacat wrote:
Angelsenior wrote:
you retreat after the 1st round of combat at impulse 3 (this tech is a must).
Also, they have some chance of inflicting casualties in that round of combat, which will cause the klingons to forego their free command refresh.
this way the klingon does need to spend more commands than you as they can only move 2 sectors during the tactical maneuver, needing 1 more command to move adjacent again.

That won't work. The klingons can move adjacent with their free tactical move.


It does work IF combat started with both forces adjacent to each other to begin with. The extra +1 is enough to create a space of 1 sector between the two.

This WON'T work if the battle started in the same space. Or at least it won't for the first retreat. The 2nd retreat (if the Fed's can survive) however will be enough to force an extra command to keep pursuing.
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Angelus Seniores
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it does work but the impulse +1 tech is needed, federation can retreat for 3 sectors while the klingon tactical maneuver only moves them 2 sectors, so each time there is a gap of one sector for which the klingons must use a command to get closer.
only if they start in the same sector will it not help, but once at war there is very little chance for the klingons to end up together with the federation fleet as they will never let them move in.

also, if the feds inflict even 1 klingon casualty in round 1 then klingons dont refresh their command.

of course, it works best if there's lots of 4-space lanes to maximize the distances.
 
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Chris Schenck
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Another way I've seen space lane blockades work well is in conjunction with Hazard systems. Use the Hazard as a shield, and put your defending ship on the first sector behind it (toward the stuff you're trying to protect).

Anyone who wants to use that path to get to you MUST stop in the hazard and possibly lose some ships. Then after that they still have to fight your blockade to get through.

It's possible they'll lose every ship before you have to fire a shot, or maybe they'll get lucky and not lose any ships. Either way, it's an intimidating factor that might discourage them from aggression in the first place.
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Christopher James
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pretty sure you can warp past space lanes...so any ships there don't really block anything...
 
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Alex Almond
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You can't.
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Marc Bennett
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tierdal wrote:
pretty sure you can warp past space lanes...so any ships there don't really block anything...


ships in space lanes still block movement.
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Donald Jensen

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tierdal wrote:
pretty sure you can warp past space lanes...so any ships there don't really block anything...


Sorry, no you can't.

Page 11, second column, last section "Entering Rival Territory"
"As you are moving through space at Impulse or Warp, you may not enter or pass through a sector you don't Control that contains Hostile rival Ships."

Any ship belonging to another race that you don't have a trade agreement with is considered hostile, and even with a trade agreement you have to ask permission to pass through sectors containing their ships or colonies.



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Viking Erik

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I've seen this work for this purpose: deterrence.

Ships clogging a lane don't have to be able to beat an attacking fleet or make what they're protecting impossible to reach. It just has to make it less convenient than another target. If the Fed is clogging the space lanes such that the Klingons will need six commands to plow through them to a valuable target... maybe the Klingons will instead go after a more convenient Romulan system that they can reach in three commands.

In a 3-way wargame, success often depends on getting the other two guys to fight each other. That's what clogging does and when it can be useful. I've seen it happen that way in a couple games now. The tactic doesn't do any real good in a 1-on-1 situation; you need to consider the 3-way interactions.
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vikingerik wrote:
Ships clogging a lane don't have to be able to beat an attacking fleet or make what they're protecting impossible to reach. It just has to make it less convenient than another target. If the Fed is clogging the space lanes such that the Klingons will need six commands to plow through them to a valuable target... maybe the Klingons will instead go after a more convenient Romulan system that they can reach in three commands.

Yes. Just like security in the real world, you don't have to make it impossible for bad guys to do you harm; you just want to make it less appealing than their other alternatives, so they choose to go elsewhere. Don't be the softest target.
 
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Marius van der Merwe
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I played the game the first time earlier today and clogging was used very effectively to shut down my scary and technologically far superior Klingon invasion fleet. While it cost my opponent mostly a single command token to move a ship into a clogging position, it cost me at least two command tokens to clear that same ship from that position (at least one to move adjacent and a second one to attack). While there might have been some tech advance card that could have made it easier for me to move, I never saw it.

Why have so many people commented that it costs both clogger and clogee the same number of command tokens? It is not even close. Clogging very effectively shut down my scary fleet to a crawl and gave the win to my clogging opponent who generated more culture tokens per turn than me (not to mention the third player who got to do all sorts of other stuff unmolested while I had no spare command tokens to respond with).

I liked this game, except for this clogging business that felt goofy and totally asymmetric to me. In Eclipse, for example, the number of ships you can block equal the number of your own ships at a location. In other words, if you want to do big blocks, that game at least forces you to put some skin in the game.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Did you remember you get a free impulse movement when you won a space combat?
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Marius van der Merwe
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Vardaine wrote:
Did you remember you get a free impulse movement when you won a space combat?


Thanks for clarifying. We did not play it that way. That explains a big part of my frustration. The player who employed the clogging tactic also taught the rules (he is the owner of the game and the only one who has played the game before). He must have forgotten or missed the free movement rule. He is usually very thorough when teaching rules.
 
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