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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » General

Subject: Sourcing perspectives on initial plays. rss

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glen.
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Hey there,

I'm two games deep with two additional practice games (which we didn't complete but played till we ran out of time).

Two things occurred, I'd love some thoughts on it:

There is a point in which when you are playing, you can go into an invulnerable mode. This can happen if you advance your shields way beyond someone else's weapons, but odder -- it can happen when you encounter phenomena. So, in order for a ship to blow up, you'd need to roll a 7 or 8 on a six sided die. There's some theme there (imagine Borg shields vs. the Federation they bounce right off), but from a gameplay perspective, it can be really frustrating to feel like 6s won't even hit or that you never really need to "brave" a hazard (the Federation always finds a way to beat the Borg!). Am I missing something or a rules aspect? Or does this seem off?

There also seems to be a point in which you can get effectively eliminated. Where someone can take all of your access to production or muster points (home or star bases). There's no reboot or catch-up mechanic (you always get X resources, etc.). I was eliminated about an hour before the game ended which, while a lesson in what to avoid next time, concerned me that this would be too similar to Risk. Did I miss something?

I know some of these things are remedied by experience, but if I'm missing how something functions or if you have insight, clue me in. Thanks!
 
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Nova Cat
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thesmallman wrote:
There is a point in which when you are playing, you can go into an invulnerable mode. This can happen if you advance your shields way beyond someone else's weapons, but odder -- it can happen when you encounter phenomena. So, in order for a ship to blow up, you'd need to roll a 7 or 8 on a six sided die. There's some theme there (imagine Borg shields vs. the Federation they bounce right off), but from a gameplay perspective, it can be really frustrating to feel like 6s won't even hit or that you never really need to "brave" a hazard (the Federation always finds a way to beat the Borg!). Am I missing something or a rules aspect? Or does this seem off?

If you're able to advance your shields that far, I would say the other players are letting you get too far ahead in your research. They can upgrade weapons, too, and they should. Plus, Klingons will always hit on 6s.

thesmallman wrote:
There also seems to be a point in which you can get effectively eliminated. Where someone can take all of your access to production or muster points (home or star bases). There's no reboot or catch-up mechanic (you always get X resources, etc.). I was eliminated about an hour before the game ended which, while a lesson in what to avoid next time, concerned me that this would be too similar to Risk. Did I miss something?

Yes, player elimination is a thing. Guard your borders well.

As for catch-up mechanics, sporting players should be willing to give you a juicy trade agreement if you're obviously crippled, which should help get you back on your feet. Also, kicking a player while he's down is, generally speaking, a waste of resources and unsporting, so it shouldn't happen that often.
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Daniel Grant
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I'm curious - which faction were you playing when eliminated? And which faction got shields up to "invulnerable" levels?
 
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Angelus Seniores
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for weapons and shields it is important to stay as close as possible to your opponents level or face certain failure. even only a 2-step difference will statistically pose serious problems in space battles

becoming impervious to phenomena isnt an issue, opponents should dispute them to deny the research/collect it themselves

elimination should be less of an issue as its more important to stay ahead/attack the ones about to win, than use your resources to eliminate an already crippled player.
 
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Jon Snow
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arrrh You are right about these things. My preliminary thoughts are that its meant to be a tight, balance of power game. Its easy to get into your own backyard development and not pay enough attention to what the others are doing! If one player gets too far ahead, we tend to call the game rather than go to the end. However, that being said, the game is not finished yet, as new factions will provide different options and possibilities, as well as more players to help whomp on a runaway leader!

Research is a very important aspect of the game, which, through misunderstanding the rules, we did not use enough in our first games to counter the advantages of the other players.
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glen.
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I'm anxious about several of the responses given.

First, the game is really random at parts. Like, really random. Now, I get the theme: you explore space, who knows what happens. I'd like to think Star Trek is a little less intense than Game of Thrones though. I will say that I don't mind randomness outright, as it can mitigate alpha players vs. non-gamers. But multiple times at the start of the beginning of my second game, I had ships exploding into nothing for random reasons, of no fault of my own. Several into new phenomena or hazards, many to random exploration cards. With only one production trickling out for me for several turns, it allowed my Klingon wife to build a bed of resources while I never recovered from this. I think at most I had 3 production nodes throughout the game, but it typically was 1-2.

Novacat wrote:
If you're able to advance your shields that far, I would say the other players are letting you get too far ahead in your research. They can upgrade weapons, too, and they should. Plus, Klingons will always hit on 6s.


This is why this response is hard. If someone is able to get way ahead of you from the get-go, this creates problems.

Novacat wrote:

Yes, player elimination is a thing. Guard your borders well.

As for catch-up mechanics, sporting players should be willing to give you a juicy trade agreement if you're obviously crippled, which should help get you back on your feet. Also, kicking a player while he's down is, generally speaking, a waste of resources and unsporting, so it shouldn't happen that often.


Hindsight is 20/20. Perhaps it is good to have someone as a grateful, strong ally, but its just as realistic to respond knowing your opponent to your left is mitigated, you only need to worry about your right.

wrote:

becoming impervious to phenomena isn't an issue, opponents should dispute them to deny the research/collect it themselves


This one is odd, but all of the phenomena revealed were deep within other players' territories. In both games, the Federation revealed several of them especially close to their own homeworlds, which meant, since they were focused on research anyhow, they managed to farm them usually each term, and were rarely truly contested.

Im still excited for the next play, but I admit I have concerns that this game has some very Risk-like problems. Long play time because of theme-over-mechanics. Some of the above issues could have been reigned in with game mechanics (players always receive X resources, players may muster from X planet if homeworld is destroyed, players always are destroyed by a 6 against phenomena, having maximum shield or weapons limits that can't lead to utter obsolescence, etc.) instead of putting the onus on players to play the game properly.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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the game does call for some caution to mitigate early bad luck;

exploring with single ships is best early on to limit the risk from hazards.

keeping some resources in reserve is also good so you can use it as needed to buy new nodes ie dont spend the last of it each turn.
 
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Grish
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thesmallman wrote:
it allowed my Klingon wife to build a bed


Was that smart? I hear Klingon beds they aren't very comfortable.



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glen.
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Angelsenior wrote:
the game does call for some caution to mitigate early bad luck;


Myself and the Federation player both lost entire fleets in the first three turns. First me, then him. Sure, I could have leveraged a Science Fleet, but I figured it would have been enough to include 4 whole ships.

Again, all of these bits of advice are things I learned from experience, but they seem to be adding up to overall issues.

By the way, Angelus, were you a playtester? Anyone else who's commented a playtester?
 
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Angelus Seniores
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im not a playtester but made myself a pnp version to play with
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Marc Bennett
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thesmallman wrote:
Angelsenior wrote:
the game does call for some caution to mitigate early bad luck;


Myself and the Federation player both lost entire fleets in the first three turns. First me, then him. Sure, I could have leveraged a Science Fleet, but I figured it would have been enough to include 4 whole ships.

Again, all of these bits of advice are things I learned from experience, but they seem to be adding up to overall issues.

By the way, Angelus, were you a playtester? Anyone else who's commented a playtester?


there is a tile that has a 3 hazard. that is deadly to a 10 fleet let alone a 4 fleet. exploration should be single ships if at all possible until you have enough production it doesnt matter (if that ever happens)

and it makes sense too, why do you think the enterprise in the original season "boldly going where no man has gone before" was a single ship instead of a fleet. in case they boldly flew into a ship destroying whosa whatsis they would only lose the one ship.
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John Godwin
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Yeah, fleets are special specific mission related or good for moving a lot of ships with few commands. They aren't made for exploration.
 
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