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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Two games in - My strategy impressions rss

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Nova Cat
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• After two wins out of two games, I maintain that more important than the abilities, technology, or systems is the political maneuvering. Convincing each of your opponents that the other is a greater threat than yourself is absolutely key, and will get you much further than any other maneuver you can perform.

• Trade agreements are way stronger than they look. Do not hand out your 3-production agreement willy-nilly. That should only be used for helping fund a war against a winning opponent.

• Klingons can spin out of control faster than you realize. They get scary-big, scary-quick. Late-game Klingons can actually over-produce. They get so much production and so many free ships that they need to be continually aggressive in order to not waste all of it.

• The Federation is *really* not that good at fighting, and should avoid it if at all possible.

• Once a player gets a culture income of 4 or 5 (the "tipping point," as some have called it), the other players need to handle that shit pronto. Spending 2 rounds after you notice the problem getting ready to handle it is not going to work out. Always keep an eye on your opponents' resource generation, and have a plan to act immediately if they reach this point.

• Ascendancy victory seems to be the easiest and most default victory condition for everyone, even the Klingons.

On resources:

•Production remains equally important in all stages of the game.

• Research becomes extremely important of one player gets too much more than the others. A technological advantage can quickly become overwhelming if left unchecked.

• Culture is obviously the most important resource, since it’s used to buy victory. But early on, culture is used to take planets, either by colonization or by hegemony. So the strategy, then, is in when to stop using culture for expansion and start buying ascendancy.
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Marc Bennett
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Novacat wrote:
• After two wins out of two games, I maintain that more important than the abilities, technology, or systems is the political maneuvering. Convincing each of your opponents that the other is a greater threat than yourself is absolutely key, and will get you much further than any other maneuver you can perform.

• Trade agreements are way stronger than they look. Do not hand out your 3-production agreement willy-nilly. That should only be used for helping fund a war against a winning opponent.

• Klingons can spin out of control faster than you realize. They get scary-big, scary-quick. Late-game Klingons can actually over-produce. They get so much production and so many free ships that they need to be continually aggressive in order to not waste all of it.

• The Federation is *really* not that good at fighting, and should avoid it if at all possible.

• Once a player gets a culture income of 4 or 5 (the "tipping point," as some have called it), the other players need to handle that shit pronto. Spending 2 rounds after you notice the problem getting ready to handle it is not going to work out. Always keep an eye on your opponents' resource generation, and have a plan to act immediately if they reach this point.

• Ascendancy victory seems to be the easiest and most default victory condition for everyone, even the Klingons.

On resources:

•Production remains equally important in all stages of the game.

• Research becomes extremely important of one player gets too much more than the others. A technological advantage can quickly become overwhelming if left unchecked.

• Culture is obviously the most important resource, since it’s used to buy victory. But early on, culture is used to take planets, either by colonization or by hegemony. So the strategy, then, is in when to stop using culture for expansion and start buying ascendancy.
after having played several times id say your impressions are spot on. the single greatest resource is your political acumen and correctly identifying your threats accurately.
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Grish
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Were you researching advancements or were you pumping the shields/weapons mostly?

What faction did you play?
 
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Nova Cat
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R2EQ wrote:
Were you researching advancements or were you pumping the shields/weapons mostly?

A bit of both. I researched more advancements as the Romulans (4) than as the Klingons (3). As the Klingons, I got to Shields 1 and Weapons 4+. As the romulans, I got to Shields 1 and Weapons 3+.

R2EQ wrote:
What faction did you play?

Klingons first, then Romulans. I play the Federation tomorrow.
 
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Dan Van Kampen
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Personally, I would love an update after you play Feds if you have the chance. Thanks for your info!
 
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Donald Jensen

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Novacat wrote:
• After two wins out of two games, I maintain that more important than the abilities, technology, or systems is the political maneuvering. Convincing each of your opponents that the other is a greater threat than yourself is absolutely key, and will get you much further than any other maneuver you can perform.

This is so true. The first game I played as the Roms and I set back and let the Feds and Klingons fight while I sat back and built up. By time the say that I was way out front, it was too late, even teaming up agains me they couldn't keep up.

Novacat wrote:
• Trade agreements are way stronger than they look. Do not hand out your 3-production agreement willy-nilly. That should only be used for helping fund a war against a winning opponent.

Yes they can be very strong. Especially dangerous in the hands of the Klingons and their huge fleet potential.

Novacat wrote:
• Klingons can spin out of control faster than you realize. They get scary-big, scary-quick. Late-game Klingons can actually over-produce. They get so much production and so many free ships that they need to be continually aggressive in order to not waste all of it.

This is true, however I will say that in the two games I have played, they didn't win either. You have to set yourself up to weather the huge fleets.

Novacat wrote:
• The Federation is *really* not that good at fighting, and should avoid it if at all possible.

Agreed, they don't have the shear military potential as the Klingons or Roms, but that isn't really supposed to be their specialty. Think of it this way, they can more easily take over existing developed planets more easily through heganomy and it only takes them one ship in orbit to attempt. They don't even risk the ship in the attempt.

Novacat wrote:
• Once a player gets a culture income of 4 or 5 (the "tipping point," as some have called it), the other players need to handle that shit pronto. Spending 2 rounds after you notice the problem getting ready to handle it is not going to work out. Always keep an eye on your opponents' resource generation, and have a plan to act immediately if they reach this point.

Totally agree. This happened in my second game. I was playing the Feds and I had three ascendancy with four culture nodes. When I finally build the 5th node is when the other players realized it. they couldn't based on the total culture I had banked, they calculated that they couldn't take enough of my culture nodes away with the in time to stop me from winning so they made a last ditch effort to break through to my home world. The round I won the Romulans lacked one command of being able to attack my homeworld with three massive fleets.

Novacat wrote:
• Ascendancy victory seems to be the easiest and most default victory condition for everyone, even the Klingons.

The key is to quietly slowly advance your Ascendancy. I also find it helps to not always buy Ascendance as soon as you get the 5 culture, the other players tend not to pay as much attention to the stack of culture as they do to actually ascendancy tokens.

Novacat wrote:
On resources:

•Production remains equally important in all stages of the game.

Agreed!

Novacat wrote:
• Research becomes extremely important of one player gets too much more than the others. A technological advantage can quickly become overwhelming if left unchecked.

For the most part this is true. Although, not all projects are equal, even if the cost to complete are the same. I find that there are several advancements that are really meh and others that are OMG great.

Novacat wrote:
• Culture is obviously the most important resource, since it’s used to buy victory. But early on, culture is used to take planets, either by colonization or by hegemony. So the strategy, then, is in when to stop using culture for expansion and start buying ascendancy.

Agreed!
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Nova Cat
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Iron Prime wrote:
Personally, I would love an update after you play Feds if you have the chance. Thanks for your info!

Update:

Playing as the Feds, I liked them. They've got a lot of powerful tools at their disposal. My first Launch Projects action yielded the sensor grid that negates romulan cloaking tech, so I jumped on that. Then, as soon as I finished it, the romulan player started his tech that could exhaust mine, so that was a wash.

I had a strong lead near the end, but the romulan player took Earth from me, delaying my victory, then after I re-took it, I was 1 culture short of ascending to 5. Then the Klingons finally came in and took both our homeworlds, and used the culture they gained from defeating our defense fleets to ascend to 5 at the same time, so the Klingons won with Ascendancy and Supremacy simultaneously.

I had a few advancements that gave me extra research, and combined with an early shield upgrade (thanks to some friendly Bynars), I was able to generate way more research than either of the other players, giving me Shield 2, Weapons 4+, and 5 different advancement by the end of the game. My ships were, individually, much stronger than my opponents', but I simply didn't have the production income to keep up with them, and ended up re-forming and then losing a fleet every round at the end.

Possibly relevant to this story is that, after I got my 3rd ascendancy, and with a culture income of 4, I felt that the other two players weren't understanding the significance of these numbers, so I announced to them that I was about to win, and proceeded to fly in an hegemony one of the romulan worlds near me, which happened to have a culture node. Killing his defense fleet cancelled our trade agreement, crippling my production, and drew slightly more agro than I could actually handle.

If I hadn't made that announcement, or acted so blatantly aggressive, I think I would have won. But I was concerned that the suddenness of such a victory would have turned the other players off of the game somewhat, since they hadn't done any real interaction (the Klingon player hadn't yet attacked anyone at that point).
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Marc Bennett
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Novacat wrote:
Then the Klingons finally came in and took both our homeworlds,


shouldnt they have won at this point? rather than winning via ascendancy
 
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Grish
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Klaxas wrote:
Novacat wrote:
Then the Klingons finally came in and took both our homeworlds,


shouldnt they have won at this point? rather than winning via ascendancy


No. Victory Check is done in the Recharge Stage.
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Chris Schenck
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Novacat wrote:
• After two wins out of two games, I maintain that more important than the abilities, technology, or systems is the political maneuvering. Convincing each of your opponents that the other is a greater threat than yourself is absolutely key, and will get you much further than any other maneuver you can perform.

This is THE key. Don't just play the game; play the players.

As a corollary, in any game of this nature (not just ST:A) never rush out to a quick lead in the early game, or you'll find yourself as the target of the political maneuvering. Stay with the pack while quietly building infrastructure.
 
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James J

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cbs42 wrote:

This is THE key. Don't just play the game; play the players.


My group gets together next week to finally try out a full game, but I made almost the exact same comment in the solo thread after digesting the rules and messing with the components on the table. This game has fun mechanics, but the meat of it is playing the other players. Nice to see I was on the right track.
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Daniel Grant
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Are you allowed to conceal the number of Culture token you have? I don't recall seeing anything about it in the rules.
 
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Marc Bennett
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Jatta Pake wrote:
Are you allowed to conceal the number of Culture token you have? I don't recall seeing anything about it in the rules.


i would assume all tokens are public knowledge as no way is provided to conceal them
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Nova Cat
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As a note, I did play a fourth game (as the Klingons), but I don't feel that I have much to learn from it, even though I lost. The Federation player admitted after the game that he was not playing to win, instead focusing all his effort to exploration and technology development to "experience the game," as it were. That's fine, but I only realized too late that he was never going to help me bring down the romulan player who was in the lead, nor even revoke the trade agreement that was helping the romulans outstrip my own production. We were effectively playing a 2-player game, and my opponent was getting tons of free resources.

So I guess if there's anything to take away from that game, it's to make sure you understand your opponents' motivations, and play accordingly.
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Chris Schenck
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Jatta Pake wrote:
Are you allowed to conceal the number of Culture token you have?

It's not specifically mentioned whether you can conceal them. It does show the ascendancy tokens sitting in public view during setup, so I suspect the intent is that they're public. I don't suspect it matters though, since it would be easy to keep track as the players buy them.


Novacat wrote:
So I guess if there's anything to take away from that game, it's to make sure you understand your opponents' motivations, and play accordingly.

Ha! Yeah, it helps if the players are all actually playing to win the game, rather than just make random moves. At a minimum, I'd think it would be polite for him to warn the other players that he's just going to act randomly all game. It nullifies the whole point of the 3 player 'checks and balances' built into the game.

 
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Nova Cat
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Quote:

Ha! Yeah, it helps if the players are all actually playing to win the game, rather than just make random moves. At a minimum, I'd think it would be polite for him to warn the other players that he's just going to act randomly all game. It nullifies the whole point of the 3 player 'checks and balances' built into the game.

He wasn't acting randomly, per se. He was just focused on exploration and technological development rather that winning. If I had known this ahead of time, I could have used it to my advantage, but I didn't.
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Grant Whitesell

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I just got this one - thought I'd throw in something I noticed far too late in my first go.

Romulan Mining Fleet. Build it. Form it turn one. Use it. I'd argue it's *more* efficient early game than committing a node to a planet you find.
 
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Marc Bennett
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GrantZilla1979 wrote:
I just got this one - thought I'd throw in something I noticed far too late in my first go.

Romulan Mining Fleet. Build it. Form it turn one. Use it. I'd argue it's *more* efficient early game than committing a node to a planet you find.


yes totally. the mining fleet needs to go on the first planet you find. you can colonize it later when you find a better planet to mine. like one with dangerous flora or something.
 
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Grant Whitesell

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It also seems a very juicy target for Klingons.
 
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Marc Bennett
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GrantZilla1979 wrote:
It also seems a very juicy target for Klingons.


that would be true, but hopefully by the time contact is made you can protect it.
 
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