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Andrew Jordan
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I am curious about other players' experiences with setting up the starting planet locations and designating play space. The rule book depicts an illustration of Suggested Game Layout (pg 3) in which the starting planets are all 18" from each other in an equilateral triangle, but the play area is the shape of a square. As a result, two planets are near the square's corners while the third planet (Kronos in the picture) is along an edge. This is inherently unequal, as the Klingon player has more options than the other two players when it comes to placement of space lanes. Namely, the Klingon player can put space lanes in a 180 degree arc while the other two are limited to 90 degrees.

Having only played one game, I don't know if this is a big deal or not. Our next game, we plan on making the play area triangular as well so as to keep all things equal.

Just wondering about other player's experiences and/or input on this issue.

 
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James J

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I didn't like the inequality of the suggested square, so I created a wire circle and taped it to the table we were playing on. It was ugly, but the borders were equal and clearly defined. I'll still use it in a pinch, but I'm trying to design something better. If the game gets enough play, I may print a custom neoprene mat with various concentric rings printed on it. Because as we add more factions and higher player counts, the minimum 3 foot circle will have to grow to avoid crowding.

One small consolation if someone does use a square is that the Klingon's traits slightly mitigate the advantage they have with that extra space. Unlike the other two factions, who can do well with isolation, the Klingons must go on the offensive to win. So they are motivated to make a beeline for the rival territories fairly quickly. Putting the Romulans or Feds down there would be worse.
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John Godwin
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We just offset the factions so that the player on the edge is closer to it and the other two players have so,e room to go backwards.
 
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Marc Bennett
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this was discussed before. someone figured it out mathematically and the advantage is very small, it just looks a lot larger than it is.
 
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Dave Summers
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Here you go:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1647010/ideal-play-area

A circular table is definitely the best option if you have it. I'm fortunate with my gaming table, it's a 116cm diameter circle that extends to fit another rectangular section in the middle. For a four player, I'm planning on setting the 'square' of planets in a diamond around it so it's all symmetrical.

The hardest part is squeezing in all the player stuff ... your control board, a bunch of projects, a bunch of advancements, 3 fleet cards, commands, ascendancy tokens.... and it all needs to be on display really. I'll be buying a cheap black tablecloth and marking out a three player setup next week.
 
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James J

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It's going to be interesting to see what happens when/if organized play starts up. Because mathematically tuned or not, a square vs a circle for 3 players makes a huge difference. I like the appeal of being able to explore off into a corner of the square, but the circle forced us to always explore towards each other.
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Dave Summers
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japester1 wrote:
It's going to be interesting to see what happens when/if organized play starts up. Because mathematically tuned or not, a square vs a circle for 3 players makes a huge difference. I like the appeal of being able to explore off into a corner of the square, but the circle forced us to always explore towards each other.


This is what makes the square so complicated, even if you move the planets as I suggested and give each player a third of the area, those areas aren't necessarily strategically even. The bottom left and right players can explore 'south' in the complete opposite direction of the top player, and he or she doesn't have the equivalent option.

I should point out that when I say a circle is best, I'm including player boards and cards. The actual playable area is a triangle:

https://goo.gl/images/46cR9R

...so you have the option to create interesting alternate routes to rival territories in the triangle's corners.
 
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Marc Bennett
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DaveSumm wrote:
japester1 wrote:
It's going to be interesting to see what happens when/if organized play starts up. Because mathematically tuned or not, a square vs a circle for 3 players makes a huge difference. I like the appeal of being able to explore off into a corner of the square, but the circle forced us to always explore towards each other.


This is what makes the square so complicated, even if you move the planets as I suggested and give each player a third of the area, those areas aren't necessarily strategically even. The bottom left and right players can explore 'south' in the complete opposite direction of the top player, and he or she doesn't have the equivalent option.

I should point out that when I say a circle is best, I'm including player boards and cards. The actual playable area is a triangle:

https://goo.gl/images/46cR9R

...so you have the option to create interesting alternate routes to rival territories in the triangle's corners.


are you suggesting the home planets be in the corners? IMO this would hurt the feds as it blocks off routs away that they can explore. with research the feds can branch off 5 times from their home system and it is a good thing to do (since they like to explore) by making a triangle playing area, you cut them off severely unless each player is along an edge. also each players home world ends up being only connected by 1 or 2 routs at most making it very easy to defend.

i feel the best option is a circular playing area, rather than a triangle. IMO although i will mostly play on a square or rectangle playing area, i dont feel the advantage offered is much of a big deal in actual play.
 
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James J

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DaveSumm wrote:

I should point out that when I say a circle is best, I'm including player boards and cards. The actual playable area is a triangle:


Including table shapes is going to make this even more complicated to discuss. To keep it simple, I am only discussing the actual play area (or "game area" in the rule book). The shape of the table around the map doesn't make much of a difference (unless it is too small).

The book's idea of using the game boards to form a triangle is good in theory, but it still leaves a rather fuzzy, debatable border around the map itself. I prefer something rigidly defined, since players will attempt to cut things close.

I figure at 4 and 5 player counts (I doubt I'll every play 6 or more), a circle will definitely be best. And placement of home systems around the circle will have to be randomized, since being adjacent to the more aggressive factions will be a negative.
 
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Dave Summers
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Klaxas wrote:
DaveSumm wrote:
japester1 wrote:
It's going to be interesting to see what happens when/if organized play starts up. Because mathematically tuned or not, a square vs a circle for 3 players makes a huge difference. I like the appeal of being able to explore off into a corner of the square, but the circle forced us to always explore towards each other.


This is what makes the square so complicated, even if you move the planets as I suggested and give each player a third of the area, those areas aren't necessarily strategically even. The bottom left and right players can explore 'south' in the complete opposite direction of the top player, and he or she doesn't have the equivalent option.

I should point out that when I say a circle is best, I'm including player boards and cards. The actual playable area is a triangle:

https://goo.gl/images/46cR9R

...so you have the option to create interesting alternate routes to rival territories in the triangle's corners.


are you suggesting the home planets be in the corners? IMO this would hurt the feds as it blocks off routs away that they can explore. with research the feds can branch off 5 times from their home system and it is a good thing to do (since they like to explore) by making a triangle playing area, you cut them off severely unless each player is along an edge. also each players home world ends up being only connected by 1 or 2 routs at most making it very easy to defend.

i feel the best option is a circular playing area, rather than a triangle. IMO although i will mostly play on a square or rectangle playing area, i dont feel the advantage offered is much of a big deal in actual play.


No, what I meant was that the white triangle in the middle is the one formed by the home planets, and the black triangle is the playable area (you could define it with the boards, but I'll eventually be marking it out).
 
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Marc Bennett
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DaveSumm wrote:
Klaxas wrote:
DaveSumm wrote:
japester1 wrote:
It's going to be interesting to see what happens when/if organized play starts up. Because mathematically tuned or not, a square vs a circle for 3 players makes a huge difference. I like the appeal of being able to explore off into a corner of the square, but the circle forced us to always explore towards each other.


This is what makes the square so complicated, even if you move the planets as I suggested and give each player a third of the area, those areas aren't necessarily strategically even. The bottom left and right players can explore 'south' in the complete opposite direction of the top player, and he or she doesn't have the equivalent option.

I should point out that when I say a circle is best, I'm including player boards and cards. The actual playable area is a triangle:

https://goo.gl/images/46cR9R

...so you have the option to create interesting alternate routes to rival territories in the triangle's corners.


are you suggesting the home planets be in the corners? IMO this would hurt the feds as it blocks off routs away that they can explore. with research the feds can branch off 5 times from their home system and it is a good thing to do (since they like to explore) by making a triangle playing area, you cut them off severely unless each player is along an edge. also each players home world ends up being only connected by 1 or 2 routs at most making it very easy to defend.

i feel the best option is a circular playing area, rather than a triangle. IMO although i will mostly play on a square or rectangle playing area, i dont feel the advantage offered is much of a big deal in actual play.


No, what I meant was that the white triangle in the middle is the one formed by the home planets, and the black triangle is the playable area (you could define it with the boards, but I'll eventually be marking it out).


ok yeah that would work well, although i personally would prefer a rounded play area. i maybe need to pick up a round foldable table i can use just for the play area. hmmmm
 
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Chris Van Deusen
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Klaxas wrote:
DaveSumm wrote:
Klaxas wrote:
DaveSumm wrote:
japester1 wrote:
It's going to be interesting to see what happens when/if organized play starts up. Because mathematically tuned or not, a square vs a circle for 3 players makes a huge difference. I like the appeal of being able to explore off into a corner of the square, but the circle forced us to always explore towards each other.


This is what makes the square so complicated, even if you move the planets as I suggested and give each player a third of the area, those areas aren't necessarily strategically even. The bottom left and right players can explore 'south' in the complete opposite direction of the top player, and he or she doesn't have the equivalent option.

I should point out that when I say a circle is best, I'm including player boards and cards. The actual playable area is a triangle:

https://goo.gl/images/46cR9R

...so you have the option to create interesting alternate routes to rival territories in the triangle's corners.


are you suggesting the home planets be in the corners? IMO this would hurt the feds as it blocks off routs away that they can explore. with research the feds can branch off 5 times from their home system and it is a good thing to do (since they like to explore) by making a triangle playing area, you cut them off severely unless each player is along an edge. also each players home world ends up being only connected by 1 or 2 routs at most making it very easy to defend.

i feel the best option is a circular playing area, rather than a triangle. IMO although i will mostly play on a square or rectangle playing area, i dont feel the advantage offered is much of a big deal in actual play.


No, what I meant was that the white triangle in the middle is the one formed by the home planets, and the black triangle is the playable area (you could define it with the boards, but I'll eventually be marking it out).


ok yeah that would work well, although i personally would prefer a rounded play area. i maybe need to pick up a round foldable table i can use just for the play area. hmmmm

Interesting idea. It makes me think about cutting a round piece of plywood or foam board to use as a play area on any surface. You could even draw concentric circles on it to use for various player counts or interaction levels.
 
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Marc Bennett
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Frank Overwood wrote:

Interesting idea. It makes me think about cutting a round piece of plywood or even foam board to use as a play area on any surface. You could even draw concentric circles on it to use for various player counts or interaction levels.
ohhh i like that idea too.
 
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