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This topic is pretty wide open but the things that I am particularly interested in learning are:
1. What parts of the design of the ships we have in the game make it more likely to succeed or fail. AND
2. What tips have you learned that let you play better and increase your chances of success -- with a particular ship or ships in general.
For instance. I've noticed (I think) that something as small as number of total hit points (hull plus shields) makes a big difference in success when you play the supership at the end because it's not uncommon to take a big hit on the first round.
So each of the ships in the KS edition play differently and have a very different design. What parts of those designs make the ships work and which promote failure? Thanks.
Ok, Orouboros theory.
1. Playing the supership is difficult just with the supership so trying to play it when the 6th card appears with the cards shuffled in will be harder. For one thing the thing gets a free double attack to start. If there are other threats on the board, your chance of surviving that first attack go from decent to unlikely because all of those threats can double attack too. Unless you are looking for the Robinson Crusoe experience or the ghost stories experience don't do it.
2. If you introduce the ship at the end, your best chance is to have all the other threats cleaned up and more importantly have your ship in pristine condition because even with a good threat roll from Orouboros you will probably take a heavy first hit.
3. Shoot the attack matrix first to eliminate a 2nd double attack. Try to keep your shields up. Try to repair hull if you can because some attacks ignore shields. The 2nd target is the missile array.
4. After that work on the Hydra Cannons. Once those are gone it's only a matter of time.
Even with all that though, all it takes is one bad roll (or 2 for a double attack) and the strongest ship gets vaporized no matter how good a player you are.
Some of my ships and Nick Shaw's ships (he came up with the idea) have a warp out mechanic. Thus allows you to "reset" the threats and make them re-emerge. This warp out, if used liberally prior to the Orouboros can increase your chances of having your ship in good shape for the deployment of orouboros. My ship's cloaking action and cloaking attack are also effective at resetting the board. Nick's torpedoes (and my variants) can give you a big firing turn that can also be useful though the Halcyon's lasers can do something similar with 3+ dice.
There are a couple of tactics which I like the idea of but aren't sure are permissible. First stasising the barrier when it is destroyed but can still come back on a 5. Second Stasising the barrier and then destroying the core.
Note that I also fire at the meteor and the nebula but not the solar wind. This is somewhat of a personal choice, if you want your game harder you could decide one or both of these is off limits. The "trick" of placing a dice in the infirmary (variant side of the KS Returned/Infirmary card) to change another dice to any side and then using a third Med die to get it out is very useful to any ship. 4 dice can place 2 dice in the infirmary, convert 1 to whatever you want and the other to a med die and get all dice out of the infirmary but only in ships which remove ALL dice from the infirmary with a med die.
This last is somewhat similar to what Star Trek the dice game did -- they allow you to use 3 dice of any kind as any type of die you want. These rules, using that variant rule for the infirmary is REALLY useful in mitigating bad die rolls and also adds a layer of strategy for when it's worth having someone in the infirmary in order to have some particular die. It might make the game a little easier but it also makes the strategy richer and I think it's a better game.
If you think I have something wrong here, pipe up. I'm doing this to solicit feedback to learn to play better. I'm still a new player though so I may have some rules wrong or the strategy wrong. Thanks.
Command Die Abilities and effect on play:
1. The "standard" ability on the Halcyon is "Change a crew die to any face". This gives you versatility but requires another die to change. A command die without another die is mostly useless.
2. AG-8 can only use a command die to reprogram a drone. This is a much needed use but it's a LOT less versatile than the Halcyon ability. The command drone is better but rerolling comes with the risk of a threat die which is deadly to AG-8.
3. Athena's command ability can copy an existing die. This is useful, but a LOT less useful than Halcyon since it relies on you rolling what you need already but just not enough dice of that type. This seems similar but it's not.
4. Mononoaware uses a command die to effectively stasis all die rolls of a single number. If this was part of the green dice, it would still be worse (probably) than normal stasis IMHO but it would at least be close. This effectively means you don't have a command ability at all which is one of the reasons why this ship is as hard as it is. It's the worst of the 4 in my opinion but if you want a hard ship this is a good one.
In some of the variant ships, you can USE a command die to turn that die to any face. This is better than the Halcyon because you don't need to use another die. This is probably the best ability possible. My feds even have an alternate ability to reroll 2 or more dice. This is why those ships are "better" in the sense of being easier. It really helps mitigate bad rolls.
I think the command ability is one of the principle keys to what makes a ship effective in the game (aka easier). You may not want an easy ship but you may also not want to lose the game because you can't roll dice to save your life either!
Ships need the ability to handle internal threats (usually this means having 1-2 dice of a specific type), external threats (firepower or some ability like stasis and/or warp out), and the ability to repair quickly enough to save themselves. Halcyon is a jack of all trades -- decent firepower, good command ability, good versatile science ability, decent med abilities and decent repair. Nothing spectacular but good all the way around.
Athena has an inferior command ability but a useable one, better weapons, better repair, and a way to reroll but no way to remove threats. Also no stasis. This is a harder ship to play IMHO than Halcyon.
Mononoaware has a REALLY inferior command ability. In effect it has what should have been the secondary ability of the science die and none of its own. It has good repair ability and interesting and effective attacks. The 2 threat positions mean it's less likely to have captured dice but it's more likely to be overwhelmed by threats. This ship makes Athena look easy and the command ability is a lot of the reason.
AG-8 effectively also has no command ability. The eng die should do either the command ability or the eng ability. You mostly either have die left over that has no use or you can't roll the right type (of a very limited number after the dice tied up in drones) to alleviate internal threats. The Halcyon ability could help with that a lot.
Feel free to tell me where I'm wrong.