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Subject: How to use Influence Action? rss

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Alex Krasny
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My group is confused about the influence action and how/when it should be used. I thought long and hard about it and it seems the only use for it would be if you explore a tile with only a discovery tile on it. You would place a disk, claim the prize and then influence action the disk back.

The only other scenarios is if you are too broke to claim a hex now, you would obviously need to do it later which is fine, but in both of these cases you are only moving 1 disk instead of two so you are only making use of the half an action? Isn't that a waste?

I guess there is the desperation scenario where you NEED ACTIONS NOW and you will actually destroy your systems and drop population blocks off just to build/upgrade/move in a pinch and it makes sense for that... but don't you automatically do that if you go bankrupt anyway without using an action?
 
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Riku Riekkinen
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Main thing for me is usually the 2 colony ships. So in order to make my production bigger at the start, use it. If I can also move disks from useless places, even better.
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Doug DeMoss
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I've come up with a few cases where you may want to do it. Say there's an opponent you have traded ambassadors with but would prefer to be fighting without having to betray them. There's an unowned system that would block them in, so use an INF to claim it. I actually did this recently (in the middle of said opponent moving ships to the galactic center - I'm guessing they were NOT happy).

You can also use it to grab hexes that you can't move to because of pinning, I believe.

Usually you just use bankruptcy to get disks back that you don't want on the board, but sometimes you do need to INF it back (especially Eridani early on).
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Alex Krasny
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
Main thing for me is usually the 2 colony ships. So in order to make my production bigger at the start, use it. If I can also move disks from useless places, even better.


What kinds of situations come up when you need more than 3 colony ships in a turn? In the early game you can easily afford to explore/take conrol/colonize without missing a beat. You can pretty reliably fully control 1 tile per turn this way.

I suppose in large wars you could potentially win multiple tiles in a battle and you would need to move 3+ cubes so that makes sense.
 
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Alex Krasny
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demoss1 wrote:
I've come up with a few cases where you may want to do it. Say there's an opponent you have traded ambassadors with but would prefer to be fighting without having to betray them. There's an unowned system that would block them in, so use an INF to claim it. I actually did this recently (in the middle of said opponent moving ships to the galactic center - I'm guessing they were NOT happy).


I do not understand what you are saying here, can you please explain in more detail?
 
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Doug DeMoss
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Say you have a trade deal with a neighbor, but you've decided you need to be fighting them for some reason. They've started moving ships to the center, but last turn they ended up abandoning their Tier I system (perhaps it has mostly advanced colony sites they can't use yet). You have a connection to that Tier I system.

So you can INFluence that system to claim it. They can still move through and it still cancels the trade deal, but now THEY get the Traitor card when they do it. Or they're now hemmed in if they don't choose to break the deal by moving through and maybe that's good enough for you.
 
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Peter O
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I often come across turns I need more than three colony ships. Its usually some combination of exploring, taking an ancient system, building orbitals, and/or taking an advanced planet tech.

The Influence action is not really meant to be of equal value with other actions and doesn't have to be. It's there because the game needs it to be there to cover the corner cases where it does get used. People would complain up and down if it didn't exist in some form.

Other uses:
As Planta you're spread out in a big space and haven't been using some of your bad systems during the game. Last turn, you Influence to claim those systems for points.

Diplomacy. I propose you and I switch systems for any number of different reasons. Perhaps swapping for advanced tech compatibility. Or perhaps you'd like me to attack your other neighbor but we don't want to lose diplomats. Perhaps I extort a system from you by threatening an attack if you don't comply. etc...
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Peter Bakija
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VirtualAlex wrote:
My group is confused about the influence action and how/when it should be used. I thought long and hard about it and it seems the only use for it would be if you explore a tile with only a discovery tile on it. You would place a disk, claim the prize and then influence action the disk back.


The Influence action is probably the action that gets used the least in practice, but when you need it, you need it.

Once and a while, you'll explore a hex ('cause you need to fill in a spot before your neighbor does and you want to block him out, or it is the last III hex and you don't wanna lose out or whatever) and not be able to afford to put a disc on it at that particular moment. So you explore it, place it, and then use the Influence action to colonize it on the next turn.

Once and while, you'll go bankrupt and have to pull discs off the table, and then you'll use the Influence action to re-colonize them on the next turn.

Once and a while, your neighbor will go bankrupt and have to pull discs off the table, and then you'll use the Influence action to colonize them on the next turn, and claim it was a terrible, terrible mistake.

Once and a while, you'll need more colony ships than you have access to. So you'll use the Influence action just to flip over some used colony ships.

Once and a while, you'll have a system with a gray planet in it, and you'll want to turn that gray planet from "Orange" to "Pink" or something, so you'll use an Influence action to un-colonize the system and then immediately recolonize the system, but this time, change what is on the gray planet.

A lot of the time, however, you'll play a whole game and never once use the Influence action. I will regularly play games where I never use the Influence action all game. But occasionally, I use it, 'cause I need to use it (for one of the above reasons), and when I need to use it, I'm glad it exists (in my most recent game, I had to go bankrupt two turns in a row and lose a system, but didn't want to give up the system to my neighbor, so I lost it due to bankruptcy and immediately recolonized it with an Influence action. Two turns in a row).

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Peter Bakija
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VirtualAlex wrote:
What kinds of situations come up when you need more than 3 colony ships in a turn?


You are Planta and luck out with good systems on the first turn?

You went bankrupt and lost multiple systems, and want to recolonize all of them in a single turn?

You have a good spread of advanced planets, and Research said advanced planets, and want to take full advantage of them immediately?

It doesn't happen *a lot*, but once and a while, you need more than 3 (or 2 or 4, depending on your race) in a given turn. At which point, you use the Influence action to get ahead of the colonization game.
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Peter Bakija
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VirtualAlex wrote:
I guess there is the desperation scenario where you NEED ACTIONS NOW and you will actually destroy your systems and drop population blocks off just to build/upgrade/move in a pinch and it makes sense for that... but don't you automatically do that if you go bankrupt anyway without using an action?


Yes. When you go bankrupt (i.e. use more actions than you can afford, and then pick up discs to pay for it, losing systems), you automatically pick up discs off the table.

It is very rare that you'll use the Influence action to un-colonize a system intentionally. You are generally much better off just going intentionally bankrupt to un-colonize systems you don't want (it is very common to, say, find a III hex on the first turn that is just a free discovery and no planets. You colonize it when you find it to get the discovery, and then overspend in actions specifically so you can go bankrupt and un-colonize that hex at the end of the turn). The only time I can think of specifically using the Influence action to un-colonize a system to abandon it is 'cause you made some deal with a neighbor ("Hey! Help me attack the guy in the middle, and I'll give you this border system!"). But as noted above, once and a while (rarely), you'll want to change what a gray planet is, and an Influence un-colonize/re-colonize action will do just that.

Again, for the sake of clarity, Influence actions tend to not come up all that often. But it is important that they exist.
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Peter O
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Oh. Eridani early on don't want to do intentional bankruptcy. If they want a first turn discovery it's best to influence the disc off.
 
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Franz Derphausen
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The influence action also loves white planets. You have pink, white, brown planets, but no orange (=income) planets? Influence. Tadaa, you now have "orange" cubes in play. You can switch the gears of you economy with influence if you have white planets. The more white planets you have, the more efficient you can swtich your economy. Getting two colony ships back is crucial.
 
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Peter Bakija
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tranenturm wrote:
Oh. Eridani early on don't want to do intentional bankruptcy. If they want a first turn discovery it's best to influence the disc off.


Oh, sure--once and a while, that'll happen too. I mean, to be fair, I have played Eridani a lot (and even won with them once or twice! Woo!), and I don't think I have ever done this (i.e. use the Influence action to intentionally un-colonize a system), but then, when I play Eridani, I prioritize turning money into science (so as to buy 1st turn Quantum Grid) as opposed to exploring, so it rarely comes up.

But that is certainly one of the few circumstances where one might want to use an Influence action to un-colonize a system.
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Doug DeMoss
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VirtualAlex wrote:

I guess there is the desperation scenario where you NEED ACTIONS NOW and you will actually destroy your systems and drop population blocks off just to build/upgrade/move in a pinch and it makes sense for that... but don't you automatically do that if you go bankrupt anyway without using an action?


One other thing on this point - rarely, generally turn 9 in my experience, I'll hit the hard disc limit but still have things to do that could potentially produce VP. If I can see that coming and use an INF to clear out a couple of low-value systems, maybe I can then use the one disc I've recovered to claim a home system or a monolith system. This can be important because bankruptcy comes AFTER you've done all your actions, when you may no longer need the discs.
 
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