Andrew S.
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After playing a game the other night where the Federation did a bit too much Hegemony and fell really far behind in Ascendancy tokens as a result, it was mentioned that the systems that were hegemonized (is that a word?) were a bad return on the Culture invested in taking them. This got me thinking that since the Ferengi use Production to gain Culture, they can easily view every expenditure of resources (Production or otherwise) as an investment, because spending Production directly reduces the amount of Culture they can have.
We know the Ferengi have an advancement that allows them to pay 2 Production instead of the Culture for colonizing/hegemony, but assuming the player doesn't have that advancement, we can do a bit of math to judge when colonizing a system will pay off.

PLANETS WITH ONE PRODUCTION NODE
1 Culture (5 Production) + 1 ship (1 Production)+ 1 Production node (2 Production)= 8 Production. Which means that you won't break even until the 8th turn and won't turn a profit until the 9th. Hmmm...not a very good return on a investment.

PLANETS WITH TWO PRODUCTION NODES
1 Culture (5 Production) + 1 ship (1 Production)+ 2 Production nodes (4 Production)= 10 Production. Breaking even on the 5th turn and turning a profit until the 6th. Hmmm...a better return but still....

PLANETS WITH THREE PRODUCTION NODES
1 Culture (5 Production) + 1 ship (1 Production)+ 3 Production nodes (6 Production)= 12 Production. Breaking even on the 4th turn and turning a profit until the 5th. It's getting better but how many three nodes systems are there?

PLANETS WITH FOUR PRODUCTION NODES
1 Culture (5 Production) + 1 ship (1 Production)+ 4 Production nodes (8 Production)= 14 Production. Breaking even and turning a profit both on the 4th turn but as far as we know there is only one system that comes with the Ferengi expansion where this is even possible.

So...in conclusion...is colonizing any systems worth it for the Ferengi or can they get an Ascendancy win with just Ferenginar?
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Marc Bennett
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interesting thoughts. but this is analyzing each planet in a vacuum and ignores the "tipping point" of course the tipping point for the ferengi also includes production and culture

the ferengi also have other ways to gain production besides planets so they may have less reliance on planets than other races but to completely ignore them? i dont find that feasible. of course its all guessing until we give it a shot.
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Andrew S.
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I agree, there will undoubtedly be additional reasons to colonize more planets, even if only to provide a buffer against getting wiped out in a single attack and more star bases/commands. But I do think that given what we know at the moment, the Ferengi will probably pass on systems like Dakala or Risa.
I did this mostly as a thought exercise, especially given that we only have 5 of the Ferengi's 15 advancements. It is worth noting that of the 5, 2 are ways to spend Production (and the one that reduces the colonization/hegemony costs definitely throws the math out the window) and of the other three that provide additional ways to gain Production, they all rely on your Rivals doing/not doing something.
Of course, this train of thought really makes me wish I kept track of how many turns my games typically has.
 
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Trueflight Silverwing
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In the last, you will want to colonize since planets with research capability early on to unlock those research projects that really boost up production.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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a minor addition to your calculations, early on they might not have the full production on hand to pay for the needed investments immediately, certainly for the 3 or 4-node planets, which may add an additional turn needed to get return on investment. and you need to research the tech first to get the reduced costs.

a game tends to last 11+ turns so early colonizations are defintely worth the return using starting culture or reduced culture.

given how many tech/ferengi specific rules work off rival planets, its really much more interesting to have your rivals do all the work on colonizing, while you simply put your ship in orbit and reap the benefits.

with a few trades setup, they will likely have enough surplus production that return on investment is less important.

one important point though is that the nr of planets controlled counts to determine a winner in case 2 or more players get 5 ascendancy on the same turn, so the ferengi may be forced to colonize/invade to obtain enough planets, better do it as fast as possible.
 
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Jon Snow
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meeple In our first game with the new expansions, there was indeed a last minute rush to take over more planets for a tie breaker!
 
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