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Subject: Riggity riggity wrecked son! Cardassian Union killer combo? rss

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Andrew Lloyd
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The other day I was the Ferengi in a 3p game against the Romulans and the Cardassians. The Cardassian player researched Covert Military Bases (build 3 ships is an uncontrolled system) and Field Retrofit Protocols (can commission fleets in any sector). He quickly learned that he could build 3 new ships in a sector that was just discovered by another player (and thus there hasnt been a build turn yet to build a control node), then form a hunter-killer fleet and use its 3 auto hits to decimate the rivals in that system. He would then disband and reform the hunter-killer in another sector and warp and kill again.

He was able to basically run the board doing this since Covert Military Bases essentially let him teleport hunter-killer fleets behind enemy lines. My trade-heavy Ferengi were spread thin across the galaxy because that is what they have to do so he just picked me off in a couple turns.

Any thoughts on defending against this combo?
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Andrew S.
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I did this my last game. Found out it was a surefire way to antagonize some Klingons. The Klingons also had the misfortune of have a phenomenon right next to Kronos so when they got sick of me taking all the good systems they discovered and started a fight with me, they got a fleet attacking Kronos every turn.

How to defend against it? Explore with fleets or have a assault fleet waiting in the wings. Once the Cardassians have colonized the system, they need to keep a ship in orbit so as long as your exploration fleet can destroy at least 2 ships then that new system won’t do them much good production-wise. If you have an assault fleet waiting, the newly colonized system should be easy pickings without many ships to defend it.
 
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Trueflight Silverwing
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For the record, Cardassians only need to keep a ship in orbit of their planets to get production. The still gain research and culture without the ship there. Don't count on them always leaving one depending on what nodes are on the planet.
 
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James Buckley
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Does sound like a good combo (and a good advert against playing with the Focused Research rule, at least prior to first contact).
I think you'll just have to threaten to destroy Cardassian systems in return, or strike up a trade deal. Also it'll take them a bit of time to deploy both these projects so presumably if you see it coming you can start colonising quickly. But none of these partial mitigants is a solution.
 
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Lou Lessing
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Sounds brutal and hard to deal with. I don't have the card in front of me -- are we sure Covert Military Bases lets you build in non-empty systems?

If so, it seems like your best bet is to stop exploring and focus on killing Cardassians, or maybe try to to make a deal or something? If you must explore, you should explore with fleets. A potentially useful trick when exploring with fleets, to avoid getting trashed by hazard rolls, is to have the fleet drop out of warp in a new space lane, ready to fight a space battle or make a warp move from the new system, and then send one guy in to explore the new system alone with an impulse move. In this case, you're sacrificing that guy to the Cardassians even if he lives through the hazard roll and the exploration card, but your fleet is blocking their hunter-killers from being able to get back to your empire without a fight, and if you use a real fleet, with 6+ ships, it should be enough to win the fight.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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It works in uncontrolled systems, the question is if having ships in a sector defines control or not.

By the rules the controller is the player with a control node in the system, but doesnt speak of ships-only.

It still takes a few commands to perform each attack and launching minor attacks here and there may be more counterintuitive for relations and have everyone target you sooner than expected.
And given the small size of the fleet its not like it has a good chance against a well-defended planet.
 
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Jon Snow
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arrrh MWAA HA HA! And since the Cardassians are the only faction I've never won with yet (having only played them once)...and since they're are considered rather disadvantaged around here so far in general...
 
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Ryan Hanson
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Yeah I mean the combo sounds great and I'm sure it could be very frustrating for the Ferengi player specifically... but it requires 2 specific techs before it can function, it's only a 3 ship fleet, and it's not very command efficient. So far I haven't found the Cardassians to be particularly strong either, though they are passable.
 
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Private Blinky
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clawlan wrote:
The other day I was the Ferengi in a 3p game against the Romulans and the Cardassians. The Cardassian player researched Covert Military Bases (build 3 ships is an uncontrolled system) and Field Retrofit Protocols (can commission fleets in any sector). He quickly learned that he could build 3 new ships in a sector that was just discovered by another player (and thus there hasnt been a build turn yet to build a control node), then form a hunter-killer fleet and use its 3 auto hits to decimate the rivals in that system....Any thoughts on defending against this combo?



Those two techs combined together do sound pretty sweet.

Yes ships cannot control systems, only Control Nodes will determine if the system is controlled.

From what i'm inferring, your friend was using Covert Military Bases during the command phase, which is incorrect, the card only works during the building phase. The potential of the combo you outlined is there if the Cardassians are able to build before the original discoverers on the round following the newly discovered systems, (and then form the HK fleet with the Field Retrofit Protocols as you stated). And doing so hampers the original dicoverer even more because now if they really want to colonize the system (say for pre-warp production present), a Cardassian planetary invasion with ships already right there plays right into their culture production.


But the original system discoverers might colonize it (and thus control it) if they go before the Cardassians during the building phase, denying the Cardassians outright of this scenario. That would be the main mitigator to a strategy such as this. A successful hegemony attempt on the players's turn of a newly-discovered warp-capable system would also make that system ineligible for the CMB to work.


Overall though, I see Covert Military bases as a win-win tech for the Cardassians; if players leave systems vacant, Cardassian ships can pop up potentially behind enemy lines, and if players try to block this by always controlling systems, that slows their ascendancy and means more potential targets for the Cardassians for culture-gaining invasions.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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Another strong cardassian feature is their tech that allows to refresh 2 commands after a succesful invasion.
With a big fleet, once they are close to several rival systems with no ships in defense, they can string a lot of invasions together as they keep refreshing commands.

It generally takes 2 commands to warp to the system and a 3rd for the actual invasion but ends up costing net 1 command, with 6-9 commands available they can take over quite a few players' systems in a single turn, not to mention the culture it generates.
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