Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
38 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Gaia Project» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Navigation Research - unavoidable for most factions? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Robert
Germany
Bocholt
flag msg tools
badge
I paid 100 Geek Gold so that you can read this! :-)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What's your view on the various research tracks? As I see it, all but one research tracks are situational, i.e. which one to pursue depends on faction, setup (distribution of tech tiles) and game plan.

This is different for Navigation: Of all research tracks, I consider Navigation to be the only one that is essential for most factions - they need to advance at least to level 2 relatively early (best in/before round 3). My experience taught me that without it, spreading out becomes really difficult. Level 2 usually is sufficient, as the colonization of planets further away than 2 is much rarer (if planned properly) and can usually be managed with QICs resp. the matching round booster.

Factions which can do with minimum Navigation are those with (relatively) easy access to QIC: Xenos (QIC income) and Bal T'aks (QIC conversion via faction ability), and Der Schwarm (Ivits according to some uninspired translator) due to its space stations. But if they don't invest in Navigation, even these factions likely need to do a lot of research on the Artificial Intelligence track to get more QICs, or will have to make hard choices regarding Gaia planets.

8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoffrey Ingram
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ya, I agree this is perhaps the one thing that truly concerns me about Gaia project as compared to Terra Mystica (there are a few things I miss from TM like end round cult bonuses but I understand why those things were taken out). I hate to judge from about only 10 or so game but from my limited playtest experience it seemed like with the possible exception of a couple races you really need to advance to level 2 of the navigation by at the latest round 3 and really by round 2.

I'm not super bothered by it but it just slightly irks me that I feel like I have to go up the navigation track really early.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lukas Kastner
Austria
Wien
Wien
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Played 2 4er games so far.
1 game with Hatsch Hala: did a lot of gaiaforming and occasional coins->qics-> flight.
1 game with geodes: went up the "spades" track, roundbonus "flight" helped. Then qics track seemed way stronger than navigation, which allowed me too fly occasionally and do qics actions.

i think the tracks are all balanced. if you geoform you need less navigation, if you gaiaform you need less navigation. income track seems strong too. knowledge track feeds into the others.

Also: qics sanctuary might be everything you need for your flights.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Hall
China
Guangzhou
Guangdong
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Doc,

You bring up a point that our game group was curious about as well. We've only gotten a few games under our belt, but we asked the same question. It appears it's much more necessary than others. However, I am curious how concentrating on the QIC track would work... No one in our group has dared to try yet.

Like I say, we are fairly inexperienced. I'm curious what others have to say.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Space Trucker
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In my games so far players very often advanced Navigation at some point. This is similiar to shipping in Terra Mystica. Sometimes players are successful without, but usually they'll get some steps. But this still leaves room for many interesting decisions:
- When do I advance Navigation? (As the very first tech? Second round? Somewhere in the midgame? Possibly never? Some games of Gaia can also be won with a low building count.)
- How many steps do I advance? (Is a range of 2 enough for most of the game? Will 3 or even 4 pay off when I get it early?)
- Do I want to compete for the advanced tech or lvl 5 of this track?
- As long as I have low/no Navigation: Do I want to use many QICs or the Booster to spread anyway? (Or do I focus on few expensive buildings and income from tech tiles and/or research? Or something between?)
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Felix Morales
Switzerland
Wettingen
Aargau
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I scored 151 in a solo game with Bal T'aks using only its ability to get qic from gaiaformers, no advancement in navigation tech. I must say that the round boosters were ideal, qic income and distance +3 were in play. Also the setup was favorable, I started in 2 planet clusters with 3 Transdim planets at eventually distance 1.

In resume, with the right setup and race it‘s doable.





Edit: Not hadsch halla but Bal T'aks
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Flo P
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SpaceTrucker wrote:

- How many steps do I advance? (Is a range of 2 enough for most of the game? Will 3 or even 4 pay off when I get it early?)
- Do I want to compete for the advanced tech or lvl 5 of this track?

I particularly enjoy this aspect the quasi requirement to advance nav distance 2 creates. It plays into the sunken cost fallacy and usually nav is the only track where people really fight for the top spot/adv tech, something I miss from TMs cults. There you got to feel really smug if you stole a top spot in a cult with CMs double action or double FAV by building temple/SA
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert
Germany
Bocholt
flag msg tools
badge
I paid 100 Geek Gold so that you can read this! :-)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ODAR wrote:
I scored 151 in a solo game with hadsch halla using only its ability to get qic from gaiaformers, no advancement in navigation tech.
I presume you mean the Bal T'aks. The HH are the ones who love coins.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert
Germany
Bocholt
flag msg tools
badge
I paid 100 Geek Gold so that you can read this! :-)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just to make it clear: I don't think that an inherent need to advance your navigation range to at least 2 is a bad thing, or makes the research tracks "unbalanced" or some such. It's just an observation from my games: most factions need this to do well.

It's almost inevitable to advance on Navigation early if rounds 1-3 have one or more round scorings for colonization (normal and/or Gaia planet).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kromherjan
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just to throw another opinion in:

I do agree from the games I played so far, that it looks like completely ignoring the navigation track and still doing well will be the exception. But I do agree with the sentiment some people already stated, that that's not necessarily a bad thing. My perspective might be heavily screwed, because iirc I went for Nav5 in like half my games, so obviously I didn't think it was a problem, but others at my table might have. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

GulfCoastTiger wrote:
However, I am curious how concentrating on the QIC track would work... No one in our group has dared to try yet.
I had one player in my group, that went heavy on the qic track in two games, and it did great things for her, as she was pumping out qic actions like crazy in the last two rounds. However, that obviously only worked so well, because the others at the table (me included) didn't really have enough qics to compete, so all the actions were up for her to grab. In the future, when we're more experienced, I don't see that happening that much in a 4-player game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark van der Werf
Netherlands
Rotterdam
Nederland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Depends on the setup.

I don't think you need the Nav track per se. If you have some clusters of planets to go through and do more terraforming or have other ways to advance you don't need it.

The lantida, swarm and bal'tak don't need it. The geods focus more on terraforming and can just use greens to jump to a few planet clusters imo.

For lots of other factions navigation and possibly a bit of gaia forming does seem more effective than the terraform track and QIC track though.

However I think the QIC track shouldn't be underestimated as alternative to the navigation track.

Comparing the tracks side by side:
lvl 1 is obviously the same.
lvl 2 for navigation is quite a bit stronger, as the extra navigation saves more QIC than the single one offered by green track.
However every next level is stronger on the QIC track imo.
Lvl 3 one QIC more, lvl 4 the two QIC are stronger than the 1 range increase imo and the final bonus of the QIC track is stronger than the nav 5 imo.

All in all it just really depends on how many jumps you want to be doing all game. If you just need 3-4 jumps the QIC track is stronger imo, it basically provides range 3 while nav is still at range 2 at that point. And if you go to lvl 4 in both trackers the QIC track gives you 4 green cubes more in exchange for 2 permanent range. But those green cubes often provide ample range.

All in all I think most factions want Navigation OR QIC track with a few exceptions (Bal'tak and Swarm want neither). If you are into a little bit of Gaia forming navigation often makes more sense, you need to jump often. If you are more into terraforming you want the QIC track more as you probably just jump a few times to clusters and go many different types of planets bonusses (which combine well with the QIC track to take the 3 + 1 per type of planet bonus).

Terraform track seemed a bit weak to me though, like in regular TM it seems a bit of a waste to upgrade that when you can get 'free' terraform actions through the power actions so much. Why bother upgrading terraform track when you can do the few terraforms you need with power actions. Even fully upgraded terraform track you pay 4 power for 2 white cubes for 2 terraform steps while it's just 5 power if you haven't upgraded terraformng at all. And with all transdim, gaia and your own planets to get to it doesn't seem like you need much terraforming.

Gaiaform track seems pretty good to me, at least to get lvl 1. For the races with plenty of energy it's pretty much 5 free planets over the course of the game. Going further on this track hardly seems worth it though, by the time you get a second gaiaformer it's really hard to use it as you need Nav/QIC upgrades too probably to get range. Only a must for Bal'tak and an interesting option for Gleen/Terrans imo, unless somehow all other players ignore gaiaforming and you can get 9-10 of the 12 transdims.

Economy and Science track both seemed mediocre-ish to me. They are must for the science heavy races but for those that don't it seems weak. Science track for example if you upgrade in turn 1 you get 5 science back for 4 science spent, but you get it back delayed which is terrible. Science track upgrades only seem good if you intend to go high on that track or really have spare upgrades to do because your race somehow does that. Economy upgrade track similarly feels weakish. lvl 1 just 2 gold 1 power, which is worse than 1 science imo. 2nd lvl netto 1 white and 1 pwoer, also weakish. 3rd level 1 gold 1 power, that really is weak. 4th level 1 white, 1 gold, 1 power, that is okay.
Both economy and science track have a very strong lvl 5 though, especially the science track. But you want to get them in turn 6 of course as taking them turn 5 makes them significantly weaker. That's why I think you only want to do these tracks sparingly, as having competition for the lvl 5 payoff sucks in them.

Overall I think navigation and gaiaform track are most useful overall but you often just want 2 steps in nav and 1 in gaiaform. Terraform track seems to suck to me, QIC track is quite nice and economy and science track are mediocre.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ola Caster
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
mb
Markwerf wrote:

Economy and Science track both seemed mediocre-ish to me. They are must for the science heavy races but for those that don't it seems weak.

My experience from playtesting was that it is easy to underestimate the science track. If you can climb it quickly you will be heavily rewarded. But as you state, it is heavily setup-dependent. And I also believe that the community is very far from cracking the best strategies in this very deep game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert
Germany
Bocholt
flag msg tools
badge
I paid 100 Geek Gold so that you can read this! :-)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Markwerf wrote:
I don't think you need the Nav track per se. If you have some clusters of planets to go through and do more terraforming or have other ways to advance you don't need it.
You seem to assume that just because you have a planet in a cluster, you'll also get the remaining planets. Unless that cluster is near the map edge and far away from other players (which in turn means expensive Trading Stations), this has never been the case in my games. Usually a player will have no more than two planets in a given cluster, and taking more will require many terraforming steps (or a QIC if it's a Gaia planet).


Markwerf wrote:
The lantida, swarm and bal'tak don't need it. The geods focus more on terraforming and can just use greens to jump to a few planet clusters imo.
Agreed for Der Schwarm (uninspired English name: Ivits) and Bal T'aks (who instead are sort-of forced to advance Gaia Project research - otherwise they must decide each round whether they want to start a Gaia Project or gain a QIC). But Lantids? Do you suggest to sit in a cluster and wait for neighbor planets to be colonized by others, so that the Lantids can then join them? Good luck with that against decent opponents...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Felix Morales
Switzerland
Wettingen
Aargau
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Markwerf wrote:

Gaiaform track seems pretty good to me, at least to get lvl 1. For the races with plenty of energy it's pretty much 5 free planets over the course of the game. Going further on this track hardly seems worth it though, by the time you get a second gaiaformer it's really hard to use it as you need Nav/QIC upgrades too probably to get range. Only a must for Bal'tak and an interesting option for Gleen/Terrans imo, unless somehow all other players ignore gaiaforming and you can get 9-10 of the 12 transdims.

I think that the opportunity cost of the Gaiaform track is the power commitment, if a race can make a good use of power actions, then gaiaforming would not be the ideal track. On the other side, the power bonus of the economic track is lackluster in comparison with the 4 power from PI and round boosters. More plays will tell...



Regards,
Felix
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K O
msg tools
Anecdotal example: In my last game with Geods, I reallized at the begining that to secure startegical planets fast I will need 2 navigation (too slow), so navigation track was not an option. I invested in the QIC track which had multiple benefits: in the first half of the game it provided sufficent navigation and in the second half produced over QIC actions massive amount of Points. Furthermore, the track was uncontested, so i could choose the most effizient course to utilize the advanced Tech and get stressless on step 5 at the Ended of the game. Ended up winning with 158 Points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark van der Werf
Netherlands
Rotterdam
Nederland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DocCool wrote:
Markwerf wrote:
I don't think you need the Nav track per se. If you have some clusters of planets to go through and do more terraforming or have other ways to advance you don't need it.
You seem to assume that just because you have a planet in a cluster, you'll also get the remaining planets. Unless that cluster is near the map edge and far away from other players (which in turn means expensive Trading Stations), this has never been the case in my games. Usually a player will have no more than two planets in a given cluster, and taking more will require many terraforming steps (or a QIC if it's a Gaia planet).


Markwerf wrote:
The lantida, swarm and bal'tak don't need it. The geods focus more on terraforming and can just use greens to jump to a few planet clusters imo.
Agreed for Der Schwarm (uninspired English name: Ivits) and Bal T'aks (who instead are sort-of forced to advance Gaia Project research - otherwise they must decide each round whether they want to start a Gaia Project or gain a QIC). But Lantids? Do you suggest to sit in a cluster and wait for neighbor planets to be colonized by others, so that the Lantids can then join them? Good luck with that against decent opponents...

With any race you jump a few times but the question is merely if you jump enough to warrant navigation track or the few jumps can be afforded with QIC. THe navigation track can be very strong for many jumps but just a few jumps the QIC track is stronger. The top end bonusses at the green track are stronger and if navigation is popular also less contested.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark van der Werf
Netherlands
Rotterdam
Nederland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kruppy wrote:
Markwerf wrote:

Economy and Science track both seemed mediocre-ish to me. They are must for the science heavy races but for those that don't it seems weak.

My experience from playtesting was that it is easy to underestimate the science track. If you can climb it quickly you will be heavily rewarded. But as you state, it is heavily setup-dependent. And I also believe that the community is very far from cracking the best strategies in this very deep game.

The return for cost on science track is pretty weak though. At best you get income 5 times after advancing on it which for each step is basically +5 science at best. Since this costs 4 science even at the first turn this is barely beyond breaking even. And then it's ignoring the oppurtunity cost of actually having other advances quicker. 4 science into science track to get 5 science back delayed is a poor investment in such a economic snowball game. Then there is also the point that spending science to gain science costs extra action while you generally prefer to be earlier in turn order in this game.

However the top spot on the track is powerful with 9 instant science and a potential adv. tech so that is definitely the reward you want to be going for. Tech track really is an all or nothing track, just getting a random step on it without intent to go further is rarely worth it because there is almost always a (high) oppurtunity cost for delaying advances on the terraform/nav/QIC/gaiaform track, one of which you'll surely want to advance during your game.

For the economic track the analysis is pretty much the same, the benefits there are weak unless you reach the top spot as the added bonusses of a step there are roughly equal or less than 1 tech imo.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert
Germany
Bocholt
flag msg tools
badge
I paid 100 Geek Gold so that you can read this! :-)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Markwerf wrote:
For the economic track the analysis is pretty much the same, the benefits there are weak unless you reach the top spot as the added bonusses of a step there are roughly equal or less than 1 tech imo.
If unchallenged, you don't want to advance to level 5 on the Economy track (nor on the Science track) until round 6. The pay-off for either often depends on which standard and which advanced tech tile they have to offer. E.g. if the "+1 science, +1 coin" income tech tile is on the Science track, you can quickly become a "Research god".

Regarding the underestimation of the Science track: It's quite realistic to get to Science level 4 by the end of round 2; after that you'll advance quickly on whatever research track you like, and will soon be in a situation to rake in significantly more VPs from your research than your opponents; usually you can score about 40VPs to their 20VPs.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Flo P
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I seriously have to try this out in the next couple of games. Is there a certain faction you consider especially inclined to take the researcher path? A friend of mine tried it with the Nevla, but I think that they need power income beyond anything else, so if the +4pw tile doesn't align with the track they are stuck in their development.

Up until now all my intuition always screamed 'no' and steered me towards the navigation track for early development.

I will say though that 40 Vp still sounds like it might be too little - too late if you can't be competitive on the end scores as a result.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Ataei
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
40vp on tech tracks mean you have reached at least 10 steps above L2. This can be something like:

L5 x 1 (12vp) + L4 x 3 (24vp) + L3 x 1 (4vp) (with 2 Adv Techs)

OR

L5 x 2 (24vp) + L4 x 2 (16vp) (with 1 Adv Tech)

OR

L4 x 5 (40vp) (with 3 Adv Techs)

That is a whole lot of benefits that you have received during the game and if you can generate them into vp then you are probably going to win.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Space Trucker
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On Economy track: 2 ore + 4 coins + 4 power are a significant source of income - roughly a trading center, a planetary institute and two colonies. This can give one a nice boost. When we consider that ore is scarce and the 3rd colony does not give income, the 2 ore can even be worth 3 colonies early in the game.
It could be an interesting approach to delay building many structures (and therefore needing navigation/terraforming/gaia) a bit but still get decent income?

On science track: It's right that 1 knowledge per step does not look like a lot. But large amounts of knowledge are hard to get. It can be both pretty strong and flexible when one reaches the point when he can easily advance 3 steps each round (both in terms of the reward of the steps and the final scoring victory points).
Besides maxing out science quickly it can also be interesting to optimize your science income of the next round to fit sets of 4 by advancing one more step. Passing with three useless knowledge feels pretty inefficient, so better avoid this.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert
Germany
Bocholt
flag msg tools
badge
I paid 100 Geek Gold so that you can read this! :-)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, advancing on a research track can give you tangible benefits besides the (chance for) final VPs, i.e. ore, QICs and 3pw for each level 3. A typical example is when later in the game you "convert" four knowledge into two ore by advancing on the terraforming track even though you're not really very interested in better terraforming.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K O
msg tools
From my experience with the Mad Androids (=Bescodes) and Nevlar, if you pursue a heavy buidling upgrade and low expnasion strategy to maximize points from round bonuses and boosters, the economy track is a serious income source, especially combined with income tech tiles, so rushing it up to maximize the return is important, as far as I see. This would be a situation where the navigation track can be ignored.

On the science track I think its more about efficency, not so much how high you climb up. 2 steps more on the science track can leave you with 3 unused science at the and of the next turn. It could equally well give you the possibility to get another tech track step. Playing with the round booster/power action/techs to get your next set of 4 science together ist the key here in my opinion. Blindly rushing it up can be very unsatisfying.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kester J
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lenrok wrote:
From my experience with the Mad Androids (=Bescodes) and Nevlar, if you pursue a heavy buidling upgrade and low expnasion strategy to maximize points from round bonuses and boosters, the economy track is a serious income source, especially combined with income tech tiles, so rushing it up to maximize the return is important, as far as I see. This would be a situation where the navigation track can be ignored.

I'd agree with this. As with the other tracks, the value of this one will depend on how you're going to score points during the game: in games with a lot of points from round boosters, and where the endgame scoring rewards putting as many buildings on the table as possible, the economy track is going to be better. In games where there are less opportunities to score for just building stuff, it will be less appealing.

As an example, I played a game a couple of days ago where all five round boosters that give points were in the game, and endgame scoring was for number of buildings and number of sectors, both of which encourage a lot of building. I therefore took Hadsch Hallas and pushed up on economy early, which I'm pretty sure was instrumental in allowing me to do all of taking points from round boosters in almost every round, collecting 10+ points each from the round scoring in rounds 4, 5 & 6, and still winning a first and second place on the endgame scorings.

One thing I'm realising in Gaia Project is that you can get different tempo games depending on the setup. In TM it is pretty much always the case that building stuff is good: between the Earth 1 and Water 1 favours (and Air 1 to a lesser extent), and the fact that network scoring is in every game, there is always a route to turning resources into points. Those types of games certainly exist in GP too (of which the example above is an extreme), but there are also some setups where building is not so important, and one can end up with a pile of resources in the final turn but realise there is no good opportunity to turn them into points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Masinter
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I found this thread when I was about to post the same question. I'm only 2 games in but it does seem like Nav for range 2 is going to be a priority in most games. I mean even if you have upgraded terraforming, or gaia-forming, you'll still need to be spending a QIC for every second or third time you want to expand. I guess it does depend on how much expanding you want to do but it does seem like most of the 18 point end game point swings still depend on expanding as much as possible.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   |