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Subject: Transdim Planets and Gaia Planets question. rss

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Calvin Le Huray
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What is the point in building them? It takes a lot of your time and resources, for what I can see, very little gain.

I mean losing six power for a turn is a big loss an long with waiting a turn to terraform.

I understand its thematic place in the game, but it seems like a lot of work for little gain?

I maybe wrong, I have only soloed this game so far.
 
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Chris Linneman
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There are several ways to gain VPs for occupying Gaia planets. Gaiaforming lets you avoid the QIC cost of settling Gaia planets. But I think the main reason it's good is if no one else is doing it (which will often be the case since it's quite resource intensive, as you point out). Then you have planets that you can colonize more or less at your leisure. I can see how they may not seem as useful in solo play.
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Shaun
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I think like many things in the game, its definitely situational. The value of Gaia/Transdim planets depends on a few factors.

If the end game scoring/round scoring gives VP for building on Gaia Planets it may be worth it.

If you want to join groups of buildings together to make a federation or to expand into an area that has planets that are too expensive to terraform/build on they can also be worthwhile. In my mind, it might be better to temporarily set aside 6 power than to spend 6 or 9 ore to terraform.

For example: if you only have the option between a planet that needs 3 terraforming steps to build on vs a Transdim planet, I would most likely do a gaia project rather than pay the 9 ore to terraform to my home planet type.

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Erik Burigo
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Transdim planets take time but not so many resources.
If you take the power tokens from the Area I you are actually speeding up your power cycle (because now when you gain power you can move power from Area II to Area III). Of course your total power capacity is temporarily reduced, so I see how it's actually a sort of trade-off.

But, fundamentally, it involves another type of resource.
By spreading your expansion over different types of planets (the 7 basic types, gaia, and transdim) you are using three different types of resources (respectively ore, QIC and power+time).
According to the specific setup and race, having access to small amounts of different resources could be often easier than having access to large amounts of the same resource.
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Jack Spirio
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It's true, that often you won't invest there as you need the tech step mostly somewhere else too
But being able to get Gaia planets that no one else can get can be vary valuable
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James Wolfpacker
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Gaia round scoring and Gaia mine 3vp tech are also heavy incentives. Doing 1 Gaia Project with the 3vp tech every round gives you 15vp.
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Jacob Walker
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eatshootsandleafs wrote:
What is the point in building them? It takes a lot of your time and resources, for what I can see, very little gain.

I mean losing six power for a turn is a big loss an long with waiting a turn to terraform.

I understand its thematic place in the game, but it seems like a lot of work for little gain?

I maybe wrong, I have only soloed this game so far.


A few thoughts.

1 As in Terra Mystica, it will always be good to be focused on something the others are not, as you won't have much competition. Transdim planets can be very difficult to settle to transform and settle, but if it's easier for you than others, you have access to a lot of expansion potential that they do not. I have found that range is an extremely limiting factor in this game, so if you are close to a lot of Transdim planets, you have a perfect solution to your distance problems.
2 There are several potential scoring tiles that make building on Gaia planets more valuable. This includes your gaiaformed Transdim planets, which for all game purposes, are now Gaia planets. It's not unreasonable to have rounds where actually building on a Gaiaformed planet nets you 6-7 points.
3 In terms of resource cost, Gaiaforming can be extremely efficient. As noted by an earlier poster, those 6 power have been removed from your cycle, most likely from bowl 1, this means your remaining power can cycle to bowl three a little faster than normal, which means you have an earlier shot at some of the power actions. Also, Gaiaforming costs power, but not workers, which is a huge benefit. I have found that terraforming in this game seems more difficult than in Terra Mystica, as everything must be terraformed in one step. This often means that in situations where I have access to a free terraform step, I don't have the workers to finish off the job. Gaiaforming avoids those costs and lets me save my workers for upgrades.
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Dave Eisen
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There are a lot of transdim planets. A lot of them. Looks like 12 transdim planets as opposed to just 6 of your own player color. You need to colonize something and even if expensive (and the opportunity cost of advancing on the gaiaforming tech track rather than other tracks *is* expensive), that's a whole lot of planets it provides access to.
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Jay M
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My first game had Gaia planets as an end game scoring contest, so they had additional significance there.

The biggest hit with Gaiaforming for me was that those power disks are not there for the income phase, so 6 or so power disks are not available to move up. So the opportunity cost of Gaiaforming depends on whether you have enough disk supply to receive your full income benefit during the income phase, followed by moving those disks back to Bowl One in the Gaia phase.

It seems like if you could get it set up right, you'd be using power income to move disks to III, receiving the Gaia disks back to one, and have enough to where you're not forfeiting really anything to Gaia.

You could use the same excess of disks for federation satellites later.
 
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Robert
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Once you "invested" in Gaia Projects by
a) advancing to research level 1 for Gaia Projects and
b) putting the 6 power token aside,
no further investments (beyond the costs for mines) are necessary to gain a new planet every round, as the 6 power tokens likely won't have moved far before you use them for the next Gaia Project. And in round 6 you have a bunch of power tokens for forming some long-distance federation.

I've seen games won by players who totally ignored the Transdim planets, and others being won by players who went all-in on Gaiaforming (particularly if they played Terrans whistle).

Also, as written above, if only one player goes for the Transdim planets (and moreso if that player is playing Terrans), that player can become unstoppable. Depending on how the map evolves, it may already pay off to go for Gaiaforming just to fetch that one planet that's in the way of a promising federation.
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Anthony Rubbo
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Plus it's fun to say TRANSDIM.
 
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Calvin Le Huray
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Thank you all for your replies. A lot to think about.
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Kester J
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All factions are certainly not created equal in relation to Gaiaforming either. I'd rank them roughly like this, though some of my impressions may be wrong:

Strong affinity for Gaiaforming
Terrans
Seriously, is this even a question?

Affinity for Gaiaforming
Bal Taks
They don't have the power to gaiaform early on, but because the gaiaforming track essentially provides them with QIC income there's a strong incentive to go up it. This lets them opportunistically do a few Gaia projects in the mid- or late-game when they likely have more power available.

Itars
They start with extra power tokens, get extra power tokens each turn, and gaiaforming is the easiest and most hassle-free way to get power into their Gaia bowl to use the planetary institute's ability.

Slight affinity for Gaiaforming
Gleens
They'll usually want to focus on taking as many existing Gaia planets as possible before making their own, but the extra points they get for settling Gaia planets does provide a slight appeal to pushing up the Gaiaforming track. Unlike the races above, they don't have economic reasons for favouring it: it's purely worth a few more points to them.

The Swarm
The affinity here isn't immediately obvious, but as a race that gets PI power token income from turn 1 and never needs to burn that power to make federations, they are often in a slightly better position than other races to set aside the necessary power for Gaia projects. In addition, transdim planets can sometimes be appealing because of their board position: the Swarm hate having to make satellites, and if Gaiaforming can help avoid that then that gives it some serious appeal.

No strong feelings about Gaiaforming
Ambas
Taklons
Xenos
Hadsch Hallas
Mad Androids
Firaks

These races have a pretty "vanilla" approach to Gaiaforming. IMO, that means you should be expecting to go into Gaiaforming in significantly less than half of your games - maybe around 30%. As others have said in this thread, specific scoring or a lack of other ways to expand are the things that'll encourage it.

Slight dislike of Gaiaforming
Geodens
They'll want to expand through terraforming anyway, so generally have no need of Gaiaforming. Though I'm sure there's the occasional time where they want to do it anyway, and they certainly have a lot of knowledge sloshing around to get a Gaiaformer if they want to.

Dislike of Gaiaforming
Nevlas
The need to put power into the Gaia bowl to activate their racial ability conflicts quite strongly with Gaiaforming, as there isn't enough power to do both. I've seen a couple of players (one of them was me!) make exactly this mistake of investing in Gaiaforming, then waste a lot of time getting extra power tokens so they can actually use it - and it ultimately isn't worth it.

Lantids
They don't start with many power tokens, don't get any from their planetary institute, and never have the need to create extra space on the board because they can just build on others' planets anyway. So Gaiaforming is an expensive waste for them.
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James Wolfpacker
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Actually I'd move Bal Tak above Terrans in a new category called get L4 Gaiaforming in R1 if possible. This creates up to 18 QIC income during the game though doing a few Gaia Projects during the game will be useful too.
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Kester J
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Actually I'd move Bal Tak above Terrans in a new category called get L4 Gaiaforming in R1 if possible. This creates up to 18 QIC income during the game though doing a few Gaia Projects during the game will be useful too.


Yeah, I was focusing on Gaiaforming (the activity), but if you're talking about Gaiaforming (the research track), then Bal Taks definitely want it the most.
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Tim Tarnow
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Make sure your playing with the right rules where you can pay with power tokens for any bowl, the English rules are wrong.
 
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Kin
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Actually I'd move Bal Tak above Terrans in a new category called get L4 Gaiaforming in R1 if possible. This creates up to 18 QIC income during the game though doing a few Gaia Projects during the game will be useful too.


Yup. Our group has played 17 games to date. The high score was set by Bal T’aks. Those QICs are super powerful. Get up the Gaia track asap.
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Robert
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Usually, QIC actions are unused in rounds 1-3 (when QICs are better utilized for range extension and Gaia planet colonization), and become quite contested in rounds 5-6. So having some extra QIC in rounds 2-4 is going to be quite helpful.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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Just played first game yesterday. Assuming I played right, these are awesome as Terran. I’d spend from bowl 3, use power from bowl 1 to pay for the gaiaformer, then get all that power right in to bowl 2 next round. Then free stuff on top from the Stronghold (er, whatever the new name is). Couple that with some VP for placing a mine on a gaia planet rounds and that’s what won me the game. Never did a single regular shovel, but hit 7 transdim and some regular gaias.

Edit: wait, no I did 1 terraform round 1. But point stands.
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