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The Expanse Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Some mcr observations and why they could be the weakest faction rss

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robert baynosa
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I'm definitely no expert of the game and have played only 9 times, usually in the 3 and 4 player counts,but I've never seen Mars win.
MCR always seem to start out strong in every game, but always lose steam by late game. To me their tech upgrades don't seem as powerful as the others, but can still be game influencers if played at the right moment - just not as easily done as the other techs.
But, Imo, the main reason why Mars seems weaker, is because they can't redeploy fleets like factions can with influence during the late game, ie when a faction runs out of influence cubes, one can take an influence cube from the board and redeploy it as needed based on card played. Players can't do the same with fleets, which I believe could limit Mars optimal play during end game.
Again, I'm no expert and would like to hear opinions of the designer and other players on these, and maybe a few tips on how they can make MCR win in the game.
 
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Larry Lawrence
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I've seen MCR win regularly.

You can redeploy fleets with AP.

Also, MCR should be blowing up people's ships to keep them away from prime real estate. They can't place more influence if they have no ships around. They also can maintain advantage by holding orbital control.

IMO the game is well balanced.
 
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I've only played two two player games but have seen mars win both times.
 
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robert baynosa
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I agree, this is a very well balanced and well designed game, and is my favorite at the moment actually. My favorite genre is also direct conflict, area control- owing mostly to my wargame background which i still occasionally play at the moment. my game group are similarly veterans of board gaming for the most part, although my not as well versed as me on wargaming.

It is just perplexing for me not have seen mcr win in any of my playthroughs and wanted to see if others have had similar experiences. good to see that others are having success.
 
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Camden Yanaga
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I got this game last week and a friend and I played two 2-player games of it over the weekend. He played the UN both times, I played MCR. The first game we were both still learning and he trounced me. The second game I played in a very control-ly way, using the MCR's superior space presence to knock him completely off the outer planets in the early-mid game, kept just behind him in score to maintain control of the Rocinante, and then surpassed him at the end by about 15 CP.

MCR looks straightforward to play at considering it's the combat-proficient faction, but the second game I realized it is more nuanced than that, since in this game the space combat is more of a tool to establishing control, not a victory condition in and of itself. The other factions (particularly the UN) have more direct control over influence, whereas MCR requires a bit more finesse, which may not be readily apparent at first glance. You have to use your fleets to affect other factions' ability to place influence, and use your ability to win ties in space to leverage your more vanilla influence-exerting capabilities.
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Oliver Brettschneider
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Very well said, and exactly how I experienced it (although I only play 3-4 players, which I'd recommend!). There's a lot of these subtleties in this game - which is why I like it so much (besides the obvious - it's The Expanse!).
 
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clovis chan
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Just played my first 3 games, for my experience OPA feels the weakest.

1st game: 3P (OPA)
UN and MCR ended with 90+ to low 100 points while I trailed by 20 points+. Somehow I controlled very few things. Most memorable was my arms race with UN over Jupiter. I tried reserving a card hut I always held rocinante so I didn't have a chance to use it

2nd game: 2P (MCR)
99-98. I lost by 1 point. Would have lost more if my friend didn't remind me that I win orbital ties. The cards seem balanced and faction power seems balanced since both affect an aspect of scoring (orbital and influence).

3rd game: 3P (UN)
I won by a very healthy margin. My OPA friend commented how weak the cards with OPA symbol are. We combed through the cards and find they most had only 2 or 3 AP... Furthermore OPA tech 2 felt weak since you'd require 2 AP to deploy the 2 scrap ships.

Keeping the Critical Resources in mind, does anyone have a general idea what the different factions are supposed to be do to win? In addition to what others mentioned above, Protogen seems to be focusing on "1v1" battles where it has an overwhelming advantage of replacing the opponent with his influence, then joining mass battles by deploying tech 3 proto molecule to nuke everyone out.

What about OPA? I find it hard to see where their strength is.
 
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Sean Dzafovic
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Use their ability to place one cube where they have no fleet.

Their ability to also remove a cube (with the level 3 tech card) can also come in handy.

Usually when I play OPA, I pretty much ignore the Inner Planets, since you can't be strong everywhere.
 
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