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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Rules

Subject: Few Questions rss

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Shane
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Just got the game for Christmas and was going through a self-play today to learn the rules. A few things came up that I didn't see answers to anywhere here.

1. Lets say you explore a new system and the card is an existing civilization and it tells you to develop two resource nodes. But that system has Production/Open as its only slots. Does the explorer get to choose what to put in the open spot, is there a method for determining what it has to be, or does it not get developed?

2. If my table size/shape doesn't allow for the suggested galaxy square (or circle, saw someone had printed a circular playmat), is the suggestion that I choose a rectangle that has the same total area then? EX 2.25x4 instead of 3x3 since both are 9sqft. (as well as ensuring everyone has the same amount of space around their starting location)

3. In looking at the rules to speed up the game, I was considering the one where turn order was randomly assigned so that we arent taking a bunch of time bidding. However it would also have the effect of leaving people more resources to build with and in my self play I was at the point were everyone had their full allotment of ships every turn when doing this. So I was thinking maybe by some measure having people pay a fixed price for their randomly assigned turn. But I wasn't sure if going 1st was actually better than last so I didn't know if that would make sense. Thoughts?

4. Just have the base game at the moment but I need to go buy at least one more race to allow a 4 player game. Do some encourage turtling more than others? I'd like to avoid it being advantageous for people to turtle.
 
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Trueflight Silverwing
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1) you develop the nodes in Priority order as mentioned in the rule book. An open node would be treated as a Production node for this since that comes first in priority order.

2) This one is really a personal opinion thing. As long as the starting planets are equal distance from each other, there shouldn't be any problems. I've only ever played on the 3x3 for smaller games. For our larger games, we use a 6x3 and that does put some player planets closer to each each other and can change the way the game turns out. As long as you are even though, it shouldn't matter.

3) The turn order really depends on the state of the game. Going first is good sometimes, going last is good sometimes. Personally I wouldn't get rid of the bidding aspect of the game. It gives another reason to try for first contact as well as a sink to spend resources on later in the game.

4) The Romulans are probably the one that promotes sitting back the most. They benefit the least from making contact with other races and have lots of tech and advancements that allow them to sneak around. Either of the add on races are a good addition. The Ferengi definitely benefit from pushing right out to meet up with the other races, so they encourage interaction. The Cardassians play very similar to the Klingons in that aggressive play styles will benefit from them most. Where the Klingons concentrate on space battles, the Cardassians specialize in attacking planets. Either one of them will be a nice addition. I recommend both if you can to give you some variety in your games. There are also Vulcans and Andorians coming out sometime next year, but there are no details about them as of yet.
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Charles Boyung
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Ender02 wrote:
1) you develop the nodes in Priority order as mentioned in the rule book. An open node would be treated as a Production node for this since that comes first in priority order.

2) This one is really a personal opinion thing. As long as the starting planets are equal distance from each other, there shouldn't be any problems. I've only ever played on the 3x3 for smaller games. For our larger games, we use a 6x3 and that does put some player planets closer to each each other and can change the way the game turns out. As long as you are even though, it shouldn't matter.

3) The turn order really depends on the state of the game. Going first is good sometimes, going last is good sometimes. Personally I wouldn't get rid of the bidding aspect of the game. It gives another reason to try for first contact as well as a sink to spend resources on later in the game.

4) The Romulans are probably the one that promotes sitting back the most. They benefit the least from making contact with other races and have lots of tech and advancements that allow them to sneak around. Either of the add on races are a good addition. The Ferengi definitely benefit from pushing right out to meet up with the other races, so they encourage interaction. The Cardassians play very similar to the Klingons in that aggressive play styles will benefit from them most. Where the Klingons concentrate on space battles, the Cardassians specialize in attacking planets. Either one of them will be a nice addition. I recommend both if you can to give you some variety in your games. There are also Vulcans and Andorians coming out sometime next year, but there are no details about them as of yet.


And by "sometime next year" you mean sometime in 2021, considering how far behind GF9 gets with all of their releases...
 
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Shane
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1.thanks, I must have skipped that example when I read the rules but I see it now.

2. Assumed as much, just curious what has worked for others.

3. Yea, I just know bidding on other games has been something we found a time suck so was looking for a sensible way to avoid it while still spending resources.

4. Interesting. I know the Romulans get less from trade but they seemed best at defense to me so they had the least to lose from contact. In my self play the federation was benefitting most from lack of contact since they grew the fastest unhindered. Good to hear the expression races are pro contact.
 
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Sebastian Samberg
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3. In our early games we used random order, because we felt that spending resources on the game state was more interesting and would speed up the game. It is a bit faster, but in some games we just had production piling up in the mid-late game.

We then went back to bidding. It does not take very long imho since everyone only bids once per round. Be sure to announce the bids in the old ini order, that matters a lot. We also found that it makes the game much more strategic, e.g. taking two turns back to back (last then first) can be really effective when attacking.
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Mattias Elfström
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Gilgermesh wrote:
2. If my table size/shape doesn't allow for the suggested galaxy square (or circle, saw someone had printed a circular playmat), is the suggestion that I choose a rectangle that has the same total area then? EX 2.25x4 instead of 3x3 since both are 9sqft. (as well as ensuring everyone has the same amount of space around their starting location)


We always set up the home systems 18" apart. We don't allow a lot of space "behind" the home systems. This discourages turtling and has worked well.

Gilgermesh wrote:
3. In looking at the rules to speed up the game, I was considering the one where turn order was randomly assigned so that we arent taking a bunch of time bidding. However it would also have the effect of leaving people more resources to build with and in my self play I was at the point were everyone had their full allotment of ships every turn when doing this. So I was thinking maybe by some measure having people pay a fixed price for their randomly assigned turn. But I wasn't sure if going 1st was actually better than last so I didn't know if that would make sense. Thoughts?


I really think bidding for turn order is important for the game. I can't see how skipping it will save a lot of time. You do realise there is just one round of bidding?
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Angelus Seniores
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I have to agree that bidding for turn order is important in the game;

Going first is important
-to be able to attack before the rival has built new ships
-to reach/colonize a given planet before another rival does.
-to use tech to exhaust an opponents tech so its not available during your attack/his turn
-to avoid getting your tech exhausted before you can use it.
-have first chance at getting extra research from phenomenons.
-be first when bidding for turn order next turn.

Going last is important:
-so you can disregard the need for defense and go all-out in attacking.
-to attack by surprise without fear of retaliation this turn.
-to possibly get a double turn by going last now and bid for first next turn.
-to watch what others do before committing yourself to a particular strategy.

The process of bidding is also quite smooth since the order in which players bid is based on the current turn order and previous bids are open information.
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Mattias Elfström
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And don't forget to time the withdrawal of trade agreements - especially in the advanced game!
 
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Andrew S.
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I’ve found that using the optional rule of Random Turn order speeds up the game immensely. When we dropped the bidding system in favour of Random Turn order it immediately shaved roughly an hour and a half off our playing sessions. I highly recommend it for both the time saving and double-Turn shenanigans (which some say is a crucial part of the game but opinions vary).
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I can't see how bidding for turn order can take longer than a minute or two. The risk of double turns will still exist if you do it randomly.
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Charles Boyung
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DrewDecimal wrote:
I’ve found that using the optional rule of Random Turn order speeds up the game immensely. When we dropped the bidding system in favour of Random Turn order it immediately shaved roughly an hour and a half off our playing sessions. I highly recommend it for both the time saving and double-Turn shenanigans (which some say is a crucial part of the game but opinions vary).


An hour and a half?????? That's either some of the biggest hyperbole ever written on BGG (even bigger than that) or your entire group has bigger AP problems than the entire state of Texas (again, less hyperbole than your statement).
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Guðmundur Skallagrímson
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motoyugota wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:
I’ve found that using the optional rule of Random Turn order speeds up the game immensely. When we dropped the bidding system in favour of Random Turn order it immediately shaved roughly an hour and a half off our playing sessions. I highly recommend it for both the time saving and double-Turn shenanigans (which some say is a crucial part of the game but opinions vary).


An hour and a half?????? That's either some of the biggest hyperbole ever written on BGG (even bigger than that) or your entire group has bigger AP problems than the entire state of Texas (again, less hyperbole than your statement).
No kidding. Am I wrong when I say that bidding on turn order is supposed to be just once around the table in previous turn order, then it's done, with winners taking numbers of their choice?
 
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Tom Cannon
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guthmundur wrote:
motoyugota wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:
I’ve found that using the optional rule of Random Turn order speeds up the game immensely. When we dropped the bidding system in favour of Random Turn order it immediately shaved roughly an hour and a half off our playing sessions. I highly recommend it for both the time saving and double-Turn shenanigans (which some say is a crucial part of the game but opinions vary).


An hour and a half?????? That's either some of the biggest hyperbole ever written on BGG (even bigger than that) or your entire group has bigger AP problems than the entire state of Texas (again, less hyperbole than your statement).
No kidding. Am I wrong when I say that bidding on turn order is supposed to be just once around the table in previous turn order, then it's done, with winners taking numbers of their choice?

I suspect what some people are missing in their time estimates is that some groups will use the bidding phase of the round as an opportunity to negotiate strategies with other players. This type of discussion can go round and round several times among rivals working to convince others of a plan related to sequence of turns, etc. This could easily consume an hour over the course of a game if players continue to parlay offers and counter offers from rivals.
 
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Andrew S.
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motoyugota wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:
I’ve found that using the optional rule of Random Turn order speeds up the game immensely. When we dropped the bidding system in favour of Random Turn order it immediately shaved roughly an hour and a half off our playing sessions. I highly recommend it for both the time saving and double-Turn shenanigans (which some say is a crucial part of the game but opinions vary).


An hour and a half?????? That's either some of the biggest hyperbole ever written on BGG (even bigger than that) or your entire group has bigger AP problems than the entire state of Texas (again, less hyperbole than your statement).


No hyperbole here I’m afraid.

It generally went something like this....
In the first part of the game just after First Contact everyone either bids 0 or maybe 1 because they are still busy exploring and developing their own space. This takes only a minute.

In the second part, people bid a bit more but only when they really, really want a section of space to discover a new system or two of their own. This takes a minute or two, usually when people jockey with each other a bit.

In the last part of the game, where things start to get hairy every round happens like this...the first player to bid takes a look at the game state and has to consider what moves everyone is planning on making and how detrimental those moves could potentially be. Then they have to consider how much resources the other people need to accomplish those goals. Then they consider if letting the rivals go first and accomplish those goals is worth spending more resources then the rival has. This is a crucial stage and consideration to get right because if you decide wrong, the resources you have bid are wasted. Now, after the first player has done all of this the second person to bid has to do it all over again, minus a little bit of thinking because the first bid is already in. Then the third person to bid does it too.

Maybe this falls under the category of extreme AP but it is worth noting that our first game of Twilight Imperium this last week took a bit less time then our first game of Ascendancy.

If we were doing anything wrong with the rules for bidding, I’d be happy to have it pointed out.
 
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Andrew S.
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Mattias wrote:
I can't see how bidding for turn order can take longer than a minute or two. The risk of double turns will still exist if you do it randomly.


Of course, but taking advantage of it is much harder because it occurring is, as the optional rule suggests, entirely random.
 
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Walter Kolczynski
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DrewDecimal wrote:
motoyugota wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:
I’ve found that using the optional rule of Random Turn order speeds up the game immensely. When we dropped the bidding system in favour of Random Turn order it immediately shaved roughly an hour and a half off our playing sessions. I highly recommend it for both the time saving and double-Turn shenanigans (which some say is a crucial part of the game but opinions vary).


An hour and a half?????? That's either some of the biggest hyperbole ever written on BGG (even bigger than that) or your entire group has bigger AP problems than the entire state of Texas (again, less hyperbole than your statement).


No hyperbole here I’m afraid.

It generally went something like this....
In the first part of the game just after First Contact everyone either bids 0 or maybe 1 because they are still busy exploring and developing their own space. This takes only a minute.

In the second part, people bid a bit more but only when they really, really want a section of space to discover a new system or two of their own. This takes a minute or two, usually when people jockey with each other a bit.

In the last part of the game, where things start to get hairy every round happens like this...the first player to bid takes a look at the game state and has to consider what moves everyone is planning on making and how detrimental those moves could potentially be. Then they have to consider how much resources the other people need to accomplish those goals. Then they consider if letting the rivals go first and accomplish those goals is worth spending more resources then the rival has. This is a crucial stage and consideration to get right because if you decide wrong, the resources you have bid are wasted. Now, after the first player has done all of this the second person to bid has to do it all over again, minus a little bit of thinking because the first bid is already in. Then the third person to bid does it too.

Maybe this falls under the category of extreme AP but it is worth noting that our first game of Twilight Imperium this last week took a bit less time then our first game of Ascendancy.

If we were doing anything wrong with the rules for bidding, I’d be happy to have it pointed out.

How about instituting a bidding time limit instead of removing the strategic decision?
 
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Shane
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bubba0077 wrote:

How about instituting a bidding time limit instead of removing the strategic decision?

Wouldn't that put the first player at an extreme disadvantage? 2-5 can be doing all those calculators during 1s bidding timer.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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You should consider your turn order bid while others are taking their turn in the round before bidding. Then place your bid promptly.
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Andrew S.
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Mattias wrote:
You should consider your turn order bid while others are taking their turn in the round before bidding. Then place your bid promptly.


Board state isn’t finished until the others have fully completed their turn. The last command of another players turn can radically alter everything. Planning without knowing that wouldnt be very practical or useful.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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DrewDecimal wrote:
Mattias wrote:
You should consider your turn order bid while others are taking their turn in the round before bidding. Then place your bid promptly.


Board state isn’t finished until the others have fully completed their turn. The last command of another players turn can radically alter everything. Planning without knowing that wouldnt be very practical or useful.

In practice the last command seldom changes much. I advice using all opportunities to plan ahead while preparing for the odd situation when something completely unforeseen happens.

 
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Andrew S.
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Mattias wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:
Mattias wrote:
You should consider your turn order bid while others are taking their turn in the round before bidding. Then place your bid promptly.


Board state isn’t finished until the others have fully completed their turn. The last command of another players turn can radically alter everything. Planning without knowing that wouldnt be very practical or useful.

In practice the last command seldom changes much. I advice using all opportunities to plan ahead while preparing for the odd situation when something completely unforeseen happens.



Huh. Then we have had very difference experiences playing this game as I’ve found that the last 2-3 commands often change everything.
 
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Chip Morris
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How about simultaneous / hidden bids?
 
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DrewDecimal wrote:
Mattias wrote:
DrewDecimal wrote:
Mattias wrote:
You should consider your turn order bid while others are taking their turn in the round before bidding. Then place your bid promptly.


Board state isn’t finished until the others have fully completed their turn. The last command of another players turn can radically alter everything. Planning without knowing that wouldnt be very practical or useful.

In practice the last command seldom changes much. I advice using all opportunities to plan ahead while preparing for the odd situation when something completely unforeseen happens.



Huh. Then we have had very difference experiences playing this game as I’ve found that the last 2-3 commands often change everything.


Perhaps 2-3 commands can change the situation a little bit. One command will not change much that can't be foreseen.

Some advice on bidding:
If you need to build before the other players can attack you - bid to take the lowest Turn Order card.
If you want to harvest the easiest Phenomena - bid to take the lowest Turn Order card.
If you want to attack before the other players can build - bid to take the lowest Turn Order card.
If you want to attack without risking immediate retaliation - bid to take the highest Turn Order card.
If you want to see the complete game state before taking your turn - bid to take the highest Turn Order card.
If you absolutely need to go first the round after this round - bid to take the highest Turn Order card.
If you need your Resources to build or ascend - don't bid.

The bidding also works as a balancing tool - if you have the lowest Turn Order card you probably need to bid a lot to win the bidding. If you bid a lot, players bidding later can just bid zero and they will have made you waste your Resources.
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