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Subject: Hellion is the strongest corporation rss

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I AM Not A Number
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In our group, the player with Hellion allways win easily. The main reason seems to be that he can transfer his heat to MC and play extra cards and forests and even cities. And that is really an enormous advantage once the temperature has reached its max.
It looks like Hellion is overpowered compared to the other corporations. IMHO
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Is Helion overpowered?

I really don't have much do add over what I and others already wrote there, other than: I absolutely don't think Helion are overpowered at all. They are in the weaker half of the bunch on my book.
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Tom Jones
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Played last Wednesday and the result was:

1st: Saturn Systems
2nd: Aphrodite
3rd: Viron
4th Helion

John (the Helion player) took ages to get his engine running just through bad luck of the draw.

I think Helion has a higher chance of being the best corporation in a game but depends on the cards the player gets.
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I AM Not A Number
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Zyge wrote:
I think Helion has a higher chance of being the best corporation in a game but depends on the cards the player gets.

Thanks. That's better said than I did.
And indeed the Helion players of my group have had good cards for them.
This points out the luck factor in TM.
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Derry Salewski
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iamnan wrote:
Zyge wrote:
I think Helion has a higher chance of being the best corporation in a game but depends on the cards the player gets.

Thanks. That's better said than I did.
And indeed the Helion players of my group have had good cards for them.
This points out the luck factor in TM.


They luckily always got the best cards every single game.

Or your group isn't super great.

*shrugs*
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Martin DeOlden
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They do very well in my group but we also always draft so it is easier to get cards that work well with them.
We also draft the first 10 cards as well.
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Robert Schraut
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[q="iamnan"]In our group, the player with Hellion allways win easily. The main reason seems to be that he can transfer his heat to MC and play extra cards and forests and even cities. And that is really an enormous advantage once the temperature has reached its max.
It looks like Hellion is overpowered compared to the other corporations. IMHO[/q

No.
Helion is just very easy to play and can easily go berserk. For experienced players, tractor, credicor and interplanetary are stronger. But not much.
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RyuSora
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Helion is the EASIEST corp! Not the strongest! And because of that, its easy to do well with helion.

Imo the strongest by far is tharsis. Not overpowered, but definitely the strongest.
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Each group has its own meta... helion's definitely the hardest to mess up while playing it. It's the most reliable. In our group the strongest is mining guild.
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I AM Not A Number
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I definitely need to get stronger at TM 😂
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Gomeril Gnak
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The Mining Guild depends on two things: drawing enough steel cards (which are plenty, but still) and other players stupidly letting the Mining Guild snatch all the mining sites. Corporations that are less dependent on the luck of the draw are much stronger, but any corporation can win with the right combos
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Peter Bakija
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iamnan wrote:
In our group, the player with Hellion allways win easily.


Ok.

Quote:
The main reason seems to be that he can transfer his heat to MC and play extra cards and forests and even cities. And that is really an enormous advantage once the temperature has reached its max.


All of these things are true. How many games have you played? Are you drafting? Are you using Corporate Era rules?

Quote:
It looks like Hellion is overpowered compared to the other corporations. IMHO


It's really not. Helion seems very strong when you start playing, as, well, all the things you point out above are quick to grasp and easy to take advantage of. But, much like Ecoline (which also seems really good when you start playing), it turns out that it isn't as good as it initially appears. Especially when some of the less obvious corporations become better understood.

Helion. It is ok. It is not remotely the strongest corporation. It is, arguably, actually kind of weak.
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AJ Cooper
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We see this claim about Helion very often from new players. I think I will write my thoughts out at length this time.

Try this experiment: go through the deck and find cards that give only heat production, and also some that give only MC production. You will notice something: heat production costs more than MC production. This means that when you use heat as MC indiscriminately, you have overpaid for the privilege, as compared to raising your MC production directly. Roughly, you will see that an MC production costs about 4 MC, while a heat production costs about 6 MC. (Remember to include the 3 MC cost to buy the card).

Or try looking for cards that yield only VP, or only terraform rating. You will find that a VP costs about 6 MC, and that a TR costs about 10 MC (= 1 VP + 1 MC production, no coincidence). But 8 heat makes a temperature increase, and hence 1 TR, which is worth ~10 MC. In addition, temperature steps have extra value in that they take potential points from the opponents, work toward the terraformer milestone, and occasionally earn a track bonus (at -24, -20, and 0). Again, we see that heat is worth more than MC.

All this means that when you spend heat as MC, you take a small loss. Do it too often, and the loss adds up. So this is not such a great deal as it seems. It is useful for special circumstances where you need an extra MC or two to do something urgent: maybe claim a milestone, or get a nice production card down this generation. But as a matter of routine, it is a long-term loser.

Not convinced yet? Let's look at starting resources. Helion gets 42 MC and three heat production. Using 6 MC as the value of a heat production, that's ~60 MC in total value. Compare Credicor, which gets 57 plus a good ability, or Terractor which gets 60 and a weak ability. Helion starts to look pretty average now.

You can also look at the win statistics thread, where Helion comes in average to below average. While the sample set may be too small and/or biased to reach firm conclusions, I suspect that your anecdotal sample size is much smaller yet.

The main benefit of Helion is in the endgame. After the temperature is maxed out, extra heat cubes and production are still usable. This is admittedly a nice bonus, but not game breaking by any means.

Conclusion: Helion is average.

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I AM Not A Number
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bakija wrote:
iamnan wrote:
The main reason seems to be that he can transfer his heat to MC and play extra cards and forests and even cities. And that is really an enormous advantage once the temperature has reached its max.


All of these things are true. How many games have you played? Are you drafting? Are you using Corporate Era rules?

We played about 15 games and maybe 3 or 4 with Helion.
We don't draft. We allways play Corp. Era.

My point is that Helion starts with 3 heat prod and that is big. It enables to increase temperature generaly before the other players, gaining TR and corresponding MC. And when T° is at its max then he benefits fully from his special ability having extra MC from his heat while the other players try to increase O2 and oceans. He can make plenty of standard projects.

Once more, I need to get stronger in order to be able to beat an Helion player.
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Flight Doc
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I played Helion for the first time last night and I didn’t use the heat to M€ function early on except to cover 1-2 M€ needs. I really helped bump the temp up till my son played heat trappers (which drops my heat prod down 2 and raises his power prod up 1). I slowly climbed back and with the help off a high power prod, once the temp was maxed, I could afford to buy and play a ton of late game cards. My Jovian plays were easy and if you included my residual power & heat changed to M€, I had over 80 M€ per turn. On top of other discounts, I was playing practically every card in my hand.

The moral of the story: when playing against Helion, end the game as fast as possible once the temp is maxed, or else you’ll be fighting a money machine. BTW, I annihilated my son in VP for his early game treachery. devil
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J
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My group never really regards any Corp as op but there are some we really dislike. One of my friends always looks at Helion as: Avoid Using Heat->Me as much as possible, raising temp at every option. 8 Me for 1 vp and 1 income is a better deal than you will get from most other sources. Once Temp maxes other player's heat will be largely useless while yours still has function. Basically he sees the Helion power as a built in "out" for your heat once it is normally useless.

As a side note, I just had a Helion game the other day where I started with Soletta (7 heat production for 35 MC). Ended up winning by really blitzing the ending.
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Peter Bakija
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Quote:
We played about 15 games and maybe 3 or 4 with Helion.
We don't draft. We allways play Corp. Era.


Draft. Draft makes it easier to be the corporations that are harder to play in general (as they are more likely to see useful cards that make them go). Helion, Ecoline, and, say, Mining Guild (and probably Saturn Systems) tend to work better than other corps without draft, as they come with built in production and a built in path towards victory (but of those, I think Helion is probably the least good); With drafting, the corps with built in paths towards victory and built in production are much more even with the more obtuse corps. Give it a try.

iamnan wrote:
My point is that Helion starts with 3 heat prod and that is big. It enables to increase temperature generaly before the other players, gaining TR and corresponding MC. And when T° is at its max then he benefits fully from his special ability having extra MC from his heat while the other players try to increase O2 and oceans. He can make plenty of standard projects.


Sure. But even Helion needs to get lucky to get a significant amount of heat production, and everyone else at the table is just as likely to get heat production cards. If Helion is just coasting off of its 3 built in heat, it isn't going to max out the heat scale significantly before everything else is finished. If Helion lucks into a lot of good heat production, sure, it is doing well, but then Ecoline can luck into a lot of good plant production and/or Phobolog can luck into a lot of good titanium production (and I'd much rather be lucky Ecoline or lucky Phobolog than lucky Helion...) and be doing even better.

How many generations are your games going? In general, a 4P game is going to last about 9-10 generations. If it is going significantly longer than that, someone is generally not paying attention to when it is a good idea for the game to end.
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Peter S.
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Short answer: no. Getting 1 TR (which is 1 VP and 1 MC production) is worth about 10 MC. Paying 8 "MC" for it is a bargain; if at all possible, you want to use your heat to buy TR via raising Temp, and in doing so Helion's advantage is essentially ignored. Put another way, using heat as MC is doing so at a slight loss.

What Helion gives you is flexibility. This has a value, and being able to leverage it is awesome, but it doesn't put the game out of reach of other corporations.
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AJ Cooper
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Another upside for Helion is that more than most corporations, it is independent of the starting 10 cards. There is no particular type of cards that it needs for its resources/ability to be useful. Credicor and Terractor are like this too, but even they have some minor preference of cards. Helion just doesn't care at all, and this makes them easier to use than most corps.
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I AM Not A Number
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bakija wrote:
Quote:
We played about 15 games and maybe 3 or 4 with Helion.
We don't draft. We allways play Corp. Era.

How many generations are your games going? In general, a 4P game is going to last about 9-10 generations. If it is going significantly longer than that, someone is generally not paying attention to when it is a good idea for the game to end.

Our games often finish at gen 10. Last one exceptionaly finished at gen 11 with Helion doing 103 points. It wasn't me and I lost.
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Talmanes wrote:
Another upside for Helion is that more than most corporations, it is independent of the starting 10 cards. There is no particular type of cards that it needs for its resources/ability to be useful. Credicor and Terractor are like this too, but even they have some minor preference of cards. Helion just doesn't care at all, and this makes them easier to use than most corps.

My experience is that Helion needs heat prod cards in order to raise temperature. If it hasn't (or if it transfers its heat prod to MC before T° has reached its max) then of course it is more difficult to win.
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Bryan Thunkd
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iamnan wrote:
In our group, the player with Hellion allways win easily. The main reason seems to be that he can transfer his heat to MC and play extra cards and forests and even cities. And that is really an enormous advantage once the temperature has reached its max.
Up until the temperature hits the max, it is almost always better to use heat as heat rather than money though. Eight heat will get you a TR which is generally better than whatever you can do with eight money. If you’re using your ability to convert a lot of heat to money before the temperature maxes out, you’re probably being inefficient.
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AJ Cooper
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iamnan wrote:
Talmanes wrote:
Another upside for Helion is that more than most corporations, it is independent of the starting 10 cards. There is no particular type of cards that it needs for its resources/ability to be useful. Credicor and Terractor are like this too, but even they have some minor preference of cards. Helion just doesn't care at all, and this makes them easier to use than most corps.

My experience is that Helion needs heat prod cards in order to raise temperature. If it hasn't (or if it transfers its heat prod to MC before T° has reached its max) then of course it is more difficult to win.

I can agree to an extent. Fast heat production is better for Helion than it is for other corporations in the sense that Helion is immune to the associated risk of surplus heat cubes after the temperature is maxed. But I would not say that Helion needs more heat production; it is perfectly ok to leave it at 3 and let that benefit accumulate while doing whatever other things the cards send your way.
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Peter Bakija
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iamnan wrote:
Our games often finish at gen 10. Last one exceptionaly finished at gen 11 with Helion doing 103 points. It wasn't me and I lost.


Ok, so everything seems to be reasonably average in your game group--games go a regular length (i.e. you aren't, like, stretching the end of the game out an excessive number of generations or anything), you are using Corporate Era rules and cards (you aren't all starting at 1 production of everything, right?).

Yeah, I'd suggest drafting for the reasons I pointed out above--it tends to make the corporations that *don't* come with a built in ability to win (i.e. Helion, Ecoline, Mining Guild, Saturn Systems) better, on the grounds that it evens out luck some. Like, Helion gets to generate heat and get TR bonuses from that regardless of what cards it draws, so is less susceptible to bad card luck than, say, Phobolog or Teracor, and drafting tends to even out card luck (and gives your neighbors the ability to defensively draft the heat production cards so that Helion doesn't get them...)

Helion. It really just isn't that good. It's ok. It is a solid "middle" contender. But if I had a choice of corporations blind without even seeing my opening 10 cards, Helion would be, like, 6th or 7th choice.
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I AM Not A Number
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Thunkd wrote:
iamnan wrote:
In our group, the player with Hellion allways win easily. The main reason seems to be that he can transfer his heat to MC and play extra cards and forests and even cities. And that is really an enormous advantage once the temperature has reached its max.
Up until the temperature hits the max, it is almost always better to use heat as heat rather than money though. Eight heat will get you a TR which is generally better than whatever you can do with eight money. If you’re using your ability to convert a lot of heat to money before the temperature maxes out, you’re probably being inefficient.

Of course.
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