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Subject: Advice/ideas on Marines countering Eldar naval superiority? rss

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G'day.

What an amazing game, and it's great to have this wonderful forum supporting it.

I've only played three games. I'll be mostly playing two player games, with me as marines, and my friend as eldar.

Last night he bought a massive navy, and, using orbital strikes, consistently did quite a lot of damage. By turn three I felt like I was bogged down, and not sure what combat card upgrades to buy.

So, I'm wondering, what's a general counter strategy to Eldar naval superiority?

Last night I built bastions, but of course there's the order upgrade that allows orbital strikes to ignore bastions. (My friend forgot this, so next game will be more punishing.) I did a pretty strong ground push where he wasn't, and that was pretty effective, but I feel he could have countered if he'd anticipated it a little better. I also had the upper-hand in using an early expansion to gain a larger economy than him, but it was pretty tenuous, with the eldar player taking two cache tokens each turn.

I'm particularly wondering if some of the combat card upgrades can help with the eldar naval engagements, as I feel that's the part of the game I understand the least.

Thank you, and my apologies if this has already been covered.

p.s. If anyone feels as though I'm complaining about the Marines being weak, that isn't my point at all. The game continued to ebb and flow and we both felt like we were having victories and blunders every turn. I haven't found another game which maintains such a wonderful sense of "not-knowing-who's winning", a big victory in one place just left the victor weaker in other ways. I'm probably just enamoured with a new game, but GOSH I SURE AM ENAMOURED.

p.p.s. I'll also show my dude this thread so he'll be ready for whatever.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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I've never specifically done Marines v Eldar at 2p, but I've done Orks v Eldar and I'm thinking the general principle you want to go with is the same: Avoid space. You know he can beat your fleet, so when assembling the map you want ground paths everywhere important. And Eldar ground are pretty fragile early, so get in their face when possible. Even if you can't reach the objective for the outright win, if you can apply enough pressure he can't place a second city without risking you capturing it then he can't upgrade to his better cards and Corsair Raid.

Edit: To be clear, by avoid space I don’t mean don’t build any ships. But you need planet paths so you aren’t crippled by him destroying your transport chains. You also still need ships in voids to force him to waste actions attacking space even if you will not win combats. Just try to keep the ship alive and retreat to be in the way a second time.
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Paul Dawson
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Eldar frigates roll 3 dice but only have 1 morale - generally as space marines if you can keep your ships unrouted, plus play cards that boost morale, you should be able to out-morale them.

Put reinforcement tokens in the fight, use cards like hold the line, faith in the emperor to rally troops and add morale dice and you will give yourself a good chance. Generally as marines vs eldar you're looking to survive - if you put 2 ships and a reinforcement token into a fight vs eldar and can keep them all standing plus your cards you should have 8-10 morale at the end, which Eldar will not be able to match with just their frigates.

Often as marines you might have to concede most space to the Eldar and just keep a fleet of two strike cruisers and a battle barge to get local superiority in whatever void you're needing to move through. Break the line is a great card to use with your battle barge before you get to T3 cards.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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Very true, if you can make it to the morale phase Marines will usually win, even in space. Though, surviving to it can be tough. Between 3 dice and lots of guns on combat cards, Eldar can often push through enough damage to kill a ship each round, especially if you don't play defense cards.

Also, while Break the Line is still one of the Marine's overall better cards, it's at its weakest vs Eldar. If they keep Command of the Autarch in their deck they can ditch it to Break and not lose any symbols.
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Paul Dawson
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If you are playing break after command is already down there’s not much I can say except shrug
 
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Sorry, but do you mean by "already down"? The cards are chosen simultaneously in secret aren't they? Or are you meaning during the deck drafting?
 
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tibbles von tibbleton
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momeeps wrote:
Sorry, but do you mean by "already down"? The cards are chosen simultaneously in secret aren't they? Or are you meaning during the deck drafting?


He means played during the combat. During the 3 rounds of combat, both of you will pick your card simultaneously, but attacker plays a card, then the defender. Played cards stay "down" on the table for the rest of combat.

This means that Break the Line if played as the first card as an attacker cannot destroy any defender card in play. As a defender, Break can destroy the attacker's first card. On future rounds, Break can be used to destroy cards played on prior rounds.

Edit: His comment is saying it should be a no duh that Break is a bad choice to play if the Eldar already has Command of the Autarch played, you know you won't get to usefully use the ability. But since you are new I figured I'd mention it. I know the first time it came up in my group the Eldar player didn't immediately grasp that Command meant he had 4 cards played and Command was a valid card to pick to lose.

Having one of Marine's best cards be less useful I think also reduces the impetus for Marines to get to T2 tech level vs pushing units early, but then I also know my personal weakness is rushing too hard and falling behind in tech, so that's a real situational call.
Upgraded combat cards are huge in this game, no question. But, I have won several games by rushing before the opponent had the units to back up the cards they just spent all their material on. And Eldar are probably the best faction to rush at.
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Paul Dawson
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Yeah I was a bit sparse on my wording - Break doesn't let you choose which card gets destroyed, your opponent picks one. So if he's got Command Autarch down which lets them play another card in conjunction, they can just discard Command and lose nothing from the fight.

A good alternative to break the line against eldar is show no fear, shields + morale is always a great combo to be throwing at your opponent, and the inability to be routed is amazing.

Make sure too if the Eldar player is using Spiritseer's guidance that he's not claiming he can inflict damage on you while taking none himself, it affects both sides.
 
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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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Ozathoth wrote:
Eldar frigates roll 3 dice but only have 1 morale -...


As Paul said, shield up and go for the morale win.

Early game (turns 1 to 4), get 3 small ships in your home system ASAP, to stop the Eldar from blocking your ability to build ships.

Late game (turns 5 to 8), Eldar space dominance drops quite a lot once the big ships come in, a Battle Barge and Break the Line should be enough to swat those pesky Eldar out of the sky.

 
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