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Subject: Eclipse Pack (new half set of fan factions) rss

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Lucas MB
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Hi everyone,
I've been working on an adaptation for Gaia Project of the 7 basic races from the boardgame Eclipse. Each race has a different home planet. I tested each one a bunch of times in solo mode and they seem to be fairly balanced.

Here comes the list:



Eridani - Red Planet

Setup: you start with one trading post instead of two mines (you skip your first phase of puting structures). You also start with a federation: an academy, a trading station and a mine that are left out of the game. That federation gives you the academy's QIC action avaliable, a tech tile that increases the commerce track and a federation tile that gives you 7 points and 6 coins.

Disadvantage: before or after you take any action that covers a orange, purple or green space, lose 3 coins.

PI Ability: you lose your starting disadvantage.

Rationale: Eridani is a rich but declining race of Eclipse. The red planet was chosen due to aesthetics.
Ps: the starting coins, after the production phase of round one is not a coincidence.



Descendants - Yellow Planet

Setup: the yellow planets and two other planet types (except gaia, transdim, and home planets of other players) will be ancient home worlds. You choose one planet type when you choose to play as Descendants and the other one after all players have chosen their factions. As a reminder, put a power token on each ancient home world.

Special Ability: when building a mine on an ancient home world, gain one power token on bowl I (take the token placed during setup). Ancient home worlds have no terraforming cost. All other planets (except transdim and gaia) cost two terraforming steps to build a mine.

End of game: every power token worth a point.

PI Ability: You may lose power tokens to gain +2NAV per token when building a mine.

Rationale: ancient home worlds are occupied by ancient races that are friendly for the Decendants, helping you to gain power and points. The yellow planet was chosen due to aesthetics.



Terran - Blue Planet

Special Ability: you start with level one in navigation and commerce tracks.

PI Ability: you gain one level in gaia track and, as a free action, you can move a gaiaformer to the gaia area to gain 1 ore or 1 knowledge. The gaiaformers in gaia area can't be moved until the end of the next gaia fase. (simmilar to the Bal T'aks ability)

Rationale: the terrans of Eclipse are good at trading and expanding by moving their ships. The gaiaforming is suitable for the position of the blue planets, chosen for obvious reasons.



Mechanema - Gray Planet

Special Ability: you start with level one in AI track. As a free action, you can exchange a QIC for an ore and a coin or 2 QICs for 3 ores.

PI Ability: you can build satellites by spending a QIC for each satellite instead of one power token. Gain a knowledge and a victory point for each QIC used.

Rationale: Mechanema builds things cheaper than other races. Using QICs to build cheaper is compatible with the android nature of the race. The PI ability is a way to emulate orbitals and obelisks. The gray planet was chosen due to aesthetics.



Orion - Orange Planet

Special Ability: all your structures have one more power. You can only create federations with 9 power or more (instead of 7).

PI Ability: once per round, you can use a power action that was already used this round. Gain 4 points when passing.

Rationale: Orion has the most powerful and fastest ships of Eclipse. Both advantages are represented by the structures with extra power. The extra power needed for federations has balancing purposes. The PI is both a way to demonstrate power while spending them and to recover some of the points lost in charges. The orange planet was chosen due to aesthetics.



Planta - Brown Planet

Special Ability: you start with level one in navigation track. All planet types cost one terraforming step to build a mine (including brown and gaia). You can spend a QIC to get a terraforming step. Your structures adjacent (distance 1) to opponent's structures have one less power.

PI Ability: Once per round, as a action, gain a QIC. Then, you take up to two build a mine actions. Gain a point for each mine build in this way.

Rationale: planta is a race that is very good to spread but is also weak and slow in fights (both drawbacks are represented by the structures with less power). The brown planet was chosen beacause it is the best for early expansion.




Hydran - White Planet

Special Ability: you start with level one in science track. As a action, you can spend 7 knowledge to increase two technology track levels.

PI Ability: gain a federation that increases a technology track level. (you can use the Gleen's federation token as a reminder).

Rationale: Hydran discovers technology faster and starts with extra knowledge and knowledge production. The white planet was the only one left

-------------------

EDIT History:

-- Planta's special ability was simplified. Its PI ability was totally changed.

-- Terran now starts with standard coins and power, but they can't change gaiaformers for coins.

-- Eridani now starts with standard power and they can't lose power when taking an orange, purple or green action.

-- Descendants now can build mines on ancient home worlds with no extra cost and get a starting QIC. However, they start with less power tokens, worst mines and one ancient home world must be yellow. Their PI ability was simplified.

-- Orion's PI ability now only applies to power actions and VP gained per round increased to 4. The graphical design of the power of the structures has changed.

-- Mechanema lost their starting QIC but gained an other coin per round (now 2 coins per round). Their PI was simplified.
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Lucas MB
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I would like to thank the authors of the following inspiring posts:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2123553/master-orion-pack-n...

and

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2047013/eclipse-races-gaia-...
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Bobrov Alexander
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Wow! To see into this need time. It's cool that this happens! thumbsup
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James Wolfpacker
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Nice to see. However, I think that the Brown, Yellow, and Red factions are overly complicated.
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Jack Spirio
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If you add original to the images it’s way easier to read them
I‘ve done it for you
Just copy my post in the op and I‘ll delete it again.
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Jack Spirio
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Eridani: does the put away buildings count for end goals?
Terran seems extremely week, why did they lost their starting qic? Also base game faction is already named Terrans
 
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Christian van Someren
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Looks cool.
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Very nice work! Makes me want to create new factions too

My first impression: Most factions seem to me over complicated and forced, in a sense that you try too hard to port the Eclipse factions into Gaia Project. Maybe think about what is the key feature of each faction and strip all the rest (I think bobals 'Master of Orion Pack' is a good example). The over complication makes the factions prone to loop hole abuse, which brings me to the next point, playtesting. Solo testing is a first good check, but as the designer you may be blind to those loop holes. So the next step would be then extensive 4 player testing to start a redesign loop to converge to balanced factions.
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Jack Spirio wrote:
Eridani: does the put away buildings count for end goals?


No, it doesn't. Neither for any other bonus that relies on structures.

Jack Spirio wrote:
Terran seems extremely week, why did they lost their starting qic? Also base game faction is already named Terrans


Usually a faction starts with the equivalent of a level and a half in a technology track. Starting with two technologies without drawbacks would be very powerful. Also note that Terrans still get a QIC from navigation level 1. Its PI ability is also good.

Terrans is the name of the race in Eclipse. I think it's better to keep the original name, but I understand who thinks differently. If you want to edit the faction's name, I used Open Sans as font. You could also find the original font of Gaia Project, witch I couldn't find.

 
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Nice to see. However, I think that the Brown, Yellow, and Red factions are overly complicated.


Thanks for the reply.

The red faction is only complicated during the setup. Afterwards you just need to remember to loose 3 gold / 2 pt every time you use the token that covers actions. After bulding the PI, it is the simplest faction of the game.

The yellow starting ability is easier to remind if you put a power token on each ancient world during setup.

I see the brown faction as the most complicated, especially when charging power. It would be nice to test with other people to see how often they forget to decrease the power of their structures.
 
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Lenrok wrote:
Very nice work! Makes me want to create new factions too

My first impression: Most factions seem to me over complicated and forced, in a sense that you try too hard to port the Eclipse factions into Gaia Project. Maybe think about what is the key feature of each faction and strip all the rest (I think bobals 'Master of Orion Pack' is a good example). The over complication makes the factions prone to loop hole abuse, which brings me to the next point, playtesting. Solo testing is a first good check, but as the designer you may be blind to those loop holes. So the next step would be then extensive 4 player testing to start a redesign loop to converge to balanced factions.


Nice comments. However, my main game group prefers to play lighter games, such as 7 wonders or codenames. I also play with a group that has other hardcore players, but I have fewer opportunities to do so and when I do they like to diversify the games that are played. So, the best I can do is to share my designs with the community and wait for feedback.
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Bobrov Alexander
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Eridani.

Very interesting idea! Looks a bit complicated but interesting.
Their advantages and disadvantages seem reasonable and realy "rich but declining".

Howewer there is an imbalance - they have too many resources at the start:
1TP vs 2Mines (so +1o1c vs 1hab planet)
-2o
+9c
+2pt
+1qic (and qic income)
+1eco step
+1tech tile (probably +1o1pw or +4c)
+1Fed tile

With this Eridani have super strong opening in 1st round up to Ac + 4eco + 3tech + Atech (top eco).

Their disadvantages cannot balance such a powerful opening.

You may need to slightly reduce their starting resources, and maybe reduce the disadvantages.


Descendants

An interesting idea to highlight additional planet types as an helpfull!
But 3 types at first glance it seems too much. In 4pl game it be all planet types or rivals or ancient home. 1-2 may be enough?
Question. To build a mine in the ancient home world, need to move a only one power token from bowl III to the Gaia bowl? If so, it seems too low price. Descendants have 4 home planet types, without significant flaws (-1pw but get power tokens and vp for it
I would suggest reducing the number of ancient home worlds to 1-2 types and increasing the cost of settling the planet to 2.


Planta.
Questions
1. -1 power affects the form of the federation?
2. Other players can build on planets with Ivit tokens?

The strange faction, while there is no opinion about their power, just seems too far-fetched.


Terran
The basic ability is not strong enough to remove start resources. Return 1qic and 2coins, it will be ok.
Pi ability doesn't look too useful and seems like a weaker version of the original terrans


Mechanema
It seems fairly balanced. one of the technical steps, a small additional income (approximately 2 coins). Plus variability. An interesting (but slightly far-fetched) solution with the income from the third TS. I like)
Overall, it looks average, need to test


Orion
The basic ability (with additional 1o and 2pt) looks average - fine
Pi ability looks below average.
Changing TP income looks like weakening.
Overall, it looks interesting, but it seems a weaker than average. Need to test.


Hydran
The basic ability will probably save 6-7k per game, equivalent to +1k income, but inconvenient to use.
Pi ability similar to Gleen: below average and optional.
Start resourse looks weak: +2k -1o and terrible 4-0 power.

Question. Spend 7k to increase two tech step - is this action once per round? Can increace in one track or only in two different?

Overall, Looks like a weakened version of Nevlas. This is not bad, because Nevlas is overpowered, but maybe they need a small buff, I would return the standard 4-2 power.

In general, all this is very interesting.
We will print and test them.
Do you have files with high quality?



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Luis Carlos
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Good job. Interesting new options, I liked Eridani.
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I rewinded the Planta to my previous version (structures have now zero power adjacent to other faction structures) and gave it a little advantage by simplifying the build two mines action and point gathering.
 
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bobral wrote:
Eridani.

Very interesting idea! Looks a bit complicated but interesting.
Their advantages and disadvantages seem reasonable and realy "rich but declining".

Howewer there is an imbalance - they have too many resources at the start:
1TP vs 2Mines (so +1o1c vs 1hab planet)
-2o
+9c
+2pt
+1qic (and qic income)
+1eco step
+1tech tile (probably +1o1pw or +4c)
+1Fed tile

With this Eridani have super strong opening in 1st round up to Ac + 4eco + 3tech + Atech (top eco).

Their disadvantages cannot balance such a powerful opening.

You may need to slightly reduce their starting resources, and maybe reduce the disadvantages.



I've nerfed Eridani before publishing it. I think it is ok now. If it is still powerful, you can loose the starting QiC and it will be ok.
Note that the QiC action is acutualy a QiC -3 coins action.
Also note that the academy opening has one less ore income than usual (you only start with one structure). I think it is difficult to take the advanced tech tile in the first round, unless with a round bonus and the ore+qic tech tile.

bobral wrote:


Descendants

An interesting idea to highlight additional planet types as an helpfull!
But 3 types at first glance it seems too much. In 4pl game it be all planet types or rivals or ancient home. 1-2 may be enough?
Question. To build a mine in the ancient home world, need to move a only one power token from bowl III to the Gaia bowl? If so, it seems too low price. Descendants have 4 home planet types, without significant flaws (-1pw but get power tokens and vp for it
I would suggest reducing the number of ancient home worlds to 1-2 types and increasing the cost of settling the planet to 2.



I've tested with one and two ancient home planet types, with no cost to building a mine on them. One ancient type is almost unplayable. Two is ok, but very competitive. Three was OP until I put the cost to move a power token from III to gaia. It is still less than 2/5 of all the planets.

bobral wrote:


Planta.
Questions
1. -1 power affects the form of the federation?
2. Other players can build on planets with Ivit tokens?

The strange faction, while there is no opinion about their power, just seems too far-fetched.



I uptated the Planta faction. See it again. Power do affects the form of a federeation

bobral wrote:


Terran
The basic ability is not strong enough to remove start resources. Return 1qic and 2coins, it will be ok.
Pi ability doesn't look too useful and seems like a weaker version of the original terrans



The PI is pretty flexible. You usually don't use three gaiaformers every turn. I may reset the 2 coins. Both coins and QIC is too much. There is no faction in the original game with a starting bonus equivalent to two good starting tech levels.

bobral wrote:


Mechanema
It seems fairly balanced. one of the technical steps, a small additional income (approximately 2 coins). Plus variability. An interesting (but slightly far-fetched) solution with the income from the third TS. I like)
Overall, it looks average, need to test



ok.

bobral wrote:


Orion
The basic ability (with additional 1o and 2pt) looks average - fine
Pi ability looks below average.
Changing TP income looks like weakening.
Overall, it looks interesting, but it seems a weaker than average. Need to test.



PI ability was 4 poins / pass + action, but only one pt income. I reduced one point / pass and increased to two pt income.
Changing TP income increases flexibility and is thematic (less gold from trading, more power)

bobral wrote:


Hydran
The basic ability will probably save 6-7k per game, equivalent to +1k income, but inconvenient to use.
Pi ability similar to Gleen: below average and optional.
Start resourse looks weak: +2k -1o and terrible 4-0 power.

Question. Spend 7k to increase two tech step - is this action once per round? Can increace in one track or only in two different?

Overall, Looks like a weakened version of Nevlas. This is not bad, because Nevlas is overpowered, but maybe they need a small buff, I would return the standard 4-2 power.



You can use the 7k action to 2 tech steps multiple times.

You can easily go to level 4 on science track on the first round. Its is not difficult to spent 7k per round. On round 5 and 6 you can even do that action twice and gain arround 48 points from tech levels.

bobral wrote:


In general, all this is very interesting.
We will print and test them.
Do you have files with high quality?



Thanks for the comments and for testing. I think the BGG doesn't reduce the quality of the uploaded images.
 
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I was convinced to give standard gold and power to Terrans. They still start only with the QIC from NAV1.
 
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I was thinking of giving detailed feedback, but I feel like many of these factions aren't overpowered, but are overall too flexible which means that they would be picked often and would preform average or above regardless of the setup. I think this goes against the spirit of Gaia Project where factions are more specialized and analysis of the setup is imperative to a strong performance.
 
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Bobrov Alexander
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Eridani.
lucasmb86 wrote:
If it is still powerful, you can loose the starting QiC and it will be ok.

Perhaps it is enough to replace the qic with ore.

Descendants.
lucasmb86 wrote:
It is still less than 2/5 of all the planets.


Explain, please. 1 home type + 3 ancient type, just 4/7 of all the planets (excluding Gaia and transdim)

Terran
lucasmb86 wrote:
I may reset the 2 coins. Both coins and QIC is too much. There is no faction in the original game with a starting bonus equivalent to two good starting tech levels.


Nevlas, Itars, Taklons, Ambas, Terran, Bal T'ak, Ivit - starting bonus better than two good starting tech levels.

Hydran
Can increace two step in one track or only in different?
 
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bobral wrote:


Descendants.

Explain, please. 1 home type + 3 ancient type, just 4/7 of all the planets (excluding Gaia and transdim)



I was including Gaia and transdim planets but excluding the yellow ones.

bobral wrote:


Terran

Nevlas, Itars, Taklons, Ambas, Terran, Bal T'ak, Ivit - starting bonus better than two good starting tech levels.



Nevlas, Bal T'aks and Ivits have also drawbaks. From these three, the easiest faction to compare is Bal T'ak. The Eclipse's Terran with PI has two more tech levels (or 8k) and two more pt than Bal T'ak. On the other hand they have a bit less powerful, but more flexible, gaiaformer ability.

I also disagree about Ambas, Taklons and Itars. From these three, the easiest faction to compare is Ambas. Both Eclipse's Terran and Ambas start with NAV level 1. Eclipse's Terran also starts with +2g1pw (COM level 1) per turn witch is simmilar to +1o from Aambas. However, the Terran bonus makes them esier to reach levels 3, 4, and 5 of the commerce track and take an advance tech tile while this is not true for Ambas.

bobral wrote:


Hydran
Can increace two step in one track or only in different?



It can be one or two different tracks. You choose.
 
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Limitless333 wrote:
I was thinking of giving detailed feedback, but I feel like many of these factions aren't overpowered, but are overall too flexible which means that they would be picked often and would preform average or above regardless of the setup. I think this goes against the spirit of Gaia Project where factions are more specialized and analysis of the setup is imperative to a strong performance.


Could you give some examples?
 
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Bobrov Alexander
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lucasmb86 wrote:
Descendants. I was including Gaia and transdim planets but excluding the yellow ones.


But this is incorrect
Gaia and transdim have their own specifics and difficulties; they cannot be equated to common planets.
And from common planets, we find that 4/7 of all planets are initially accessible without any particular flaws. Very strong.


Terran. Thinking over your arguments, I kind of agree and change my mind.
In early game 1o > 2c1pw, but rightly you said about the advantages of the first step Eco (Com). Therefore, according to their ability, Ambas and Teran are equal. Given that Ambas is overpowered, I agree with you that Terran need a nerf. But maybe -1qic too much, maybe better convert qic to ore, not sure. Pi on closer inspection is similar to the Rl, but much more flexible. So, Terran is ok, need to test.

lucasmb86 wrote:
Hydran. It can be one or two different tracks. You choose.

This good. I think, better return the standard 4-2 power. So, it will be ok.

Also there is one more thing that does not impress me.
Your factions often coincide in their niche with the original factions of the same color.
Red Eridani is similar to Ivit (1 building) as well as Hadsh Halla (Economy)
Blue Terran is also associated with Gaiaformers and flexible resources, like the original one.
White Hydran is also associated with science, as is Nevlas.

I would prefer that the niches of fractions of the same color be different.
Did you do it consciously or because of aesthetics?
 
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Bobrov Alexander
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As for Planta, a few questions:
1. Are two mines built in series or at the same time? That is, you can build a first mine and build a second one from it?
2. What is the meaning of this ability? This may give a slight acceleration (not always helpful). But it's hard to use. And this is not rewarded.
3. All your structures adjacent to opponent's have no power or only mines?
If all, then it just looks like a huge disadvantage. In a 4player game, it can be a smash.
4. Pi ability. Do I understand correctly that the any structures are removed back on the tablet, while the returning resources is only 1o 2c? For example, you spent 6o 10c for the built Research Lab. Then, near your RL, opponent build a building, depriving you of two power. Now you can return the RL to the gaia bowl (and in the gaia phase on the tablet), while returning the cost of 1o 2c?

It looks bad. Just unprofitable.
Do you tested this faction for 3-4pl?
 
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bobral wrote:


But this is incorrect
Gaia and transdim have their own specifics and difficulties; they cannot be equated to common planets.
And from common planets, we find that 4/7 of all planets are initially accessible without any particular flaws. Very strong.



As I said before, the Descendants was very weak with only one ancient home planet type, with no terraforming cost. They used their ability only 3 or 4 times during the entire game. They also have one less QIC, no starting tech and less starting power.
By increasing to two ancient planets (still with no terraforming cost), they became competitive, using their ability once per round, on average. However they was very dependent on the agressivness of other players. I simulated agressivness on solo by testing against Ambas (agressive) and against Itars (pasive) with the same setup. It was difficult against the first and easy against the second. Therefore I increased their ability again to 3 ancient planet types, adding a balancing cost (move pt from III to Gaia). Now, they use their ability around 10 times per game. I would recomend to test for yourself. Maybe you can find a strategy that makes them overpower, which I couldn't find.


bobral wrote:

Hydran.

I think, better return the standard 4-2 power. So, it will be ok.


Hydran is already strong. They can go to to lvl 4 on science track on round one and take a advanced tech on round 2 (with the PI ability). Comparing to Firaks (that explicitly gains +1k per round) they have two aditional tech levels by the end of round 1 (the starting one and the extra one due to their ability). Firaks has a better PI, but not so better: they need two rounds to match Hydran's starting ability and an other round to match Hydran's PI. While doing so, Firaks compromises their ability to gain federations, while Hydran has an easy aditional federation.


bobral wrote:

Also there is one more thing that does not impress me.
Your factions often coincide in their niche with the original factions of the same color.
Red Eridani is similar to Ivit (1 building) as well as Hadsh Halla (Economy)
Blue Terran is also associated with Gaiaformers and flexible resources, like the original one.
White Hydran is also associated with science, as is Nevlas.

I would prefer that the niches of fractions of the same color be different.
Did you do it consciously or because of aesthetics?


Is was intentional for Planta, Eridani and Terran and coincidence for Hydran.
I could think about something very different for Terran, such as the Landits ability, but I couldn't find something that fits thematicaly. The Blue faction is week if they don't focus on gaiaformer. On the same way, the brown faction is week if they don't advance in navigation early.
 
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bobral wrote:
As for Planta, a few questions:
1. Are two mines built in series or at the same time? That is, you can build a first mine and build a second one from it?
2. What is the meaning of this ability? This may give a slight acceleration (not always helpful). But it's hard to use. And this is not rewarded.
3. All your structures adjacent to opponent's have no power or only mines?
If all, then it just looks like a huge disadvantage. In a 4player game, it can be a smash.
4. Pi ability. Do I understand correctly that the any structures are removed back on the tablet, while the returning resources is only 1o 2c? For example, you spent 6o 10c for the built Research Lab. Then, near your RL, opponent build a building, depriving you of two power. Now you can return the RL to the gaia bowl (and in the gaia phase on the tablet), while returning the cost of 1o 2c?

It looks bad. Just unprofitable.
Do you tested this faction for 3-4pl?


1. In series.
2. It is a way to avoid building a single mine on a new cluster of planets and an opponent building an adjacent mine on the same turn, turning the power of your first mine to zero. It also remembers the Planta's ability from the game Eclipse.
3. All. During my tests I found improductive to upgrade mines adjacent to opponents unless you upgrade some of them to a lab and then use the PI ability on that lab.
4. while building the lab you also gain a tech tile. You don't lose that tile when you use the PI ability. During my tests I used the ability on mines adjacent to opponent structures 80% of the time. If it wasn't a mine it as a lab adjacent to an opponent.

I don't know exactly if the faction is underpower or not with 4 players. I didn't tested it. I hope that with more players you will want to build the PI earlier to balance its weakness.
 
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lucasmb86 wrote:
Hydran is already strong. They can go to to lvl 4 on science track on round one and take a advanced tech on round 2 (with the PI ability). Comparing to Firaks (that explicitly gains +1k per round) they have two aditional tech levels by the end of round 1 (the starting one and the extra one due to their ability). Firaks has a better PI, but not so better: they need two rounds to match Hydran's starting ability and an other round to match Hydran's PI. While doing so, Firaks compromises their ability to gain federations, while Hydran has an easy aditional federation.


To build Pi and RL (for Adv tech) in the second round is not easy at all and will be a strong blow to resources and expansion. Pi ability is weak to build so early.
I agree, comparing with Firaks, Hydran better. But comparing with Nevlas, Hydran worse. Well, that's probably right
Also Hydran seems to me very forthright , their standard opening is 4step Science (otherwise they will not be able to use their ability) through RL + Mines/TS. They unlikely to build Aс in the first round (-1o -4pw no 1TF step). It looks like Bal T'ak and GF track. Perhaps this is not bad, just paid attention

Finaly: Hydran have 1 step in science and + 1k per round. It is fine, comparable to Ambas.
And start resources: +2k -1o -4pw -2pt. It is slightly weakened. Well will see

lucasmb86 wrote:

Planta
2. It is a way to avoid building a single mine on a new cluster of planets and an opponent building an adjacent mine on the same turn, turning the power of your first mine to zero.


It is not simple. Need 3 steps TF or brown one of this planets

lucasmb86 wrote:
I don't know exactly if the faction is underpower or not with 4 players. I didn't tested it. I hope that with more players you will want to build the PI earlier to balance its weakness.


I do not understand this. How does this balance their weakness?
For exemple, we have Mine, +1ore income. We spend 1o2c +3pw/1o to build this. Now we remove Mine to tablet. We lose 1o income, 1habitable planet (m.b. 1 type) 1 structure for Final Scoring. For other structures even worse. Also we spend 4o6c to build Pi to make this terrible action several times per game
Where is the balance of their weakness?
 
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