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Subject: First time playing with Ivits rss

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John Stone
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So, my wife is playing the Ivits and if she is playing it right she was the runaway winner due to her ability to easily make federations. Didn't help that one of the end game scoring markers was points for making federations.
We were unsure of the rules surrounding the Ivits, it talks about a federation being scored when the power reaches 7X where X is the number of federation tokens plus one. What on earth does that mean?
She used space stations to act as satellites to join her string of planets together. She seemed to get a new space station each round as well as a QIC. She never had to spend these as she never needed to create satellites, all the spaces between planets where linked with space stations.
This meant she had a glut of QIC which she used to 'buy' additional resources from a federation token she owned.

I was playing the Gleens who don't get QICs which meant the only way I could get them was to swap power or get them on the tech board. No easy feet. Power also seemed hard to come by so I found myself short there also. Despite the number of buildings I had out on the board I was only able to form one federation. Building any more proved to costly and time consuming.

Assuming we played the game right as well as the factions I can only assume that it was an unlucky combination of factions and end game scoring tiles that led to a runaway winner.

Better luck next time, I hope.
 
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Bach Le
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
it talks about a federation being scored when the power reaches 7X where X is the number of federation tokens plus one. What on earth does that mean?


Power value of building is the one you find on the player board under each building. It needs to add up to at least 7 so that you can form a federation. Some tech alters that. It's the same for every faction. But for itvits this means:

In the first "Forming a fedaration action", she must have 7 power total (because X = 0 + 1, she has no federation tokens yet).
To enlarge that federation, she must be able to create a federation with a power value of 14 (just like having 2 federations). Next step, she needs 21 (just like having 3 federations).

It's not easy, in fact, she has less flexibility because everything has to connect into the original federation. There's also that rule about excluding the bonus token from tech advancement which is kind of intuitive or else it would unnecessarily punish only Itvits.
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Chris Nash
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A few points to make:

1. Ivits are seen as a top-level faction by the Gaia Project community in general, while Gleens are seen as a less good option, especially at 2-player. However, any faction difference is marginal and doesn't have anywhere near as much of an impact as setup or player skill.

2. If you only formed 1 federation, you're not playing optimally. You should be aiming for 3 federations in each game, no matter which faction you're playing.

3. She should only have had 6 space stations out, of course. It's possible to play well as the Ivits without needing to place any satellites, especially in a 2-player game. Could you have been more aggressive in which planets you built on early to prevent her owning clusters which could be joined by only 1 or 2 space stations?

4. The QIC income is nice for Ivits, but it isn't everything. It's only a total of 6qic across the round. That's pretty good, especially with the power income from the PI aswell.
But you lose the basic ore income from mines early on. As a result, Ivits start with much less ore, and EVERY round will have less ore than they would have had they started with 2 mines.
If you can prevent them from taking 2 or 3 easy mine builds on red planets in the first round, they can be really hamstrung early.

5. Where was tile 7 in your game?
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Oedipussy Rex
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
I was playing the Gleens who don't get QICs which meant the only way I could get them was to swap power or get them on the tech board.


Gleens cannot get a Q.I.C. in any manner until they build the right-side Academy. If you move up the Navigation or Artificial Intelligence tracks, you get ore. If you spend 4 power, you get an ore. If you take the 2 credit/Q.I.C. round booster, you get 2 credit/ore. If you take the 8vp/Q.I.C. federation token, you get 8vp/ore. If you grab the Q.I.C./ore basic technology tile, you get 2 ore. If you gain the 5 credit/Q.I.C. advanced technology tile, you get 5 credit/ore. Gleens cannot, in any way use the Q.I.C. actions, because they have no Q.I.C.s.

Until they build the right-side Academy.
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Space Trucker
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Gleen are kind of a niche faction. They can be very strong when they are able to grab several green Gaia planets early and a decent number of purple transdimensional planets over the course of the game, ideally combining the base faction ability with the 2 victory points also with the base tech with 3 vp per gaia planet.
If transdimensional and Gaia planets are heavily contested, they become rather weak.

In two player they should have a decent chance when picked from the second seat against a faction which is not very good for Gaiaforming and when yellow planets are located nicely near some Gaia and Transdimensional planets.
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Dave C
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A couple of points:

Gleens are really weak, especially so at 2 player. I would only play them if I'm intentionally handicapping myself (assuming I'm not using house rules to buff them).

Ivits tend to be pretty strong, especially in 2 player. Additionally, they are one of the easiest factions to perform well with, since they don't have to manage many of the trickier aspects of the game such as federation forming and power token management.

It sounds like probably a bad matchup to begin with. If you want to avoid really mismatched games, I would avoid playing Gleens, Xenos, Firaks, and Lantids in 2 player (Xenos less so, but they are hard to play well). Beyond that, the game has quite a bit of learning curve and you might end up with some games that are lopsided because you don't realize you picked poorly into a particular setup. That being said, it's very rewarding when it clicks.
 
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John Stone
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Hey Guys,
Very insightful, thanks. We will take on board all your comments and adjust our strategies for future games. I'm still not clear on the 7X rule, are you saying that the number of federation tokens, plus one, is counted as part of the 7 required? So, you only need 6 power rating for your first federation as you get one point from the X?

So, no QIC at all for the Gleens until they build their second Academy, so I don't have access to the three actions which are available to buy from the tech board unless I build that second academy which would be a costly process.

Chris, not sure what you mean by tile 7?

Dave, I have made a note of the factions not to play for future games. This was our second game, the first was with three players using the factions recommended in the rules, that was a much tighter game scoring wise.

Very interesting and useful advice, thanks.
 
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Oedipussy Rex
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
So, no QIC at all for the Gleens until they build their second Academy

All buildings are taken from the player mat from the left except for the Academies which can be built in any order. So the right-side Academy can be built before the other.


Quote:
Chris, not sure what you mean by tile 7?


There are a total of 10 tiles that can make up the map, numbered 1-10. He's wanting to know where the tile numbered 7 was. It's the one with two Gaia planets on it.
 
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Robin Zigmond
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
I'm still not clear on the 7X rule, are you saying that the number of federation tokens, plus one, is counted as part of the 7 required? So, you only need 6 power rating for your first federation as you get one point from the X?


This isn't right.

I can't recall exactly how it's phrased in the rulebook, but the rule for how Ivits form federations is very easy to describe. As soon as they get a "blob" of connected buildings of power value 7 or more, they can form a federation. That bit's the same as any other faction.

But whereas other factions must have disjoint "blobs" of 7+ power, Ivits must keep on expanding the same "blob". As soon as as it gets to 14+ power, they can take a second federation. (As an action, if they choose to.) When it gets to 21, they can take a 3rd. And so on.
 
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John Stone
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I didn't know about the Academy buildings rule, I guess I must have missed that. I just built the one on the left. We set the board up as per the 2 player layout with tile 7 on the bottom right. As it happens, we took a picture of the game before we started, I see now that we had tile 7 top face showing instead of the back face, not sure if this would have had any effect on the game.
The faction description for the Ivits talks about the 7X where X is the number of federation tiles owned plus one. So, I guess the federation tiles come into the equation, just not sure how.
 
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Gene Selfish
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The rulebook uses that formula based on the number of owned fed tokens just as a way to express formally what Robin said.
Basically, when the game starts you have no tokens, so you need 7 times 1 = 7 power to form your first federation (just like any other faction). After you do, you gain 1 federation token which means that in order to build a second one you need 7 times 2 = 14 aggregate power, then 21 for your third one and so on.
 
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John Stone
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This seems like a pointless rule as it just replicates what is normal anyway, it just makes it seem more complicated than it actually is! cool
 
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Oedipussy Rex
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
This seems like a pointless rule as it just replicates what is normal anyway, it just makes it seem more complicated than it actually is! cool


Not really. Unlike the other factions, Der Schwarm/Ivits can gain another federation token without adding any new planets to the federation by simply upgrading the buildings. You don't need to link 7-power worth of buildings to the existing federation.

Also, you can hold off performing a Form Federation action, even though you may qualify for it, perhaps because of there's a late round federation bonus. With this formula, you know how many actions you can take.

Note that you can gain only one federation token per action, even if the power value indicates you could get more. Separate turns need to be taken for each.
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Gene Selfish
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
This seems like a pointless rule as it just replicates what is normal anyway, it just makes it seem more complicated than it actually is! cool


Do you have any less complicated phrasing to suggest? I'm sure Feuerland will be listening.
But really, I can see it being a bit challenging for people with little or no confidence with math equations, but the exact threshold power values for up to 5 federations are printed on the faction mat, so that should leave no room for doubt.

Also, as already mentioned, this is not the normal rule, it's part of a faction power that happens to be considered one of the strongest in the whole game. I also think it's probably the most thematic mechanic in the game, I like the idea of an insectoid species trying to build a hive-like network of planets.
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Matthew Charlap
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nyrang wrote:
Zombie_Spawn wrote:
This seems like a pointless rule as it just replicates what is normal anyway, it just makes it seem more complicated than it actually is! cool


Do you have any less complicated phrasing to suggest? I'm sure Feuerland will be listening.
But really, I can see it being a bit challenging for people with little or no confidence with math equations, but the exact threshold power values for up to 5 federations are printed on the faction mat, so that should leave no room for doubt.


As a side note, the MOST power they can have is:
8 (mines) + 8 (4*2 TP) + 6 (3*2 RL) + 12 (4 PI + 2*4 acad, using the "4 power for level 3 buildings" tech tile) + 6 (space stations) + lost planet = 41, so you never have to consider more federations. The 5 values on the player mat are all you need to check.
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Bokken B
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
This seems like a pointless rule as it just replicates what is normal anyway, it just makes it seem more complicated than it actually is! cool


It's really not. Most factions have to make separate federations, and if they join a potential federation to an existing one (even by accident) that all becomes part of the previous federation and you cannot form a new one.

Ivits break the rules in a very specific way. You only have one cluster for federations, unlike multiple clusters, but this cluster can gain more than one federation tile.

The forumla is supposed to help you. but here is another way of wording it:

"The Ivits may form a new federation each time their federation cluster reaches a new threshold of power value. These power values are thresholds of 7, so 7, 14, 21, 28,and 35."

If you're stuck on how the federation equasion works. X = the current number of federations + 1. That means, if you have 3 federations..

X = (3+1) = 4
7(4) = 28
your next federation will be at 28 points.
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John Stone
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Okay, I’m not sure if Gene is taking the pi55 but there’s no need for the snarky comment regarding peoples ability working out equations. The fact is, as outlined by Bokken, if you remove the X factor from the EQUATION then how is it any different from the standard rule of multiples of seven for each federation? That’s all I am trying to say in my last post.
To be clear, if you are playing any other faction you will need 7 point to make a federation, then another seven to build another and so on. This is no different to the Ivits if you take out X number.
Oh boy.
 
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Robin Zigmond
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
Okay, I’m not sure if Gene is taking the pi55 but there’s no need for the snarky comment regarding peoples ability working out equations. The fact is, as outlined by Bokken, if you remove the X factor from the EQUATION then how is it any different from the standard rule of multiples of seven for each federation? That’s all I am trying to say in my last post.
To be clear, if you are playing any other faction you will need 7 point to make a federation, then another seven to build another and so on. This is no different to the Ivits if you take out X number.
Oh boy.


You're right, numerically it's no different, in that the key number is 7. What is hugely different, as Bokken just outlined, is that rather than having to find new locations to build sufficiently many or sufficiently high-powered buildings in order to reach 7, Ivits can (and indeed, must) keep on expanding one monolithic federation, in order to get additional tokens. It is actually very very different in how it feels to play.
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Gene Selfish
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
Okay, I’m not sure if Gene is taking the pi55 but there’s no need for the snarky comment regarding peoples ability working out equations. The fact is, as outlined by Bokken, if you remove the X factor from the EQUATION then how is it any different from the standard rule of multiples of seven for each federation? That’s all I am trying to say in my last post.
To be clear, if you are playing any other faction you will need 7 point to make a federation, then another seven to build another and so on. This is no different to the Ivits if you take out X number.
Oh boy.


Easy, I wasn’t talking about you specifically, I just meant that when writing rules, or any other text for that matter, one shouldn’t take for granted that everyone knows what 7X with X = (federation tokens - 1) means.
Sure I don’t like how you described a rule as pointless after playing one game, but that’s not reason enough for me to be rude I assure it.
Then again, no it’s not the same rule as any other faction. Other factions need to build federations by forming separate clusters of at least 7 power each. The Ivits, on the other hand, build federations by expanding and connecting a single cluster of planets. When it gets big enough, they can build a new one, and the 7X rule defines what big enough means based on previous history. It didn’t have to be like that, they could have ruled that after forming a federation you had to add structures for an additional 7 power to form a new one, which would have been very confusing anyway so they sensibly went for an ever growing threshold.
 
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John Stone
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Okay guys, I get what your saying about how Ivits achieve their federations, its different from everyone else. Got it. However, this is not what I am referring to, it is that, just like all other factions, Ivits still require multiples of 7 in order to create them! So, if this is the case then why add confusion with the 7X rule. It makes no sense and, in my view, is unnecessary.
Okay, I think this topic has been well and truely covered now. Feel free to debate it further if you want but, thanks to all of you and your helpful input, I now have a clearer understanding of how to play Ivits, which is.... when playing two player games..... leave them in the damn box and play with another faction!!! ninja
 
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Matthew Charlap
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
Okay guys, I get what your saying about how Ivits achieve their federations, its different from everyone else. Got it. However, this is not what I am referring to, it is that, just like all other factions, Ivits still require multiples of 7 in order to create them! So, if this is the case then why add confusion with the 7X rule. It makes no sense and, in my view, is unnecessary.
Okay, I think this topic has been well and truely covered now. Feel free to debate it further if you want but, thanks to all of you and your helpful input, I now have a clearer understanding of how to play Ivits, which is.... when playing two player games..... leave them in the damn box and play with another faction!!! ninja


Here is the main difference:
If I am playing any other race, and I have a federation with power 9, then I need 7 MORE power (total of 16) to form a second federation; having a total of 14 power is not enough, since the first federation is "too big". With the Ivits, my cluster of 9 power has the same power, but only needs 5 more for the second federation.

The two rules are only identical if each federation (for the non-Ivits) has exactly 7 points.

And then there are also ways to break the total power rule:
- playing Ambas (so you can reduce a federation's power to as little as 4 by moving the PI elsewhere. Indeed, this is a key part of their strategy!)
- playing Xenos (only need 6 power for a federation after building PI)
- Any faction can lose the "4 power" tech by getting an advanced tech, thereby reducing the total power of a federation below 7 (or 6 for Xenos with PI)

I think those are all of them, but I didn't do an exhaustive check.
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Chris Nash
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Zombie_Spawn wrote:
Okay guys, I get what your saying about how Ivits achieve their federations, its different from everyone else. Got it. However, this is not what I am referring to, it is that, just like all other factions, Ivits still require multiples of 7 in order to create them! So, if this is the case then why add confusion with the 7X rule. It makes no sense and, in my view, is unnecessary.
Okay, I think this topic has been well and truely covered now. Feel free to debate it further if you want but, thanks to all of you and your helpful input, I now have a clearer understanding of how to play Ivits, which is.... when playing two player games..... leave them in the damn box and play with another faction!!! ninja


No, no, you've got it wrong. The way to play them is to pick them alot in 2 player games!
 
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Marc McConley
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If you want to avoid the Ivits player having to do algebra to figure out when they can form a federation, you could print out a mini-board like this. Have the Ivits player place each federation tile on the appropriate space on this board as they build it. If the Ivits player gets the federation tile from the Terraforming research track, they should not place it on this board.

 
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Chris Nash
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Those numbers are LITERALLY on the Ivits faction board.
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James Wolfpacker
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To make it really easy to track the Ivits power level of their Federation, simply use a satellite or 2 on the resource tracker.
 
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