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Subject: The 1:st and very confused game of StarCraft: The Board Game rss

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Ludvig Bowallius
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After years of anticipations, eager consumation of the tiniest rumours of this game's content, after awaiting its release for an excrutiatinlgy long time, finally buying the game and then waiting a further two weeks to play it, reading, solotesting and asking about the rules on the geek, finally my gamegroup got a chance to play StarCraft the boardgame.

It was me and my two friends Mona and Matthew. Matthew drooled as I picked out the game, he was quite impressed with the components and immediately wanted to play. Now, as we set it up, along with explaining the rules, I made it a very messy job conveying the mechanics. I forgot plenty of rules, but I think it was to quickly establish what the different units were good for, and this took plenty of time.

Matt and Mona is a fun couple to play with, but boy can they be erratic at the gametable, and they constantly get into fights with each other (and sometimes me too!).

I started the whole experience by showing them the introductory video (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/starcraft.html there is a clear link titled "overview video") to get them into the mood, and this worked wonders because they got a taste for the SC - universe but also got a crashcourse in the game, meaning they were somewhat prepared in creating strategies on their own in the following game.

As it was this game, Mona became first player, and with the tip that the humans would be more easy to play, and she wanted to be a bad guy, she chose the conniving Arcturus Mengsk which would prove to be a wise choice. Matthew took the menacing Overmind, he considered the Zerg Swarms to be a really cool force to put up against the rest of us. With this setup, and being last, I chose the protoss led by young Tassadar, both keen on wanting all races in the conflict, but also because they have always been my favorites when I played the computergame. The couple's relationship to StarCraft was that Matt had once seen the game being played, as Mona just thoguht the bits were cool, having no idea what the computergame had been about

In the setup phase, Mona must have assimilated some of Arcturus Mengsk tactical ability because she SCREWED me and Matt over royally. The way this happened was that Matt was way to the east on Abaddon (a corridorshaped planet) which I was adjacent to. However, Mona placed the Z – axis to Abaddon straight into my planet, meaning Matt’s ONLY way to expansion was through my starting planet. Mona was waaay down in the southwest, three moves away from me and four moves away from Matt.

The first thing that happened in the round, since I played last in planningsetup and therefore executed the first order, I charged right into Matt hoping to claim the 3 minerals on abaddon. However, I had forgot to look at my combat cards and even after I drew new cards, I realised that my Zealots attack values would SUCK! I killed one zergling, but that was not enough, meaning that my first noble assault had failed. Funny thing was that Matt didn’t interact with my planet at all this round, but only built workers and buildings and a few zerglings.

Mona, during this turn, took an adjacent planet but played the build order on top of the attackorder, meaning she did not build anything this turn. And me, I just built a transport, some workers and buildings.

Pretty much everyone had done a fiasco of the first turn and we all received our small share of eventcards, but they did not affect the game much during this turn...

In the second round Matt started to pump out Hydralisks and made advances on my base. They were minor though, and I once again tried to take Abaddon, which this time succeded (but I lost one zealot in the process, man what awfull cards I drew).

Mona made a funny thing this turn however, because she played two orders on her expanded planet BUT THEY WERE BOTH MOBILIZE! Thematically, this might have been the beginning of the uprising from Jim Raynor, disturbing the grasp Arcturus had just acquired over the dominion, as the Zerg and Protoss armies clashed on other sectors...

I started to tech towards templars and archons, while Matt wanted to try out his Ultralisks. Mona built a stargate, but had some pretty basic things out for now.

Still some idiotic planning this phase, but this time in the eventcardcompartment, me and Matt both played a depletionraid on Monas biggest source of minerals, meaning it got dried up.

It was not untill this round that I remembered to tell my galactic rivals that if they flipped the referencesheet, they could read out the average values of all units in combat. The two were quite quick in expressing my incompetence by doing this, since they thought this was quite a big omission. They were right of course, and it had just totally slipped my mind. However, it was around this time my competitors showed that they had played some rules wrong as well. Mona had hoarded all eventcards she hadn’t played previous rounds and had failed to throw the ones she omitted and Mat had taken all the technologies he had purchased straight into his hand!

Next round came and I attacked Matt’s troops on my starting planet, failed to uproot them, but used the retreat to move to a planet I hadn’t yet colonized, which was a great productive move! However, as soon as Mona sniffed me out, she started pumping out Wraiths. Matt just tried to stay in the game, and had now built a base on my starting planet. Mona still played idiotic moves, as she played mobilizeorders on the planet she wanted to move from, meaning that me and Matt SHOULD be able to take in on Mona, as she had stalled her technologies too long.

The last round came and Mona had something like 12 CP while me and Matt lay on 8 and 6 respectively. I had gotten my archons and Matt would try an attempt on one of Mona’s planets seeing as he had Ultralisks and I had archons and templars up... But we just drew bad cards and Mona ended up with 16 CP:s as her Wraiths got superior cards to us.

This goes to show that planetplacement is REALLY important. It was a bit annoying but still a very fun game, and Matt was really impressed with it, even though he ended up very last. It was just the feeling that you could do so much differently, for instance I could have attacked an entirely different planet and thereby expanding faster and also getting closer to Mona, meaning that me and Matt would not constantly have pounded each other to bloody pulps, essentially GIVING the whole game to Mona.

But this sucker took about 5(!) hours to play, including the rulessummary and setup. I did a really poor job at explaining the rules, and for all my readings through the rulebook, it felt like I forgot tons of things, one thing in particular was that we all forgot to reshuffle the WHOLE combat deck, including the discardpile, when buying new technologies, and not just the drawpile.

Ah well, I guess next game will go better... Which it will, since we played two games of Starcraft that day, and I will start writing that report the second I press “submit” on this one. Happy gaming until then!
 
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Nick Szegedi
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Re: The 1:st and very confused game of StarCraft: The Board
Good session report... don't feel too bad, it took me about 4 or 5 times reading the rules to fully understand ALL the mechanics and when I taught the game to some people, I STILL prob left some things out! (the first few games of this were definitely learning games!)-

After many games, the game flows pretty nicely and does speed up especially after you have played many games with EACH race!

Our group were "toying" with some variant rules...nothing really to incorporate just yet but just brainstorming for now!

One idea (as far as setup goes)- maybe, have the first player MUST pick a random (4)-prong Planet and must place it in the center FIRST, this gives better avenues for the planets right from the start. Sure, you have the Z-axis routes but, as you have stated, we had many games set up where players were sheltered a bit and the rest were right on top of each other!

We had too many times where we had planets all strung together in a straight line, not too creative there (thematically and "play"-wise.)

Just some thoughts.
 
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Patrick Andersson
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Great session report! Fun and easy to catch up with. I'm still longing to play my first game though I'm pretty sure I'll love it. Great to hear that players that doesn't have a clue about the Starcraft universe plays on a "pretty" even level.

I've though about using the video too as a intro. Glad to hear it worked well!

Looking forward to your next session report!

/Pada
 
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Ludvig Bowallius
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Tack för berömmet!

I hope you get your first game soon. StarCraft really is a great game, considering that players who do not know StarCraft as a computergame gets drawn in because they like good boardgames and players who doesn't necessarily play boardgames gets drawn in because it's StarCraft. What a great game, I really want to play it again soon. The session report will come soon, unfortunately I have some math to do for now...
 
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