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Subject: The 2nd and not so (but almost as) confusing game of SC:tBG rss

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Ludvig Bowallius
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Starcraft session 2

We really waited on taking out the game a second time. The previous game had taken a whopping five hours with lots of mistakes. After the first game we played arena Maximus and Roborally (I lost at both meaning I had lost everything this evening while Mona had won all games so far) but the urge to play something fresh stayed on. When time became about 10 pm I said “It is time to bring this sucker out again”. Mona objected, but as the game hit the table, she consigned defeat and once again we would play a game of StarCraft!

Now we were much more armed with knowledge of the tactics and the rules. Me and Matt was also very wary of the complete domination Mona had gained the previous session due to superior planetplacing, something we would not let her do one more time.

This time, I became the first player, but I chose Aldaris due to his unique victorycondition and his starting Dragoonunit. Mona once again chose Emperor Mengsk (which with her win the previous game probably was the emperor supreme of the terran sectors this time around, could the extraterrestials root up that dominion?) and Matt played the overmind one more time.

During planet setup, things became much more different than the last game. The planets were played out in the following way:


------------------Dylar IV---------Abaddon(Mona Start)-------Helios(Matt start)
-------------------------\/---------------------------------------------------\/
PW(My start)-------Torus------------------------------------------Halcyon

I had z - axis to both DylarIV and Tours thanks to mona, while Matt had z-axis from Halcyion to Helios, since he could not place it any other way. This meant that Mona was pretty much forced to go to the left, while I had a very good openingposition indeed. Matt did not have as much choices as me, but still had a pretty favorable position. This pretty much meant that both me and Matt could take one planet for free the first turn, while Mona would have to fight the whole way to get a second planet.

However, I did notice that the player going second did in both games get a less fortunate position. I wonder if this is common, especially in 3 player games?

As we started, I played superexpansive and took both Torus and Dylar IV, establishing a base on Torus. This gave me a huge load of minerals, but also in an eternal clash with Mona for the whole game. Mona also moved to Dylar IV, claiming the conquestpoint there. Meanwhile Matt could quite easily waltz into Helios and start producting troops. I think I built about 4 workers the first turn, due to my massive mineral advantage I would gain this round.

I actually got an eventcard this round due to me being blocked once by Mona. I got “aggresive strategy” which was something I would benefit heavily from the entire game. Mona got a retreatcard and Matt got to buy a technology. It was around this time that Matt and me realised he had cheated the whole previous game, as he had used ALL his gold orders despite only having one R&D module.

In the next round Matt still only consolidated the two planets he held an irongrip on, but me and Mona had a bloody struggle for Dylar IV as she pumped out Wraiths and Goliaths. This round however she just attacked with her vulture and some marines and took my poorly defended base. I had troops on the same planet, and thought about going towards her base as mine died, but ultimately decided to save my base on Dylar IV instead. This was accomplished pretty easily, altough I lost my only Dragoon and a couple of Zealots in the process. Thus, a status quo was held for now, but now heavy war seemed to be on the horizon between the Protoss and Terrans, as I had built a Reaverbuilding and had a couple of Scouts out as a response to Mona’s quick arming of her flyingbrigade. Meanwhile, Matt’s Zergforces was a heavy bulk of Hydralisk and zerglings and Ultralisk were soon to be set upon the field. However, this phase mona changed the game entirely, as she managed to switch Z - axises making Dylar IV connected to Helios and Pridewater connected to Halcyon, thus offering Matt a siegeroute! This would make it much harder for me in the game.

The next round, Matt moved against Pridewater but only took an outlying resourcefield as I had orbitaldefense and he only put down one order on the planet. Mona once again tried to take my base. Now I started to bitch pretty high, because I felt Mona played completely unstrategic. It was a fair choice of tactics that she had attacked me before, Matt had been too intimidating in the east and she had better chances to claim Dylar IV, plus I HAD been the mightiest player in the beginning, but now she would give Matt the game if she continued to move towards me. I made a pretty funny move this round though, I used the newly warped z – axis to take a mineralfield on Matt’s stronghold on Helios, leaving one zealot to kill the workers there, and returned with the rest of the squad to Dylar IV, relieving the siege Mona had put on my base there. Still the status quo (My zealot on Helios faced a horrible end when two Ultralisk attacked him the next turn).

But now a strange thing happened the following turn, Mona took my base with Goliaths and Wraiths. I was pretty irritated that she continued to assault me but let it slide, and my Reavers and Scouts massacred the Terrans who had accomplished the feat the move immediately after. Matt continued with raking in three CP this turn, building a terrifying force of scourge and Ultralisk, now completely covering the planet of Helios with green insects, while me and Mona lay on 2 each and the regrouping phase came, and had during the round both decent land and airforces. That’s when I realised Mona had taken units from an adjacent planet to attack my base, thus breaking the rule of the orbital defense. This felt pretty cruel, because it meant not only that I was being mercilessly butchered by two players for the sake of it, but had also been the victim of unintentional cheating.

Matt claimed it was my own fault, and that the player having the module must remember to apply its rule when necessary. I disagreed at first, because I read and teach most of the rules at the gamingtable and hate it when I have to be punished because someone else has made a mistake, but soon I realised that I should have been more observant and it in fact was way to late to take back the attack. We proceeded with the game.

The next round, my base on pridewater fell, but I finally got the breathing room to take Mona’s base on Dylar IV with Reavers and Scouts, and finally getting out Arbiters with cloakingability. I also made an attempt on charging with troops to Halcyon, by moving from Dylar IV to Torus to Halcyon (by Z-axis) but Matt prevented it with Orderplacement. Now Pridewater had a hefty force consisting of an Ultralisk and quite a few Hydralisk.

Now the last turn came. We played some eventcards, and the thing that could have turned the tide was me getting a card which gave me a reaver and a zealot. Foolishly I placed these on pridewater, when I could have placed them on Halcyon, thus threatening to destroy one of Matt’s bases, but where they were now, they had little hope of swaying the odds. I had 11 cps now, while Mona had 9 and Matt had 14. Mona only had some spreadout marines on Dylar IV and two siegetanks and a Goliath on Abaddons mineralarea. Since I was Aldaris, I could win if I got four victorypoints this round, and since I already controlled three, I just needed one more CP – area. Matt didn’t quite see this, he was very focused on the fact that he had three bases (on Helios, Halcyon and Torus) and that after this round stage III was definetly here. Since I was Aldaris he would be hard stretched to claim enough CP so he went on an allout defense against me, while making an attack on Abaddon this turn.

So I placed my orders, building on Torus, mobilizing to Dylar IV and placing TWO attackorders on Helios (through the Z – axis). Matt layed THREE orders on Helios and a mobilize on Abaddon. Mona just built some on Dylar IV and Avaddon, she seemed to agree to my argumentation that Matt had to be stopped.

I moved my troops to Dylar IV in the beginning of this last turn, I had plenty of scouts and reavers plus two arbiters and the cloakingability. Matt attacked Mona with two ultralisk, a queen and a hydralisk against two siegetanks and a goliath and a very well placed +2 health card. I asked if he had either Chitinous plating or broodling, but he didn’t and I couldn’t see how he could win this fight. I was correct in my assesment, but partially because Matt had almost NO Ultralisk cards, resulting in one tank surviving and the queen and Ultralisk fleeing back to their infested planet (the siegetanks did this without siegetech). I attacked Dylar IV and built some heavy hitters, the strike on Helios was about to begin, but the two CP areas I had to take only had spots of two on them, and one of them had a base with orbital defense. Matt built heavily, and placed one Ultralisk and one scourge in each area he had to hold this turn, and mobilized from Halcyon to reinforce Helios, intent on not letting it fall.

The first charge into the non – base area was with Two reavers and two scouts, and it easily fell, but only a scout and a reaver could be left behind. Mattt continued to build after that, which was quite meaningless, all squares was already full. Then I charged with my goldorder into his basearea, while I secured the area I left on Helios with further troops from Dylar IV, and in his base I once again faced a scourge and Ultralisk, but with (just) a reaver and a scout. The scout could easily dispatch the scourge though and Matt had foolishly no Ultraliskcards left. I had taken the two areas on his planet and he now had an attackorder left. However, as I would rake in 5 cp this turn and only needed four, he could not take me below 15 cp’s for this turn and it was clear that I had won! He lost even the final battle, meaning that both he and I ended up on 16 CP, but he only had two bases in play (I know CP is counted before SV though).

We were all extremely tired by now as the time was 2 AM. However, we had deeply enjoyed the game and had really felt an exponential increase in skill between the first and second game. I criticized Matt for not attacking more with his incredible zergforce, but then he complained that I had bitched so much about my predicament in the middle of the game. While I agreed to this some, I felt that it was a wellearned victory, and that Matt had been way to passive the entire game, leading the whole way until I snatched his win just at the finishline.

I really think now on the tactics you should play, and am especially considering Mona’s move to always produce wraiths when zerg or protossforces gets near her. I think she lost on this, and she focused to heavily on wraiths the whole way, because in the final fights between my scouts and her wraiths, she had almost no wraithcards left.

Other funny things and observations in this game:

- After the "cheatattack" I suggested that I could be able to attack Mona's base from another planet, despite her orbital defense, as a payback. She deniet it of course, and I feel that she was right in doing so.

- Despite spellcasters built both for the zerg and protoss (queens and arbiters) they were not used even once. The areas for the attacks were to small and by the time I attacked I had no place on the attacked planet to place my cloaked troops. Matt never researched the correct technologies for the queen for the situations.

- Reavers are quick to deploy, but are just as good (maybe even better?) as siegetanks and Ultralisks and are immune to broodling making them perhaps the most accesible heavyassault/groundsplashdamageunit on the board.

- I researched singularitycharge for my dragoon that I started the game with, but when he died, I realized that you should always consider buying technologies in the long perspective, or you will never have the technology you need at the right time.

- Because I had aggresive strategy, and I were protoss, I always had roughly 10-14 cards on my hand the entire time. I even threw "versatile strategy" (lets you play two eventcards) because this made me always have the cards I needed. A very good strategy, especially for a protoss (the other races might want defensive strategy instead).

- The whole game we only reshuffled the remaining cards to be drawn in the combatdeck and did not include the discarded cards. This was the last rule we got wrong, I think we in the end nailed all the others.

- I was the only player to use splashdamage the entire game, Mona did not even use her marine/firebat splash.

- In both our games this day, the second player to place planets came last.

- In both our games victory was achieved through conquestpoints.

- This game took quite exactly four hours. I am convinced this was mainly due to fatigue and that if we play this with three players again it will take roughly three hours. The lesson here is that StarCraft is quite easy to learn, as long as you are willing to learn.

- Matt has by far the most losses when we play boardgames.

- Mona is the daughter of lady fortune

- You have very little to no advantage of being the only player to have played StarCraft the computergame when playing this boardgame.

That is all for now I think. This session became quite long, but I feel with StarCraft that there is so much to be said about the tactics and the game. Next time we will be four players I think, because our good gamingfriend Chris will then be availible. Since he has played StarCraft almost as extensively as I have, it will be a very interesting factor to this game.
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Stian Kristiansen
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Re: The 2nd and not so (but almost as) confusing game of SC:
nightwalker wrote:


- Because I had aggresive strategy, and I were protoss, I always had roughly 10-14 cards on my hand the entire time.



As far as I know there is a handlimit of 6 (8 for terran).

but nice session report
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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I hope your guy in charge of orbital defence is enjoying his new role as "junior ambassador" to the Overmind...
 
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Jakub Niedźwiedź
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grjsk wrote:
nightwalker wrote:


- Because I had aggresive strategy, and I were protoss, I always had roughly 10-14 cards on my hand the entire time.



As far as I know there is a handlimit of 6 (8 for terran).


As he had Agressive Strategy card his hand limit was increased to 7 (Protoss) and he could draw 1 extra Combat card when starting a battle. So he probably means he had 10-14 cards available in combat (after drawing extra cards while executing Mobilize and Research orders).
 
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Stian Kristiansen
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Re: The 2nd and not so (but almost as) confusing game of SC:
yakos wrote:
grjsk wrote:
nightwalker wrote:


- Because I had aggresive strategy, and I were protoss, I always had roughly 10-14 cards on my hand the entire time.



As far as I know there is a handlimit of 6 (8 for terran).


As he had Agressive Strategy card his hand limit was increased to 7 (Protoss) and he could draw 1 extra Combat card when starting a battle. So he probably means he had 10-14 cards available in combat (after drawing extra cards while executing Mobilize and Research orders).


I guess your right, and did'nt think about that
 
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Ludvig Bowallius
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Quote:
I hope your guy in charge of orbital defence is enjoying his new role as "junior ambassador" to the Overmind...


HA! What a funny response. I can see it before me, the mighty protossbase gets invaded because an incompetent templarstudent did a stupid warrior pose as he should have looked at the radar for flying Terrans. I wonder what that sort of punishment is within the Protossranks, seppuku, banishment, tied to a carrier's interceptor? Since I was Aldaris, I was probably not too forgiving...
 
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