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Subject: Strategies for avoiding splash rss

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Stefan Sasse
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Splash damage is the most effective tactic in the whole game. Complete armies have been wiped out via splash, so the question is: how to avoid it?

Zerg:

The Zerg are the race with the fewest possibilities to make splash damage. There are three, to be exact:
1) The Mutalisk
Some Mutalisk cards allow ground splash damage, only appliable to Marines and Zealots. This is, mostly, not really threatening. If you are attacked, it seems nearly impossible to avoid it, because the FLU assigned to the Mutalisk will be carefully chosen by the Zerg player. In the attack, just avoid to get killed by the Muta.
2) The Queen
With "Spawn Broodling", the queen has a free splash, regardless of any FLU killed. Since it is a reinforcement card, the EMP shockwave can do miracles here. The card will be discarded without any effect. Zerg or Protoss face a more serious problem. I don't know any possibility for them to discard the card.
3) The Defiler
Has "Plague", the rest is like the above.

Terran

The Terrans are a race generously supplied with splash.
1) The Marine
The Marine owns one card giving it Splash damage vs. enemy Zerglings or Zealots or other Marines. This makes them a threat, due to the high numbers of Marines a Terran player can set loose upon his enemies. There is naught one can do against it, except hallucination, but not much else. The card is mostly effective in the beginning of the game, where enemy waves are crushed.
2) The Firebeat
The Firebat has one splash shared with the Marine and one shared with the vulture, only ground splash, but indefinite. It can destroy every enemy ground unit and is a number one to be set against a Zergling or something like that. Again, there is naught to do than try to survive or discard the card with a hallucination.
3) The Vulture
Here comes the killer unit. With spider mines researched, the Vulture owns three cards with splash damage, two of them being tremendously strong. It is the first time one can really counter it: the spider mines only apply when the enemy does not have a detector. Terrans and Zerg have to match a science vessel/queen to the skirmish, Protoss players have to have observers. Otherwise, Terrans are likely to destroy every ground army. Another obvious counter is to attack with air, but why mention?
4) The siege tank
The tank is merely seen on the battlefield, du to its high price. But it can defeat every ground army, if the enemy has only small air force (especially when playing Zerg). Tanks can effectivly avoided with hallucination, but there is nothing really more you can do. Most units aren't likely to survive their attack.
5) Science Vessel
The science vessel allows a really bad splash opportunity with Irradiate, killing EVERY zerg unit and a limited ammound of other units. I haven't come up with a way for the Zerg to avoid it.
6) Ghost
With nuke, the ghost has a weapon giving TWO free splash. Luckily, it's the easiest to defeat. The Ghost needs to survive, and without bunkers (which reduces the nuke to a defending weapon) he cannot hope to do that. So he needs cloaking, and there you hope in with detectors. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Then you forgot lockdown, reducing your attack to, em, zero. Bad luck. Without a bunch of assist units and cards you will not withstand. Luckily, the enemy needs the right cards at hand, too.

Protoss

The protoss have a major advantage facing splash: their high health values. They have the best chance to withstand enemy splash cards, since they are not independent of killing FLUs. They have some opportunities to splash on their own, too.

1) The Archon
The killer unit of the protoss. Four cards, most of them providing splash. Hard to kill, merely to counter (except hallucination).
2) Reaver
With increased Reaver cap, one has a handfull of splash cards, but they only apply on ground units. Normally it is possible to avoid a Protoss player using masses of reavers by simply going on the air track. The Zerg have a real problem with them, though.
3) High templar
The Psi Storm does not only give detector, but it too gives power to the attack AND free splash. The Terrans can use the EMP shockwave, but there is naught else to do.

This summary is far from complete and leaves many questions unanswered. What do you think?
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Dave J McWeasely
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The ne plus ultra of protoss splash avoidance is Arbiter with Stasis Field. It reduces all the skirmish's attacks to zero, keeping any splash from triggering.

A good way to counter the splash avoidance of ghosts' lockdown is to stop building mechanical units. This is automatic for Zerg, suprisingly easy for Protoss (Archon/Templar/Zealot), and not possible for the Terrans.

Note also that the Queen's Broodling ability isn't really splash damage. Not only is there no trigger, but the defender must take the hit from within the skirmish (as opposed to the whole battle). Thus its fun to line up a scrouge and a queen versus a siege tank...
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Stefan Sasse
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OK, little detail I oversaw...
But stasis field doesn't prevent Nuke, Psi Storms and the like, doesn't it?
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Stasis prevents Psi Storm from triggering, if it is played in the same skirmish...If the psi storm is played in a different skirmish, and it triggers, then units in stasis can still be killed by the splash. This can cut both ways: I stasis your siege tank, while in another skirmish my reaver triggers its own splash by killing a marine. The splash kills the siege tank.

Stasis is worse than worthless against Nuke ... it actually protects the Ghost.
 
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Stefan Sasse
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Why does it prevent psi storm from happening? Didn't knew that.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Psi-Storm wrote:
Gain +2 attack, detector, and ground/flying splash

Stasis Field wrote:
Both you and your opponent have a final attack value of 0 in this skirmish

It would seem that there are no health-0 cards, so Psi-Storm will never kill it's target, and thus will never trigger splash.

Storm's detector ability still works though
 
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EMELT
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Psi Storm, and also Irradiate, have splash damage abilities and thus need to have an enemy unit in the skirmish they are being used in die (per the regular rules for splash damage).

The Zerg Defilers ability of Plague is exempted from the regular splash damage triggering rules by the text specifically on that card that states that it will be triggered regardless of whether an enemy unit is killed or not. The other 2 races do not have any splash damage cards with that exemption (at this time).

Thus in the case of the stasis field, your final attack value would be 0 and definately not bigger that their health value, thus you would not be killing any units which is needed to trigger the splash damage portion of the Psi Storm card.
 
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Maik Hennebach
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StefanSasse wrote:

1) The Marine
The Marine owns one card giving it Splash damage vs. enemy Zerglings or Zealots or other Marines. This makes them a threat, due to the high numbers of Marines a Terran player can set loose upon his enemies. There is naught one can do against it, except hallucination, but not much else. The card is mostly effective in the beginning of the game, where enemy waves are crushed.


Last time I checked (FAQ 1.1), the Marine/Firebat Splash card was an unrestricted 6/6 Ground Splash. Now, while I would not mind nerfing this extremely powerful card, I don't know about any official ruling to that effect. What have I missed?

Thanks,
Maik
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Stefan's synopsis of the card is a bit misleading. The card is 6/6 (against any foe) with ground splash damage (against ling, lot, or marine). This isn't in any FAQ, AFAIK, it is just printed on the combat card.
 
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Maik Hennebach
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MrWeasely wrote:
Stefan's synopsis of the card is a bit misleading. The card is 6/6 (against any foe) with ground splash damage (against ling, lot, or marine). This isn't in any FAQ, AFAIK, it is just printed on the combat card.


Stefan's synopsis was fine, but a strange mislinked memory of mine insisted that these cards were unrestricted splash and thus even more useful than they are. Thanks for the interruption, and sorry for posting silly remarks without first checking my copy of the game.

We now return to your regularly scheduled strategy discussion ...
 
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Alan Rqthstar
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Maik wrote:
Last time I checked (FAQ 1.1), the Marine/Firebat Splash card was an unrestricted 6/6 Ground Splash. Now, while I would not mind nerfing this extremely powerful card, I don't know about any official ruling to that effect. What have I missed?

Thanks,
Maik

Note, if you think this card is too powerful and should be nerfed, I fully support a house rule of having the splash damage only work when the front line unit is a firebat. That's how the PC game works, anyway.
 
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Petras Ražanskas
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rathstar wrote:
Maik wrote:
Last time I checked (FAQ 1.1), the Marine/Firebat Splash card was an unrestricted 6/6 Ground Splash. Now, while I would not mind nerfing this extremely powerful card, I don't know about any official ruling to that effect. What have I missed?

Thanks,
Maik

Note, if you think this card is too powerful and should be nerfed, I fully support a house rule of having the splash damage only work when the front line unit is a firebat. That's how the PC game works, anyway.


@Maik: Last time I checked FAQ v1.1, there is not a single word about Firebat/Marine splash, and it says on the card that its splash is applicable only to Marines, Zerglings and Zealots. Where do you see "extremely powerful" here is beyond me, as you only get to nix one more lowest rank unit at most.

@Rathstar: I too agree that giving marines splash they have never had is ridiculous. This totally kills any point to actually tech up to firebats, because Marines and Vultures do the same stuff only better.
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Dave J McWeasely
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Well, that could be because marines are better overall in StarCraft: RTS. In pro games it is rare to see more than a token firebat or two, even when there are eight barracks pumping marines and medics.
 
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Petras Ražanskas
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MrWeasely wrote:
Well, that could be because marines are better overall in StarCraft: RTS. In pro games it is rare to see more than a token firebat or two, even when there are eight barracks pumping marines and medics.


They key word in here is "Medics". When you have medics, you can infinitely stim pack marines, and stim packed marines kill everything without wasting gas, which is better used elsewhere. However, last time I checked, everything, except Ultralisk's upgrades, is based on StarCraft without Brood War expansion. Thus, there are no medics in this game, you can't infinitely stim pack marines, you have to get yourself firebats to burn enemy infantry adequately effectively.

Thus I still think that marines should not have gotten splash damage that they never had.

EDIT: grammar.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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I choose to look at it another way: There are medics, but they're not first class units like marines or firebats. Rather, 10-15% of every marine and firebat force is assumed to be medics.
 
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Petras Ražanskas
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MrWeasely wrote:
I choose to look at it another way: There are medics, but they're not first class units like marines or firebats. Rather, 10-15% of every marine and firebat force is assumed to be medics.


You can look any way you want, you won't see Dark Templars in SC:tBG. Thus... there are no medics, splashing marines are nonsense and firebats are made useless without any actual reason.
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Matt Epp
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I agree to the extent that firebats are a cool unit with very little use in the board game. I think all firebat cards should have the ling/lot/rine splash ability. I'm fine with the marine benefitting from it on the one card.

Either that or drop the cost of the firebat to the same cost as the marine.

Doesn't "fix" the splash, but makes the firebat a worthwhile unit to build if only to supplement the terran ranks when you're out of marines.
 
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Stefan Sasse
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The "free" splash damage is only triggered when the enemy FLU is killed? I thought that was only necessary when the FLU does splash by itself.
 
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Petras Ražanskas
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Yes, you have to actually kill something for almost any splash damage to work, with Spawn Broodling being the sole exception. However, not necessarily FLU, you may also kill support unit, if your damage capabilities mismatch the opposing FLU Anyway, to trigger splash, something needs to be killed.
 
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Alan Rqthstar
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MrWeasely wrote:
Well, that could be because marines are better overall in StarCraft: RTS. In pro games it is rare to see more than a token firebat or two, even when there are eight barracks pumping marines and medics.
You're right of course, but the sole reason why those token firebats are there is because of their concussive splash damage vs. small units, something marines just don't have!
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James Thompson
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Yeah, we play that the splash only happens if there's a firebat. Otherwise it not only makes Firebats useless, but also unbalances Marines in comparison to the other race's starting units (they're already the best without that card since they can hit land and air).
 
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Alex Churchill
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carnifex wrote:
Yes, you have to actually kill something for almost any splash damage to work, with Spawn Broodling being the sole exception. However, not necessarily FLU, you may also kill support unit, if your damage capabilities mismatch the opposing FLU Anyway, to trigger splash, something needs to be killed.
I think you mean Plague (which specifically mentions it doesn't need something to die), not Spawn Broodling?
 
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James Thompson
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Actually both are exceptions, although Spawn Brooding only works against organic units in the same skirmish (I think) and plague is like regular ground/flying splash.
 
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