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Subject: How does a development strategy work? rss

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Chris J Davis
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I've read often in the forums here about a development strategy, but I can't see how one would work. There seem to be so few cards that offer a discount on developments and few developments that are worth and significant VPs. Could someone explain it to me please?
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Galactic Federation is a key card. -2 to all developments mean you can get many of them without paying anything, and they are all worth extra points. Investment Credits, Intergalactic Bank, and Public Works all help too.

The general idea is to fill up your tableau lightning fast so that your opponents don't have a chance to put together something good. For this reason, you'll also want to be ready to drop cheap worlds. So military developments are very helpful, as are Replicant Robots. Once you are able to play developments AND worlds at little to no cost, opponents will be hesitant to play Settle or Develop. But unless they've already put together a good consume cycle, they'll have no choice. You'll be playing cards faster than they are, and end the game hopefully before they have the chance to put something decent together and make use of it.
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Chris J Davis
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And if you *don't* find Galactic Federation? I always thought it was never a good idea to have a strategy depend soley on a key card. Can a development strategy still work without GF, just as all the other strategies can stand on their own without a 6-cost development?

Is there any one role that is picked more often by a player persuing a development strategy?
 
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Milinius Corazon
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you only go dev when you can get a investment credits (-1 cost) and or interstellar bank (+1 draw card on anyone calling development) and or public works (+1 draw on playing dev) on the table by no later than turn 4.

First the reason why development strat works : By playing developments every turn, you end up riding everyone's settle. you're not really looking to settle quality planets. just ones that will keep you alive and in the game. you won't have an abundance of cards until you get quality expensive developments later (like diversified economy which draws a card for each type of produce developed which fits with the "Whatever Planet" strategy for development) so you have to rely on Explore keep 2 to keep your hand going. So the reason why development works is that you are going to be the leader in nummber of permanents on the table and thus your goal is to end the game as early as possible with 12 permanents in play and to hopefully cut off production strategy because production actually requires 2 turns (produce - consume 2x vp) per cycle... So if you end the game early you cut off one or more cycles which hurts Production strat really badly. By ending the game as quickly as possible by hitting 12 permanents means that you'll be up a few more points from ontable permanents, not VP chips. this is why dev strat works.

you're king cards beyond the ones i listed are the ones the devs that produce goods on windfalls combined with the right colored windfall.

In Sum: You're not going to have a beefy game early on or middle game, but you'll finish with a bang, putting out a 4-6 point development every turn hopefully in the last three turns. Everyone else will be rejoicing in cards middle game and discarding, and getting a little bit of VP chips every now and then. You? You will be meekly drawing, counting on lucky cheap planets like Plague World, or Explore +2, and one or two consume trading windfalls. you have to understand that Dev strat is the "aggro" strategy. You're going to win, but usually by a hair because you can't let production sit on 7 permanents and go into massive produce consume 2x cycles. the dev strat is one of the total leech strats and you must be on the lookout for planets that leech production for cards.
 
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Joe Huber

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MasterDinadan wrote:
Galactic Federation is a key card. -2 to all developments mean you can get many of them without paying anything, and they are all worth extra points. Investment Credits, Intergalactic Bank, and Public Works all help too.


Agreed - the only time a develop strategy comes up without Gal Fed is when a player has abysmal luck in drawing production worlds, and cheap developments are the only out.

Quote:
The general idea is to fill up your tableau lightning fast so that your opponents don't have a chance to put together something good. For this reason, you'll also want to be ready to drop cheap worlds. So military developments are very helpful, as are Replicant Robots. Once you are able to play developments AND worlds at little to no cost, opponents will be hesitant to play Settle or Develop.


It's worth noting that Contact Specialist is nearly as good, in combination with Replicant Robots, as multiple military developments.
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Chad Ellis
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One of the nice things about a development strategy is that it's often flexible.

Turn one you notice that your opening six has the Bank, Contact Specialist and a 2-defense military windfall world. You call Develop; if someone chooses Settle you'll drop the Specialist and the windfall, looking to Consume: Trade on turn two. If not, you drop the bank, keeping the Specialist and the windfall world. Next turn you call Develop again and play the Specialist, having drawn a fresh card to pay for the windfall if someone chooses settle.

This approach has very little downside. If someone chooses Settle during the first or second turn you're off to a good start. If not, how bad can your position possibly be? You're drawing a card whenever Develop gets chosen, whether you want to Develop or not, and you can either call Settle yourself or hold back, choosing Explore or Develop depending on the situation.

In due course you're likely to play other useful developments. If, at some point, you draw into the Federation, you may go all-out for a Development strategy. If not, you're set up for a perfect leech whenever other people have developments they have to play and you can adopt a hybrid strategy with cheap military worlds or just follow whatever path your initial windfall trade offers you.

In two-player games the Develop strategy can be much more powerful because you can Develop twice per turn, putting the game on a path to a very quick end. If you get out any two cheapening cards, particularly the ones that actually draw cards rather than reducing the cost (so you pay with chaff and draw new developments!) it can be very powerful.
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Kester J
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A development strategy works because it reduces your opponents' chances to effectively use the phase you pick. If you're developing almost every turn, then your opponents will be either failing to keep up with your tableau VPs, or having to play non-synergistic developments (as developments are generally more specialised than worlds) in order to keep up. The downside is that you must rely on some of the 6s - Galactic Federation, New Economy and Trade League, in that order - to make sure you do get respectable points from your developments.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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As with all "blunting" strategies (such as Research Labs on Explore), having several cards which give you bonuses on Develop discourages others from choosing it (either because they expect you to do so or because they feel it benefits you too much if they do so). This can be useful if there's things you want to do *instead* of Develop...
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Chad Ellis
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
As with all "blunting" strategies (such as Research Labs on Explore), having several cards which give you bonuses on Develop discourages others from choosing it (either because they expect you to do so or because they feel it benefits you too much if they do so). This can be useful if there's things you want to do *instead* of Develop...


Exactly. I just won a game in which one of my opponents had three different turns where he really wanted to Develop but didn't because the third player and I both had development-supporting developments in play. In one case he held off because he was worried we'd get more out of it than we would; in the others he was just sure that one of us would call it because it looked so good for us. As it happened, I was mainly following a non-Develop strategy but had led off with Investment Credits because my turn-two play was also likely to be a development and after that I was happy to leech as the opportunity arose, but no more than that.
 
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