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Subject: Worst Strategies rss

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Dave Daley
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I had a game in the recent past where I didn't play a single world. I started with the 6P card that give the -2 to develop (Galactic Federation?), as well as the other card that was -1 to develop (Investment Credits). I decided to get both of them out there, do develop x 2 every turn and run the tableau as quick as possible.

Of course, I was entirely crushed in the game, even though my strategy worked as planned.

I never thought how tied to worlds the developments were. Even though I managed to play 4 or 5 6P developments, none of them provided any points. I would have been better to play a bunch of 1P developments.

Of course, I am sure none of you would have made this mistake But I was wondering if anyone else has used a similarly "lacking" strategy, only to end the game with a giant face-palm ?
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Cameron McKenzie
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While it may be better to develop more often, you certainly should be settling whenever your opponent is. In the two player game especially, you really have to consider the marginal benefit of an action. How much more will I gain from this compared to my opponent?

When you have a lot of develop discounts, you are getting them cheaper, but if you aren't getting anything out of it then you are just giving your opponent more opportunities to develop.

You may not expect to have any marginal benefit from settling, but if that's the case then your opponent is almost assuredly so and you would be very foolish to do nothing when he settles.
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Donald Cleary
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Most or all 6p developments tie into some world. You should have been using the savings in Develop to put out some worlds.
 
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James Cartwright
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The only benefit I've found with getting cheap developments out quickly or the 6 cost ones quickly, is if you have the two goals that go with them. That is the goals first to play a 6 and 4+.
 
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Serge Levert
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One of our regulars went full development strategy for several games early in his r4tg career. Most of the time it didn't work well, but one of the times he somehow managed 58 points (TGS) off of it, in only his 8th game! Most of the 6devs don't go well together but if you get many that combo it can do decently. For example, Investment Credits/Public Works/Galactic Federation/New Galactic Order/Space Marines/Drop Ships/Galactic Renaissance/Research Labs/Galactic Survey: Seti/New Economy/Trade League is an 11 card tableau worth 46pts.
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If you have Gal Fed, it is in your interest to get out more devs. However, you shouldn't build devs soley b/c you have the discount if you can help it. Getting 2 or 4 pts for each 6-cost (due to Gal Fed + the fact that some of the 6-costs are worth 2pts on their own to boot) is nice, but you'll ideally want to score additional points for them as well. Worlds go a long way to tying into thos 6-costs.

Oftentimes, if you have a good hunch that your opponent will call dev even with all of your dev discounts, let him do that to free you up to choose other action cards. -3 with Gal Fed + Invest Credits is enough cover a majority of the devs for free. There are only four 4-cost (Drop Ships, Replicant Robots, Research Labs, and Diversified Economy), one 5-cost (Consumer Markets), and the 6-cost at 18 cards.


Also, in an 2pa (2 player advanced) game, whatever strategy you choose, you need to be able to execute it right away.... not "after a couple of explores to see if I can get the card(s) I want". Vets will look to end the game ASAP if there's a sense of buildup coming up. E.g. One game, my opponent in a 2pa game built Alien Tech Institute and didn't build a single ALIEN card after that. I don't believe he ever got any (hard to believe, but he did abandon it). Instead, he built some other, higher valued worlds and devs. The thing is, he was building 1 to 2 cards per round, and was able to end the game bef I got my P/C set up.
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Rob Neuhaus
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The dev train strategy can work really well. You still need to get some card turn over (a single production world and trade league is ideal, trade league is relatively cheap after the fed and some discounts). I think it's one of the strongest strategies in the base game, actually. Investment credits is actually the weakest of the three cheap devs to complement the galactic federation, because it doesn't give you the card turn over that the interstellar bank or public works do.

I've won a game with 19 points with this strategy, my closest opponent having 13, in a 4 player game. You can just end the game so quick, and you don't even give produce/consumers a chance to get a big engine going.
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NtN Scissors
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Rindel wrote:
The only benefit I've found with getting cheap developments out quickly or the 6 cost ones quickly, is if you have the two goals that go with them. That is the goals first to play a 6 and 4+.

Wrong game, this is the base game forum...
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Cameron McKenzie
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I've won (by a large margin) games in which I played 3-4 6-cost developments. One of them is almost always Galactic Federation (that's the development discount one, right?). But I don't really have a lot of cheap developments in these cases. I usually have a few worlds that go well with the 6-costs I've put out, and preferably ones that can give me some good card income to pay for the expensive developments.

I see a lot of people say that you should only play a few 6's and build your strategy around them for the greatest effect, but I don't think that's true. Even just a few matching cards generally makes the 6's valuable enough to be worth playing.
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NtN Scissors
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OP seems to be asking about bad strategies in general, not the strength of the development strategy.

One of the worse coherent strategies in my experience is the Novelty worlds strategy. With Free Trade Association it seems as though it might be a competitive strategy similar to the Mining one, but:
(i) Cardflow sucks, until you get both FTA and Consumer Markets down, after which you don't need cards any more. Compare to Mining, where Mining Conglomerate helps so much with card flow to put down Mining League, after which you don't draw useless cards since you're doing C2x.
(ii) Look, every Settle, I want to put down a Novelty world. I'm not going to put down Expanding Colony, what with the lack of Novelty windfall worlds...
(iii) ... and what am I going to do with all those spare consume powers I have? I'm never going to get down enough worlds to use all of them.
(iv) Even if not for all these, the point value of the worlds, and lack of super-efficient VP-consume powers, mean that your score isn't going to be all that high even when all the pieces fit together.
 
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mumu shanshi
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Playing my favourite role of Devil's Advocate again:

1) Initial cardflow can come from New Vinland, New Survivalists and Secluded World, and/or Spice World for trade bonus. (There is no analogous brown world with brown trade powers.)

2) Galactic Resort, Rebel Sympathisers and Galactic Bazaar are worth consideration. Especially when you don't have a blue production in hand.

3) Lots of consume powers, with good cardflow? What about building some expensive stuff, like... New Economy? And Deficit Spending, Merchant World and Galactic Bazaar to further consume all those surplus cards.

4) I have had a number of wins with fairly healthy margins, with exactly this "weak" Novelty strategy...
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Dave Daley
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NtNScissors wrote:
OP seems to be asking about bad strategies in general, not the strength of the development strategy.

I was kind of hoping to see some strategies as bad as mine.

Although I do appreciate all the details for why mine was such an amazingly idiotic strategy.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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@NtNScissors: If you think monochrome blue is a weak strat, the game has something still to teach you. Try again. IMNSHO it is the strongest of the monochrome strategies, either with or without Gathering Storm.

@elkabong: There's nothing shameful about trying a cRaZy strategy. Indeed, that's the most fun thing you can do. We have seen plenty of strong showing by the Dev strategy. Once, when playtesting a homeworld with the public works rebate power, the homeworld also got Public Works and Galfed. It was a slaughter! The Dev player got a huge number of points and ended the game early. There will be a world with this power in the second expansion.

I think currently one 'dumb' strategy is the 'explore' strategy. Here's its business plan:

1 Get things that help with exploring
2 Explore a lot
3 Get lots of cards
...
5 Profit!

The problem is, the explore powers have such a low cost/benefit that this doesn't work. Even if you get BOTH Galactic Renissance AND Research Labs! But you don't know until you try.
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Brendon Russell
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MrWeasely wrote:
Once, when playtesting a homeworld with the public works rebate power, the homeworld also got Public Works and Galfed. It was a slaughter! The Dev player got a huge number of points and ended the game early. There will be a world with this power in the second expansion.


Nitpick: the starting world in the second expansion has the Interstellar Bank power...

I've also tested this new starting world, as well as one of my own devising with the Public Works rebate power, and my experience was the same - they can turn into a powerful development machine if you get an early Interstellar Bank, Public Works or Investment Credits to go with them.

The second expansion also has at least two more cards with Phase II powers (R&D Crash Program and Pan-Galactic Research), so there will be plenty of tools to support a development-heavy strategy.
 
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mumu shanshi
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MrWeasely wrote:
1 Get things that help with exploring
2 Explore a lot
3 Get lots of cards
...
5 Profit!


4 Find SETI
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Dave J McWeasely
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Sure, you can find SETI, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to pay for it.
 
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NtN Scissors
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Considering point number 3 is "get lots of cards", it will be strange if you can't pay for it.
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James White
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elkabong wrote:
bunch of 1P developments.

Of course, I am sure none of you would have made this mistake But I was wondering if anyone else has used a similarly "lacking" strategy, only to end the game with a giant face-palm ?


I watched a game today (without expansion: it's being shipped to me ^^) where a new player, with alpha centary (sp?). He dropped public works, then the galactic fed, then replicant robots. then he settled mining world for free and then played two mining comglomerates. his following production phase grossed 5 cards Soon after he dropped another token 6dev along with some other developments and used someone else's consume:trade card to consume his goods for vps (thanks to his 2 public works), since those VP's ended the game a bit early with him in the lead.

the main problem with this strategy is that he had to scout an amazing 3 times in a row to get enough fuel to drop the combo without discarding key cards. fortunately he came out in teh lead with 18vps, but the next closed player had 16, making it a rather shorter and close game.
 
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Rayezilla wrote:
elkabong wrote:
bunch of 1P developments.

Of course, I am sure none of you would have made this mistake But I was wondering if anyone else has used a similarly "lacking" strategy, only to end the game with a giant face-palm ?


I watched a game today (without expansion: it's being shipped to me ^^) where a new player, with alpha centary (sp?). He dropped public works, then the galactic fed, then replicant robots. then he settled mining world for free and then played two mining comglomerates. his following production phase grossed 5 cards Soon after he dropped another token 6dev along with some other developments and used someone else's consume:trade card to consume his goods for vps (thanks to his 2 public works), since those VP's ended the game a bit early with him in the lead.

the main problem with this strategy is that he had to scout an amazing 3 times in a row to get enough fuel to drop the combo without discarding key cards. fortunately he came out in teh lead with 18vps, but the next closed player had 16, making it a rather shorter and close game.


2 Mining Conglomerates + 2 Public Works played at the same time? That ain't right. The rules say you may only have one of each card on your table area at one time.


http://www.riograndegames.com/uploads/Game/Game_240_gameRule...
From page 4.....
Quote:
A player may not build a given development if another copy of it is currently in his tableau.

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James White
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ackmondual wrote:

2 Mining Conglomerates + 2 Public Works played at the same time? That ain't right. The rules say you may only have one of each card on your table area at one time.


http://www.riograndegames.com/uploads/Game/Game_240_gameRule...
From page 4.....
Quote:
A player may not build a given development if another copy of it is currently in his tableau.




holy cow. I really need to re-read the manual!! thanks for drawing this to my attention.
 
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James Sitz
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NtNScissors wrote:
One of the worse coherent strategies in my experience is the Novelty worlds strategy. With Free Trade Association it seems as though it might be a competitive strategy similar to the Mining one, but:
(i) Cardflow sucks, until you get both FTA and Consumer Markets down, after which you don't need cards any more. Compare to Mining, where Mining Conglomerate helps so much with card flow to put down Mining League, after which you don't draw useless cards since you're doing C2x.
(ii) Look, every Settle, I want to put down a Novelty world. I'm not going to put down Expanding Colony, what with the lack of Novelty windfall worlds...
(iii) ... and what am I going to do with all those spare consume powers I have? I'm never going to get down enough worlds to use all of them.
(iv) Even if not for all these, the point value of the worlds, and lack of super-efficient VP-consume powers, mean that your score isn't going to be all that high even when all the pieces fit together.


I've only been playing RftG for about a week and a half (but have squeezed in around 15-20 games in that time), and my highest score yet (69) was with the Novelty strategy in a 2 player game. My first planet was actually Alpha Centauri, and that was my only non-novelty planet.

I started with Develop (New Military Tactics) and Consume: Trade with the intent to sell off my rare element. My opponent chose settle, which I used to get Pirate World, so I sold that novelty instead. On the second round I settled another novelty planet with a trade bonus, and later sold a card from that PW again for 7 (I think I chose produce once), which set me up well for awhile. Many of the Novelty planets are so cheap (and have consume or trade bonuses to boot) that it's pretty easy to get an engine going. Once I had my second or third planet out, I drew Free Trade Association and knew what I had to do. I got Consumer Markets too, and I was soon consuming 6 novelty goods per round and drawing 3-5 cards every consume and produce phase. (And settling more novelty planets while he tried to catch up with his military strategy).

The game ended, with me consuming the last of the vp chips (plus a few more) and getting my 12th and 13th card in the same round.
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