Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Omega Centauri» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Long Game "Playtest" Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gunther Schmidl
Austria
Linz
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
We got back again together yesterday in order to play the Long Game version of Ascendancy. Already familiar with the rules, we went over the changes, and (to our surprise) clocked in at 1:45 for the full 9 turns.

The Long Game is a completely different beast than the Short Game and requires familiarity with the latter -- I can't see how someone new to the game would be able to keep up without having at least an idea of what technologies there are, how resources work, how combat really plays out, etc.

While the Short Game allows players to flail around and basically do a bit of everything, the Long Game punishes that quickly -- best to have a strategy in mind as soon as possible. Most of the victory points aren't gathered during the 9 turns of play but at the end -- we were well short of 200VP before the final scoring, and between 560 and 730 after.

In the Long Game, everything you do has an impact on the game -- which Reserve Fleet Action you choose (if any -- it may cost you that one fleet you'd need elsewhere!), what you build, what you research, what Achievements you play, in what order you do the above.

Most of the basic game remains the same, but Improved Technologies and Improved Mobilize cards are added for even stronger advantages, and there's (I think) only one of each Improved Technology, so you better get there before the others do...

There are also variable player powers -- my race, for example, received 5VP for each fleet on the board at the end of the game, so I spent the last turns building up stuff that would net me points for the achievements, grabbing extra fleets and deploying them.

Achievements activate at the end of the game and give players extra VP for certain things -- VP per defense marker, per resource, per Mobilise card, per controlled sector, and so on. The number of VP players can rake in with carefully selected achievements is truly impressive (I think 165 was the maximum in our game).

The Long Game comes with a Turn Order that's decided by whoever spent the least amount of time doing things the previous turn -- for example, researching new technology will cost 8 units of time, while politicking costs 0. The minimum time spendable is 3, the maximum 14. Whoever spent least chooses where they go in the turn order for the next round, then whoever spent second least, etc. And, since Turn Order cards also give boni (being 3rd will get you 10VP, but being 1st will get you 30VP in the 8th round!), there's a fair amount of jockeying for those.

Another thing added are the Fleet Reserve Actions: at the start of the turn, players can use a fleet spend resources to get an advantage (extra fleet, extra technology card, extra move, monument, victory points). The fleet is returned at the very end of the turn, so it'll be missing the entire time. Oh, and barring the most basic one, each action can only be used once per turn, in player order, so there's even more strategizing if you want to go first and get that crucial tech card before anyone else...

One thing we didn't figure out was whether certain abilities trigger more than once when one has additional phases, but since the manual didn't say they don't, we assumed they did.

I'm still impressed by how much oomph this game manages to pack into such relatively simple rules, and how it still manages to stay under the 2-hour mark with three players (I assume four players would take slightly longer until everyone is thoroughly familiar with the mechanics). This game is a winner.
6 
 Thumb up
1.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Buckle
United Kingdom
Thornton Heath
Croydon
flag msg tools
designer
NSKN are publishing my next game :)
badge
Omega Centauri Published in 2014
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gschmidl wrote:
The Long Game is a completely different beast than the Short Game and requires familiarity with the latter -- I can't see how someone new to the game would be able to keep up without having at least an idea of what technologies there are, how resources work, how combat really plays out, etc.


Quite - the long game is very strategic, you need to have a 'plan' but also be adaptable when things go wrong. You can manipulate the play order to get a double attack on an opponent (or grab 2 technology cards etc), and also the resources are more limited and you need different types for the reserve fleet actions, so you might want to go first to grab them. Short game is a little more forgiving ... and it is harder to get at your opponents and attack them if they have neglected combat tech and/or movement and/or defences.

gschmidl wrote:
Most of the basic game remains the same, but Improved Technologies and Improved Mobilize cards are added for even stronger advantages, and there's (I think) only one of each Improved Technology, so you better get there before the others do...


Correct - one of each improved technology only. In a 2 player game it's one of each basic tech too.

Research labs (which are required for all improved tech) are not limited, so one for each player.

gschmidl wrote:
One thing we didn't figure out was whether certain abilities trigger more than once when one has additional phases, but since the manual didn't say they don't, we assumed they did.


Extended Campaign: This is another move action - so Improved Hyperdrive will give you a resource and all the combat tech and movement tech applies.

Combat tech works for every combat you fight.
Hyperdrive works for every movement action.
If you have Subspace radios you can move twice.

Breakthrough - says you take a tech card (not a research action), so Psi Labs will not trigger and you won't get VPs from improved Research Labs. Similar for Improved Breakthrough.

So in summary, Extended Campaign is exactly like playing a focus movement card, but Breakthroughs just let you take the tech card.

Having breakthroughs work with PsiLabs is overpowered, hence the difference.

Quote:
it still manages to stay under the 2-hour mark with three players (I assume four players would take slightly longer until everyone is thoroughly familiar with the mechanics). This game is a winner.


Yes, more players lengthens the game a bit - this applies to the short game and the long game.
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gunther Schmidl
Austria
Linz
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Nigel,

thanks for the replies. The specific thing we were wondering:

Psi Labs lets you assimilate per build phase, and there's tech that gives you 2 or 3 build phases. Do Psi Labs trigger in each of these phases?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Buckle
United Kingdom
Thornton Heath
Croydon
flag msg tools
designer
NSKN are publishing my next game :)
badge
Omega Centauri Published in 2014
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gschmidl wrote:
The specific thing we were wondering:

Psi Labs lets you assimilate per build phase, and there's tech that gives you 2 or 3 build phases. Do Psi Labs trigger in each of these phases?


Ahh, no - I agree wording isn't totally clear (not sure if there's time to make a change, I don't want to delay things further!)

Improved PSI Labs triggers when you resolve the focus card 'Build', it doesn't matter how many build actions you actually get (through robotics), you only get to use the Improved PSI labs once.

Improved PSI labs says "each time you select the build action" (ie. use the Focus card), whereas robotics says "you may take a 2nd build action ..."

Same for the bonus resource you get with Build - you don't get it twice if you have robotics.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.