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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne» Forums » Rules

Subject: Clarification On Arborec GF's Building Units rss

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Ewan Anderson
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Hi there,
I know that a thread has already been started on this topic, and I have looked into it, but it left me more confused than satisfied!!

How exactly does the GF Building new units work?

Its the only part of the rules I don't really understand.

I would really, really appreciate it if I could get any help on the matter, as we will be playing with the new expansion tommorow, and someone may want to play as the Arborec
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JH
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Here's my take on how they work, if you want to use it:

• As stated on the race sheet, Arborec GF cannot build on the same activation they move (though they could build in the same round they move if you remove the command counter from their system with Warfare I or other means).
• They must be on a planet to build units. The original rules state that non-Fighter units being transported can't participate in battle or really do anything except sit on their transport ship. It's not explicit that this would apply to the Arborec GF's building capacity, but it is reasonable to assume it would.
• Without their Spore Acceleration racial tech they can only build one unit each, so no doubling up on Ground Forces or Fighters when building with GF until you have it.
• There is no restriction on what types of units they can build (some people think there is, but it's not stated anywhere). The only stated restrictions for the Arborec regard what their Space Docks can build and when their GF can build.
• Arborec GF are blockaded when enemy ships are in system just as a Space Dock would be (though not for objective purposes, obviously).

And on a related subject, I'd say the Arborec flagship can build in much the same way a Saar Space Dock does.

EDIT: Added a bit about blockades.
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Ewan Anderson
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Thanks Justin!

Also- do Arborec GF's pool their build capacity together??

Say for example you have two ground forces and you activate the system and the planet they're on, could you build 2 fighters there?
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Arcturus2006 wrote:
Thanks Justin!

Also- do Arborec GF's pool their build capacity together??

Say for example you have two ground forces and you activate the system and the planet they're on, could you build 2 fighters there?

Most people are of the mind that you cannot; each GF is like a mini-spacedock in that it can produce it's own single unit.

That would mean that until you get the racial tech, each Fighter or GF that a Ground Force unit produces effectively costs 1 resource.
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JH
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Yeah, I have to agree; it's what I meant by "doubling up."
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Ewan Anderson
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Cheers guys,

We're testing out the expansion tommorrow, and it seems like it will be pretty epic- we basically use ALL of the optional rules, from the base set and Shattered Empire

My brother thinks I'm crazy, but I even shelled out money for a new version of the base set, as my copy was getting worn out!

He thinks I'm mad to do so, but I've noticed a lot of the errata has been cleared up in the second printing of the base game.
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Just Another User
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Just so I'm clear:

Assuming that the Arborec have not received their racial technology:

If the Arborec have 2GF on a planet, and they are building units with those 2GF, then they can build two units. Correct? (note: this is what I think of when I hear "pool production")

If those same Arborec 2GF want to build 2 more GF, then each GF costs 1 resource, since the 2GF cannot combine production cost savings (similar to the Space Dock rules concerning Sarween Tools tech). Correct?

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JJ Belyeu
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
Yeah, I have to agree; it's what I meant by "doubling up."


why wouldnt 2 gf be able to build 2 fighters?

Arcturus2006 wrote:
Say for example you have two ground forces and you activate the system and the planet they're on, could you build 2 fighters there?
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JH
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BeerMe wrote:
why wouldnt 2 gf be able to build 2 fighters?

They could, but for 1 resource each, not 2 for 1 resource.

It's like how Space Docks work. Say you have two Space Docks in a system, one (A) on a 1 resource planet and one (B) on a 2 resource planet. Space Dock A has a production capacity of 3, and B has a production capacity of 4.

So, if a player builds two Cruisers and a Ground Force with Space Dock A, the Ground Force costs a full resource because you can't just spit out that GF at Space Dock B for the 2-for-1 deal. But if you build two Cruisers at B, you still have enough capacity there to build 2 GF for 1 resource.

Since all Arborec GF have 1 building capacity to start with, the thinking is that they can only build 1 GF or Fighter each (regardless of what planet they're on), for 1 resource each, until they get Spore Acceleration, which boosts their capacity to 2.

The counter-argument is that hey, maybe they can pool their capacity if they're on the same planet. But Saar Space Docks can't do that even if they're in the same system — they all build their units separately — so it stands to reason that the Arborec GF can't.
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Jake Cannon
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1st I'd like to say thank-you to justin for starting the repies to the thread in such a positive way. The other threads i've read about this subject have all taken a rather personal twist with people getting a little nasty so well done for starting this one off in such a positive way.

Right on to my 2 cents - I've played these guys twice now and so far we have found the following:

Each ground unit build seperately so you can only build one unit per ground unit for full cost until you take the racial tech.Once you have the racial tech you can build 2 ground units for 1 resource.

With building space units I have tried yes and no. At first we said no as thematically I felt the ability is specifically regarding the building of and by ground units so it feels like it's ground units growing more ground units. This worked fine. This also fits in with the option that space docks are the only units that can build ground and space units because they are a space unit orbiting a planet.

The second time we played I was able to build space units with my grond units. This led to a really wierd situation where I retained control of planets after loosing space battles and then could activate the system to build units and immediately start a space battle. This gave rise to very clunky situations and a real slow in the game.

From both play throughs I prefer that ground units cannot build space units both from a mechanics and a thematics perspective.

Once again, just an opinion until the FAQ is released.

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Brian Petersen
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Jakimaru wrote:

The second time we played I was able to build space units with my grond units. This led to a really wierd situation where I retained control of planets after loosing space battles and then could activate the system to build units and immediately start a space battle. This gave rise to very clunky situations and a real slow in the game.


If I were playing, I'd argue that your GFs were being blockaded and therefore couldn't build space units while other space units are on top of you. By all means, pile up more GFs there, but no having 1 GF left and building 2 DNs to wipe out the enemy fleet where you both stand. If you're other space ships you move in during the tactical action wipe out all enemy ships, your GFs will have not moved that round and can therefore be able to produce space or ground units as per usual.

I've personally only played one game against an Arborec player and it seemed like they took a different strategy he wasn't used to so he played them like a blank race sheet. I think he used the ability to build unit from GFs one time to build a DN on the frontlines that had no impact on the game due to him winning via Imperial II. They can easily become as/more powerful than Mentak with the right setup of planets and lack of people harassing them.

RAW it seems they can build any unit. By theme alone, only more GFs fit. A plant that can't shoot a spore into space that turns into a Cruiser can't plant a seed on land that turns into a Mechanized tank. A FAQ to clarify this issue and many other glaring problems would be great.
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John M
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I haven't played with Shards yet, but I tend to agree with Jake. Arborec GFs can only build other GFs; no PDS, mechanized units, or space units. At least, that's my thinking until the FAQ comes out.
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JH
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I hadn't thought of the enemy-ships-in-system scenario. I'd say the Arborec GF would be blockaded by enemy ships just as a Space Dock would be.

I'm not trying to be adversarial, so I hope I don't come off that way, but to you folks who think Arborec GF can only build GF: Why do you want it to be that way?

Assuming they can build any unit with their GF, the Arborec appear to have a useful ability that allows them a lot of flexibility, but ultimately no more power than anyone else — they still have to spend resources, obey fleet supply and production limits (which would be lower than even the lowliest Space Dock on planets with just one GF, since they don't get the +2 production bonus or take advantage of Enviro Compensator), and since they can't build on the same activation as they move it'll still take a round or three in most cases to make any new Arborec planet a real production force. Building small numbers of units in a lot of different systems will eat up a ton of precious CCs; building lots of units in a few systems will require a lot of setup work and the good fortune to not be attacked in the meantime. And woe betide any Arborec player facing X-89.

On the other hand, if the Arborec can only build GF with their GF, then they basically have hobbled Space Docks and double-price GF in the early going paired with a less useful version of Sol's racial power to plunk down Ground Forces on their planets — and the humans don't have to spend resources, activate their systems or wait for a system to be deactivated to use theirs.
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Scott Lewis
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HeavyGear wrote:
I haven't played with Shards yet, but I tend to agree with Jake. Arborec GFs can only build other GFs; no PDS, mechanized units, or space units. At least, that's my thinking until the FAQ comes out.

A valid interpretation, as others have put forth, but one that (taking the rules as written currently) is a house rule; IE, the ability as written imposes no such restriction.

Of course, now we'll get the guys come in who say "but the rules are incomplete, so you don't KNOW that's how it works", to which I say "true, but in the interim, anything more is adding a rule".
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Jake Cannon
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I agree completly that an FAQ answer will fix this problem quickly and easily.

As for why do I want to read it that they can only build other GF?

2 Reasons - 1st I think it's better to play the less powerful interpretation until an FAQ that way i'm not going to get attached to the more powerful interpretation only for it to be taken away.

2nd I prefer the less powerful interpretation in this instance. Only on a personal level but I like the idea of them growing new ground forces.
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Scott Lewis
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For what it's worth, an FAQ that limits it to building GF's only wouldn't be an "interpretation", it would be an errata to what is printed; it says units, and that (as written) means any unit. If the intent WAS only Ground Forces (which would suck), then it was written incorrectly.
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Jim Patching
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I'd say it should be any unit. If it were only ground units it'd basically just be a crapper version of Sol's racial ability.
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Henry Coleman
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HeavyGear wrote:
I haven't played with Shards yet, but I tend to agree with Jake. Arborec GFs can only build other GFs; no PDS, mechanized units, or space units. At least, that's my thinking until the FAQ comes out.

Why choose an interpretation that is completely at odds with the text? WHYYYYYYYYYY?:shake:
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Markus Kaut
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sigmazero13 wrote:
For what it's worth, an FAQ that limits it to building GF's only wouldn't be an "interpretation", it would be an errata to what is printed; it says units, and that (as written) means any unit. If the intent WAS only Ground Forces (which would suck), then it was written incorrectly.


That!
Limiting Arborec GFs to building other GFs only would be a houserule until it's errataed.
 
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Ryan Caputo
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panzer-attack wrote:
I'd say it should be any unit. If it were only ground units it'd basically just be a crapper version of Sol's racial ability.


Not really, it would be completely different

Advantages: Frees up space at docks, increases by compounding, build GFs anywhere you control a planet, happens during activation (which should be going on all the time, somewhere).

Disavantages: Slow to start, you need GFs to do the building to begin with.

Sol uses a command counter for 2 free (pretty coslty)

The biggest advantage is actualy the compounding, personally I would leave some GFs with my space docks to build. Pretty soon you could have massive amounts of GFs in just a few turns. I noticed many saying, "oh it would take so long." but lets look at it starting with 2 gfs and tech. They produce 4 giving you 6 total. Next turn they produce 12 a total of 18! In 2 turns! From 2 activations! Not so bad after all.

That is if it ends up being GFs only.

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Christopher Beck
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If GF were only supposed to build GFs, then why was it not stated thus on the race sheet? And what purpose would limiting SD's ability to produce GFs (given that you are still limited by resources).

Not to be adversarial either, but I wonder if those arguing the "Arborec can only produce GFs" side have actually played a game with the Arborec yet? I did and we played that I could build anything. I was never able to go crazy with the power, as I was consistently limited by resource totals. And as each GF has a production cap of 1 (or two with an expensive racial tech), it was most cost effective to spawn ships rather than go crazy with loads of GFs.

Yes, having a free GF per turn was nice, as was bioplasmosis (able to move GFs to planets on adjacent systems, friendly or empty) was cool, particularly with Cybernetics. But it didn't stop the Muat from using a War Sun to wipe out my producing GFs.

I agree, limiting this only to GFs severely limits early turn expansion and makes their power less attractive than Sol. Given that Sol get an extra CC each turn (which they can theoretically use for their power), CCs are pretty easy to come by and the use of an action to spawn GFs is like a Yssaril "skip."
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Brian Petersen
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The end-game with Arborec is to get Transit Diodes so their building GFs can build again. Then again, the end game with Saar is to camp out in an asteroid field with both your racials and Transit Diodes, and that backfired horribly on me as the map setup was me on a low resource and even lower influence area of the map, with 5 empty systems and ion storm between us and the rest of the map. The total use of our systems was 19 resources, 3 influence, 1 red, 1 blue, and Hope's End. Norr got Hope's End soblue

If you limit the Arborec to GFs only, one of their neighbors will definitely get X-89 Bacterial Weapon and Dacxive Animators. Toss in the Nekro Virus, and they can get one from one neighbor, then one from the other. You've created the T-virus! If they've been using their resources to build all those GFs, they're gonna lose Space Battles and the DNs can rape face later. Using Political Intrigue, the L1z1x Mindnet would wreck Arborec in Invasion Combat as bad as Mentak wreck anyone relying on Sustain Damage in Space Combat.

Early turn expansion is already severely limited for them based on starting units alone. The more systems containing planets the Arborec control, the more they could use their GF build like a "skip" but, it activates the system AND costs resources. Limiting them to GFs essentially makes it so they can reinforce the ground, but not the space, and can't use the GFs they build until the following round (Warfare I & Unexpected Action excluded). The Sol can use their racial both offensively and defensively.

I'm still in the camp that units was intended to mean any unit, not just GFs. I wouldn't let them build from space for the sheer fact that when they grab Warfare I, they can put a carrier full of GFs right next door to someone's HS without having to do do any form of combat, use Warfare I, then build 12 units, just because you didn't bother wasting an action or secondary of Warfare I in the past to put something in there... Especially if that particular system is a Nebula! A planet, a sane person would defend, but a special or empty system... Usually not worth it. They should at least have to do a 6 vs 1 fight lol.
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Ryan Caputo
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TomBoombs wrote:

If you limit the Arborec to GFs only, one of their neighbors will definitely get X-89 Bacterial Weapon and Dacxive Animators. Toss in the Nekro Virus, and they can get one from one neighbor, then one from the other. You've created the T-virus! If they've been using their resources to build all those GFs, they're gonna lose Space Battles and the DNs can rape face later. Using Political Intrigue, the L1z1x Mindnet would wreck Arborec in Invasion Combat as bad as Mentak wreck anyone relying on Sustain Damage in Space Combat.


So you are saying they will lose if every other race attacks them, what player has a chance against that, independent of who they play. Races are suppose to have advatages in certain situations not in every situation. While all the other races are wasting time building up X-89 the Aborec could be fullfilling objectives or buying space techs

TomBoombs wrote:

Early turn expansion is already severely limited for them based on starting units alone. The more systems containing planets the Arborec control, the more they could use their GF build like a "skip" but, it activates the system AND costs resources. Limiting them to GFs essentially makes it so they can reinforce the ground, but not the space, and can't use the GFs they build until the following round (Warfare I & Unexpected Action excluded). The Sol can use their racial both offensively and defensively.


Not every race is meant to have a free skip ability, Aborec could use the GF only for Def/Off too. As far as starting units they could have plenty of GFs on their home planet by the time their carriers came to pick them up. Plus they can spread without ships to other planets. The Aborec were not added to be the ultimate race, they were added to hopefully be a match. You still get Space Docks, and there is nothing in the rules that says a GF on a planet with a space dock cannot build.

TomBoombs wrote:

I'm still in the camp that units was intended to mean any unit, not just GFs. I wouldn't let them build from space for the sheer fact that when they grab Warfare I, they can put a carrier full of GFs right next door to someone's HS without having to do do any form of combat, use Warfare I, then build 12 units, just because you didn't bother wasting an action or secondary of Warfare I in the past to put something in there... Especially if that particular system is a Nebula! A planet, a sane person would defend, but a special or empty system... Usually not worth it. They should at least have to do a 6 vs 1 fight lol.


Huh, they could do the Warfare card from a planet and do the exact same thing you are saying, to every/any planet you own, not just HS (how many races could stand an attack from 12 GFs) they just have to wait for your fleets to be out of position, one of the reason I was saying that as players of war style stategy games would know, the importance of placement of build capabilities. The Aborec get to still build ships, its not one of or the other, if it was meant to be GFs only then they would do it from space docks.

Not sure what units they were intended to build, the race description sides with GFs only while the race sheet sides with any unit. If the expansion's wording was 100% I would obviously say 'any unit' but I tend to want to limit the races to even them out, so I have to side with GFs only until I see the FAQ. Personally I dont care either way I just want to know for sure when I am able to play.
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ryolacap wrote:
Not sure what units they were intended to build, the race description sides with GFs only while the race sheet sides with any unit.

I don't agree that the "race description" does side that way; the race description is completely mum on how the Arborec build their ships in any way, or what their docks or ships are made out of. There is nothing there that indicates one way or the other whether their ships are made out of "mineral" matter, or biomatter adapted to the rigors of space.

IE, the race description does not "side" with either interpretation, since it doesn't discuss the matter at all.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
ryolacap wrote:
Not sure what units they were intended to build, the race description sides with GFs only while the race sheet sides with any unit.

I don't agree that the "race description" does side that way; the race description is completely mum on how the Arborec build their ships in any way, or what their docks or ships are made out of. There is nothing there that indicates one way or the other whether their ships are made out of "mineral" matter, or biomatter adapted to the rigors of space.

IE, the race description does not "side" with either interpretation, since it doesn't discuss the matter at all.


It does in many ways, such as

The Arborec are a species of intelligent plantlike entities that collectively make up their own sentient ecosystem, and this remarkable advantage allows them a tight control over their ground forces.

"Worlds inhabited by the Arborec tend to be lush and verdant environments, and aggressors unlucky enough to be fighting a ground war against them quickly find themselves combating the jungle itself. Arborec reinforcements can sprout up like weeds, rapidly surrounding interlopers. Their technology upgrade, Spore Acceleration, only serves to expedite their takeover of any planet they target."

(Ground Forces)

and

from the smallest spore to the complex fungal organism of the Letini

(notice still no mention of ships which would be larger and more complex then Letini)

and

'capable of crafting impressive techs, structures, sophisticated fleet of interstellar craft.

(not grow)

and

'When traveling beyond.... the Arborec employ the massive Letani. .... The largest senteint beings yet discovered.'

(Not ships)(Perfect place to talk about plant ships)

Also talks about how they crew ships. Without a single mention of such a unique set of ships.

If fact the entire description of the race tells everything and about how they are an ECOSYSTEM, with not a single word about plant ships. Such a unique ability, one that is completely different from the other 17 races, would be mentioned if it exsisted.

Heck, if people are attached to the idea of Dreadnaught size plant ships, fine, but doesnt it make a tad more sense if these giant biomatter vessels were actually grown, built, or crafted at some type of major growing center, or for the other races a space dock. If it is in fact a "mineral" then how the heck is it any different than the other races ships, and why would they be able to build them anywhere when the others can't? It makes SOOOO much more sense GFs sprouting other GFs.


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