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Subject: Battleship discussion rss

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Nicolas Daoust
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Let's.


Turning point

In all the games I've played, players getting a level 2 or 3 tech got, at most, a wince from the others, but a player getting a battleship was a real turning point.

As soon as a player puts the battleship in his supply, the stakes change. Everyone spends the next few turns reacting to the new menace, consolidating weak positions and making plans. Many, many games have been won through brute, unsophisticated battleship use, so we don't take any chances!


Attacking a battleship

Without one of your own, you need 3 starships to destroy a battleship. Assuming you have the range upgrade and 3 movements, you need 3 high-precision flicks to achieve that. The slightest mishap gives the battleship 2 or 3 free kills, netting its owner VPs and setting you back a few turns.

(Note that you pretty much never have a starship already in range: it would have been destroyed when the battleship last moved.)

Ramming works well to eliminate a battleship, but it's easily launched again and again, still representing the same menace. Even if it's rammed within one turn whenever it rears its head, it can always kill before it's destroyed (unless no starship is on the board).


Movement

The main reason why the battleship is such a big menace is that its movement is crazy efficient.

Its easy-to-flick disk notwithstanding, the battleship represents two starships' worth of power and can accomplish a lot of things by itself, (like killing every starship in range once he's done moving). Whenever attacking is involved, a battleship doubles the efficiency of every movement.

If I get a battleship before anyone else, I just roam the board in search of starship clusters, using three movements to reach pretty much any place in one turn. At worst, I don't get to kill as many as I intended. I especially like when other players are fighting, allowing me to swoop in from far away and get tons of kills.


Overpowered?

While the battleship sure hasn't prevented Ascending Empires from being a whole lot of fun, I get the feeling that it is much more powerful than competing level 3 techs.

Gray and Brown follow a nice pattern and Purple is a great, flavorful defensive tech, but none of them can match the sheer VP-getting goodness of Orange and the constant menace it represents, being able to kill any starship, anywhere, really fast. Its only shortcoming, if it can be called one, is that it can only kill once per turn, in a relatively small area.


Possible fixes

If it is determined that one or many factors make the battleship too powerful, I think one or more of the following house rules could keep it in check:

The battleship can only be deployed from the home planet. Many players try to keep the battleship in the supply so that every soldier on the board is a potential battleship. This house rule prevents that strategy and slows down the battleship advance at first and whenever it's destroyed.

The battleship represents two soldiers. This makes its destruction more meaningful, makes it harder to deploy and also makes it a better "troop transport", allowing it to land two troops at once. Furthermore, planets with many items cannot deploy a battleship; whether this is good or bad is debatable.

The battleship uses two movements. Right now, the battleship feels more maneuverable than the starships thanks to its efficient movement. Requiring two movements makes the battleship a slow juggernaut, moving once per turn, and usually leaves a third movement for a starship escort.

The battleship does not need level 3 orange tech. No one would get it at first (as it still replaces two starships), but everyone would by some point. That base battleship would be crippled by one or more of the other house rules (not to mention the lack of level 1 and 2 Orange techs). Obviously, the level 3 Orange tech would change: if other house rules are in effect, it could remove one or more.

As a quick fix, I'd simply try the double movement house rule; if I felt it's not enough, I'd also go for the double troops one. The battleship only deploying from the home planet could also be fun, but I've never tried it.

The battleship-for-everyone is more major and has a lot of potential; I especially like the idea of a battleship that attacks at short range, killing at most one starhip per turn. I'd like to see what others think; please discuss!
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Max Maloney
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Grey level 3 is awesome and level 4 is utterly amazing. Easily comparable to orange tech. I don't have as much experience with purple and brown as I've only played a couple of games.

But the battleship relies on expert flicking. If you can do it, you'll get a lot of multi-kill turns. My experience is that you'll also crash the battleship often if you're greedy.

I don't think it's overpowered: level 3-4 techs are meant to be game-changing from what I can tell.
 
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Jason Webster
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Here are two quick fixes.
1) When you find an orange planet...protect with all you got. If a player gets 2 orange planets, the rest of the players must start attacking that payer. The game isn't broken...the players need to realize that there is a lot of diplomacy and temporary alliances needed in this game.

2) If table talk is not a big thing for your group then switch out an orange planet with a purple or asteroid.

The battleship offer great tension to the game. When 2 players have them...the war begins. :)
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David Stahler Jr.
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Combine a battleship with Level 2 Purple Tech (get VPs every time you get rammed) and you've got a real monster on your hands.
 
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Henry Allen
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I'm glad you stated this discussion. I've been thinking about it myself. The battleship is definately a beast.

We are 6 games in and loving it but it does feel like the game has started to degenerate into a struggle for the battleship (or to prevent others from getting it). Our last game was four players and 3 of us were desperately fighting each other to get a 2nd Orange planet or prevent the others from having it. Like you, I'm not ready to pull the trigger on making a house rule but we have started to think about it.

The potential issues I have are these (hopefully this isn't too much re-hashing what you already said):
- It is impossible to stop everyone from getting a battleship, somebody will get one eventually if they keep pushing for it. Probably the person who ended up with 2 Orange planets in the shortest range (since they can send reinforcements easier).
- Once someone has it, nobody can expand. With three flicks, our battleship owners can consisently launch and end up anywhere on the board. This means you cannot settle a new planet since your settler will be mowed down. You cannot have ships in space and you cannot leave a planet with less than 2 defense. The only options I see to expand without feeding points to the battleship are level 4 brown (but nobody has reached 4 of anything in our games) and possibly with level 3 pink by getting two ships into orbit of a new planet and then landing one leaving the other in orbit and counting as two ships. Even that though requires perfect flicks or you risk leaving your ships out of orbit and battleship fodder. Plus, even if you pull it off you can still be obliterated by a battleship backed up by a fighter.
- Even if you conspire to let two players get the battleship, it just makes matters worse. Now, even the person with the battleship is unable to expand since they also will have their new planets at risk.
- Once a battleship or two is in play and nobody can expand, it is difficult to score points and end the game (unless people are leaving fighters and planets vulnerable to the battleships). The only scoring option is mining and even that is either forcing you to give up planets (and points) or making planets more vulnerable to attack.

I want to play more with the rules as written for now but we are starting to think of house rules we may try in the future.

For one thing, one friend suggested, what if we just play one game where nobody can build battleships. Not a house rule but just a learning game to see what the world is like without them to allow us to experiment and learn what we can get done with the other techs without constant fear of the battleship
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Henry Allen
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As for the tweaks, you have some interesting ideas. I was actually thinking about it a bit differently. What if you gave players better ability to combat the battleship and expand as opposed to nerfing the battleship?

Here are a couple:

Ship support:
Ships gain +1 defense for each friendly ship within range. This would actually allow you to launch and move ships in clusters without being 100% vulnerable to a single battleship mowing them down. Most importantly it would make it possible to actually continue to operate in space and expand (a bit more slowly) without being 100% gauranteed to be owned by the battleship.
Planet support:
Instead of (or in addition to?) the above option, if being in orbit of a friendly planet added +1 defense to ships it would help give a way to put ships in space and expand without being gaurenteed destruction by the battleship.

I haven't tried them so I'm not sure if they are balanced obviously. However, I think I like these because the battleship is still strong and very worthwhile but instead of making expansion virtually impossible for the other players, it is just more difficult.
 
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Jon Quinn
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In my last game (4 player) I built the battleship. On the turn following every other player attacked me. I lost 2 research centers (on 2 planets) and would have lost another planet if not for a navigational error (a bad flick), Plus, my BB was rammed and destroyed. It was as if the BB had placed a target on all my stuff! I initially thought I was finished. I was wrong about that.

I decided I would never catch up back up in research, and it was getting fairly close to the end of the game, so, the rest of my actions for the remainder of the game consisted of recruiting, launching and fighting. Losing the BB to a ram was no big deal, it was rebuilt easily. I destroyed ship after ship, sometimes 2 at a time; one time 3 at once. I ran away with victory points and won easily.

By the way, a part of my success was because all the battles took place in my own quadrant, so losing my BB only meant I had to launch it again the next turn and it was still right in the middle of the action. My opponents had to launch and then navigate from much farther away.

 
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Jason Webster
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Has anyone tried flipping orange. Level 3 and level 4 tech. Making the battleship a level 4 tech would make it harder to get and I don't think the bonus VP is as good without a battleship.

In all our games, brown level 4 tech has been the big killer. It has won every game.
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Richard Sampson
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One thing I will say is that instantly losing two ships to get the battleship can be a big deal. In one of my games I got a battleship early, and while I was able to attack really well, it made it very difficult to explore (since I only had 1 ship now), and in the end, may have cost me the game.

Edit: In addition, I have never seen anyone ever win with heavy orange tech. Level 4 P and Level 4 G have always been the way to go in the games I have played.
 
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Henry Allen
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Dnasearchr wrote:
Has anyone tried flipping orange. Level 3 and level 4 tech. Making the battleship a level 4 tech would make it harder to get and I don't think the bonus VP is as good without a battleship.


One of my friends suggested that. I think it is an idea that might work. The battleship's power is more consistent with the other level 4 techs than it is with level 3. In my opinion all of the other level 4 tech are killler/game changing effects that can mean victory for whoever gets them (like the battleship).

My only problem with the idea is that I think it would mean we'd never see battleships. In our games so far, nobody has gotten any level 4 tech in any color. We just aren't letting people get away with having that 4th research center in a color. I'm sure somebody will manage at some point, but in general it seems like it will be quite a rare treat. The battleship is so fun (aside from possible balance issues), I'd be sad to see it relegated to being such a rare occurrence.


 
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Jeff Kayati
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A battleship with no targets earns on victory points. It seems to me the key to countering the battleship is not leaving starships in space. Land them for more defense on your planets and begin building more items.

If the battleship player is flicking around in space with no targets while you're building colonies, cities, and research centers, then he's losing ground every turn.

I'm really not seing any need for house rules to counter the battleship. Players just need to adjust how they play.
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Ian Cooper
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I think house rules are fine as long as all players agree with them. However, I have noticed that each group of players will create a play style based on their own tendencies thus different technologies become weighted differently for each group of players. So by creating a house rule, players are molding the game to how their individual group likes to play. This could become unbalanced when playing these same house rules with another group, or when a clever player learns to exploit them and then you are back to creating more house rules to fix previous house rules.

The game is a race to get VP mainly from achieving higher levels of tech so if players perceive a technology as being powerful they should fight over it. 4th level technologies are meant to be game enders and should allow a player to clean house. Once a player gets a 4th level tech the game should be coming to an end pretty soon.

One of my goals was to create non-uniform technologies that were interesting to play with their own flavor and would encourage interaction. I also wanted it to accommodate many different playing styles. The Battleship was intended to start off weak and then become menacing and change the feeling of the space game.

The battleship is very hard to attack with starships but easy to ram. I think what players perceive as so powerful is that other players will have to shift their strategy to accommodate a battleship. While I think that’s true for all of the technologies it is most noticeable with the battleship. The big change is that once a battleship is in play you can’t afford to leave starships in space anymore because they are such easy targets.

I rarely go for orange technology unless I'm forced into it. I would rather take a Grey/Brown approach. When a Battleship comes into play I pay attention to how the other players react (in a 3 or 4 player game) and play according to them and watch out for weakness in the battleship player. Having more troops on planets, being able to recruit more, and having more movement points I think is more powerful than having a battleship in my opinion. I only strike when a player with a battleship is over-extended or will have to take a recruit action because he is low on troops and if I have 4 movement points I will blockade several of his planets on a single turn.

The original cost of launching a Battleship was 2 Troops. Problem was that it left that player too weak on planets and other players would ram the battleship and then attack the planet that it was launched from.

I originally had the Battleship as a 4th level tech, but I wanted it to come out and be a part of the game more often so I put it at 3rd level.

As for toning the battleship down a little, I think that only being able to launch a battleship from your homeworld is probably the best tweak. I Considered this in the past and chose not to use it mainly because I wanted the Battleship to be a force or power. Like a big blunt object that you can smash your enemies with, but at the same time a bit of finesse and good strategy could still defeat it.

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Nicolas Daoust
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Wow this thread delivers.


Dnasearchr wrote:
When you find an orange planet...protect with all you got. If a player gets 2 orange planets, the rest of the players must start attacking that payer. The game isn't broken...the players need to realize that there is a lot of diplomacy and temporary alliances needed in this game.

True, the game is not broken; on that, we agree.

A lot of makeshift manipulatory diplomacy gets thrown around almost every turn, the menace of a potential battleship being a great catalyst. There's also bluff. A lot of bluff. I once bluffed my way into getting a battleship by acting as if I wanted to get a city in every quadrant. I was the second one with a battleship, so the first player to get it was the evil menace while I was hailed as a savior.

Actually, I think you agree that the battleship is a game-changer, so I won't go further.


KlydeFrog wrote:
I'm glad you started this discussion. I've been thinking about it myself. The battleship is definately a beast.

You make a lot of good points: battleships are pretty much a guarantee in every game, can reach every part of the board easily, make everything vulnerable and have no real counter.

I'm also intrigued by your proposition of a battleship-less game, just to see how things work out.

While your tweaks do offer good battleship protection, I think they would cripple battleship-less play.


jwquinn wrote:
In my last game (4 player) I built the battleship. On the turn following every other player attacked me. [...] I initially thought I was finished. I was wrong about that.

Now that's quite extreme! Everyone attacked you, even destroying a couple things, and still you won with ease?

Still, I can see how things went: with everyone attacking you, a lot of starships were around, which you got to kill for VPs.


Dnasearchr wrote:
Has anyone tried flipping orange. Level 3 and level 4 tech. Making the battleship a level 4 tech would make it harder to get and I don't think the bonus VP is as good without a battleship.

That seems more in line with the other techs: level 3 is a nice bonus, level 4 is a game changer.

However, while level 3 techs are very common, level 4 is quite rare, so that would pretty much mean no battleship, almost ever. While it doesn't look like it, I actually like the battleship.


ras2124 wrote:
In addition, I have never seen anyone ever win with heavy orange tech. Level 4 P and Level 4 G have always been the way to go in the games I have played.

In my experience, level 4 techs are very rare, requiring from half of the planets (4-player) to 3/4 of them (2-player).

The only level 4 tech we have seen in play in a dozen games is the brown one, once. It won the game, as expected (and as designed).

How about the level 4 orange tech? The battleship already wins by starship kills, so doubling the VPs it gets that way definitely wins the game. Again, as expected and as designed.


jkayati wrote:
A battleship with no targets earns on victory points. It seems to me the key to countering the battleship is not leaving starships in space. Land them for more defense on your planets and begin building more items.

If the battleship player is flicking around in space with no targets while you're building colonies, cities, and research centers, then he's losing ground every turn.

And that's what we've seen happen: players get defensive and turtle up.

However, during that time, the battleship player is not moving around: he just builds up too. Why would he move if there's no target?

After several turns, though, everything's built and there's still a VP pile. At that point, the battleship player moves out to kill weaker planets. Any planet without a city can be destroyed by a battleship and two starships at most, and it does happen.


koshianok wrote:
The Battleship was intended to start off weak and then become menacing and change the feeling of the space game.

Now that's something I'd like to hear more about. Was it similar to the proposed battleship-for-all house rule?

Also, again: thanks for your availability.


koshianok wrote:
The battleship is very hard to attack with starships but easy to ram.

True that, but ramming a battleship serves almost no purpose. Even if you ram it to keep it away, it's easily back by next turn.


koshianok wrote:
I would rather take a Grey/Brown approach. [...] Having more troops on planets, being able to recruit more, and having more movement points I think is more powerful than having a battleship in my opinion.

I disagree. The battleship itself does something similar to those techs!

First, it doubles your movement efficiency when combat is concerned. A single movement moves two starships' worth!

Second, by that point in the game, much of the recruiting is done to replace losses; the battleship gets you two starships' worth for a single troop.


koshianok wrote:
[...] if I have 4 movement points, I will blockade several of his planets on a single turn.

I don't see how that could be possible (or viable).

Let's say you have 4 starships out: you could theoretically blockade up to 4 planets (with perfect flicks). On average, you'll probably blockade 2. However, you never have 4 starships out when a battleship's around: they're free kills!

Let's say you have no starship out (or a single one): you could blockade 1 or 2 planets.

No matter how many planets you blockade, though, the battleship will liberate them one by one, and only one of you will be getting VPs in the process!


koshianok wrote:
The original cost of launching a Battleship was 2 Troops. Problem was that it left that player too weak on planets and other players would ram the battleship and then attack the planet that it was launched from.

So that's been tried? Nice to hear. Also, that's a good example of a worthy ram: not only does it grant access to a weak planet, but the battleship revenge gets delayed thanks to the high troop cost.

But if that rule doesn't work, let's scrap it.


koshianok wrote:
I originally had the Battleship as a 4th level tech, but I wanted it to come out and be a part of the game more often so I put it at 3rd level.

And I agree with that decision! Level 4 techs are seen so rarely...

I can see why it was initially level 4, though.


koshianok wrote:
As for toning the battleship down a little, I think that only being able to launch a battleship from your homeworld is probably the best tweak. I considered this in the past and chose not to use it mainly because I wanted the Battleship to be a force or power. Like a big blunt object that you can smash your enemies with, but at the same time a bit of finesse and good strategy could still defeat it.

Good to hear your advice. Still, I don't think that "finesse and good strategy" can do anything against the battleship. The following tactics sure don't work:
- Ram the battleship (it's an even trade-off at best)
- Turtle up (it only delays the inevitable)
- Attack elsewhere (a battleship can be anywhere in one turn)

Only being able to launch the battleship from the homeworld might do the trick. It makes the battleship feel less invincible, knowing that a single ram can stop its advance.

What do you think about the battleship using two movements? It would be easier to stay out of its way or mount an attack against it. The battleship would still project a large sphere of influence and wouldn't be much more vulnerable: after all, any starship that comes close is an easy target, so attacking it stays very risky.

With this rule, starships can move and attack freely as long as they stay away from the battleship. Whenever the battleship moves towards starships, their owners have a turn to move away, which is costly in actions and positioning.


(I hope I don't come off as abrasive; I really want this civil discussion to continue.)
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Henry Allen
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Ceraus wrote:

Good to hear your advice. Still, I don't think that "finesse and good strategy" can do anything against the battleship. The following tactics sure don't work:
- Ram the battleship (it's an even trade-off at best)
- Turtle up (it only delays the inevitable)
- Attack elsewhere (a battleship can be anywhere in one turn)


Exactly.

I'd love some help with specific ideas that combat the battleship once it is in play so that I can try them in my group

If anyone is willing to offer some advice, here is a basic scenario we've had in all 3 of our 4 player games so far.

Scenario:
* 4 players
* they all have claimed exactly 5 planets, 4 of which are different colors.
* The BS player as his 6th advance gets level 3 orange (with level 1 of everything else).
* You can give the other players whatever 6 tech advances you want that they could have gotten in this scenario (except for this scenario let's assume only the BS player chose a battleship).

What tech do the non-battleship players have (or wish they had grabbed) and what do they do now?


* If they leave ships in space, the BS player can kill them for points.
* If they move to a new planet, it will only have one defense and the BS player can kill it for points.
* They can't make new tech since they've maxed out their five planets (and the BS player will not let them move to new planets).
* They CAN mine for points, however, if they don't want to abandon the planet (and lose an end-game point and the ability to mine here again), they can only do this on planets with a city if they want to have a chance that the BS player will not come kill it for points (and even with a city, the BS player with an extra fighter may still kill it).

To me it seems like all they can do is recruit, build colonies, build cities, and possibly mine (with some risk).
The BS player can do all of the same stuff if there is no killing to do. He can also settle some new planets and build for some quadrant bonuses if needed or maybe build some more tech.
 
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Ian Cooper
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Quote:
Also, again: thanks for your availability.


I'm always happy to chime in on discussions and answer questions.

As for actual strategies, it would be very hard to describe all of the possible strategies (especially in a 4 player game) because of the many different dynamics involved. Such as the position of your occupied planets in relation to your opponents, what is built on those planets, and the number of troops that are currently in play. Also, factor in all of the negotiation, bluffing, and the uncertainty of flicking.

I have seen all of the technologies used to great effect towards winning. Battleships are definitely powerful (as intended), but the vast majority of groups that I have played with or observed playing did not feel battleships were overly powerful. If they had, I would not have included battleships in the game as they currently are.

But if a group feels that battleships are a little too powerful then I suggest the following variant. Battleships have an attack strength of 2, but only have a defensive strength of 1. This will allow 2 starships within range of a battleship to destroy it and receive 2 VP for it. Keep all other rules pertaining to battleships the same. Battleships should still be powerful, but this will allow players to more easily attack them and gain VP for doing so.
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Jason Webster
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My first quick suggestion would be to blockade all of th BS players planets. This would slow them down considerably. The blockade could be split by the other 3 players with minimal starship. RAM BS after it launches. This will leave the BS player spending one turn to recruit troops and then the other turn launching the BS. All other players take a turn ramming BS. This frees them up to build and explore with their other turns.
 
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Henry Allen
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Thanks for the replies and input.

If we continue to be unable to combat the battleship, I'll keep the designer recommended battleship has 1 defense suggestion in mind (somebody in my group actually suggested this one as well!).

I'm also a bit partial to try the idea of 'ship support' where ships get +1 defense for each friendly ship in range. It just seems like it would solve the primary battleship issue we have which is that it is impossible to have ships in space (and expand) without providing really easy points/kills to the battleship. I'll have to try it to see but I don't think it would hurt the early game expansion or conflict balance since it requires clustering of your ships to take advantage of it which costs alot in terms of actions/mobility.

Dnasearchr wrote:
My first quick suggestion would be to blockade all of th BS players planets. This would slow them down considerably. The blockade could be split by the other 3 players with minimal starship. RAM BS after it launches. This will leave the BS player spending one turn to recruit troops and then the other turn launching the BS. All other players take a turn ramming BS. This frees them up to build and explore with their other turns.


I will concede that there are a class of strategies involving all other players colluding to slow the battleship player down. Your suggestion is one of these. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, all such strategies result in giving the battleship player more points (and arguably not slowing him down at all, though they could help give the other players a little room to expand or develop).

For example, if I had a battleship and the other players managed to blockade all of my planets I would spend 1 action to recruit 3 troops at my homeworld and then spend the next 3 turns getting at least 1 point per turn by killing starships in orbit of my planets. During this time, if somebody tries to setup shop on a new planet which I don't approve, perhaps I'll take a break from killing starships to kill the new planet as well. If they continually collude to ram & keep all of my planets blockaded then they are spending a fair number of actions just providing me sources of points within easy reach of my homeworld. I just have to recruit every fourth turn and collect the prizes (and the game will end very quickly).

 
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Jason Webster
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Then doesn't it just come down to blockading the 2nd orange planet as soon as someone lands on it. In case of the BS player in the scenario, this would also trap some the BS troops on the planet since he does not have Level 2 grey tech.
 
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Jason Webster
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Also, why not play with just 4 orange planets. That would make it a little harder to build a battleship.

I still like the Idea of making a battleship a level 4 tech as a fix.
 
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Henry Allen
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Dnasearchr wrote:
Also, why not play with just 4 orange planets. That would make it a little harder to build a battleship.

I still like the Idea of making a battleship a level 4 tech as a fix.


Both good suggestions that would have the same effect, make it much more difficult to bring a battleship online so that it happens less often if ever (like all level 4 tech).

This may be something we do if it comes down to it but I'd rather have my cake and eat it too. If possible I want the battleship to continue to be powerful and to be in play in most games, I just want to figure out how to have that without it shutting down our non-battleship players completely.
 
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Henry Allen
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Dnasearchr wrote:
Then doesn't it just come down to blockading the 2nd orange planet as soon as someone lands on it. In case of the BS player in the scenario, this would also trap some the BS troops on the planet since he does not have Level 2 grey tech.


Thanks again for more suggestions.

We actually tried that. After I owned everyone in the first game with the battleship, nobody wanted to let anyone get it. One guy was trying to prevent me and his other neighbor at the same time while trying to get it for himself. Unfortunately this just creates a war of attrition which somebody will eventually come out on top (probably the person with more consistent flicking skills and/or the person with easier access to the planet in contention). To make matters worse, once the battleship does appear, everyone is poorly defended and the battleship gets a round or two of good points before everyone has all of their planets re-inforced and out of space.

I also tried the approach of going for efficiency by avoiding conflict early and launching out to the middle of the board and setting up for quadrant bonuses. This seemed almost viable except again, once the battleship came online I was stifled.

The real problem I have with both of these approaches though is that they are ideas for stuff you can try to do to prevent a battleship or before the battleship comes in. As I mentioned earlier, I want to be able to have battleships in play and have them be a powerful force so what I'm really hoping for is just tactics, strategies, or a rules tweak so that battleships can come into play without always being the deciding factor as they have been for us.

Thanks for the continued suggestions and patience! I'd be really interseting to get to play in some different groups so I could just see what is going on
 
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Nicolas Daoust
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Hmm... while a 1-defense battleship could solve balance issues, I'd prefer not making it that weak.

Right now, I'm partial toward the 2-move-using battleship. That would keep it a death-dealing machine, but its area of influence would be limited and the main tactic against it would be to keep away (whereas the main tactic against 2 starships is to kill one). Trying to attack it would require good setup but would be feasible; a successful attack would buy a few turns.

The battleship would lose its main problem: being able to kill pretty much anything it wants to, anywhere, within a single turn. However, it would keep its resilience, still requiring 3 attacks to be taken down, and it would still be launched with only one troop, keeping a slight macro advantage. Being rammed would likely hurt too much, though: maybe the battleship would need some innate protection?

Anyway, I'm just repeating myself: I'll try that next game and see how it works. Also, I'm still curious about a battleship-for-everyone house rule.
 
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Jason Webster
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I think the best way to balance a battleship it to make it similar to Brown 4 tech in VP gathering abilities. How often dies brown level 4 get built. How many VP does it generate. If a Battleship generates way more VP, than maybe making a level 4 tech is a better idea. Brown can generate 2 to 3 VP every other turn. What does a battleship generate every 2 turns?
 
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Henry Allen
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Dnasearchr wrote:
I think the best way to balance a battleship it to make it similar to Brown 4 tech in VP gathering abilities. How often dies brown level 4 get built. How many VP does it generate. If a Battleship generates way more VP, than maybe making a level 4 tech is a better idea. Brown can generate 2 to 3 VP every other turn. What does a battleship generate every 2 turns?


VP generated by battleship is very dependent on how vulnerable people leave their planets & ships and what other techs are involved. Anyhow, I think it is agreed that moving the Battleship to level 4 would address perceived issues. The thing is, it would also make the Battleship much more rare to come into play. I was hoping to have it still be level 3 or below, just not as devastating.

One other variant idea I'll throw into the mix: Level 2 orange lets your ships attack 2 targets per turn instead of as many as they want. It is a bit more subtle than some of the other ideas and I'm not sure it would make that much of a difference. It would mean that a Battleship couldn't just wipe out a whole fleet of 3-4 fighters who are near each other and if it did choose to attack such a fleet, there would still be some fighters left for a counter attack. It would also mean that if they wiped out two fighters defending a planet, that player would have a turn to ram the battleship away before the planet also falls.
 
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Nicolas Daoust
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KlydeFrog wrote:
It would also mean that if they wiped out two fighters defending a planet, that player would have a turn to ram the battleship away before the planet also falls.

Ah? We've always played that such a planet is defended, so it can't be chosen as an attack target. By the time the defending ships are destroyed, the attack resolution phase is over, and only then does the planet become a valid target. . That's... getting pretty specific, though.

Also, in other news: in our last game, we intended to try the 2-move-using battleship, but the best techs we reached were 2 orange, 3 gray, 3 purple and 3 brown. Most of the game revolved around preventing specific players from getting level 4 gray or brown. We discovered a fun new tactic: ramming a ship hard so that multiple enemy ships leave the board.

We had agreed on the following house rules about the battleship:
- It launches and lands normally.
- It uses 2 movements to flick.
- It can absorb 1 ram per turn.

The last point means that it can ram 1 starship for free every turn (not gaining points, though, obviously, but at least not fearing to move into a ship cluster) and needs to be rammed twice on the same player's turn to be destroyed. Also, for the battleship, being rammed counts as being attacked once, so only 2 more attacks are required that turn to destroy it (in that case, for just 1 VP, though).

Anyway, too bad we couldn't test anything... yet.
 
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