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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Yssaril Tribes: Broken, or just overpowered? rss

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Adam Mitchell
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Having seen them in action, and listened to the discussion about them, I would be interested to see which of these possibilities people think is the case.

Are the Yssaril broken, so overpowered that their mere presence at the table unbalances the game to an unnacceptable degree?

Or are they simply overpowered, perhaps the best race, but not so superior to all the others that it's unfair to have them at the table?

Which do you think, and why?
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Colonel Coo

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Disclaimer: we're playing with TI3 and ShatEmp.
They are really good with their tempo control and action cards. I think that the 4 races that share this ability are:
Yssaril, (skip every other to get to the uncontested movements.

Federation of Sol (+1 command counter, possible to get +6 from using Leadership) with their ability to covert command counters to 2 ground forces. They can take really explode on turn 1 if they take Technology II. They can extremely benefit turn 1 with Trade II to jump start early planet capture. They can immediately exploit Diplomacy II to annex the neighboring planet, build 2 ground forces there for an command counter, wait for Tech II (dump both political cards, tap Jord), move your carriers out, pick up 2 ground forces, easily taking up to 5 planets on Game Round 1.

The Winnu can build their Race Specific tech to get big advantages out of excess cards. These delays are similar to Yssaril.

The Embers ability to build similar to the Federation on their War Sun, just allows great agressive temp control as well.
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Mooseulie Ferenczy
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The couple of times I have played with them, they have never felt truly overpowered. Yeah, they are good at controlling the tempo, and if they can build Light/Wave Deflectors, they can be all the more powerful, but my experience with them has left me wanting a bigger fleet. They can easily get beaten down by a more militaristic race in my opinion. Certainly top tier, but not that far above any other race.
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Michael Cohen
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The problem is, the Yssaril get everything:
2 agent leaders
2 carrier start
XRD Transporters at the start
Mega action cards
Looking at other people's action cards
Infinite stall.

I usually mod the infinite stall down to once per round. They're still excellent, just not _as_ good.
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Steve Williams
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The later. Yssaril are arguably the best race, but not broken. If everyone ignores you, lets you hog political the whole game, and generally does nothing about your ability to do whatever you want when you want, then yes they will seem broken.

Yssaril's 3 resource home planet coupled with vulnerable starting fleet means you will usually be behind offensively, so if you earn someone's ire [or another seasoned player knows what's good for them!] They'll make a point of coming after you, and unless all your action card draws are live you won't be able to put up much resistance.

This is the way I've always felt playing the Yssaril, powerful yet vulnerable. All the objective taking in the world wont help you if someone comes by and steamrolls your home system before you can win.

If you don't use any extra options, Yssaril are basically unfair. However, the more things you add, like racial techs [the Yssaril's first one is worthless], Flagships [comparatively weak], Political Intrigue [less action cards and more influence for everyone else] , distant suns [few starting forces and charging out with XRD is risky], etc. makes the Yssaril more balanced as the other races generally get better goodies here with these options.

It basically comes down to what special and public objectives are out, and whether another player can afford to put pressure on you, or just let you get away with everything. Granted in most games experienced players aren't willing to take the risk/resources to pressure you, so you'll end up getting away with it more often than not.
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Washington Irving
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When my group plays with artifacts we find stalling much more helpful than when we don't.

So if you don't use artifacts I don't think the Yssaril are too powerful to make for a good game.
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Derek Porter
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The Yssaril Tribes ability to do well in a game is entirely dependent upon the player. In the thirty-ish games I've played, the Tribes have come up probably a dozen times, and it wasn't until a newer player used them correctly that I understood just how powerful they can be. Until that point, I had thought them overrated at best.
While I haven't had the chance to use them, a few of my group lurk about here on BGG and ti3wiki and know why the Yssaril are one of the best races, but none of them have ever been able to use them effectively. They do have several advantages that have already been pointed out, but if the player using them can't time their moves properly, then they really aren't that big of a threat. They can dominate if used correctly, and in that situation, the other players need to stop their momentum before they can build it up.
I don't think that they are "broken" or that they "break" the game, they just have a combination of abilities that, if used effectively, greatly outclass their weaknesses. Those weaknesses are exactly where a good opponent should strike: keep them away from the high resource systems, and there's not a lot they can do to keep up. The Tribes also lack a Bodyguard (I believe), so other races can quickly remove them from the Political arena if they start trying to exert too much influence there, no pun intended.
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Brian Petersen
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The ultimate Yssaril douche-baggery: Head directly for Lightwave Deflectors, and grab Gravity Drives in a wormhole-laden map. When you can win by doing your SO, taking an Artifact, and meeting a PO, grab Warfare II. You most likely have 2 Flank Speeds, and an Unexpected Action. Congratulations! You have 5 movement, plus the Wormhole Nexus to make that anywhere from anywhere, and that same fleet can do it again with reinforcements from around the board with 1 less movement.

I'd like to note that the Tribes may send out their assassin first, make a kill, then return it to their hand, removing 2 players from that round of voting. The Hacan, Sol, and Winnu are the only races whos spies cannot be assassinated (except the former two by Yin, once). Despite the ease at knocking the Yssaril or Yin out of Political Intrigue, you often find that you could really use their votes at some point, ie the Political card that gives each player N/5 GFs where N is the number of votes.
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Eugenio -
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If used correctly, they are almost broken IMO.
I'd say they are bordeline between the first and the second.
As it has already been said, the only way to stop them is attacking them early.
Heavy pressure could not be enough.
If nobody does anything to stop them in the early stages of the game, they're easily going to win, both because of stalling and tons of action cards.
It is a challange to play against them, but I think this is part of the game.
What I actually find lame is that they are easily the best race of the game, and not say, the L1Z1X, which appear to be much stronger than Yssaril lore-wise.
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Mikkel Basse Nielsen
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Colonelcoo wrote:


The Winnu can build their Race Specific tech to get big advantages out of excess cards. These delays are similar to Yssaril.


For years now (first FAQ and now a new card for the racial tech) the Winnu have only been able to do this once per round, so it's generally too underwhelming to be compared to the Yssaril ability.
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Martin DeOlden
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Mikkel Basse wrote:
Colonelcoo wrote:


The Winnu can build their Race Specific tech to get big advantages out of excess cards. These delays are similar to Yssaril.


For years now (first FAQ and now a new card for the racial tech) the Winnu have only been able to do this once per round, so it's generally too underwhelming to be compared to the Yssaril ability.


That is only if you play by the new FAQ ruling for the Winnu or their new card. I still use the old one and just make it like the Yssaril in that they cannot use it twice in a row just as the Yssaril Skipping ability and raised the cost to 6 which seemed a better fix then a total hamstring that FFG did to the Winnu racial tech.

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Mikkel Basse Nielsen
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tawnos76 wrote:
Mikkel Basse wrote:
Colonelcoo wrote:


The Winnu can build their Race Specific tech to get big advantages out of excess cards. These delays are similar to Yssaril.


For years now (first FAQ and now a new card for the racial tech) the Winnu have only been able to do this once per round, so it's generally too underwhelming to be compared to the Yssaril ability.


That is only if you play by the new FAQ ruling for the Winnu or their new card. I still use the old one and just make it like the Yssaril in that they cannot use it twice in a row just as the Yssaril Skipping ability and raised the cost to 6 which seemed a better fix then a total hamstring that FFG did to the Winnu racial tech.



Well, yes, what I say is only true if you play by the rules
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Martin DeOlden
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I always wondered how many RAW people there were versus us varianters out there. I do not use the SA variant but I know that is a large part of the community as well.


Straight up RAW the Yssaril are one very powerful race when used correctly. If left fairly alone then they have a good chance of winning but most players I know do not leave them to themselves much so they have to fight for their VP place. I have seen them win at least 3 times in the past year in my games which is more then the other races.
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Guillermo Hernandez
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IncrediSteve wrote:
The later. Yssaril are arguably the best race, but not broken. If everyone ignores you, lets you hog political the whole game, and generally does nothing about your ability to do whatever you want when you want, then yes they will seem broken.


Pretty much any decent player left alone for long enough is going to come out seeming overpowered one he unleashes his unmolested fury.

Except for maybe techno-virus who need to immediately start harrassing folks.
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Steve Williams
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magnoguido wrote:
Pretty much any decent player left alone for long enough is going to come out seeming overpowered once he unleashes his unmolested fury.


True, but more true for the Yssaril. A lot of times you can outmaneuver other races for VP without having to interact directly with them, but the Yssaril will always be at an advantage unless someone deliberately comes over and whomps on them a bit. Just threatening them isn't enough, because they can react to your movements and hoard AC's that answer you. The Yssaril will often have enough gas to stop an attack or two, so someone needs to pressure them to mitigate their advantages. Or at least that's been my experiences with them so far.

magnoguido wrote:
Except for maybe techno-virus who need to immediately start harassing folks.


Agreed. That's part of what makes them so interesting and changes the pace of any game they're in. They're an aggro race that has a mechanic strong enough to actually support that kind of behavior. Being able to spend an extra 6/8 resources every turn whilst still getting tech [or multiple techs!] makes it feel like you're playing a different game than everyone else.
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Dave Taylor
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I don't know. In the 24 or so games we've played I've rarely seen the Yssaril stall more than once or twice a round anyway. Usually there are at least a couple actions the Yssaril player wants to take early, then he stalls once or twice, then he takes his last action, then he's out of counters and ends his turn. At least that's what I usually see in my group. Maybe we're just weird (probably).
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Henry Coleman
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In an asymetrical game it isn't really possible for any of the races to be broken. If your group find it tough playing against a Yssaril payer then maybe you need to work together a little bit more to counter act this.
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Bill Norton
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boxjuggler wrote:
In an asymetrical game it isn't really possible for any of the races to be broken. If your group find it tough playing against a Yssaril payer then maybe you need to work together a little bit more to counter act this.


That statement right there says they are overpowered.

They are so strong we have to gang up on them.
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