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Subject: Yes, the Small 1v1 Scenario can be played in 90 minutes rss

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David Debien
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Tonight, Michael and I played the Small 1v1 Scenario in 11 rounds (10 economic rounds). This took slightly over 90 minutes from beginning to end. The game ended with a Home World being destroyed, so we did not cut any corners to bring the game to a swift conclusion.

This was my 10th game and Michael's third. Familiarity with the rules definitely helps speed this game along considerably.

I went with my usual fast colonizing strategy, building 2 colony ships in the first economic phase and 3 more in the second. This allowed me to have all 8 colonies setup by turn 4. Michael, on the other hand, built up more conservatively and built MS pipelines along with his colonies, bringing his colonies online along with his MS Pipelines at the same time. This was his first mistake and I was out producing him on CP's from round 3 onwards.

We both lost all of our initial scouts to Danger! chits in the far space fairly quickly. Michael replaced 2 of the scouts and lost them as well to more Danger! chits. The result of all this expensive exploring was that we now had 2 paths through far space to each other; one in the middle and one on my left flank.

In eco turn 4 I started to make my move. By now, I had pipelines connecting 5 of my colonies, including one in my forward center, where I built Shipyards (3 by round 6). I had not built a single attack unit nor developed a tech before round 4. In this round, I had 69 to spend (saved 10 from previous eco phase, 40 from colonies, 15 from minerals and 4 from pipelines). I teched Move 2, Fighter 1 and Minesweep 1. I did not build any units yet.

In Eco 5, I built a full carrier group in my home world along with a second carrier and 1 fighter (6 shipyards in my HW) and an additional fighter in my forward ship yard. During movement I moved up my carriers to my forward shipyards.

Eco 6 I teched Minesweep 2 and built 4 Sweepers in my HW.

In the next movement round I moved my carrier groups forward and was able to seige one of his worlds by Move turn 3. The battle was 2 of my carriers with 5 fighters (no other upgrades) and 4 Sweepers vs 2 Cruisers with Attack-1 and a couple shipyards. I lost a couple fighters but destroyed the cruisers and the shipyard. On my planet shot I only hit once. In his final move, he brought up what turned out to be 2 BC's with an Attack-1 upgrade as well as Tactics-1 and they eliminate my remaining fighters before I am able to withdraw with my carriers intact. This was huge for me.

In Eco 7 I built a new carrier group in my HW plus 2 more fighters in my forward shipyards and tech attack-1. Economically at this point, we are fairly close, my colonies are fully developed, producing 60 CP's plus 5 for pieplines and he is making 58 for colonies and 4 for pipelines. Unforunately, for the previous 3 or 4 rounds, I have out produced him by 10-12 points per round. His slow colony building hurt him badly here.

In eco 8, I develop Raider-1 and build a single raider in my forward shipyard. Most importantly I outbid him for first movement rights and this allowed me to withdraw my exposed carriers.

In the next movement rounds, I withdraw my carriers and bring up my new carrier group plus my raider, which end up fighting his pursuing BC's. This fight ends up being rather lopsided with me destroying both BC's without taking a loss. I pressed my advantage and destroyed one of his worlds before the next eco phase.

In Eco 9, I upgrade Tactics-1 and built 9 Fighters (6 in my HW and 3 in my forward shipyards). My retreating carriers will pick them up and turn around in the next round.

In the next movement phase, I continue to harass his colonies (destroying 2 and seiging 2 more by the end of Move-3). His new BC/Scout Fleet avoids my assaulting forces and head for my side of the board.

In eco-10 I build 3 Raiders in my HW and he builds a new BC/Scout fleet in his HW. My presence with the 4 sweepers kept him from considering a mining strategy.

In the last round, we had 2 major battles, my 3 Raiders with Att-1 and Tactics-1 meet his 1 BC and 3 Scouts in my space. He lost 2 Scouts and I lost a Raider before he retreated to a spot just outside of my relatively undefended (6 shipyards) homeworld. In my next move phase, however, I attack his homeworld with 2 Carier groups (5 fighters) and my 4 sweepers. His Point defense armed Scouts all miss (10, 9, 9) and my fighters make quick work of his defenses. On my shot to destroy his HW, my fighters hit 3 times, reducing his HW to a HW-5 and one of my sweepers hit (needed a 2) to end the game.

I was quite happy to bring the game to a swift conclusion and we both enjoyed the hightened pace of the game. Being able to play this in under 2 hours from setup to tear down adds to the playability immensely. Can't wait for my next game!

A quick analysis of my MS pipelines during the game: I built 6 Pipelines at a cost of 18 CP's in turns 3 and 4. The return throughout the game was 34 CP's for a net gain of 16 CP's. Also need to consider the fast deployment to the front the Pipelines afforded me and you can see the Pipelines are a solid investment even in a shorter game.

Also, I really love having at least 1 Movement Tech upgrade. Whether you are fighting offensively or Defensively, that extra movement in Move-3 is huge!

FInally, if Michael had teched a defense upgrade and maybe Attack-2, a lot of the battles could have gone the other way. Under upgraded capital ships are a poor investment.
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Well done. You definitely grok the game. Your the first (I think) to really talk about quick colonization so emphatically (and it is a big deal). Tempo and initiative are an important part of a winning strategy as you can see from your session report. I agree with you that larger capital ships, when not sporting high tech, are not as powerful as you might think.

Thanks for the report. I love reading these things! goo
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Mark Buetow
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Great report! Glad to see evidence for what we knew: the guy who's played this for 20 years wasn't off when he listed play times. laugh
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Edward Wehrenberg
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Great report! I'll be picking up the game today and I love these little learning bits.
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Nice report. My first 2p with the advanced rules went very badly for me. I didn't get fighter tech and got point defense late. I spent too much money on BCs and even with attack 1 def 1 they were easily wiped out be my opponents fleet of 5 carriers and 15 fighters. Ug.

At the end of the game, I checked his sheet and he didn't go above ship size 3 but got up to fighter tech 3.

Of course, in my second game, Basic Rules, normal map I won decisively all because I got my 8 colonies withing the first 3 or 4 rounds. The extra CP enables me to have much better ships in every battle.

I plan to play 2p normal map advanced rules with my son tonight and see if I can fair any better against his massive carrier groups.

BOb
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David Debien
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pilotbob wrote:
Nice report. My first 2p with the advanced rules went very badly for me. I didn't get fighter tech and got point defense late. I spent too much money on BCs and even with attack 1 def 1 they were easily wiped out be my opponents fleet of 5 carriers and 15 fighters. Ug.

At the end of the game, I checked his sheet and he didn't go above ship size needed to build carriers.

Of course, in my second game, Basic Rules, normal map I won decisively all because I got my 8 colonies withing the first 3 or 4 rounds. The extra CP enables me to have much better ships in every battle.

I plan to play 2p normal map advanced rules with my son tonight and see if I can fair any better against his massive carrier groups.

BOb


Hint: use mines. If he has that many carriers, he can't have anything else (especially sweepers).

Also, try to split his groups up using decoys and flanking fleets. breaking those carriers up to groups of one and 2 carriers will allow you to slip in some point defense mounted scouts with some larger ships (maybe raiders?) as backup. Once the carriers lose those fighters, its a long way back to his shipyards to re-arm.

Last thought, if he had that many carriers (I think there are only 4 CV chits, so maybe he had 4 not 5?) he cant have upgraded them much. So a cap ship with 2 Defense will go a long ways towards pulling their teeth. Of course, he may still get a +1 for a numerical advantage and that's what the scouts will be there for as well as point defense.
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Mark Buetow
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What do you mean by the reference to Ship Size and carriers? There is no minimum Ship Size to build them, just having fighter tech.
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casualgod wrote:

Last thought, if he had that many carriers (I think there are only 4 CV chits, so maybe he had 4 not 5?) he cant have upgraded them much. So a cap ship with 2 Defense will go a long ways towards pulling their teeth. Of course, he may still get a +1 for a numerical advantage and that's what the scouts will be there for as well as point defense.


He had 1 massive fleet. Two carrier chits with a 3 and 2 under each of them. But, you are correct, he had no attack/defense/tactics tech at all.

Don't give my mines strategy away. He can read this. When we were playing my son told me that mines only work for the defender. But, I re-read the rules and don't see anything about that. I assume mines go off on both sides no matter whether you are attacker/defender or what your tech level is.

BOb
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Malacandra wrote:
What do you mean by the reference to Ship Size and carriers? There is no minimum Ship Size to build them, just having fighter tech.


Right.. I misspoke a bit. He spent on Fighter tech and didn't need much ship size tech. He ended up with Fighter tech 3 and Ship Size 3... while I only managed point defense 1 but I had ship size tech 6. But, one or two DNs against 15 fighters isn't very effective.

BOb
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Mark Buetow
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Well Mines can't move into a space with enemy units so you can't use them if you are attacking.
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Malacandra wrote:
Well Mines can't move into a space with enemy units so you can't use them if you are attacking.


Ah, ok.. that's what he was saying.

BOb
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David Debien
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pilotbob wrote:
casualgod wrote:

Last thought, if he had that many carriers (I think there are only 4 CV chits, so maybe he had 4 not 5?) he cant have upgraded them much. So a cap ship with 2 Defense will go a long ways towards pulling their teeth. Of course, he may still get a +1 for a numerical advantage and that's what the scouts will be there for as well as point defense.


He had 1 massive fleet. Two carrier chits with a 3 and 2 under each of them. But, you are correct, he had no attack/defense/tactics tech at all.
BOb


*Blinks. Light comes on upstairs*. Carrier stacks with more than a 1 under them. Of course. Cannot believe that didnt occur to me.
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Mark Buetow
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casualgod wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
casualgod wrote:

Last thought, if he had that many carriers (I think there are only 4 CV chits, so maybe he had 4 not 5?) he cant have upgraded them much. So a cap ship with 2 Defense will go a long ways towards pulling their teeth. Of course, he may still get a +1 for a numerical advantage and that's what the scouts will be there for as well as point defense.


He had 1 massive fleet. Two carrier chits with a 3 and 2 under each of them. But, you are correct, he had no attack/defense/tactics tech at all.
BOb


*Blinks. Light comes on upstairs*. Carrier stacks with more than a 1 under them. Of course. Cannot believe that didnt occur to me.


I'm sure it's because carriers you had were all at different tech levels...
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Russell Woodland
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Thanks for the report, great to know that once you know the system the game play time comes down to the listed time on the box.

So many games don't play in the time listed. Spent the last two nights punching and clipping my counters, should be getting the game to the table (solo) this weekend
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Mark Buetow
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I heard good advice recently that new players should double listed play times. Probably most people don't play enough to bring the play times down.
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Jason Cawley
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Unfortunately this is more a lesson in the ability to blow a game on your opponent's part than the time being quick for experienced players.

18 CPs to defend a threatened HW? A total investment there of 18 CPs vs. 4 times that amount of attackers? If he had any notion the HW could be attacked it could have been defended by a Base and 6 to 8 PD and attack 1 Scouts . He rolled very poorly in the real deal, but that defense he could easily have had for one turn's CPs would have shredded the attacking fighters before they got a single shot off.
 
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David Debien
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JasonC wrote:

Unfortunately this is more a lesson in the ability to blow a game on your opponent's part than the time being quick for experienced players.

18 CPs to defend a threatened HW? A total investment there of 18 CPs vs. 4 times that amount of attackers? If he had any notion the HW could be attacked it could have been defended by a Base and 6 to 8 PD and attack 1 Scouts . He rolled very poorly in the real deal, but that defense he could easily have had for one turn's CPs would have shredded the attacking fighters before they got a single shot off.


To a degree, I agree. Michael did not do a great job defending his Homeworld. But I am not so sure about your math there. In his HW, he had 3 Scouts and a BC, for a total investment of 30 CP, which is all he had to spend at this point after maintanence. Remember, I had destroyed several of his colonies at this point and was seiging 2 others (one with my main fleet and another with my lone raider).

So, the BC could have been a Base instead. Not a huge difference. In the end, had he fended me off in this round, I still had my re-armed carriers coming back towards the front for the next round and there is no way I see him fending those off.
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