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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Colonel Coo's race by race pre-game planning guides rss

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Colonel Coo

Austell
Georgia
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Okay, I've noticed that in certain games I have no idea what I plan on doing on turn 1. I fumble through the first game rounds with no idea what is the best path to take to victory. I just go into planet gobbling expansion mode.

So I sat and thought about each race for a while. I have not finished all races. We do not play distant suns since our games last too long already. I have shards of the throne on order.

Onward:
The Winnu. Going from Winnu to Winner!
Luck seems to a factor for many players who complain about bad action cards. Well some races are created to make their own luck. The Winnu start with excellent access to what I consider the most important Turn 1 technology advancement: Neural Motivator. The sooner the better for obtaining Neural Motivator. Mainly because you must acknowledge the game will end in 9 turns or less. That means access to only 9 new Action Cards during the Status phase. With NM on turn 1, that turns to 18 new Action cards over the course of the game. That's like playing the game with a Wingman!

PLANNING: Strat card selection. My view is many races cannot build tech on turn 1, so selection of TECH II seems high in priority for all players. It should be for you as well. But we must plan for not being the first to pick and also for 3 or 4 player games. Here is my rundown on which to pick for the Winnu:
1: Tech II
2: Assembly
3: Trade II

Assembly allows you to draw an additional Politcal Card and obtain the Speaker Token. It also allows you to act prior to TECH II player. This means you must call the assembly, draw the poly card, obtain the speaker token and force another player to present his LAW for consideration. Now you have access to the needed 6 production to buy the tech on turn 1. (exhaust planets, toss three Poly cards)

Movement on turn 1 should be wholesale. War fighting for the Winnu likely will center on Fighters on Carriers. Technology persuit go along with this war fighting plan. As your second action you should move Carrier with 3 Ground Forces, PDS and 2 Fighters to claim adjacent planets: preferrably something with 2 planets and technology reduction costs for the next round if you're the speaker.

TEchnology tree planning for me is:
Neural Motivator 1st
XRD transporters 2nd
Type IV drives 3rd to Advanced Fighters 4th (easy route)
-or-
Cybernetics 3rd to Sarween Tools (sneaky/hard route)

The branch of the 3rd technology is design to allow you to run two offensive strategy: The first is obvious. Crusiers/Dreadnoughts in limited numbers to help sweep through with your Carrier/Fighter Squadrons. Carrier w/6 Fighters at hit on 7 gives you 2.6 hits per space combat. 6 production points for 2.6 hits.

The second is not so obvious. The goal here is to obtain the technology of Integrated Economy on the same game round that you've forward deployed your carriers beyond your farthes non-activated space dock. This is not easily accomplished, but allows you to completely build into the system to support your carrier with additionl Ships and Fighters. Production can be chosen to further boost your hammer fleet or by using Warfare II and timely boost of Flankspeed or even better, In the Silence of Space, can allow you to capture just about any objective you've set your mind to obtaining.

Sardakk N'orr: Plan on killing someone on turns 3, 4 or 5.
Many players will over invest in technology and Space docks, spending points willy nilly on this and thatt. The Sardakk N'orr cannot afford frivolty. Their efforts must be focused on putting the smack down on another player.
Of all the races, the Sardakk N'orr do not need War Suns. Do not pursue war suns.
My plans for the Sardakk N'orr is to build a forward operating base on turn 2. TECH production with the Sardakk sucks. 4 production on turn 1 with 2 politcal cards means that they can build their tech on turn 1. With little else to target or benefit, I would plan on spending all 6 points on Tech.
Selection of Strategy cards:
WARFARE (establish FOB on turn 2)
PRODUCTION (for expansion)

Turn 1 WARFARE Red-alert your home world. Move two hexes with 5 Ground Forces and PDS. Take your planned FOB world. Obtain Auto Defense Turrets from tech. Production 0.
ALT Turn 1 PRODUCTION for free: 2 fighters, 1 destroyer ONLY. Move one hex with Carrier, destroyer, 2 fighters and 4 ground forces, establishing your economy in adjacent worlds. Obtain [b]Antimass Drives[/b] from tech.
Command counters used: 1 strat, 1 comm.

Turn 2 Roll your carrier out one hex to build your economy with 3 ground forces and PDS: PDS on planet with 2 GF's. This required your plan on WARFARE from the start! with you placing a double planet system at 3 hexes from your home world. THEN Build a Space Dock on your planned FOB (should have 2 groud forces on it). Now obtain Anti-mass deflectors. We are marching to war and your invasion fleet requires ground forces.
ALT Turn 2 Move your carrier squad out to your planned FOB. Establish it next turn. Follow war plans out to kill opponent on turn 4 or 5.

Turn 3: Warfleet! Obtaining Destroyers enables your fleet to move out to clock opponents. Carriers continue to move slowly so capture of planets will take place only after blockading a Space dock. Unless you've managed to obtain XRD transport by this stage of the game. Prodcution of Space docks, destroyers and the two previous techs means you may need to wait one more round for the Carriers "to get there". Your 1 production point Destroyers should be able to inflict serious losses on enemy fleets allowing them to shine through combat. Carriers can move to adjacent systems and place your PDS for 'free shots' at the soon to be targeted hex which your destroyer fleet will go after. I like Production a lot for turn 3, enabling your FOB to produce your WARFLEET of super destroyers. If you have placed at least 1 command counter per status phase into your fleet supply, you'll now have 5 destroyers to move out with. +1 from Race, +1 from Hylar V assualt laser, +2 on fighter sweeps. AWESOME. 5 fighters should be swept by the Destroyers. PDS and surviving Destroyers should knock another 2 hits into the enemy fleet in the first round. your losses likely will be 2 or 3 hits back on you. that's 2 production for up to 5 from them.



Alternately, Production on turn 1 will enable you to build 2 destroyers on your homeworld on turn 1. The Cruiser and 2 destroyers then can be moved out 2 hexes towards your enemy of choice after moving your carrier fleet. Turn 2 would allow you to swing in on an unprepared player as your surprise action. Since many players don't feel the threat to their home world on turn 1, this can be a dramatic killing stroke.

But make no mistakes. The Sardakk N'orr must plan on combat. this means attrition War for them. FOB's enable strong movements against their neighbors. Warfare/red alert and flank speed can get you to your adjacent enemy on turn 1 with your cruiser to blockade their homeworld if they were foolish enough not to screen it. For starting races that don't have a PDS, this can be deadly. Hacan, Letnav, Muaat, Saar, Sol, and Yin can become easy pickings. The reason is that they cannot rebuild their fleets in their home system until they kill your cruiser.


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James McEwen
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I believe this changes some with the board and Shards...

I won the last game with Winnu, since I had a gravity rift right in my area (and several wormholes as well), my first tech was gravity drive...

I also had the virus next door so I concentrated on building to a good PDS net (saved my behind several times...) So that was several techs deep.

If we haddn't been playing Shards, I probably would have followed a path not to far from this one..

Oh the real deciding tech for me was the race tech (turn in one action card and get a command counter) The ability to delay my actions really helped.



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Fedor Syagin
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New York
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Colonelcoo wrote:

Sardakk N'orr:

Take your planned FOB world. Obtain Deep Space Cannons -or- Auto Defense Turrets from tech. Production 0.
ALT Turn 1 PRODUCTION



Sorry, but I was under impression that N'orr starts with Deep Space cannon. Am I wrong?
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Brian Petersen
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Texas
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With Trade III or 3-4 player games, any race that starts with Sarween Tools or Stasis Capsules can pull a turn 1 Nano-Technology by picking Tech II. Assuming you're playing with Assembly, it only requires 1 more resource for L1z1x, and 2 more for most others, including Winnu.

N'orr do indeed start with DSC, and you betcha they should have PDSs angering their neighbors. Destroyers aren't very scary when your neighbors aren't using fighters. Besides, the 2-6 PDS shots should take care of enough of the fighters to not need 3 dice when they aren't going heavy fighters.

The N'orr will be disadvantaged if they spend 6 resources on tech to get ADT instead of building another carrier to take more planets. If N'orr can go tech heavy, Integrated Economy and it's pre-reqs are far more useful than XRD, and mitigates the problem of not having XRD. The main thing to remember with them is a +1 to all combat rolls is best with more ships, and it does not keep the enemy from hitting you.
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Colonel Coo

Austell
Georgia
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The goal I have with the Sardakk N'orr is setting up for a turn 3 destruction of an enemy's fleet/homeworld.

But I do not have shards of the throne.

I am not against a turn 1 carrier, but don't think it is needed if warfare was selected to allow the capture of the system that will house your Forward Operating Base. Leaving 2 ground forces on the FOB planet, allows you to roll back towards your own home world with the excess GF or OUTWARD with them to catpure a system 3 hexes from your homeworld. Often enough this system will be one that their neighbor has placed, thus serving triple duty.
1. Captures production away from your neighbor.
2. Puts PDS base up next to your FOB and intrudes the PDF fire range into the systems adjacent to your neighbors homeworld.
3. Maintains your economic output but leaves the systems you placed next to your home world open for your own capture.

This agressive stance enables the clearing of the pathway to your neighbors homeworld on turn 4, while leaving you the ablity to forward deploy your batttlefleet for annihilation runs.

To catpure their home-world, your carriers will need to move two on turn 3 or 4.
When facing a Sardakk N'orr invasion threat, I've found that people buy fighters to soak up hits while their dreadnoughs clear the skies. Hence my movement to automated defense turrets.
 
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Mike Smith
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Wigton
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Anybody use the Norr's combat ability as a threat rather than an annihilating reality? While you are doing someone in the others are probably winning the game. Can't you extract more benefit in the early game by extortion of favours from neighbours?
 
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Simon Kamber
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I agree. Playing to annihilate someone is fun, but no winning move. Use your army to threaten, to establish territory and to show that you CAN win a war if they force you to.
 
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