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

Subject: BeerMe's D&D ToC: Game 2 rss

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JJ Belyeu
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Hello to everyone and welcome to BeerMe's Drunk and Disorderly Tournament of Champions for Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition!

This will be a six-part sessions report dealing with all of the races in the current TI3 universe (official only, no homemade races). It will take place over four 3-player games, one 4-player game, and a final 6-player game using the five previous winning races and the one "Wild Card" race. All non-championship matches are completely random and all will use the same variants to help create a more uniform system.

Here is the catch though. I will be the only player in every game. I originally did this to help familiarize myself more with the game and its unique rogue's gallery, but I realized maybe others could benefit from this too, and decided to do a series of session reports to give my insight into what I have learned over the course of these games.

If you are looking for the other games in my Tournament of Champions, please follow the links below (they will be updated as I submit more sessions):

Game 1: Nekro vs. Muatt vs. Creuss (Here)
Game 2: Hacan vs. Saar vs. Xxcha
Game 3: Winnu vs. Arborec vs. Naalu (COMING SOON!)
Game 4: Letnev vs. Jol-Nar vs. Yin (COMING SOON!)
Game 5: Sol vs. Mentak vs. L1z1x vs. Yssaril (COMING SOON!)

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: N'Orr vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ??? vs. ???

Or you can find all my Solo Session Reports at my geeklist:

BeerMe's Drunk & Disorderly Solo Session Reports

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One final note, here are the variants I will be using for every game, including the championship.

Shattered Empire Strategy Cards (minus a couple...see below)
Trade III
Assembly II
Flagships
Mechanized Units
Racial Technologies
Wormhole Nexus
Distant Suns
Final Frontier
Artifacts (I use all 8 artifact tokens, instead of 1 per player)
Refineries/Colonies
Space Mines
Tactical Retreats
Preliminary Objectives
Mecatol Rex Custodians
Shock Troops
Sabotage Runs

I am not using Leaders or Voice of the Coucil because I don't like them. So there.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Game 2

A fight for supremecy between the galaxies Politicians, Traders, and Vagabonds. Game 2 is Xxcha vs. Hacan vs. Saar

Note = I want to apologize for the horrid picture quality of most the pictures. I found my phone just wasn't cutting it, so for the last photo, I went out and got a new digital camera. All future pictures are Hi Res, and well lit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Round 1 - Strategy Phase



Xxcha (green) Starting Preliminary = "I attacked a player I had a trade agreement with this round."
Hacan (yellow) Starting Preliminary = "I have all 5 Dreadnoughts built."
Saar (orange) Starting Preliminary = "I control 2 systems adjacent to Mecatol Rex."

*Xxcha - Production II (4), Technology II (7)
Hacan - Leadership (1), Trade III (5)
Saar - Warfare II (6), Bureaucracy (8)

* = Speaker Token

Xxcha Round 1 Summary

Thanks to Technology II, Xxcha gain XRD Transporters Turn 1 and use this to their advantage to quickly spread out. Unfortunately for them though, the Distant Suns counters aren't as forgiving as Xxcha would have liked. Upon activating Sem-lore, they find 2 Saar Settlers have already setup a base camp there! Using Production II though, Xxcha manages to build 1 Carrier, 2 Ground Forces (GF), and 2 Mech Units in their Home System and also attach a Refinery to Archon Ren. These extra units are later sent out to conquer the Abaddon/Ashtroth/Loki system. Again though, this proves costly due to Distant Suns counters. Ashtroth holds a Biohazard, but luckily a Mech Unit was the only unit in the landing party. Loki contains a very lucky rolling Automated Planetary Defense, and shoots down 1 Fighter and 1 Cruiser before the second Mech can successfully land to capture it. And Abaddon launches a 1 Fighter assault against the Xxcha, who lucky destroy it before it can take out their Carrier. Overall, Xxcha got very lucky with their rolls, but this turned into a very costly first turn for them, and their lack of resources will begin to show in later rounds.

Hacan Round 1 Summary

Hacan has a very slow first round. They recruit Urrsik Turn 1, and acquire both their opponents 2 value Trade Contracts. They also research Micro Technology through Technology II secondary, using most of their Trade Goods (TG) to do it. Hacan conquers Quann and Hope's End but it ends up costing them 2 GF (1 lost on each planet). And thats about it. With out the use of their third Carrier and more GF, they are left holding only 4 planets at the end of the round.

Saar Round 1 Summary

First turn, Saar places the HIGH ALERT Token in their Home System. They later use the extra movement to conquer Mirage, where they defeat a 2 Fighter Ambush (almost seems appropriate for Mirage). Here, they also discover the Lazax Armory giving them an early lead over their opponents. Using the HIGH ALERT Token again, they move 1 Carrier and 2 Fighters into the empty system between Cormund and Mecatol Rex. This risky gambit to achieve their Preliminary pays off more then they had hoped when they flip over the Final Frontier token and see the Precursor Space Station! Not only do they now have the lead, but they require one less VP to win. As their last turn, they trigger Bureaucracy to reveal "I control Mecatol Rex," adding it to the already revealed "I now spend 10 Influence" Public Objective shown at the start of the game. Luckily for Xxcha and Hacan, Saar doesnt qualify for either.

Round 1 Status Phase

Only Saar qualifies for an objective, revealing their Preliminary Objective and drawing the Secret Objective "Usurper."



Round 2 Strategy Phase

*Xxcha - Diplomacy II (2), Bureacracy (8) + 1 Bonus (CC)
Hacan - Trade III (5), Technology II (7)
Saar - Production II (4), Assembly II (3) + 1 Bonus (CC)

Xxcha Round 2 Summary

Xxcha has another round where the Distant Suns counters just don't agree with them. First turn they trigger Diplomacy to annex Cormund from a safe distance, discarding a 4 TG DS counter and finding a false artifact. Using it's fleet from Sem-lore, Xxcha explores Industrex and finds a second group of Saar Settlers! Being fed up by the continual delay of planet conquering, Xxcha brings 2 Mech Units from Abaddon/Ashtroth/Loki to conquer Sem-lore, and obliterates the 2 Saar GF. Xxcha does get lucky though when using Bureaucracy, and reveals "I control 5 planets outside my Home System" and immediately qualifies for it. This brings Xxcha's second round to a close, and having a rather mediocre start to this game.

Hacan Round 2 Summary

Starting off strong, Hacan triggers Trade III, fires Urrisk, and hires Krevvil. Thanks to the early use of Production II by the Saar, Hacan fields the Kenara along with 2 GF, and uses these units plus Krevvil to invade and conquer Arnor and Lor. Here, they find a Hidden Factory containing 2 Fighters and a Destroyer, and also uncover a Precursor Fossil! Hacan also invades Saudor, where they find several Lazax Survivors who had been perpetuating false rumors of an ancient artifact in hopes of being rescued! Continuing with their conquest of planets, Hacan acquires Mallice, and ends their turn using Technology II to gain "Production Centers." An extremely profitale turn for the Hacan helps them turn this game in their favor, especially with the gain of their racial tech.

Saar Round 2 Summary

Saar opens the round by invading Everra and finding yet another artifact! Afterward, Saar also takes over Centauri and Gral, but loses 1 GF to a Biohazard on Gral. Through the use of Assembly II, Saar gains the Speaker Token and picks Hacan to resolve a Political Card. Hacan picks "Aggressive Strategy" and the reps Elder Sarrig, Brothers Qquiar, and Huldran are sent to council. Saar gives 1 TG to Xxcha so he can bribe Huldran and in return, Xxcha gives Saar Monetary Concession. Hacan receives its 1 TG and the vote passes "For." Xxcha uses its special ability to execute the primary ability of Diplomacy II but chooses "option B" and annexes Tequ'ran without paying the influence or the CC. Saar uses the secondary of Assembly II to draw 1 Action Card and refresh 1 planet, and Hacan passes.

Round 2 Status Phase

Both Saar and Hacan qualify for "I control 5 planets outside my Home System."



Round 3 Strategy Phase

*Saar - Diplomacy II (2), Technology II (7)
Xxcha - Production II (4), Trade III (5)
Hacan - Warfare II (6), Bureaucracy (8) + 1 Bonus (CC)

Saar Round 3 Summary

More of a strategy round for the Saar, they spend the entire time preparing for Round 4. They start off by triggering Diplomacy II and forcing Hacan and Xxcha to place Activation markers on Mecatol Rex (Which I now realize was an illegal target for Diplomacy II), and both Xxcha and Hacan use secondary to annex Torkan and Capha, respectfully. From here, Saar use Technology II to research "Floating Factory", and builds 6 GF on Mirage. The only conquering Saar does this turn is quite profitable though, when they invade Xxehan/Dal Bootha and find more Lazax Survivors. This is followed up by them losing a Cruiser in empty space due to a Pirate Dreadnought, and a lack of TG. Unbeknownst to his opponents though, Saar is now is a position to acheive their Secret Objective next round.

Xxcha Round 3 Summary

This is another very slow round for the Xxcha, who just can't seem to get their act together. Aside from capturing Industrex, and building their flagship, the Loncara Ssodu, they don't really do anything. Some units are moved into the Torkan/Tequ'ran system to reinforce their frontlines, but nothing is done to help their position on the VP track.

Hacan Round 3 Summary

Hacan uses the HIGH ALERT Token to maneuver the Kenara, Krevvil, and several other units into the Tsion/Bellatrix system. They get lucky, and find a Peaceful Annexation and also the Lazax Datacache here. Along with that, Bureaucracy reveals the Public Objective "I have 3 technology advances in the same color" and Hacan qualifies for it immediately. Then, after building a Space Dock at Hope's End, Hacan strikes a deal with Saar. Everytime Hacan uses "Production Centers" they will give the 2 TG to Saar in exchange for Saar not entering the wormhole nexus any turn after they receive these TG. This allows Hacan to move units into more valuable locations, but also makes Saar quite rich in the end.

Round 3 Status Phase

Both Saar and Hacan qualify for "I now spend 10 Influence" bringing both races to 5 VP.

Xxcha completes their Preliminary and draws the Secret Objective "Conquerer" ending the round with 3 VP.



Round 4 Strategy Phase

*Saar - Leadership (1), Bureaucracy (8) + 2 Bonus (2CC)
Xxcha - Warfare II (6), Technology II (7)
Hacan - Production II (4), Assembly II (3) + 1 Bonus (CC)

Saar Round 4 Summary

From this point on, its mostly Saar's game. They capture Mecatol Rex this round, and manage to keep 6 GF alive on the planet after mercilessly deafeating the Mecatol Custodians. Using Bureaucracy, they reveal the Public Objective "I have all 3 of my Space Docks on the board" and then qualify for "I control Mecatol Rex". Along with this, they manage to take over Lodor, and build their third Space Dock. This sets them up to qualify for another Public Objective at the end of the round.

Xxcha Round 4 Summary

Xxcha is finally starting to get the ball rolling after a couple very slow early game rounds. They research both "Sarween Tools" and "War Sun" and place the HIGH ALERT Token in their Home System. When Hacan uses Production II, Xxcha fields a War Sun plus 2 Fighters, and later moves this behemoth into the empty space containing the Precursor Space Station on the edge of Saar space. From here though, they fizzle out and end their turn in a very threatening position near the Saar.

Hacan Round 4 Summary

During the activation of Assembly II, Hacan manages to assassinate the Saar representative Melkar and the political agenda "Labor Force Policies" fails to pass. Hacan also begins building Dreadnoughts in massive amounts, striving to finish their Preliminary Objective, constructing 3 at Hope's End, and also building a Space Dock on Saudor. This finishes Hacan's round early because they don't have any more Command Counters in their Command Pool.

Round 4 Status Phase

All races manage to qualify for "I have all 3 Space Docks on the board".

Hacan finishes their Preliminary, and draws the "Master of Ships" Secret Objective.

Saar finishes their Secret Objective and is now at 8 VP.

Round 5 Strategy Phase

*Hacan - Leadership (1), Warfare II (6)
Saar - Diplomacy II (2), Bureaucracy (8) + 1 Bonus (CC)
Xxcha - Assembly II (3), Production (4)

Round 5 Summary

As you can imagine, this is a very quick round, since Saar only needs 1 VP to win and control Bureaucracy. It was inevitable at this point actually, since neither Hacan or Xxcha could attack Saar's Home System and Saar already prequalifies for "I have 3 technology advances in the same color". Hacan got one turn in before Saar used Bureaucracy to win the game.



Final Scores

Saar - 9
Hacan - 7
Xxcha - 4

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Afterthoughts

Hacan's and Xxcha's slow early game expansion really cost them in the end. Having 2 Settlers DS counters appear on Xxcha's doorstep severely slowed them down. Also, being unable to grab a single Artifact put them 2 VP behind the other races. In general, the overall map layout really effected all the races. Saar basically had it's own "pocket" of space to work with, while Xxcha was forced to cover a lot of ground just to be near their opponents. Hacan could have been much more aggressive, and probably should have taken Mehar Xull and its neighbor, simply for positioning. Overall though, this VERY fast, low conflict game made it an easy win for Saar, who thrived when left to its own devices.

Thoughts on Saar

Having never played as them, and going into the game not really liking the race at all, I found I had to change my play style slightly to make them work. Their ability to move their Space Docks didn't play too much into this game, but the fact that they have a static Production rate regardless of the planet they are on is amazing. Not having to place their Space Docks on resource heavy planets really let me pick and choose where and when new units would be produces, instead of where it was most efficient. Also, gaining a Trade Good everytime they conquer a planet lets them build up very quickly when left alone. Overall, still not my favorite race, but a solid contender for a win everytime in my eyes.

Thoughts on Hacan

The only of the three races I have played before, I think I underestimated my opponent's abilities, especially the Saar. Hacan thrives on making money, and making others pay for letting them have it. Establishing Trade Contracts with other players early on is a priority, and being the player holding the Trade SC is even more important. Should be a first round pick everytime. I also tend to under utilize their "trade action card" ability. This can really com in handy, not only for leverage, but also negotiating. There is a reason these guys are one of the "Great Races" and they are always a solid pick for me. I'm actually very disappointed I didn't get the win for the Hacan.

Thoughts on Xxcha

BOOOOOOOO I say, BOOOOOOOO! I do not like these turtles one bit. Their abilities, although useful at times, are very lackluster in my opinion. Mid-game expansion is in my mind the place where they trully shine however. Even their racial ability allows to you shoot down the random Action Card that gets thrown at you by an opponent you are attacking. Getting them up and rolling early on is probably the key to victory with them. Being able to simultaneously use both the Primary and Secondary ability of Diplomacy makes it easy for them to bog down enemy fleets in precarious positions, and their nerf ability for first round combat helps slightly. The political side of this race falls flat for me however when combined with Assembly, and Assembly II. The council process is already so long now, that pulling a random card off the top of the Political Card Deck just makes things very chancy and tiring to me. Even when countering a Political Card that is clearly not in your favor, you still have pretty good odds of drawing another that will hurt you just as much. Some people might really like these guys for their "turtling" tactics (see what I did there?) but I will probably avoid this race from now on.
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Adam Mitchell
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Thanks for the Session Report! I especially liked the way the Xxcha stumbled across two separate Saar settler enclaves (very thematically appropriate for such a nomadic race!) and I was quite pleased to see the Clan win the game; they definitely are one of my favorite races, second only to the Ghosts of Creuss. I'm looking forward to your future Reports!

Two rules points I wanted to bring up, though: First, you said that the High Alert token was used to conquer Mirage, then used again the same turn for its movement bonus. The High Alert token only gives its combat and movement bonus to the force which takes the token with it that turn; thus there is no way it should have provided a movement bonus to two separate forces in the same turn.

Second, you wrote that "It was inevitable at this point actually, since neither Hacan or Xxcha could attack Saar's Home System and Saar already prequalifies for "I have 3 technology advances in the same color".

So what if the Hacan or Xxcha HAD been able to attack the Saar's Home System? The Clan certainly doesn't care; you're welcome to those tumbling rocks! This is a valuable racial ability of the Clan's, and shouldn't be overlooked.
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Derek Porter
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Very nice report, as usual. I really like what you're doing here.
I have to say that the Saar are always underrated around here, and their new racial tech gives them another underdog ability (see what I did there?) to give them an edge. They've done very well in our last few games.
The Xxcha are an odd race. The only race that starts slower than the turtles are the N'orr; maybe it's a thematic thing? There's no other race that needs so many Command Counters just to utilize their abilities, but the Xxcha are still a solid race. It seems like they really need to "play to their theme" engage in table talk and negotiate what they need with other players. I've done well with them in the past doing that, but haven't had a chance to run them since the Shards came in. They're on my list of must play races.
Can't wait to see the rest!
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Brian Petersen
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The High Alert Token can be used for movement multiple times. Place HAT in HS that contains 2 carriers. Move carrier out. It has 2+1 movement. If it leaves the HAT there, it won't have the +1 on combat rolls, but the fleet that remains in the HS will still be able to take advantage of the HAT. The +1 movement is from the HAT system. The +1 on combat rolls if at the HAT system.

I'm surprised that you allowed the Saar to pick Bureau or Assembly on the final round when they were at 8 VPs.

As far as Assembly goes, in my games, people tend to spend all their PCs as TGs, so most of the time for the Xxcha it's "The top one hurts me too much. Hopefully the next one does nothing."

Personally, I dislike all 3 of these races, since they require player cooperation to do great, and do terrible if the table teams up against them. I greatly prefer gunboat diplomacy and looking super spiky.
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JJ Belyeu
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Solan wrote:
Thanks for the Session Report! I especially liked the way the Xxcha stumbled across two separate Saar settler enclaves (very thematically appropriate for such a nomadic race!) and I was quite pleased to see the Clan win the game; they definitely are one of my favorite races, second only to the Ghosts of Creuss. I'm looking forward to your future Reports!

Two rules points I wanted to bring up, though: First, you said that the High Alert token was used to conquer Mirage, then used again the same turn for its movement bonus. The High Alert token only gives its combat and movement bonus to the force which takes the token with it that turn; thus there is no way it should have provided a movement bonus to two separate forces in the same turn.

Second, you wrote that "It was inevitable at this point actually, since neither Hacan or Xxcha could attack Saar's Home System and Saar already prequalifies for "I have 3 technology advances in the same color".

So what if the Hacan or Xxcha HAD been able to attack the Saar's Home System? The Clan certainly doesn't care; you're welcome to those tumbling rocks! This is a valuable racial ability of the Clan's, and shouldn't be overlooked.


As Brian pointed out, the High Alert Token specifies that any unit the STARTS it's movement in the same location as the High Alert Token, gets the extra movement, therefore, any unit moving out of its system still receives the +1 movement, but not the +1 to combat rolls unless they bring it with them.

On the other rule, yes you are correct and I overlooked that. I guess they had it in the bag as soon as they picked up Bureaucracy.
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Adam Mitchell
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Ah, so it was left in the Home System and so gave the movement bonus to everyone there. I get it now, thanks!

TomBoombs, I'm afraid I'm not understanding your last paragraph. How do the Saar require player cooperation to do great? Also, you wrote that these three races "do terrible if the table teams up against them." Doesn't ANY race in the game, even the mighty Yssaril, do terrible if the entire table teams up against them?


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