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Subject: Faster ships make for a faster victory rss

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Ocean Druen
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The third game against my wife we decided to keep the scenario we played the previous two times, two-player medium sized map. I randomly distributed the deep space chits and made sure we had at least two alien planets, two space wrecks, and a supernova (never hit a supernova space before. We played without warp points and doomsday machines.

Building up the Economy

My immediate surrounding planets had some habitable planets and a barren planet. I found very few minerals. During my first phase I build an additional miner and some additional colony ships. My opponent followed suit. After three phases we had explored most of our local space. My opponent built additional scout ships on subsequent phases and decided on researching hull size, attack and defense. Her local systems had a large distribution of habitable planets throughout. My system had a line of habitable planets from my homeworld to deep space. There was a cluster of three planets on the far map edge. My scientists focused on researching movement technology while my industrial centers produced a colony ship a phase.

Exploration

I sent my first three scout ships into deep space and discovered two alien planets, a mineral 10, space hulk and a danger which wiped out my fleet. I continued to collect resources and started to build a pipeline connecting the planets in my immediate vicinity. My opponent sent out scout ships and a cruiser with exploration technology to deep space while finishing colonization. Her scout ships found three more additional alien planets, but she also found several minerals. My scientists focused on engine technology and I was able to maximize this technology by phase six with the help of abandoned alien technology. I didn’t have any additional combat ships and there were two colony ships that will not arrive to their destination until next phase. On phase seven I landed my final colony ships and built some decoys, another scout, and researched cloaking. My opponent continued to research hull size and mines.

First Contact

My opponent started to move ships to the likely avenue of attack (these were mines). I built my first raider (named is the Cassandra after my opponent!!) and started to move her one space at a time towards deep space. There were still no avenues of approach without unexplored markers yet. I caught a break when one of my opponents scout ships hit a "Lost in Space" marker; I moved it to a space that would open up an avenue of attack. This is dubbed the "Eastern Corridor".

Meanwhile my scout found a second avenue of attack and I named it the "Western Corridor". I continued to move my raider slowly up the Eastern Corridor. My scientists then researched fighters and then built a carrier with a full stock of fighters. This made the initial move towards the Western corridor.

The Cassandra finally found herself within two turns away from my opponent’s furthest colony. There was only one ship blocking me. The ship then put on the jets moving through her single ship which did not have the ability to detect a cloaked ship. I went in orbit around her recently landed colony ship. My carrier fleet moved up the Western Corridor and encountered her cruiser and two scouts, all which were obliterated by my fighters.

My scientists researched terraforming and improved fighters. I started to build a forward operating base and production facilities next to an alien planet.

Defense & Counterattack

For two phases the Cassandra bombarded the planet without effect. Meanwhile my carrier wiped out two colonies. My opponent built a new fleet that started moving towards the Cassandra. Two other fleets started their move towards my carrier. My ships hightailed it out (my raider did not do any damage to the colony). By now I had researched attack 1, and was up to heavy fighters. I built a second carrier fleet at my forward base with several mines that I used to block all avenues of attack.

The Cassandra returned to receive new technology (attack) while my veteran carrier fleet attacked a nearby homeworld on their return. The carrier retreated after the fighters were destroyed, my second carrier fleet wiped out the aliens and a new colony ship took over their planet.

My opponent started moving her fleets up. One hit a mine field which destroyed two battleships and a Battle Cruiser, but left a cruiser and a Destroyer. Surrounded by an alien planet and two black holes I immediately moved some nearby mines to cut off the survivor’s escape. I started to move mines and decoys up to block any attack. It worked. My opponent researched sweepers and started to move them up, but it was too late.

Victory

The Cassandra went back in action and avoided enemy fleets and (moving through an alien planet) struck back at the colony that survived its first attack. Better success this time. A new carrier fleet moved up the Western Corridor with sweepers to wipe away the mines. The carrier destroyed the two reestablished colonies. Meanwhile another monster fleet with two carriers, six heavy fighters, and three sweepers moved up the center to just threaten her fleets there, if they split up or moved away this fleet could then defeat the remnants and move to the core systems. She surrendered. Although she could have turtled but I had done enough infrastructure damage to result in a slow death.

Conclusions

My goal was to research movement, then raiders, then carriers. I did not have any research in hull size and at the end of the game I could only build scouts, fighters (carriers), raiders, and sweepers (and mines). A very specialized force but surprise caught my opponent off guard. I moved my ships slowly until it was time to strike.

My wife had built an impressive fleet with several dreadnoughts, destroyers, and battleships (with attack and defense) but I just did not engage them. Movement threatened her entire side of the board. I was able to take out civilian ships wherever they popped up. Overall there were only four combats in the game (not including hitting mines or initial alien contact), and two of those was me attacking aliens. Having high movement allowed me to attack her and use the entire map to maneuver away from where she may attack me.

I’m sure that this would not work well with a smaller map or the four player map. First contact comes much quicker in these games which would not afford the time to research movement enough. I barely explored deep space, and my opponent was coming from one direction and it took her enough phases to get through for me to prepare for an immediate attack. If she concentrated more on breaking through for an early attack I do not think my plan would have worked, having her habitable planets spread out delayed this somewhat as she focused on colonizing those planets longer than she should have.

Our previous games we only spent some research in movement and there wasn’t such a large disparity in this technology. We were both surprised how effective this worked. Not only does it allow for better hit and run tactics, it also brings newly developed technology to the front faster increasing the surprises that you can surprise you opponent.

We still did not hit the supernova tile.
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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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Good stuff. It is easy to devalue movement, but a fast fleet is dangerous.
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Andrew Young
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In my only playing of the game I thought speed would be a great weapon. So, I invested in it.

However, it seems that the specific game situation can govern one's technology pursuits. I like that.

devil
 
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David Debien
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DarkTori wrote:
I sent my first three scout ships into deep space and discovered two alien planets, a mineral 10, space hulk and a danger which wiped out my fleet.


All of your scouts were exploring in a combined stack? Is that how you lost all of them with one Danger chit? I never combine my scouts unless its to gang up on a carrier once I have point defense.
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Ocean Druen
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Quote:
All of your scouts were exploring in a combined stack? Is that how you lost all of them with one Danger chit? I never combine my scouts unless its to gang up on a carrier once I have point defense.


No, lost to the 2 alien planets and the danger. I didn't get beyond the first row of deep space until my wife broke through with the lost in space chit later in the game.
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casualgod wrote:
DarkTori wrote:
I sent my first three scout ships into deep space and discovered two alien planets, a mineral 10, space hulk and a danger which wiped out my fleet.


All of your scouts were exploring in a combined stack? Is that how you lost all of them with one Danger chit? I never combine my scouts unless its to gang up on a carrier once I have point defense.


No, the way I read it...

2 Alien Planets and 1 Danger is how he lost three scouts... not that he had them all together.

BOb
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David Debien
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pilotbob wrote:
casualgod wrote:
DarkTori wrote:
I sent my first three scout ships into deep space and discovered two alien planets, a mineral 10, space hulk and a danger which wiped out my fleet.


All of your scouts were exploring in a combined stack? Is that how you lost all of them with one Danger chit? I never combine my scouts unless its to gang up on a carrier once I have point defense.


No, the way I read it...

2 Alien Planets and 1 Danger is how he lost three scouts... not that he had them all together.

BOb


Of course. For some reason that was not computing.
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Dan Conley
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How long are your games on average? The potential game length has kept me (so far) from picking this one up...
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David Debien
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Once both players know the rules, a 1v1 can be completed in under 3 hours. I have completed a couple in 2 hours or less.
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Ocean Druen
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yosemite wrote:
How long are your games on average? The potential game length has kept me (so far) from picking this one up...


This game was under two hours, on average a 1 v 1 game should be three hours are less once the parties know the rules.
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Dan Conley
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Thanks, guys! I AM intrigued, that's for sure! We often have 4 players for our games. I assume that the time could nearly double with four?!?
 
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M C
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Well, I should note that if time is a big factor Jim has released official variants that will speed up the game.

In my experience 4 player with new players runs 5-6 hours. I think that could drop to 4-5 with experience. Also the way you organize your counters effects play time, as I found out.
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Playing time also depends much on the players. If you agonize over your Eco buys you could extend the game. Most of the time in this game to me is taken in:

1. Eco phases, deciding on what tech/ships to build. Also, I've found many people can't do basic math in their head very quickly.

2. Battles... with big fleets there can be much die rolling. Also, if you forget what your hit number is each round... well I can never remember.

There is most opportunity to reduce 1 by having a "just do it" attitude. Also, perhaps providing a basic calculator for those math challenged people could speed up eco phase.

Also, do movement simultaneously until you know there will be conflict, especially with 4 players. Of course, some people like to see what others are doing.

BOb
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M C
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pilotbob wrote:
I've found many people can't do basic math in their head very quickly.



In addition to being spot on about attitude effecting play time, Bob brings up another point. My second game I used a calculator. Consequently, I finished my eco turns in half the time. If you want to speed up the game hand out cheapo calculators.
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Michael Matecha
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Also be aware that PERCEIVED playtime is about half of actual.

I always end games satisfied with time spent vs enjoyment gained.
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Michael Matecha
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Also be aware that PERCEIVED playtime is about half of actual.

I always end games satisfied with time spent vs enjoyment gained.
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Guido Gloor
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The statement above is correct.
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Fallow wrote:
Also be aware that PERCEIVED playtime is about half of actual.

I always end games satisfied with time spent vs enjoyment gained.

Is that true for actual number of posts versus perceived number of posts?
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Dan Conley
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Thanks for the responses, everyone! Looks like a really good game!!!
 
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