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Subject: What is a development strategy? rss

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Greg Todd
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Hi
[I play mostly 3-player RFTG, mostly against the AI, mostly base game + Gathering Storm.]
I'm no expert, but I've got a resonable grasp of military and produce/consume stategies, but I can't for the life of me get a development strategy to work.

Here's my development strategy plan:

Step 1: get down some development discouts, eg Investment Credits and Interstella Bank

Step 2: The ususal windfall trade for more cards.

Step 3: play lots of small developments. occasional trades for more cards.

Step 4: play a few 6 cost devs, hoping for Galacic Federation.

Step 5: lose.
(by a LOT if I didn't play GF, but still lose even if I did)

The problem is that small devs score very few VPs and 6-cost devs mainly score points for worlds, which I don't have many of, so they also score badly. ie I can play developments cheaply, but they don't score enough to win, so it doesn't help.

My attempts at a Development strategy have been some of my most crushing defeats.

What am I doing wrong?

 
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Chun Ping
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why do you even restrict yourself in playing only dev? you are taking things too literally and too narrowly, hence the lost.

In any strategy in RftG, you still have to adapt to other players AND the cards you draw. It's a tactical game where there's no way you can dictate your strategy at the on set. If you do that, even with military strategy, you are doomed to lose.

That say, when the situation comes that warrant the pursuit of dev strategy (usually with the most dev goal and first 6 cost dev goal), you are trying to get high quality dev such as interstellar bank, Public works, overlapping 6 cost dev and complementary worlds. it all depends on the 6 cost that you get. if you get a few terraforming dev, go for the bonus world there. mostly they will overlap. also, you should have a easy time leeching other player phase. Robots makes settling cheaper that helps power out some production/windfall world.

just try to reevaluate your game plan every turn. there's no fixed path in RftG, the cards you draw pretty much dictates what you should play.

hope this helps
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Brian Bankler
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If you are playing just the base game, you'll want galactic federation to really score points. If you don't have that, then you are basically hoping that you'll get a full tableau worth ~2 points per card and that nobody else will get a good six development.

Once you've got a develop discount or two (if you don't have GalFed) then start exploring. If anyone else calls develop, no problem. If they call settle, you can drop a good world. If they don't, you keep hunting. After a few worlds, most of the six devs will be worth a decent amount of points, and you can switch back to develop.

This will fail if someone else has built up a good consumption engine, but if not it's solid.
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Serge Levert
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luckyjim wrote:
Hi
[I play mostly 3-player RFTG, mostly against the AI, mostly base game + Gathering Storm.]
[...]
What am I doing wrong?

Sounds like you're doing nothing wrong, except perhaps trying too hard to do a dev strat as cpf86 hinted at. There's really not much of a dev strat pre-Rebel vs Imperium. If you get a string of insane cards you can pull it off, but it's exceedingly rare.

BTW another key card for winning with dev strat pre-RvI, besides Investment Credits/Public Works/Interstellar Bank and the obvious Galactic Federation, is New Economy. Keep an eye out for it. You really need both GF and NE though, to have a shot against typical base game engine tableaus.
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Philip R
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Just like every other strategy, the cards have to come together a little to make it work. Galactic Developers start world + Interstellar Bank in your start hand is a great way to begin. With Galactic Developers + Pan Galactic Research, if you're lucky one of your opponents will take explore on the first turn, you can drop this 6 dev on round 1!

If you can draw two cards on develop, you pretty much want to take develop 85-100% of the time. Even if you're blindly developing (ie nothing to develop in hand), it can be worth taking as hopefully you'll still be 2 cards up on your opponents and it will be unlikely that they will take advantage of all your develop actions if you take it every turn.

Part of the reason you want to take develop all the time is to build out to 12 and end the game before any opponents can build a produce/consume engine or trade enough to start developing and settling big military. If you can, you'll want to add some settle powers so that you don't miss any of your opponents settles. If you can develop any cards that add additional card draw on actions, especially ones that your opponents are focusing on, you should have a good chance at racing to victory.
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Gene
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Here's a snapshot from a game that I decided to go heavy with developments. It turned out some nice combos for big points.
 
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Henry Allen
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A development strategy is much more viable with the 2nd and/or 3rd expansion in play due to the additional cards they have that support such a strategy. Also, as mentioned, it is stronger when it aligns with the goals. And of course, your start hand and what the other players are doing effects how well it can work.

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Matt N

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You're not going to win in the base set/tGS with a develop strategy unless you have a synergizing 6 cost and cardflow. Otherwise, you really just need a hybrid strategy. Keep in mind that dev bonus cards are useful for every strategy, particularly G-Fed and public works (an incredible card for its cost in the base set and tGS); running produce/trade or produce/consume and forcing your opponent to develop into your G-Fed is very cruel.

That being said, you can get some embarrasingly low-scoring wins by having both interstellar bank and public works early and really pushing the develop phase.
 
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Greg Todd
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Quote:
That being said, you can get some embarrasingly low-scoring wins by having both interstellar bank and public works early and really pushing the develop phase.


Well so far I've had some embarrasingly low-scoring losses doing that.

Thanks for all the replies.

I think I was confused cos some posts on here talk about development like it's a major strategy and I thought I was missing something, but it seems not. I guess it's more of a conditional thing if the right cards come together - which is true aout a lot of games of Race.

The only other question is, given the above, aren't Investment Credits and Public Works quite risky to play early, given that you'll be unlikely to make use of them? They seem to be considered generally good cards, but if a Development Strat is unlikely to happen, doesn't this make them fairly weak?
 
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Chris Berger
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luckyjim wrote:
The only other question is, given the above, aren't Investment Credits and Public Works quite risky to play early, given that you'll be unlikely to make use of them? They seem to be considered generally good cards, but if a Development Strat is unlikely to happen, doesn't this make them fairly weak?


What? Just because you're not playing strictly developments doesn't mean you don't want to play a card during most II phases. I guess I don't understand the reasoning behind that question...
 
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Noble Knave
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luckyjim wrote:


The only other question is, given the above, aren't Investment Credits and Public Works quite risky to play early, given that you'll be unlikely to make use of them? They seem to be considered generally good cards, but if a Development Strat is unlikely to happen, doesn't this make them fairly weak?


Since they're both cheap and will be useful the entire game, it's well worth placing either one early to reap the benefits the entire rest of the game. Being able to plop the 6-cost you need for your strategy for 5 cards on someone else's Develop call (or 4 cards on your own) can be incredibly powerful, as is the rebate you get from Public Works (and the Consume power is very handy if you're lacking those).

If you're playing with RvI, the Galactic Salon as one of your first developments will make a lot of points each time one of your opponents trades in the early game, and then can combo with several 6-cost devs for nice bonuses.
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Serge Levert
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luckyjim wrote:
The only other question is, given the above, aren't Investment Credits and Public Works quite risky to play early, given that you'll be unlikely to make use of them? They seem to be considered generally good cards, but if a Development Strat is unlikely to happen, doesn't this make them fairly weak?

See this:
Stunna wrote:
Keep in mind that dev bonus cards are useful for every strategy


There's no risk at all playing an early IC/PuW in the base game/TGS. The earlier the better, because that means you save more cards in the long run, and/or get more rebates for the developments you play.

Basically, every tableau will play developments and worlds. That doesn't mean that they are playing a development strategy or a world strategy if they have more of one than the other. Developments of all sorts are very useful in all tableaus.
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thenobleknave wrote:
If you're playing with RvI, the Galactic Salon as one of your first developments will make a lot of points each time one of your opponents trades in the early game, and then can combo with several 6-cost devs for nice bonuses.
Like building a 6-cost too early, just make sure you don't blow your whole hand getting Galactic Salon in. Somebody played GS at beginning for the Galactic Standard Of Living first goal, but regreted it since it slowed him down for the rest of the game.



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Piper Jackson
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It's important to take advantage of the abilities your devs give you. Don't just play them for points. For example, along with the devs that give you abilities in the dev phase (IC, IB, etc.), it is really easy to throw down some devs that give you military power. That way you can play military worlds for free whenever your opponents decide to settle.
 
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