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Subject: Is Research Essential? rss

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Alex Brown
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...or more to the point, are 3-cost techs essential?

I've seen players win without them, but they don't lead to very interesting games.

I definitely think you can have too many 3-cost techs, but under what conditions can you avoid them altogether?

So far I'm loving the game, but I've found the tech race to be non-negotiable.
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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Since every Level 3 technology gives you also 5 VPs you should always take it, if possible.
And in addition, all give you a considerable benefit - not in all situations, but in most.

Yes, racing for technologies is an important aspect of the game in my opinion.
 
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Alex Brown
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I should have been more specific, techs costing 3-research icons.

Sorry for the confusion.
 
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Kenny VenOsdel
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Level 3 Research is not essential but I am a firm believer that at least some research is. The only way I could see you avoid them altogether would be flipping a few planets and then just produce and trade back and forth ditching your research cards after you clean out the colony and survey cards. Even then though you will be more effecient doing these things with a few tech cards handy.
 
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Alex Brown
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Alex Brown wrote:
I should have been more specific, techs costing 3-research icons.

Sorry for the confusion.


 
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mfl134
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Alex Brown wrote:
...or more to the point, are 3-cost techs essential?

I've seen players win without them, but they don't lead to very interesting games.

I definitely think you can have too many 3-cost techs, but under what conditions can you avoid them altogether?

So far I'm loving the game, but I've found the tech race to be non-negotiable.


I usually like to grab a Improved Research (+ an Improved Colonize if I am going that route). Other than that, I try to make it so that I get to the Level 2 and Level 3 techs as quickly as possible.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Alex Brown wrote:
...or more to the point, are 3-cost techs essential?

I've seen players win without them, but they don't lead to very interesting games.

I definitely think you can have too many 3-cost techs, but under what conditions can you avoid them altogether?

So far I'm loving the game, but I've found the tech race to be non-negotiable.

For those interested, my intent was that players would generally get at least 1 or 2 Level 1 (3-cost) techs to support their chosen strategy for the game, but whether they pursue more than that (investing more into Research) is not essential unless they want to.

I don't think you necessarily NEED to get any Level 1 tech, but as those cards are better than the regular ones, I figured players would want at least 1 or 2.
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sedjtroll wrote:
Alex Brown wrote:
I definitely think you can have too many 3-cost techs, but under what conditions can you avoid them altogether?

For those interested, my intent was that players would generally get at least 1 or 2 Level 1 (3-cost) techs to support their chosen strategy for the game, but whether they pursue more than that (investing more into Research) is not essential unless they want to.

I don't think you necessarily NEED to get any Level 1 tech, but as those cards are better than the regular ones, I figured players would want at least 1 or 2.


This is what I have found. I don't think it makes sense to avoid research altogether. You already have 2 basic role cards for research, so once you get a planet, you just need to lead research as your role.
 
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Paul Beakley
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Has anyone run the math on the average speed of VP acquisition via colonize, warfare, produce/trade and research?

It seems to me that research is *mostly* there to facilitate one of the other methods. However, and this is probably just observational bias, I have seriously good luck going for Advanced worlds + research, snaking up Data Network, and grabbing Adaptability as quickly as possible. Not only is it worth 5vp on its own, I can typically drill my deck down to nothing but Research cards (and data network of course :-)) and follow everyone all the time. Very strong setup, wins 4 of every 5 games for me. At least that's how I remember it!
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My Turn Yet?
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I think they are Essential. They provide a boost for your given strategy, extra icons and a multitude of options for game direction.

That being said, I think that having more than 3-ish in your deck can seriously impede your game, mainly to due to the fact that they are only actions, and worth 0 points.

I think that this would be different if they were worth 1 point, but not by much. The level one cards should be used just to enhance your deck, but shouldn't be a focus.
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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I find it important to me. For example, I tend to not ever pick the colonize role so to not deplete the deck. Another reason being is that, I know other players will pick colonize as a role heavily. So most of the time I research heavily cuz I rely on the symbols you get on the tech cards.

We played a 4-players game last night, and the end game was triggered when we ran out of VPs. Most player researched heavily.
 
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Bob Henry
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sedjtroll wrote:

For those interested, my intent was that players would generally get at least 1 or 2 Level 1 (3-cost) techs to support their chosen strategy for the game, but whether they pursue more than that (investing more into Research) is not essential unless they want to.

I don't think you necessarily NEED to get any Level 1 tech, but as those cards are better than the regular ones, I figured players would want at least 1 or 2.



Well, I think you accomplished your intent on this one thumbsup

That's the way we typically play it.
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Bob Henry
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PBeakley wrote:
Has anyone run the math on the average speed of VP acquisition via colonize, warfare, produce/trade and research?

It seems to me that research is *mostly* there to facilitate one of the other methods. However, and this is probably just observational bias, I have seriously good luck going for Advanced worlds + research, snaking up Data Network, and grabbing Adaptability as quickly as possible. Not only is it worth 5vp on its own, I can typically drill my deck down to nothing but Research cards (and data network of course :-)) and follow everyone all the time. Very strong setup, wins 4 of every 5 games for me. At least that's how I remember it!


Interesting question on the speed of getting VP under different strategies. I have not run the numbers, but my observation so far is tending in favor of the produce/trade path so far. Of course it depends on the other players and what paths / roles they take.

Similarly, your Research path is dependent on getting a shot at Advanced planets early & often I'd guess.

EmDo seems to me to be one of those where players need to be flexible on strategy as it depends on the other players, and a bit on the planets that you get early.

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Eric Taylor
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To answer the OP: no. Time spent researching is time you could have spent colonizing or conquering or truly revving up your produce/trade engine. Sometimes it is worth it to go for researching the "improved X" technologies, but it's not absolutely worth it and can slow down your deck otherwise. This is especially true if you're trying to win quickly, as it often takes a while for technology cards to pay off.

When we first started playing Eminent Domain, we found the Research role cards ran out quickly as everyone wanted to grab the fancy Technology cards because they were better (if sometimes only a bit) than the basic role cards. As we've gained a deeper appreciation of the game, the race for Research has become less intense, and some players bow out entirely. The starting Research role cards are still useful in that they let you prune your deck as you go, of course, and it's often worthwhile to keep at least one of them on hand.

By the end game (at least I've found, and it sounds like there is fairly broad agreement on this), most players have an engine running based on two roles that compliment one another. This could be the relatively straightforward "burn deck" or Survey/Warfare, it could be Colonize/Produce&Trade, it could be Research/Produce&Trade, etc. Pursuing Research as a primary role can be quite useful - many of the Technology cards, especially the tier 2 and tier 3 ones, can be quite powerful. I've seen several players fall into the "trap" of trying to focus on Research as a tertiary strategy because they like being able to snap up the occasional tier 1 technology. As a general rule, if you feel your strategy will be greatly aided by an Improved X card, you should try to snag a few tier 1 Technology cards early in the game when following is relatively rare (due to the 3-card requirement) and your role choice doesn't aid your opponents much. The mistake I see a lot of people making is continuing to pursue this "tepid Research" strategy into the late game by either calling Research to grab a lowly tier 1 or possibly tier 2 technology card when the REAL research players are following to grab the big important technology cards. One can wait for the research player(s) to call the role, but that relies on keeping 3 research symbols worth of cards/icons available, which often chews up valuable hand space that could have been going towards your primary objective all on hoping someone else decides to help you get a card you are unlikely to see with much regularity before the end of the game. Wouldn't that hand space have been better served on your primary engine cards that will help you win?

I guess in short, my advice is that if Research is not going to be your primary strategy, feel free to grab a few tier 1 technology cards in the early game. Some players (including myself) will make the early-game decision that they're not willing to suffer the deck-bloat to pursue Research as a side strategy, even in the early game, and will pursue a strategy using no Technology cards at all. Try it some time with a Produce/Trade endgame - just keep calling Survey in the early game (with Colonize or Warfare interspersed when your hand gets full of them) to increase your explored worlds until you have about 5 resource "slots" possible, Colonize/Conquer like crazy after that while syphoning out your Surveys, then shift gear into Produce/Trade while getting rid of your Colonize/Warfare cards. If done correctly, you'll be gaining a large planet head start on the research players (who can't follow nearly so often as their hands are being used to keep/hold research cards), and then by the time you're running your victory point engine up to the finish line, the primary Research strategy players are just getting their pants on.
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Alex Brown
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Thanks for the post Eric.

You still seem to advocate that some Level 1 technologies are necessary. This is something I agree with. I am interested to know if people think that there is a consistent situation where even forsaking Level 1s is appropriate.

I don't think there is.
 
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Eric Taylor
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Alex Brown wrote:
Thanks for the post Eric.

You still seem to advocate that some Level 1 technologies are necessary. This is something I agree with. I am interested to know if people think that there is a consistent situation where even forsaking Level 1s is appropriate.

I don't think there is.


You're welcome, but I think you misunderstood me a little bit. In some circumstances, it can be worth picking up a few level 1s (I'd say this is particularly true for Improved Colonize with a colonization-heavy strategy, or Improved Research if you're planning on doing a huge U-turn in the late game on what roles you wish to call). There are several circumstances in which I'd recommend NOT going for research at all - it can be worth keeping a research card or two to pitch cards you no longer need (using it as an action), but not going for picking up technology cards at all. Unless I'm going Research as a primary objective, I often find myself ignoring Research entirely so I can get my strategy rolling faster.
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Snipafist wrote:
The mistake I see a lot of people making is continuing to pursue this "tepid Research" strategy into the late game by either calling Research to grab a lowly tier 1 or possibly tier 2 technology card when the REAL research players are following to grab the big important technology cards. One can wait for the research player(s) to call the role, but that relies on keeping 3 research symbols worth of cards/icons available, which often chews up valuable hand space that could have been going towards your primary objective all on hoping someone else decides to help you get a card you are unlikely to see with much regularity before the end of the game. Wouldn't that hand space have been better served on your primary engine cards that will help you win?


The real issue here is that level 1 cards don't give you any points. So it may be reasonable to follow research if you're need more of a specific symbol, but choosing a role that doesn't give you any points (and allows your opponents to get 2 or more points) is rarely a good move.
 
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