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Subject: How to deal with Shard hull, Flux shield, and Axion Computer? rss

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Mr. Octavius
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In our last game near the end we had the Orion player had on his cruisers Shard hull (3 hull), Flux Shield (-3), and Axion Computer (+3). He also had the 2 damage cannons. It was a 3 player game with Machenima and Planta and we were at a loss of how to deal with it. If I focused on Shields I would have little space on my cruisers for computers and would have no chance to overcome the -3 to hit. If I went with computers I'd need to use 2 slots just to get a +1, and be sitting ducks for his cannons, I don't think I would have enough time to blast through his hulls.
I opted for masses of improved hulls and hoped for good rolls but that didn't work out for me either.
Maybe the only option was to get a dreadnaught at each choke point, but even then I don't think it would last long against a couple of cruisers, even with support.

So, what would you suggest? Is this just a freak draw of discoveries? And even so, what build would you go for if faced with it?
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Hard to say without knowing his exact layout, but with what we're given, a single hit with an antimatter cannon would take them out.
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Alex Sorbello
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The computers give you initative advantage
The discovery one does not!
So you should be able to roll first and have the advantage.
One improved hull should work to absurd a couple of hits, however I would try to destroy as many as I could with adding weapons instead. Depending on power.

So one computer and as many weapons as you can, otherwise go defense. you fire first and try to destroy as much as you can. With a computer and several guns that should not be to hard,
If you destroy one before he fires that should give you enough of a edge.
Also consider using interceptors instead or a combo fleet.

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Nate
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Well, that is 6 victory points he is trading for those ships. Plus, he can only outfit it on one type. I think you need to either play defensively and set up starbases near him or just make more ships than him. You will not come out ahead, but you might not be 6 vp behind.
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Tim Seitz
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I would discover more. That is quite the the lucky tile draw for the Orion. Planta are the one who should have lots of good draws.
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Dan Moore
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You didn't say how fast his cruisers were. I got double lucky and had +3 computer -3 shield dreadnaughts against my average opponent. They were underpowered and slow, though; strategically his speedy things could have dashed past or around and taken systems away from me. Which, his capturing even a 3 point system, would be a six point shift; destroying even portions of my populations would cripple my production.




 
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Will Sanchez
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Shard hull isn't really that good, In most situations it's only equal in effect to Improved Hull. it still dies in 2 hits from plasma, or 1 hit from antimatter. Your best bet is to definitely hit first, using stronger weapons to counter the hull, and computers to give you initiative and accuracy will counter the shield and potentially get around the computer.

Planta would have more difficulty pulling this off because of their low innat initiative, but as Mechana, you should have an advantage since you ships will be cheaper. If you can nab a Tachyon Source, Fusion drive, 3x Positron Computer, and Antimatter Cannon you should have a good chance. Otherwise go for dreadnoughts to try to get a similar setup if you can't afford the high level weapons/power (2x Fusion Source, Fusion Drive, 3x Positron Computer, 2x Plasma Cannon).
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Mr. Octavius
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As I recall he researched a decent power source and had a good drive going as well. Seeing as the best computer I can research is +2 I'd need to devote two slots in order to hit on a 5. On a cruiser that would leave room for 2 weapons or a weapon and a hull. Maybe double missiles and retreat after the first round if anything manages to survive that long?
Interceptors weren't very useful as you can't overcome that -3, so best they can hope for is to hit on a 6.

It was 6vps he gave up, but he was able to dominate battles after that and I'm sure he ended more than 6vps ahead in tiles.
 
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Riku Riekkinen
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I think the more common problem is how to deal with Hegemony . As they can be fast in the center (Turn 2) and have at the point (start of turn 3) a huge fleet there. Usually the problem is more with the materials than with their discoveries.
 
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Jim Richardson

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Maebon wrote:
As I recall he researched a decent power source and had a good drive going as well. Seeing as the best computer I can research is +2


You mean in that particular game? Gluon computer is a researchable +3.

Maebon wrote:
It was 6vps he gave up, but he was able to dominate battles after that and I'm sure he ended more than 6vps ahead in tiles.


Orion have combat and that's about it, so I would hope that an Orion who gets lucky with amazing ship parts WOULD be dominant in combat. But in terms of that particular ship -- he got lucky draws, but a big disadvantage of his setup is he can't easily change it, since ancient parts can't be duplicated or transferred. He wouldn't have been able to adapt very easily to changes you made to your fleet. Missiles would be the best idea probably... alternately, a high-initiative fleet with antimatter cannon seems good to 1-hit his ships.

Riku Riekkinen wrote:
I think the more common problem is how to deal with Hegemony . As they can be fast in the center (Turn 2) and have at the point (start of turn 3) a huge fleet there. Usually the problem is more with the materials than with their discoveries.


Seems like a stretch to say they have a lock on the center by turn 2. At most they'd have what, 2 cruisers and an interceptor, and would pretty much require plasma cannons (or ion turret) to have good odds at winning it? Orion are forced into combat since it's their only strength. You complain about how to deal with them, others complain about when they fail and "how to come back from it." I don't see either as a problem. It just shows how their path is more fixed in the game.
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Riku Riekkinen
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ParticleMan wrote:
Riku Riekkinen wrote:
I think the more common problem is how to deal with Hegemony . As they can be fast in the center (Turn 2) and have at the point (start of turn 3) a huge fleet there. Usually the problem is more with the materials than with their discoveries.


Seems like a stretch to say they have a lock on the center by turn 2. At most they'd have what, 2 cruisers and an interceptor, and would pretty much require plasma cannons (or ion turret) to have good odds at winning it? Orion are forced into combat since it's their only strength. You complain about how to deal with them, others complain about when they fail and "how to come back from it." I don't see either as a problem. It just shows how their path is more fixed in the game.


The Hegemony quite often takes center at turn 2 (more often than not). The problem being the thing can almost be programmed (well it can with easy steps). If the others get Improved Hulls it delays to turn 3.

Slightly modified from my other post:

Riku Riekkinen wrote:
Hegemony is in my experience clearly the strongest race. There are three things I'm afraid at the start with Hegemony (In the screwness order).

1) I'm blocked out of the sector I
2) I don't get Improved Hull tech
3) The sector I you search has 2 ancients

Otherwise Hegemony is very, very likely to get center at turn 2 (and that has happened in at least 6 last games Hegemony has been in).

Turn 1:
0) Research Improved Hull
-1) Explore Sector I
-2) Upgrade Improved Hull to Cruiser & Dreadnaught replacing power sources
-3) Move Cruiser to Sector I
-5) (this goes to Sector I control)

Turn 2:
-1) Build Dreadnaught to Sector I
-2) Move Dreadnaught & Cruiser to center
-3) Upgrade Dreadnaughts hulls with improved hulls
-5) (this goes to Center control)

Now Galaxy Center has 2 whites, so putting them into money will give you 4. Since Sector I always gives you money or science, you won't have to give up any discs by trading 4 science... sometimes its still better to let.

Actually that was against one ancient sector I... Without:
Turn 1:
0) Research Improved Hull
-1) Explore Sector I
-2 (this goes to sector I control)
-3) Upgrade Improved Hull Dreadnaught replacing power source, Nuclear Engine to Cruiser replacing Hull
-5) Upgrade Dreadnaughts hulls with improved hulls


Turn 2:
-1) Build Dreadnaught to Sector I
-2) Move Dreadnaught & Cruiser to center
-3) Upgrade Cruiser with Improved Hulls (replacing One engine & Power)
-5) (this goes to Center control)
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Riku Riekkinen
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Oh right...blush he said at the end... then I don't see what is so hard in those discoveries. At the beginning when Orion has material advantage, a single discovery (Ion Turret, Axion Computer, Cruser, Materials) can be fatal to enemies with low number of players.
 
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Jim Richardson

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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
The Hegemony quite often takes center at turn 2 (more often than not). The problem being the thing can almost be programmed (well it can with easy steps). If the others get Improved Hulls it delays to turn 3.


Any program can be defeated. If the Orions insist on rushing the center and putting all of their resources there, what happens if someone knows that and goes for neutron bombs, sending interceptors into the Orions' other hexes? Then the Orions will have only the center hex.

The improved hull strategy along with (5+3) materials for T2 dreadnought sounds good, but it depends on getting the improved hull. I'll have to modify my odds program to roll against GCDS to see what the actual numbers are. I'm guessing over 85% though.
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Riku Riekkinen
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ParticleMan wrote:
Any program can be defeated. If the Orions insist on rushing the center and putting all of their resources there, what happens if someone knows that and goes for neutron bombs, sending interceptors into the Orions' other hexes? Then the Orions will have only the center hex.


Yes. We too have come to a conclusion that the best you can do against Hegemony is to make routes to its territory. While at first that sounds suicidal, unless you do it the Hegemony will anyway have an access through the center. Also as noted by previous poster the low energy Hegemony ships are generally very slow. So allowing Hegemony to defend only the center hex, is not a very good thing.

That can must of course be carefully done or you'll be eliminated. Its also not so bad for Hegemony as they still get the production and in addition the extra money because of the lost disks, so they effectively have an extra action next turn.
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Markus
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Well, I'd either:

1) Avoid fighting him.

2) Use a combination of anti-matter cannons and high initiative.
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Wim van Gruisen
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One strategy (depending on economics) might be to try and pin the enemy fleet with swarms of cheap interceptors before it moves. This might work especially for the Mechanema, who can build them more cheaply.
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Timo Hohkala
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Maebon wrote:
In our last game near the end we had the Orion player had on his cruisers Shard hull (3 hull), Flux Shield (-3), and Axion Computer (+3). He also had the 2 damage cannons. It was a 3 player game with Machenima and Planta and we were at a loss of how to deal with it. If I focused on Shields I would have little space on my cruisers for computers and would have no chance to overcome the -3 to hit. If I went with computers I'd need to use 2 slots just to get a +1, and be sitting ducks for his cannons, I don't think I would have enough time to blast through his hulls.
I opted for masses of improved hulls and hoped for good rolls but that didn't work out for me either.
Maybe the only option was to get a dreadnaught at each choke point, but even then I don't think it would last long against a couple of cruisers, even with support.

So, what would you suggest? Is this just a freak draw of discoveries? And even so, what build would you go for if faced with it?


With both comps and shields going for him, It would've been best to go for +3 computers (if available) or slap three +2 comps (requires space, but you need to hit.

His axion comp doesn't provide any iniative, so you get to shoot first. I would go for plasma missiles if able, plasma/antimatter cannons otherwise.

The shard hull is just normal improved hull when it comes to the 2 and 4 damage weapons, it's the combination of goos shield and good comp that poses the bigger problem.
 
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Antti Autio
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The first thing of course is trying to avoid fighting them altogether. Staying out of the way of his main fleet and hitting him where it hurts is probably the best, if you have the possibility to do so.

If have to face them.. The obvious defensive solution would be Plasma Missile Starbases, but of course that's assuming you have access and resources to get those techs. Offense is more tricky, but Missile Cruisers backed up with Hull-heave Dreadnoughts might be enough to carry the day.

As pointed out, Axion Computer grants no Initiative, so trying to get first strike is something you could do (easier said than done against Hegemony, but I digress..). If you can't get enough computers to get past his shields, just forgo them completely and just try to get as many dice to roll as possible.

Finally, a Shard Hull Cruiser will drop from a single hit from an Antimatter Cannon, but granted, you're not going to be able to field too many of those and if you only hit on 6's your odds of getting them all before they get you are not too stellar.
 
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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Sometimes, it helped me to build 2 dreadnoughts and apply 4x plasma missiles on them.
This give you the first roll (except if he has missiles too) with a massive amount of dice.
Each hit on a 6 dealing 2 damage.
But yeah, it's still dice and you're actually creating some kind of suicide-squad.
But it's fun to operate those kamikazes. :-)
 
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adebisi
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The best way to counter shields is to roll more dice. Double the number of dice ane you double your chances.
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Jason Cawley
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He has shields so don't bother with any computers at all - just use the "6 always hits" effect. This blanks his shields, effectively reducing his slots available.

He has 2 damage weapons so one option is to just not bother with hull or size, just use interceptors. His weapons are back to doing 1 hit each and you've halved his firepower.

Next you have to see whether a drive plus the interceptor hull can give you initiative. You can then either go for first shot or for surviving his shots. For surviving his shots, you can match his computing with shielding; if you can't (e.g. if a -2 shield the best you can manage), you can still shield to leave his hit chances at 5-6 only, and then use an antimatter cannon to kill with each of your own hits - or instead use plasma missiles to fire first and restrict him to a single reply shot. It will take 2 of those missiles hitting to kill one ship, but you could mount 2 launchers per interceptor with only a drive in addition - that is 4 shots per interceptor each needing a 6 to hit.

You could also go defensive with large ships, a -2 shield plus your own armor (2 improved hull e.g., so he needs 3 hits to kill one of your ships, and he is hitting only on a 5-6), plus antimatter cannons so each of your rolls of 6 kills one of his ships. That method he needs 9 shots per killed ship on average to your needing 6.

There is always a tech that will help, but if you have nothing (no antimatter, no missiles, worse yet no -2 shield even) then you options dwindle, as they should. A balanced higher tech design should be able to beat a lower tech one without anything advanced to build around.
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Michael Evans
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Lots of interceptors with Tachyon Source and 2 Antimatter Cannons. Roll as many dice as you can... any roll of 6 is a dead Dread!
 
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Allan Clements
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Get plasma missiles and gluon computers.
 
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Michael Evans
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Kamakaze wrote:
Get plasma missiles and gluon computers.

That's kind of the answer to every problem, isn't it? whistle (Don't flame me, game purists! I'm joking, I'm joking!)
 
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stephen biggs
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Mike_Evans wrote:
Kamakaze wrote:
Get plasma missiles and gluon computers.

That's kind of the answer to every problem, isn't it? whistle (Don't flame me, game purists! I'm joking, I'm joking!)

Not the only answer, placing explored hexes so that you can only connect with wormhole tech. And be the first the research that is a viable alternative.
I've built dreadnoughts with 3*speed-3 drives (mainly to get an abusive amount of initiative) With the wormhole tech those can move almost anywhere on the map in one action.
 
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