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Subject: Terran vs Xenos - Decided on the last card rss

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Ray Greenley
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I played my second full game against my brother, who was new to the game. We played one basic game and then dove into the full game. He picked the Xenos and I decided to try the Terrans.

For my starting cards I decided to go with the basic Barracks and Factory choices, but planning to play the Factory for the Mobile AA instead of the Tanks. I'm not sure which cards the Xenos started with.

Early on I put down my Barracks for the Troopers, the Factory for the Mobile AA, and I started building towards another Worker on my base mat. I also started a resource pile in anticipation of getting a power plant of some type. I put down an Airport for Heavy Bombers and Automation with the intent of reducing their resource cost. During this early buildup I did scan the Xenos base and saw a fair amount of infantry (Skitters and Soldiers) and an armor (the huge Guardian). Based on this I decided to invest in cluster bomb unit tech for a +2 against infantry, with the intent of playing on my Troopers.

If that sounds like a lot of slow buildup, you're right. Very early on my opponent did an attack to claim the frontier, not showing a whole lot but moving four eggs up into Larva. This made me a bit nervous since I had been playing pretty thin so far and wasn't really prepared for an attack. I did manage to draw a Fusion Plant to fill my energy needs and I put out a Pumped Laser to protect myself from his Guardian, but I only got one resource on it before the inevitable attack came.

I was really not prepared for this attack. I was able to equip my Heavy Bombers with Automation and Troopers with Clusterbombs as I had planned, but I only had one bomber, two troopers, and two Mobile AA. I had two Workers which I put onto 'Overtime' to give myself one more resource with which I bought my second Mobile AA. I planned to use all three of my cards in hand for Emergency Defense to build another heavy bomber and finish my half-built pumped laser. My opponent didn't have a huge force. He had one Guardian, two soldiers and two skitters. He also put the Psychic Brain into play, giving him 5 scouting, a huge advantage over my 0.

As it turns out, the card was a Raid attack, meaning I wouldn't get an opportunity for Emergency Defense. I had to pick from my 1 (starting) turret, my two troopers and my two Mobile AA for defense. I eventually decided on the Mobile AA, guessing my opponent would go for the Guardian with it's tougness and powerful infantry attack. This is what happened, and I got lucky as we both missed all three rounds of our attempts to roll a 1 to hit, and the raid was unsuccessful.

I knew that I had to really focus on building up my forces if I hoped to withstand a full-scale attack, so I put my next efforts into getting more forces on the board. I put down a heliport to build Predators so I wouldn't be at such a big scouting disadvantage. I also drew a tac nuke and had to build it, although the big resource stack took a bunch of time.

The Xenos attacked, this time with a normal attack. Using Emergency Defenses this time I was able to muster up a reasonable defense force, although I made the error of not actually building any predators so I was woefully short on scouting yet again, and it proved costly when had to line all my forces up first and he got to pick his matchups. However, the Xenos had attacked quickly and didn't have a very significant force himself. After just a couple of exchanges he could see things weren't going to go his way so he retreated.

I focused much more heavily on building my forces, knowing it was only a matter of time before he made another try for my base. Before long I had a pretty respectable force ready for his attack.

And attack he did, this time using the 'Accelerated Molt' attack card to advance 7 eggs straight to new adults with three more going to energy to play Queen Strike. I used my workers for an extra resource again and played all three cards from my hand for Emergency defense to fill out my ranks a bit. He had hatched some buzz-kills and skeeters to put a few more units into the air. The battle raged on with the Queen getting her due. As tempting as it would have been to focus on her, my mobile AA were the only force I had that was much good against air, and I felt their efforts would be better spent trying to thin out the other forces my opponent had out. The battle was pretty bloody on both sides, and things were looking especially grim once my mobile AA died and all I had to attack his air units were 1's. However, time was on my side and the 6th round ended with me still having forces on the table. Had the battle played out to the bloody end, I would certainly have been eliminated.

Now, however, the tables were somewhat turned. I knew he had no Larva ready to push into new units, and his most powerful piece from the previous battle, his Queen, had returned to her nest and couldn't be brought out again. I built up a few more forces before attacking. This time the Xenos seceded the Frontier without a fight and he was on the defensive for the first time in the game. My deck was getting perilously low at this point, thanks to all that emergency construction I had done. It wasn't long before I drew my final attack card while I knew the Xenos were playing egg after egg, getting ready for my last attack. I spent the last of my resources and with the final card in my hand, I attacked.

The Xenos had just a couple of larva ready to be used for new adults, and this worked well to their favor. My reasonable targets for my tac nuke before the initial battle line was formed were thin. I used it to wipe out a single buzz-kill unit and the card, but that was still useful since I was still relatively weak against air. He ended up using all of his emergency defense resources on infantry and buildings since he could get a lot of them out cheaply. This didn't leave him in the best of positions, though, since a significant part of my forces were my Troopers with clusterbombs (+2 against infantry) and my heavy bombers, which were very strong against both infantry and buildings.

In the end, this battle proved decisive as he just didn't have the strength to oppose my bombers. I was able to clean out his forces and win the game.

A few thoughts. It's been said before, and I'll say it again here. The full game is VASTLY more interesting than the basic game. This was the first time I'd played as the full-game Terrans, but I had played the basic game Terrans in every basic game I played (including the games I played against myself). In the Full game (especially early on) I was having a very hard time deciding how to play my cards. Every card seemed great and I didn't want to spend any as resources, which cost me early on as I was unprepared when I was hit with that early attack that (fortunately for me) ended up being a raid.

I ended up turning that around, but that may largely have been due to my opponent's inexperience. He spread himself pretty thin with many buildings that did not get a lot of use. If those had gone to eggs instead, he might have been able to overwhelm me in his two larger attacks.
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James Fung
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I made this mistake too: Emergency Defense can only be for Base Defense units. Otherwise attacking a player's base might give him free resources to gain an edge in combat units.

I didn't expect Clusterbombs to work against Xenos since they can evolve away from threats like that. Glad to be proved wrong.
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Moisés Solé
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Great report!

Seems the Xenos did pretty well, loss notwithstanding. They caught the Terran low in units, and were close to destroying the Terran base. Unfortunately for them, they threw everything they had (including the Queen) in the attempt, and when it failed they were open to counter-attack.

If maybe your opponent's inexperience made him spread a bit too thin and not be able to get the most of their units, you yourself admit that your own inexperience with the Full Game Terran may have cost you dearly, so I wouldn't call that the decisive factor.
 
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Ray Greenley
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fusag wrote:
I made this mistake too: Emergency Defense can only be for Base Defense units. Otherwise attacking a player's base might give him free resources to gain an edge in combat units.

I didn't expect Clusterbombs to work against Xenos since they can evolve away from threats like that. Glad to be proved wrong.


Well, there you go. Always seem to miss something! Thanks for pointing out that rule that I got wrong. I probably never would have gotten it right if you hadn't. :^)

Perhaps my opponent could have evolved some of his infantry units away to dodge the effects of my clusterbomb, but again it was his first time playing the Xenos so he might have just not really thought about it with everything else he was trying to process. Or maybe he drew those evolves early on and burned them as resources. He did have two Infantry forces, but he had three non-infantry forces that saw regular combat, so maybe he hoped to be able to just get a better matchup. I'll have to try and ask him about it. :^)

referee wrote:
Great report!

Seems the Xenos did pretty well, loss notwithstanding. They caught the Terran low in units, and were close to destroying the Terran base. Unfortunately for them, they threw everything they had (including the Queen) in the attempt, and when it failed they were open to counter-attack.

If maybe your opponent's inexperience made him spread a bit too thin and not be able to get the most of their units, you yourself admit that your own inexperience with the Full Game Terran may have cost you dearly, so I wouldn't call that the decisive factor.


Thanks! My brother definitely played a great game, especially considering it was really the first time he played. I knew he'd pick it up quickly and I had really been looking forward to playing the game with him.

We both of course made our share of mistakes. One oversight I made a couple of times that I didn't mention above was that I built the Tech Building that game me three re-rolls per battle, and then I'd forget about them completely until the battle was nearly over and I was stuck trying to re-roll my weak rolls after all my stronger match-ups were resolved. Argh! ;^)
 
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