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Subject: Third game, a blowout rss

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Nate Finch
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Harvard
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3 player game, I was Planta, other guys were Orion and the Mechana (forgive me if I get the exact names wrong, I don't have the game in front of me).

This was the third game for two of us and the first game for the Orion player. This was the first time myself and the other "experienced" player had played aliens.

Final tally: Me - 44, Orion - 23, Mechana - 23

I explored a ton right away, loving the double explore. Since Orion was obviously a big threat to me, I made sure to cordon off my area of space by making no wormhole connections to the other two players' areas. I then set about exploring as much as I could, to gain as many systems as possible.

I got a lot of money and resources production, and midway through the game managed to get the orbital tech, as well as the 2 extra influence disks tech. I built about 4 orbitals over the course of two turns, which really catapulted me forward. I was then able to afford to research some ship tech to make my wussy ships a bit more formidable, so I could earn some reputation VPs from killing ancient ships.

Eating up all the exploration tiles really limited what they were able to do, since they just didn't have that many systems they could colonize.

To be fair, the other two players somewhat shot themselves in the foot by amassing fairly large fleets and throwing them at each other near the end of the game.

We had a really good time, and I'm still looking forward to the first game where we don't have to spend an hour teaching the game to one or more of the players.

Planta seem really powerful in smaller games, especially if you can close off the space around you. I think in larger games they might not be as powerful, since there's so many other people exploring before you get to go again... but in a 3 player game, you get to explore as much as the other two players put together, and that's pretty powerful.
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Daniel Hammond
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Playing aliens is tougher than playing humans. Orion is tough because they have a 4:1 exchange rate. I played Orion in a 3 player game yesterday against Planta and an expansion race. I only explored 1 III ring and it was one that Planta discarded that had an alien on. Planta didn't keep enough discovery tiles for points but they scored 39 points, I had 47 and the winner had 55. I had very little money in the beginning of the game, it made getting started very difficult and made me play a game not very suited for Orion, as you can see I was still able to turn it into points, but I have a lot of experience playing.
 
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Kelvin Lau
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dlhammond wrote:
Playing aliens is tougher than playing humans. Orion is tough because they have a 4:1 exchange rate. I played Orion in a 3 player game yesterday against Planta and an expansion race. I only explored 1 III ring and it was one that Planta discarded that had an alien on. Planta didn't keep enough discovery tiles for points but they scored 39 points, I had 47 and the winner had 55. I had very little money in the beginning of the game, it made getting started very difficult and made me play a game not very suited for Orion, as you can see I was still able to turn it into points, but I have a lot of experience playing.


disagree. playing aliens actually requires a little bit more attention at first to figure out how you should play but mostly the strategy you should take is obvious. humans are more forgiving with more moves and a easy trading rate, thats why it is recommanded to play humans on first games. but then humans are very tricky to be good with as it is somehow not to bad at everything meaning that it is essentially not particularly good at anything.

except eridani and mechanema, i would say the other 4 aliens have pretty obvious strategic tendency.

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Sky Zero
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Blame it on the plasma missles...lol. laugh
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James Fung
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lofung_hk wrote:
disagree. playing aliens actually requires a little bit more attention at first to figure out how you should play but mostly the strategy you should take is obvious. humans are more forgiving with more moves and a easy trading rate, thats why it is recommanded to play humans on first games. but then humans are very tricky to be good with as it is somehow not to bad at everything meaning that it is essentially not particularly good at anything.

except eridani and mechanema, i would say the other 4 aliens have pretty obvious strategic tendency.

This. Each of the aliens have a particular strategy that benefits them best, but a new player may not have the experience to execute it well. I have half a dozen games under my belt and still can't play the Eridani well. Humans are more flexible and more forgiving in their style of play.
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Daniel Hammond
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lofung_hk wrote:
dlhammond wrote:
Playing aliens is tougher than playing humans. Orion is tough because they have a 4:1 exchange rate. I played Orion in a 3 player game yesterday against Planta and an expansion race. I only explored 1 III ring and it was one that Planta discarded that had an alien on. Planta didn't keep enough discovery tiles for points but they scored 39 points, I had 47 and the winner had 55. I had very little money in the beginning of the game, it made getting started very difficult and made me play a game not very suited for Orion, as you can see I was still able to turn it into points, but I have a lot of experience playing.


disagree. playing aliens actually requires a little bit more attention at first to figure out how you should play but mostly the strategy you should take is obvious. humans are more forgiving with more moves and a easy trading rate, thats why it is recommanded to play humans on first games. but then humans are very tricky to be good with as it is somehow not to bad at everything meaning that it is essentially not particularly good at anything.

except eridani and mechanema, i would say the other 4 aliens have pretty obvious strategic tendency.



The reason it is harder is because if things don't feed your strategy it takes a lot more to overcome and do relatively well. If you play Humans you just play what you are dealt and have the flexibility to do well.
 
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dlhammond wrote:
Playing aliens is tougher than playing humans. Orion is tough because they have a 4:1 exchange rate. I played Orion in a 3 player game yesterday against Planta and an expansion race. I only explored 1 III ring and it was one that Planta discarded that had an alien on. Planta didn't keep enough discovery tiles for points but they scored 39 points, I had 47 and the winner had 55. I had very little money in the beginning of the game, it made getting started very difficult and made me play a game not very suited for Orion, as you can see I was still able to turn it into points, but I have a lot of experience playing.


i went through the same thing in my second game, couldnt get my economy started until turn 6, despite massive exploration (i drew maybe 50% of all III tiles and 33% of II and got only low-yield systems). only after securing the galactic center and the orbital tech was i able to churn out meaningful numbers of new tech and ships to conquer my fellow gamers systems. By turn nine i occupied almost 70% of the board, and in a mad dash my ally rushed through my back yard, costing me the win by two points. neutron bombs suck. unless you have them.

I disagree on aliens being harder to play, they are more varied for sure, every race having their specialties. but everyone i played with, even people who played for the first time preferred the aliens to humans, precisely because they are different.

if you use the orion for very early conquest, starting with the neutron bomb tech is your strongest asset and makes that strategy very viable. just invest everything in ships. also, starting with the cruiser helps.
 
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