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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Arborec "Zerg" swarm strategy rss

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Mikael Halonen
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This is an untested opening but it seems solid. I usually play with easy distant suns in the nearby systems, so the escorting cruiser is there to ensure not being taken down by a single fighter ambush. Chances of getting abushed and losing are low so it is probably valid to gamle and send the lone carrier but a carrierloss could set you back severly.

The aim with this opening is to have 7+ GF in a single system with spore acceleration in play to be able to build up to two sets of fully loaded carriers each turn. This could be avaible as early as turn 3.

Turn 1. Get assembly(to ensure getting technology turn 2). Send out Carrier + cruiser and 4 gf to a nearby system(preferable with 2 reource rich planets and close to your objectives). Colonize both planets. Build cruiser and gf to expand to another planet. You should aim for at least 7 resources at end of turn 1.

Turn 2. Get technology. Tech spore acceleration. Build enough gf in the 2-planet system so that you have at least 7 gf there. Use the remaining gf to expand further. Aim for 12+ res. This can sometimes be though but not unachiveable.

Turn 3-. If you can get production you probably should. Tech priority from now on should be XRD and cybernetics. Don't worry about losses. Expand, attack, conquer, reproduce.


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Have you been thinking of picking production the first turn that way you will be getting more ground forces early in the game.
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Mikael Halonen
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Yes but that would not lead towards the goal of setting up a very large production center turn 2. Getting Spore Acceleration turn two is critical for this opening, therefore you need assembly to make sure you get to be the speaker. You can only take production if you have reason to belive you will be passed technology next turn but I would not place my bets on that.

You will get enough gf without production. You start with 4 and can produce
1 or 2 more depending on when you can get your secondary production. On turn 2 you can produce at least 4 more gf in the new production center. And dont forget that you will get 2 more gf from your special ability. That makes 11+ gf at start of turn 3. Seven of those will print out pairs of fully loaded carriers each turn and the rest are positioned on the surrounding planets building supporting capital ships.
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Fedor Syagin
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Mikael Halonen wrote:
Y
1 or 2 more depending on when you can get your secondary production

That takes into account the fact that you cannot use secondary of production in the system that doesn't have space dock?
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Mikael Halonen
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Yes you dont need secondary production turn 2, just produce as usual.

Whats not so sure is whether or not you will be able to use secondary production before you need to move out. If the Yssaril(or an other race with ability to delay action) got production it might be best to gamble and move out the single carrier alone with 2-3 gf and sending the cruiser to colonize elsewhere. If you manage to take the planned production center with at least 1 gf left the plan will still work as long as you can get the nessesary production/tradegods.

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I still think Production is better but I can be wrong.

I think the normal first picks apply here: Production, Leadership, Technology and maybe Assembly if you are sitting far away from the speaker. Remember that to not pick Assembly is a great advantage since you get to untap your planets as a secondary ability.
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Mikael Halonen
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The other strategy cards for sure have their uses and benefits but for this opening assembly is the best strategy to take turn one.

No other play guaranties the speaker(unless you can somehow convince everyone not to take tech next turn).
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Fedor Syagin
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Mikael Halonen wrote:
The other strategy cards for sure have their uses and benefits but for this opening assembly is the best strategy to take turn one.

No other play guaranties the speaker(unless you can somehow convince everyone not to take tech next turn).

Well Sadly I usually assume that I am not going to be first player to pick strategy card.
In that sense most of the time Tech and Production are gone right away so after that having plan to grab assembly sort of make sense.
If you are picking first - hmm. picking production then really dangerous - since chances of you being close to speaker by the end of the round are very slim.
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Mikael Halonen
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I had forgot the possibillity to discard political cards for tradegoods. Technology turn one into spore acceleration(by discarding both of your political cards.) is probably a stronger move than assembly.
You will get a somewhat slower expansion turn one, but can build more ships/gf turn 2 or tech XRD and you are free to choose the strategy that suits your situation best.
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Here is why you are so desperate about getting that tech:
FAQ, page 12 wrote:
Q: Can 2 Arborec Ground Forces produce 2 Ground Forces
for the cost of 1, thereby pooling their production capacity?
A: No, their production capacity may not be pooled.
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And here is another Strategy that can be used:

Quote:
Q: Can Arborec Ground Forces produce while in a fleet, i.e.
being carried by a ship?
A: Yes. Any units produced may be placed on ships with
capacity or a planet controlled by that player in that system.


With a fully loaded carrier, (1 carrier + 6 gf): You can now produce up to 6 ships even next to your enemy or Mecatol Rex. Arborec is a light Claan of Saar race.
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Mikael Halonen
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Quote:
With a fully loaded carrier, (1 carrier + 6 gf): You can now produce up to 6 ships even next to your enemy or Mecatol Rex. Arborec is a light Claan of Saar race.


Sweet! But how is Arborec a light Saar?

The Arborec are more versatile than the Saar when it comes to production. You can set up gf everywhere and produce units where you need it. Of course the Clans has other great abillities the Arborec lacks but noone outmatches the Arborec when it comes to production capacity.

Edit: Actually with spore acceleration you could get as many as 12 units out from a single carrier with 6 gf(thats close to the PC of Saars all spacedocks combined!). How about 2 new carrier and 10 fighters?
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Mikael Halonen
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Quote:
Here is why you are so desperate about getting that tech:
FAQ, page 12 wrote:
Q: Can 2 Arborec Ground Forces produce 2 Ground Forces
for the cost of 1, thereby pooling their production capacity?
A: No, their production capacity may not be pooled.


Yes I think spore acceleration should be #1 priority most of the time. Without it you are not using the Arborec to its full potential.
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Fedor Syagin
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Mikael Halonen wrote:
Quote:
With a fully loaded carrier, (1 carrier + 6 gf): You can now produce up to 6 ships even next to your enemy or Mecatol Rex. Arborec is a light Claan of Saar race.


Sweet! But how is Arborec a light Saar?

The Arborec are more versatile than the Saar when it comes to production. You can set up gf everywhere and produce units where you need it.

I cannot agree to that.
The main reason why I think Arborec actually not as versatile as saar is the fact that you cannot use Production (both primary and secondary)! So that mean you are limited to doing stuff every other turn (you either build or move).
You can try to use secondary of warfare to try to get it closer, but unlike Saar you cannot build fleet using secondary of production and do stuff with said fleet the same turn.

So yes you can potentially build giant fleet where you ground forces are - but you won't leave those ground forces unprotected - so most of the time it's not build limit - it's fleet supply that will be limiting you...

I might be wrong - but that is indeed great limitation.
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Mikael Halonen
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Quote:
I cannot agree to that.
The main reason why I think Arborec actually not as versatile as saar is the fact that you cannot use secondary of production! So that mean you are limited to doing stuff every other turn (you either build or move).
You can try to use secondary of warfare to try to get it closer, but unlike Saar you cannot build fleet using secondary of production and do stuff with said fleet the same turn.


I dont value secondary prodution high enouch after the initial few rounds to be willing to spend precius CC for as little as 3 units and this is especially true for any strategy that focus on carrier/fighters/gf. And nothing will hinder you from moving units from your production centers and build new units there each turn.

Quote:
So yes you can potentially build giant fleet where you ground forces are - but you won't leave those ground forces unprotected - so most of the time it's not build limit - it's fleet supply that will be limiting you...

I might be wrong - but that is indeed great limitation.


Fleet supply is a limitation and thats another reason to not use secondary produce. It is also one of the reasons we want to build tons of fighters. But this limitation is not exclusive for the Arborec. To create a good balance between income, fleet supply and production capacity is a challenge for all races.
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Fedor Syagin
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Mikael Halonen wrote:


I dont value secondary prodution high enouch after the initial few rounds to be willing to spend precius CC for as little as 3 units and this is especially true for any strategy that focus on carrier/fighters/gf. And nothing will hinder you from moving units from your production centers and build new units there each turn.

Well you cannot use primary part either...
Sorry should have made it more obvious - basically production cannot be used and that is huge limitation

Mikael Halonen wrote:
So

Fleet supply is a limitation and thats another reason to not use secondary produce. It is also one of the reasons we want to build tons of fighters. But this limitation is not exclusive for the Arborec. To create a good balance between income, fleet supply and production capacity is a challenge for all races.

It is limitation if you use carrier with ground forces as main resupply base. This also applies to Saar.
Basically for other races it is common to have planet with space dock with sometimes minimum defense as production center. (very rarely minimum - blockading space dock is still issue).
But they can easily move most of the fleet away and later produce there with almost 0 fleet supply at the moment of building (yes you are risking being blockaded in between.)
In case of Saar and Arborec you always need to protect your carrier with GF and your Space dock - since you won't just get blockaded - you will lose those if you get attacked without adequate fleet protection and now you back to producing from homeworld!
Partially arborec have better deal there - since if they land all those troops - now they don't have to have giant fleet and most of this problem goes away - but the fact that you cannot use production still a pretty huge problem in my opinion.
It is nice to be able to go to mechatol rex with 6 gf and be able to produce bunch of ships there next turn! (other have to spend one turn to get space dock and then can only build next turn after.)
But I would probably still be interested in the end of having space dock there with arborec just to have flexibility of using production on that system.
6gf+space dock on mecatol - that's 9 Plastics worth of units and you can use it twice (once with production, move out and then just do regular activation.)
I once saw a game when first turn arborec got a planet that has refresh ability to get gf (don't remember name on top of my head, it was regular gf so it's not hope's end.) So by middle of the game he had 11gf there easily without practically spending a dime.
In the end it actually never was quite useful. Yes he could build there, yes he even moved them closer to rex later on, still didn't help them that much and didn't feel that scary. Certainly doesn't give much VP by itself
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Arborec's greatest weakness is there build limit of 1 ground force at a cost of 1. But since you can build Mechanized units I don't think that it's that big deal if you get to have your special tech the first few rounds. It's more important to try to expand and get the resources that you need. Building Mechanized units and a Carrier with Production Secondary the first turn is the way to go. Later in the game you will be able to build more ground forces if you get the tech.
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Mikael Halonen
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Quote:

Sorry should have made it more obvious - basically production cannot be used and that is huge limitation


If you want to use prodution you could just build a couple of spacedocks. Or use your homesystem to produce. The Arborecs abillity to produe from gf does not invalidate building additional spacedocks.

Quote:
It is limitation if you use carrier with ground forces as main resupply base.


I dont think I would do that very often. But it is nice to have that option.
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Mikael Halonen
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Quote:
Arborec's greatest weakness is there build limit of 1 ground force at a cost of 1. But since you can build Mechanized units I don't think that it's that big deal if you get to have your special tech the first few rounds. It's more important to try to expand and get the resources that you need. Building Mechanized units and a Carrier with Production Secondary the first turn is the way to go. Later in the game you will be able to build more ground forces if you get the tech.


I think I prefer to build 1-2 cruisers and one overcosted gf over carrier + mech. This way I can either save the political cards for turn 2 or 3 where they might be much more needed or try to colonize one more planet turn 1. Additionally the cruisers has longer reach and can help defend your position in the early game.
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Maybe 1 Cruiser + 1 Destroyer + 1 Mech is the best combo for 5 resources?
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Brian Petersen
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For Arborec, building 2 GF for 2r is better than building 1 MU.
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I think not. Building 1-2 Mechanized unit the first turn will enable more ground forces to stay in the home system and this will allow you to have a higher build capacity.
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Fedor Syagin
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Mikael Halonen wrote:
Quote:

Sorry should have made it more obvious - basically production cannot be used and that is huge limitation


If you want to use prodution you could just build a couple of spacedocks. Or use your homesystem to produce. The Arborecs abillity to produe from gf does not invalidate building additional spacedocks.

Quote:
It is limitation if you use carrier with ground forces as main resupply base.


I dont think I would do that very often. But it is nice to have that option.


Indeed you can.
Here is my problem with arborec - if you playing for fun - this is all cool.
If you are playing for win - then you are limited in amount of actions you can take etc.
Since this is listed under strategy that mean in the end that strategy should help me win - and give me a way to have better position on the table and ability to get VP.
If I need to focus 2 first turn on getting specific technologies to get an option of possibly building a lot of units later, and I need to build space docks to use that effectively anyway - then how is this a good thing?
Let's say we play generic race - (by generic we take any race and ignore it's racial bonus/penalties and racial techs and try to play them) and we play arborec against them. Generic strategy remains the same - expand and try to build production center closer to center of the map with space dock. With arborec we will have to spend time and resources to guarantee getting racial tech. After all of this is done - do we have actuall advantage with arborec - due to the "flexibility" of producing with GF or are we at about the same level?
If we are at the same level - then Zerg as strategy is not really working... It's cool and fun - but not working. If we can see that we will be actively outproducing enemies and that will allow us to get VP faster - then yes - this is good strategy.
How fast can we expand in the beginning if we are focusing on this racial tech? And if we don't are we actually behind other races who don't go for racial tech?

I don't have anything against arborec - but when we are discussing strategy we need to consider what will opponents do and what is the strategy if we cannot get tech for first 2 turn? Let's say we didn't get if first turn and assembly wasn't available, someone took tech second turn before us - can expand as fast as other races at this point?

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Brian Petersen
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JohanCarstensen wrote:
I think not. Building 1-2 Mechanized unit the first turn will enable more ground forces to stay in the home system and this will allow you to have a higher build capacity.


We're both talking about first round Production secondary, right? Pay 2r and get 1 MU to take one planet, requiring a carrier, and it cannot benefit from future Production Capacity or techs.

Instead, pay 2r to get 2 GF to take 2 planets, requiring a carrier OR cruiser, and benefits from Production Capacity and techs.

Either way, the GFs that were already in the HS are still there. They built the other ones.

Of course, I play without Distant Suns, so that could be the difference in my perception of strength of MUs in the first turn.
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Fedor Syagin
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TomBoombs wrote:

Either way, the GFs that were already in the HS are still there. They built the other ones.

Of course, I play without Distant Suns, so that could be the difference in my perception of strength of MUs in the first turn.

Some of the games I play in people insist on using Territorial Distant Suns. In general I am fine with territorial (and really scared of original version.)
Arborec imho can suffer from them most and Norr coming close second. (Norr with 1 starting carrier and 1 ship - even with +1 some unlucky rolls and your whole starting fleet can die off 1 fighter ambush.)
For arborec - anything that kill gf in distant suns early is total disaster.
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