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Subject: It's a nail biter rss

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Mark Bausman
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The Terran Republic, Terran Federation, Eridani and Mechanema fought it out in our game group on Saturday. We play with a variation on the reputation tiles rule - you get to draw one tile if you win a combat and kill at least one ship in the battle. We also remove the "4" tile so the largest VP for combat is 3. Final scores:
Terran Federation 35:
Mechanema 34:
Terran Republic 30:
Eridani 27:
The TR explored the Supernova in Turn 2 and it stayed safe the entire game. Mechanema explored the other Supernova in turn 3 and it went Nova in turn 8. TF discovered the Ion Missile and the triple hull early in the game. Missiles went to his fighter and the hull went to his dreadnought along with two other improved hulls to make a dreadnought that took 8 hits to kill. TF added a positron computer to his fighter.

In turn 6 the TR used their bigh ships to attack and conquer Galactic Center. In turn 7 the Eridani reserached the worm hole gnerator and launched a surprise attack on the TF. Fortunately the TF had actions and material to build defensive ships and defended both sectors under siege. The Mechanema went through the entire game without firing a shot either against ancients or players. They allied with both Eridani and TR making the Federation the odd man out. In turn 9 the Federation attacked the Republic and took away a 2 point system but did not have the actions to influience it so no points.

It was a very close game with all four players pretty much in it until the end.
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Lutz
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Nice.. I lost my game this weekend to a tie breaker. The killer is that I had a discovery tile with a ship part that I was 90% sure I wouldn't use. I didn't use the part... had I chosen the points instead I would have won by two points... ARGH!!!

I'm interested, why do you nerf the battle points part of the game?

BOb
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James Motz
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I'd have to assume that Mechanema played sub-optimally. You don't necessarily need to fight other players in this game... but I can't imagine any scenario where you're going to be close to winning without fighting *someone*. Of course, in your game they almost won... I have to think that's because of the reduction in reputation. Is this why you have so many house rules on the reputation?
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Mathue Faulkner
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LazyJ wrote:
I'd have to assume that Mechanema played sub-optimally. You don't necessarily need to fight other players in this game... but I can't imagine any scenario where you're going to be close to winning without fighting *someone*. Of course, in your game they almost won... I have to think that's because of the reduction in reputation. Is this why you have so many house rules on the reputation?

The house rule actually makes it less of a priority to engage in any combat since not as many points can be gained that way. And oddly, it increases the amount of luck on what tile you get since you only draw one. And lastly, players that destroy large fleets aren't rewarded.
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Lutz
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mfaulk80 wrote:
LazyJ wrote:
I'd have to assume that Mechanema played sub-optimally. You don't necessarily need to fight other players in this game... but I can't imagine any scenario where you're going to be close to winning without fighting *someone*. Of course, in your game they almost won... I have to think that's because of the reduction in reputation. Is this why you have so many house rules on the reputation?

The house rule actually makes it less of a priority to engage in any combat since not as many points can be gained that way. And oddly, it increases the amount of luck on what tile you get since you only draw one. And lastly, players that destroy large fleets aren't rewarded.


Agreed. I wouldn't want to play with such a house rule. After all, battle is one of the 4x's... this game actually makes them all important.

BOb
 
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Mark Bausman
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We house ruled this because we found that players who built good empires and actually won combats were losing games because other players were getting lucky on the tile draw from combat. We wanted to limit the luck factor of just being in a battle.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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mbausman wrote:
We house ruled this because we found that players who built good empires and actually won combats were losing games because other players were getting lucky on the tile draw from combat. We wanted to limit the luck factor of just being in a battle.

Without even discussing whether that requires a 'fix', I don't see how the variant helps with what you're aiming for...
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Loren Cadelinia
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mbausman wrote:
We house ruled this because we found that players who built good empires and actually won combats were losing games because other players were getting lucky on the tile draw from combat. We wanted to limit the luck factor of just being in a battle.


Not sure if you actually limited luck here. This does, however, limit the ability of players to mitigate the luck by drawing less than they normally earn.
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Mark Bausman
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Here is what we saw:

You can kill an Ancient with a cruiser and a fighter in base configuration. A person explores a system and gets maybe 2 VP's. If that system has an Ancient then 2 for system, 2 for discovery and a 2 draw chance for a 3 or 4 VP on the tile. 7-8 VP's as compared to 2. Our rule limits the higher VP gains on Ancient attacks.

A player can attack with a fighter and get a tile no matter the result. Why should a player be rewarded for just participating in a battle?

We had several games that were decided by reputation tile "lucky draws". Just seems to defeat the purpose of building a good system.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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mbausman wrote:
Here is what we saw:

You can kill an Ancient with a cruiser and a fighter in base configuration. A person explores a system and gets maybe 2 VP's. If that system has an Ancient then 2 for system, 2 for discovery and a 2 draw chance for a 3 or 4 VP on the tile. 7-8 VP's as compared to 2. Our rule limits the higher VP gains on Ancient attacks.

A player can attack with a fighter and get a tile no matter the result. Why should a player be rewarded for just participating in a battle?

We had several games that were decided by reputation tile "lucky draws". Just seems to defeat the purpose of building a good system.

But they had to work for those VPs and they weren't able to gain the resources for the # of rounds that it took to defeat Ancients and colonize said hex. It helps balance the hex draw imo. Why shouldn't the more challenging hex be worth more points?

And you really have poor odds if you're attacking an Ancient with a "cruiser and a fighter in base configuration." Without any upgrades, a Cruiser/Interceptor combo will only win 44% of the time. If you upgrade once and place a Hull in the empty slots, then you now have a 50% chance. Horrible odds, and I generally won't attack without 90-95% chance at a minimum. It just isn't worth the loss in Materials.

Why not just disallow losing players from drawing?

The biggest question that I have is: why limit it to just drawing one no matter what? That makes the draw COMPLETELY luck based. At least before, the better performing players had a better chance of drawing more points.

Secondly, removing the 4VPs makes combat a lot less appealing. I really feel like this strengthens all of the turtling races as there really isn't as much of an incentive to fight.

A player that is sacrificing Interceptors for participating in fights is never going to win (if it's an encompassing strategy) as they're burning Materials and actions for a couple points. It's just not very effective long term.

I think you may have oversimplified those victories that were due to "lucky draws" and inadvertently created imbalance in other areas of the game.

Of course, you can play however you want. Just throwing out my 2 cents...
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Mark Bausman
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I was really hoping to get some more opinions on this and I did. Sometimes a less than favorable experience will cloud the perception and it helps to get other viewpoints. I think I am beginning to change my mind on our rule.
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Daniel Hammond
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mbausman wrote:
I was really hoping to get some more opinions on this and I did. Sometimes a less than favorable experience will cloud the perception and it helps to get other viewpoints. I think I am beginning to change my mind on our rule.


I totally second Mathue's points. I have drawn 8 times and gotten 7 1s and a 2 (4 battles with 2 draws each). It just means I have to keep fighting.

I also don't fight without a 95+% chance to beat ancients or at least a 75%+ to beat a player or the need to beat him to win.

Out of 46 games I have played 2 have been determined by combat draws and I write that off as the game was too close and I should have done more to make sure the draws couldn't make a difference. Remember all VPs are public except Rep draws, you can know your opponent's max score at any time based on information you have. Make sure you can beat that max score .
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Mathue Faulkner
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dlhammond wrote:

I also don't fight without a 95+% chance to beat ancients or at least a 75%+ to beat a player or the need to beat him to win.

Yeah, my 90-95% minimum was in regards to Ancients only....
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Anthony Heman
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Do you actually know which configurations and combinations give you that 90% chance of success, or do you just eyeball it?

Basically, I've just generally with a dreadnaught with improved hulls or dreadnaught + fighter with -1 shields. I'm a bit curious what other compositions are going to have a high success rate early that you can field in turn 2 or 3.
 
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Petri Savola
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Creamsteak wrote:
Do you actually know which configurations and combinations give you that 90% chance of success, or do you just eyeball it?

Basically, I've just generally with a dreadnaught with improved hulls or dreadnaught + fighter with -1 shields. I'm a bit curious what other compositions are going to have a high success rate early that you can field in turn 2 or 3.

You can precalculate those things using a combat simulator. Dreadnought and interceptor together will have 95% or better odds against a single ancient if you upgrade them both with a basic hull (or hull to interceptor and computer to dreadnought), but there's moderately high risk that you'll lose the interceptor in the process. If you want win with high probability while losing nothing in the process, you'll probably need plasma cannons, positron computers, improved hulls or a bigger fleet. If you use gauss shield instead of basic hull, it will increase your odds by another ~2% up to around 97%.

You can try it out yourself: http://codesavior.com/space/simulator.php

When it comes to player vs. player combats you'll just have to estimate the odds in your head.
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