Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Eminent Domain» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Survey Role rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John R
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Folks:

Not sure how many people are still following this thread, but I thought I would ask here anyway. The original poster says that it is good to survey early on, and then not so much as the game progresses. Does this mean A) Choose Survey as your role and get some planets on the table to settle later, after which you should get rid of your survey cards, or B) Choose Survey as your role and get some planets on the table to settle later, and *keep* some or all Survey cards in your deck for later use?

I'm a new player and have found that b/c I only choose Survey as a role only when I feel I need to settle a new planet, I am often choosing Survey as a role late in the game and clogging my deck with Survey cards which are totally useless most of the time.

To put it another way--is it usually better to have 2-4 planets out early on, which you then settle when you get the chance, or get planets out on the table only when you feel you need to settle another planet?

Thanks!
John
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trevor Schadt
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeatGuy wrote:
I'm a new player and have found that b/c I only choose Survey as a role only when I feel I need to settle a new planet, I am often choosing Survey as a role late in the game and clogging my deck with Survey cards which are totally useless most of the time.

To put it another way--is it usually better to have 2-4 planets out early on, which you then settle when you get the chance, or get planets out on the table only when you feel you need to settle another planet?
John,

I'd say it depends on what late-game strategy you're pursuing. There are generally three late-game strategies that I've seen in games of EmDo: Produce-Trade (which shoots for a short game), Planet-Spam (which shoots for a long game) and Heavy Research (which generally shoots for somewhere on the long side of medium).

If you're running P/T, you want to stop surveying planets after you have about 4 resource slots. (If you can get those slots off of three planets, so much the better.) Survey them early, then start Researching those Survey cards out of your deck. Establish them as you can, then Research out the Colonize or Warfare cards you used to establish the planets. Get your deck as thin as you can, so you can P/T every turn.

(Side note to Seth: Is there a convenient term for "Get what you need to flip a planet up, regardless of whether that's by Colonize or Warfare, then do it"? I've been using "establish," but if you have a better one, I'm all ears. Thanks!)

If you're running Planet-Spam, then obviously you want to keep the Survey cards, and you'll probably want to be taking the Survey role throughout the game, taking one planet, establishing it, then moving on to the next one.

If you're running heavy Research, it's a judgment call, as Heavy Research is usually used in conjunction with one of the methods above. If you haven't thinned your deck enough with Research (because you've been using your Research cards for the Role), and you don't have any better use for your Action, a Survey for two cards is never a bad idea, if for nothing else than the shot at drawing more Researches. Your main objective in taking Survey Roles should be to target planets of a certain type so you can do deeper Research, but more likely than not you can Follow someone else's Role with a couple of Surveys in your hand (or Researches if you already have Adaptability) to just pick the type you want off the top of your deck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donnie Clark
United States
Arlington
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I believe the idea is to have as many planets down as possible within the first 2-3 cycles of your deck though a combination of Survey Roles as well as Follows with the intent of establishing a broad base from which you can launch your chosen strategy through the rest of the game. The stall gives you time to see what avenue the other players might be following before you commit to Colonize or Warfare, and then you can use the Research action to remove excess Survey cards from your pile as opportunity allows to keep them from diluting your hand late in the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Berger
United States
Round Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My strategy is usually to take Survey a couple of times early, and then just hold Survey cards when I think my opponent will call the role, so that I can get more planets without polluting my deck any further. I rarely research them away unless I have gotten Streamlining (I think that's the name, I always forget the names of the tech cards). Sometimes I'll go so far as to call Survey turn 1 without boosting it, so I can have 2 Survey cards in hand for when someone else calls Survey on turn 1 or 2.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John R
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting, thanks gentlemen. Would love to hear more thoughts from other people as well.

Also, is it possible to win without dabbling in technology at all? I tried this last night and lost by 10 points in a two player game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trevor Schadt
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeatGuy wrote:
Also, is it possible to win without dabbling in technology at all? I tried this last night and lost by 10 points in a two player game.
I can see that it might be possible in a very strong P/T strategy, if you can get the engine going quickly enough that nobody else can. But that would take a lot of luck(*) and probably some poor play on the part of your opponents.

(*) by which I mean "you find two double-slot Fertile planets on your first two Surveys, people play exactly the Roles that you need to follow exactly when you need them, you get exactly the cards you want to Research out when you have nothing better for your action, etc."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John R
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ryudoowaru wrote:
But that would take a lot of luck(*) and probably some poor play on the part of your opponents.


Ha! Okay, I figured as much. Lesson learned.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ryudoowaru wrote:
(Side note to Seth: Is there a convenient term for "Get what you need to flip a planet up, regardless of whether that's by Colonize or Warfare, then do it"? I've been using "establish," but if you have a better one, I'm all ears. Thanks!)

Not one that I use. I don't find myself saying that phrase either though. Not that I can think of offhand anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
arkayn wrote:
Sometimes I'll go so far as to call Survey turn 1 without boosting it, so I can have 2 Survey cards in hand for when someone else calls Survey on turn 1 or 2.

I often do this as well - especially as player 1 (put another way, the earlier you are in turn order, the better this is) because others may not have drawn both of their Survey cards in their opening draw. If they did, you can't stop them from getting a planet anyway, so it's still good for you. And if they didn't, then it's even better because they're more likely to need to call Survey when you can follow.

Slight danger in this plan though: you sometimes get caught holding 2 Surveys round after round with nobody calling Survey, and then you're basically playing with a hand size of 3!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ryudoowaru wrote:
BeatGuy wrote:
Also, is it possible to win without dabbling in technology at all? I tried this last night and lost by 10 points in a two player game.
I can see that it might be possible in a very strong P/T strategy, if you can get the engine going quickly enough that nobody else can. But that would take a lot of luck(*) and probably some poor play on the part of your opponents.

(*) by which I mean "you find two double-slot Fertile planets on your first two Surveys, people play exactly the Roles that you need to follow exactly when you need them, you get exactly the cards you want to Research out when you have nothing better for your action, etc."

I don't think it's quite as far fetched as you make it sound, but the intent was that all players will augment their strategy with a little bit of research, but there's a big difference between that and "concentrating on Research" - which means filling your deck with Research cards and buying multiple Level 2/Level 3 technologies. Concentrating on Research gives you access to a supply of VP, while "dabbling" doesn't... but it makes your deck better and helps you pursue your chosen path to victory.

I have seen players win while ignoring Research altogether, but it's not all that common, and it's not intended to be.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Miller
United States
Stigler
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
arkayn wrote:
My strategy is usually to take Survey a couple of times early, and then just hold Survey cards when I think my opponent will call the role, so that I can get more planets without polluting my deck any further. I rarely research them away unless I have gotten Streamlining (I think that's the name, I always forget the names of the tech cards). Sometimes I'll go so far as to call Survey turn 1 without boosting it, so I can have 2 Survey cards in hand for when someone else calls Survey on turn 1 or 2.


Pretty much all of this. I don't start researching away Survey cards unless I'm pretty sure I won't need them (Planet icons, Improved Survey, some other advanced techs, and a strong P/T engine that I plan to hasten the endgame with are all reasons this might happen).

One hidden reason why it's better to Survey earlier than later is that your deck is smaller so it's more likely that you'll draw two Survey cards at the same time, and therefore more likely that you'll be able to follow a Survey even off a random hand.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I tend to try to minimize the times I actually call Survey and instead just follow other players when they call the role. However, there's something to be said for getting more choice when surveying.

In the expansion (Eminent Domain: Escalation) there are things which make it less bad to have a lot of Survey cards in your deck:

* More (and more diverse) planets in the planets deck means deeper surveys become more useful.
* A Level 1 permanent technology which allows you to draw 2 fewer Planet cards than you've paid for during a Survey role, and if you do, keep 1 additional planet!
* There's a Level 2 tech which is sort of like Adaptability for Survey cards, but it only works during your own turn (not when following).

I think people will get a kick out of these
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Contig
United States
flag msg tools
(this is not a hint)
badge
(this is still the old picture and I am too lazy to update it)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sedjtroll wrote:
I tend to try to minimize the times I actually call Survey and instead just follow other players when they call the role. However, there's something to be said for getting more choice when surveying.


SlebRittie wrote:

One hidden reason why it's better to Survey earlier than later is that your deck is smaller so it's more likely that you'll draw two Survey cards at the same time, and therefore more likely that you'll be able to follow a Survey even off a random hand.


sedjtroll wrote:

Slight danger in this plan though: you sometimes get caught holding 2 Surveys round after round with nobody calling Survey, and then you're basically playing with a hand size of 3!


This is basically the issue with Survey. It mostly comes down to how much you want to survey and how likely you'll be able to follow.

I have generally been impressed with "big survey" -- surveying more and doing colonize/warfare less early on. This allows you to get planets which help you more, and also lets you get surveying out of the way.

However, realize this means you'll have a lot of survey cards midgame and be less able to follow players who lead warfare or colonize. So I wouldn't go too heavy on survey -- make sure you balance it out with a few other roles.

It's also important to note experienced players don't want you to follow, so if you are holding onto 2 survey cards, you may have to do so for more than one turn. This is where having a planet with a survey symbol is useful, as it makes it more feasible to follow.

sedjtroll wrote:

* There's a Level 2 tech which is sort of like Adaptability for Survey cards, but it only works during your own turn (not when following).


I think this is a nice idea, (and the combo with Double Time is also worth noting for those on board with that).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
contiguity wrote:
(and the combo with Double Time is also worth noting for those on board with that).

Indeed, the existence of Double Time also decreases the suckiness of having a deck full of Survey cards
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Evans
Wales
Rhondda
Mid Glamorgan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
See this is why I really like this game. I've played it loads and yet we are still finding ways to tweak with it (obviously until the expansion comes out, please don't release it Seth, I need money for burgers, fags and beer).

I've always seen Survey as a necesary evil until I get enough planets and then just scorch earth to get loads of points, or to flip enough cards to get a produce/trade engine, but even after it's been out all this time, we're still wondering what to do for the best.

This is good for me, it means that there's enough balance in the game that there's no one major strategy. It also avoids situations like in Dominion where there might be ten cards on the table, but I just want the Chapel and a whole load of gold.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sedjtroll wrote:
arkayn wrote:
Sometimes I'll go so far as to call Survey turn 1 without boosting it, so I can have 2 Survey cards in hand for when someone else calls Survey on turn 1 or 2.

I often do this as well - especially as player 1 (put another way, the earlier you are in turn order, the better this is) because others may not have drawn both of their Survey cards in their opening draw. If they did, you can't stop them from getting a planet anyway, so it's still good for you. And if they didn't, then it's even better because they're more likely to need to call Survey when you can follow.

Slight danger in this plan though: you sometimes get caught holding 2 Surveys round after round with nobody calling Survey, and then you're basically playing with a hand size of 3!


I'll echo this strategy though if I hold 2 surveys and noone else called it I'm likely going to just call it myself again for a good choice. One benefit of being the first player and leading survey on turn 1 is that if other people do follow they don't get a choice at all and may get stuck with something that doesn't help them as much.

I will point out that it's not a bad idea to survey for several planets before focusing settling any of them. This helps you to know which icons you can use and can direct your game before you start in with warfare/colonize/research etc.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kvenosdel wrote:
I will point out that it's not a bad idea to survey for several planets before focusing settling any of them. This helps you to know which icons you can use and can direct your game before you start in with warfare/colonize/research etc.

Yes, this! I have seen a lot of people blindly alternate between flipping a planet and getting a planet, as if they didn't realize you can have more than 1 face down planet at a time... that CAN be good, but it can also be good to Survey up a few planets, then flip them in the order you decide is best (which may not be the chronological order you found them)!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.