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Subject: Epic Rebel Win -- Military Need Not Apply rss

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Jonathan C
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I am finally learning how to consistently trounce Keldon's AI 3P-mode, all expansions, with goals and takeovers enabled. It is very sweet when all the cards fall into place, as in the following game. Military developments need not apply in this Rebel-Take-All smash-fest. The most interesting aspect of this victory is the huge military worlds in my tableau, with a negative total military.

What I haven't yet decided is whether being Prestige leader is an over-powered position. It is like an anti-catchup mechanic, a runaway condition, or positive feedback. Why do I propose this? Because in the games I have played the Keldon AI, probably over 2/3 of the time, the winner is a winner (by a longshot, over 10 pts lead), and has the most (or tied for most) Prestige at game end. It seems to me that this badly favors the player who (randomly) has the first low-cost prestige cards to play down early.




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RFTG Save
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Red starts with Ancient Race.
Green starts with Alien Research Team.
Blue starts with Rebel Cantina.
--- Round 1 begins ---
Red chooses Consume-Trade.
Green chooses Develop.
Blue chooses Develop.
Green develops Public Works.
Blue develops Pan-Galactic Mediator.
Red trades good from Ancient Race for 4.
Red receives 4 cards for Consume phase.
--- Round 2 begins ---
Blue earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Produce.
Green chooses Explore +5.
Blue chooses Explore +1,+1.
Red draws 2 and keeps 1.
Green draws 9 and keeps 1.
Blue draws 4 and keeps 2.
Red produces on Ancient Race.
Blue receives 1 card for Produce phase.
--- Round 3 begins ---
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Consume-Trade.
Green chooses Explore +1,+1.
Blue chooses Settle.
Red draws 2 and keeps 1.
Green draws 5 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 3 and keeps 1.
Red pays 1 for Deserted Alien World.
Blue uses Rebel Cantina.
Blue pays 2 for Reptilian Uplift Race.
Red trades good from Ancient Race for 4.
Red receives 4 cards for Consume phase.
Red discards 1 at end of turn.
--- Round 4 begins ---
Blue earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Produce.
Green chooses Develop.
Blue chooses Consume-Trade.
Green pays 5.
Green develops Pan-Galactic Research.
Blue trades good from Reptilian Uplift Race for 4.
Blue receives 4 cards for Consume phase.
Red produces on Ancient Race.
Green receives 2 cards for Produce phase.
Blue receives 1 card for Produce phase.
Blue discards 2 at end of turn.
--- Round 5 begins ---
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Develop.
Green chooses Explore +1,+1.
Blue chooses Develop.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 7 and keeps 3.
Blue draws 3 and keeps 1.
Red pays 2.
Red develops Terraforming Robots.
Green pays 1.
Green develops Interstellar Bank.
Blue develops Investment Credits.
--- Round 6 begins ---
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Blue claims Galactic Standard of Living goal.
Red chooses Explore +1,+1.
Green chooses Develop.
Blue chooses Develop.
Red draws 4 and keeps 2.
Green draws 6 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green pays 3.
Green develops Galactic Power Brokers.
Blue pays 4.
Blue develops Galactic Federation.
--- Round 7 begins ---
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Settle.
Green chooses Explore +5.
Blue chooses Settle.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 11 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 3 and keeps 1.
Red pays 4 for Alien Robotic Factory.
Green pays 5 for Alien Tourist Attraction.
Blue uses Rebel Cantina.
Blue pays 2 for Rebel Miners.
--- Round 8 begins ---
Blue earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Settle.
Green chooses Explore +5.
Blue chooses Explore +1,+1.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 12 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 4 and keeps 2.
Red pays 3 for Comet Zone.
Blue uses Rebel Cantina.
Blue pays 4 for Rebel Colony.
--- Round 9 begins ---
Blue earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Consume-Trade.
Green chooses Explore +5.
Blue chooses Explore +1,+1.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 12 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 4 and keeps 2.
Red trades good from Ancient Race for 4.
Green consumes good from Alien Tourist Attraction using Alien Tourist Attraction.
Red receives 4 cards for Consume phase.
Green receives 2 cards and 1 VP for Consume phase.
Red discards 2 at end of turn.
--- Round 10 begins ---
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Produce.
Green chooses Explore +5.
Blue chooses Explore +1,+1.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 12 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 4 and keeps 2.
Red produces on Comet Zone.
Red produces on Alien Robotic Factory.
Red produces on Ancient Race.
Blue produces on Rebel Miners.
Red receives 1 card for Produce phase.
Green receives 2 cards for Produce phase.
Blue receives 3 cards for Produce phase.
Red discards 2 at end of turn.
Blue discards 1 at end of turn.
--- Round 11 begins ---
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Explore +1,+1.
Green chooses Prestige Develop.
Blue chooses Develop.
Red draws 4 and keeps 2.
Green draws 7 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 3 and keeps 1.
Red pays 3.
Red develops Galactic Advertisers.
Green pays 2.
Green develops Galactic Bankers.
Blue pays 2.
Blue develops Universal Peace Institute.
Blue claims Expansion Leader goal.
Green discards 1 at end of turn.
--- Round 12 begins ---
Blue earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Consume-Trade.
Green chooses Develop.
Blue chooses Settle.
Red pays 2.
Red develops Deficit Spending.
Green pays 3.
Green develops Imperium Invasion Fleet.
Blue pays 3.
Blue develops Rebel Alliance.
Red pays 3 for Federation Capital.
Green discards Imperium Invasion Fleet.
Green conquers Uplift Gene Breeders.
Blue uses Rebel Alliance.
Blue pays 3 for Rebel Homeworld.
Red trades good from Alien Robotic Factory for 6.
Refreshing draw deck.
Red consumes good from Ancient Race using Federation Capital.
Red consumes good from Comet Zone using Terraforming Robots.
Blue consumes good from Rebel Miners using Rebel Colony.
Red receives 8 cards and 1 VP and 1 prestige for Consume phase.
Blue receives 1 VP for Consume phase.
--- Round 13 begins ---
Blue earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Settle.
Green chooses Develop.
Blue chooses Settle.
Green pays 4.
Green develops Pan-Galactic Affluence.
Red pays 2 for New Vinland.
Green pays 1 for Pan-Galactic Security Council.
Blue uses Rebel Alliance.
Blue pays 1 for Rebel Outpost.
Red claims System Diversity goal.
--- Round 14 begins ---
Green earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Blue earns VP for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Produce.
Green chooses Develop.
Blue chooses Explore +5.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 8 and keeps 2.
Blue draws 8 and keeps 1.
Red pays 4.
Red develops Diversified Economy.
Green pays 4.
Green develops Trade League.
Red produces on New Vinland.
Red produces on Comet Zone.
Red produces on Alien Robotic Factory.
Red produces on Ancient Race.
Green produces on Uplift Gene Breeders.
Blue produces on Rebel Miners.
Red receives 5 cards for Produce phase.
Green receives 2 cards and 1 prestige for Produce phase.
Blue receives 5 cards for Produce phase.
--- Round 15 begins ---
Green earns VP and card for Prestige Leader.
Red chooses Prestige Consume-Trade.
Green chooses Explore +1,+1.
Blue chooses Settle.
Red draws 3 and keeps 1.
Green draws 9 and keeps 3.
Blue draws 3 and keeps 1.
Red pays 3 for Black Market Trading World.
Blue uses Rebel Alliance.
Blue pays 5 for Rebel Stronghold.
Red trades good from Alien Robotic Factory for 9.
Red consumes good from Ancient Race using Federation Capital.
Red trades good from Comet Zone for 6.
Red consumes good from New Vinland using New Vinland.
Red consumes 2 cards from hand using Prestige Trade bonus.
Red consumes 2 cards from hand using Deficit Spending.
Green trades good from Uplift Gene Breeders for 5.
Blue consumes good from Rebel Miners using Rebel Colony.
Red receives 18 cards and 4 VP and 1 prestige for Consume phase.
Green receives 5 cards for Consume phase.
Blue receives 1 VP for Consume phase.
Red discards 12 at end of turn.
Green discards 8 at end of turn.
Blue wins with 93.
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David
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I used to think Prestige Leader points were unbalanced too, but I don't now.

Sure there have been games where that made a difference, low scoring games where those extra points tipped the balance and the other players couldn't get their engines working. But in this game you gained 13 VPs from PL in this game and you won by over 30 points! That's not just the prestige bonus!
 
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ErikPeter Walker
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The Prestige leader can be a big deal in 2PA, but it might just be tied to Pan-Galactic Affluence showing up, which is especially powerful in 2PA.

I think the prestige leader is only guaranteed to win if the other player tries miserably to catch up, since they're probably making sub-optimal plays just to get prestige.

That said, it is a strong strategy in the early game, especially due to the card flow. But it just represents another pathway to win. If your starting hand is two cheap prestige gains and two cheap military bonuses, either option could push you into the lead. It just depends on what you draw later.
 
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Erik D
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loofish wrote:
I used to think Prestige Leader points were unbalanced too, but I don't now.

Sure there have been games where that made a difference, low scoring games where those extra points tipped the balance and the other players couldn't get their engines working. But in this game you gained 13 VPs from PL in this game and you won by over 30 points! That's not just the prestige bonus!

In 2-player games, being prestige leader only matters in close games since it's worth 5-6 points if one player holds it game long. The other things you have to factor in is how much did the prestige bonus draw help, and how much did fighting over prestige leader help/hurt a player.

I have noticed though, the more players, the more being prestige leader aids you to victory.
 
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Erik D
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Voxen wrote:
The Prestige leader can be a big deal in 2PA, but it might just be tied to Pan-Galactic Affluence showing up, which is especially powerful in 2PA.

I think the prestige leader is only guaranteed to win if the other player tries miserably to catch up, since they're probably making sub-optimal plays just to get prestige.

That said, it is a strong strategy in the early game, especially due to the card flow. But it just represents another pathway to win. If your starting hand is two cheap prestige gains and two cheap military bonuses, either option could push you into the lead. It just depends on what you draw later.

I don't know how you did it, but we managed to somehow say the same thing by saying the complete opposite thing at the same time!
 
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First off, with prestige, thsi should've been in the BoW forums.


While PL is powerful, there are still powerful combos before Brink Of War... spamming devs has always been hard to top in 2pa. As with playing high military worlds.
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Serge
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Very nice. I'm still waiting for the day i start with



my first 2 builds are



and i also get




You were just missing Rebel Pact in your opening hand!
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Erik D
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entranced wrote:
Very nice. I'm still waiting for the day i start with



my first 2 builds are



and i also get




You were just missing Rebel Pact in your opening hand!

It's a lot of fun until your opponent breaks out Interstellar Cassus Belli.
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erak wrote:
It's a lot of fun until your opponent breaks out Interstellar Cassus Belli.
Yeah seriously. It seems like every time i go heavy negative military an opponent plays ICB. Really hampers using Universal Peace Institute to its full potential. Too bad too cuz i love the idea of the card's ideal tableau.
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entranced wrote:
erak wrote:
It's a lot of fun until your opponent breaks out Interstellar Cassus Belli.
Yeah seriously. It seems like every time i go heavy negative military an opponent plays ICB. Really hampers using Universal Peace Institute to its full potential. Too bad too cuz i love the idea of the card's ideal tableau.
If you have enough military worlds, esp. REBEL mil. worlds, you may be able to counteract some of that TO strength. If not, I find it's worth adding military despite losing pts due to having UPI.


Obviously, having PGSC is the bees knees in that case
 
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Matt N
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entranced wrote:
erak wrote:
It's a lot of fun until your opponent breaks out Interstellar Cassus Belli.
Yeah seriously. It seems like every time i go heavy negative military an opponent plays ICB. Really hampers using Universal Peace Institute to its full potential. Too bad too cuz i love the idea of the card's ideal tableau.

As someone who does not routinely play with takeovers, do you burn your search card for a takeover power (as in defense) in that situation? Or is it just too hard to make a few defensive cards work?
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ErikPeter Walker
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In the, let's make a conservative estimate and say 100 games erak and I have played against each other, I doubt either one of us has searched for takeover defense. Maybe once?

I play enough, and casually enough, that when a big military player hoses me with TO I just shrug and think, oh well, better luck next time. If you can pull rebel pact it's great, but it's more likely you'll pull some unusable TO power instead. I've used prestige settle for defense (thanks to the +2 military) a few times.
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Serge
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Stunna wrote:
As someone who does not routinely play with takeovers, do you burn your search card for a takeover power (as in defense) in that situation? Or is it just too hard to make a few defensive cards work?
Heh if i were lucid enough to think of it in that super rare tableau, and still had the action available, i definitely would. Assuming no seen takeover cards it's 46%, so if opponent has a takeover card in play or telegraphed one in hand, it's already at least 49%.

One problem though is that more than half the time, i'd already have used my Prestige/Search action by midgame. Certainly a good incentive to consider holding onto it more tightly if you've got the makings of this kind of tableau. Or even Search for defense preemptively. The tableau loves Rebel Pact even without someone attempting a takeover.

Not to mention, 27-30% of the pass, "whiff", you get a juicy takeover power to flip the table on them (Rebel Sneak Attack, Rebel Alliance), if they have an Imperium card. And as we saw, the tableau loves Rebel Alliance for scoring, and Imperium Seat wouldn't be too shabby either.

All in all, this tableau loves the takeover/defense search category! Thanks for bringing the issue to my attention.
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Voxen wrote:
In the, let's make a conservative estimate and say 100 games erak and I have played against each other, I doubt either one of us has searched for takeover defense. Maybe once?

I play enough, and casually enough, that when a big military player hoses me with TO I just shrug and think, oh well, better luck next time. If you can pull rebel pact it's great, but it's more likely you'll pull some unusable TO power instead. I've used prestige settle for defense (thanks to the +2 military) a few times.
PGSC is great. So is Rebel Pact. Alien Booby Trap can work if you have a decent military to begin with and PP to spend, as sometimes, the mili-worlds you have are high enough def (assuming you managed to get a pfmw power, then they're cheap enough with UPI's discount) that the +3 military could help long enough for you to just end the game.


This sort of thing happens when someone manages to get a dev strategy going and spam devs ftw. Only difference is that in TO approaches, it's directly affecting your tableau.
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ackmondual wrote:
Alien Booby Trap can work if you have a decent military to begin with and PP to spend, as sometimes, the mili-worlds you have are high enough def (assuming you managed to get a pfmw power, then they're cheap enough with UPI's discount) that the +3 military could help long enough for you to just end the game.
This actually occurred for me recently. Had negative military, opponent had takeover power but not very high military. Thanks to ABT i was able to protect all my 3 or higher defense worlds, so all he got was something with 1 defense and iirc i went on to win.
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erak wrote:
It's a lot of fun until your opponent breaks out Interstellar Cassus Belli.

If this happens very early, it can be bad, but it's almost always late enough in the game that it's not the end of the world. Sure, it stinks to be losing worlds, but what usually ends up happening is that you are losing low VP worlds, and your opponent is stealing them instead of playing end game worlds, so you can often keep up with your new settles. It helps if you can smoothly switch to civilian settles here, or have the advantage in another scoring phase (i.e., develop or consume).

In this game, I started with Doomed World, and played Psi-Crystal World, then Pan-Galactic Mediator, then Contact Specialist. It was pretty awesome : )
 
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Rainstar wrote:
erak wrote:
It's a lot of fun until your opponent breaks out Interstellar Cassus Belli.

If this happens very early, it can be bad, but it's almost always late enough in the game that it's not the end of the world. Sure, it stinks to be losing worlds, but what usually ends up happening is that you are losing low VP worlds, and your opponent is stealing them instead of playing end game worlds, so you can often keep up with your new settles. It helps if you can smoothly switch to civilian settles here, or have the advantage in another scoring phase (i.e., develop or consume).
Well, I'm sure experienced players won't bother going for low VP worlds in that case. There are exceptions, like he wants to gain more PP via ICB, keep you/add to his Most Goal(s), ditto with 1st Goals, block certain powers (like R&S Salvage Inc.), or prolong the game. If he lacks the military to TO high VP military worlds and would have to settle (huh, pun) for low VP military worlds, he may just III a better non-milly world instead.
 
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