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Subject: Swarmlings strategy rss

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Er heisst
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Hello everybody,

we found the swarmlings to be an extreme force to be reckoned with (who would have thought?), and they certainly diverge quite a lot from most other races. What I am asking myself is, what the best way to apply their early dominance would be?

The extra building cost seems to be quite the disadvantage first, but once you realise that they also get an additional worker, one could consider them to be even with other races if they only erect one building per round. Of course, once you figure in their stellar fortress ability, it becomes clear that they actually are building at an enormous speed. We all, when playing the swarmlings, initially rushed towards building the fortress in the first turn, so that we would get six free trading posts in the game (or: all four trading posts and a good start towards two temples). However, you would have to build one settlement every round to simply keep your worker count intact, and that is quite expensive: One spade and one settlement come at a cost of five workers per round entirely dedicated to maintaining the production base. And the scenario in which you build one first-round-fortress, one free trading post and one settlement leaves you with a worker income of three per round – leaving you in need to fill a gap of two workers per round to break even.

So, my question is: Does it seem sensible to wait until the second round to build the fortress and churn out one additional first-round-settlement instead? With a priest, you could even research cheaper terraforming in the first round and potentially still build two settlements, which would bring your worker base up to four (excluding two settlements which would be replaced in the second round by fortress and trading post), and your every-round-worker-costs down to four as well. But then, you would actually be in dire need of money, a situation that a first-round-fortress with free trading houses would probably entirely prohibit. Plus, a tech-intensive strategy would probably make you one of the richest players concerning both money and power…

So, I'm torn. What do you think?
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Helge Ostertag
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Don't forget the bonus for building a town: 3 workers!
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Moisés Solé
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I haven't played yet, so I could be totally off base here, but how about a relatively early Sanctuary, since priests can become workers if needed?
 
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Er heisst
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Horologiom wrote:
Don't forget the bonus for building a town: 3 workers!


Totally good addition! If you follow the concept of building a fortress in the second round, you'll have a town in the second round as well (four or even five settlements, one of them developed into a fortress, one developed into a trading house) – provided you manage to get three favourable terrain tiles for terraforming in close proximity. However, to be able to do that (including the early terraforming upgrade) you need to find five more coins somewhere. Or collect a bit of power. Seems that everything has to align perfectly for this strategy to work. But you can cut a few corners and still make it work, I think.
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Er heisst
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referee wrote:
I haven't played yet, so I could be totally off base here, but how about a relatively early Sanctuary, since priests can become workers if needed?


Haven't thought about that. Well, as a favour tile you could take the "plus 1 worker", so in effect boost your worker income by three. But that would cost you 11 workers and 18 money instead of 8 workers and 12 money for the fortress. And the special ability of the fortress in effect basically gives you a free 3 workers and 4/8 money every round. You will have two favour tiles instead, which might be an advantage. But the cost – most importantly the money cost – might be too high, I fear. Especially since you do not build any engine to create any money income.
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Moisés Solé
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Yeah, not to mention another action. But you get easier towns, too. As I said, I could be terribly wrong. Since the weak point seems to be gold, I think the fire favours seem the most appropriate.
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Dan Dirk
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I played a game with swarmlings and yes money can be tight but not too bad considering you really don't need that many temples.

I choose to pretty much ignore the cult track, built 1 temple early and took the priest cult bonus chit to upgrade my shovels and focused on building 2 towns and biggest network pretty much ignoring priests the rest of the game until late point grabs on the cult tracks.

Money was a bit tight but I was lucky in my case because the player to my right was always passing first. Always having 2 or more TPs on the board meant I could get coins via cult chit or power buys usually.

I don't think rushing the SH round one is worth it, build a few dwellings, a 4 coin TP if able. I think I ended up upgrading to SH round 3 (and only upgrading one TB late in the game to a temple so I has 3 TP on the board).



A tip with the swarmlings I noticed, don't count on passing first pretty much ever. With your free build and needs for coin a good number of turns is essential each round, reducing the chance of passing first to almost nil. The only possible way to get first player would be to only use your free ability and buy power stuffs and delay other buildings until next round (hopefully the production loss isn't too much). So try and plan ahead with the round bonus to time your builds as much as possible.

Another TIP: Get that TP bonus chit as much as you can, 12-16 points for 2-3 rounds isn't bad.
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Philip Thomas
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The Stronghold is worth 4 Power, 3 Workers and 4-8 money a turn (the 4 power is only available the turn after building, the rest you get every turn as soon as it is built).

Building the stronghold costs 8 Workers and 12 money (because you can guarantee at least one of your dwelling is next to an opponent). You get back your investment in roughly 2 turns.

Delaying the Stronghold in order to build Dwellings is foolish. For an investment of 2 workers and 3 money, Dwellings get you 1 worker a turn- you need more than 2 turns to recoup your investment.

Delaying the Stronghold in order to build Trading posts is even worse. The best way for the Swarmlings to build Trading posts is via their Stronghold ability. But if you did build them normally, they cost 3 workers and 4-8 money and get you 2 money and 2-3 power a turn. Much more than two turns.

Now, your Temple, wide variety of possibilities. But cost is 6 Workers and 10-14 money. You're not going to see that investment back in a hurry.

In short, rushing your Stronghold is they way for Swarmlings to go.
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