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Subject: Jol-Nar and Tech Bubble Action Card rss

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Arandor .
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Last game, the Jol-Nar player picked the Technology II Strategy Card.

When he played his Technology II Strategy Card, he also played the Action Card "Tech Bubble".

Tech Bubble AC reads:

"Play: After executing primary of technology. Play only if you choose technology card this turn: you may also execute secondary of technology card by paying all costs it takes."

The Jol-Nar's racial ability reads:

"When executing the Secondary of Technology SC, you may additionally use the Primary."

So, may the Jol-Nar in this case receive 5 (!) technologies?

1. Playing Primary: gain one free tech.
2. Playing Primary: pay 8 (minus discounts) to gain a second tech.
3. (Tech Bubble AC): execute secondary, pay 6 resources (minus discounts) to receive a third tech.
4. (Jol-Nar racial): "I am now executing the secondary, therefore I may also execute the primary again". Gain one free tech.
5. (Still executing the primary for the second time). Pay 8 resources (minus discounts) to gain a fifth tech.

OK, it costs a bit, but between 2 scientists, a few tech discounts and say Neural Computing, they could bring the cost down from potentially 8 (first time primary) + 6 (secondary) + 8 (second time primary) = 22 to basically nothing, and they gain 2 free ones regardless.

Is this allowed?
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Simon Kamber
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Arandor wrote:
Last game, the Jol-Nar player picked the Technology II Strategy Card.

When he played his Technology II Strategy Card, he also played the Action Card "Tech Bubble".

Tech Bubble AC reads:

"Play: After executing primary of technology. Play only if you choose technology card this turn: you may also execute secondary of technology card by paying all costs it takes."

The Jol-Nar's racial ability reads:

"When executing the Secondary of Technology SC, you may additionally use the Primary."

So, may the Jol-Nar in this case receive 5 (!) technologies?

1. Playing Primary: gain one free tech.
2. Playing Primary: pay 8 (minus discounts) to gain a second tech.
3. (Tech Bubble AC): execute secondary, pay 6 resources (minus discounts) to receive a third tech.
4. (Jol-Nar racial): "I am now executing the secondary, therefore I may also execute the primary again". Gain one free tech.
5. (Still executing the primary for the second time). Pay 8 resources (minus discounts) to gain a fifth tech.

OK, it costs a bit, but between 2 scientists, a few tech discounts and say Neural Computing, they could bring the cost down from potentially 8 (first time primary) + 6 (secondary) + 8 (second time primary) = 22 to basically nothing, and they gain 2 free ones regardless.

Is this allowed?


Pretty sure that is allowed, yes.
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Fedor Syagin
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Arandor wrote:
Last game, the Jol-Nar player picked the Technology II Strategy Card.

When he played his Technology II Strategy Card, he also played the Action Card "Tech Bubble".



Let's me put it in this term: why wouldn't it be allowed? Just because they get more out of it doesn't make it illegal move.
I have to say this beautiful. Most of the games we play by the end of it Jol-Nar actually have so many tech they usually don't care anymore about getting more of them, but still this would have been fun turn.

Also discount situation wouldn't be so dire most of the times - you do have to pay for them in order and once planet is tapped you cannot reuse it's discount. Still it is potentially possible to have them at almost no cost (2 discount planets + scientist + neuro, but if you have all that this lucky card combination is not the scariest thing.)

Also if you get to this situation and think this is so scary - why nobody sabotaged it? Not a single race had agent at that stage of the game? (If you have scientists you got to have other leaders.)
Well if people with those didn't consider it to be worth using - then probably this is not such a broken move after all And if it was sabotaged - then good - no problem then with this at all.
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Scott Lewis
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The one potential "against" I would present for this is the question of "are you allowed to execute the Primary ability twice in the same Strategic Action?" My inclination to that question would be "no", but an official ruling on that would probably be warranted.
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Arandor .
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garfielder wrote:
[q="Arandor"]Let's me put it in this term: why wouldn't it be allowed? Just because they get more out of it doesn't make it illegal move.


That's not the argument. The argument is that they are executing the Primary Ability TWICE.

I do not know of any combination of AC, racial abilities or laws or whatever that would let anybody execute a Primary ability TWICE.

The Jol-Nar's ability says you may "additionally execute the primary". If you've already done that before in this same round... may you do it yet again?

Quote:
I have to say this beautiful. Most of the games we play by the end of it Jol-Nar actually have so many tech they usually don't care anymore about getting more of them, but still this would have been fun turn.


By the same token... if they would get a lot out of it, that is no argument to disallow it. Just because you're not so interested in getting yet more tech is then also no reason to say it's allowed.

And, who's going to say NO to getting two techs for free? Executing the primary twice, after all. Even if you only do that, it's powerful.

Quote:
Also discount situation wouldn't be so dire most of the times - you do have to pay for them in order and once planet is tapped you cannot reuse it's discount. Still it is potentially possible to have them at almost no cost (2 discount planets + scientist + neuro, but if you have all that this lucky card combination is not the scariest thing.)


Getting an additional TWO techs for free kinda is, actually. YMMV.

Quote:
Also if you get to this situation and think this is so scary - why nobody sabotaged it? Not a single race had agent at that stage of the game? (If you have scientists you got to have other leaders.)
Well if people with those didn't consider it to be worth using - then probably this is not such a broken move after all And if it was sabotaged - then good - no problem then with this at all.


Once again: just because nobody sabotaged it, doesn't mean it would be allowed.

Nobody happened to have a Sabotage on hand; there was only one thus far in the game and it had been used on something else, for good reason.

I was Yssaril and therefore I was targeted a lot. Saving my Space Dock from Spacedock Accidents and Local Unrest kinda forced me to sacrifice both MY agents a few turns earlier. I had a stockpile of AC, but no Sabotage in hand... :S

The Federation did have an Agent, but was played by a newbie who was too scared to act and was completely overwhelmed by everything going on. I tried to convince him, but he wouldn't budge. "I don't know, I am not sure if I might need him later, no I don't think I'll do it."

The Naalu player likewise couldn't be convinced to sacrifice his agent. He was a bit more savvy than the Federation player, but he too wanted to save his Agent for something directed at HIM, instead of cancelling an advantage for somebody else. He did agree it was very overpowered, and since we couldn't agree we put it to a vote. The Jol-Nar was outvoted.
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Fedor Syagin
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Arandor wrote:
[
Getting an additional TWO techs for free kinda is, actually. YMMV.


Well if you read my post I never said it should be allowed or not. I asked question what in rules exactly makes it go one way or another?
I am honestly not sure why it wouldn't be allowed but I have been wrong before and until Corey rules this one out - everything is possible.
And even on some of the corey ruling (Famous Type IV and Flagship) people still fight, just because they screwed up one of the FAQ

Now I do want to point out one thing - this is not getting 2 techs for free versus no free tech.

This is talking about getting one more tech for free.
What is also interesting let's say they are not allowed to do it - then correct play for Jol-Nar always would be - ignore that action card.

Right now they took strategy card spend action card and get one primary and one secondary and secondary might be sabotaged.

Otherwise they can do the same for cost of one CC (As long as Tech is picked up in general.) and cannot be sabotaged.

So in the end question end up being - can Jol-Nar benefit from Focused research or it's just mostly pointless action card for them? (Just doesn't seem to be worth the effort.)
(same way as any action card with war-sun in it pointless to anyone who had no warsun.)

This is not in any way points to the fact that this should be allowed.
If it's allowed - good for Jol-nar - if it's not - why would Jol-Nar ever care to execute it unless they are forced to pick Technology II this turn (seen this happen.)

Anyway - hopefully we will hear from Corey about this.
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muthrali the relentless
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my group would definitely allow this without a doubt. The thing about action cards/political is that they often change the normal rules. Doing primaries twice perfectly fits into that philosophy
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muthrali wrote:
my group would definitely allow this without a doubt. The thing about action cards/political is that they often change the normal rules. Doing primaries twice perfectly fits into that philosophy

They only change rules where explicitly specified. There is nothing on the card that allows for letting a player resolve a Primary Ability twice in one action
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Greg Pratt
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I think for me, the key words are 'also' in the action card and 'additionally' in the Jol-Nar's racial ability. Those words are additive, which means the player gets to do all of them.
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Magesmiley wrote:
I think for me, the key words are 'also' in the action card and 'additionally' in the Jol-Nar's racial ability. Those words are additive, which means the player gets to do all of them.

Yes, but those two abilities weren't necessarily written to be in combo.

The "additionally" in the Jol-Nar ability is talking about "you can do the secondary AND the primary" (unlike the Xxcha, where you are doing the primary INSTEAD OF the secondary). And on the Tech Bubble card, same thing; it's emphasizing that you can do both Primary and Secondary.

However, when you combine them, you get the potential for doing the Primary TWICE, and that is what I don't think was intended; you are either doing the Primary or you aren't.

I've submitted the question to FFG, so we'll see. But I think it's FAR too strong to let the Jol-Nar potentially get 5 techs in one turn (two of them for free); it's already pretty strong that they can get 3!
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Magesmiley wrote:
I think for me, the key words are 'also' in the action card and 'additionally' in the Jol-Nar's racial ability. Those words are additive, which means the player gets to do all of them.

Yes, but those two abilities weren't necessarily written to be in combo.

The "additionally" in the Jol-Nar ability is talking about "you can do the secondary AND the primary" (unlike the Xxcha, where you are doing the primary INSTEAD OF the secondary). And on the Tech Bubble card, same thing; it's emphasizing that you can do both Primary and Secondary.

However, when you combine them, you get the potential for doing the Primary TWICE, and that is what I don't think was intended; you are either doing the Primary or you aren't.

I've submitted the question to FFG, so we'll see. But I think it's FAR too strong to let the Jol-Nar potentially get 5 techs in one turn (two of them for free); it's already pretty strong that they can get 3!


I don't know about it being too strong:
A. They have to take tech to used it. Normally the Jol-Nar never take tech. Having to select it limits their options to do other stuff. There's also the matter of actually getting the tech card (which is usually very popular when I play).
B. They have to get and use a specific action card. Ok not a huge cost, but it is one.
C. 22 resources to get a full five. Admitedly less if they have tech planets. That's a lot of resources.
D. It can be sabotaged.

If they can do all of the above, more power to them! I can think of quite a few combos that can be assembled from a specific strategy card, a racial ability, a specific action card, and 20+ resources.
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I don't believe the difficulty of obtaining the combo means it's not "too strong", because all those factors can be mitigated.

Plus, I think it boils down to intent. While I don't know for sure what the intent was, my gut tells me the intent is that you cannot activate the Primary ability more than once.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Magesmiley wrote:
I think for me, the key words are 'also' in the action card and 'additionally' in the Jol-Nar's racial ability. Those words are additive, which means the player gets to do all of them.

Yes, but those two abilities weren't necessarily written to be in combo.

The "additionally" in the Jol-Nar ability is talking about "you can do the secondary AND the primary" (unlike the Xxcha, where you are doing the primary INSTEAD OF the secondary). And on the Tech Bubble card, same thing; it's emphasizing that you can do both Primary and Secondary.

However, when you combine them, you get the potential for doing the Primary TWICE, and that is what I don't think was intended; you are either doing the Primary or you aren't.

I've submitted the question to FFG, so we'll see. But I think it's FAR too strong to let the Jol-Nar potentially get 5 techs in one turn (two of them for free); it's already pretty strong that they can get 3!


I don't think the difference is that great. In fact, I see no difference at all. For a normal race, taking tech with tech bubble allows them to get two more techs than they otherwise would have, one of them for free. For Jol-Nar, taking tech with tech bubble allows them to get two more techs than they otherwise would have, one of them for free.

From where I'm standing, tech bubble gives Jol-Nar exactly the same effect it gives everyone else.

Edit: In fact, I would argue that the added tech is LESS of an advantage to the Jol-Nar, since they already have plenty of free tech.
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Arandor .
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Dulkal wrote:
I don't think the difference is that great. In fact, I see no difference at all. For a normal race, taking tech with tech bubble allows them to get two more techs than they otherwise would have, one of them for free. For Jol-Nar, taking tech with tech bubble allows them to get two more techs than they otherwise would have, one of them for free.

From where I'm standing, tech bubble gives Jol-Nar exactly the same effect it gives everyone else.


Every race except Jol-Nar:

* if you DO take tech, you get 1 for free, and 1 for 8 resources (minus any discounts)

=> With Tech Bubble, you get potentially 1 more: you can execute also the Secondary, so you get 1 for 6 resources, minus discounts.

Jol-Nar only:

* if you DO take tech, you get 1 for free, 1 for 8 resources

=> With Tech Bubble, you get 1 more (Secondary), then 2 additionally more (since the argument is "I am doing the Secondary, therefore I now also get to do the primary". Another 1 for free, and another 1 for 8 resources.

So no, the Jol-Nar get far more out of this than anyone else.

Normal race: 1 more than expected (Secondary).
Jol-Nar: 3 more than expected (Secondary, than the Primary yet again resulting in 2 more).
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Arandor wrote:

So no, the Jol-Nar get far more out of this than anyone else.

Normal race: 1 more than expected (Secondary).
Jol-Nar: 3 more than expected (Secondary, than the Primary yet again resulting in 2 more).


You are forgetting that the alternative is not to take Tech without Tech Bubble.

If holding tech bubble, a regular race can choose to do both the primary and the secondary, rather than just the secondary, by choosing tech. The net gain: being able to do tech primary in addition to their usual tech gain.

If holding tech bubble, the Universities can choose to do the primary twice and the secondary once, rather than doing each of them once, by choosing tech. The net gain: Being able to do tech primary in addition to their usual tech gain.

You are right that the Jol-Nar do in principle get 3 more tech than they could expect if they took Tech without the Tech Bubble AC. But I don't think I have ever seen the Jol-Nar do that, so that number is not significant.

In other words, the expected gain from tech bubble + choosing tech strategy is one free tech and one tech at 8, and that is true for the Universities as it is for any other race.


Edit: To put it another way:
- The Hylar gain 3 techs for playing tech bubble, but they also had to give up 2 more techs than a normal race by taking the Technology Strategy. All their 'extra gain' from the AC does is give them back their normal racial bonus which they would otherwise forfeit by taking Technology.
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Arandor .
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Dulkal wrote:
You are forgetting that the alternative is not to take Tech without Tech Bubble.

If holding tech bubble, a regular race can choose to do both the primary and the secondary, rather than just the secondary, by choosing tech. The net gain: being able to do tech primary in addition to their usual tech gain.

If holding tech bubble, the Universities can choose to do the primary twice and the secondary once, rather than doing each of them once, by choosing tech. The net gain: Being able to do tech primary in addition to their usual tech gain.

You are right that the Jol-Nar do in principle get 3 more tech than they could expect if they took Tech without the Tech Bubble AC. But I don't think I have ever seen the Jol-Nar do that, so that number is not significant.

In other words, the expected gain from tech bubble + choosing tech strategy is one free tech and one tech at 8, and that is true for the Universities as it is for any other race.


Edit: To put it another way:
- The Hylar gain 3 techs for playing tech bubble, but they also had to give up 2 more techs than a normal race by taking the Technology Strategy. All their 'extra gain' from the AC does is give them back their normal racial bonus which they would otherwise forfeit by taking Technology.


Not quite. Tech is a very, very wanted card (for anyone but Jol-Nar, who will usually just want to do the secondary anyway).

And the only way to make use of the Tech Bubble AC is to take tech yourself.

If you have the opportunity to take tech (i.e. someone did not snatch it right before your nose), you often seriously consider it. It's not by any means an auto-pick, but if you can take it, you fairly often will do so.

Normally your "expected" tech for any race but Jol-Nar is indeed tech-secondary, true. But if you are capable of taking tech, then your "expected" tech is tech-primary. With the Tech Bubble AC, then, your gain is only tech-secondary in addition.

If Jol-Nar holds the Tech Bubble AC, he holds the only reason to even consider taking tech, if he has the opportunity. I have seen people think "oh, Jol-Nar will not take tech anyway, I can count on getting it myself". But with this AC, Jol-Nar can take it and have an expected gain of doing what they always can do, plus the primary.

So I disagree. For other races, since tech is wanted: if you can take tech, you often will. Their gain with this AC is the secondary. For Jol-Nar, the net gain is primary. Which is a bigger gain.
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Arandor wrote:
So I disagree. For other races, since tech is wanted: if you can take tech, you often will. Their gain with this AC is the secondary. For Jol-Nar, the net gain is primary. Which is a bigger gain.


If your premise is that taking Tech has a negligible opportunity cost for the Jol-Nar (or anyone else), then yes, I agree that Tech Bubble is overpowered.

I do not agree with that premise, though. I think the opportunity cost for playing the AC is much higher for the Jol-Nar, and that this mostly negates the 'extra' advantage they get from playing the card.

Given the high tech acquisition rate by the Jol-Nar, I still submit that their benefit from an extra tech, even if it is 'free' (sans the opportunity cost of taking tech) is smaller than the benefit another race with a slower tech rate would get. I would much rather draw a Tech Bubble when playing the Naalu, the Winnu or the Mindnet.
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Arandor .
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Dulkal wrote:
I do not agree with that premise, though. I think the opportunity cost for playing the AC is much higher for the Jol-Nar, and that this mostly negates the 'extra' advantage they get from playing the card.

Given the high tech acquisition rate by the Jol-Nar, I still submit that their benefit from an extra tech, even if it is 'free' (sans the opportunity cost of taking tech) is smaller than the benefit another race with a slower tech rate would get. I would much rather draw a Tech Bubble when playing the Naalu, the Winnu or the Mindnet.


Then I think we better agree to disagree...

The only way to gain benefit of this AC is to take the Tech SC. Something any race but the Jol-Nar will often and gladly do if they have the opportunity. The Jol-Nar will do it less, that is true - but if they have to, they have a bigger gain and that more than offsets the "cost".

I also disagree with your premise that "Jol-Nar gets so many tech anyway, they don't care about another".

Unless they have all 34 possible techs (all 8 blue / green / red / yellow, plus their 2 racial techs), they do not have enough of them. Plain and simple.

They start with "only" 4; so they need 30 more. Even at 3 per turn (especially in the beginning, this is doubtful; you will not likely have 8 + 6 = 14 resources - minus discounts - to spare in the first two, maybe three, turns) that is 10 turns.

The game will simply not last 10 turns; it will last 6, maybe 7. Possibly 8.

So there is always, always more tech to be had. They will never, ever turn an extra free one down, even at the negligble cost of just taking Tech SC.

This is, of course, IMHO.

However, last game, the Jol-Nar player was surprised that he only had 3-4 techs more than the Naalu player (who had gotten hold of Tech SC a couple of times, sitting to the left of the Jol-Nar player who passed over picking Tech SC).

Since the Jol-Nar player only received 2 techs a turn (secondary, plus primary free - he never had the resources to buy a third one at 8), and the Naalu player did have 8 to spare in the turns he took Tech SC, there was hardly an "overwhelming tech advantage".

Of course, he did have 5-7 techs more than I did (I declined tech secondary once or twice).
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Simon Kamber
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Arandor wrote:

Then I think we better agree to disagree...

Probably, yes. I simply cant follow a logic where a player 'needs' 30 techs to win the game. But I just have to ask:

What kind of resource density are you playing with, where a player regularly has 8 resources 'to spare'? I can't recall ever being able to do that more than once in a game, and even then only in desperate situations. It is my impression that even the normal cost of 5 is high enough that teching is often a suboptimal choice.

If players are bleeding resources like that, I can see why spending 22 resources on tech actually is something that could happen. I thought it was a theoretical proposition.
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Arandor .
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Dulkal wrote:
Probably, yes. I simply cant follow a logic where a player 'needs' 30 techs to win the game. But I just have to ask:

What kind of resource density are you playing with, where a player regularly has 8 resources 'to spare'? I can't recall ever being able to do that more than once in a game, and even then only in desperate situations. It is my impression that even the normal cost of 5 is high enough that teching is often a suboptimal choice.

If players are bleeding resources like that, I can see why spending 22 resources on tech actually is something that could happen. I thought it was a theoretical proposition.


The 22 is itself theoretical. In practice, it's almost always (a lot) less.

Jol-Nar have 2 Scientists. There's plenty of planets around with a tech specialty and 3 with a double tech specialty (Faunus - green, Industrex - red Tempesta - blue). It's quite likely the Jol-Nar will have a couple of those.

Add Neural Computing which really isn't that far down the tree (for Jol-Nar, that is!) and for a player who DOES want to research lots & lots of tech is a given.

Add Micro Technology, possibly their racial tech (Electro-Resonance Turbines) so he's swimming in TG.

Two Primary: free of charge.
Two additional Primary: 2 x 8 = 16... but wait

- of course with these, he will research the one color he has 2 tech specialty planets in, one of which has a Scientist, for 3 reduction
- of course, we have Neural Computing

=> so really only 2 x (8 - 1 - 2 (Scientist) - 2 = ) 3, so 6 resources instead of 16.

One additional Secondary: 6... but wait

- of course with this one, he will research the OTHER color he has 2 tech specialty planets in, one of which as a Scientist, for 3 reduction
- of course, we have Neural Computing

=> so really only (6 - 1 - 2 (Scientist) - 2 = ) 1 resource instead of 6.

Somehow, 7 resources (2 x free, 2 x 3, plus 1) for 5 techs doesn't seem like all that much. Oh, well, I suppose I could forego one "8-turned-3" and make it only 4 resources for 4 techs.

Yeah, yeah, this requires 4 unexhausted tech planets, a good placement of your Scientists, correct timing, you have to research Neural Computing, yadda yadda.

Except he controls the timing himself (since he picked Tech card), places those Scientists himself and was already focusing on 4 tech planets anyway. There are plenty around to make 4 of them within easy reach no real stretch of the imagination.

Resource density? Nah, not really. He is playing a techie race to its strength. Nothing wrong with that.
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For what it's worth, I got a response from Corey, and I was wrong. The Jol-Nar could use this to activate the primary twice if they want.
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Fedor Syagin
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sigmazero13 wrote:
For what it's worth, I got a response from Corey, and I was wrong. The Jol-Nar could use this to activate the primary twice if they want.

We should add this to that post that had all corey rulings in it.
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Arandor wrote:
Resource density? Nah, not really. He is playing a techie race to its strength. Nothing wrong with that.


I was referring more to the post where you wrote that the Naalu player 'had 8 resources to spare' more than once during a game. I'm pretty sure that any player who threw that kind of resources in one of our games would be in serious military trouble.

I think that kind of play is only possible in a meta-game where you are expected to not attack players that play loosely. We've had players lose their homeworld on round 2 for leaving much smaller openings.
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James Grider
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
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sigmazero13 wrote:
For what it's worth, I got a response from Corey, and I was wrong. The Jol-Nar could use this to activate the primary twice if they want.


Now imagine if they also had that Action Card that says something like "This copies another AC, play it when that one could be played".

Then they could get up to 8 tech in one turn!

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