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Subject: 4 Player with Revised First Edition Rules rss

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Dave Martin
Canada
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Got this game about a week ago, and we got a play in last Saturday.

First I had done an initial game (which I played to the end of turn 6) of 4 players by myself to test the game/rules.

Saturday's 4 players were my 19 yr old son Caleb, his friend Jason, my 20 yr old daughter Karlissa, and myself (Dave).

We played the new first edition revised rules, with these adjustments:
1) You could not fly through asteroids/mines/monsters without the appropriate techs.
2) Fighters cost 2, diplomats cost 4, and sunhammers cost 8.
3) Sunhammers carry 3 other ships, and take 2 hits to destroy.

Karlissa was Kingdom of Roth, Caleb was Collective V, Jason was Nomads of Earth, and I was Oracles of Znu.

As the first tech, everyone took graviton thrusters (diplomats fly +2) except me, I took 'hand limit 4' in order to get to Plasma Drill (+1 mine action/turn), which we still considered to give +2 credits/turn. Thus I was almost always getting the most money, but yet I was last in VPs for most of the game. But their diplomat movement was very useful.

In the early game, Karlissa got out to a quick diplomatic lead, as she was successful vs Tacteen on first try, which then gave her +3 on diplomacy rolls, and she just continued on. Caleb went straight to the center hex (which was the winning strategy in my test game also), then spread out, some allying and some conquering. Jason had bad luck early, but did recover in time for the first scoring.

By mid-game Caleb was pulling ahead of Karlissa, as he started conquering some of her planets. Caleb and Jason had made a pact, and they both attacked me, so I was constantly on defense.

By the end game Karlissa and I made a similar pact, and were pushing back successfully, but it was too late. Final scores: Caleb-53, Dave-43 (mostly a last turn comeback), Karlissa-38, Jason-37.

IT WAS LOTS OF FUN. I'd gladly play again soon, and I love the interaction of planets, techs, alliances vs conquering, starting abilities, and various ships.

Jason's description after we started: "It looks like they took all the things Karlissa likes to write about/is interested in, and to make our family (especially dad) happy, turned it into a board game". (Karlissa writes, and often about fantasy worlds.)

Which planet abilities were most useful? In this game, it was likely either the Shooting Star (Phin) or +3 diplomacy (Tacteen). I thought cloaking might be important (which I eventually got), but it only applied in one battle, I think, due to detection abilities.

Caleb used the Shooting Stars to roll over most of Karlissa's planets (I think she had 6 allies at mid-game). We missed the chance to attack him when he had no credits, but eventually she destroyed 1-2 Shooting Stars with Moths, as they could absorb the first hit and then secure hits. All ships were built in this game except Black Holes, as diplomacy attempts there kept being unsuccessful.

It was AWESOME, and the player who went to the middle right away won again (just coincidence?). I really liked the ruleset that we used, and would not change anything for next game (in my first game I had tested using normal ship costs, except fighters at 1 1/2 each - and felt I needed to make them more expensive). Especially, I think, do not play without ambassadors and photon bombs.

TRY THIS GAME, WITH THE REVISED FIRST EDITION RULES!
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Damon C.
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Nebraska
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Good to hear, I'm anxiously awaiting delivery of this game.
 
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Ben Rubinstein

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Those rules adjustments you made--could you give some insight into why you made them? Also.. isn't it normally impossible to go through the asteroids without the tech?

Thanks!
 
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Scott Lewis
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Thornton
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Dread Our Coming, Suffer Our Presence, Embrace Our Glory (Solonavi War Cry)
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epilepticemu wrote:
Those rules adjustments you made--could you give some insight into why you made them? Also.. isn't it normally impossible to go through the asteroids without the tech?

In the revised rules, you can go through them at a risk of having your ships destroyed; the tech lets you do it with no risk.
 
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Dave Martin
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sigmazero13 wrote:
epilepticemu wrote:
Those rules adjustments you made--could you give some insight into why you made them? Also.. isn't it normally impossible to go through the asteroids without the tech?

In the revised rules, you can go through them at a risk of having your ships destroyed; the tech lets you do it with no risk.


Right. In the KttU expansion, as well as first edition revised rules, you can go through these obstacles - but roll a die for each ship, and have a 50% chance of losing each ship. I felt that the game didn't need another chance element, and I also like the strategy of working around obstacles and/or having them as shields on defense - so I went with the original rules on this one.

Re: the ship costs, and improvements to the Sunhammer: There have been several (a few, at least) discussions here on BGG indicating that going after larger ships wasn't really worth it; with starfighters at a cost of 1 credit, likely all other ships fighting vs a group of fighters at the same cost would lose the battle to the fighters. Also, Sunhammers in particular seemed to have a very large cost in techs and then the ship - for not enough reward. In all likelihood, someone choosing other techs would fare better than someone choosing Centipede, then Starcruiser, then Sunhammer techs plus 1 Sunhammer at a total cost of 3 tech actions and 21 credits.

It seems the designer recognized this in various changes he made, especially in KttU: only 8 fighters available, Starcruiser and Sunhammer techs cost less, ships can be repaired (likely the most costly ones are chosen), and especially the Sunhammer II improvements.

As most of these changes are in Key to the Universe (and not in the edition we played), and since I felt ALL ships needed to improve vs the fighters, I put the fighters to 2, and Sunhammers to 8, with some improvements. My position was that in order to make pursuing particular ship techs, or allying with particular planets (with ships) worthwhile, these ships should be significantly better than ships you start with. Thus, I also put Diplomats at 4, as they are quite versatile, useful and improvable.

From my limited experience, my choices went well.
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