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Subject: After Action Report for Game 11: Hostile Vistors FIrst Strike! *Spoilers* rss

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Shirt Ripper
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Unhidden Spoilers for everything except DNOE

Debriefing for the war so far. The expansionist advances of Imperial Balkania draw first blood winning the first year of the war. Then the game turned in favor of the bear, Enclave of the Bear. In the fourth year of conflict a strange turn of events happened, were 3 missiles where fired in a single bout of combat. The first two were in retaliation to the other, but the final missile was fired by an outside faction, and that faction was Enclave of the Bear. At the time nobody knew why they would become the bringer of fire, but as events unfolded things became much clearer. This caused the total radiation of North Africa, and the arrival of a new threat to this global conflict, the Mutants. The years of war raged on and until finally the early actions of the Enclave of the Bear were revealed as they showed who their true master were, the Aliens. And the appearance of a new land mass, Alien island emerged between Western Australia and Madagascar. Now comes the first formal entry of the Aliens into the battle in this 11th year of hell on this war torn world. Who will win?

Players and Factions:
ME = Khan Industries
NumberCruncher = Imperial Balkania
Snowman = Mutants
Trekkie = Aliens

This Draft was kind of crazy compared to the normal fair. I went first and knowing there was an alliance being formed against me since I was 2 victories ahead of everyone else(I have four total and everyone else had two apiece) I really didn't have a chance to win this one and choose to just mess with everyone and mix things up a bit. I grabbed two gold coins since we have three factions without missile powers and I was determined to get one for somebody. Now normally in our drafts factions are the last things to go, but this time around Snowman picked the mutants and Trekkie pick the Aliens before they picked anything else.

Placement was kinda strange, I started in South America, NumberCruncher started in Europe, and Trekkie started on Alien island so he could get the Alien's 2 troops on recruitment bonus. Snowman started in Asian near Australia which actually put him at odds with Trekkie making their alliance against me uneasy and giving me some breathing room. Despite this they really stuck it to me in other ways.

The Alliance was strong against me and everyone thought I was bluffing that I was just trying to get a faction a missile power. I picked up Khan Industry because they only had a starting power, no come back, no missile, nothing! The alliance against me was pretty strong as Snowman scarred me with the zero population scar(this was also the first game we played with faction scar cards). And even though I held all of South America I did not get my bonus for two rounds since NumberCruncher had the missile power to deny someone their continent bonus. The worst part about the Alliance was them agreeing not to attack each other and leaving their boards loosely defended while marching towards me.

First battles happened when NumberCruncher brought it to me coming out of Europe and me out of SA with us battling over North America. The Tide was on his side since I didn't even get my bonus until the beginning of my third turn, and my population didn't add to my recruitment. Still I was able to get 4 resource cards and even though I really should have cashed them in for troops I got my redstar and missile power which was important later.

The other players encouraged Snowman to take his Mutants and march through the fallout zone in North Africa and take my HQ in Brazil. Even though he had a ton of troops by having the Asian bonus for a couple of rounds he reluctantly did and it was one of the biggest battles we have ever had in this game. He took it with only about 5 troops left.

What was left of my armies in North America were continued to be pounded by NumberCruncher, but somehow I hung on. I scarred Imperial Balkania with the "you can only maneuver between two adjacent territories" to slow him down and to discourage people from playing that faction in the future because that missile power really sucks when it is only being used against you. Finally Trekkie and his Aliens broke the alliance and ripped through the other players armies with their poorly defended boarders.

Luckily the game lasted long enough that the World Capital mission was up and the Northwest Territories card was on the sideboard. I knew NumberCruncher was going to try and get it next turn so I took one spot from Snowman and used my last missile to cash in and found the world capital. It replaced a minor city, and since we are all Star Trek fans we named it after the Klingon home world, Qo'noS. Again I really should have taken the card since it was worth 6 coins and could have helped me make a come back but I really was more interest in opening that last packet.

This also triggered an event the next round, it was a riot one I believe and really screwed over NumberCruncher and Snowman and made them lose continent bonuses. After that Trekkie got his 3rd win and first for the Alien faction.

Some Thoughts: Aliens are more powerful than they seem; Starting in Alien island nets them 2 extra troops on recruitment, and lets them start with 5 troops plus their starting forces either 6, 8, or 10. Then you add to that they can't be scared with a weakness and they can take cities without losing any troops and they are a hell of a good faction.

Four factions got scarred, Khan Industries = Zero POP, Imperial Balkania = maneuver only between adjacent territories, Mutants = Only place recruits into two territories, and Sahara Republic = Can only have two coin cards.

The Khan industries scar is deceptively bad. At first it didn't seem all that harmful compared to the others, but once I had lost a lot of troops taking cities and couldn't get anywhere near the 12 needed to start getting 4 recruitment instead of 3, I realized just how nasty it was. If the Aliens could be given a weakness this is the one to make their lose no troops on taking cities ability feel less overpowered.

Imperial Balkania weakness really does help balance out their staring power of expanding into 4+ to get a resource card. Anyone playing this faction in the future has to be every careful how to advance, and to be honest I almost didn't want to give them this weakness since I really like this faction. But that missile power, well I don't ever want someone to use that against me again!

The Mutants are one of my favorite factions and one of the best for myself personally to play since I am the only person who can start in SA, and the Fallout Zone is right next to my Major City. So them getting this scar hurt me a little bit. It isn't as bad as some of the others, but there is noway you can hope to take something big like Europe or Asian with the Mutants now and keep it. Africa is probably off limits too

Sahara Republic only got a weakness because Trekkie wanted to give a faction one so he did it to one that wasn't in the game. Personally I felt this was the least harmful of the faction powers, and in a way I wish I had known he was going to scar them because I might have chosen a different power for Khan. Being able to spend a missile to get a territory card would really help out if you can only have 2 coin cards. As it stands this makes SR much more attractive to me even though I've rarely played them.

Die Mechaniker didn't get scarred, other than the Aliens they are the only faction without a weakness. I am pretty happy with this since they are one of my favorite factions and one of the four I've gotten a victory with. They also lack a missile power, so maybe I can shoot for that the next game. Either way, if I can't get the Aliens and decide the Mutants weakness is too much to bother with, I will be playing these guys more than likely.

I was a bit disappointed with the World Capital pack. I like the idea of personal missions for the factions but I don't like the fact that you have to do the missions first to earn it for a given faction. I believe there should have been some other way for them to be earned. Also there wasn't much else to this pack other than the lead faction getting the three extra guys in the World Capital. It will be interesting to see if anyone goes for that, because right now the lead faction is Enclave of the Bear but they have the worse weakness of all, they lose two extra troops when taking a city. Not sure if it is worth it just to lay claim to the world capital and get a few extra troops. Maybe if the Northwest Territories card is on the sideboard.

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mar hawkman
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For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory
Hmm... at least Sahara didn't get the maneuver scar... that's the worst one they can get....

Anyways, play around your weaknesses. If cities suck for you, conquer other things first.
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