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Subject: Core Worlds First time play: Robots vs. Fleets rss

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Derek Stephenson
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I had the opportunity to try out core worlds last night. My buddy has had it and the galactic empires expansion for a few months now but, do to the shear number of games our group has been buying recently, we only finally got this one to the table.

We opted to play with the expansion and I was instantly intrigued with the different factions, the energy/actions tracker and the initial hand. We didn’t do the drafting mechanic start but just stuck with the arsenal of starfighters and grunts that typically begin a game.

Something that did confuse me for a least the first turn or two was that we had to decide on our energy levels and whether to discard for an additional energy before even seeing what we would be trying to draft into our decks/warzone... that put me off to start but as the game progressed I started to appreciate the strategy and tradeoff that can bring and by the end actually quite liked that order of phases.

Okay so back to our game. Neither of us had a real idea of what we were doing so we seemed to match pretty closely with each other on buying a planet and buying an infantry or starfighter to start.

The game has event cards that for each round create a situation that must be addressed before any drafting or planet attacks can happen. We were lucky for most of the game that we had a pretty kind event from the 1st round that didn’t get replaced until round 9. The ones that came up in round 9 and 10 were pretty mean but by then we had our strategies set, so overall I was kind of glad we didn’t see to many of the event cards for the first time playing.

Now as the rounds went on I was getting a bit frustrated as my friend and I seemed to always want the same cards (typically a more powerful ship), but he seemed to always be one action ahead of me. It turned out that ended up being to my advantage since when I couldn’t get the ship I wanted I then ended up invading a planet and regularly seemed to have near sufficient ground or fleet strength for one at the start of each round. Now early on this didn’t make a huge difference but by the end of the game I had about 5 energy more than my friend. The best decision I probably made was to invade the planet Cerberus during sector IV. It has a -1 victory point but that was made up for by producing 4 energy. This was one of the two main elements that pulled me ahead in the game

The second was that early on I had picked up a couple of robots because it so happened that was what I could get. Around midway through the game I started paying more attention to the core worlds that would eventually come and noting that the planet Quetzalcoatl gave +1 point for each robot/vehicle, opted to make that a focus. This worked out for me very well as the next couple of robots that came available were very powerful. I managed to draft both the warbot (which gets +1 ground/+1 fleet for each robot in your warzone) and the speedbot which get -2 deployment cost for each robot you have in your warzone. In total I ended up with about 5 robots and had them all out at once with gave me army capable of taking down any single homeworld I wished.

So while I was doing this my friend had focus a little too much on cruisers and capital ships, with his big draft being the worldship which I knew he would be determined to make sure ended up in his warzone at the end of the game. Now I had picked up a couple of strong capital / cruisers as well.. .and noticed that the Core World Anu gave +1 point for each of those you have at the end of game. Not only would this be a nice add for me but I knew this would be something my friend would have his eyes on as well

As the game went on I made sure to keep my deck small and nimble taking advantage of my capital and the worlds I had conquered by regulary dumping small ships under them. So on Round 8 I was ready to commence my plan. By the end of the round I had all my robots on the table ready to strike were the right core world to appear in Round 9.

Round 9 started and neither of the worlds I had in mind appeared. There was still a capital ship available from Round 8 so I took that in prep for Round 10 when all the rest of the Sector V cards would come out on the table. My friend struck first by capturing the core world Zeus which gives +1 for each starfighter you have. This was an on my desired list of worlds but I knew it wasn’t quite as valuable to me. so Instead I grabbed Ra to get 8 points flat out. The best thing that could have happened did... my friend did not have his worldship in his had and so in the end would have to play that in Round 10 and eat up quite a bit of energy to do so. I strategically held onto my robots just waititng for the right time while my friend used up most of his fleet / ground troops in Round 9.

Round 10 starts and my first move was to grab the robot core world, using as little as I could to try and make sure I could get the Anu core world before my friend. On his third action he put out the last fleet unit he needed to get Anu.. but my friend didn’t realize I was prepared and on my turn I captured it leaving him stunned and saying “so that’s how it feels to have the card you want snatched away from you”. All he had left was the ability to bring out his core ship meanwhile I could strategically capture a prestige card on each of my final 3 turns.

When we calculated the points at the end I had bested him 51-42... It was a long game (3+ hrs) but gratifying and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to play core worlds... and hopefully we can play in closer to the 2hr mark...
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Aidan Mirisola-Sullivan
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I enjoyed the session report, thanks. I've only played 1 normal game, but even so, I'm eyeing the expansion. I think I have a problem.
 
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Scott Douglass
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Nice session report.

How did you use the Galactic Orders? Did you use them primarily for end game scoring, or did you use the abilities regularly?
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Andrew Parks
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Great report, Derek! Sounds like you picked up on some of the game's more devious strategies during your first game. devil

Be sure to add in the pregame draft rules on your next play. It adds a lot to the experience.

Andrew
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Derek Stephenson
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sdougla2 wrote:
Nice session report.

How did you use the Galactic Orders? Did you use them primarily for end game scoring, or did you use the abilities regularly?


Actually the galactic orders were key through out the game I just figured the report was so long that I had to cut something.

For much of the game I didn't seem to have too many items that gave me galactic orders but what I was originally trying to do was get a few of the science based crafts to reduce my draft costs. That came in very handy when I was lower on energy to pick up some of the robots I needed for the end of the game... so I really didn't stock pile any orders until Round 8 or so when I started to dole out more cards into my warzone that gave me orders to use.

I think in round 9 or something my friend reminded me the the order can count for points and the end of the game and we double checked the rules which was key! In a 2 player on the person with most of a given order gets those points. So I used that to my advantage and any location where I knew I wasn't going to score points I did what I could to use those orders. For example with strategic play in Round 9 and pruning of the deck during the other rounds I had almost the remaineder of my deck in hand in Round 10. 4 cards were left out... of Which I knew the Argo was one of them and I was certain I wanted that to take the Anu Core World. So my friends I think had 3 tokens on the Mystic Brotherhood and I had one... so since that token wasn't going to score I used that to ensure the Argo was in my hand to deploy on my second action leading to me snatching Anu up on my third action. In the end I think I had 8 points from galactic orders, mostly from the merchant alliance and science guild though I used one science guild to ensure I had enough energy to draft 3 prestige cards to end Round 10.
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Derek Stephenson
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Andrew Parks wrote:
Great report, Derek! Sounds like you picked up on some of the game's more devious strategies during your first game. devil

Be sure to add in the pregame draft rules on your next play. It adds a lot to the experience.

Andrew


Thanks Andrew. Was my first time doing a session report but won't be my last. My gaming group is meeting up on Sunday and we'll hopefully crack out core worlds again, this time with the draft
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Stephen Buonocore
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Nice session report! As Andy said, you guys were grasping some of the finer strategy points, and that's impressive on a first play.

Thanks,
Stephen M. Buonocore
Stronghold Games LLC
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Chris Berry
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The draft adds a lot to the deck customization. Using the Capital Power to bury a card once a round is real useful once you take your first couple of planets. With more players you'll start seeing more events and the progression of bonus to penalty more gradually.

Nice session report!

(as this was played with Galactic Orders, should this session report thread be moved to the expansion forum?)
 
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C. Rexford
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Excellent session report, and a fine read for 'strategy' as well!
 
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Trevor Kindree
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winterplum wrote:

Excellent session report, and a fine read for 'strategy' as well!


As the friend who he was playing against, I too greatly appreciate the insight into his strategies...
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Derek Stephenson
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FreezenFire wrote:
winterplum wrote:

Excellent session report, and a fine read for 'strategy' as well!


As the friend who he was playing against, I too greatly appreciate the insight into his strategies...


Hey that just means I'll be looking to try out something different next game Trevor devil
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