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Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Our first game ever - VERY one sided rss

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Eric Bridge
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After drooling over this game for a couple weeks, I succumbed to the dark side and purchased a new copy off E-Bay. Many on this site recently suggested, per my request, that my wife play the dark side in her first game, and I was excited when that was her personal choice as well. Setup took about 15 minutes.

My priorities, as the Naboo player, were twofold - Anakin cards (duh) and Jedi Battle. I had read on this site how powerful it is for a Jedi or Sith to enter the Palace. My wife began the round by using a mix of Palace Droids and Battlefiled Droids. She seemed, pretty early on, to be targeting Panaka and the Queen's (in my opinion a mistake). My own opening hand had an Anakin card and several Jedi cards, so I decided to begin with these. Anakin cleared the first screen easily, and Qui-Gon was a lethal attacker against Darth Maul. Captain Panaka was getting pummeled, but frankly it didn't bother me too much. My wife might have destroyed one group of Gungans on the Battlefield, earning herself her first bonus card - drawn from the Palace deck.

My next draw of cards continued to contain an Anakin card and some Jedi cards. So far my strategy was working, so I didn't change anything. By the end of round 2 Darth Maul was over hald dead, and my wife had not played ONE Darth Maul card yet(but had managed one riposte)! She took out Panaka early, earning another bonus card. She also whittled a Faamba down to 1 point. The shield was about to come down.

Round 3 I decided it was time to use my catapults, whose cards I had drawn in the meantime. I earned two bonus cards by doing this, taking Palace cards. Anakin advanced yet another space, despite my wife finally playing some starfighter cards. I did damage Maul once, but she played a Maul recovery card, staying about half dead and not fighting back with him. Panaka died this round - oh well, and the red queen became her next Palace target. The shield went down also. Despite me having Window Ledge move cards I didn't see the point.

Round 4 marked the end of Darth Maul. In a flurry of incredibly succesful attacks by Qui-Gon, some at the end of the round by bonus cards, the Sith went down. His only action this round was another Riposte and his second recovery card. In 4 rounds Darth Maul had taken 20 points of damage! In his final breath he managed another riposte, then I drew FIVE BONUS cards (all from the Palace deck again to get my Jedi into the palace). Obi-Wan had full health and Qui-Gon had only taken 2 damage. The red queen and some Palace Guards got pounded on. "Go ahead", I thought, "Get ready for Obi-Wan."

Round 5 I think Anakin advanced again. He had defeated 2 Starfighter Cards, and was one space away from destroying the Droid ship, although I was out of Anakin cards. He was rolling EXTREMELY well, and had not been stopped even once. Thank you mitochloriens. Obi-Wan's took out a bothersome Destroyer droid, and then proceeded to go after battle droids in quick succession. Those 5 bonus cards from the dead Sith were devastating. Obi Wan changed strategies and made his way to the third floor, only stopping to take out those annoying Destroyer Droids. The prospect of taking out EVERY droid was appealing, but I realized my 17 or so Palace Guards could mop up those left in his wake in short order. Having played for an hour and a half, and seeing no chance of victory, my wife conceded the game (after taking out the red queen and moving a droid or two in from the battlefield).

LESSONS LEARNED:
Ok, I know what you're thinking. WHY DIDN'T SHE PLAY DARTH MAUL CARDS?! The answer is simple - SHE DIDN'T HAVE ANY! I kid you not, having seen her endgame hand, the only Darth Maul cards she had for the first 3 rounds, despite her best efforts to the contrary, were Maul's two recovery cards. Yes, we did shuffle the decks, but apparently not good enough. Because of this the game was lopsided from the beginning. I don't know how lucky I was to advance Anakin to the second-to-last space by round 5 (this being our first game), but it seemed pretty fortunate. You could say my wife didn't use the battlefiled as well as she could, but she was targeting the shields, which is exactly what I would have done. I futher feel my wife should not have been focusing on the main characters, because it takes droids to long to kill just one of them. I would have personally gone after the guards one at a time, if possible. The only cards she had in her end-game hand that I would have played were 3 Starfighter Cards, which could have changed Anakin's progress significantly depending on when she played them. Don't get me wrong - I love this game and will happily play it again as either side, and one game IS NOT enought time to reach any serious conclusions. But I will be bold enough to declare one thing - If I am the trade federation player and because of a lack of Sith cards the palace becomes free reign for TWO HEALTHY JEDI PLUS 5 BONUS CARDS, I can see myself conceding the game right there. I see no way to reinforce the Palace force at a faster rate than a healthy Jedi can hack them to pieces. I'm curious if others out there also concede the game if neither Jedi dies. Even if one is near death, you can keep him in the core until he can recover from his wounds. Also, if you are Darth Maul, do you split your attacks between the two, or go after them one at a time (assuming the Naboo player gives you an opening for both)? Thanks for the input. I need to know how to beat her as the trade federation for next time, assuming she'll play again after such a lopsided first attempt.


 
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Carl Forhan
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Glad you enjoyed the game even though your experience was lopsided. To answer your last question: I would always recommend having Maul finish off one Jedi first. In one game I played, Maul even destroyed both Jedi! But it's much better for the TF player if one Jedi is gone, because two Jedi with bonus cards are just about unstoppable.

And thus, with regards to your earlier question about conceding, if Anakin was progressing unabated and two healthy Jedi are able to enter the palace after polishing off Maul, the TF player may indeed wish to concede. The best thing the TF player could do at that point is get as many Destroyer Droids as possible into the palace.
 
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Robert Stetler
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Not having any Darth Maul cards is a problem, but not necessarily game deciding. The Trade Federation player needs to keep pressure going in the Reactor Room, and the best way to keep this going is actually the battle field. The TF has a definite advantage in force numbers and (when the shield is down) per unit firepower. A full strength Battle Droid group has a coin toss chance of eliminating a full strength Gungan group, while the reverse is never true - and one battle field card can activate as many as 3 groups. In fact the Naboo player actually turning the battle field into a card profit (spend one, gain one or more) is not a common thing, mostly limited to catapult use (which doesn't tend to happen early or often). But for the TF the battle field is a card engine, which should be spent (mostly) on palace cards. The additional palace cards can help offset, sometimes even turn the tide, in the advantage of both number of Jedi cards and the Jedi cumulative health.

Personally I think the battle field mismatch actually gives the TF a slight advantage in the game overall - once you've invested a couple cards there to gain a couple bonus cards, those additional cards can in turn generate cards of their own (a nailed Jedi, or a bonus card spent on another battle field card) to keep things going. For the first few turns, any Darth Maul cards you've got, use 'em (pound on the same Jedi until he's dead). Second choice, multi-droid group battle field cards, focussed on gang nailing Gungan groups one at a time until they are gone (gaining a card for each one). Once in a while, a star fighter card as insurance (never stack them if at all possible), and a palace card (especially to keep guards from sneaking into the throne room to do an early door block stunt). As the game advances, then start thinking about other things (bringing the shield down, fighting back in the palace).

And trying to nail the big name palace figures is indeed a mistake. When the final tally is made, a palace guard is just as capable of making a throne room majority, but takes a lot fewer hits to kill. And activating the captain and 4 guards doesn't look so hot when you don't have 4 guards to activate, while activating 4 guards alone is still pretty intimidating. The TF player should be nailing guards first, the captain second, and the Queen(s) last. I don't put much stock in moving droids into the palace early either - better to spend your actions in the battle field earning cards or placing a star fighter card, restock the palace once you've hit the point where you're more interested in clean up inside than outside. Especially if Darth Maul lost and you've got a rampaging Jedi - but nail his groupies, a Jedi and a Queen can't win the game on their own so don't waste your efforts trying to get an attack through on the Jedi unless he's near death and you're looking for a lucky destroyer droid finish.

 
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Carl Forhan
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Excellent suggestions, Robert. The battlefield is definitely the quickest way for the TF player to earn some bonus cards vs. slowly chipping away at the Naboo power characters in the palace.
 
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