Must resist M:tG. Boardgames are my methadone :)
The other day I played another 4p f2f game of SE4X.
Yet again two newbies were at the table, and following my standard procedure, Bob's 12 minutes crash course video proved invaluable. The others watched the video, while I set up the game.
and I have both played several games, so we chose to be on opposing sides in a 2v2 team game.
We chose to have team mates seated diagonally, which IMO is far superior to sitting besides each other. The game feels much more like a true multi-player game this way. When starting next to each other the game feels too much like a 1on1 game.
Diagonal seating makes for a more interactive game, as all players can attack each other, and you get some interesting situations like: A1 and A2 are attacking B1. B2 needs to put pressure on Ax to relieve B1 etc.. The games are more open and dynamic because you potentially have a far larger "area of contact" with the opponents.
Summary of the actual game
Darune was screwed a little by initial planet locations, and some bad dice against my ally in their initial skirmishes. To compensate he neglected tech development and tried to swarm us with Scouts. On the other hand he was very lucky in scouting deep space and found several goodies including two Space Wrecks and several 10 mineral deposits! We decided to put early pressure on him to prevent him from capitalizing too much on these findings. We tried to prevent him from harvesting them, which resulted in a bitter prolonged fight between my ally and Darune.
In the mean time the other opponent was having some moderate success against my ally. Both being newbies, they weren't overly aggressive on each other, but my ally was beginning to become badly over extended because of losses to the scout horde. I was rather lucky and quickly found a path to my newbie opponent's rear, and started harassing him. I killed off a space station, but it was replaced soon after, and my initial wave was too depleted to take another one down, so I started poking around deeper in his home system. I didn't get very far though, as he diverted most if not all of his newly produced units to dealing with this threat. My follow-up harassment wave was mainly Decoys, as my main aim with the campaign was to lessen the pressure on my ally, while focusing on finishing Darune before he could recover and get better ships.
After a few successful (not sure if this was mainly due to luck or superior ships) battles against Darune's numerically superior Scouts, my fleet consisting mainly of upgraded CA's started to wreak havoc in Darune's home system. When I colonized the nearest planet in his home system, they conceded the game.
We all had a blast. One of the newbies is a World in Flames and Eclipse player, so the transition was easy for him. I think I might have convinced him that SE4X is far superior to Eclipse
We chose to have team mates seated diagonally, which IMO is far superior to sitting besides each other.
Could not agree more, this is how we prefer to play 2v2 team games now :-)
Darune was screwed a little by initial planet locations, and some bad dice against my ally in their initial skirmishes.
I have found this to be mostly a non-issue. If your planets are further out, then that means (usually) that your home system has more minerals nearby. This gives you more upfront minerals which you can flip into early tech or more colony ships/miners. Then, later, you will be more flexible on the attack with more planets near netural space. Don't get me wrong, if I had a choice between planets either closeby or further away, I would pick closeby but the distribution of my planets has never affected my gameplay in any appreciable way.
To compensate he neglected tech development and tried to swarm us with Scouts.
Sounds to me like he was the more agressive player and in this case it did not, in fact, rule the day. Scout rush can be very powerful, but in 2v2 play, both players in a 2 player team should be in lock step in order for this to work. One player scout rushing alone is going to find themselves quickly out numbered.