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Masochist and techs


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#1 Roachmill

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 11:24 AM

We just played a game witch techs and had a player playing masochist.

Every turn he added a ship to his tech without using it.

When he had about 12 ships on the tech he had his other 8 ships in the warp.

Of course he completed his tech here forcing himself to loose all ships to the warp.

But i managed to fix it with a zap and then win my turn gaining five colonies.

So he didnt make it and i guess the game was played legally.

But still i think masochist have a big advantage with techs, right?



#2 crimhead

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:59 AM

Yes, that's very clever.  We haven't seen Masochist yet, but I'll be sure to consider this strategy.

You have to try to lose to Masochist i guess - always leave them wqith colonies.  It'll take twenty encounters for them to get all their ships on a tech card, and that in itself is not unreasonable.  Note that Masochist improves with more players in the game.  Just keep them out of the warp with powers, territorial sacrifice, and good old fashioned Mobious Tubes!



#3 crimhead

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:41 PM

I'd been worrying about this scenario but it hasn't come up yet (we've played a game or two without Tech - those are the only games were we've seen Masochist).

Anyway, I carefully read the card yesterday which says:

"Lost ships include those in the warp, those removed from the game, and those captured by other players".

Page 15 of the rules:

"Ships researching a tech card are consider to be in that players home system, but may not participate in encounters.  Players may not aim the hyperspace gate at a tech card, but ships can be lost in other ways (such as the Shadow's power)".

Ships on your technology card are not removed from the game - they are researching in your home system and quite active.  This is much more fair, I am glad.



#4 Toomai

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:06 AM

I think you may have missed the point slightly. Masochist puts as many ships as possible on his Tech. Then, he kills off all his other ships, leaving 0 colonies. Finally, he completes the Tech - since there are no colonies to return to, the ships pile into the warp. The offense hasn't retrieved a ship yet, so Masochist wins. The strategy doesn't care whether the researching ships count towards Masochist's power - it hinges on the ability to dump them all into the warp at once.



#5 crimhead

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 04:37 AM

That's funny!  Shortly after posting that I found myself wondering "what happens if you complete (or abandon) a tech card when you have no colonies".  I figured they must go to the warp (that's how Mobius Tubes works) but didn't put that together with this topic!

Thanks for the insight!



#6 Hugesinker

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:19 PM

I think a "fix" is necessary for this that being, you can never put more ships on a tech than are required to complete it, with a maximum of nine ships corresponding to the most expensive tech.  This means that the masochist will have to get at least two techs before they can employ this strategy to win.  However, come to think of it, if the masochist gets nearly twenty turns to really pull this off, the game has been going on for an unusually long time.



#7 umfpt

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:01 PM

Hugesinker said:

However, come to think of it, if the masochist gets nearly twenty turns to really pull this off, the game has been going on for an unusually long time.

 

It takes twenty encounters in total not twenty turns for the masochist player.  A ship can be added to the tech at the start of any player's regroup phase.

 



#8 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 02:32 AM

I'm not a huge fan of the proposed rule that you cannot add more than (currently) 9 ships to a tech card. It's inelegant (still letting you add 9 to a tech with a "2" or a "3" on it), and it potentially needs to be revisited each time new tech cards are printed. If they ever make a tech card with an "X" on it that has no theoretical upper limit on its utility, then the 9 would go out the window (thus implying an unnecessary "design constraint").  The whole thing feels like a patch.  (EDIT: It's already obsolete because of Amoeba/Gluon Mines.)

If they're going to patch anything, I hope they patch the Masochist instead (patch one power, not an entire mechanic).

But I hope there is a more elegant solution.  Here's one possibility: on page 15, the rulebook says "Ships researching a tech card are considered to be in that player’s home system."  Here's a possibility for tweaking the Technology rules covering what happens when you complete a tech card (the bolded sentence is the proposed addition):

  • The player returns the researching ships to any of his or her colonies. If the player has no colonies, he or she may place the ships on any one unoccupied planet in his or her home system, thus re-establishing a home colony there, or send them to the warp if there are no unoccupied home planets.

Under this proposal, when the Masochist's opponents see him researching tech they would want to be careful to leave at least one of his planets empty. Another (possibly simpler?) way to do it could be this:

  • The player returns the researching ships to any of his or her colonies. If the player has no colonies, he or she may place the ships on any one planet in his or her home system, thus re-establishing a home colony there (if possible, the player must choose a home planet that no other players occupy).

Anyway, the idea is that conceptually your researching ships were already in your home system; they aren't "returning" from the warp or from a far-away battle.  It's still a patch, but (I would argue) it's a less clunky patch than the unstable "rule of 9".

Furthermore, when compared to the proposed rule of 9 this would make techs even harder for Masochist to abuse and get closer to what was (presumably) the intended use of the power.



#9 Messianic

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:33 AM

Just ban Masochist from Tech games.



#10 Just_a_Bill

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:27 AM

That solution is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. ;-)

Updating my earlier message, I was discussing this with Jonathan (umfpt) on BoardgameGeek and we realized that there already is a legitimate reason to have more than 9 researching ships on a tech card, because of Amoeba and Gluon Mines — so I would say that the proposed 9-ship rule is already obsolete.



#11 DOAisBetter

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:17 AM

Eh there is no good way to really fix the masochist. As long as you are not playing with hidden powers and techs it really shouldn't be a problem. Everyone just has to know they will make more deals and let more go throughout the game. Basically it makes everyone realize they have to play faster just because the masochist is in play. I know in my group we pass on it a lot just because you really aren't playing the game with the masochist, you are just playing a built in clock to end the game and how fun is that.



#12 umfpt

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:27 PM

I don't see why the Masochist would need fixing anyway?

It only works as a end game clock if the Masochist gets lucky and then not one of the other players makes any attempt to stop their plans.

Play with Tick-Tock to see a real end game clock in action.

 



#13 crimhead

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:57 PM

umfpt said:

I don't see why the Masochist would need fixing anyway?

It only works as a end game clock if the Masochist gets lucky and then not one of the other players makes any attempt to stop their plans.

Play with Tick-Tock to see a real end game clock in action.

The promblem isn't Masochist putting all their ships onto a Technology card - that takes twenty turns is is, as you say, no better than Tick-Tock.  The promlem is (or was) that between the Tehnology card and pruposely throwing encounters, the combination was a bit much.  There weren't enough Mobious Tubes to reliably hold Masochist back,especially in short handed games.  Anyway...

The problem is solved!  Now that we have Rifts, there are enough powers cards which can pull ships out of the warp that Masochist is a little more fair.



#14 Holmes108

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 04:56 AM

I don't see it being a problem, as I don't think it's right to put more ships on a tech than is required.

 

That is our house rule anyways. If it's the Tech Scrambler, which allows any # of ships you want, then that's a different story. That would be a nice advantage for the masochist.



#15 crimhead

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 06:07 AM

Holmes108 said:

I don't see it being a problem, as I don't think it's right to put more ships on a tech than is required.

 

That is our house rule anyways. If it's the Tech Scrambler, which allows any # of ships you want, then that's a different story. That would be a nice advantage for the masochist.

The rules for completing technology say that it's completed if the number of ships researching it is eaqual to or greater than the development cost.  Normally you'd only use this for bluffing or deception. 

The other night I continued putting extra ships onto my Cosmic Field Generator.  I didn't want to complete it (and have to show it) but I also didn't want to stop developing it, lest I'd tip my opponents off that it might be ready.  This is normally allowed by the rules.

It's fine to house rule what you like, but just because your house rule happens to solve a problem it does not follow that the problem doesn't exist.



#16 Holmes108

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 06:35 AM

crimhead said:

Holmes108 said:

 

I don't see it being a problem, as I don't think it's right to put more ships on a tech than is required.

 

That is our house rule anyways. If it's the Tech Scrambler, which allows any # of ships you want, then that's a different story. That would be a nice advantage for the masochist.

 

 

The rules for completing technology say that it's completed if the number of ships researching it is eaqual to or greater than the development cost.  Normally you'd only use this for bluffing or deception. 

The other night I continued putting extra ships onto my Cosmic Field Generator.  I didn't want to complete it (and have to show it) but I also didn't want to stop developing it, lest I'd tip my opponents off that it might be ready.  This is normally allowed by the rules.

It's fine to house rule what you like, but just because your house rule happens to solve a problem it does not follow that the problem doesn't exist.

No, you're right. I haven't looked at the rulebook in some time, and if that's the wording, then there is no question in my mind you can add extra. I still don't find it overly cheap of the Masochist though.

You have to commit a lot of ships and turns for it to be viable, on top of losing all your planets. It's a good strategy, but I don't think it's "too" easy at all.

My friend did the same strategy except his tech allowed him to blow up his last planet, for the win. It was spectacular (and his first game ever!)... little tricks like this are what make the game so great.






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