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#1 Bowelbag

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:29 AM

 I would like to get a feel for who everyone thinks are the best races. When you weigh in special abilities, starting techs and units, homes planets, racial techs, flagships, and reps. Some of the older races seem less obsolete now. I understand style of play is huge, but i would like to hear who and why you think so.

Personally, i love the Yssaril Tribes. Unlimited cards, viewing and stealing other peoples best cards. Action cards can do almost anything and give a huge advantage. Skipping is nice too, saving your attack movements for when everyone else is activated. Nice. They did seem to get watered down with the new stuff, but i still think they're a top 3 for sure. 



#2 apbevan

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:52 AM

 Mentak, Sol Federation and Muaat are my top 3 picks.

 



#3 obsidian

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 03:39 PM

The wiki boards did a bracketed contest a few years back and determined that Yssaril was #1, followed by Hacan, Jol-Nar, and Winnu with their pre-nerfed racial tech. Personally I probably like Sol the most for their extra CC and the GF spawning ability



#4 Fnoffen

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:13 PM

I'd have to say Hacan. Trade Goods are SO useful...


Pax Magnifica Bellum Gloriosum


#5 possumman

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:14 PM

 From my memory of the extensive series of ti3wiki polls, the order went:

Yssaril, Winnu*, L1z1x, Hacan, Jol-Nar, Naalu, Saar, Muaat, Sol, Letnev,  Yin, Mentak, N'orr, Xxcha

*Pre FAQ to alter their racial tech.

If it wasn't that exactly, it was pretty dang close to it. I know for a fact that I have the top 6 in the top 6, and the bottom 6 in the bottom 6 (thanks to some PBFs I ran).



#6 GMO

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 12:26 AM

possumman said:

 

 From my memory of the extensive series of ti3wiki polls, the order went:

Yssaril, Winnu*, L1z1x, Hacan, Jol-Nar, Naalu, Saar, Muaat, Sol, Letnev,  Yin, Mentak, N'orr, Xxcha

*Pre FAQ to alter their racial tech.

If it wasn't that exactly, it was pretty dang close to it. I know for a fact that I have the top 6 in the top 6, and the bottom 6 in the bottom 6 (thanks to some PBFs I ran).

 

 

Yeah, that's pretty close.

Hacan actually beat out L1z1x 27-15.  And Saar actually finished last, losing to N'orr by 1 vote.

Also, that wasn't on ti3wiki; it was actually on FFG's boards (before they got *ahem* torched).  For those curious, here are a couple of links:

http://checkwolf.com.../tournament.jpg
http://checkwolf.com/ti3/images/tournament_perdedores.jpg

This was actually the second competition run on FFG, 8-10 months after the release of Shattered Empire.  In that first link you can see how the first series played out; I used it for the seedings in the tournament.  The only real major change was Saar.  Early on the thinking was that they were good with their mobile SD; later, after people had more experience, it became clear that those SD are far too fragile.

And, as mentioned, Winnu isn't nearly this good without their original RST.

 

I don't see how anybody could make a terribly compelling case that Yssaril isn't the best race in the game.

  • no hand limit for Action Cards
  • draw extra Action Cards
  • start with XRD Transporters and enough Carriers/GF to use it well
  • unlimited turn-skipping
  • high influence planets for CC and politics

As Bill Norton stated elsewhere (paraphrasing): 'If I'm playing Yssaril, I expect to win.'

 

After Yssaril, the next tier of races are Hacan, L1z1x, and Jol Nar.  I think we can all see the various strengths each brings to the table, but none of these rises to the level of Yssaril.

Then there's another significant drop-off in strength to the next tier, where races like Naalu, Letnev, and Sol hang out.

I don't know where to put Winnu anymore; I've never stopped playing with their original RST.   And likewise I'm not sure about the three new races, since I haven't had enough time with them.  Initial thoughts are to put Nekro and Arborec higher and Creuss somewhat lower.



#7 possumman

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:19 AM

 Saar finished LAST? Wow, that's a big error on my part! 

Unfortunately I haven't been able to play a game in about 6 months, meaning I can't comment on the Winnu or any of the new races.

I think "If I'm playing Yssaril, I expect to win" is a direct quote. I'm about 90% sure they were his exact words.



#8 Iorveth

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:46 AM

As it is, we're always discarding Yssaril before races are dished out; they are vastly overpowered, and through 8+ years of playing, all at our gaming group have reached a level where playing Yssaril translates into a win unless people start metagaming and ensure warfare is given to the strongest neighbour, who can then peg the Yssaril down. We dislike this immensely as it's restricting to the neighbours and because it's a forced tactic borne of ludicrously bad balancing on FFG's part. In the end Yssaril simply haven't been satisfying to play. We've contemplated the SA-variant Yssaril often, but never truly gotten around to making the jump. I guess after 4-5 years of total dominance we're simply happy to see the "carte blanche to victory"-race out.

 

I agree that Hacan and L1Z1X are both relatively easy, forgiving and powerful races, with the former definitely belonging in the top-tier and the latter definitely in the contest. I'm curious to the Jol-Nar; While I agree they can be very powerful, the recent abundance of tech-related LAWS and action cards can very, very easily strip the Jol-Nar of their tech-dominance from my experience; Ancient Artifact is all but game-breaking for a Jol-NAr player, eliminating most advantages until they reach a top-tier tech like Light/Wave Deflectors. I find it curious they're unequivocally stated as a top-tier race considering the current metagame in Twilight, and would love some arguments from various people as to why this is the case.

 

Naalu, with proper playstyle, is definitely up there in my opinion, especially considering they got a strong starting fleet. As can Xxcha be, if they manage to acquire their racial tech(s) early and gain a reasonably strong expansion, but that might just be me finding them incredibly strong and even more incredibly underrated. Lastly, I'd put the Yin up there amongst the big ones; a 1-turn stall ability for free, powerful racial abilities, a tool to cope with enemy war suns and all the techs required to keep fighter swarms down right off the bat; they're scary.



#9 Iorveth

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:48 AM

And to whoever said (paraphrasing) that Yssaril somewhat got the shaft in Shards of the Throne: No, just no. Their new racial tech, Mageon Implants, is so retardedly ridiculous that it defies description.



#10 blarknob

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:24 AM

Yssaril stand on their own as the best race BY FAR.



#11 Solan

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 02:25 PM

GMO said:

Hacan actually beat out L1z1x 27-15.  And Saar actually finished last, losing to N'orr by 1 vote.

And likewise I'm not sure about the three new races, since I haven't had enough time with them.  Initial thoughts are to put Nekro and Arborec higher and Creuss somewhat lower.

The SAAR finished last?!?!  One of my two favorite races, the race with which I've recently triumphed after a string of losses playing other races?  Say it ain't so!

I seriously am shocked by this, not only because I think the Saar are strong, but because a lot of the session reports on boardgamegeek.com which feature the Saar end with them winning.  Yes, their Space Docks are fragile, which is why you usually take them with your fleets and take special care to protect them!  Hopefully the new "Chaos Mapping" racial tech will help players who have had trouble doing so preserve the Saar Space Docks.

What do the rest of you think?  Where would you rate the Saar?  

Oh, and I also can't imagine why you would rate the mighty Ghosts of Creuss lower than the Arobec and Nekro Virus.  Like the Saar, I've played the Ghosts and had a blast and they, too, seem to win quite a lot.        



#12 Iorveth

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:46 PM

Solan said:

GMO said:

 

Hacan actually beat out L1z1x 27-15.  And Saar actually finished last, losing to N'orr by 1 vote.

And likewise I'm not sure about the three new races, since I haven't had enough time with them.  Initial thoughts are to put Nekro and Arborec higher and Creuss somewhat lower.

 

 

The SAAR finished last?!?!  One of my two favorite races, the race with which I've recently triumphed after a string of losses playing other races?  Say it ain't so!

I seriously am shocked by this, not only because I think the Saar are strong, but because a lot of the session reports on boardgamegeek.com which feature the Saar end with them winning.  Yes, their Space Docks are fragile, which is why you usually take them with your fleets and take special care to protect them!  Hopefully the new "Chaos Mapping" racial tech will help players who have had trouble doing so preserve the Saar Space Docks.

What do the rest of you think?  Where would you rate the Saar?  

Oh, and I also can't imagine why you would rate the mighty Ghosts of Creuss lower than the Arobec and Nekro Virus.  Like the Saar, I've played the Ghosts and had a blast and they, too, seem to win quite a lot.        

 

The reason Saar's Space Docks are fragile is actually because you usually protect them and incorporate them as floating carriers in a fighter swarm fleet; you're far too susceptible to the luck of the dice or, pray it won't happen, Friendly Fire action cards. Or Signal Jams shutting down your entire production apparatus unless you've split them up. But then again, splitting up Saar's docks also eliminates their - in my opinion - greatest advantage: The 15 unit-production system (with racial tech, of course, but it's a must).

Saar will simply often present the most juicy target on the board for several action cards that can cripple them miserably without any cost. Space Dock accident? You actually risk slamming down 5 fighters as well, if it's been used as a carrier. The Saar are good and underrated, I agree, but they're definitely not up there amongst the top tier. I'd be generous and slap them into middle-tier, but only because they manage to stay below people's radar and get underestimated. In a proper competitive game, they're outright disadvantaged, their biggest strength also being a double-edged sword.

 

Haven't had the opportunity to try Ghosts yet, but from what I've gleaned from others playing them, they see woefully vulnerable just like the Saar; their Flagship seems too crucial, their strength too reliant on the map being played and their early expansion. They're one of the races where I'd actually say that Strategy Cards for the initial 2 rounds are actually essential - and to me that is far from guaranteed. Of course they can work, it just seems to me that they need the stars to align (pun intended) to a higher degree than, say, Hacan or any other of the top tier races (not counting Yssaril here, they're retardedly overpowered).



#13 Solan

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 07:02 AM

Iorveth said:

 

The reason Saar's Space Docks are fragile is actually because you usually protect them and incorporate them as floating carriers in a fighter swarm fleet; you're far too susceptible to the luck of the dice or, pray it won't happen, Friendly Fire action cards. Or Signal Jams shutting down your entire production apparatus unless you've split them up. But then again, splitting up Saar's docks also eliminates their - in my opinion - greatest advantage: The 15 unit-production system (with racial tech, of course, but it's a must).

Saar will simply often present the most juicy target on the board for several action cards that can cripple them miserably without any cost. Space Dock accident? You actually risk slamming down 5 fighters as well, if it's been used as a carrier. The Saar are good and underrated, I agree, but they're definitely not up there amongst the top tier. I'd be generous and slap them into middle-tier, but only because they manage to stay below people's radar and get underestimated. In a proper competitive game, they're outright disadvantaged, their biggest strength also being a double-edged sword.

 

Haven't had the opportunity to try Ghosts yet, but from what I've gleaned from others playing them, they see woefully vulnerable just like the Saar; their Flagship seems too crucial, their strength too reliant on the map being played and their early expansion. They're one of the races where I'd actually say that Strategy Cards for the initial 2 rounds are actually essential - and to me that is far from guaranteed. Of course they can work, it just seems to me that they need the stars to align (pun intended) to a higher degree than, say, Hacan or any other of the top tier races (not counting Yssaril here, they're retardedly overpowered).

Believe me, I know exactly what you mean!  Last game BOTH of my Saar Space Docks were destroyed by Action cards.  Fortunately in each case I had an empty carrier which  had just disgorged its invasion forces onto a planet, providing the orphaned Fighter squadrons with a new home.  Even more fortunately this occurred  during the second to last turn of the game, when it was too late for it to really affect me. 

So I agree completely, Action cards can do severe damage to the Clan of Saar.  On the other hand, adding the contents of both expansions has, I think, helped to bloat the Action deck and thus make those truly devastating cards you mentioned considerably rarer.  Then, too, the Saar are fortunate enough to have an Agent who can block the first really bad Action card directed against you (Your group does play with Leaders, I hope?).  

As I said, I've only played the Saar once, but I saw great advantage in placing one Space Dock with each fleet, as it gave me both a strike force and a force dedicated to fighting back against the simultaneous Arobec and Ghost incursion into my worlds.  Putting them all together makes for a gigantic fighter swarm, yes, but as you pointed out, this also places all of your eggs in one basket and limits you to a single really big fleet.  

Oh, and of course I agree that the Saar Floating Factories racial tech is absolutely essential (I later got Enviro Compensators too).  

Juiciest target on the board?  I hope you're saying this applies to when the Saar are in the lead or there is a viable tactical reason to use Action cards on them.  In my case both factors were true, but I would hate to play with a group which directed Action cards primarily on the basis of who it would hurt the most.  Also, I wouldn't say that their biggest strength having a downside necessarily means that the Saar are disadvantaged.    

As for the Ghosts of Creuss, the Ghost Flagship is useful, but far from crucial; remember, the Ghosts are only  going to have a single Space Dock producing in their Home System anyway.  I had my Hil Colish blown up before I could even use it, never rebuilt it, and still came in a very close second.  

I don't understand what you mean by the Ghosts being too reliant on their early expansion; what race isn't?  Cripple the early expansion of any race, even the Yssaril, and they'll come out of the starting gate hobbling.  Granted, it would be nice for the Ghosts to start with more than one Carrier, but you can fix that first turn with Production or the Production Secondary, and XRD Transports ensures that you're not overly handicapped by the Ghost Home Planet being on the other side of a wormhole.       

Finally, yes, a good map construction certainly helps the Ghosts, especially when one player decides to use them to disadvantage another player.  In the game I played, one player drew a wormhole on an otherwise empty system and maliciously placed it right next to a second player's Home System.  Tragically, the Ghosts eventually ended up occupying that Home System to fulfill their Secret Objective.  

Even without natural wormholes, however, the Ghosts still have access to one of the best racial techs in the game, their invaluable Slave Wormhole Generator.  Possessing this increases the mobility of the Ghosts tremendously, especially when used in conjunction with the Hil Colish, the Gravity Drive tech (a great tech for the Ghosts!), or both.  

Oh, one more thing: assuming you're playing with the Wormhole Nexus and Artifacts (and why wouldn't you be?) Mallice is a great location for an artifact, since it is virtually impossible for anyone to take it from the Ghosts if they station a Destroyer and two Ground Forces there.  Furthermore, the Nexus itself is a terrific staging area for a Ghost fleet.  Use the Slave Wormhole Generator and the Hil Colish and you could launch multi-pronged strikes on almost any area of the galaxy.  

What Strategy Cards do you think are essential for the Ghosts of Creuss' first two turns, and why?       



#14 Iorveth

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 09:39 AM

Solan said:

So I agree completely, Action cards can do severe damage to the Clan of Saar.  On the other hand, adding the contents of both expansions has, I think, helped to bloat the Action deck and thus make those truly devastating cards you mentioned considerably rarer.  Then, too, the Saar are fortunate enough to have an Agent who can block the first really bad Action card directed against you (Your group does play with Leaders, I hope?).  

We do play with leaders, yes - and basically, the Saar's agent will always be kept for the scenarios mentioned. It's pretty much a pseudochoice whether or not to use him, as he'll always be saved for either the crucial Signal Jam or the devastating Friendly Fire. While it rubs me the wrong way from a design-philosophy, I've come to live with it and don't really mind. 'Part of the race' I suppose.

Solan said:

As I said, I've only played the Saar once, but I saw great advantage in placing one Space Dock with each fleet, as it gave me both a strike force and a force dedicated to fighting back against the simultaneous Arobec and Ghost incursion into my worlds.  Putting them all together makes for a gigantic fighter swarm, yes, but as you pointed out, this also places all of your eggs in one basket and limits you to a single really big fleet.  

Exactly. However, due to racial techs and starting techs, this is pretty much the only two real choices a Saar player faces; the obnoxiously large fighter swarm, or several small. In all cases, any player opposing Saar will just dish out a few ADT-boosted Destroyers as guerilla fleets and whittle the Saar down before he gets up close (at least that's how Fighter Swarms are always handled both in our group and in competitive; ADT Destroyers are 1½ guaranteed hit on average pre-combat per unit.). Again, vulnerable like hell (or just part of the larger problem/question on whether or not Destroyers are simply too good).

Solan said:

Oh, and of course I agree that the Saar Floating Factories racial tech is absolutely essential (I later got Enviro Compensators too).  

An early Sarween Tools will end up translating into alot of 'free TG's' as well, definitely core techs in my opinion.

Solan said:

Juiciest target on the board?  I hope you're saying this applies to when the Saar are in the lead or there is a viable tactical reason to use Action cards on them.  In my case both factors were true, but I would hate to play with a group which directed Action cards primarily on the basis of who it would hurt the most.  Also, I wouldn't say that their biggest strength having a downside necessarily means that the Saar are disadvantaged.    

Of course. And it's not like people - at least not in my group - throw action cards 'just because it damages most', disregarding tactical considerations. But if the galaxy is stale, it does mean more damage usually and might give neighbours a reason to prod the Saar player when he's weakened, since he does almost always lose alot more than 'just' the dock.

Solan said:

As for the Ghosts of Creuss, the Ghost Flagship is useful, but far from crucial; remember, the Ghosts are only  going to have a single Space Dock producing in their Home System anyway.  I had my Hil Colish blown up before I could even use it, never rebuilt it, and still came in a very close second.  

Depends entirely on objectives. If the 3 Docks on board objective is flipped, you'll have to build 3 docks. Or if you got a SO pertaining to Mecatol Rex requiring a Space Dock. Or if you manage to grab Lisis/Velnor / Abyz/Fria or Bereg/Lirta IV, in which case you'd of course love to have double docks there since your building capacity would be extremely inferior overall otherwise.

Solan said:

Even without natural wormholes, however, the Ghosts still have access to one of the best racial techs in the game, their invaluable Slave Wormhole Generator.  Possessing this increases the mobility of the Ghosts tremendously, especially when used in conjunction with the Hil Colish, the Gravity Drive tech (a great tech for the Ghosts!), or both.  

RAW, Gravity Drive is a horribly overpowered tech that completely defeats the purpose of map geography. It might alleviate some of the boredom of playing pie-slice galaxy, but heaven forbid who'd want to play that when you can play some of the SA maps that almost always ensures far greater dynamic, balance and intensity, unless the stars align for the pie-slice map in question? Anyway, we play with Gravity Drive where it provides movement bonus if you begin movement inside either a Rift or a Wormhole. It's still amazing for the Creuss but it isn't a must-have no-brainer technology that anyone competitive must own like it is if the bonus is applied whenever a ship is adjacent to a wormhole or rift.

Solan said:

Oh, one more thing: assuming you're playing with the Wormhole Nexus and Artifacts (and why wouldn't you be?) Mallice is a great location for an artifact, since it is virtually impossible for anyone to take it from the Ghosts if they station a Destroyer and two Ground Forces there.  Furthermore, the Nexus itself is a terrific staging area for a Ghost fleet.  Use the Slave Wormhole Generator and the Hil Colish and you could launch multi-pronged strikes on almost any area of the galaxy.  

Exactly, a very viable tactic - or well, pretty much the tactic for a Creuss player. Again a pseudo-choice ;) Doesn't sit well with me as it's very predictable due to the sheer power of the tactic, but can't change that really. As you say, it is extremely powerful. Regarding Artifact, we always play premade maps, either SA ones or tweaked ones that are crucially balanced to ensure beautifully dynamic games, but most of the time there is an artifact on Malice.

On another note, I presume you play pie-slice? For me, the game became completely revived when we did premade maps and used Star by Star guidelines for bidding. Such an improvement over the original game that it defies description.

Solan said:

What Strategy Cards do you think are essential for the Ghosts of Creuss' first two turns, and why?       

Depends entirely on map geography, neighbouring races and whether or not you play with Distant Suns. Until recently my group had used Distant Suns tokens for 8 years of playing. Then we decided to try without, and the game just got a whole lot better, balanced and more intensive, especially with premade maps. But yeah, depends entirely on those factors. In general I'd love an early Trade on Creuss though; they got the opportunity to threaten all races and should thus be able to demand good trades, and their secluded home system allows them to ignore alot of the flak thrown their way if they deny alot of other people trade. When playing with DS tokens, the TG's acquired can also compensate for a bad start. Same with Diplomacy; the annexation can be amazing when playing with DS tokens.



#15 Mighty Maltim

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:21 AM

Iorveth said:

their Flagship seems too crucial

It goes without saying that Hil Colish is a vital tool to the Creuss. But while it's crucial, it is also VERY hard to destroy if you know how to use it. It hits on a 4 or higher, and piloted by an admiral, it gets an additional shot. With their racial tech Dimensional Splicer, it scores a pre-combat hit on the unit of your choice. That's three attacks launched on an enemy fleet before the first round ends (one of which is a guaranteed hit) making it nearly as deadly as a Warsun in the first round. With a link directly to your home world (and its space dock) it should always be accompanied by a rather large fleet. They key to Creuss is to maintain a single large fleet, replacing ships that get destroyed with the wormhole link to your home world so your enemies can't wear you down. To take Hil Colish down, they need to destroy EVERYTHING.

In all the games where I've played with Creuss, I've found that the biggest threat to them is Alastor, the Nekro flagship. There was a single instance in which Hil Colish was close to being destroyed, because a Nekro player was sending an Alastor towards my fleet accompanied by two dreadnaughts. I had to send half my fleet ahead to deal with it before it engaged my main fleet and wiped out everything. Then immediately before I could restock the fleet, another player moved in to engage the remaining half of the fleet. I won, but was left with only Hil Colish. As I said though, that was a single instance. Every other time I entered combat, my fleet dominated.



#16 Solan

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 03:05 AM

Iorveth said:

 

We do play with leaders, yes - and basically, the Saar's agent will always be kept for the scenarios mentioned. It's pretty much a pseudochoice whether or not to use him, as he'll always be saved for either the crucial Signal Jam or the devastating Friendly Fire. While it rubs me the wrong way from a design-philosophy, I've come to live with it and don't really mind. 'Part of the race' I suppose.

Another part of the race is that the Saar Agent is more valuable than any other Agent, given their mobile Space Docks.  Last game I had my neighbor discover a Space Dock right on my borders due to a Distant Suns token.  By using my Agent I was able to strike that turn, take the world, and convert the Space Dock to one of my own.  Next turn I acted first and got my now-mobile prize out of there before his retaliatory fleet arrived in the system.

 

 

 

Exactly. However, due to racial techs and starting techs, this is pretty much the only two real choices a Saar player faces; the obnoxiously large fighter swarm, or several small. In all cases, any player opposing Saar will just dish out a few ADT-boosted Destroyers as guerilla fleets and whittle the Saar down before he gets up close (at least that's how Fighter Swarms are always handled both in our group and in competitive; ADT Destroyers are 1½ guaranteed hit on average pre-combat per unit.). Again, vulnerable like hell (or just part of the larger problem/question on whether or not Destroyers are simply too good).

Actually, believe it or not, I just had Fighters on the Space Dock, while the Carriers were filled with Mechs and Ground Forces; my immediate neighbors thus saw no reason to invest in Automated Defense Turrets.  Of course when your opponents have them you certainly will take heavy losses and so will need a large swarm of fighters.  It's also a good question as to wehther this Tech make Destroyers too powerful.  On the other hand, if your opponent often sends guerilla fleets of Destroyers after you before you hit his main fleet, what's to stop you from carrying a around a few PDS units and setting them down on whatever planets are in the system your Saar fleet stops in? 

 

 Solan said:

 

As for the Ghosts of Creuss, the Ghost Flagship is useful, but far from crucial; remember, the Ghosts are only  going to have a single Space Dock producing in their Home System anyway.  I had my Hil Colish blown up before I could even use it, never rebuilt it, and still came in a very close second.  

 

Depends entirely on objectives. If the 3 Docks on board objective is flipped, you'll have to build 3 docks. Or if you got a SO pertaining to Mecatol Rex requiring a Space Dock. Or if you manage to grab Lisis/Velnor / Abyz/Fria or Bereg/Lirta IV, in which case you'd of course love to have double docks there since your building capacity would be extremely inferior overall otherwise.

 

I think you either misunderstood me or I phrased myself poorly.  My point was that the Ghosts can only ever have a single Space Dock in their Home System, so of course they are going to build a second Space Dock in the normal galaxy, hopefully using their Scientist to get a discount.  Thus they will have a forward base of production and the Flagship connection to the Home System is much less important than it would be if you had multiple Space Docks producing there.  

 

 

Solan said:

 

Oh, one more thing: assuming you're playing with the Wormhole Nexus and Artifacts (and why wouldn't you be?) Mallice is a great location for an artifact, since it is virtually impossible for anyone to take it from the Ghosts if they station a Destroyer and two Ground Forces there.  Furthermore, the Nexus itself is a terrific staging area for a Ghost fleet.  Use the Slave Wormhole Generator and the Hil Colish and you could launch multi-pronged strikes on almost any area of the galaxy.  

 

Exactly, a very viable tactic - or well, pretty much the tactic for a Creuss player. Again a pseudo-choice ;) Doesn't sit well with me as it's very predictable due to the sheer power of the tactic, but can't change that really. As you say, it is extremely powerful. Regarding Artifact, we always play premade maps, either SA ones or tweaked ones that are crucially balanced to ensure beautifully dynamic games, but most of the time there is an artifact on Malice.

On another note, I presume you play pie-slice? For me, the game became completely revived when we did premade maps and used Star by Star guidelines for bidding. Such an improvement over the original game that it defies description.

 

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you mean by calling it a pseudo-choice.  Is not part of the game playing to your race's strengths?  Couldn't you also say that using Fighters as the Naalu or War Suns as the Embers is a "pseudo-choice"?  I suppose you could avoid using each of these elements with that particular race if you really wanted to, but doing so just seems to me like cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Incidentally, I should note that on boardgamegeek.com my insistience on the Ghosts getting their Slave Wormhole Generator is unusual, and more than one player has talked of winning without ever accquiring that Tech.     

And I assume that by "pie slice" you mean constructing the map as originally envisioned in the rules?  In that case, yes, that is how we have played so far.  I have gotten a look at a map constructed using "Star by Star" (and where the heck did that variant come from anyway?!?!) and to be honest I was horrified.  I despise the idea of potentially starting with Home Systems which are so close to each other, and to Mecatol Rex.   

Solan said:

 

What Strategy Cards do you think are essential for the Ghosts of Creuss' first two turns, and why?       

 

 

Depends entirely on map geography, neighbouring races and whether or not you play with Distant Suns. Until recently my group had used Distant Suns tokens for 8 years of playing. Then we decided to try without, and the game just got a whole lot better, balanced and more intensive, especially with premade maps. But yeah, depends entirely on those factors. In general I'd love an early Trade on Creuss though; they got the opportunity to threaten all races and should thus be able to demand good trades, and their secluded home system allows them to ignore alot of the flak thrown their way if they deny alot of other people trade. When playing with DS tokens, the TG's acquired can also compensate for a bad start. Same with Diplomacy; the annexation can be amazing when playing with DS tokens.

Okay, regarding Distant Suns, I concur completely that not using them makes the game more balanced.  To call it more intensive, though, seems ridiculous to me.  Distant Suns contribute a huge amount of tension and excitement as each new chit is revealed.  By not using them you gain greater balance, but sacrifice excitement in favor of a very boring and utterly predictable expansion over flavorless neutral planets. 

Wow, completely counter to my own choices!  I would go first with Technology to grab Gravity Drive (of course we play it as written) or for Production, which gives you the option of building two new Carriers and four new Ground Forces, assuming you use your Political cards as Trade Goods. 

 

Maltim, thanks for the contribution!  A couple of questions: I can understand how this tactic workes beautifully if your fleet with the Hil Colish is attacked; you can instantly reinforce as soon as it's your turn.  When you attack, though, you have to bring in whatever ships you're going to from the Home System for that battle and so can't recoup any losses until next turn.  Doesn't that render you vulnerable to anyone with a fleet within reach?

Also, given your avatar, this is probably a stupid question, but what do YOU think of the Clan of Saar? 

 



#17 Iorveth

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:08 AM

Solan said:

 

Okay, regarding Distant Suns, I concur completely that not using them makes the game more balanced.  To call it more intensive, though, seems ridiculous to me.  Distant Suns contribute a huge amount of tension and excitement as each new chit is revealed.  By not using them you gain greater balance, but sacrifice excitement in favor of a very boring and utterly predictable expansion over flavorless neutral planets. 

If you play pie-slice galaxy, yes. If you play Shattered Ascension maps, then no; removing DS tokens removes a protracted unbalancing expansion element in favour of a much more interactive, fast-paced, tactical and dynamic gameplay in which tactical choices dictate the early game rather than random DS blips. But then again, I wouldn't play pie-slice galaxy ever again after trying SA maps; it's simply much, much more slow-paced and boring. Which, I guess, makes DS tokens suitable, at least in regards to the slow part.

Solan said:

Wow, completely counter to my own choices!  I would go first with Technology to grab Gravity Drive (of course we play it as written) or for Production, which gives you the option of building two new Carriers and four new Ground Forces, assuming you use your Political cards as Trade Goods. 

If playing with Gravity Drive as RAW then I would of course naturally pick it as well. As I probably would with any race, considering how ridiculously OP it is. We never use Political Cards as Trade Goods because we use the Twilight Council political option from the SA ruleset, which makes Politics a much more viable avenue to pursue and far more exciting and engrossing than the standard RAW politics, which is a cointoss between random impotent toothless laws and laws that actually just might matter.

 

Again, I can only urge you to try and view the Shattered Ascension ruleset. It's quite comprehensive, and we don't use even half the options, but the better designed political phase and the premade maps are more or less universally regarded as definite improvements over the original game. It really does change it in such a way that makes you never want to go back. It is simply more interactive, engrossing, tactical and far, far, far more intensive.

 



#18 Solan

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:18 AM

Loverth, I'm afraid I accidentally embedded many of my replies in your quoted text in my last message.  I would be much obliged if you would take a lot at what I wrote there.  Thanks!



#19 Treguard

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 07:57 AM

Mighty Maltim said:

.. It hits on a 4 or higher, and piloted by an admiral, it gets an additional shot...

Admirals affect flagships now? Or is this a specific Hil Colish thing?



#20 Iorveth

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 08:14 AM

Solan said:

Loverth, I'm afraid I accidentally embedded many of my replies in your quoted text in my last message.  I would be much obliged if you would take a lot at what I wrote there.  Thanks!

Heh, no worries, I'll try and sort out your hidden pearls then :)






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