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#1 peterstepon

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

I have been playing about a half dozen games now and I have yet to win a satisfactory victory without cheating.  I need to raise my win ratio so I can play this game with confidence and increase the number of wins.  What are the strategies that maximize victory?

Appropriate times to play cards

Best Teams to use

Efficent arrangements for marines

Best use of Support counters

Any help forthcoming would be great.  I would like to compile all the wisdom I can about this game on this thread. 



#2 aurax

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:13 PM

I am sure you will find better advices than mine, but I would say (my humble opinion of course):

-Keep support tokens mainly for defense (unless the marine has more than two) It is way better to ensure a marine´s survival than killing one genestealer.

-The red team is the worst. If you need to leave one out, that one should be it. Their abilities are very situational and even the "Full Auto" is not that useful as it appears to be: you will kill 1 GS almost for sure, but 2 GS only 25% of the time and 3 GS only 1 out of 9 tries. In a 12 marine game Leon is great covering the back of the others (because of increased range) and Valencio charging doors is good too, but in less-than-12 marine games, leave them out.

-When eliminating GS, remove first the ones with the movement symbol that is less frequent in the formation at that moment. That will help to lock the swarms in place when the next event card is revelaled (unless you prefer them to move of course)

-Normally it is better to loose one marine with an special ability from a team, than losing the last marine from other team (and all the order cards from that team) The exception would be of course Zael and probably Lorenzo and Calistarius: they are terribly useful and maybe losing them the last is better even if other teams need to be sacrified in the process.

-The green team can kill GS when rolling 4s in the die. Dont think too much about the special effect of killing 3 in one attack (as nice as it is of course), but consider the 4 as another skull when doing the chance calculation of attack success: the green team has the better shooting accuracy after the flamer.

-Blocking with Gideon Shield, using the force field of Calistarius, using Defensice Stance from the yellow team etc are life savers against the brood lords. However, against swarms with no special abilities, is usually better to try to kill them directly. Blocking them doesnt solve the problem, just postpone it.

-Lorenzo when defending must have the support order card in play and must be facing the swarm. With a couple of support tokens, he will be able to survive very easily against 3 or less GS AND probably kill them in the process.

-Dont use the teleportarium unless you really need to and you can do it safely in the first round after traveling to its location. The risk of losing marines or the certainty of using that many support tokens are normally not worth it.

-When using the move order card from purple team, and deciding if moving the event card to the bottom of the event pile or not, dont consider only the effect of the event card, but also the spawning and movement of genestealers. Usually the cards with "good" effects on the marines spawn way more GS (or move them to inconvenient positions), so sometimes could be better to keep a card with "bad" effect but "good" spawning.

That would be some of the things I found more useful to win. Please feel free to criticize them!

FOR THE EMPEROR AND THE GOLDEN THRONE!



#3 Dam

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:10 AM

aurax said:

-The red team is the worst. If you need to leave one out, that one should be it. Their abilities are very situational and even the "Full Auto" is not that useful as it appears to be: you will kill 1 GS almost for sure, but 2 GS only 25% of the time and 3 GS only 1 out of 9 tries. In a 12 marine game Leon is great covering the back of the others (because of increased range) and Valencio charging doors is good too, but in less-than-12 marine games, leave them out.

At least their M+A does good, unlike the Green team (more on them later). Red's Support sucks though. However, only team coming close to the crappiness of the Green team is Deathwing Blue (aka New Green). Just throw those two teams out the airlock and your chances go up exponentially.

aurax said:

-The green team can kill GS when rolling 4s in the die. Dont think too much about the special effect of killing 3 in one attack (as nice as it is of course), but consider the 4 as another skull when doing the chance calculation of attack success: the green team has the better shooting accuracy after the flamer.

Only when using their Attack Action, which needs plenty of support from other teams (M+A to get Gideon into place), thanks to Gideon's pathetic 0 range. Worse, if you go up against say 2-3 GS swarm and don't get them all, you're looking at a risky defense roll. To me, if a risk has to be taken (Prometium Tank, Hull Breach), send in the Green team, nobody will miss them even if they die.

aurax said:

-Dont use the teleportarium unless you really need to and you can do it safely in the first round after traveling to its location. The risk of losing marines or the certainty of using that many support tokens are normally not worth it.

Heh, I almost always use it right away, if the formation is empty, absolutely use it. I generally play solo with 6 or 8 marines, on average you lose just one Marine. Spend Support for the special marines, roll for fodder, most of the time losing one Marine if any, that's not bad for skipping around 10GS in the blip piles.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#4 aurax

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:49 PM

Dam said:

 

Only when using their Attack Action, which needs plenty of support from other teams (M+A to get Gideon into place), thanks to Gideon's pathetic 0 range. Worse, if you go up against say 2-3 GS swarm and don't get them all, you're looking at a risky defense roll. To me, if a risk has to be taken (Prometium Tank, Hull Breach), send in the Green team, nobody will miss them even if they die.

aurax said:

-Dont use the teleportarium unless you really need to and you can do it safely in the first round after traveling to its location. The risk of losing marines or the certainty of using that many support tokens are normally not worth it.

 

Heh, I almost always use it right away, if the formation is empty, absolutely use it. I generally play solo with 6 or 8 marines, on average you lose just one Marine. Spend Support for the special marines, roll for fodder, most of the time losing one Marine if any, that's not bad for skipping around 10GS in the blip piles.

 

Hehe poor green team :) The main issue with them is that when they lose one team member, the remaining one sucks big time: either Gideon survives but with 0 range cannot properly use the attack action, either Noctis survives but without blocking shield he is severely impaired.

About the teleportarium, I guess the issue is I dont like to risk ANY marine in a location number 2. And if you spend a support token for every marine (even only for the "special" ones) is a huge investment of tokens. Maybe if you just arrive to the teleportarium and there in no GS to chase you, and all your marines are tokenized, could be a good pportunity to just skip the location enterely, but normally I wouldnt do it.

Another thing to consider as tactic is: if you dont have the expasion packs, 33% of the games you will arrive to the (scary) genestealer lair. Just in case that happens, imho is worth it to plan in advance and keep the flamer either at the top of the formation, pointing left, either at the bottom pointing right, accompanied by the blue team (flamer team with the attack order available and blue team with the move+activate order ready).

If you arrive at the GS lair, then use the blue team engage the brood lord swarms and try to intimidate most of the broodlord´s bodyguards. Remember, if you roll a 4 or 5 in the intimidate, you can scare off GSs from BOTH swarms (up to the number rolled in total) if both your blue marines are engaged with them. Once the bodyguards are scared, Zael, Calistarius, Leon etc have a good chance of inmediately kill the brood lord (a BL alone is as vulnerable as a normal GS)



#5 peterstepon

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:46 AM

These are really good posts.  I can now appreciate the depth of this game. 

It seems that many people have different opinions as to which teams are the worst.  The Green team gets no respect, but I was surprised to see the Red team get a bad rating.  I have also heard that Blue and Yellow Teams are underpowered.  Which teams have got a reputation for being powerful?  In addition, I got the impression that the two teams in the POD expansion (before Deathwing) seemed more powerful than the original teams.  Which teams have a reputation for being the best ones?



#6 dypaca

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

The red team is very good in a solo game with three squads.  Their problem is that they get weaker the more squads you play with.

The Grey team (lexicanium) is the best of the base squads.  Each ability is pretty good, but the psionic attack with support tokens is just so powerful. +1 expected kill per support token, plus the more you have the better your odds of seeing a hot streak.

Green team is better than they seem at first, but still the worst of the base game overall.

In the Marine pack 1 expansion, the Orange team was very powerful, but not too far ahead of the squads in the base game.  The black team (Chaplain Raziel) is actually pretty bad because they don't have any attack bonuses (see the comment above about the importence of slaying versus defending).  That said, they do have two powerful defense abilities, and the ability to change marines' facing can be a really nice utility.

The Deathwings are in general a bit weaker than the marines who came before them.  They have a couple powerful abilities, but alot of their abilities eat support tokens and rely on special die rolls that you can't reroll.  The result is that you have to rely on luck alot more with them.  Definately better to use them with a group that likes a challenge.



#7 klaymen_sk

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 04:13 AM

I have got the best results with purple+grey team.

Purple's strategize with grey's force field can merge some swarms into a larger one. Bonus points for placing them in range of Zael or Lexicanum (or both), where you have quite a chance to wipe them out. Of course it does not work all the time. Also both teams' move+activate abilities can help you with the events or shrinking the blip piles respectively.

Also I tend to use blue team for extra defense (counter-attack has saved my sorry arse quite a few times) and I grew fond of black team too. Sure, they don't have much offensive power, but Litany of Hate helped me to counter (or lessen) the effects of Chaos of Battle event card.



#8 peterstepon

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:58 PM

I found that the Cyclonic Marine is a real boost.  The ability to destroy 3 genestealers at will is great.  I want to match him with the flamer marine in a future game.

How is the intimidate ability for blue team?  I found it is great for keeping the number of genestealers on the map to a minimum, but sometimes you are just recycling them and delaying the inevitable.  Should intimitate be used as much as possible to throw the genestealers back in the mix and destroy them piecemeal?  I found that sometimes you get event cards like "the swarm" which will make your blip piles huge.

I was disappointed to see that Deathwing Marines are not better than the base marines.  I was hoping that they would be more powerful.  I would like a POD which would give the player the ability to be a powergamer (bring on the power creep!).  Having a dreadnaught would be a nice addition.

How is the Tyrannid pack?  I had the feeling it would make the game harder but some posts suggested that the Tyrannids actually made the game easier.  Which is true?



#9 dypaca

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:05 PM

Cyclonic Volley works alot like Heroic charge.  On the up side, it can strike at greater range, and rolling a zero doesn't kill the marine.  On the downside, it can only hit one swarm, and it doesn't kill anything when it fails (which usually means a marine gets killed anyway).

Intimidate is a good ability, though I think counter attack is the strongest of the three.  You definately need to be careful that you don't slow down travelling too much by putting genestealers back in the blip piles.  However, if the blip piles are close to even or you are using the teleportarium, then it is as good as a kill.

I don't think the Tyranids make the game any easier.  Depending on when they pop up, they might make the game only marginally harder, but if you get alot at the beginning they can make it much harder.  This also varies with number of players.  With smaller spawns, it is easier to slay the more dangerous tyranids before they do anything, but with large swarms they can get alot of protection.

The Tyranid pack also comes with new final locations (the Hive lords), and I think these might be easier than the original final locations.  Death Leaper in particular has a tendency to get picked off fast.



#10 Tromdial

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 05:59 AM

klaymen_sk said:

I have got the best results with purple+grey team.

Purple's strategize with grey's force field can merge some swarms into a larger one. Bonus points for placing them in range of Zael or Lexicanum (or both), where you have quite a chance to wipe them out. Of course it does not work all the time. Also both teams' move+activate abilities can help you with the events or shrinking the blip piles respectively.

Also I tend to use blue team for extra defense (counter-attack has saved my sorry arse quite a few times) and I grew fond of black team too. Sure, they don't have much offensive power, but Litany of Hate helped me to counter (or lessen) the effects of Chaos of Battle event card.

I agree with all the above but wish to add Brown team from PoD expansion (not orange) is incredible with Cyclonic Volley as well my bigger favorite, Target Lock.

However, I've switched over now to Lord of the Rings living card game and I wonder if I will come back to Space Hulk. Much variety in that game if you have the money and stones for it, as most of those quests are so very hard you beg them to print more cards to have even a chance at winning, but overall very fun time. Constantly thinking about combos to get an edge over such a merciless game. If you thought Space Hulk was a challenge, LoTR towers over SH.

Personally I enjoy all the PoD packs except the new Blood Ravens, Dark Angels… whatever they call themselves. Biggest waste of 12 bucks I ever spent. The core teams and the small Space Marine Pack 1 with Brown and Black team is excellent and Tyranid killing is mighty fun too, if you do not have already.



#11 Dam

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:12 AM

Space Marine Pack 1 comes with Black and ORANGE teams, there is no brown!

I own both this and LotR LCG, but Death Angel will always have a spot in my collection because LotR's combat is too mathy, not enough randomness. Die rolls in DA can make or break you, in LotR, you're heroes total up their attack and that's it, there is no chance to miss, you pile up enough attack and auto-kill .


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#12 peterstepon

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:17 PM

I just found the mother of all strategy guides for Death Angel.  If you go to gameboardgeek there is a strategy guide available for download by some spanish guy to made a deep 39 page guide to Death Angel.  Seriously, this guy claims to have a 90% win rate out of 100 games and goes into amazing depth about everything.  I will spend the next day reading it on the way to work in order to master it like this guy did.

Personally, I find LOTR to be much easier than Death Angel.  It seemed tough a long time ago.  But after several expansion packs there were enough cards to make decks very powerful.  In addition, the game gets easier if two or more people play. ( more people that or, the more people one person would control for solo games).  I find Death Angel tough simply because the parameters are still very set.  Many scenarios in LOTR are at the 4 or 5 level range which is pretty easy to beat.  Even Conflict a the Carrock is actually really easy if you do it right. 



#13 Tromdial

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:55 PM

Dam said:

Space Marine Pack 1 comes with Black and ORANGE teams, there is no brown!

I own both this and LotR LCG, but Death Angel will always have a spot in my collection because LotR's combat is too mathy, not enough randomness. Die rolls in DA can make or break you, in LotR, you're heroes total up their attack and that's it, there is no chance to miss, you pile up enough attack and auto-kill .

Really!? It looks very muddy brown to me. When I think orange, I think the color that I find on the fruit.

And true about comparison but there is always the randomness of the draw too, to be fair.



#14 Tromdial

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:58 PM

peterstepon said:

Personally, I find LOTR to be much easier than Death Angel.  It seemed tough a long time ago.  But after several expansion packs there were enough cards to make decks very powerful.  In addition, the game gets easier if two or more people play. ( more people that or, the more people one person would control for solo games).  I find Death Angel tough simply because the parameters are still very set.  Many scenarios in LOTR are at the 4 or 5 level range which is pretty easy to beat.  Even Conflict a the Carrock is actually really easy if you do it right.

Impressive. Yeah, I am still struggling to find good combos to win at solitaire. I have definitely noticed the difference in the more people play the easier it is to win.



#15 Dam

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:13 PM

peterstepon said:

Even Conflict a the Carrock is actually really easy if you do it right. 

If you've ever run into my posts here or over on BGG, you'll know I consider Carrock the second easiest quest in the game, barely above Passage Through Mirkwood. Never ever will I take Carrock being DL7 seriously, it's DL2, maybe 3 on a bad day.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#16 Freeman

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:25 PM

peterstepon said:

I just found the mother of all strategy guides for Death Angel.  If you go to gameboardgeek there is a strategy guide available for download by some spanish guy to made a deep 39 page guide to Death Angel.  Seriously, this guy claims to have a 90% win rate out of 100 games and goes into amazing depth about everything.  I will spend the next day reading it on the way to work in order to master it like this guy did.

Hi, this is the "some spanish guy" speaking :D

I wrote the guide 2 years ago, but I think most of the tips are still valid. Some of the essential ones have been quoted by Aurax in his first reply (although I don't know from where came the statistic about Leon having a 25% of killing 2 genestealers on Full Auto).

The english version of the guide doesn't display the analyze for the terrain and location cards, though (which is important). Take a look in the spanish guy for a quick reference on the % of the genestealers being spawned and how often in a major or minor spawn. You'll find interesting surprises concerning the green terrain.

On a side note, I didn't save an accurate register for the wins and loses, it is mainly an estimation. Altough nowadays I don't play as much as I used to, I've played now more than 2 hundred games, my win ratio keeps the same, and I can't remember having lost a single game with neither the Space Marine Pack 1 or the Deathwing (simply BROKEN). The problem is, selecting the Orange Team (cyclonic voley) or most of the Deathwing for an "easy level" won't allow you to improve your gameplay and jump to "normal level": they simply allow you to make mistakes you can't afford with the rest of the teams. If you don't know what did you do wrong because you weren't "punished", you'll never improve.

Good hunting, have fun!

PS: if you need any clarification about the guide, feel free to mail me.



#17 aurax

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:50 AM

Freeman said:

peterstepon said:

 

(although I don't know from where came the statistic about Leon having a 25% of killing 2 genestealers on Full Auto).

It is great to have comments from the creator of the most comprehensive guide currently available for this game :)

The calculation is indeed wrong, should be (without tokens): Leon firing full auto: chance of killing at least 1 GS 87.5% (around 8/9), of killing 3 just 12.5% (around 1/9), of killing at least 2 GS must be something around 33%. But someone good at probability calculus will know better :) Anyway the point is, Leon is not very good in killing lots of GS, but it is great to cover other marine´s backs and ensure than any missing GS is (probably) going to be destroyed by him.

One thing I specially liked about Freeman´s guide is how to plannify the formation facings. Before reading the guide my marines were moving and re-facing as "response" to the traveling and spawning - totally reactive. After reading the guide, I plan the facing in advance including potential swarms movements, potential event cards, and potential new locations, and the marines take good care of others´s backs as often as possible -much more proactive.

I am very curious about the Deathwing Teams being broken, as most people think they are underpowered compared to original marines. More details please? :)

I agree with the Brown Team being a bit OP: they have a brutal "AoE-ignore facing" attack, a support that gives you two tokens for the price of one, and a double movement. They are as good as the Flamer ones…

 

Thanks again for a great guide Freeman!



#18 peterstepon

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

Freeman said:

peterstepon said:

 

I just found the mother of all strategy guides for Death Angel.  If you go to gameboardgeek there is a strategy guide available for download by some spanish guy to made a deep 39 page guide to Death Angel.  Seriously, this guy claims to have a 90% win rate out of 100 games and goes into amazing depth about everything.  I will spend the next day reading it on the way to work in order to master it like this guy did.

 

 

Hi, this is the "some spanish guy" speaking :D

.

 

Hello Freeman!  Thanks for writing this guide.  I was surprised to see that you were on these boards and that you responded so quickly.  I was able to read it to and from work and I am impressed by the depth of knowledge that you have of the game.  I am sure to put together a yellow, black, violet team quickly to implement your strategies.  Honestly, your English is great in writing this.

I would like you to come up with another guide addressing the 4 POD expansions.  I know that is alot of work, but I would like to hear your input about the effect that the expansions have on the game, and how the new Space marine teams rank and should be used.  Also, I am curious to hear your opinion of the Tyrannid pack missions. 



#19 dypaca

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

aurax said:

The calculation is indeed wrong, should be (without tokens): Leon firing full auto: chance of killing at least 1 GS 87.5% (around 8/9), of killing 3 just 12.5% (around 1/9), of killing at least 2 GS must be something around 33%. But someone good at probability calculus will know better :)

You can do this with calculus, but you can also just enumerate the possibilities.  There are 8 possible outcomes of equal probability, 1 where you kill zero, 3 where you kill exactly one, 3 where you kill exactly two, and 1 where you kill three.  When you start factoring in support tokens that's when it gets a bit more complicated.
 

The probability of 1 or more is 7/8 = 87.5%

Probability of 2 or more is 4/8 = 50%

Probability of 3 is 1/8 = 12.5 %

 



#20 aurax

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:39 AM

dypaca said:

 

There are 8 possible outcomes of equal probability, 1 where you kill zero, 3 where you kill exactly one, 3 where you kill exactly two, and 1 where you kill three.  When you start factoring in support tokens that's when it gets a bit more complicated. 

The probability of 1 or more is 7/8 = 87.5%

Probability of 2 or more is 4/8 = 50%

Probability of 3 is 1/8 = 12.5 % 

Very good explanation! Thanks!

Quoting Freeman, one very interesting fact about terrains is that every bar in the "dangerousness rating" of a terrain card means a 20% cumulative chance of spawning GS during the event phase (so the red terrain is 80% per turn because it has 4 bars), but the amount of GS is not always the same. 

The green terrain (20% of chance per turn of spawning GS) will create a major spawn more frequently than a minor (66% majors, if I remember right) So if after a few turns no GS have been spawned at the green corridor, you should probably prepare for an incoming major spawn.

Another interesting fact: after just 4 attacks using the heroic charge, the expected outcome is have lost Brother Claudio (52% chance of being dead after 4 attacks if calculated it right) As Freeman mentions in the guide, normally is better not to use the heroic charge till the locations 3 or 4, and use the awesome movement and support actions instead - the yellow movement card with only one team member loses a lot.

For the red grail!!






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