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Early Jump - 3 Population Risk


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#1 Mephisto666

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:37 PM

We had a discussion this weekend at Celesticon (Bay Area, California) about early jumping.

The broader version is with Helo / Gaeta in play, should you be jumping early, risking 3 population, as much as possible. 

On Helo's turn, he gets a reroll.  Gaeta gets a reroll on any turn.  And of course, there is Strategic Planning (+2 to roll) and Calculations.

If it's Helo's turn (or any turn when Gaeta playing), with no Strategic planning, 54% chance of success, 1.7 loss of population avg. (8.5 in 5 jumps).

If it's Helo's turn AND you have Gaeta playing, 58% chance, 1.3 Pop avg, (6 in five jumps).

And Strategic and it looks really good, 75%/.75/3.75 and both is 87.5%/.37/1.9.

I still think Helo or Gaeta alone, no Strategic Planning, is not a great risk if you are not in an otherwise tight spot (swarmed by ships, short on cards, etc). 

Of course, the other risk factor is if a cylon is in play.  Not so much for a Helo un-Strated roll, but if Gaeta is a Cylon and refuses a re-roll, if a promised Strategic never shows, etc.  Of course, you DO jump either way.  And with Gaeta, you are likely in Exodus and may not get to jump 3 as fast as you want!

Thoughts?



#2 Holy Outlaw

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:16 PM

Well, to arrive at a general principle on the issue would be tough. Assuming all players are known to be human it sounds like the fleet is paying, over time, one population per jump to save one turn (roughly 1.5 lost each time vs. 0.5 if you were jumping on the next round). So the question becomes whether the skipped turn was likely to cost resources in excess of one population, and that obviously depends on board conditions.

The thing that complicates matters significantly is the question of loyalty though. If Gaeta or Helo are cylons, they're likely to reroll successes into failures, ditto the shifty player promising Calculations. In short, any decision to hang 3 of a resource on a single die roll is likely to invite shenanigans. If it's me doing it, fine; I know my own loyalty. But if there are multiple players of unknown loyalty being depended upon to help out with the plan, the statistical calculations of their loyalty need to be factored with the ones you provided above. It seems to me that those factors make the proposition less attractive as a general rule.

*Checks loyalty card*

I mean, wait. I'm all for it!

 



#3 Skowza

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:26 AM

I think the decision to jump early depends heavily on the status of the Cylon Fleet and the amount of distance you have already traveled.  Pop is a tricky resource since, generally speaking, you cannot recover it at all.  You can sometimes mitigate Pop loss with Political Leaders and Pilot trickery, but risking 3 Pop unnecessarily is a bit of a gamble.  I feel that FTL should only be used at the -1 spot in the early game; even if there is a Cylon out there, Humans should still have plenty of cards to pass skill checks and its relatively easy to spot Cylon attempts to blow a skill check.  Theres also plenty of players available to fix the ship, shoot down raiders, etc.  (Though I guess by that logic then theres more players who could have a Strategic Planning too).  Theres no need to risk a Cylon meddling with the -3 Pop attempt, especially if its Gaeta who has a much better chance of screwing you on FTL and still being able to reveal (since Helo can only use his ability on his turn, you'd have a full round in which to brig/airlock, before it gets back to him again).
Once you reach mid-game things change a bit and by then I think you should be using FTL at the -3 spot every time since the game is, imho, much more weighted toward a Cylon victory during the latter half.  At that point the -3 spot is worth using even if Helo/Gaeta/SP isnt available since you have at least one Cylon actively working against you, cards are more valuable, theres a big Cylon Fleet outside, etc.  We developed a relatively workable XO strategy of pounding the Engine Room and FTLing first chance to race for the end.



#4 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:17 AM

For me, every turn taken is one more turn for the Cylons to hurt me (provided of course that I'm human) and I'm usually focusing on Distance rather than jumps, but I see the benefit in dropping two turns every "spool up".

I'm not a gambler so if I'm going to jump early I assume 1) the pop loss is 100% and 2) is the loss worse than what the Cylons will do to me? That being said, jumping early doesn't even occur to me until the Sleeper Phase; even with taking precautions, it seems risking that kind of loss early removes the option to force a jump later in the game.



#5 Holy Outlaw

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:48 AM

BrandonCarpenter said:

I'm not a gambler so if I'm going to jump early I assume 1) the pop loss is 100% and 2) is the loss worse than what the Cylons will do to me? That being said, jumping early doesn't even occur to me until the Sleeper Phase; even with taking precautions, it seems risking that kind of loss early removes the option to force a jump later in the game.

I take exception to this reasoning. You have no guarantee of what ships will activate if you stay just like you have no idea what you'll roll if you leave. You're not avoiding gambling by replacing in your calculations the roughly 75% chance of losing 3 population to FTL and the roughly 45% chance of raiders activating with a 100% chance of each. You're just doing bad math.

As for your subsequent point though, about the folly of saying "-3 pop doesn't kill us right now" when it's likely to start the bleeding on something that'll wind up fatal later, I agree I've seen that mistake made more than once, and by players who should know better. 



#6 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:55 PM

 I'm just saying that if the two of us were debating whether or not to jump early, even with you assuring me the math is on our side (to borrow from SGU: "I've run the numbers"), I'd still feel better knowing the plan was worth it with the assumption that the pop loss was certain. 

… and possibly focusing on whether you said "God", or "Gods". :-D



#7 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:11 PM

I'm assuming we'd be considering other factors like centurions, civvies, closeness to the end, etc.

If there was a suggestion to jump early with empty space because we have pop and the numbers look good, I might ask what color curtains do you want in your brig. <- This happened to me once; the argument was that if was pretty safe and that we should jump at the chance to deny the Cylons "two free turns".






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