First Time Questions

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ronicus
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First Time Questions

Hello,

Just picked up my game at PAX this past weekend and had fun playing the quick demo.  I have some newbie questions that I was hoping someone could help me with.  I ran through a quick "mechanics check" going against The Bareg Threllian Syndicate.  The Mission you put out as part of the setup is "Solar Ransom".  This will Add tokens during the Requesition phase for any ships *not* in it's sector.  During the Battle phase, you Remove tokens for each ship in that sector and when the counters reach zero, the CryoShade appears.

 

My question is this:  What is the best strategy for the first 1-2 rounds?  I simulated a two player game and sent the Strike Force ships to a different sector.  This put two tokens on the Solar Ransom mission.  However, that mission pops ships during the Aftermath phase and any ships that are un-engaged (all of them at the start) may also pop a ship.  By the second round, I had four ships in that sector and it was overrun before I even got there.  I can't go directly to that sector because it would remove the tokens I put on it during the Setup phase and the cryoshade would pop in round #1.  Am I missing something?

 

Also, what is the best Opposition to go against for first time gamers?  I'd like to ease my gaming group into this game, but I'm afraid of giving them a bad taste in their mouth if they fail the game right out of the gate.

 

I love the game so far, but think I'm missing a couple of important strategies that's keeping me from really "getting" it.

 

Thanks in advance!

-Ronicus-

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It begins! Sadly, I don't have much to offer, as I haven't had a chance to play a whole lot yet. I slacked during later playtesting, sadly.

Foote? Lol


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Hi and welcome! I haven't played at all so I can't be helpful in any way, but I can greet new forumites. :)


Just assume I'm always doing that.

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I have a few rules questions, but the rules section for specific cards is down. EDIT-I am an idiot.  This is the correct place for these questions.

 

1)Can one Strike Force Ship (SFS) engage multiple enemy ships?  We saw no rule stopping this, but it seemed odd. 

 

2)Can Cloak Drive allow you to engage ships in different sectors (assuming the answer to question one is yes)?  Unsure if you engage all ships at once, or one at a time, thus allowing the move to happen before declaring more engagers.  Yes, we caught the part about only doing damage to engaged ships in your sector.

 

3)If the Smart Bomb rules trigger, does it count as having been scrapped at one point for the purpose of other cards that care, or does it replace the scrap effect with it's other effect?

 

4)Solar Ransom-  all effects that are worded like it's Aftermath effect play the card in the sector that card is in, correct?

 

5)Dimensional Sabotage- it doesn't say it, but we played the card like it used the word Panel after each time it said ship.   Correct?

 

6)Just making sure, but multiple missions can be in the same sector, correct?

 

Only on game three, sure there's more to come.

arenson9
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ForsakenImp wrote:

I have a few rules questions, but the rules section for specific cards is down.

 

What do you mean by 'rules section for specific cards'? What are you referring to and how is it down?


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I apologize, I misread the forum section for specific errata from GtG (https://greaterthangames.com/forums/galactic-strike-force-rulings) as a place to go for specific card interactions, instead of the official answers section it is meant to be.  It is working fine, just no posts there yet.

Foote
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ronicus wrote:

Hello,Just picked up my game at PAX this past weekend and had fun playing the quick demo.  I have some newbie questions that I was hoping someone could help me with.  I ran through a quick "mechanics check" going against The Bareg Threllian Syndicate.  The Mission you put out as part of the setup is "Solar Ransom".  This will Add tokens during the Requesition phase for any ships *not* in it's sector.  During the Battle phase, you Remove tokens for each ship in that sector and when the counters reach zero, the CryoShade appears. My question is this:  What is the best strategy for the first 1-2 rounds?  I simulated a two player game and sent the Strike Force ships to a different sector.  This put two tokens on the Solar Ransom mission.  However, that mission pops ships during the Aftermath phase and any ships that are un-engaged (all of them at the start) may also pop a ship.  By the second round, I had four ships in that sector and it was overrun before I even got there.  I can't go directly to that sector because it would remove the tokens I put on it during the Setup phase and the cryoshade would pop in round #1.  Am I missing something? Also, what is the best Opposition to go against for first time gamers?  I'd like to ease my gaming group into this game, but I'm afraid of giving them a bad taste in their mouth if they fail the game right out of the gate. I love the game so far, but think I'm missing a couple of important strategies that's keeping me from really "getting" it. Thanks in advance!-Ronicus-

Hey Ronicus! Hope you had as much fun at PAX as I did. 

Do not fear overrun sectors. Well, fear 3 overrun sectors. Then you lose. But as long as you have 1 neutral sector, you have room to work and build. Keep the feet limit in mind (players +2) for the sectors and use that to your advantage. In a 2 player game its 4, so any Opp ship that gets deployed into the sector from either the top of the Opp deck or flipped Station cards after that get scrapped. There are times when theres going to be a ton of Opp ships and it will look grim. But just keep building your ships and mowing them down. It can be quite the challenge sometimes, but when you pull that first win out it feels so good.

I know the rulebook says to start with the Syndicate, but maybe try starting with Technovores. If you want to tone the difficulty down for an intro game, just start with less ships at the start of the game. That's always been a simple nob for me to turn in either direction.

Other advanced tips:

Station Manipulation. Sometimes its not just about buying what you need, but buying so that the Opp doesn't play it in the Aftermath. You cant look at the back of cards, but you can remember the worst ones, like say, Quasar Guns for instance. Flips into Mega Teleporter. You really don't want to see a Mega Teleporter, especially early in the game. So make sure it doesn't flip. If a sector is at fleet limit, and you know for certain 2 cards will flip in that sector, make sure the first two cards will flip ships (so they will be scrapped and they wont be boosts). You can tell by the red symbol on the right side of the station cards.

 

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ForsakenImp wrote:
 

1)Can one Strike Force Ship (SFS) engage multiple enemy ships?  We saw no rule stopping this, but it seemed odd.  

2)Can Cloak Drive allow you to engage ships in different sectors (assuming the answer to question one is yes)?  Unsure if you engage all ships at once, or one at a time, thus allowing the move to happen before declaring more engagers.  Yes, we caught the part about only doing damage to engaged ships in your sector. 

3)If the Smart Bomb rules trigger, does it count as having been scrapped at one point for the purpose of other cards that care, or does it replace the scrap effect with it's other effect? 

4)Solar Ransom-  all effects that are worded like it's Aftermath effect play the card in the sector that card is in, correct? 

5)Dimensional Sabotage- it doesn't say it, but we played the card like it used the word Panel after each time it said ship.   Correct? 

6)Just making sure, but multiple missions can be in the same sector, correct? Only on game three, sure there's more to come.

1) No. During the Engage event, all players choose their Engagement at once. You can play boosts before and after the Engagement phase, but not during. Each Opp ship may only have 1 Primary Engager and 1 Secondary Engager at a time

2) No. You would pick you engagment, and then cload drive may move your ship. But since you have already chosen an engagment, you can't choose another.

3) This is a good question. By the way the card is worded, I would say it does count as being scrapped (for cards that care), but they do get recycled afterward. I could see this being a debatable point however.

4) I dont have the card in front of me, but if it says "this sector", then it is refering to the one it is played in.

5) Haha I actually got to ask Christopher about Dimensional Sabotage! I thought the same thing you did. We were wrong, and in the coolest way possible. Lets say you have 2W/5D on your ship panel with the Detonative Patch tech installed (grants 2D and has a scrap effect wich removes 2 energy from a ship of your choice). You can use Dimensional Sabotage on anyone, but you choose to use it on yourself. It takes ALL of your W and ALL of your D and swaps them. In this case, you would end up with 7W/2D on your ship pannel. In this exchange, the energy gets removed from the Detonative Patch, which scraps the tech, in turn triggering its scrap effect. Thats the potential power of Dimensional Sabotage. Use this power wisely

6) Oh yeah. There totally can be more than one mission per sector. 

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Thanks Foote! I was coming into this thread to answer questions, but I see that you are totally on top of it :)


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Paul, don't feel shy about jumping in with official confirmations to answers.  We know there will be lots of great questions like these, so a FAQ is likely to be useful, but if our skilled and experienced playtesters answer all the questions before a designer does, then I'll have nothing to put into it.

BTW, I'm considering the answer to #5 Dimensional Sabotage to be the first official item in a GSF FAQ.  "I asked Christopher about it and he totally told me it worked like this" is good enough for me.


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Spiff wrote:

Paul, don't feel shy about jumping in with official confirmations to answers.  We know there will be lots of great questions like these, so a FAQ is likely to be useful, but if our skilled and experienced playtesters answer all the questions before a designer does, then I'll have nothing to put into it.BTW, I'm considering the answer to #5 Dimensional Sabotage to be the first official item in a GSF FAQ.  "I asked Christopher about it and he totally told me it worked like this" is good enough for me.

Yes, I second this. Lawd knows I am prone to mistakes, and theres still some things I'm not totally 100% confident on either, especially when it comes to: 

1) Icon Resolution (do they trigger simultaneously or consecutivly in order of player choice).

Like, if an Orc Lancer moves during [T] into a sector with a [T] icon removing 1E from all ships, could you work it so the Lancer moves then takes the damage, or would he be ineligable since he started the Travel phase in a different sector? Rulebook seems to say they are consecutive, but just making sure.

2) Station Card Aftermath resolution. Do you go sector by sector resolving first to last before going to the next sector? Or can you resolve first card in station 1, then first card in station 2, then 2nd card in station 1, 2nd card in station 2, ect. if that would be more advantageous? (I assume it is the former)

3) Bounties with non-strikeforce bonuses. Take the Technovore Swarm with a bounty that prevents cards from flipping in the Aftermath. If the Swarm is scrapped by an effect coming from a source other than a Strike Force ship, would the bounty effect still go off? Obviously if the bounty was 1D for instance, no one would get that shield, but other effects are not as clear cut.

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Here are official answers to these questions, passed down from on high! (i.e., Christopher and I both had the exact same answers before even discussing them)

First, all of Foote's answers are cannon and correct from his previous post except for #3. Smart Bomb says "if it would be scrapped", which replaces "scrapping" with the "recycling", so the card is never actually scrapped.

Regarding Foote's questions:

1) Consecutively in the order of player choice, but new icons that come out during this event do not trigger during it (NOTE: This last bit is pretty much the exact opposite of SotM).

2) Technically you can resolve them in any order, so something like this would technically be legal: 1st card from Sector 1, 1st and 2nd cards from Sector 2, 2nd card from Sector 1, All 3 cards from Sector 3, 3rd card from Sector 1, 3rd card from Sector 2. However, it rarely makes a difference.

3) The bounty would not still go off. The bounty only goes off if a ship is scrapped when destroyed by a strike force ship (either through battle damage, or through a card that removes energy).


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Fantastic! Greatly appreciated Paul. Thanks for taking the time to put an official stamp on those answers.

 

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So, smart bombs DON'T trigger Bombadier's Aptitude or Explosive Repurposing, is the point? I guess that WOULD make them a BIT less OP.


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I also find it a bit strange that the Smart Bombs don't end up synergizing with Bombardier's Aptitude or Explosive Repurposing.  I'm not sure if I'd call Grey Hammer OP, though.  Having played most of the characters personally now at least once, I think Grey Hammer ended up performing the worst in my hands.  He's no match for Uxshenti's Wrath or Vigilance for late-game power, nor Kharachar's Claw for early-game.

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Hey,

I picked up GSF at PAX east and have tried it twice with 3 friends and we have ended up calling it quits twice (the second time we lost the game in 3 turns). We tried syndicate both times and were quickly overwhelmed by ships. None of us had the chance to play at the PAX demonstration table and are convinced there is something we are doing wrong, but can't for the life of us figure out what it is.

1. We quickly become overwhelmed with opp. ships due to it taking multiple turns to completely remove energy (shields and weapons) from each.

2. In syndicate there seem to be opp ships coming in from all sides (the first mission, several ships that flip station cards during different phases etc). During our second play through we ended up on the 3rd turn with 4 opp ships in one sector, 6 in another and 9 in the last (not counting all the ships scrapped due to the sector ship limits). The buildup was caused by ships moving due to their T and B actions.

3. we've been following the battle instructions from the book that compares attack to shields and subtracts the difference from the engaged ship, which means multiple turns to kill even the weaker opp ships.

We understand that the game is supposed to be hard (we like difficult games), but between the constant loss of tech due to flipped cards, spawning opp ships and the multiple turns it takes to kill each enemy ship is causing my friends to believe the game impossible. Anyway, I was hoping you guys could tell us what we are missing that's turning this into a quick swamp.

 

Jon

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dragonlordged wrote:

I also find it a bit strange that the Smart Bombs don't end up synergizing with Bombardier's Aptitude or Explosive Repurposing.  I'm not sure if I'd call Grey Hammer OP, though.  Having played most of the characters personally now at least once, I think Grey Hammer ended up performing the worst in my hands.  He's no match for Uxshenti's Wrath or Vigilance for late-game power, nor Kharachar's Claw for early-game.

Gray's Hammer LOVES to buy techs with scrap effects though. When you can, be sure to prioritize them and use them as scrap fodder. Greys Hammer is very powerful and can strip the shields clean off of most ships before damage calculation. Use this to your advantage.

 

onufryk wrote:

Hey,I picked up GSF at PAX east and have tried it twice with 3 friends and we have ended up calling it quits twice (the second time we lost the game in 3 turns). We tried syndicate both times and were quickly overwhelmed by ships. None of us had the chance to play at the PAX demonstration table and are convinced there is something we are doing wrong, but can't for the life of us figure out what it is.1. We quickly become overwhelmed with opp. ships due to it taking multiple turns to completely remove energy (shields and weapons) from each.2. In syndicate there seem to be opp ships coming in from all sides (the first mission, several ships that flip station cards during different phases etc). During our second play through we ended up on the 3rd turn with 4 opp ships in one sector, 6 in another and 9 in the last (not counting all the ships scrapped due to the sector ship limits). The buildup was caused by ships moving due to their T and B actions.3. we've been following the battle instructions from the book that compares attack to shields and subtracts the difference from the engaged ship, which means multiple turns to kill even the weaker opp ships.We understand that the game is supposed to be hard (we like difficult games), but between the constant loss of tech due to flipped cards, spawning opp ships and the multiple turns it takes to kill each enemy ship is causing my friends to believe the game impossible. Anyway, I was hoping you guys could tell us what we are missing that's turning this into a quick swamp. Jon

This is not totally uncommon, especially if you are flipping some really bad stuff in the early Aftermath phases.

A few things: Are you keeping the Fleet limit in mind? Its #players+2 for each sector. Any ship deployed there after that limit (not moved there) gets scrapped. There is little difference between 3 unengaged ships in a sector and 8 unengaged in a sector as it flips 3 cards regardless. On that note, some ships have great mobility past the Travel phase. Try and buy up cards from the sectors that you DONT want the Opp to flip. In an overrun sector, if possible, make sure that most of the cards flipping are ships and not boosts (remember the red icon on the right side of station cards is your hint there). If the sector is at the fleet limit, those ships get scrapped and not deployed.

If someone is playing Wrath or the Claw, a great strat is to just move the bulk of ships into one sector. Yes, it will get overrun, but your goal early in the game is not to keep all sectors neutral (largely thats very hard to do), its to stay alive and build up until you can start wiping things off the board. 

Knowing that you wont keep all three sectors neutral changes your teams first travel phase. If you spread out thin accross all three sectors to start, your going to have more cards flipping in the Aftermath than you would if you concentrate your efforts. Going up against the Syndicate, I recomend to abandon the sector with the starting mission, at least to start. If you take a more methodical and measured approach instead of just trying to clear the board as quick as possible, you will be in a better position late game to make a run at the Flagship.

Shield techs. They are SO important for many factors. Make sure you are replenishing your shields in your deck. Techs like High Tension Plates and others that negate damage are very useful as well!

Play to your ships strengths. Basillios for instance, loves buying Techs, but too many Boosts will slow your building down. Wrath needs to keep moving to mill through her deck quickly. Claw loves solo missions in sectors. Warbeast loves as much Weaponry as you can muster, while the Spire needs to be feed Shield techs to convert into Weaponry and general Tankiness. Each ship has their preference for what they love to buy, try and find those quirks out. On the other side of that coin, buy what you DONT want the Opp to flip, dont always just blindly buy what you need personally.

Remember, as long as you have 1 sector not overrun, you have room to gather and build your ship. If you need to, let 2 sectors overrun. The goal is to survive long enough to weather the initial storm and then go into those nasty sectors guns blazing. You are a small strike force up against legions of forces.

It is supposed to look very bad at times. Don't give up! It's never quite as bad as it seems, and with some smart play you will get ahead of the curve. Seriously, quitting in the middle will never net you a win. 

If the Syndicate is a little too much to handle off the bat, I strongly encurage playing against the Technovores. The Syndicate will deny your strike force ships of a lot of stuff, from their blockades to high prices. They are like the Megaopolis environment from SotM in that sense. Technovores will deny you less, and good general strategies might present themselves easier. Thats just my opinion.

If your group is still having a bunch of trouble, try starting the game with less ships, or start with less shields. Yes, these are training wheel options. But its better to start with training wheels than to fall down constantly and not want to try again.

Sorry for the overlly general advice. If you can provide anything more specific I can try and help more. (Pydro EMP tech is a MUST buy for any ship. If you have the expansion, let the Reclamators flip in Opp heavy sectors. They will engage Opp ships for you)

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I am sure that others can chime in here with some thoughts/advice, but here's mine!

1) A common starting "mistake" that I've seen is trying to control all three sectors. It seems like a good idea at first, but you quickly become overwhelmed everywhere. Instead, focus on locking down one or two sectors at a time; you don't lose until all three sectors are Overrun, so if one or even 2 go, you are still doing just fine.

2) You didn't mention this, but occasionally newer players forget about the Fleet Limit (Players +2); once a sector contains that number of Opposition ships, any more that attempt to deploy in that sector are discarded. This prevents things from getting *too* crazy and unmanageable.

3) If you are having trouble with destroying ships quickly enough, try using ships like Kharachar's Claw or Greyhammer, which have abilities that let you take out ships quickly at the start of the game.

 


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Spring boarding off of Pauls 3rd point, Tharendim to a lesser extent is also great at scrapping ships early if you can wittle their shields down a bit first. Take advantage of these early scraps! They will save your butt later!

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In our last game we played with Vigilance, Uxshenti's Wrath, Kharachar's Claw and Conclave of Niphon. We were spread out out between 2 sector's (accepted that the sector with the syndicate starting mission was a lost cause). We were paying attention to system limits, but just couldn't keep up with the spawn rate.

 

 

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onufryk wrote:

In our last game we played with Vigilance, Uxshenti's Wrath, Kharachar's Claw and Conclave of Niphon. We were spread out out between 2 sector's (accepted that the sector with the syndicate starting mission was a lost cause). We were paying attention to system limits, but just couldn't keep up with the spawn rate.  

A Vigilance ship boosts by Conclave should have no trouble scrapping ships in the battle phase by the 2nd Round. When talking pure Energy, no Strike Force ship will rival Vigilance, and Conclave can give out temporary shield boosts for the Battle Phase or when you think you might be taking a good deal of energy damage during aftermath flipping. 

Both the Claw and Wrath have crazy movement and can well handle themselvs in sectors and bolt if things get too hairy. Finding a Cloaking Drive for Wrath early can be HUGE to 1) mill through her deck at blinding speeds 2) protect her energy until her shields can take things head on. If you play her right and draw lots of cards during the [R] and [I] phases, she builds faster than just about anyone. Buy as much as you can with her since you can mill through it so fast.

In the battle phase, Hit and Run/Deadly Focus with Ramming Speed for Claw can snipe off most Opposition ships outright. Focus on his Weaponry and keep his shields in a healthy place (around 4-5 on average). Claw loves suicide missions, so send him in, do your thing, then bolt out of the sector if you think it would be too dangerous to stay there.

Claw and Wrath's movement allows you manipulate the sectors station cards you abandon easily, so you can kind of plan exactly what the Opp will flip in the Aftermath and tailor you game plan accordingly. If the sector you are trying to lock down gets too hairy, Use Goated Pursuit and move all those Opp ships into the abandoned sector! Clumped up Opp ships means less bad stuff flipping in the Aftermath, but it makes the endgame a little rough, so use the free time to keep building.

EDIT: In this case, putting Wrath, Vigilance and Conclave in one sector with 3 ships and sending Claw into the sector with 2 ships might be your best bet. The first sector wont flip any cards in the Aftermath that way, and If Claw can scrap one ship and engage the other off the bat, none flip there either (or just 1 in the worst case senario). Your first 2 rounds will really set the tone of the game. Do everything you can to minimize the bad stuff while you keep chipping away and building up.

Once you play a few games, you will start remembering which station cards flip the worst Opp sides. For me, If I see Quasar Guns on the board somewhere and its in danager of flipping, you best be sure I will try and buy that up regardless of whether I need it or not (it flips into Mega Teleporter) Use this knowledge to your advantage. (I can't in good faith recommend cheating, but if you need to peak at the Opp sides while learning the game, I personally wont hold it against you)

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Why can't you look at the flip side of cards in the offer?

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I had an awesome game with Uxshenti's Wrath recently where we did exactly what you're suggesting, Foote. We ended up with 18 or 19 Syndicate ships in one sector while we cleared the others. Bjarlspire ended up trapped there for most of the game, but we rescued him eventually. If I recall correctly, Uxshenti ended up with 55+ energy and one-shotted the boss.

Long story short, that strategy really works.

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dragonlordged wrote:

I had an awesome game with Uxshenti's Wrath recently where we did exactly what you're suggesting, Foote. We ended up with 18 or 19 Syndicate ships in one sector while we cleared the others. Bjarlspire ended up trapped there for most of the game, but we rescued him eventually. If I recall correctly, Uxshenti ended up with 55+ energy and one-shotted the boss.

Long story short, that strategy really works.

Haha! Wrath's Goaded Pursuit is stupid strong like that, especailly against the likes of the Syndicate (freeing up prices and such is a huge boon). It's almost to the point for me where If I'm playing with Wrath I gotta force myself into Elite Mode. Her ability to dictate where the Opp ships end up, and drawing more cards as she moves them, is silly at times. She gives the Strike Force breathing room to operate.

There is a downside however. Especially when facing Opps like Nyotan or UFGD. By moving all Opps into one sector and packing it well past the fleet limit, you run the risk of having way more Opp ships on the board than normal. Clear a sector to early on Nyotan and your stuck playing mouse and running from the Dragon during the Travel phase and you will have trouble setting up. Packing all the UFGD ships in one sector and you will get totally overwhelmed as they have a ton of movement themselves and extra ways to deploy.

It's nice to hear of some wins. Glad I could offer some tips and tricks that worked out. I have the least experience with the Syndicate of all the Opps.

Also, if anyone happens to have gotten the expansion, there are a BUNCH of options that open up in many different directions as well we could talk about.

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The Volneth expansion? I've got a copy. What kind of options were you thinking about?

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dragonlordged wrote:

The Volneth expansion? I've got a copy. What kind of options were you thinking about?

Volnethian Reclaimators are good options to let flip in sectors you wont be in early since they can engage Opp ships for you and reduce the amount of bad stuff flipped in the Aftermath. They are much better used this way early. Toward the middle and Endgame, they can become a burden just because of how they auto-engage.

Some ships (read: Marrots Folly especially) can get a massive amount of artifacts. They can be used to give all the SF ships a crazy amount of Weaponry at once or gant temporary imortality as long as you have artifacts to burn.

The expansion makes the game a little easier in the endgame in my experience because of these things, but my sample size playing with it is pretty small. 

 

xmegadudex
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Foote wrote:

For me, If I see Quasar Guns on the board somewhere and its in danager of flipping, you best be sure I will try and buy that up regardless of whether I need it or not (it flips into Mega Teleporter) Use this knowledge to your advantage. (I can't in good faith recommend cheating, but if you need to peak at the Opp sides while learning the game, I personally wont hold it against you)

Is looking at the other side considered cheating, though? I was under the impression that since all the piles are face up, everything is public knowledge. Not to mention, if x always flips over to y, the only difference between checking the other side and committing it to memory is flipping into a game killing card an unfortunate number of times.

I also don't think checking stacks, at least in this game, makes the game too easy. About halfway through a trial game with my brother (after a long, drawn out game the previous night trying to teach five friends that ended in defeat) he suggested we start checking and the game got INFINITELY more manageable- it was still a hard fought win, but we were able prematurely stop things that would've drawn out the game to the point where it would've stopped being fun. Plus, there's still the chance that you may run out of credits before you can stop the bad card, maybe sacrifice buying the thing you wanted in order to get the thing that'll keep everyone alive, etc.

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xmegadudex wrote:

Is looking at the other side considered cheating, though? I was under the impression that since all the piles are face up, everything is public knowledge. Not to mention, if x always flips over to y, the only difference between checking the other side and committing it to memory is flipping into a game killing card an unfortunate number of times.

There was quite a bit of back and forth on this point during playtesting. The players focus should be on buying awesome techs and boosts to upgrade their ship. Ultimately thats where a big strength of this game lies. Spending  time focused on the flip side of those cards during [R] can detract from that feeling of upgrading and can often contribute to a feeling of "analysis paralysis". For me personaly, I always had much more fun playing when I was more focused on how to min/max the build speed of each SF ship than spending 30 minutes looking at the backs of each station card and trying to put a puzzle together. Maximizing Ship efficiency is just as effective of a winning strategy

You have a lot of information at your disposal without looking at the flip sides. Remember the red symbol on the right hand side of the station cards tells you if its a Ship or Boost. Thats more than enough valuable information to make informed buying decisions while keeping the focus on your upgrades. In most cases you are going to prefer more Ships flipping in the Aftermath than Boosts anyway right? 

xmegadudex wrote:

I also don't think checking stacks, at least in this game, makes the game too easy. About halfway through a trial game with my brother (after a long, drawn out game the previous night trying to teach five friends that ended in defeat) he suggested we start checking and the game got INFINITELY more manageable- it was still a hard fought win, but we were able prematurely stop things that would've drawn out the game to the point where it would've stopped being fun. Plus, there's still the chance that you may run out of credits before you can stop the bad card, maybe sacrifice buying the thing you wanted in order to get the thing that'll keep everyone alive, etc.

By "checking stacks", what do you mean exactly? Do you mean looking through all 5 cards in any particular station deck? Yeah, you totally can't do that either devil. Thats a bigger one than looking at the flip side of Station cards for me. 

Basically both of these smaller issues boil down to one larger issue. You should not be able to plan how the entire [TRIBA] will play out at the start of each [T] phase. There were builds during playtesting where that was totally the case and it really hurt the pacing. Gamers are funny creatures. Regardless of whether a particular strategy is fun, boring, tedious, or simple, they will always gravitate to the easiest way to win. If you can plan out everything ahead of time, it just becomes an easily solvable jiggsaw puzzle you put together right? You're gonna take the puzzle route every time if it means easier wins, but whens the last time you saw a jiggsaw puzzle up on the hot list of BBG?

With all of that said, if you gaming group prefers to house rule some things a little differently and has a ton of fun doing so, don't let a silly thing such as "rules" stop you.

Edit: Also, keep a look out very soon as I am preparing a large write-up on the demo setup we used to teach the game at PAX East this year. It might help when introducing the game to new players

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I know my group definitely considered what was on the back of the cards in the station during the Requisition phase.  We sometimes tried ignoring the backs of the cards and just building our ships up with the best cards for the situation, and in some games it it worked while in others it didn't.  The more you play the more you'll get a feel for what concerns need to be addressed against each opposition deck in each sector.


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Station Manipulation is still a very large part of the games strategy. I guess my point is though that you don't need to know the exact Ship or Boost that will be flipped to be effective with that manipulation.

If the cards were not double sided, there would be no question that you can't look at the underside of cards on the table right? You don't look at the top few cards of the Villain deck of SotM (or most deck based card games) just to see whats coming so you can plan the best moves a few turns ahead of time. Station decks are ment to be viewed the same way. Just instead of solid and uniform backs, they have Strikeforce Techs and Boosts printed on them.

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Sounds like a GSF play guide along the same lines as the hero guides we've got for SotM might be a helpful thing for someone to write, once we get closer to the day most people get their copies of the game.  I hate the idea of everyone cracking open their brand new game and getting smashed repeatedly by a game that's too difficult for people who haven't figured out the deeper strategies yet.


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Foote wrote:

By "checking stacks", what do you mean exactly? Do you mean looking through all 5 cards in any particular station deck? Yeah, you totally can't do that either devil.

I guess I've been a cheaty cheater, then cheeky Glad to nip that habit in the bud.

Although, I do have another question about checking decks: are you allowed to look through your own? I vaguely remember someone else asking this during a game demo at PAX and that being ok (since the decks are face up, and unlike the station/mission decks, don't have information on the other side), but I want to be certain going forward.

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xmegadudex wrote:

 

Foote wrote:
By "checking stacks", what do you mean exactly? Do you mean looking through all 5 cards in any particular station deck? Yeah, you totally can't do that either devil.

 

I guess I've been a cheaty cheater, then cheeky Glad to nip that habit in the bud.Although, I do have another question about checking decks: are you allowed to look through your own? I vaguely remember someone else asking this during a game demo at PAX and that being ok (since the decks are face up, and unlike the station/mission decks, don't have information on the other side), but I want to be certain going forward.

No you can't look through your deck either. Just like any other deck based game.  But you still have the advantage because you can plan the order of what you buy and how many you buy. There are only a handful of effects that force a deck shuffle. 

Also a note about looking through station decks. Have you played Marotts Folly yet? Looking through those decks would kinda kill his gambling theme. 

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Ah- wish we had played with that one, I imagine it would've cleared things up much faster.

Thanks very much for the clarifications!

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We had a rather odd question come up last night as we were stompping through a 2 player game against the Syndicate.

We were in a Sector with a Blockade and a Smuggler. During [T], we Strike Force Tactics'ed the Blockade, whos bounty prevents station cards from "flipping" this round. Will the Smuggler still put the last station card "into play" during [R] or does the Blockades bounty prevent that?

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My friend received this game a couple days ago, and we played for the first time last night.

I hate to say it, but I was crushingly disappointed.  I love SotM, but here, the number of tokens, opposition ships, missions, and events you have to keep track of is ridiculous.  Add that to the fact that we never felt like we had the slightest chance of winning (our first game was aborted before it even started since we were playing as we were reading the rules, and one of the two players was eliminated on the first turn), and I'm sorry to say, it just isn't fun.

We plan on giving it another shot because we both wanted to like it so much, and after reading some strategies here, I'm wondering if we did some things wrong.  Hopefully someone can provide some advice.

1)  We turned over a bunch of Mercenary ships early on.  These ships move to the sector with the most Strike Force ships and then take a point of energy from the ship with the least energy.  There's no way to stash these ships in other sectors and wait to get tough enough to take them out since they move to wherever you are.  So, even if they're not engaged, they just take energy from the weakest ship every turn, and that's horrible in the early game if there are multiples.  Am I understanding this correctly?  Do they take energy even if they don't move (i.e.,they're already in the sector with the most SF ships)?

2)  I think Foote mentioned earlier that Vigilance should be able to scrap ships starting in Turn 2.  How is that possible?  If I understand the rules correctly, battle and then damage is detrermined by subtraction and then subtraction.  So, if an enemy ship has weapons 4 and shields 4, a SF ship would have to have weapons of 12 to scrap it in one shot, right (12 weapons - 4 shields = 8 damage, 8 damage - 8 energy)?  I think Vigilance starts with weapons 3, so how could it possibly be scrapping enemy ships by turn 2?

3)  Someone mentioned a SF ship "likes" to run through its deck quickly.  How is that possible?  Aren't you just drawing 4 cards every turn?  I assume there are cards that allow you to draw other cards, but absent that, there's no way to go through the deck faster, right?

4)  Unless you happen to draw a tech from your starting hand, you effectively can't install a tech on your first turn, right?  Anything you requisition gets put at the bottom of your deck.  I'm sure there are a few cards that change this (I saw one in the Vigilance deck, I think), but this is the norm, correct?

5)  Someone said they had a ship with weapons 55 by the end of the game.  I don't see how that's possible.  The highest we ever got after playing for about 2-3 hours was maybe 8.  Other ships, missions, and events did so much damage that we could never get ahead and actually do damage to enemy ships.

 

Like I said, I'm hoping we're doing something(s) wrong because otherwise this game feels like math homework designed to kick you in the unmentionables.

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Oops, requisitioned cards go on the bottom of your deck? We were putting them directly into our hands...


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I'm no expert at this game, having only play two games so far (solo using two ships each game), but here's my take on a few of these points:

cornichon wrote:
1) We turned over a bunch of Mercenary ships early on. These ships move to the sector with the most Strike Force ships and then take a point of energy from the ship with the least energy. There's no way to stash these ships in other sectors and wait to get tough enough to take them out since they move to wherever you are. So, even if they're not engaged, they just take energy from the weakest ship every turn, and that's horrible in the early game if there are multiples. Am I understanding this correctly? Do they take energy even if they don't move (i.e.,they're already in the sector with the most SF ships)?

When do these ships travel? (Sorry, don't have it down by memory yet). If it's during (T), then those actions happen first, then the Strike Force ships can travel to their sector of choose, basically doing a chase around the sectors. If it's during a different phase, (B) for example, you'll need to get tricky using techs or boosts that allow alternate phase travelling in order to avoid those ships.

Quote:
2)  I think Foote mentioned earlier that Vigilance should be able to scrap ships starting in Turn 2.  How is that possible?  If I understand the rules correctly, battle and then damage is detrermined by subtraction and then subtraction.  So, if an enemy ship has weapons 4 and shields 4, a SF ship would have to have weapons of 12 to scrap it in one shot, right (12 weapons - 4 shields = 8 damage, 8 damage - 8 energy)?  I think Vigilance starts with weapons 3, so how could it possibly be scrapping enemy ships by turn 2?

One of my games I was scrapping cards first turn using Claw and his Ramming Speed. Another Strike Force ship that can scrap ships in the first turn or two is Grey Hammer using his bombs which each take off 2-3 energy from an opposition ship, quickly stripping down the defenses for heavy hitting. Don't have experience with a good portion of the other ships to see if there are other tricks that can do this.

Note: Just re-read and saw you referred specifically to Vigilance. My recollection of my first game is Vigilance has multiple boosts (that recycle) that add one attack and draw a card, plus a couple of techs that add attack. With a decent starting hand, you can legitimately start chiseling away at ships and overcoming their defenses.

Quote:
3)  Someone mentioned a SF ship "likes" to run through its deck quickly.  How is that possible?  Aren't you just drawing 4 cards every turn?  I assume there are cards that allow you to draw other cards, but absent that, there's no way to go through the deck faster, right?

For me, this is referring to how many turns it takes to get completely thru your deck, not how many cards you get each turn. If I have a deck of 12 cards I'll get to every card after three rounds; if i have a deck of 20 it'll take me 5 turns. So the fewer cards the faster you'll run thru your deck. Referring to my above example, Grey Hammer probably wants a slimmer deck to get more usage out of his bombs as they'll come back into play more quickly.

In other words don't dilute your deck with weak/so-so cards so you can get to your money-makers faster.

Quote:
4)  Unless you happen to draw a tech from your starting hand, you effectively can't install a tech on your first turn, right?  Anything you requisition gets put at the bottom of your deck.  I'm sure there are a few cards that change this (I saw one in the Vigilance deck, I think), but this is the norm, correct?

Again, I've only played twice, but I'm assuming each Strike Force ship each have a good ratio of boosts:techs, but I guess there's a chance you won't draw any techs.

And yes, you are correct in that recquisitioned cards get placed on the bottom of your deck (unless you have an ability that lets you do otherwise).

Quote:
5)  Someone said they had a ship with weapons 55 by the end of the game.  I don't see how that's possible.  The highest we ever got after playing for about 2-3 hours was maybe 8.  Other ships, missions, and events did so much damage that we could never get ahead and actually do damage to enemy ships. Like I said, I'm hoping we're doing something(s) wrong because otherwise this game feels like math homework designed to kick you in the unmentionables.

I'm my games, my two ships were roughly around 20 attack power each late game. While 55 might be possible, I wouldn't consider that the norm. IMO, 8 is way to low for it to be the highest you ever got to. Not saying that can't happen, just don't think it will ever happen in a game you have a legit chance of winning.

 

Anyways, hope this helps clear up any questions you may have been having and that you are able to better enjoy the game. For me, I like the game, but need to get some more plays in before I see if it stays in that category or jumps up into"love it".

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Spiff wrote:

Oops, requisitioned cards go on the bottom of your deck? We were putting them directly into our hands...

Glad to know my wife and I weren't the only ones! It seemed a bit too easy putting them directly into our hands.

Makes more sense with the game mechanics that they are recycled.