A *really* basic strategy guide

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awp832
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A *really* basic strategy guide

This is for new players who are having a hard time, which I am guessing is about all of us right now.    Tom Vassel said he hasn't won this game at the time of his video review and he wasn't sure he ever was going to win, lots of other forumites seem to be having a really difficult time.    I am no expert, I have but a handful of games under my belt, but I think I can share a few insights that might help out someone who has just gotten the game.     GSF is hard...   but it's not *that* hard.    It does have a steep learning curve though, and I am here to try to smooth that out a little bit.  This guide isn't going into specifics much,  I'm not going to talk about the best stratgies against specific factions or the best techs to buy with each character's ship -that will all have to be done by someone at a later time.    This is just a few basic points for beginners who are having a tough time saving the galaxy.

1.   Don't play against the BT Syndicate.   I know the rulebook reccomends it for first time players.   All I have to say is;  what were they thinking?  BT Syndicate seems outrageously more difficult than the other two Opposition Factions that are listed as medium:  the Singularity and the Technovores.   BT Syndicate's starting mission plays a new ship every turn, which is pretty harsh.   The only way to stop it is to bring in the Flagship, and that is even worse.   If you feel you must take on the BT Syndicate, I would advise you do it with a lot of players, where an extra ship per turn is maybe not such a huge deal.   I have been playing this game two player, and it is outrageous.   We are lucky to kill one or two ships per turn, and we get at least one and often two ships right back.   Singularity and Technovores are far easier,  so I would very much reccomend them instead.

2.   Look through your ship deck when you get it.    Take a few moments to read through all your green cards before starting the game,  get a feel for what the ship does and the combos that it has.   It's going to be massively important, so figure it out ahead of time rather than on the 3rd turn.

3.  The red symbol on the station cards tells you if the opposition card on the back is a boost or a ship, although I believe there is one misprint on one of the weapon cards.  Although many of the boosts are bad, the vast majority of them are infinitely preferable to adding another ship.     It is always the first station deck that flips first, so if you see that on the opposite side there is a ship, travel there and buy that card, that way there will not be a ship to enter play during the Aftermath phase.

4.  Defense is more important than attack, to a degree.   Improve your defenses first, if given the option.   Once you are at the point where most enemy ships can not hurt you much, then you can work on your attack power.   That said, extra attack is almost always helpful, where as extra defense is pretty much useless.

5.   Keep your deck small.   Most of your best cards are in your starter deck.   You want to be able to play them a lot.   You do not want to be buying tech just for the sake of buying it.   Buy tech cards only if there is a good reason you want it in your deck (or to keep the Opposition from gaining Ships).  Krauchar's Claw is a perfect example;   the smaller your deck size, the more you can pull off the Hit and Run/ Ramming Speed combo.   You want to be doing this every couple of turns.  Incidentally, this means most of the time you'll want to optionally recycle any cards you did not use once the Aftermath phase occurs, so you can draw through your deck faster.   Only keep critical combo peices.

6.  Going along with 5,  don't think that because a card came in your starter deck that it is inferior to what you can buy.   This is an attitude I started the game with after playing other deckbuilders like Dominion where if possible you want to get rid of your copper and estates that you have at the beginning and switch them out for more powerful Silver/Gold and Duchy/Province cards.   As I said before,  your most powerful cards are in your starting deck.  Don't buy too much,  so you can play these cards often.

7.   The order in which you play cards matters, especially for cards with Scrap Effects.  Think about what you want closer to your ship panel and what you want in more vulnerable positions.

That's all I got for now,  7 points that should hopefully make your space battles a little more favorable.   Good hunting!


"He robbed from the rich and he-
gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Man and he-
gave him what for. 
Our love for him now,
aint hard to explain,
the hero of Canton,
the man they call "Jayne""

Karrde
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Having only a couple plays under my belt myself (literally two), I'll add:

 

8. Don't feel the need to save all three sectors right off the bat. Letting one (or even two!) get overrun, even within the first turn or two, might be your best strategy.

 

awp832 wrote:
3. The red symbol on the station cards tells you if the opposition card on the back is a boost or a ship, although I believe there is one misprint on one of the weapon cards. Although many of the boosts are bad, the vast majority of them are infinitely preferable to adding another ship. It is always the first station deck that flips first, so if you see that on the opposite side there is a ship, travel there and buy that card, that way there will not be a ship to enter play during the Aftermath phase.

3.a. However, once a sector reaches it's fleet limit (number of players + 2), you'll want ships to flip instead of boosts as they'll be discarded/scrapped without any drawback to you.

awp832
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good points, both of them!   If anybody else has any gems of wisdom, do share!


"He robbed from the rich and he-
gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Man and he-
gave him what for. 
Our love for him now,
aint hard to explain,
the hero of Canton,
the man they call "Jayne""

Pydro
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THis is related to #2 above: As soon as you see the opening flop, plan out your first two rounds, as this can affect the entire game. The SF deck has only 8 cards, and you draw 4 of them during setup. This means that you potentially know your next hand. This includes how much Energy you will have for the first two rounds based on your SF ships starting Techs. This isn't perfect, and some things can mess it up, but always keep this in mind.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"