impossible game

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eyecreate
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impossible game

Me and a friend came across a situation where when fighting against Singularity where the game stalemates. Here is a picture of the point where we gave up.

http://imgur.com/LII0X9j

What we think is the problem is that Omega came out in the first few rounds. This didn't give us time to be able to gear up before omega absorbs enough ships to be untackaleable. There should be something where either:

  • Omega has an endgame mode where, once grown to a certain size(or some other attribute), auto ends the game with players losing.
  • Omega needs to have a different growth rate that is in relation to player size.

 

There is a limited amount of resources that can be attached to the ships, and this only gets worse with more players. Even with 2 players, we were reaching the limit of what we could have versus how fast Omega absorbs.

Hopefully this is something that can be clarified or fixed in a future version.


MigrantP
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The same thing happened to me once, and I think it worked just fine. We gave up, just as you did. There doesn't need to be a rule that says you lose, you can lose any time by stopping and packing up the game.


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Omega was up to about 50 in both weapons and defense before our group decided to quit, we may have been able to do something to win but it would have taken us a while and we had already been playing 5 hours or so. It didn't help that in one turn 3 of our 4 ships lost 3 tech each, think all from the same card flipping in different sectors.


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Under3
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MigrantP wrote:

The same thing happened to me once, and I think it worked just fine. We gave up, just as you did. There doesn't need to be a rule that says you lose, you can lose any time by stopping and packing up the game.

I don't think I could disagree with this more. Having distinct win/lose conditions is essential to proper enjoyment of a game. Without these it can go on forever, only ending not because one side is defeated but just because you get bored and fed up with it... and "bored and fed up" is not something you want a game to do.
I don't think a stalemate is ever fun, and one big problem I have found with this game is that certain oppoenents lead to this far too easily. Either lose and feel the challenging need to improve or win and feel the satisfaction of doing so, having neither option is just, meh.

(Edited to make up for posting while half asleep and on phone)

Foote
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When a folks started opening their boxes and playing against the Syndicate for the first time, there were lots of complaints of stalemating or games taking way too long. But when questioned further, these issues largely came from bad strategy in the begining. In that case, most people were not even thinking about getting the flagship out early to kill it and just running themselves in circles.

Omega is, in my opinion, the hardest of the Opposition forces. Your first 2 rounds are really going to set the pace for the game, and early misteps will only compound later.

What did your opening setup look like?  This is key. You have to deal with Alphas, at least get their shields down a little. The more you allow those Alphas to live and grow, the worse you will be once Omega shows up. You have no choice there. You have to stall the flagship while you find a way to manage the Alphas. The nice thing is that even as Alphas absorb the hunters and gatherers, those little guys become easiler to take out, which will buy you time preventing an overrun in the sector with the starting mission. 

If you were playing with Elite Mode Icons, its near impossible to stall Omega for more than 2-3 rounds at most. But you know that Omega builds very quick, which means if you CANT deal with Alphas, then you need to switch into the "I better just build faster than it does" mind set. You took Vigilance and Basilieos. THose are both incredibly fast building ships. If any SF ship can catch up to Omega, its those two, so I am a little perplexed by just how few energy you actually manage to build. Keep those decks smaller and try to not buy as much useless stuff for your ships (unless its because you really dont want it to flip, which will happen granted). Going up against Omega, speed is the strategy. Things like Desperate Measures and cards with will allow you to nail Omega for Energy damage are very usefull to bring his shields down. 

You have Omega parked in the Trade Outpost. The Wastes would have been a far better choice to flip. Why? Less cards flipping and scrapping in the Aftermath! He gains +1/+1 for each ship scrapped over the fleet limit. You won't play every game with the wastes granted, but that would have been a far better option to know before you even got to the first [T] phase. 

Hope some of that helps a little. The thing is, if Omega spawns too early and gets way too many Alphas, or eats a huge Alpha, you're in trouble. So plan accordingly. "Stalemates", though not quite an accurate term,  are a result of poor strategy in the early game. Adjust your first few rounds and you will see the game going much smoother. Its the same way for any Opposition. 

Edit: I have a big session report I wrote on the forums about a 2 player game I had against Elite Mode Omega. Our starting ship flopp was awful! Maybe reading that will give you ideas since we ended that in a win

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I don't think the point is that they're losing, though; it's that while you end up a no-win situation, you still haven't lost, and so as long as you can keep a sector contested the game just doesn't end. Losing is fine - losing can be fun, even - but stalemating less so.


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Foote
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BlueHairedMeerkat wrote:

I don't think the point is that they're losing, though; it's that while you end up a no-win situation, you still haven't lost, and so as long as you can keep a sector contested the game just doesn't end. Losing is fine - losing can be fun, even - but stalemating less so.

But you don't get into those situations unless you put yourself in it. Thats my point. It might take a few games to figure out how to not do that to yourself, but by and large, the "no-win-situations" are a product of poor choices early on that compound later.  

The good news is that you can change the way you play to better deal with the Singularity and prevent that from ever happening to yourself. And thats what you have to take away from games like that. I'm not saying your gonna win every game. But the better you get at assesing the situations given to you, you will never get into a stalemate making good choices.

For instance: You know that you can't outpace Omega's build speed while in an overrun sector flipping three cards each, and each scrapped ship gives it +1/+1. Someone HAS to go into that sector and manipulate station cards so that it doesn't flip ships or you will never ever catch it. Frankly that was the only viable option I saw from the picture OP posted. You slow him down to even give yourself a chance to build up enough, or die trying by overrun. Allowing it to build unchallenged is just not going to get you anywhere so of course youre gonna stalemate. But thats a concious player decision, not just a position the game thrust upon you.

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I object to the idea that the way to fix any problem with a game can be 'play better'.


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BlueHairedMeerkat wrote:

I object to the idea that the way to fix any problem with a game can be 'play better'.

The disconnect is thinking that these "stalemates" just happen to you because The Game.  Any stalemate you run into is one that you made for youself. Plain and simple. You can either throw you hands in the air at that point or ask "how do I not get into that position again?" I'm not trying to sound like a d-bag with the "just play better" crap (lord knows I hate it). What I am saying is once you become familar with what Omega can do and what it throws at you, your early game decisions will be much better informed and you won't run into stalemates ever again, because you know exactly what you need to do to avoid it and you will either succeed at that goal or be overrun trying. 

----

Quick solution: Elite Mode Icons. Good play or poor play, you will loose well before you even have the option to stalemate the game. I can't recommend those Icons enough for each Opposition. They force you to think about your options in a different way, and I think it will help trying to build strategies against each Opposition way better than without them.

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Under3 wrote:

I don't think I could disagree with this more. Having distinct win/lose conditions is essential to proper enjoyment of a game. 

Having distinct win/lose conditions might be essential to your proper enjoyment of a game. You can't speak for everyone.

And if giving up doesn't work for you, then just go fight the flagship and die. There, you lost, "properly."


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I have to agree with Meerkat.  If the game requires a certain playstyle to avoid sending the game into a perpetual limbo, then it's been designed poorly.  Even soccer, the most possibly-inconclusive game I can think of, has a time limit so that you know when the game is over even if neither team was able to achieve a win condition.


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Spiff wrote:

I have to agree with Meerkat.  If the game requires a certain playstyle to avoid sending the game into a perpetual limbo, then it's been designed poorly.  Even soccer, the most possibly-inconclusive game I can think of, has a time limit so that you know when the game is over even if neither team was able to achieve a win condition.

It's totally possible to win the game that OP posted. Theres the difference Spiff. If you wanted to put the time and managment into it, it is totally 100% possible to come back and win that game. Now, you might have already dug yourself into a huge hole that could take a long time to dig out of, but my entire point is to not dig yourself into that hole from the beginning.

Its not about "playstyles" at all Spiff. Choosing to willingly let Omega absorb passive energy unchallenged in the Aftermath phase is not a "playstyle". Thats a poor strategy choice. Going with the Soccer analogy since the World Cup is going on, its like shooting wide right on purpose during penalty kicks when your opponent can't seem to burry one in the back of the net either. You either have to (A) adjust your strategy to try and have a chance at winning or (B) let your opponent score to end the game. Either way, what you are doing isn't working, and will continue not to work. 

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Keep in mind, playing games is quite often about having fun. For some people, if you find yourself in a near-stalemate position, it can feel like a choice between two bad options: giving up or slogging through a long battle of attrition. While some may enjoy the long fight, a lot of people won't.

Furthermore, relatively new players probably have a higher chance of getting themselves into this situation because they don't know better - these are the people for whom it is particularly important to have fun or else they'll never play it again (as opposed to people who already love GSF and understand that they're just having a bad round). I would suggest that having it be difficult to get into the stalemate position or even making it more likely that you will lose quickly once you get into that position would save the new player from having to make the choice between two unfun options.

If I lose slowly, I get bored and find something else to do. If I lose quickly, I want revenge!

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We did some card calulations when we got to this point. If we took our average card buy of 4-5 cards per turn(assuming best conditions: cards like Ordinance Replicator and Keller Upgrade Unit. These would allow potential increases past what the cards have hard printed.) and applied each of those tech to our ships(again assuming nothing gets destroyed), the amount of turns we would need to get those cards would not catch up to Omega's growth.(since alpha prime gets absorbed before battle phase, he automatically gets his growth before you can destroy it.) Could we have done things to improve: yes. We didn't exactly start with a solid stratergy, but you almost need to play an optimal stratergy(we figured out we would need no alpha prime for 3 turns and perfect tech to buy in order to win) to have any chance if Omega comes out as soon as he did in this game. We did win one game against Omega when he came out later, so we know we can win.

The real point we feel we should make is that playing poorly should not result in stalemate. We'd like to know if this is purposeful design or an oversight.

Furthermore, relatively new players probably have a higher chance of getting themselves into this situation because they don't know better - these are the people for whom it is particularly important to have fun or else they'll never play it again (as opposed to people who already love GSF and understand that they're just having a bad round). I would suggest that having it be difficult to get into the stalemate position or even making it more likely that you will lose quickly once you get into that position would save the new player from having to make the choice between two unfun options.

I have to agree with Meerkat.  If the game requires a certain playstyle to avoid sending the game into a perpetual limbo, then it's been designed poorly.  Even soccer, the most possibly-inconclusive game I can think of, has a time limit so that you know when the game is over even if neither team was able to achieve a win condition.

I object to the idea that the way to fix any problem with a game can be 'play better'.

I agree with all of these.

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Foote wrote:

Its not about "playstyles" at all Spiff. Choosing to willingly let Omega absorb passive energy unchallenged in the Aftermath phase is not a "playstyle". Thats a poor strategy choice. Going with the Soccer analogy since the World Cup is going on, its like shooting wide right on purpose during penalty kicks when your opponent can't seem to bury one in the back of the net either. You either have to (A) adjust your strategy to try and have a chance at winning or (B) let your opponent score to end the game. Either way, what you are doing isn't working, and will continue not to work. 

(emphasis mine)

To torture this metaphor even further, yes you're playing poorly, but so is your opponent. It's not like you're saving all of their penalties with great skill, it's that they're tapping the ball straight to your keeper, and having to actively let your opponent score in order to have the game end kind of sucks. Poor strategy choices should make you lose, not merely make the game unwinnable.


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Foote
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eyecreate wrote:

We did some card calulations when we got to this point. If we took our average card buy of 4-5 cards per turn

Ah! Here we go! I'll steer this thread back into something useful after derailing it a bit. Try buying only like 1-2 cards on average, unless you are in a situation where you are buying a card strickly because you can't let them flip. If you are buying 4-5 cards per ship each round, your deck is not going to be as effective and will be very slow.

Vigilance thrives on being able to Redirect Energy twice each round, and with the card draws you can install just about everything you bought that round (assuming 1-2 cards). She is really quick, so play to those strengths. Bas too, being able to return techs to hand and reinstall to compound install bonuses as often as possible is key and would have really helped either (A) eating at Omega's Weaponry or (B) building Bas's Weaponry way faster.

Not buying as much will change the entire game for you. Try it out and let us know how it goes!

Edit: If you are interested, here is a game summary of an Elite Mode game against Omega where we flopped 3 Alphas to start. It can't get much worse that that. It doesn't go into depth about what we bought or how we managed our decks, but you can see the thought proccess around a bad game we ended up winning in the end. 
https://greaterthangames.com/forum/topic/the-singularity-wow-that-game-took-a-while-a-game-recap-5256

Also, here are guides I wrote on Vigi and Bas. Maybe they will give you some new ideas
https://greaterthangames.com/forum/topic/pilot-operations-manual-vigilance-5339

https://greaterthangames.com/forum/topic/pilot-operations-manual-basileios-5330

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The more I hear about efficient strategy it sounds like it is "Don't attempt to win by preventing the Flagship from entering play. Don't buy too many cards."

I'm not going to argue whether this is "good" or "bad", but I think there are a number of people who would rather fully explore the mechanics in a game rather than abstain from them for a victory. Me, personally? I like playing with my toys. I could see some people holding the attitude "If blowing up ships and buying lots of stuff isn't what I'm supposed to do, or I can just outright 'do it too much', then why even mention that I can do it in the first place?'"

I'm happy that I was a part of playtesting and I enjoy having my own copy, but I can also sympathize with the complaints. It just may not be as accessible a game as the public hoped for, and a little more emphasis on its complexity would've helped folks understand what they were getting in to.


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Reckless wrote:

The more I hear about efficient strategy it sounds like it is "Don't attempt to win by preventing the Flagship from entering play. Don't buy too many cards."

Against Omega, you actually DO want to prevent the flagship from entering play too early. But that may not be the case against Cryoshade for example.

When playing someone like Vigilance or Bas, you really want to watch deck bloat, as your deck will not be as effecient. But thats not the case for someone like Wrath who can never seem to get enough cards!

Figuring out the best ways to approach each Opp, figuring out the best ways to utilize your SF deck, thats the strategty. 

there are a number of people who would rather fully explore the mechanics in a game rather than abstain from them for a victory

I think this is wrongheaded. If blindly just buying any card you want without thinking of the cost/benefit of doing so is "fully exploring the mechanics" to you, this game isn't for you. Those are all decisions that carry far more weight than folks realise. Give me interesting decisions in a game anyday. Thats how you "fully explore the mechanics in a game" to me.

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I think there was an assumption in that response. I know my handle is "Reckless", but there are a lot of cards that can be purchased in GSF to benefit your SF ships. Why does investing in cards that improve your ship have to be assumed as a blind purchase?

And that is my point. This game may not be for everyone. That is what is being conveyed here. I could see folks being upset about the difficulty curve and some may not have backed this game if they were aware of it. Saying they played wrong does little more than add insult to injury. Just own it. This game is complex and requires a lot of number crunching and token arranging. Villains will break your efforts with the flip of a card and you'll have to work hard to earn your win back. There is a demographic for this. A lot of folks have gone nuts for GSF, and I'm happy for it.

I just don't know that accusing customers' efficacy at a new game, picking apart their playstyle, and responding defensively when someone criticizes their experience with this game will make anyone happy.

OP, do you have access to Guardians of Volneth, the first GSF expansion? A lot of those cards favor the pilots and have made many of the more unforgiving aspects of the game (such as energy removal) much easier to handle. Some Op side ships will even occasionally engage other Opposition ships. Ot's quite handy!


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I didn't mean to come off accusational. That wasn't my intent so I apologize if it came across that way. 

Totally agree with Reckless on the expansion. I think it really favors the SF ships and those artifacts can be sooo helpful against Oppositions like Omega. 

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If anyone could get passionate about GSF it'd be Foote or Pydro.  You guys were the head playtesters for that game from the get-go.  I can completely understand attention to detail and analyzing tactics with that much experience.  I'm somewhat embarrased as a playtester that a lot of the strategy is still well over my head!


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We've still only played two games. This is partially because we both need to be at my house to play it (and last weekend, we weren't,because we were at his house), and partially because our first two games lasted around three hours each (give or take - I think the first game may have been slightly longer and the second possibly a little shorter) and melted our brains a bit with all the stuff that needed doing. We did win both times, although we did get one or two of the mechanics wrong in our first game.


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