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First Edition Creative Manager
By KazonPADD (Paddy Tye)
 - First Edition Creative Manager
 -  
1E European Continental Runner-Up 2023
1E Omarion Nebula Regional Champion 2024
#606831
Hello all, and welcome to your latest Friday Question!

With Worlds now in the bag, the debate around the speed of 1E continues apace! But how fast is too fast? What sort of rate of play do you consider a good baseline for a game of 1E?

TNG decks mostly focus on 3 card plays per turn and 3 draws. But KCA decks can often play 4 each turn, plus downloads on top of that!

What do you think? Have you watched the matches from Worlds? How do they compare Vs your local tournament scene?

Let us know your views!!!
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Director of Operations
By JeBuS (Brian S)
 - Director of Operations
 -  
#606833
Card plays per turn isn't really the issue, I don't think. It's the quality of the plays per turn.

If I play 10 mission specialists per turn, but you play 10 support personnel, who's in a better position?

I'd wager that a KCA deck can put out a lot more skills per turn than a TNG deck can using the same number of card plays.

If that hypothesis is true, then basically what we're seeing today is the same thing we saw when Voyager hit the scenes way back when. The quality of the personnel escalated too high, causing everything else to become worse.

I think there's a way to shine some light on this, too. Let's create a challenge:
[Flip] Come up with the minimum viable away team to pass every dilemma in the game, for each faction / affiliation.
[Flip] Find the path to reporting that away team in the fewest turns possible.
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By boromirofborg (Trek Barnes)
 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
1E North American Continental Quarter-Finalist 2023
2E North American Continental Quarter-Finalist 2023
#606839
As a pet project a couple years ago, I noodled around with the ideas of a 1.5e, and how I would design if I had the current card pool-ish, but knew what was coming from the beginning.

I took the [WC] [RC] idea, and ran with you got to seed 3 of each icon, but instead of being Property based, [WC] was draws and [RC] was plays. So there was a fairly hard cap of 3 play/draw per turn, with rare one-time type exceptions.

I do think that 3/3 is a good baseline to aim for these days. But:
_____________

I think a better way to look at this for the moment is not how many play/draw per turn, but what do we want the game as a whole to be on average.

As a rough outline, in an optimal game for me I could see:
- players draw about 18-20 cards
- players solve at least 2 missions
- players have to attempt each mission at least 2 times, with ideally a abandoned mission in the mix.
- players have an average of 2-3 ships out
- players meaningfully have at least one major interaction with their Nouns. (Battle, capture, delay)
-players have meaningful verb interaction as well. (I play Kivas, you Kevin it, etc.)
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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Regent
Community Contributor
#606840
Play 3/Draw 3 hard caps only work when there's a hard cap Kill <3. Otherwise there's ways to kill 3 people a turn and lock your opponent out of the game.
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Online OP Coordinator
By pfti (Jon Carter)
 - Online OP Coordinator
 -  
1E The Neutral Zone Regional Participant 2024
#606841
Armus wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:09 pm Play 3/Draw 3 hard caps only work when there's a hard cap Kill <3. Otherwise there's ways to kill 3 people a turn and lock your opponent out of the game.
I know this three a turn is theory crafted, but what decks can reliably lock down a reporting location and three a turn? YEs it can happen, but i think you are playing a real glass cannon if you have no way out of such a situation
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First Edition Rules Master
By BCSWowbagger (James Heaney)
 - First Edition Rules Master
 -  
Community Contributor
#606842
JeBuS wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 11:53 am Card plays per turn isn't really the issue, I don't think. It's the quality of the plays per turn.
I think this is exactly correct.

Play 3/Draw 3 is a great pace for some affiliations. It's overpowered for some others. For still others, it's on the weak side. For example, I think OP is mistaken about TNG tempo: TNG players should generally be able to put 4 cards on the table per turn. (AAH + [WC] + card play + HQ OR Holo OR Android)

That's okay for TNG because TNG personnel basically suck. Building a viable skill matrix for [1E-TNG] [1E-Rom] is an exercise in frustration. (The good kind of frustration that forces important deck trade-offs.) Extend that same tempo to TOS, which has vastly better individual personnel -- which is essentially what The Final Frontier did -- and suddenly the game is broken.

Alternatively, make it possible for TNG to put six cards on the table in a turn, and suddenly the game is broken.

This is why I tend to measure game pace in terms of turns-to-win, rather than plays/draws. There's just too much variability between how different affiliations should play/draw -- and that's good! The differences between the factions are what give the game mechanical flavor!

(Skill dots is a much better measurement, but even they have some problems, since some [SD] MEDICAL is 5-6x more valuable than [SD] Tal Shiar.)
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By Iron Prime (Dan Van Kampen)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Moderator
#606843
BCSWowbagger wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:23 pm
JeBuS wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 11:53 am Card plays per turn isn't really the issue, I don't think. It's the quality of the plays per turn.
I think this is exactly correct.

Play 3/Draw 3 is a great pace for some affiliations. It's overpowered for some others. For still others, it's on the weak side. For example, TNG players should generally be able to put 4 cards on the table per turn. (AAH + [WC] + card play + HQ OR Holo OR Android)

That's okay for TNG because TNG personnel basically suck. Building a viable skill matrix for [1E-TNG] [1E-Rom] is an exercise in frustration. (The good kind of frustration that forces important deck trade-offs.) Extend that same tempo to TOS, which has vastly better individual personnel -- which is essentially what The Final Frontier did -- and suddenly the game is broken.

Alternatively, make it possible for TNG to put six cards on the table in a turn, and suddenly the game is broken.

This is why I tend to measure game pace in terms of turns-to-win, rather than plays/draws. There's just too much variability between how different affiliations should play/draw -- and that's good! The differences between the factions are what give the game mechanical flavor!

(Skill dots is a much better measurement, but even they have some problems, since some [SD] MEDICAL is 5-6x more valuable than [SD] Tal Shiar.)
IMHO [SD] /turn should be the gold standard. It's on the player to bring good/correct [SD] s.
(I say this as a player without [SD] Deck Building, so no shade...)
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Director of Organized Play
By LORE (Kris Sonsteby)
 - Director of Organized Play
 -  
Commodore
1E The Neutral Zone Regional Champion 2024
W.C.T. Chairman's Trophy winner 2014-2015
#606844
I think the pace of play for solver vs. solver that is in the sweet spot is 6 - 8 turns. Ideally, a close game less reliant on who went first and more on who hit what dilemma where.

Aggro decks play by a different metric, with the goal more so taking control of the board than on solving missions and winning. The Borg deck I have played in the past can move a Cube on turn 1 and usually gets board control around turn 3. Winning? Who knows... turn 13 maybe? :shrug:
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First Edition Rules Master
By BCSWowbagger (James Heaney)
 - First Edition Rules Master
 -  
Community Contributor
#606847
LORE wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:28 pm I think the pace of play for solver vs. solver that is in the sweet spot is 6 - 8 turns. Ideally, a close game less reliant on who went first and more on who hit what dilemma where.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Adding to this: Solver vs. Interference's sweet spot would be around 8 - 10 turns.

Interference vs. Interference right at 10 turns.

Not sure about Lockout decks.

(In my thinking, Lockout includes Aggro decks that try to wipe you off the board, Lockdown decks that let you stay on the board but use Post Garrison / Quantum Fissure / Smoke Bomb / pre-errata Enemies of the State to prevent you from actually playing, and Stasis decks that prevent you from getting on the board in the first place.)
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By boromirofborg (Trek Barnes)
 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
1E North American Continental Quarter-Finalist 2023
2E North American Continental Quarter-Finalist 2023
#606848
Armus wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:09 pm Play 3/Draw 3 hard caps only work when there's a hard cap Kill <3. Otherwise there's ways to kill 3 people a turn and lock your opponent out of the game.
That assumes you are preventing them from reporting more AND that you can't eliminate the other player as well.

If both players have 9 people, lose them all (or most) and have to rebuild, it's not a lock.

As long as you can rebuild, even losing all 9 card plays sets you back 3 turns. That might be a functional game over, but not a hard lock, and if the alternative is letting you catch up to the same speed, that's bad too.
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First Edition Rules Master
By BCSWowbagger (James Heaney)
 - First Edition Rules Master
 -  
Community Contributor
#606851
Iron Prime wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:27 pm
BCSWowbagger wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:23 pm
JeBuS wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 11:53 am Card plays per turn isn't really the issue, I don't think. It's the quality of the plays per turn.
I think this is exactly correct.

Play 3/Draw 3 is a great pace for some affiliations. It's overpowered for some others. For still others, it's on the weak side. For example, TNG players should generally be able to put 4 cards on the table per turn. (AAH + [WC] + card play + HQ OR Holo OR Android)

That's okay for TNG because TNG personnel basically suck. Building a viable skill matrix for [1E-TNG] [1E-Rom] is an exercise in frustration. (The good kind of frustration that forces important deck trade-offs.) Extend that same tempo to TOS, which has vastly better individual personnel -- which is essentially what The Final Frontier did -- and suddenly the game is broken.

Alternatively, make it possible for TNG to put six cards on the table in a turn, and suddenly the game is broken.

This is why I tend to measure game pace in terms of turns-to-win, rather than plays/draws. There's just too much variability between how different affiliations should play/draw -- and that's good! The differences between the factions are what give the game mechanical flavor!

(Skill dots is a much better measurement, but even they have some problems, since some [SD] MEDICAL is 5-6x more valuable than [SD] Tal Shiar.)
IMHO [SD] /turn should be the gold standard. It's on the player to bring good/correct [SD] s.
(I say this as a player without [SD] Deck Building, so no shade...)
True, but your thinking would foil my next big pitch to Design: a complete Pakled affiliation where every personnel has seven [SD], but it's all trash garbage like [SD] Greed and [SD] Barbering.

(This is a joke.)
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By Professor Scott (Mathew McCalpin)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Trailblazer
#606855
BCSWowbagger wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:43 pm
Iron Prime wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:27 pm
BCSWowbagger wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:23 pm



I think this is exactly correct.

Play 3/Draw 3 is a great pace for some affiliations. It's overpowered for some others. For still others, it's on the weak side. For example, TNG players should generally be able to put 4 cards on the table per turn. (AAH + [WC] + card play + HQ OR Holo OR Android)

That's okay for TNG because TNG personnel basically suck. Building a viable skill matrix for [1E-TNG] [1E-Rom] is an exercise in frustration. (The good kind of frustration that forces important deck trade-offs.) Extend that same tempo to TOS, which has vastly better individual personnel -- which is essentially what The Final Frontier did -- and suddenly the game is broken.

Alternatively, make it possible for TNG to put six cards on the table in a turn, and suddenly the game is broken.

This is why I tend to measure game pace in terms of turns-to-win, rather than plays/draws. There's just too much variability between how different affiliations should play/draw -- and that's good! The differences between the factions are what give the game mechanical flavor!

(Skill dots is a much better measurement, but even they have some problems, since some [SD] MEDICAL is 5-6x more valuable than [SD] Tal Shiar.)
IMHO [SD] /turn should be the gold standard. It's on the player to bring good/correct [SD] s.
(I say this as a player without [SD] Deck Building, so no shade...)
True, but your thinking would foil my next big pitch to Design: a complete Pakled affiliation where every personnel has seven [SD], but it's all trash garbage like [SD] Greed and [SD] Barbering.

(This is a joke.)
So it wasn't Make Us Go, it was Make Us Go...od?
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By WeAreBack
 - Beta Quadrant
 -  
#606863
BCSWowbagger wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:23 pm Play 3/Draw 3 is a great pace for some affiliations. It's overpowered for some others. For still others, it's on the weak side. For example, I think OP is mistaken about TNG tempo: TNG players should generally be able to put 4 cards on the table per turn. (AAH + [WC] + card play + HQ OR Holo OR Android)

That's okay for TNG because TNG personnel basically suck. Building a viable skill matrix for [1E-TNG] [1E-Rom] is an exercise in frustration. (The good kind of frustration that forces important deck trade-offs.) Extend that same tempo to TOS, which has vastly better individual personnel -- which is essentially what The Final Frontier did -- and suddenly the game is broken.
:thumbsup:
This was exactly the problem with TFF. But there is one other variable: seed slots. TFF was over mighty because it allowed 1 free play of an excellent personnel per seed slot used: with an Alternate universe door and a Mission II outpost, you get 2 excellent free personnel with good skills (and unlike with Battle Stations, both can be unique) a turn for 2 cards seeded. Plus a guaranteed good ship (it isn't even a ❖ ship!)

There is SOME consolation in the fact that normally seed cardsneeded to get you a 3rd or 4th free play require more than one seed card each.

For example, the TFF [NA] Androids deck gets 4 plays of 6 seeds by adding a [NA] outpost, Cybernetics expertise and Preserver Obelisk (for turn 1 cybernetics) and War Council.

But this still leaves lots of space for cards allowing extra draws with plenty left for dilemmas.

Another issue is that there is never a reason not report a personnel for free when you have them in hand and you have a free card play. A card that punished players for playing free reports with more than, say, 7 [SD] of free reports per turn, perhaps by giving their opponent a card draw, might be interesting.

Or what about a card I could play that allowed me to download and seed a dilemma (including from discard pile) under one of your missions if I "catch" you having played more than 3 free personnel on a turn? (This feels like it would be a [Q] card, similar to It's A Party or An Absence of Manners, but perhaps one that is also a [1E-Int], so you would never know if it was in my hand.)

Or maybe dilemma (or Q dilemma) that uses the skills and attributes on the personnel a player reported for free this turn as the skills needed to overcome the dilemma?

Anything that makes a players ask "Do I really need this 3d copy of Frool I just picked up?" or "Why am I building a deck where I play 3 copies of Frool each turn?" is probably a good thing.
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Director of Operations
By JeBuS (Brian S)
 - Director of Operations
 -  
#606945
So, I was curious about how fast the Champ's Day 1 deck could theoretically be. I looked at all the card play engines & downloads, then worked backwards to figure out, in a perfect world, what's the maximum number of personnel / skills the deck could put out. I'm still working through it, but here's what it looks like after 3 turns of card plays.

Personnel in play: 17
Champs-Deck-After-3.png
Champs-Deck-After-3.png (75.39 KiB) Viewed 2696 times
For only 3 turns of card plays, that's a really solid spread of skills. It will get you past almost everything the game can throw at you.

I'll try to churn through at least 2 more turns as time permits. But it's an interesting peek into how fast the game may be getting.
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By Kaiser
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
1E World Semi-Finalist 2023
Architect
#606974
JeBuS wrote: Sun Oct 01, 2023 4:51 pm So, I was curious about how fast the Champ's Day 1 deck could theoretically be. I looked at all the card play engines & downloads, then worked backwards to figure out, in a perfect world, what's the maximum number of personnel / skills the deck could put out. I'm still working through it, but here's what it looks like after 3 turns of card plays.

Personnel in play: 17
Champs-Deck-After-3.png

For only 3 turns of card plays, that's a really solid spread of skills. It will get you past almost everything the game can throw at you.

I'll try to churn through at least 2 more turns as time permits. But it's an interesting peek into how fast the game may be getting.
Yes, that sounds right for the top tier solvers.
I think the most my day 2 deck can do by turn 3 is 16 personnel (+2 seeded mission specialists, but they were not usable for mission attempts in my setup) when limited by It's Only a Game; if you don't draw a downloader it's usually 14, but there are basically no limits as to which NA personnel you want to include, so a lot of your guys will be people like Lore, Rayna Kapec, etc.
In the few test draws I did, it usually beat out Maquack in terms of skills/attributes on the table. Maquack can churn out a similar number of people, but I found it more difficult to get a perfect spread to make use of all your free plays every turn . I only saw Peter's deck in action twice, but the feeling was his deck was more consistently able to use his engines to their full potential.

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