Architect Strategies Part 1
Today I wanted to do an overview of the Architects themselves and talk about some of the strategies that may be employed as you use them in the game. At some point I’ll likely do a bit more of a story briefing on each of the Architects as well but there will be a lot more about that once I release the digital story book 🙂
As you may know, if you’ve played Helionox even a single time, you start the game with your chosen (or randomly assigned) Architect. Whenever your Architect has no Cryo counters on it, you may use one of its abilities. Each ability causes you to place a specific number of Cryo counters onto your Architect, disabling your Architect until all Cryo counters have been removed. Fortunately, every turn you get to remove 1 Cryo Counter and there are, of course, other ways of removing Cryo as well.
So, for the first time ever – here’s a gallery of all the Architects in one place 🙂
Lot’s of great options here and the coolest thing about the Architects in general is that they can give you some strategic form right from the outset, which helps a lot because there are so many options to choose from from the very first turn. In most cases, my recommendation is to use your Architect early and often. Usually I use my Architect on turn 1 and on every turn it comes out of Cryo. This ensures you get to use your abilities as many times as possible throughout the game.
Ok, let’s take a look at some specific Architects and a few of their strategic possibilities. I’ll try to discuss at least 3 Architects in each of these entries. Remember, these strategic options are just possibilities and not even close to an exhaustive study. There are so many different directions you could go throughout the course of the game, these are simply strategic (and some tactical) food for thought.
Atsuko was one of the first Architects I designed. Along with a few other cards from the Last Sunset, Atsuko has seen her abilities updated to match the power level of other Architects. Her abilities are pretty straightforward – gain 1 Defense or gain 2 Defense, generally used for Overcoming Events. Pairing Atsuko with some transport cards early in the game is a very good idea. You can probably avoid grabbing more Defense cards for the first few turns but once you get more mobile, look for a Dominator to pop up in the market, then go gain mass amounts of Influence by defending the solar system! With your extra defense, you may also try to build an Embassy infrastructure to support Collaboration.
This was one of the Architects available in the booster pack from the original Last Sunset campaign. I tend to use her Cryo 1 power quite a bit. Don’t underestimate the power of discarding a card. When paired with cards that allow you to consume from your discard pile, you actually want to have a card ready to consume. Buy lots of bio cards and hang out on Mars for some pretty nice R1-V3R combos. In the Deluxe Edition, the new Mars location actually allows you to remove Cryo counters which means you could potentially use this Architect more than once on a single turn. Pretty sweet as there are only two other Architects that have a Cryo 1 ability. Her Cryo 4 power is also quite nice when you need that extra money boost.
Here it is. The first official reveal for Cassius, Syndicate Lord. The Shadow Syndicate is clandestine organization bent on thwarting the Architects. Mostly, for political reasons, though some members of the Syndicate may have agendas of their own. Cassius uses a new Keyword from the Mercury Protocol expansion called “Bank”. This ability allows you to store up money for use on later turns. He also has a very unique power that allows him to remove Infamy which is worth negative points at the end of the game. Pairing Cassius up with some of Mercury Protocol’s Illegal Tech is a very powerful strategy. Illegal tech is relatively cheap and very powerful but gives you infamy each time it’s played. Just be careful not to end the game in Cryo or you could get hit with some unexpected Infamy!
So, there its. The first entry into this series. Hopefully over the next few weeks, I can keep updating this blog with more interesting tidbits about how you might choose to use your Architects. Of course, the greatest thing about these cards that the strategic possibilities are nearly endless. How will you use your Architects to maximum advantage? Post here if you got any thoughts to share!
BGG Con in Dallas
I probably won’t update this blog next week as I’ll be at BGG con (Nov. 17th – 19th). If you are in the area, come by and say hello at the Mr. B Games booth. We can play some Deluxe Edition and chat in person! Should be a great time :)