The Sardakk N’orr are considered one of the bottom tiered races in Twilight Imperium. Their racial ability gives them a straight up +1 bonus to all combat rolls. Their trade agreements are mediocre. Their starting fleet is a mere two ships. Their home system is mediocre. So how does one win with the Sardakk N’orr? Let’s discuss opening strategy today. This discussion will assume you are using the strategy cards from Shattered Empire. The biggest weakness of the Bugs is the fact they have a slow start. They start with only one carrier. One of the biggest traps newbies make with the N’orr is to think you can offset this slow beginning by getting a second carrier. This is a trap! The Sardakk N’orr do not need a second carrier. That would be a massive waste of three resources! DON”T BUY A SECOND CARRIER FOR THE SARDAKK N’ORR UNTIL YOU’VE BUILT ALL YOUR SPACE DOCKS AND HAVE A STEADY ECONOMY! So what should the N’orr buy?
- They start with Deep Space Cannons. Buy more PDS’s to protect your investments. The N’orr combat advantage applies to their PDS’s. Use it. Buy all your PDS’s and place them strategically.
- The N’orr start with Hylar V Assault Lasers. Buy cruisers and destroyers. The more you have, the more +1 combat rolls you’ll get.
- All your space docks. The more units you can produce, the more +1 combat rolls you will get.
The Sardakk N’orr, like any race, will choose a strategy card at the beginning of the game. Unlike many races, however, ALL the strategy cards are quite useful to the Sardakk N’orr. Some races get diminished utility from some strategy cards (like the Jol Nar with Technology, or the Xxcha with Diplomacy). This is not true with the N’orr. They get full value from any single choice. Let’s take a look. 1. Leadership If the Sardakk N’orr land Leadership on the first round, they can beef up their fleet supply immediately. They will be good to go for some time. The Sardakk N’orr racial ability is +1 per combat roll. This means if the N’orr have 8 ships, they are get +1 for each of those 8 ships! The bigger your fleet supply, the greater your racial advantage. No other race get a reciprocal value from Leadership that the Bugs get. 2. Diplomacy The Sardakk N’orr start with one cruiser, one carrier, five ground forces and one PDS. With only one carrier, they get a slow start. Diplomacy will offset this a bit. You will conquer an additional planet. Since buying a second carrier is ill-advised (see above), Diplomacy is a good alternative. 3. Assembly Assembly will give you several options depending upon the card draws.
- If you get some action cards that are useful in the early games, your strategy should be steered in that direction.
- If you get a political card that you want to vote upon, now you can play it.
- If you want to give the Speaker token to the player on your right (you’d pick second next round)–get some value from that player. He would pick dead last otherwise. Have him cough up a few trade goods. You’ll still pick second plus you got some economy. And you can play a political card of your own.
4. Production Production is probably one of the best choices for you. No strategy card choice is bad; but Production is particularly good. You’ll have 6 resources to spend instead of 4. You’ll be able to afford a PDS plus 4 resources worth of ground forces and destroyers. This isn’t really optional. If you’re the Sardakk N’orr and you are NOT buying PDS’s in the early game, you are going to sink. And the more ground forces you have, the better. Production also will allow you to save a command counter. You’ll conquer a nearby system with your starting forces. Then you’ll activate Production, building more material in your home system. Then you pass. You’ll have a sizable force plus extra command counters. This gives the N’orr an edge in negotiation. 5. Trade Trade will allow you to get 3 trades, allowing you to purchase even more material than Production (see above). But you’ll have to spend an extra command counter versus Production. As such, you’ll need some more value from a Trade SC selection. Make sure you trade with the right players. And deny trade agreements to everyone but your trade partners. If you or your partners get Trade next round, reap the whirlwind again. Rinse and Repeat. 6. Warfare Warfare is the weakest choice for the N’orr on the first turn. But if played correctly, Warfare will get you near Mecatol Rex a round sooner than everyone else. And when you use Warfare, you should bring all your material: 5 ground forces and the PDS. When you drop this off on Mecatol Rex next round, you will have more material there than anyone except the Muatt can challenge. If you have a Mecatol Rex based secret objective, you are 2VP closer to winning! If you do not have such an objective, at least you are denying your opponents the same chance of scoring their objectives. Plus you’ll get 6 influence a round. 7. Technology Next to Production, Technology is the best choice. If the N’orr get Technology on the first turn, you should seriously consider going for War Suns. Take Enviro Compensator and begin your War Sun tech path. Enviro Compensator is more than a journeyman technology to War Suns. It gives you +1 build capacity per space dock. This translates into more material which gives you more +1 combat bonuses. Enviro Compensator also gives you the prerequisite to Sarween Tools which will give you a nice boost to your economy. Taking Tech in order to get Enviro Compensator may see less than spectacular but the Sardakk don’t do anything spectacular in the early game. Wait until you churn out a war sun in the fourth or fifth round. Then the Sardakk N’orr will shine! 8. Bureaucracy Bureaucracy as a strategy card pick on the first round is always iffy. The Sardakk N’orr are no exception. It’s not a bad choice by any means. But it’s utility will largely depend upon the luck of the objective deck. If you can turn the knowledge of the upcoming objectives into an advantage, then it was a great pick! If not, then you got unlucky. At least you know what is coming and can prepare alternatives. Their opening game is unforgiving compared to other races. The Sardakk N’orr, if played with a strong opening, will be a contender late in the game.