Quick Strategy Guide: RSW Core
There are three key resources you will need to acquire to succeed in RSW Core:
- Worlds. You need to own a certain number of worlds to keep you well-stocked in ships. Each world that you own produces at least one ship every turn, so the more worlds you have, the more ships you control. Also, you get 20 points per turn for each world that you own, so owning worlds is the key to winning the game in more ways than one. You acquire an initial collection of worlds by being the first player to visit them in the first three or four turns of the game--this is why it is important to expand as quickly as possible, and reach as many worlds as possible before other players get there first.
- Fleets. There are only a fixed number of fleets in the game, and you have to acquire them, the same way you acquire worlds--that is, you have to be the first player to find them, before someone else gets to them first.
- Ships. Ships are military muscle. The more ships you can put on a fleet, the more powerful the fleet becomes. If you want to overwhelm your opponents with force, you will need lots of fleets, with lots of ships each. You can transfer ships from your worlds to your fleets as the ships are built.
You begin every RSW Core game with one world and five fleets, with six ships on each fleet. The first turn is always pretty much the same--you should send at least one fleet to each of the worlds connected to your homeworld.
Capturing Worlds and Fleets
On the second turn, you will have captured each of the worlds you sent a fleet to. Hopefully, you will also have captured a few more fleets--there are empty fleets scattered around throughout the galaxy. You probably won't have encountered another player yet, so your second turn is usually always the same too: transfer a few ships from your fleets to any new fleets you have captured, and then move fleets out to any new outlying worlds you can reach. Again, move at least one fleet to each world you can connect to, if at all possible--remember, you want to expand as quickly as possible, and claim as many worlds as you can reach, before someone else claims these worlds first.
Here we should pause a moment to point out a few important rules of the game:
- Ships can be transferred at will, fleet-to-fleet, fleet-to-world, or world-to-fleet.
- You need to have at least one ship on a fleet to keep and use the fleet.
- Each world that you own will produce at least one ship per turn for as long as you own it. Maintaining ownership of adjacent worlds will produce even more ships. Ships remain on the world (as D-Ships) until you transfer them to a fleet.
Managing Your Ships
Owning dozens of worlds, and therefore producing dozens of new D-Ships each turn, won't help you if you just leave the D-Ships on the worlds.
You need to keep your fleets stocked with ships in order to dominate your neighbors. This means visiting each of your worlds from time to time and transferring ships from the D-Ships there onto your fleet(s). You can either bring fleets back from the front lines to do this, or you can build up a supply chain of fleets to bring ships out to support the fleets that you keep on the front lines.
Capturing Opponent's Worlds and Fleets
Once an opponent owns a world, you will no longer capture it simply by showing up. You will have to fire your fleet at the D-Ships at a world, destroying them, to capture it (and you will capture it then only if you are the only player with fleets there). Similarly, you can fire at an opponent's fleet, and if you destroy all of the ships on it, and there are no other players with fleets there, you will capture the fleet from your opponent.
Encountering Other Players
Usually you will meet your first opponent on the third or fourth turn. Sometimes you will encounter multiple opponents at once. These other players will be trying to expand their empire as quickly as possible, just as you are, and your presence has just marked the edge of their expansion.
Once you have encountered your first neighbor--usually on the third or fourth turn--you will need to change your strategy to adapt. Is your new neighbor warlike and aggressive, or passive and easily subdued? Or maybe they are just trying to lure you into a trap while they position their other fleets to strike at your flank! Perhaps you can form an alliance with your nearest neighbor to take out a common enemy.