I'm at a loss on how you can beat an alliance with the Lazax player. It's reached the point where I wonder if they properly playtested the races. Even if you don't consider their ability overpowered, it certainly makes the game less fun. The bidding phase has all high stakes tension drain away as everyone sits there just waiting for the Lazax team to finish circle jerking as they basically get all the cards and shuffle money at will.
Here are the counters I tried. All of them have failed.
1. Bid high
Lazax gets all your money. At most you will win the bid on one card but bankrupt yourself doing it, leaving no money for deployment or recruitment. The Lazax player's ability to lock you out of cards is further increased.
2. Bid low
The Lazax team gets all the cards uncontested.
3. Try to force the Lazax player to bid high and pay the money to the bank
Does not work. It's too easy for Lazax's two teammates to rig bids so that Lazax only picks up the cheapest cards.
4. Destroy Lazax units so he burns up his money replacing them
This assumes you can force Lazax into a fight and beat him with his superior cards. Even if you manage that, it doesn't matter. As long as ONE Lazax alliance member has money, they can still freely pass it between themselves to hog all the cards. You essentially have to bankrupt all three alliance members at once. Good luck with that.
So what are the other players to do? Hacan is no way an economic counter-weight to the Lazax (even if he had more income than Lazax, what could he even do with it?). REX has the potential to be a great game but as is the Lazax are really ruining it for us.
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You don't have to beat the alliance to win the game.
For my last 5 players game, the Lazax lost the game.
Yes, i have suffered a bit in the earliy of the game, coz Lazax have joined a alliance with Hacan and Jol-Nar, as you know, it is a very powerful alliance, while me the sol have formed a alliance with the Letnev.
As the game went on, one of the Jol-Nar keep getting funded by Lazax for influences to build up his amry and bidding cards.
So i took my chance to focus attack the Lazax, and at the end of round 6, Lazax ended up with not so many influences and amry on the board,
Then the Lazax teammate kicked the Lazax out of their alliance and ask me to join (They want my Special Victory Condition, and I have also controled One Base while the Lazax have none),
and at the end of the game, our alliance won the Game, and i used my Betrayal Cards to win the game on my own XD
… Never the less:
One way we used to prevent the Lazax from raising the stakes was making sure he and his allied had reach the handlimit. An alliance with 3 persons would make this a bit harder though. But when you've reached your handlimit you no longer are permitted to bid on cards, and the only time you may discard cards is when you battle - i.e. you have to use them.
Attacking them repeatedly and letting them get to the hand limit are both good suggestions. If you are worried about a Lazax alliance, attack them before they ally, too. You know it is a possibility that they will ally, so be ready for it.
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One important question is "what kind of Lazax alliance is it?" (and correspondingly, who's on your side?). As Pizzakrydda says, it's easier to clog up their hands if there's only two of them, but even a three-player alliance usually can't shut you out of the bidding for more than a turn. Getting the Jol-Nar on your side makes a huge difference too (though less so if the Lazax have Letnev). If, on the other hand, you're looking at, say, a Lazax, Letnev, Jol-Nar alliance, then they'll probably be able to control the bidding pretty well, but Sol/Hacan can deploy at will, and Xxcha's ability provides excellent support for a guerilla campaign against a better-equipped force. Your objection to the "destroy their units" strategy was that you can't win battles against them, but you don't have to win; in Rex, one of the most important things to keep in mind is "even the winner suffers." Get everyone to deploy/move one unit per turn into a vulnerable player's stronghold, have Xxcha ban their favorite weapon, and they'll have to burn units each time just to hold their position. And so on.
Every race and alliance combination has their own strength and weaknesses if you know to look for it. Hacan/Lazax alliance might sound nice on paper…but anyone allied with Hacan pays deployment to the bank…meaning Hacan will lose a big chunk of his income. Sol alone has the capability to fight an attrition war with 2 race at the same time in sector 13-17. Being Letnav allows you to big high on a single card and gain two card to circumvent Lazax.
Anyway, in your setting, I'm assuming that you are in the sol/hacan alliance. Sol replenishes their unit quite cheaply…in fact you only need 2 influence to purchase and deploy 5 troops. Focus your income in sec13-17, fight an attrition war with them. For Hacan, run inteference since he has the mobility, and can siphon influence from all three of them. Keep destroying their units and force them to spend on deployment.
I personally thinks the game is pretty balance as far as the first 5 race is concerned. DOn't know about XXcha yet as we haven't been able to sit in a six player game.
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