Double-Blind Local Mode + Campaign

Bought the game yesterday afternoon and our family is already hooked! Our favorite mode isn’t technically supported by the game, but after following the directions of others on the forum (thanks!) here’s what we’ve come up with…

We have three gamers and one computer in our house (not counting the laptop which can’t run GSB). We wanted to be able to play against one another in a double-blind manner. Double-blind in this context means neither player knows his opponent’s deployment in any way, not even the enemy ship silohouettes. All you know is the mission’s starting parameters (pilots, budget, and map). Essentially it’s Multi-Player Expert Mode. If there’s an easier way to do this please let me know! We couldn’t figure out another way to not see an opponent’s ship silohouettes during deployment.

Using this approach you have no idea what the enemy is bringing to the fight…and you can fight it locally on a single computer.

  1. Player A picks a single-player mission, deploys his fleet, and uploads a challenge to his profile effectively “challenging himself”.

  2. Player B picks the same single-player mission, deploys his fleet, and saves his deployment.

  3. Player B then downloads Player A’s challenge, loads his deployment, and we watch the battle.

NOTE: we found it helpful if you use a common naming convention. For example, we’ve been fighting something called the Midway Campaign so each challenge or deployment file uses the word Midway (eg “Midway Dad’s Deployment”, “Midway Edward’s Deployment”). Only down side to this work around is that you can only see detailed damage reports on one side’s ships. Otherwise it’s very quick and easy (would be easier if were built into the game).

Using the process above we’ve started a simple, linear campaign game. The campaign consists of 5 star systems in a row as follows:

Home World A - Colony A - Midway - Colony B - Home World B

The campaign starts with a battle at Midway. If you win a battle you push your opponent back one system and if you win a battle at his Home World you win the campaign.

So, if Player A wins the battle at Midway the next battle is fought at Colony B. If Player A wins again the next battle is at Home World B. If he wins that battle he wins the campaign but if he loses he’s pushed back to Colony B for the next battle.

Using the double blind and campaign systems above we’re actually fighting three campaigns simultaneously. We each have a campaign fleet and you have to use the same deployment against both opponents in a given round. This forces us to keep fleets more balanced since the same fleet will be facing two different opponents (eg my fleet will be facing those of my two sons.)

Round 1 Campaign reports:

Dad (me) vs Edward (my 9-year old): a draw!!!
The battle settled into a loop of some kind and wouldn’t resolve. Neither side’s ships would move anymore and their fire was ineffective. I couldn’t penetrate his anti-missile defenses and his beams couldn’t get through my shield and armor mix. It was his bed time so we declared a draw. Tonight will be the Second Battle of Midway.

Dad vs Henry (my 8-year old): Henry wins!!!
Henry built some kick-butt bombers and my anti-fighter defenses were insufficient. By the time the main battle lines were engaged his bombers had beaten up my fleet so it was fighting at a huge disadvantage. Needless to say he was quite excited last night. And before anyone makes any cracks about getting beat by an 8-year old he and his brother are in the top 1% IQ-wise and in talented/gifted programs. They’re scary smart but also good sports. However, Henry did ask how my bottom felt after getting spanked so bad! :smiley: So, I’ll be defending my Colony World in tonight’s battle.

Henry vs Edward: another victory for Henry!!!
Those bombers once again ripped through the enemy fleet. Both Edward and I will be working on our anti-bomber tactics and Edward will be defending his Colony World against the relentless Henry.

Anyway, even “as is” GSB is a great game! We hope to see it expand and include new ways to play (eg double-blind) and maybe a mission editor. It would also be great see it on Xbox Live one day!!!

OMG I never thought of it that way… When I used to challenge myself (can’t anymore, wish i knew why :/), i just did a fixed list of missions vs. myself, i never actually did the colony A stuff. when i can finally challenge myself sometime, I’m gonna try that! BTW the game really should have a conquer-the-galaxy mode. that would be awesome. :smiley:

Maybe the ‘Challenge’ pop up needs another checkbox option ‘blind deployment’. If this is checked, then the deployment would be masked - just like when you play an ‘expert’ scenario.

Good luck defending your homeworld. Question is, will Henry now skimp on the fighters, knowing you’ll probably both go heavier on fighter defences, or will he guess that you’ll guess he’ll do that… And just field the same thing again :wink:

That should be a very quick fix to avoid the current work around. Great idea! In fact, at first I assumed that setting a mission on “expert” would have that effect (was very disappointed when it didn’t).

That’s the beauty of double-blind, one-off “challenges”/battles. It really encourages balanced designs since a “trick design” might work against one specific kind of enemy but be too weak against most. Standard challenges seek trick designs that result in super-efficient victories.

And I must report that I’ve been pushed back to my home world in a very narrow loss to Henry. We used a medium map with 25,000 budget and 150 pilots, no anomalies. We both included 4 or 5 fighter squadrons, his being pure bombers and mine fighter-bombers focused on intercepting fighters (only had fighter attack order with 1 laser cannon and 1 rocket launcher). My fighter-bombers managed to kill his bombers but were so weak they were finished off by “AA guns”.

As the battle ended he had a single damaged cruiser remaining and I had a couple of damaged frigates and a very damaged cruiser. It came down to whose CA would be the first to explode and it was mine. A VERY, VERY close match. In fact he was tempted to admit defeat at different points but Edward and I encouraged him to wait and see what happened. The percentages flipped several times so it was a real nail-biter.

(In a mini-campaign system this would argue for a retreat order that allowed a ship to try to escape the battlefield to fight another day…at the moment it’s a winner-take-all, fight-to-the-last-man game.)

The lack of foreknowledge using a double-blind approach combined with the one-off, win-or-lose, single-match approach makes for more tension than the puzzle-like standard challenge (which is still very entertaining in its own “how small a fleet can I use” way).


This order exists - the ‘cautious’ order. I don’t use it much, and I think it’s mainly intended for ships with repair modules. It’s snuck a victory for me before though. Sometimes it’s better for that near dead ship to flee to the map edge (and thus not be coming off your remaining victory points,) than to soak up a tiny amount of extra enemy fire.

Good luck in the next round. :slight_smile: