Would there be any advantage in waiting to see what the other alliance places before you place yours? Since they are effectively giving up total possible points by placing null panels, if you felt your alliance was equivalent or better at scoring, wouldn’t you want to place the same number or slightly less null panels to try and create a point advantage?
Realistically, the cargo ship accounts for less than half of the available points on the field, so it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference. But at higher levels of play where the rockets were getting filled consistently, I could see teams looking for any advantage possible.
@Richard_McCann Unless my reading of the rule is wrong, you MUST place a null hatch panel or cargo in each bay to start the match. You can place zero null hatch panels, but then you must place cargo there instead. So zero might be a valid poll option, but it’s no more a correct answer to the title question than 3 or 1.
Using 0 null hatch panels and filling them all with cargo instead is what I feel to be the strategic way to go, as putting null panels on is wasting a spot for you to put a scoring hatch panel, so every null hatch panel you use is costing those potential points.
Would it be effective to just leave cargo in there, cover up as many as you can in sandstorm, and then let the balls roll out? This keeps the balls close for scoring on the rocket. The downside is that there is a large chance they get bumped away or scooped by another team.
They’re considerably more likely to get in your way, as these balls will roll around a lot, and I doubt that most teams will be very good at open-field pickup as a result. We have a long way to go in the season until protecting as many game pieces as possible becomes a factor in matches. (IMO)
You may think that, but best case scenario if you do that (your alliance manages to place 5 hatches during sandstorm) is at the end of the sandstorm 3 cargo balls roll out onto the field and are in your way while you place hatches so they can be scored.
I would expect that most alliances have a pretty good chance of kicking those cargo balls down to the other end of the field, or even off the field.