Michael Eckenfels, 22 July 2019
When we last let off, BanzaiCorp had located an ‘Exotic Asteroid Belt’ in Alpha Centauri. It had a few pretty decent resources, including a 2 Profit benefit. Otherwise, the Competition had gotten a team off to the far edge of the map board on their turn, and now we’ve both had a single turn in this, the Starfarers Era.
It’s funny, how we can game events like this. I just had a conversation last night with my son about that gigantic black hole recently discovered in the M87 galaxy and how we’d discovered an exoplanet in the Alpha Centauri system. More so, it was an interesting talk because we discussed how funny it was that scientists can, from light-years away, determine composition, atmosphere, position, and so many other things of solar bodies in distant star systems. Technology can only get better; I’ve no doubt we’ll eventually get to the stars (if we don’t screw things up here first of course), but as I told my son, it’ll be an event that happens long after we’re dust in the ground. It’s still pretty awesome to simulate these events and consider it as a possibility.
Enough philosophizing – here’s one more cool thing that happened since last time. Thanks to a BGG poster, I discovered a resource over at Print-n-Play…small plastic rockets that look way, way cooler on this board than the small wooden cubes.
I’m not pimping something I received for free; I bought these myself. With shipping it was just under ten dollars US. Of course, that was to a US address, so I’ve no idea what you might experience should you be reading this elsewhere and want to order them too. The service was fast, the product is great, it was inexpensive, and they included a small Sweet Tarts candy, strangely enough!
If you own SpaceCorp 2025-2300 and are interested, click here.
Now back to the game!
Well, THAT’S a thing.
I must clear out all the Offers – all four of them – and replace them with new cards now. That kind of stinks, but they’re all Start cards, so that’s one way to get rid of these relatively weaker cards, fast.
Their replacements are also Start cards; we’re still fairly early in this era, and I won’t recount them here in text as you can see them in the screenshot. That Stellar Foundry card (Explore 3 or Build 4, Infra) looks pretty nice and would be a good upgrade for the Micro Mesh card I have in my HQ (Explore 2 or Build 3).
I’d like to get an early start on a Colony, and my best bet is in Alpha Centauri. Before I can do that, though, I need to build a Base.
However, there’s a lot more going on that’s needed to build a Colony, besides a Base. Here’s a pic of all the available Colonies for the solo game (each Colony counter has 1, 2, 3, and/or 4 on it, denoting whether it is used in the 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-player game, respectively).
The Colonies present are the only ones allowed in the solo game. Note that at the top of each is a series of pips, or black dots. This is the cost, in Colony Points, to deploy it to the board. Each Colony offers some kind of bonus (well, not all of them do, but most do). The cheapest Colony is two 3-point Colonies, Jensen and Butterfield, each of which offers no special benefits. The rest of the Colonies, however, do offer some kind of decent upgrade.
Coming up with Colony Points (CPs) is no easy task. I get one Colony Point for the Discovery tile I’ve uncovered (you get one CP for each Discovery tile), and Alpha Centauri doesn’t get you all that far.
If I choose to build an Industrial Base there, that would give me another CP. There’s several other things I can do to earn CPs, but they’re either out of reach or I’m not willing to do them right now (one of which I’m not willing to do is pay 5 Profit for one CP – ouch).
So, instead, I’m looking for another star system to liberate in the name of BanzaiCorp. I’m interested in the three-Discovery space star systems, of which there are two – Epsilon Erdani, where the Competition currently has a team, and Epsilon Indi, which hosts nobody right now. It would be nice to ‘steal’ Epsilon Erdani out from under the Competition. For me to get a team from Sol to that star system, it would cost me fifty Move points. I can do that, but my main concern is having to wait three turns to get my ship to the system, while the Competition just sits there with potential of discovering all those Sites itself.
It might be wiser to go for Epsilon Endi instead, though a LOT can happen in three turns – or nothing at all. It’s a gamble to go to Epsilon Erdani, so I’m going to send a team from Sol to Epsilon Endi, instead. That costs 60 Move points, which I can afford, though that’s going to clean out my Move cards from my hand and, unfortunately, I’m needing to spent a LOT more Move points to get there (99 total – the next best I can do is 33, which won’t get me there).
My team rocket (lolz) is placed in the first space of the system’s star track. It’ll make it to Epsilon Endi in three turns – quite a long wait.
I drew a Clone Forge (Produce 1 or Genetics 1) card, as my Move play got me down to two cards in my hand.
And it’s the Competition’s turn, whom is not at all limited by star tracks.
Well, great. They clear out all four Offers cards again. Fortunately none of them are Research cards (note the beaker icon), so the Competition gets no rewards for that. There are no Genetics nor Revelations cards there either, so that doesn’t impact this discard event.
I swear I shuffled the living Hades out of these cards before beginning play, but from the look of this pic it sure doesn’t look that way. There’s no less than three Antimatter Surveyor cards (Move x4 or Explore 4) and one Nano Miners card (Build 5 or Produce 2).
First, I move my team in Epsilon Endi one space to the right, towards the star system.
Now…what to do. I’m sorely tempted by those Antimatter Surveyor cards – that Move x4 multipliers are nice.
I could do a Produce action and up my score by 1 Profit (the score right now is 37-35 with the Competition barely in the lead), but that seems rather wasteful.
I can’t move anything, unfortunately, nor can I Build a Base in Alpha Centauri as one of the Move cards from my last turn also harbored a Build 3, which would have let me just afford a Base, there.
Since I can’t do much else right now, I’m going to need to do a Research action and gather three cards – I’m taking two of those Antimatter Surveyor cards (Move x4 or Explore 4) and the Nano Miners card (Build 5 or Produce 2). That gives me a hand of five cards, so I can’t draw anything.
Replacing the three Offer cards I just took, I draw Advanced Antimatter Drive (Move x5 or Build 5), Extruders (Build 3 or Shielded Build 2), and DNA Synthesis (Produce 2 or Genetics 2). That last one would bump my Genetics marker to where I could draw another Progress Adaptation card, one of which grants you a free Colony Point (Enviro Tolerance).
But first, nobody expects the Competition Inquisition!
Aww, frack. The Competition is now in the star system I’m trying to explore!
Well, all I can do is hope I don’t draw another such card over his next few turns…
I move my Epsilon Endi team one more space on the track…
Looks like I can make one of two choices. I can move my last team on Sol to Luhman 16, a neighboring star, which also has a Competition team…
Or I could play my Genetics 2 card and get a Progress card.
I could grab that DNA Synthesis card for its Genetics 2 value. There’s a lot of great Adaptation cards up for grabs, which I’ll talk about when the time comes. I hate to take another Research action on the heels of my last one.
Hmm. I think I’ll go ahead and move my last BanzaiCorp team on Sol to Luhman 16. I’d like to try to disrupt any of the Competition’s attempts to build Bases or colonize…even though it will take three turns for my team to actually get to that star system.
I spend two cards to get plenty of Move points to get them there.
And again, just gotta wait and see, and hope the Competition doesn’t draw another Luhman 16 card.
One more turn and we’ll call it a day for Part 16.
Great, another empty star system.
While I breathe a sigh of relief that they’re not getting to build Bases, I’m still concerned that they’re spreading like a plague across OUR galaxy! That’s it for today…thanks, as always, for reading.