Michael Eckenfels, 8 April 2019
Part 2: Pushing Into Space
When we last left off, the Competition had two Solar Lagrange Points each being studied by a team of theirs, while I’d just landed my first team on the Moon.
For the Competition team, I draw…
Offers 1 and 3. This means the cards in Offer 1 and Offer 3 are both removed. The Competition would gain 1 VP (I’m going to call it VP since I can’t reproduce the ‘T’ symbol) for each such card that is an Upgrade. Neither one is, fortunately, so the Competition gets nothing. I replace both of these cards – which yields another Chemical Drive (Move 1) and another Cargo Pod (Move 1 or Build 1).
I’d not mentioned in the last AAR/last turn that at the end of my turn, I get to draw a card if I have four or less cards in hand. I’d drawn a Science Module (Move 1 or Explore 1). Right now, my choices for my turn are:
- Research Action (letting me draw two cards)
- Move Action (letting me move two spaces)
- Explore Action (letting me explore an e1 site)
The Move Action is impossible, as I’d need at least three Move points to get my team on the Moon anywhere. The Research Action is tempting as I’d like to have more cards, but the Explore action, I can do on Luna, which only has an e1 requirement. I spend my Science Module card, dedicating it to exploring the Moon’s surface.
The result is Abundant Ores. This is a great tile; note the ‘Base -2’ notation in its lower-right corner. This means building a Base here will cost two less than what’s printed on the board, and since Luna has a b2 notation, this means I will be able to build a base for free on my next turn! Well…it’ll still cost me a Build action, but it won’t cost me any Build points.
The P0 notation just above the Base -2 is the amount of Production it can churn out. If I take a Production action in a future turn, I will get a number of VP equal to however many Production sites I tap (a Production 1 card lets me produce on one base, Production 2 allows two bases, and so on). If I build a Refinery here, which is the most logical choice, it adds +1 Production to the site. Not too bad.
Since I spent my only card, I draw another, and get a Science Module (Move 1 or Explore 1). My options for my next turn are going to be very limited.
For now, though, we move to the Competition.
Offers 2 and 4. Neither is an Upgrade card, so this just clears them from the table.
The replacements are another Chemical Drive card (Move 1), but this one is an Upgrade card. If I got it I could add it to my Infrastructure as a permanent addition. Everything in the HQ board, as I said, is ‘free’ when it comes to points; I just have to take the appropriate Action to ‘tap’ them. If I use cards in hand, I have to discard them if I use their points.
The second replacement card is a Near Space Probe (Move 2 or allows placement of a free Discovery tile on any site on the board). This one is pretty good; not just due to it allowing two Move points, but also the free Discovery draw is great.
The ultimate goal of BanzaiCorp right now should be to take that 1st Beyond marker in the Asteroid Belt. That means needing to mass a lot of Move point cards (equating to the real world as working on newer and better rocket boosters). Secondary to that is trying to exploit opportunities that the Competition has not yet sought out. One of which, and happens to be a Contract, is building the first base on Mars. To get to Mars, though, my team on Luna would need to spend seven Move points – not a small feat now, especially considering I only have two Move points (one in my HQ and one card).
I hate to do it, but I’m taking a Research action this turn, to take that Move 2 Near Space Probe card and one of the two Move 1 Chemical Drive cards. The main reason I’m getting the latter is, this card is a permanent infrastructure upgrade, which is always nice. However, Upgrading is an entire Action, meaning I’ll need to use one of my future turns to do that.
This gives me a total of five Move points, if I choose a Move Action in my next turn – but that won’t get me to Mars, unfortunately.
The replacement cards for the two Offers I took are another Near Space Probe (Move 2 or free Discovery tile) and Genome Accelerator (Research 2 or Genetics 1). Genetics won’t really enter into the game until the Planeteers era starts, but I can still make some headway now. If I make a full revolution on that track, I get some kind of bonus, but we’ll get into that later.
The Competition apparently does not take kindly to BC going to the Moon and proclaiming loudly in the news how they’ve discovered valuable mineral deposits there. The Competition decides to send a team there, too.
You might think they would try to build their own base there, and that’s a very real possibility. However, if they do so, I will get compensated. See, whomever ‘discovers’ a Discovery tile first gets a ‘claim’ on it, and if another player gets there and decides to build a Base, the team with the claim gets two VPs. You can only have one Base per site, though.
Which reminds me that I have no Build points in my hand, but that’s okay because the Abundant Ores discovery, remember, has a -2 for Base cost, and Luna has a Base Cost of 2. Meaning, the cost zeroes out and all I need to do is spend a Build Action to put a Refinery there.
If I do not do this, there’s a chance I might draw another Luna card for the Competition, in which case THEY build a Base there. I do get cash in compensation, but, is that what I really want?
On top of that, the other Near Space Probe in the Offers 3 space means another Move 2 card; that would give my Luna team the seven Move points I need to get to Mars. But, that would leave Luna wide open to the Competition building a Base there. Meanwhile, my other team on Earth would need to spend nine Move points to get from there to Mars.
Decisions, decisions. Ultimately the advantage of a Refinery is, in the future, taking a Produce action, which would let me collect one point of profit (one VP). If I’m the first to do a Produce action, that means I’d fulfill one of the seven Contracts, which would also immediately pay two points of profit. (Remember, profit points and VP points are the same thing in this game.)
I’m going to go ahead and spend a Build action, and put a BanzaiCorp Refinery on Luna. I want to deny this to the Competition, especially in getting that Contract with taking the first Produce action.
REUTERS (AP), AUGUST 1, 2029 – After discovering incredibly rich mineral deposits on Luna, BanzaiCorp (NSE: BCCX) has built the first permanent human settlement there. Naming it Armstrong Base after the first man to set foot on the Moon, BC’s CEO has announced they were “too fast for the competition,” whom had sent a team to Luna as well, seeking to build a permanent establishment there as well. “There’s plenty of Moon for everyone,” said BC’s CEO. “In fact, we’re willing to rent it out for a nice, fair price. Heh-heh.”
So now the Competition cannot build a Base on Luna. Let’s see what they end up doing in return…
Welp. One Discovery & Contract 6. This means if the Competition has a Team on a Site with an available Discovery, it takes a Discovery tile and stakes a claim on it. There’s no locale like that, so this part doesn’t count.
However, their Contract 6 portion does count. This means I place a Competition team on Contract number 6 on the Business Display. If they get another team on that Contract, they get to claim it.
I’ll take one more turn before I close down this chapter of the AAR.
I think my best option right now is to do a Research action and draw two cards. I’m going to grab that Near Space Probe card in the Offers 3 spot, which will give me seven Move points. My only other decision is, do I grab another Offers card, or do I draw one from the top of the deck? I’m feeling lucky, so I’ll draw one from the top of the deck…
It’s a Processors card (Produce 1 or Build 2). Not bad! That gives me some options in future turns.
The replacement Offers card is a Heavy Lifter (Move 2 or Build 2) – not too bad, I might have to consider taking that one soon.
Thanks for reading this far. Until next time!