Michael Eckenfels, 19 August 2019
When we last let off, BanzaiCorp had founded Smith, an uninspired-named yet first Colony of mankind, among the stars. I also took the lead in scoring, 50-48. This game is like a tennis match when it comes to scoring – back and forth, back and forth, and it always feels like both you and the bot are in the game at all times. It’s very tense and immensely gratifying.
Now, it’s the Competition’s turn; let’s see what they’re up to.
I drew Gliese 1, another until-now unoccupied star system. A Competition team gets placed there right away. Gliese 1 is at the top center of the following image.
You might have noticed those ‘Orion Spur’ spaces in the upper corners of the map. Those grant Profit to the first and second player to get to that location. In the preceding image, you can see 5 and 2 Profit; the first one to get there gets 5 Profit and…well, you got it. Thing is though, in the solo game, I’m not quite sure how the Competition can get there. As for me, the solo player, if I put a team out there, it’s no longer usable in the game. I’d get a quick 5 Profit, but would lose the use of that team for the rest of the game, which assumes that team is exploring onward and finding lots of juicy things to sell on the open interstellar market.
I’m moving my team from Epsilon Indi to Lacaille 8760, a 30-point move. My HQ has a Move 6 and a Move x2, giving me an intrinsic 12 Move points; I discard an Antimatter Lifter (Move x3) card to make that 36 Move points, more than enough to get them out there.
I draw B/IT & All Offers, with a Research icon.
The ‘B/IT’ means the Competition removes the Breakthrough card, Infra Transfer. It means nothing though, as I already grabbed the first one and received the Profit reward. The Competition receives no benefit for doing this.
The ‘All Offers,’ though, just removes all four Offers cards and gets us that much closer to the end of the game.
To replace all four, I draw:
- Matter Manipulators (Move x2 or Build 4)
- Extruders (Build 3 or Shielded Build 2)
- Another Extruders (sigh)
- Mega Structures (Build 5, Infra)
That Mega Structures card looks good; I could replace my own Extruders card on my HQ board with that one.
Fortunately, no Edge cards are drawn, so we move to BanzaiCorp’s turn.
I’m going to go ahead and do a Research action to grab that Mega Structures card. The remaining Offers cards aren’t all that impressive, so I’m going to draw the remaining two cards from the deck.
I get Survey Cyborgs (Explore 3 or Genetics 1) and Nano Miners (Build 5 or Produce 2). Not too shabby.
I’m going to use my Infra Transfer ability and do a free Upgrade action, replacing my Extruders card on my HQ board with my shiny new Mega Structures card. Woot!
I draw 61 Cygni for the Competition; they already have a base there.
This means the Competition gets to place Discovery tiles – one Primary and one Secondary.
The Rich Asteroid Field discovery nets them one Profit, while the Rings discovery does not. This ups their score so they’re now one behind my score of 50 Profit.
I’m going to build two Bases in Wolf 1061. Specifically, an Industrial Base on the Habitable tile, and a Research Base on the Anomaly.
The Research Base lets me grab an Offer card (which I won’t, because they’re not that good), or advance my Revelations marker one space. I advance my Revelations marker, so both it and my Genetics marker only need two more spaces to go before I can grab a Progress card for either.
Here’s a look at my HQ board; I should have posted a pic of this after my last turn to show, but this will at least show both my Infrastructure cards as well as my Revelation/Genetics track.
I draw B/ET & All Offers. This is bad, because it means the Competition removes the last Breakthrough Entangled Transmitter card. This card lets the player move their team immediately from one location to an empty star system. It’s also a prerequisite for Jump Drive, which is the only remaining Starfarers-era Breakthrough card. That now means I cannot get a hold of Jump Drive; it’s a technology that will remain out of BanzaiCorp’s reach within the span of this game.
Not that it was a big priority for me, but that permanent Move x4 would have been nice. I should hopefully have work-arounds for it though. I hope.
Replacing the four Offers cards (which isn’t a bad thing as none of them do anything for me), I draw:
- Intercept (Edge)
The Intercept Edge card means the Competition takes ANOTHER turn after this one. Great.
So now I need to discard this Edge card and draw four more. Let’s hope no more Edge cards appear.
- Antimatter Booster (Move x3 or Shielded Move x2)
- Genome Accelerator (Research 2 or Genetics 1)
- Stellar Foundry (Explore 3 or Build 4)
- Advanced Fusion Drive (Move 6 or Explore 2)
That’s a better crop of cards, but the problem is, my deck is nearing its end…
COMPETITION’S TURN (AGAIN)
Here’s hoping the Competition doesn’t have another big turn…
Oh, geez. I just drew A/SC* & All Offers. Ugh.
The ‘A/SC’ is the Star Children Adaptation card; that’s okay as I already drew the first one, with a profit, so this does nothing for the Competition.
Unfortunately, those nice cards I just drew for the Offers now all go bye-bye. I once again get to draw four more cards for the Offers, getting us that much closer to the end of the game.
- Nano Miners (Build 5 or Produce 2)
- Exo Investigators (Explore 3 or Revelations 1)
- Nano Miners (Build 5 or Produce 2)
- Nano Splicers (Build 5 or Genetics 1)
Yep, we’re fast approaching the end of the game and the score is a tight 50-49 with BanzaiCorp barely in the lead. Tune in for the next and likely final chapter in this SpaceCorp AAR! Thank you for reading.