Michael Eckenfels, 12 August 2019
To recap, in the last turn, the Competition placed one of their teams on Ross 780. They have nine teams deployed to the board right now, while I have four. Mankind as truly stretched to the stars, as of the 13 existing star systems in the Starfarers era (not counting Sol, which isn’t a playable area for building and whatnot), all but three are currently occupied by one or more teams.
This final era of the game still has a ways to go; of the three possible ways to end an era – the Competition deck being depleted, my deck being depleted, or six Contracts being fulfilled, my deck is the furthest along; it’s about half depleted at this point. The Competition’s deck is about a third depleted, and no Contracts have yet been claimed in this era. You’re looking at a few more chapters of this AAR – lucky you.
I’m spending my R&D Network card from my hand for its Explore 3 (which becomes 6 thanks to my Probe Network card), and explore Luhman 16, getting the jump on the Competition team there.
There’s only one Primary Site there, so I draw a Primary Discovery tile…
Nice, it’s a Habitable tile. That pays me an immediate 2 Profit, pushing me back into the lead for now (45-43). It also automatically advances my Genetics marker one space, which means it’s done a full rotation and now I get to pick an Adaptation Progress card!
I’m taking the Enviro Tolerance card, which pays 1 Profit and also gives me an automatic Colony Point towards future Colony builds. The score is now 46-43 with me stretching the lead a tad.
Not a bad turn – lots of stuff giving me a few steps forward. Now let’s see what the Competition does to mess all that up…
I draw A/SC* & All Offers. Ouch, I just had to ask…
Well, it’s not as bad as I was immediately thinking. The ‘A/SC’ means an Adaptation card, specifically Star Children. The asterisk means if the Competition took the first card, it takes this second one too (nasty move on its part). Fortunately I already picked up Star Children, so this really has no effect. As they didn’t take the first Star Children card, this one stays put.
The ‘All Offers’ part just hastens the game to a quicker end – that’s a lot of cards I need to replace, and that also means chances of drawing Edge cards.
I draw Quantum Leap (Research 2 or Revelation 1), Star Scanner (Explore 4, Infra), and Antimatter Lifter (Move x3 or Build 4).
And guess what? Yep, it wouldn’t be a complete turn if I didn’t draw a %&$@ Edge card. Sigh.
This Market Influence Edge card gives the Competition 2 Profit. The score is now 46-45.
I draw another card to replace that Edge, and guess what? Yep, it’s ANOTHER Edge card.
This Divert card means I need to discard all Produce Action cards from my hand. Fortunately I only have one – Survey Miner (Explore 3 or Produce 1). If I didn’t have any such cards, the Competition would get a Profit.
Okay, let’s draw another Offer card. This time I get Extruders, thankfully (Build 3 or Shielded Build 2, Infra). Weak. But better than another Edge card.
My eye is still on building some Bases in Epsilon Indi, which would cost me 24 Build points. I only have 16, and there’s only 7 more in the Offers for a total of 23. Surely I’d get a Build card from the deck, right?
I do a Research action to grab those two Build cards in the Offers, and draw one from the deck.
And it’s a Mega Structures card (Build 5)! Finally I draw what I’d been hoping to draw.
I draw Epsilon Eridani, where the Competition has a team and has discovered all the Discovery tiles in that star system.
This doesn’t bode well. In this case, the Competition places bases, so I draw three of them, one at a time, and if a match is made they’ll get the bonus for it.
Well, now. The Competition, for all their efforts, only nabs 2 Profit (the Bio Lab matches with the Life icon). The score is now 47-46, with the Competition in the lead.
And let’s not forget that the Competition, upon First Contact, decided to turn the aliens they met into a zoo of some kind. Nice work, guys.
You know what I’m doing…spending 24 Build points to finally put some Bases in Epsilon Indi. FINALLY!
I need to consider my best options here before building, and think I’ve found the best choices.
The Bio Lab, buildable on a Site with a Life icon, gives my Genetics marker a 1-space advance.
The Industrial Base, buildable on a Site with Water, will give me an extra Colony Point towards building a Colony. What’s nicer about this is, the Icy Asteroid tile has a ‘Colony 1’ designation, which is yet another Colony point, so there’s two right there.
The Research base, built in the Anomaly, lets me either advance my Revelations marker one space or grab any card from the Offers. There’s a rather nice FTL Prototype card in the Offer 4 spot (Move x5 or Explore 6), so I’m grabbing that one.
Funny, the replacement card is yet another FTL Prototype card.
Well, that extra FTL Prototype card isn’t making its way into my hand too, because for the Competition’s turn, I drew A/HY & All Offers. The ‘A/HY’ is the Hybrids Adaptation card, which gives the Competition 1 Profit; the score is now 48-46. That Hybrids card lets you build TWO Bases on one Primary tile, which is pretty nice if that tile supports both. It’s not a priority of mine right now, though.
I’m going to put a Colony down in the Epsilon Indi system. I have four Colony Points:
- 1 for my Enviro Tolerance Adaptation card
- 1 for the Industrial Base in the system
- 1 for the Icy Asteroids tile
- 1 for having 2 or more Bases in that star system
I’m not too hot on the name of the Colony (“Smith?”), but apparently, that’s the name of the person whom led the Colony when it was first founded, so who am I to judge?
This Colony grants me 1 Profit immediately. It also has an ongoing effect in that it will give me another Profit every time another Colony is placed, either by me or the Competition.
On top of that, I get to fulfill a Contract, which pays 3 Profit for the first Colony! That ups the score to 50-48, with BanzaiCorp back in the lead.
And with that, the first permanent human settlement with an eye towards building a new civilization (and not just an outpost or base), we’ll close this chapter of the AAR. Tune in next time to see what happens, because the author sure doesn’t! He’s writing all this by the seat of his pants, so please forgive any errors in play or rule interpretation. But feel free to sound off in the Armchair Dragoon forums to give us feedback, good or bad.