Michael Eckenfels, 26 August 2019
When we last let off, the Competition had pulled a LOT of “All Offers” cards, really making the end game approach quickly as my deck gets depleted faster than the Enterprise at Warp 10.
Now that the bad Trek reference is out of the way…last time the Competition took two turns in a row, but fortunately didn’t do much damage other than cleaning out Offers cards left and right. Now that it’s my/BanzaiCorp’s turn, I’m hoping to push my lead ahead just a little more.
With the end game fast approaching, I need to start focusing on earning a lot of Profit, and quickly.
The good thing is, thus far, the Competition has not built any Colonies, so I’m ahead in that matter. With my one Colony, that would score me a bonus 1 Profit at the end of the game, but I’m trying to make that number go up.
Looking at Wolf 1061, I have 4 Colony Points there.
That’s enough to build a Colony. I could spend 5 Profit and get another Colony Point, but that’s not the greatest choice right now with the score so close. But, one thing I almost overlooked was my HQ’s intrinsic Build value of 9. I could spend 8 Build points for another Colony Point, so why not? That gives me five Colony Points now, and a shot at a ‘better’ Colony.
And there’s a tough choice to be made, here. There’s two Colonies that cost 5 CPs each to build.
The Kim Colony would let me, at the end of the era (therefore, the game) claim any one unfulfilled Contract. And there’s a HUGE one sitting there that’s been unclaimed since the Mariners era…
That’s no less than NINE Profit! The others are pretty good too – 4 Profit for the biggest ones – but that 9 Profit could go a long way to getting me a big lead in the game.
The other Colony, though (Papadopoulos) is pretty sweet, too – I’d get 1 Profit for each star system WITHOUT a Colony in it.
I’d miscounted big time earlier in my AAR; I thought there were 13 star systems, but there’s actually 14 (not counting Sol of course; I’m talking about explorable/exploitable star systems). If I place Papadopoulos, and no other Colonies get placed, at the end of the game I’d score 12 Profit. There are, however, two star systems with Competition Bases that, if I draw a card, I think have potential to have a Colony placed. But even if both of them get Colonies, that’s still a big 10 Profit I could score at the end of the game.
I think Papadopoulos has a bigger upside, so I’m going with that. Say hello to the second colony that the human race has placed in the interstellar community!
A nice little immediate bonus is, since I placed a Colony, my first Colony, Smith, grants me 1 Profit for ol’ Papa. The score is now 51-49.
The Competition draws Lacaille 8760, where both them and BanzaiCorp have a team present. This means they place Discovery tiles, and have a claim on them. If I build a Base here now, they’ll get 2 Profit total (not per Base, but total).
That Alien Outpost gives the Competition 1 Profit immediately, making the score 51-50 (sounds like a familiar album, doesn’t it?). The Planetary System Discovery tile does nothing for them, though. Even though it’s not pictured here, as always, I’ve placed their team rocket (lol) on the tiles to indicate their claim.
Since Papadopoulos gives me such a huge reward for NOT placing Colonies now, that’s no longer my focus. Instead, I need to try to bring this game to a conclusion as quickly as possible. But, I hate to do that via some cheesy means, like doing a Research Action just to do it to pull more cards out of my deck.
Instead, I’m going to send my team on Wolf 1061 to the Orion Spur nearby. That’s a 120 Move Point cost, which I can easily spend (6 x 2 in my HQ for 12; playing a x3 card from my hand for 36; and then playing a x4 card from my hand for a total of 144, easily surmounting the 120 Move cost).
While that takes my team out of the game for good, that’s okay; it pays me an immediate 5 Profit for this ‘sacrifice,’ and as the game nears its conclusion, it’s not hampering me at all. That makes the score 56-50.
I draw Groombridge 34, where the Competition has a team present.
The issue with Groombridge 34 is, unlike other star systems that the Competition has drawn for previously, its Explore value is 4 (e4), which means it takes a different path.
First, they get a Primary Discovery tile.
This Abundant Life tile gives them an immediate 1 Profit, lucky them. But we’re not done yet…
They get to place a Base here, too. Fortunately, I draw a Refinery for them, which isn’t a match for this tile type, so they get no reward for that.
But what’s worse is, they also get to place a Colony.
The Colony I select has a mini-list of variables that I go through to figure out which one is placed. It’s a simple procedure, but what stinks is the Competition also gets Profit equal to the Colony Point cost of this one, which is four. So they get a total of 5 Profit for this turn, getting the score up. It’s now 56-55 with me barely in the lead.
That was unexpected, them placing a Colony. I’ve got to watch out when they place a team in an e4 system in future plays…
So what will BanzaiCorp do now? If you think I’m going to wait around and give the Competition a chance at building more Colonies, think again. Research Action time! And I have two cards in my hand, each of which are Research 2. That’s 4 Research points, plus the 2 in my HQ, and the permanent 1 I get from my Quantum Mechanics card. I get to draw seven cards.
As far as I can see, there is no hand limit for a solo player. If I’m wrong in this then I apologize, but I’m not seeing it in the rules. So here we go…I draw seven cards from the deck.
I won’t get into what each of them are. What’s more important to note here is, there’s only one card left in my deck.
Here’s me sitting here wondering if I’m going to draw an ‘Offers’ card for the Competition…
And lo and behold, I draw B/JD & All Offers with a world icon and an Edge icon. Before we start the end game, though, let’s take this card a step at a time.
The ‘B/JD’ means the Competition takes the Jump Drive Breakthrough card. This gives them 2 Profit immediately, and now they’re leading 57-56.
The All Offers means, of course, all Offer cards go away. None of them, fortunately, match either of the icons indicated on the card I drew, so they just get discarded.
So I draw that last card to place it on the Offers, and it’s a damn Competition Edge card.
I think there’s a misprint on the Solo Player Aid, as it lists ‘Competitors’ for the Solo Edge Effects Table, not ‘Competition.’ However, it’s clear that’s what it’s supposed to be. In this case, I lose 2 Profit. The score is now 57-54. Wonderful.
My deck is now depleted, though. This means I get to take one more turn without an intervening Competition turn.
BC’S TURN 1 of 2
This makes my path clear for these final turns. First, I move my team from Lacaille 8760 to the Orion Spur that’s in the ‘northeast’ corner of the board.
That pays me an immediate 5 Profit, edging my score up and making it 59-57 with me barely in the lead.
BC’S TURN 2 of 2
My final turn of the game. What to do?
If you say ‘make yet another move to the last Orion Spur,’ well, you’re right. Spending my last Move cards for a huge Move of 720 points (because why not, it’s the end of the game; I needed 170 and initially calculate 144, but playing a Move x5 on that one upped it to 720).
That pays me another 5 Profit, making the score now 64-57.
END OF GAME
Now that the Starfarers era has ended, I get to calculate my Profit from my Colonies. Since I have two, that gives me 4 Profit, upping my score to 68. The Competition does not get to score Profit in this manner.
My Papadopoulos colony pays me 11 Profit, upping my score to 79!
The final score is BanzaiCorp 79, Competition 57. I outscored them in the end by 22 Profit.
The Solo Rulebook states if I outscore the Competition by 11 or more Profit, I win and “dominate explored space.” Not a bad way to end a game, being the master of the galaxy, eh?
First, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Anyone who has written up an AAR, especially an epically long one, understands what a pain it is to take pictures, upload them, alter them/resize them appropriately, then label them so they can be referenced for upload later (in this case, by Brant here at Armchair Dragoons; thanks Brant for doing all this work and uploading all this stuff). It’s no simple chore, but it’s one I didn’t mind at all doing throughout this playthrough.
As I’ve played through this game, everything – and I mean, everything – was done as I wrote it. I didn’t make notes and write things up later; I did it all stream-of-consciousness, which I think came through in the narrative. Initially I’d envisioned writing more of a story-based AAR, making it more fictionalized, but knowing some of the folks that read this as I do, I figured you might appreciate more of a nuts-and-bolts approach to things. I did incorporate some narrative elements initially, but as the eras progressed this changed to more of a game description. I hope that wasn’t too jarring.
The game itself is a legend, in my opinion. It’s so easy to get into as a solo player, and there’s plenty of ‘meat on the bones’ for future plays
The game itself is a legend, in my opinion. It’s so easy to get into as a solo player, and there’s plenty of ‘meat on the bones’ for future plays. In fact, I greatly look forward to when I can just sit down and play through this without needing to take pictures and write a narrative, which I mean to say to indicate my level of excitement in playing this game, not as a knock against writing.
SpaceCorp 2025-2300 by GMT Games is a terrifically entertaining solo game, and I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be fun playing with a group of people. I intend to do just that this summer, I hope. There’s plenty of randomness in this game to make the solo mode challenging enough (you saw how the Competition hung in there with me throughout the game, score-wise, until the bitter end anyway); I can’t imagine when you get other humans around the table to play it to see just how much this game can shine.
Thank you for reading all the way through this campaign. Now, go out and get your own copy of SpaceCorp, if you haven’t already, and let us know what you think of it in the Armchair Dragoon forums!