A tough week this. My lunch group formed out of the time we all worked together until I got laid off, but we carried on playing together anyway, the rest of the guys still work together. Tom dropped out due to a clash, but then news came down about lay-offs at work - and Mike was among those let go. Rick opted to join the after work consolation instead - but Mike came over anyway. He wanted to play Race again.
We played cards only, with Gathering Storm. We all pulled military starting worlds. Mike with New Sparta dropped down Drop Ships first turn. J (Separatist Colony) had Mining Robots. My hand was all 1s - Space Mercs, a couple of military windfalls and Exploratory Force - all of which I played over the first couple of turns. J settled a brown windfall, Mike an Uplft windfall, but both had devs that allowed them to produce on a windfall (Mike had Genetic Lab as well). I built out quite quickly, steadily increasing my military with +1 here and there with Rebel Homeworld in my hand. I got my own Drop Ships and the homeworld soon followed. Mike built up more slowly, but had quite a range of production worlds, including a couple of alien worlds. He lacked a little in consume powers, though he had valuable worlds. J had a more balanced produce consume engine, adding Alien Toy Shop and later on Tourist World. She instigated a cycle of produce consume twice, while I pushed to get my 6-development into play (New Galactic Order). My card flow had been sufficient but not high, but I drew an alien windfall which gave me the cards to lay the final piece of my tableau. Mike was able to consumex2 on that last round, both leeched off my final turn develop with 2 point developments. And though I had scored well with NGO, it wasn't quite enough:
Me: 19 + 1VP + 10 (NGO) = 30
J: 15 + 14VP = 29
Mike: 24 + 7VP = 31
That puts Mike on a 2 game winning streak.
I really thought I had it just because I had the full tableau and only 6-dev, but it does make an argument for quality over quantity - Mike had the smallest tableau (9 cards). But at the end every point counts.