High Frontier, 3rd edition, in "awesome sandbox" mode
Karl Miller
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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I'm playing High Frontier, 3rd edition in "awesome sandbox" mode. I'm the only player, but I will play all 5 hands/positions independently. I find this solo-multiplayer approach is more fun than playing solitaire. YHFMV (Your High Frontier May Vary).

Rules
- Living Rules

- Modules:
Basic, Colonization, Support, Bernals, Colonists, Freighters, GW Thrusters, Endgame, Combat, ExoMigration/Exploration.

- Simulation Module rules in use: X1, X2, X3, X5, X7, X8

- Each hand plays using the CEO Solitaire rules (V4: D & E only).

Since this is a 4 WT start (and not 10 WTs as CEO Solitaire usually is), and Bernals do not start boosted, the first 10 VPs are due only at the start of the third cycle, with an additional 10 each cycle after that.

I will decide what to with a "losing" CEO if/when that happens.

- Visions of Future Glories v1.21

- Luna policy begins using "Moon Treaty" as per COLONIZATION SETUP.

The first time the Libertarian (Orange) faction is in power, the Luna policy will immediately be replaced by the "Lunar Treaty" from X1.

I may revert this if the Equality (Green) faction subsequently comes to power.

- The game will end 2 events after 30 achievements

- Hopefully, there will be one or more starshot exits, which I will turn into Interstellar games

Resources
- many useful HF3-related documents here on BGG

I figure various rules/strategy/etc questions will come up which might spark threads on the HF3 forums.
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Karl Miller
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SETUP

Starting date: 2027 (arbitrarily chosen)

Hands in alphabetical order by color, with fictional CEO: No resemblance to anyone living or dead, etc.

Anons (Green) Girl Fawkes [Equality faction]
SpaceX (Orange) Elan Mask [Libertarian faction]
B612 (Purple) Ed Liu [Centrist faction]
RosCosMos (Red) Igor Kamarav [Authoritarian faction]
ISRO (White) Karen Kumar [Family Values faction]
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Karl Miller
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2027:
Achievement Count: 0
Government: Centrist, market price is 4 WT. B612 can use the anti-trust operation.
Sunspots at 1 o'clock in the blue cycle.
Exploitation Tracks all on 0.

Each player has 4 WTs, 0 VPs, and 2 cards in hand: Crew and Bernal.
All faction privileges are deactivated.

Top cards of each deck are:
COLONISTS (15) Siren Cybernautics Inc
FREIGHTERS (7) Fission-heated Steam
GENERATORS (16) H2-O2 Fuel Cell
GW THRUSTERS (7) Amat-catalyzed Fission-fusion
RADIATORS (12) Bubble Membrane
REACTORS (11) Fast-Neutron Fission
REFINERIES (10) Fluidized-Bed
ROBONAUTS (12) Tungsten Resistojet
THRUSTERS (10) Cermet NERVA

Tactical notes: The baseline of 2WT income per year will enable Bernals to be boosted in 2030, or perhaps 2031 with crew.

Anons go first....

Girl Fawkes assesses her options.
(i) Income for 2 WT.
(ii) Research cards for selling and generating income.
(iii) Research cards for immediate use - with VPs in mind.
(iv) Research cards for potential use.

Option (i) can work either as a direct path to boosting the Bernal, or to give her more cash to bid in auctions on other people's turns.

It would be a safe bet to choose option (ii) and research the Fluidized Bed refinery (V) with the H2-O2 Fuel Cell generator (C) intending to auction/sell them for WTs.

She doesn't really want to pay more than 2 WTs for these cards. If she spends 2 WTs and sells the cards, she will be ahead of the income curve. If another faction pays her 3 WTs or more for the cards, she will be ahead of the income curve. If they pay 2 WTs (or less), she will be on (or behind) the income curve, but worse off because the other faction will have the cards and the corresponding options.

Attempting option (iii) means using either (a) Robonaut (M) + Reactor (V); or (b) Thruster (S) + Reactor (V). With her crew included, both would be operational stacks without requiring additional cards.

With stack (a) she could try for an M factory on Hertha. However stack (b) with ISRU 4 and 4 fuel consumption doesn't reaslly suggest any viable options. So stack (b) is ruled out for option (iii).

Hertha is a 3M body. If we go via the refuelling stop at Deimos we only need to budget 2 burns from LEO. So 2 WT to boost, and 8 WT for fuel. So we have to save up for 10WT, same as for boosting the Bernal.

Considering option (iv), the Cermet NERVA is an excellent thruster in combination with the D-T Fusion Tokomak reactor which halves fuel consumption. However with our hand size so restricted, and 10 more cards in the REACTORS deck, this very specific sort of stockpiling is both restrictive, probably lengthy, and definitely risks the other factions preventing the Anons from getting the Tokomak.

Girl Fawkes decides to go for the safe bet. The Anons research the Fluidized Bed refinery (V) with the H2-O2 Fuel Cell generator (C), and then initiate the auction by bidding 0 WTs.

The revealed cards are
REFINERIES (9): Electroforming
GENERATORS (15): Ericsson Engine

Bidding:
General note: No one will go over 3WT unless they have a specific use for these two cards. Bidding 3WT and selling the cards over the next two turns puts you at -3+4+4 = 5 WT, or 1 WT better than income. Additionally there's the lost opportunity to consider, of not being able to bid over that time.

Over at SpaceX HQ, Elan Mask figures bidding 1 WT for 2 cards can't be bad - and goes ahead and bids. His opportunity cost is maximally 6 auctions.

B612 leader Ed Liu considers 2WT an ok price. He bids as well. B612's opportunity cost is maximally 7 auctions. But the auctions are worth less to Ed, because B612 have the anti-trust operation available.

RosCosmos CEO Igor Kamarav thinks the opportunity cost (missing 8 auctions) is too high. He passes.

ISRO chief Karen Kumar also passes.

Girl Fawkes can bid 2 WT and choose herself to win the tie, or let Ed Liu have the cards. Since B612 has the anti-trust operation, limiting the auctions available to them rather than the Anons seems like a great idea. So she gives the patents to B612 and Anon pockets the 2 WTs.
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