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Subject: A decent game with newbie rss

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Doug Saxon
United States
Colorado Springs
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This is one of my favorite 2-player games, but I’m usually a little hesitant to introduce it to new players because it seems to be a game that requires a few plays before the newbie has any chance. At least that’s the way it was for me…the first couple of times I played this game I got pounded. But I knew my old friend whom I was introducing it to would pick it up quickly so I couldn't help but break it out.

And he did pick it up pretty quickly. He agreed to take the newbie handicap and we both decided to start with the Logistics Module. I usually start with the Sensor Module, but my wife has been winning lately starting with the Logistics, so I thought I would give that a shot. My old friend got off to a pretty quick start finding a “C” and a “T” quickly and he also beat me to the Logistics Upgrade. angry During my first several turns I found myself losing to Pirates which is always frustrating in the beginning. I eventually figured out how to avoid them and I began to catch up grabbing the much coveted “2 Rock colony” and “3 Wheat colony”. These seem to be the two best “C’s” in the starter galaxy decks.

Midway through the game I had caught up and we were pretty even. Remembering which decks had some of the good trade planets, I was able to have some extremely productive turns. We ended up splitting the six upgrades which always makes for a better game. In my experience, whoever gets the majority of the upgrades always wins in this game. I ended up getting the upgraded Sensor, Science, and Trade while my old friend had the upgraded Command, Logistics, and Production. I started pulling ahead shortly after this as I discovered a couple more “C’s” and also began to finally triumph over some pirates giving me the fame victory point. I don’t think that my opponent realized (or maybe I didn’t explain properly) how much more valuable C’s are over T’s as he had collected enough T’s to earn the trade victory point, but while his 3 T’s only earned him one point, my 3 C’s earned me 3 victory points. He did however use his T’s effectively on his building phase which I was surprised to see for a newbie. He also was managing his money effectively buying low and then selling high which also surprised me for a first-timer. It must have taken me 3 games before I caught on to doing this effectively.

I stayed slightly ahead, but he threatened a little bit toward the end earning enough fame points to take the fame victory point away from me. angry At this point, I think we were tied at 8. His momentum was lost, however, in a bloody battle with a "4" pirate which cost him one of his zappers. He spent a turn rebuilding that zapper and I eventually got the fame victory point back as I continued to take out pirates. I ended up getting the win by reaching Pallas with 2 science points earning me my 10th victory point. I won with 5 C’s, 3 upgrades, the fame victory point, and the Pallas victory point. My old friend had 7 points. He played well, but I think it’s always going to be tough to beat your opponent when he has both the two colonies (2 Rock and 3 Wheat) in the starter galaxies that I mentioned above. It would have been interesting to see how the game would have panned out if he defeated that "4" pirate though.

Like I said above, its tough playing this with someone for the first time, because I think the newbie is at a great disadvantage not knowing which cards are good and it also takes a couple of plays before you learn how to effectively manage your turn. My old friend did a lot better than I did on my first game. In that game I remember losing out on the upgrades 2 to 4 and eventually falling so far behind I wasn’t even having fun. This game, however, was quite close until the end.
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