Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

High Frontier Colonization» Forums » General

Subject: Endgame Module rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
Wherever You Go, There You Are
badge
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliway's—the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?"

...or finish a game of High Frontier with the Endgame module?

Musings and ruminations after two games of Colonization, one 5-player and one 2-player with all of the modules. Both ended about 36 to 48 turns in without a future achievement. Some of the players had a possible future underway, but actually getting one done would have been quite some time away (maybe double the number of turns?).

I'm not quite sure the Endgame module works as a competitive game. I'm sure it works as an epic experience, but I suspect that many games will not end in a reasonable amount of time without players helping each other (or at least not obstructing each other much). IMHO, the VP for a Future is not all that much higher than doing the normal legacy stuff (especially if you aren’t the first or second player to do so), while being substantially (big understatement) harder. You just need to do it or the game won't end. Essentially, I think all of the players need to agree to pursue Futures, rather than scooping up space ventures and other VPs, and agree not to block each other.

So, you end up with two very different games here, depending on whether or not you use the endgame module.

Playing without the endgame, but all other modules

- Substantially faster game than Legacy (2WT income, more free market income, more actions from colonists, and faster/more capable rockets due to more black cards). This assumes that Analysis Paralysis doesn’t set in due to the increased number of options.

- Promotion of freighters, colonists, and GW thrusters is unlikely; by the time you get it done, the game will almost be over and promoted cards by themselves are not worth VP.

- Bernals should get promoted, but moving them becomes somewhat unlikely; again by the time you get it moved to become a lab, or just to get dirtsides for more colonists, the game will be ending and moving it is not directly worth VP. Plus, you lose your faction privilege when you start to move it, which is a big hit in short game (assuming you don't have 10WT just sitting around for an ersatz Bernal).

- Colonists are important, but I suspect many of the cards are not all that valuable without the endgame module in play. Since you aren't moving your Bernal, each player will likely only have one at a time, with a robot here and there. If you can only have one, some are of questionable value.

- GW thrusters will have a minor role. given the speed of the game, a good black MW thruster is probably faster for what you are trying to do, since it can refuel much faster and you aren't trying to get to the limits of the map.

As I understand setting up for a Future

#1 - Build a working rocket, with all the difficulty that entails from Legacy, but also having a location in mind where you can turn many of your cards black, rather than the one you could have in Legacy, recognizing that this site also needs to work with whatever future cards you may get that you don't have yet.

#2 - Get a first colonist (maybe this is step #1). The colonist you get could very well determine how successful you will be since some are very effective with certain future strategies (some are futures themselves).

#3 - Rebuild your rocket after industrialization and ET production by a combination of the new freighter rules and digital swaps. This is faster than Legacy turn-wise, but also more AP-inducing.

#4 - Get your Bernal promoted so your stuff stops blowing up (maybe this is ahead of step #3). You will need a generator that isn't solar powered so you can move it later. This means it will need radiators, and these will get melted by solar flares. If you don’t have double generator cards (old expansion), I could see the generator supply becoming critical in a 5-player game.

#5 - Now, you need a lab spot to start getting things promoted. There are a few easy ones, if you intend to move your Bernal there, but otherwise it becomes pretty hard (TNO's at the edge of the map).

#6 - You might need a GW thruster at this point. Getting this fueled and ready probably needs a reconfiguration of the support cards you have used so far.

#7 - Move the Bernal to the lab. This is somewhat harder than normal Legacy rocket missions due to the sheer mass of the thing, and how far you might be going. Keep in mind you lose your faction powers while you do it, unless you can get that ersatz Bernal lifted.

#7 - Ok, you got the lab, now get the cards you want promoted there (and this might be the edge of the map).

#8 - Ok, got promoted cards, go do the next-to-impossible Future thing that just might fail if you roll a "1".

Whew, got exhausted just thinking about it. Throw in random events, unavailability of cards you need, and other players messing with you and 6 hours of playtime seem a bit optimistic, especially if you are talking about a 5 player game. Say 6-8 cycles, or 72 to 96 rounds. If everyone takes their turns in 2 minutes (pretty optimistic), 8.4 hours for three player, 14 hours for five player.

It’s too bad there isn’t something between the Legacy victory conditions, and the hard-core Endgame module. I would think a cycle limit, along with partial credit VP for moving Bernals and promoting cards…

Some thoughts on the futures themselves

Freighter Futures

Planet Hunt: The most straightforward; just put a factor on the edge of the map. I could see pulling this off with TW thruster, but how long would it take?

Beehive Ark: Industrialize a "D", not too bad but some luck on prospecting required. Emancipate the robots? All you have to do is get in power AND make sure people are promoting cards. I suspect the other players will have something to say about you getting in power with this card promoted.

Spacefaring: With latest ruling on the ersatz Bernal not giving you an additional colonist, I don't see this one happening - three factories on the edge of the solar system AND get your Bernal there AND recruit 5 colonists? Compare this to the Plant Hunt effort.

Antimatter Creation: Possible, but you lose if you roll a “1”.

Climate Mirror Terraform: Possible, but you lose if you roll a “1”.

Star Wisp: Two freighters at edge of the system, a TNO factory AND a push factory. Er, how many days have we been playing?

Colonist Futures

Revolutionary: Possible, but you lose if you roll a “1”.

Pan-Sapiens: You need to succeed on two epic hazards AND the other players need to cooperate by having colonists loyal to you AND letting you get in the same location. Not on my watch!

New Venus: Possible, although getting a successful claim on a comet will require a good selection of cards and/or a lot of luck.

Uplift: Emancipate the robots and don’t roll a “1”. Just guessing you will have a hard time letting the other players get you in power.

Von Neumann: see Uplift.

Supreme Cult Leader: Getting the six votes will be pretty tough if the other players are paying attention. They can jointly out-bid you when you go for the last few votes and/or decommission the cards they have that support you.

Footfall: Similar to New Venus, so possible, but thematically the most problematic. A game of hope about mankind’s future won by killing several billion people.

Terrawatt Futures

Mini-Black Hole: The trick here is getting one of the those size 1 S sites. There aren’t very many of them, and they are difficult to claim without the right cards (-3 S site black ET refinery and a ISRU1 buggy robonaut). It would be very easy for someone to bust these ahead of you to block it AND don’t roll a “1”.

Protium Fusion: 4 promoted cards all at one site is not too tricky, but it would take a lot of time AND don’t roll a “1”.

Lithiated Ammonia Starship: This seems reasonable.

Enzmann Starship: Also reasonable.

Mass Beam: Yeah, right. Industrialize Mercury, Venus, and Io. The other players might just do something when they see you have the first two, and I really don’t see the same rocket working all that well in these three different locations. Venus in particular is a pain (ISRU zero).

Daedalus: Saturn and Uranus aerostat; probably easier than the Mass Beam, but not by much.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Would an increase in VPs for the futures help?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Colmenares
Canada
Woodbridge
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hmm... maybe some of these futures should be worth a little more... Also # of players probably will influence how successful some futures can be.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
colmenarez wrote:
Hmm... maybe some of these futures should be worth a little more... Also # of players probably will influence how successful some futures can be.


IMO, High Frontier should never be played with more than three players. Tio much downtime. But that's not the topic here...
3 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dom Rougier
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All of my two player games of Colonisation with the Futures module have taken two and a half hours, consistently.

This is about 48 turns, which compares to around 2 hours and 36 turns for a Legacy game with the same opponent. The five player game would be longer, naturally.

It's clearly a longer game, but it's not exactly difficult to achieve most of the Futures - I've industrialised Sedna in that time.

One of the points to consider is that now you can perform Activism and Anti-trust, it's entirely possible to shift the politics to War and prevent monopolies developing, so it shouldn't be possible for someone to claim all the Generators without a fight.

To give you an idea of the progress for the last game:

1. Boost Malcolm, use him to generate cash.
2. Promote Bernal to keep him safe. This was with a solar powered generator.
3. Build a white rocket (NERVA) which industrialises Lutetia (3M)
4. Produce my M generator (so it's now e and I power). Research and build M GW thruster. This gives me my M frieghter, and helps decide what Future I'm aiming for.
5. Fuel GW thruster and fly back to pick up refinery, then out to industrialise Callisto (perhaps refuelling on Lutetia, I forget).
6. Fly back to Lutetia, refuel.
7. Fly to Bernal. Attach GW thruster to Bernal, fly Bernal out to Callisto (Bernal generator is now nuclear powered, as I don't need my NERVA reactor any more.). Create first lab. Rebuild refinery as black card - can now build thruster, refinery and robonaut in space.
8. Promote TW thruster and Freighter. Send TW thruster to Lutetia to refuel, then use Jupiter flyby to sling me towards Sedna.

It was something like 5 turns to Sedna, I think? I could be wrong, but the thruster uses no fuel and has plenty of thrust to burn at those pivots. I was the PRC, so the free pivot was very handy (and was part of the reason why I chose that Future).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calavera Despierta
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
As an aside to the discussion, maybe it's worth considering that play-by-forum playtests or online turn-based playtests are not the best way to playtest a game given that the problems being revealed here cannot be revealed in online play.

The Futures are the most interesting part of the expansion for me. I am so interested in seeing them come into play that I am tempted to come up with a variant Futures-only VP endgame condition. Since game-length will apparently be an issue, I suppose there is always the fast start-up rules to speed up the early game...

Quote:
Footfall: Similar to New Venus, so possible, but thematically the most problematic. A game of hope about mankind’s future won by killing several billion people.


Yup. This is the one I am going for first, winning be damned.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the two games I've played, I made promoting the Bernal the first priority, before building a rocket. Getting a Colonist in it was second. Building a rocket was third.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
taragalinas wrote:
colmenarez wrote:
Hmm... maybe some of these futures should be worth a little more... Also # of players probably will influence how successful some futures can be.


IMO, High Frontier should never be played with more than three players. Tio much downtime. But that's not the topic here...


I would agree with a caveat: five knowledgable and decisive players could probably play fairly quickly, since they would use the downtime to work out their options informed by game experience.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BradyLS wrote:
five knowledgable and decisive players



The law of boardgaming physics prevent five such people from ever sitting down together. There's always going to be THAT ONE GUY...
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dom Rougier
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, a few notes in particular, since I'm really having trouble understanding some of what you're saying here - a lot of it just doesn't seem to match any of my experience with this.


Gryfon wrote:
Whew, got exhausted just thinking about it. Throw in random events, unavailability of cards you need, and other players messing with you and 6 hours of playtime seem a bit optimistic, especially if you are talking about a 5 player game. Say 6-8 cycles, or 72 to 96 rounds. If everyone takes their turns in 2 minutes (pretty optimistic), 8.4 hours for three player, 14 hours for five player.


Most of our turns are not two minutes, or anything like it. Most of them are finished in seconds - High Frontier is fairly fast-paced. There are bouts of analysis and thinking time, and some rocket moves take longer, but most of them beyond the initial turns aren't anything like two minutes. ("Income for Two, Free Market this generator" could well be the turn). Equally, time doesn't add linearly with more people - unless you're completely ignoring the board when it's not your turn.

You don't lose by rolling a "1" on hazardous operations? You lose the stack, you gain 3VP and the future is considered scored (which may end the game).

Gryfon wrote:
Mass Beam: Yeah, right. Industrialize Mercury, Venus, and Io. The other players might just do something when they see you have the first two, and I really don’t see the same rocket working all that well in these three different locations. Venus in particular is a pain (ISRU zero).


There will be competition for it, of course, but there are many good ISRU 0 cards (you'll have more than one factory at this point, so have access to most of them), and the GW/TW thruster module has plenty of good options for getting to Mercury and Venus. I've considered doing this in a game, and I aborted the attempt because I miscalculated by a step of fuel - I could have made it, since I'd already grabbed Io.

Gryfon wrote:
Beehive Ark: Industrialize a "D", not too bad but some luck on prospecting required. Emancipate the robots? All you have to do is get in power AND make sure people are promoting cards. I suspect the other players will have something to say about you getting in power with this card promoted.
? You need to roll equal or under the number of promoted cards. Everyone will have promoted Bernals - so that's 2-5 at base. You'll have a lab, so you can easily make that 4-7 at minimum? With GW thruster and Freighter?

Getting in power is an awful lot easier with the Activism operation now. It's not certain, but then if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

***

The futures I actually think are the hardest are the Footfall/New Venus ones. 12 turns is a lot at that stage of the game, so you'd really want to trigger it at turn 36 or so. That's very early to grab a future.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Schmidt
msg tools
mb
Gryfon wrote:
Pan-Sapiens: You need to succeed on two epic hazards AND the other players need to cooperate by having colonists loyal to you AND letting you get in the same location. Not on my watch!


I just want to point out that the Hostile Recruit of the Group Mind Immortalists doesn't care about faction loyality.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
Wherever You Go, There You Are
badge
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The two player game is a very different beast than any other variant. The more players you have, the more someone can block what you want to do, esp. considering loans to other players. The concept of getting the specific card you want also goes out the door; oh, Malcolm is a great card - try outbidding 4 other people for it. This is especially true about getting into power; 2 player, you just need more money than one person.

The only time I've seen Legacy HF finish in ~2.5 hours was with 3 people that had 10+ complete plays under their belt. If you are really getting turns done in seconds consistently, rather than minutes, I don't think you are really messing with each other very much. More like speed-solitaire.

Multi-player, there are multiple auctions that go on for several minutes due to wheeling-and-dealing.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
Wherever You Go, There You Are
badge
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...and I'd say spending a ton of turns setting up a Future that implodes for 3VP, when even the worst ET factory is worth 8VP, is losing. Again, maybe not two player, but certainly with more.

The last several games I played of Legacy all came down to people winning within a turn or two of each other, no way to recover from a major malfunction.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
Wherever You Go, There You Are
badge
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...and I don't want to be all negative. I would probably rate this expansion a "9", and I bought the full poster canvas map to get the full experience, so no hating going on here.

I just think the VP scaling for the Futures is a bit weak (relative to Legacy VP, and relative to each other - they are not all equal difficulty), and you need a more consistent way to get the game to end with alot of players in a reasonable amount of time.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dom Rougier
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gryfon wrote:
The two player game is a very different beast than any other variant.


Quite right - and I've played more two player than anything else, fair enough.

Gryfon wrote:
The only time I've seen Legacy HF finish in ~2.5 hours was with 3 people that had 10+ complete plays under their belt.


10+ and all the rest - I have no idea how many games of High Frontier we've played together, but it's a lot more than 10.

Gryfon wrote:
If you are really getting turns done in seconds consistently, rather than minutes, I don't think you are really messing with each other very much. More like speed-solitaire.


Most turns - not taking a mean. The majority of turns are building to some long-term goal, with the longest turns being auctions or the moments when everything goes horribly wrong and you need to re-adjust.

Gryfon wrote:
...and I'd say spending a ton of turns setting up a Future that implodes for 3VP, when even the worst ET factory is worth 8VP, is losing. Again, maybe not two player, but certainly with more.

The last several games I played of Legacy all came down to people winning within a turn or two of each other, no way to recover from a major malfunction.


Most of our legacy games have come down to a turn or two either way - with the Futures module you should have a rough parity in other points, one way or another (equal factories and the like), so 3 Vp can be enough to put you over the edge. Hell, I've seen enough legacy games decided by Glory.

Gryfon wrote:
I just think the VP scaling for the Futures is a bit weak (relative to Legacy VP, and relative to each other - they are not all equal difficulty), and you need a more consistent way to get the game to end with alot of players in a reasonable amount of time.


Now, this is true. The Futures aren't equal, but as with the patent cards, I'm not sure this is a bad thing in a simulation.

As for "a consistent way to end the game with a lot of players", this is true - the Futures Module will certainly make the game longer, and less consistent, especially with more.

What I would recommend is the way the endgame used to work in playtesting - which was to increase the number of factories required to end the game. That way you're still playing with all the same toys, but you can end the game more reliably.

I do really like what the Futures do for the game, both in terms of emergent narrative and for the non-hidden "hidden roles"-like game mechanic they introduce - they open up a huge number of paths to victory, a lot more variety in the game.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Marlett
United States
Plymouth
Michigan
flag msg tools
Wherever You Go, There You Are
badge
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like the idea for more factories to end the game.

I also really like the concept behind the Futures and the Promoted cards. Maybe I need some more practice to get more efficient at getting to them. It really takes a mindset different from Legacy; you need to switch gears more often and get multiple rockets to work in the same game.

I think we need some strategy articles!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Williams
United States
Gahanna
43230
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Strategies I've used in most Colonization Games (at least in theory... practices doesn't always work out.)

1. Boost Generator, then promote bernal.
2. Boost a colonist, to increase my actions per turn.
3. Get a working rocket and go prospect/glory/industrialize.
4. Get matching cards of site type. (typically a D/M/S/V since they have GW thrusters available for those spectral types.)
5. Build a better rocket to either move bernal to get more hydration, or industrialize more sites for freighters/GW thrusters.
6. Get a lab and find accommodating futures I can accomplish.
7. Promote things and win! (Winning I only do occasionally.)
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gryfon wrote:
The more players you have, the more someone can block what you want to do


When we play HF (about six games thus far) everyone is just happy to survive a single mission. People barely manage to fly their spaceships straight, so the thought of blocking/messing with other players have never even crossed our minds.

There's plenty of room in the solar system. If I manage to not only land somewhere, but erect a factory there and build stuff, then I feel like a winner no matter what the scoreboard says.

To be honest, I've never even left the original map - and by original I mean the Sun to Ceres map. The Legacy and Colonization map parts have mostly been decorative thus far. Well actually I aimed for Saturn once, but I crashed on the way there, so it doesn't count.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.