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Subject: Demo Game Slideshow rss

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Joe Fatula
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I've uploaded a little slideshow of a simple demo game. It's smaller than the regular game, and the graphics aren't all finished, but it shows, step by step, what you actually do in the game.
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Walker McIntyre
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This is great to show how the game plays. Thanks for making this!
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Mike Clarke
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Great video and the cards all look nice too. I love the way they fit together to create the solar system.

Having looked at the play-through I do have some questions about the paths to victory in a competitive game.

Everyone starts with the same cash, and I think the same available Missions. So assuming people don't make miscalculations with the number of rockets they need, will the game boil down to more than whose random outcome cards fail?

I realize there is a push-your-luck element there that can also be exploited when pressed, but I'm wondering what other decision points there are to separate the players in a competitive game?

Many of the differences that will put players ahead or behind seem to be predicated on the outcome cards.

Would the other significant differential be in how you order your missions for maximum efficiency? Is there anything else?

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Bill H
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Thanks for posting that!

I have a few questions:

1. Why pay to remove a success card, when leaving it there would provide an increased chance of success (when there were 2 cards remaining)? If a failure were subsequently drawn and eliminated, it would be left with a guaranteed success the same as happens once the success cards are gone.

2. Why does eliminating a success cost $10 while eliminating a failure only costs $5? I understand that eliminating a failure is analyzing and correcting the source of the fault, but what does eliminating a success represent and why is it so much more expensive?

3. If boosters can be tested simply by drawing a success card, why in 1960 risk the probe by launching it with a Soyuz instead of simply testing the booster?

4. As this is a solitaire game, what time pressure are you under? In other words, why not simply test and retest each technology until it's guaranteed to succeed, then do all your missions? I presume there's some motivation to take risks?
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M. Frieg
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the same questions from mike and bill came to my mind.

Specially the 1. from bill with why remove success and not leave it and safe the cash for buying another rocket or so?

And as Mike asked: Is there only the luck element of the card drawing that determines a winner?

Are there the same advancements for everybody or are they all limited and first come first get?
 
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Joe Fatula
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mikecl wrote:
...assuming people don't make miscalculations with the number of rockets they need, will the game boil down to more than whose random outcome cards fail?


If everyone decides to attempt the same missions in the same order, and everyone decides to use the same strategies to reach those missions, and no one collaborates in an asymmetric way, then who wins will be decided randomly -- by outcome cards and by turn order.

In practice, none of these strategic choices are obvious.

For example, let's say Mars Sample Return (worth 16 points) and Man on Mars (worth 24) are both on the table. Should you do both with a single mission? Should you send an unmanned probe to collect a sample as early as possible with no way to get back, then send its return rocket later? Should you complete these two missions independently? There's no one obvious answer -- it's going to depend on what the other players are doing, and on what else you're doing in the game.

Let's say you're trying to put a man on the Moon. There are several different ways to try this, none of which are obviously best. You could go directly to the Moon and come directly back -- this spacecraft will be heavy, but the mission is simple. You could leave the heavier reentry capsule in Earth Orbit, then send a lunar craft to the Moon and back -- this reduces weight, but requires a rendezvous to complete the mission. You could leave the return craft in Lunar Orbit while you go down to the Moon -- this can reduce weight even further, but if there's a problem in Lunar Orbit, it's harder to get a rescue mission there. You could even do a rendezvous in both Earth Orbit and Lunar Orbit -- if you're that confident in your rendezvous ability.

Anyhow, that's a bit of how two different players might approach the same problem differently.
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Joe Fatula
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Shijuro wrote:
Why pay to remove a success card?

If you have an advancement with no outcome cards on it, success is guaranteed. Let's say you're sending a manned craft all the way to Venus, with a very tight margin for success and no rescue mission possible. You know you'll have to fire a rocket to lift off from Venus to get home.

Which would you rather have for that rocket: three outcomes that you think are probably all successes; or no outcomes at all, guaranteeing success?

Shijuro wrote:
Why does eliminating a success cost $10 while eliminating a failure only costs $5?

It's easy to improve a design once you've found a flaw. It's much harder to improve a design when you haven't found anything wrong with it.

Let's say you're painting a portrait of someone. If you realize the person has green eyes, yet you've painted them as blue, you know what's wrong and how to fix it. If someone comes over and says, "Just make it all look better," it's hard to know where to start.

Shijuro wrote:
If boosters can be tested simply by drawing a success card, why in 1960 risk the probe by launching it with a Soyuz instead of simply testing the booster?

(For anyone else reading along: in the demo game, in 1960, the player launched a Soyuz rocket and a probe. The rocket exploded, destroying the probe as well. This failure was the final outcome card on their Soyuz advancement.)

Which would you rather risk, a $2 probe, or having to buy another $8 rocket in the unlikely event that the first rocket fails?

If you launch the probe on the first Soyuz rocket of 1960, you're guaranteed to test Soyuz and you have a 5/6 chance of testing Landing, all for the cost of a single Soyuz rocket.

If you don't launch the probe on the first rocket, you're guaranteed to test Soyuz, but then you still have to buy/use rockets to launch the probe in order to test Landing. And since the only fully-developed rocket type you'll have will be Soyuz, you'll either use a Soyuz rocket or be faced with the same choice all over again with Atlas or Juno.

Shijuro wrote:
As this is a solitaire game, what time pressure are you under? In other words, why not simply test and retest each technology until it's guaranteed to succeed, then do all your missions? I presume there's some motivation to take risks?


There's only one time pressure in a solitaire game: finishing by the end of 1976, the end of the game's calendar.

A real game of Leaving Earth uses more than two missions: anywhere from five to eight, depending on the difficulty. I find it quite hard to complete all the missions in a solitaire game of hard or very hard difficulty.
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Joe Fatula
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Mottchen wrote:
Are there the same advancements for everybody or are they all limited and first come first get?


The same advancements are available for everyone.
 
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david fillis
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The slideshow is terrific, the game looks to be fantastic.

Will be buying this game, live in the UK, so just waiting to see what happens re shipping.
 
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M. Frieg
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buffalohat wrote:
Shijuro wrote:
Why pay to remove a success card?

If you have an advancement with no outcome cards on it, success is guaranteed. Let's say you're sending a manned craft all the way to Venus, with a very tight margin for success and no rescue mission possible. You know you'll have to fire a rocket to lift off from Venus to get home.

Which would you rather have for that rocket: three outcomes that you think are probably all successes; or no outcomes at all, guaranteeing success?


Hey Joe,

i am sorry, but this does not answer my question. Or i am still missing some information that you have. :-)

There are always 3 outcome cards on an advancement, right? Are those always small failure, failure and success? OR totally random and can be 3 successes or failores too?

When i was unlucky and drew 2 failures first and paid to remove them ($10 overall), why the heck should i pay $10 for the success to remove, as it is the only one left.

What happens if i draw an failure/success outcome and don't pay. Is the card put back and the stack gets reshuffled or is the card just going to the bottom of the pile?
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Joe Fatula
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Now I think I understand where the misunderstanding is. I'll try to explain.

Here's how you buy an advancement:
- Pay $10 to the bank.
- Take the advancement card and set it in front of you.
- Check the advancement card to see how many outcomes it starts with (usually 3).
- Draw that many outcomes from the outcome deck and place them face down on the advancement card without looking at them. They could be any mix of successes, minor failures, and major failures.

Here's what happens when you use an advancement's ability:
- Draw a random outcome card from on top of the advancement card.
- Show it to everyone to see what happens.
- The result happens (rocket produces thrust, a component is damaged, the spacecraft explodes, etc.).
- Decide if you want to remove the outcome or put it back:
-- If you decide to remove it, pay some money to the bank ($5 for a failure or $10 for a success), then put the outcome card on the outcome discard pile.
-- If you decide not to remove it, shuffle it back in with the other outcome cards on the advancement you drew it from.

Does that help?
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Joe Fatula
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david fillis wrote:
Will be buying this game, live in the UK, so just waiting to see what happens re shipping.


Hopefully we'll find a reshipping partner in the EU to bring down the shipping cost. If we don't, it'll at least be available to be shipped directly from the manufacturer in the US -- the shipping cost that way would be high, but at least it'd be available.
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M. Frieg
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OK most stuff makes sense now. Thanks. But I still don't get it, why i should ever pay 10 bucks to remove a success. It is a good thing to have?
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Because you don't know what the others are.
if your next mission is also a succes is the succes card the same or another?
If there's only one card left and it's a succes I don't see why you should remove it either but if it's the first...
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Josh Zscheile
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Exactly. If the first of three cards is a success, do you remove it to slim the outcome deck, eventually having no cards left, guaranteeing success? Or do you save your money, shuffle it back and hope for the best in a critical situation?

I think, if the last card is a success, you should be allowed to remove it without paying...
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Justin Gortner
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What happens if a rocket has a minor failure mid-flight, say, on the way to Venus?
 
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Jack Bennett
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Mottchen wrote:
OK most stuff makes sense now. Thanks. But I still don't get it, why i should ever pay 10 bucks to remove a success. It is a good thing to have?


Say you've got two cards left. You test your rocket and flip up a success. You don't pay to remove it; it gets shuffled back in with the other card. Then next turn you test it again, you flip up another success. Great! You don't pay to remove it; again it's put back.

Then, feeling confident, you launch your game-winning mission. It comes time to fire your rocket. But it turns out that on both your previous tests you'd flipped up the same success card, and the OTHER card was a failure. And of course, your luck, that failure card flips up while you're trying to complete the mission, blowing it to pieces.

Now instead, let's say on your first test you paid to remove that success. Now you've only got 1 card left, so you are guaranteed to see it on your next test (where as before you might have just seen the same success again). On your second test you flip up that failure. Now you can pay to remove that, too. By removing the success, you made it possible to guarantee that you'd find that last failure.

Now, if you only have one card left and it's a success, I don't see any reason to pay for that. Just leave it there.

Which brings me to my question:

What happens to these outcome cards that you pay to get rid of, specifically in multiplayer? Are they shuffled back in to the deck, or discarded? If you're a card-counter, can you game the system by trying to figure out how may failures are left in the deck? Could you buy every advancement and keep testing and fixing failures (but not successes) to raise the proportion of failures for the other players? Seems thematically odd, but also maybe unavoidable and ultimately not that big a deal.
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Mike Hoyt

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It does seem like there is no reason to pay to remove the last outcome card if you know it's a success, you could just keep drawing it every time you use that technology.

If it's important in the game balance that people have to pay to remove 3 outcomes before getting a guaranteed success, you could complicate the game a bit by adding a die roll to the outcome cards.

Say, use a D10. Roll after you draw the outcome card to see what really happens
On a Success Card 90% it is a Success, 10% a minor failure
On a Minor Failure Card 10% Major Failure, 60% Minor Failure, 30% Success
On a Major Failure Card 70% Major Failure, 30% Minor Failure

Now you have an incentive to pay to get any and all cards out of your hand. But you've added an extra step (and component cost) and randomness, all of which may be a bad idea.

An alternative would be to say that once you've exposed the last outcome card and know what it is, if you don't pay to get rid of it than a new card is added to the deck and you're back to only knowing that 50% of the cards are a guaranteed success. Has the advantage of no new components or steps needed, but it does seem like in that case you'd almost never do anything except pay off the 3rd card
 
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Mike Clarke
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buffalohat wrote:
mikecl wrote:
...assuming people don't make miscalculations with the number of rockets they need, will the game boil down to more than whose random outcome cards fail?


If everyone decides to attempt the same missions in the same order, and everyone decides to use the same strategies to reach those missions, and no one collaborates in an asymmetric way, then who wins will be decided randomly -- by outcome cards and by turn order.

In practice, none of these strategic choices are obvious.


In what way do the players collaborate? By selling each other rockets they've purchased or by allowing a player to use a rocket in orbit for a fee? Are these opportunities diminished in a two-player game?


buffalohat wrote:


For example, let's say Mars Sample Return (worth 16 points) and Man on Mars (worth 24) are both on the table. Should you do both with a single mission? Should you send an unmanned probe to collect a sample as early as possible with no way to get back, then send its return rocket later? Should you complete these two missions independently? There's no one obvious answer -- it's going to depend on what the other players are doing, and on what else you're doing in the game.


Is there not an optimum decision among these choices? For instance would sending one mission to Mars in the first instance to accomplish both Mission not always be faster than breaking it up into smaller Missions? Perhaps that depends on which advancements are working best for you?

Sorry to pepper you with so many questions. This stuff would be clearer if the rulebook were available. I went ahead and ordered it yesterday anyway.

I'm enough of a space buff to know that I'm going to want to play around with this regardless. And I can see room for expansions to add further layers too. Thanks for your patience Joe!

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mikecl wrote:
Is there not an optimum decision among these choices? For instance would sending one mission to Mars in the first instance to accomplish both Mission not always be faster than breaking it up into smaller Missions? Perhaps that depends on which advancements are working best for you?

Sorry to pepper you with so many questions. This stuff would be clearer if the rulebook were available. I went ahead and ordered it yesterday anyway.

I'm enough of a space buff to know that I'm going to want to play around with this regardless. And I can see room for expansions to add further layers too. Thanks for your patience Joe!


Well, it is a typical risk-vs-reward situation. You might push your luck, take the cheapest and quickest route and buy all the advances and parts needed to theoretically get a man on Mars at once, but the mission will quite a high chance to fail miserably, because you did not test your parts beforehands. Or you go there step by step, first making sure everything works fine in smaller, cheaper missions and then get the manned mission out later. Additionally, it might occur that space radiation drives astronauts crazy or that mars is too hot to land or no rocky planet at all, so you might want to try and find out as much as you can instead of doing the blind greedy type mission. Or choose some degree in between, which also depends on your opponents choices.
 
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Dagar wrote:

Well, it is a typical risk-vs-reward situation.


No kidding, but my question is aimed at finding out what other elements are at play besides push-your-luck.

And as for speculating on the scenarios well that's just speculation which is why I'm asking the designer. When the rule book is published we'll have a better idea of how it all fits together.
 
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Joe Fatula
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Dagar wrote:
I think, if the last card is a success, you should be allowed to remove it without paying...

And you can do exactly that!
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Joe Fatula
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jgortner wrote:
What happens if a rocket has a minor failure mid-flight, say, on the way to Venus?

If you draw a minor failure when firing a rocket, that rocket is damaged. That means several things:
- The rocket component card is flipped over, revealing the "damaged" side.
- That rocket can't be used to provide thrust.
- An astronaut with the "mechanic" skill can consume 1 supply card to repair the rocket.
- If the rocket is on Earth at the end of the year, it'll get repaired automatically.

This is true whether the minor failure happens in space or on the ground.
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Joe Fatula
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pusherman42 wrote:
What happens to these outcome cards that you pay to get rid of, specifically in multiplayer? Are they shuffled back in to the deck, or discarded? If you're a card-counter, can you game the system by trying to figure out how may failures are left in the deck? Could you buy every advancement and keep testing and fixing failures (but not successes) to raise the proportion of failures for the other players? Seems thematically odd, but also maybe unavoidable and ultimately not that big a deal.

When you get rid of an outcome card it goes to the outcome discard pile. If, in the future, someone needs to draw an outcome card from the outcome deck and there are no outcomes remaining, the discard pile is shuffled and becomes the new outcome deck.
So yes, you can raise the proportion of failures for the other players, but the effect is quite removed from the cause. In practice, I've never seen this make any difference for anyone's strategy.
This also raises another point -- is it better to have failures or successes on your advancement? (This has been a hotly-debated question.) Successes are nice when you get them, but they're expensive to remove. An advancement with all failures will require some testing, but it's cheaper to be fully confident in such an advancement.
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buffalohat wrote:
pusherman42 wrote:
What happens to these outcome cards that you pay to get rid of, specifically in multiplayer? Are they shuffled back in to the deck, or discarded? If you're a card-counter, can you game the system by trying to figure out how may failures are left in the deck? Could you buy every advancement and keep testing and fixing failures (but not successes) to raise the proportion of failures for the other players? Seems thematically odd, but also maybe unavoidable and ultimately not that big a deal.

When you get rid of an outcome card it goes to the outcome discard pile. If, in the future, someone needs to draw an outcome card from the outcome deck and there are no outcomes remaining, the discard pile is shuffled and becomes the new outcome deck.
So yes, you can raise the proportion of failures for the other players, but the effect is quite removed from the cause. In practice, I've never seen this make any difference for anyone's strategy.
This also raises another point -- is it better to have failures or successes on your advancement? (This has been a hotly-debated question.) Successes are nice when you get them, but they're expensive to remove. An advancement with all failures will require some testing, but it's cheaper to be fully confident in such an advancement.


That's a dichotomy that I love about your system, and really the answer is "it depends" from what I can tell. Fixing all three failures will cost you $15. Fixing two of the success will cost you $20 and you'll still want to do a 3rd test to make sure that last one is a success.

If your ultimate goal is "have guaranteed successes" then 3 failures seems better. If your goal is "oh god I'm about to lose, get something off the ground fast, no time to test" then obviously three successes is better. All will depend on what's going on around you.

Looking forward to it!
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