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Subject: New CEO for ESA is a little too slow. rss

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Adam Gastonguay
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Here we go again! This time, the random roll has me as the CEO of the ESA, a grand unification company that owns a huge laser that can boost payloads way out to the far reaches of the solar system to exploit its resources. I've been given a load of money and some time for the
company to show a profit, so lets get started:

Year 1: Let's look at the patent deck: Ablative Plate, Phase-Lucked Diode Laser, Magma Electrolysis, Flywheel Compulsator, Optoelectric Nuclear Battery, Bubble Membrane, Svalbard Caretakers, Fission-heated Steam Freighter and Vista D-T Inertial Fusion Thruster.

Sadly the best of the lot is the Caretakers, but I don't want to worry about them until I have an upgraded Bernal. The Robonaut is not terrible, as lasers are nice, but ISRU 3 is pretty crappy. The Thruster is so-so. I can use my push laser on it, so I'd get 3 thrust for that first turn and only spend 2 steps per burn, enough to land on Minerva if I dump some coolent into it, or I could fly out to the Jovian Trojans and check out glaukos, patroclus and menoetius.

Stuck for time, I pick up the Robonaut, which also gets me the
generator for 4 WTs. The next robonaut is a ISRU 3 buggy, so I guess my buy's not so bad (though the Flywheel Tractor weighs less and is hardier).

Event: Inspiration; Let's see what new stuff we get!

The Ablative Plate is replaced by a Mass Driver. Great because it slings dirt, and it needs a generator I already have, but heavy as all get out. But now I see an Explosive Gas Dynamic Laser! ISRU 2 laser that needs a bomb reactor (which one is now on top) and 1 therm of cooling (which is easy to get).

Year 2: Looks like I'll upgrade my Robonaut: the rest of my WTs gets
me: Explosive Gas Dynamic Laser, D-D Fusion Magneto-inertial and
Dielectric X-ray Window (way overkill)

Year 3: While I fear Budget Cuts, I sell my first Robonaut to the free
market. Someone else can work with that inferior product. +4 WTs

Event: Inspiration! I'm just that kind of CEO! People clamering to
me with new, fresh ideas. Elon Musk can eat me.

Year 4: Well, I have no thruster, and Photon Heliogyro is what's looking at me. Would solar sails work for me? No. Just no. Looks like I'm buying from the bottom of the deck. Which is, of course, the mass driver.

Year 5: I only have 3 WT at the moment, so boosting this 12 ton behemoth seems silly, so I'll stick with selling things. I sell my current radiator as it's one more therm than I need and it's mass 4, and that's just too heavy for what I need.

Event: Pad Explosion/Space Debris - Glad I decided not to boost anything!

Year 6: I spend 2 to get the lighter Radiator. Which, of course,
reveals a 1 therm, mass 1 radiator. Do I wait another year for that one?

Year 7: Yes, Yes I do. I'm selling the other radiator for 4. And if I get another Innovation roll, the Qu Tube I want to buy will only cost me 1!

Event: Glitch: Maybe I should send humans along, too.

Year 8: The Qu Tube is mine for 2. Which gives me 5 WTs and a
9 ton Ship (10 if I include my crew, which I should). So now a few turns to get money.

Year 9: Wherein I just grab 2WTs because sometimes you have to be boring.

Event: Solar Flare: Oh no! My netflix is slow!

Year 10: The slow trickle of water makes me want to write a haiku. I won't.

Year 11: I now have enough fuel to launch my rocket as I have 11 WTs. Preperations begin as we near my first meeting with the big-wigs.

Event: World Science Symposium - Looks like I'm a trend setter yet again. Let me get a new Refinery, Generator and Thruster.

Year 12: Fwakooom! My rocket is now in space.

Meeting: The CEOs seem confident, but they realize I only have 1 point.
And that 1 point I have for having a Bernal in space...which I'll always have and always had. Oh well. I now have 12 years to have 10 points!

Year 13: I load some garbage (or dirt) onto my rocket. I can load up to
10 tanks in one operation. Sadly I do, which puts it into a tug class with a thrust of 3, but I'll get a push from my factory for a thrust of 4 at first. So using the Mars flyby, it is now out near the Vesta, Koronis and Gefion families. Sadly the ship isn't maneuverable enough to get there quickly.

Event: Inspiration: C'mon great refinery! Wow. I have great everything!

Year 14: I grab 2 more WTs to start planning for my refinery and possibly make a more efficient rocket. Speaking of my rocket, it is now floating outside of the Gefion Family.

Year 15: Finally, a new operation! Prospecting! Now to check out Ceres, Minerva and aegis moonlet. Ceres is automatic, Minerva 6 - Nope, aegis - 6 Nope. I don't have the thrust to land on Ceres, so I land on Minerva to refuel.

Event: Budget Cuts: Well, I have no cards, so bite me, Elon Musk.

Year 16: I refill my rocket and blast it off Minerva. I'm now getting nervous I won't find a site in time.

Year 17: I grab 2 more WTs since I can't buy anything yet. My rocket heads out to the Trojans.

Event: Inspiration - dang, had some good choices. Time to adapt.

Year 19: I pick up an ISRU Sabatier, which I hope to be my first factory in space. IT also gets me a light, but crappy Brayton Turbine generator, which I'll probably sell. My rocket is one burn away from the Jovian Trojans.

Year 20: My rocket hovers over patroclus and menoetius. Let's see if I can build there:
Patroclus - 4 No. Menoetius - 2 YES! I take a risk and decommission everything but the crew (obviously), the robonaut and everything it needs to work. That way I have most of the goods to get a rocket going
quickly to get my refinery out there.

Event: Pad Explosion/space Debris - You will not go into space today.

Year 21: I sell my extra generator for 4 WTs. I now have 5. The damn three parts I need are thus:
ISRU Sabatier: mass 3, Flywheel Compulsator: mass 4, Mass Driver: mass 3 - total mass 10!

Year 22: Heck with the dirt, I purchase the Mirror Steamer for...waiiiit. That wouldn't work out in the Trojans! Dangit! I just get my 2WTs and pout a little.

Event: Inspiration: Insult to injury?

Year 23: I don't have enough money to get my factory out. Looks like I won't win this one. Crap. I'm up to 9 WTs. Should have gone with something else from the beginning, instead of the heavy mess I ended up with. Didn't think I had enough time, though. I'm sure the comment
section can let me know where I went wrong.

Year 24: Now up to 11 WTs, enough to launch next year, then one year later to load up the dirt, then 3 years of travel to get to Menoetius, then another year to create the factory. Let's see if I can beg
six more years out of the board of directors.

EVENT: Inspiration: Oh I don't even care any more.

Year 25: Let me boost this stuff anyway. Perhaps my predecesor will do a better job than me. Anybody want to take the reins?

Meeting: Final score: Bernal + 2 claims = 3 points. Goal: 10 points. Lost.



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Dave Daffin
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Awesome chronology!

I have little idea what is exactly happening - I'm still waiting for my Kickstarter copy and I haven't read the rules properly, but it sounds like you had a blast!
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Adam Gastonguay
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Always do.

Even played another game on my PnP copy after that one. Made it a bit farther, but got stuck with too many 'C' locations, which didn't give me enough points to keep the board happy after 36 years.

So I tried again, played out to...I think it was 60 years this time before my progress stalled and I got booted out of office. I learn a lot out of each play. It's a doozy of a game and it really keeps you engaged at every moment.

I wish I could type up every session like this, as they play out like a fantastic science fiction story every time (Check out Transhuman Space, by Steve Jackson games, or Diaspora by...um...someone else (Evil Hat?) if you're interested).

But for now, it's just too darned hot to keep playing anything.
 
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Victor Caminha
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And so it begins...
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That was a pity, but HF can be a harsh mistress.
 
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Adam Gastonguay
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wykthor wrote:
That was a pity, but HF can be a harsh mistress.


Of course, but it's good to know that it was something that experience should prevent next time. That heavy of a ship should just not be used in a solo game (or really a competitive game either, unless it's your only choice). A few buys off the bottom of a deck might have saved me several mass points and I could have gotten to where I needed to go. I also could have used my crew card to land on Ceres or other larger locations to exploit those non-'C' sites.

Clearly this is a game where you learn something each time you play. This is a game that I wish I had in college so I could get together with friends every week and play because I would love to master it.
 
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