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Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Play: session report rss

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I was going to write a review but think it may be helpful to provide a session report instead.

We had previously seen the prototype but were excited to play on the final version. The graphics, and especially the schematics for rocket components, give this game strong grounding in the science aspect. The action cards add the game element for negotiation and competition.

Set up was easy, we did scale down the deck as indicated for two players and that was the only confusing instruction, as typically the numbers (3+, 4) would signal to add the cards for that number of players.

As first player, I thought I had a good start with two Atlas components and the necessary orbiter for the Titan Orbiter mission. But when I drew back up to five, my hand had three spacecraft cards ( which I did not need) and one action, and a right fairing for the Falcon system. The other player had Uranus Orbiter for her mission. On her first turn, she only laid down a spacecraft card and a Falcon booster.

Foolishly, on my turn I offered her the Falcon component in exchange for an Atlas piece to fill my empty spaces. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but that was because I thought my components would all show before hers. And if you remember what was in my hand, I had little to work with. My action card would allow me to search discard for a spare part, but what I wanted wasn't there this early in the game. Within in the next four rounds she completed the large orbiter with gravity assist and easily earned 6 points. Most significantly, she returned two reuseable Falcon boosters to her hand for the next mission. She took on the Pluto orbiter.

I was still trying to find my left fairing, and my Delta V was low, so I also needed a strong gravity assist. A few rounds passed with government grants and financial assistance bringing extra cards in to work with during construction phase, but I was behind and glad to finish and score 5 data points on the Atlas rocket before she finished the second project.
Final score: 13-6.

One nice improvement on the game was mission cards: a player draws three cards and only reads the back of the card before deciding. These mission descriptions make one think "where in the universe are we going?" And I enjoy having that curiousity evoked.

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