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Subject: Automatic maneuvers and other questions rss

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Jeff Glazier
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I just bought the game at Pacificon in Santa Clara yesterday. Pretty cool getting to meet the developer and his family. Very friendly folk!

Anyway, I am just not grokking these rules as easily as I'd like to. Either I'm a little dense (probably), I'm not wired the same way that Joe thinks, or the rules are very scattered and not too clear in some areas.

1. Automatic maneuvers - Page 23 says automatic maneuvers occur at the end of your turn. I had to read the FAQ to find out that this applies only if a spacecraft has no time tokens on it. This important piece of information should be in the manual.

I don't fully understand automatic maneuvers, mainly the ones that have a yellow/red exclamation mark with LOST as the result. So, if my rocket ends its turn on one of these locations, that rocket is destroyed. So, basically, do you have to ALWAYS pass through these locations and end up somewhere else by the end of your turn in order to keep your spacecraft alive?

So, inner planets transfer, fly-by locations, etc. are just places you move to, then go somewhere else IN THE SAME TURN? Is that correct? You should never end your turn there?

2. What happens to spacecraft that don't have enough thrust to get to their next destination? Do they just stay on that space forever? How can you retrieve them, so you can build another spacecraft with that icon again?

3. Buying components - page 21 says, "If you do not have the required advancement, you cannot buy the component." How do I get the advancement? Does that just mean I have to pay $10 to get it? Once you buy the advancement, you have it in front of you, and own it, for the rest of the game? Is that correct?

4. Is researching an advancement the same as buying an advancement? If so, can I spend $10 to buy/research an advancement, but not pull an outcome card to test it? So, can I buy it, and save it for later use if I want?

5. Undocking/separating - page 27 explains how to dock. It does not explain how to undock. Is it exactly the same procedure?

6. How do you get supplies to a space station, or another rocket, in space?

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I try to understand the manual.

Thanks!
 
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Michel Kangro
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jglazier wrote:
1. Automatic maneuvers - Page 23 says automatic maneuvers occur at the end of your turn. I had to read the FAQ to find out that this applies only if a spacecraft has no time tokens on it. This important piece of information should be in the manual.

I don't fully understand automatic maneuvers, mainly the ones that have a yellow/red exclamation mark with LOST as the result. So, if my rocket ends its turn on one of these locations, that rocket is destroyed. So, basically, do you have to ALWAYS pass through these locations and end up somewhere else by the end of your turn in order to keep your spacecraft alive?

So, inner planets transfer, fly-by locations, etc. are just places you move to, then go somewhere else IN THE SAME TURN? Is that correct? You should never end your turn there?


Exactly.

Quote:
2. What happens to spacecraft that don't have enough thrust to get to their next destination? Do they just stay on that space forever? How can you retrieve them, so you can build another spacecraft with that icon again?


You can send a rescue craft which can dock with the stranded craft using the Rendezvous technology.

Quote:
3. Buying components - page 21 says, "If you do not have the required advancement, you cannot buy the component." How do I get the advancement? Does that just mean I have to pay $10 to get it? Once you buy the advancement, you have it in front of you, and own it, for the rest of the game? Is that correct?


Correct.

Quote:
4. Is researching an advancement the same as buying an advancement? If so, can I spend $10 to buy/research an advancement, but not pull an outcome card to test it? So, can I buy it, and save it for later use if I want?


You buy/research the advancement for 10$. Then whenever you use the advancement (fire the corresponding rocket/land/dock/...) you draw an outcome card and either put it back immediatly or pay for removing it.

Quote:
5. Undocking/separating - page 27 explains how to dock. It does not explain how to undock. Is it exactly the same procedure?


You declare which parts will make up the new spacecraft (remembering the one and only rule about spacecrafts: every astronaut needs a seat) and draw an outcome card. If it's a success, you seperate the components. Otherwise, you choose which component is damaged.

Quote:
6. How do you get supplies to a space station, or another rocket, in space?


See question 2.
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Larry L
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Quote:
How can you retrieve them, so you can build another spacecraft with that icon again?


Just to elaborate on that last question (the rendezvous rescue already explained). You aren't limited to the components in the game. You can have as many spacecraft active as you like, just use paper/other tokens etc.

On the other hand if you are done with a spaceship out in space somewhere you can just remove it from the board and reuse the token/card.
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Samuel Hinz
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I think watching one of the play through videos in the video section here will help solidify your understanding of the rules
 
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Jakub Glazik
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Technically speaking automatic maneuvers describe situations when space craft has not build stable orbit around some body (and not landed on it, obviously). In effect at the end of turn space craft escapes from the gravity influence of the body and moves to deep space.

This happened to many other planets probes, especially the first ones like Mariner 4, Pioneer 10 or Venera (forgot number) which had no thrust to make orbit insertion burn and have been forgotten after their main mission. To be precise these probes are not lost per se because they achieved solar orbit but in practice they are not recoverable for some reasons (discharged battery, to high cost, etc.). Of course there were some intended fly-by mission from planet to planet like well known Voyager probes.
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Jeff Glazier
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Great answers, everyone! Thank you very much. I will definitely be watching some of the play throughs.

One last question for now. So, say I rendezvous and dock with a stranded ship, hoping to bring it back. I obviously have to have enough thrust to get the original ship back, PLUS the added weight of the stranded ship I just docked with, correct?

Wow, this can get complicated, trying to figure out the amount of thrust needed to get there, and get back home with the added weight which will require much more thrust.

 
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Jakub Glazik
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jglazier wrote:
I obviously have to have enough thrust to get the original ship back, PLUS the added weight of the stranded ship I just docked with, correct?
Yes, that's correct. Remember that rescue ship does not have to carry anything but thrusters, so there is no need to carry any unnecessary payload.

jglazier wrote:
Wow, this can get complicated, trying to figure out the amount of thrust needed to get there, and get back home with the added weight which will require much more thrust.
That's why probes have been often ditched after completing mission. And that's why it's often cheaper to do it in the game - remember that you can always voluntarily decomission a whole spaceship and return it's figurine to the Earth (off board). Of course that's not good idea if on the spaceship are astronauts and even harder with samples.
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Robert Manning
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mideg wrote:
jglazier wrote:
So, inner planets transfer, fly-by locations, etc. are just places you move to, then go somewhere else IN THE SAME TURN? Is that correct? You should never end your turn there?


Exactly.
Just to clarify: a spacecraft with time tokens on it does not perform any maneuver, including automatic maneuvers, as it hasn't yet arrived at the new location even if its token is on an automatic maneuver location.
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Tony M
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I'm confused.

My Venus Lander mission is on its way. It has reached the Inner Planets Transfer location, but it has to stop there and place a time token.

However, the location has a "lost" icon with the exclamation point. What happens to the spacecraft then?
 
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Joe Fatula
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Tony M wrote:
I'm confused.

My Venus Lander mission is on its way. It has reached the Inner Planets Transfer location, but it has to stop there and place a time token.

However, the location has a "lost" icon with the exclamation point. What happens to the spacecraft then?

While a spacecraft has any time tokens on it, it doesn't perform maneuvers. (It's still on its way there.)

At the end of your turn, if a spacecraft has no time tokens and is in a location with an automatic maneuver, it performs that maneuver.
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Tony M
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So even though the spacecraft icon is at the Inner Planets Transfer location, the fact that the spacecraft card has a time token on it means that technically the craft is not "there" yet. Right?

Then, next year, 1971, I would remove the token and move the spacecraft token from Inner Planets Transfer on to Venus Orbit, and then immediately on to attempt to land on Venus.

Is that correct?

Perhaps I am confused about when and where time tokens should be placed and when they should be removed.

I'm really going to be confused when I start using Ion Thrusters...

But I'm still REALLY loving this game.

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Israel Waldrom
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Tony M wrote:
So even though the spacecraft icon is at the Inner Planets Transfer location, the fact that the spacecraft card has a time token on it means that technically the craft is not "there" yet. Right?

Then, next year, 1971, I would remove the token and move the spacecraft token from Inner Planets Transfer on to Venus Orbit, and then immediately on to attempt to land on Venus.

Is that correct?

Perhaps I am confused about when and where time tokens should be placed and when they should be removed.

I'm really going to be confused when I start using Ion Thrusters...

But I'm still REALLY loving this game.



If a spacecraft is at a location, and has time token(s) on it, it is en route to that location.

Time tokens are added when you perform any maneuver that has an hourglass symbol on it, be it with Ion thrusters or standard rockets. The only difference is that Ion thrusters can only be used for maneuvers that take time (have the hourglass symbol).

Moving from Earth Orbit to Inter Planet Transfer takes 1 year (1 time token). At the end of the year the token is removed (automatic maneuvers take place at the end of your turn, which is before the end of the year actions), so the following year you can make the maneuver to venus orbit, which adds another time token.
Again, at the end of the year the token is removed, so the following year you can attempt to land on venus. This maneuver is not automatic.

The example of an automatic landing maneuver on Ceres given in the rulebook on page 15 occurs because the maneuver has a time token listed before the Ceres hazard. As maneuvers are resolved left to right, the time token is added and the maneuver stops there. At the end of the year, the token is removed, and the rest of the the maneuver is resolved, including facing the Ceres hazard, and as a by product, landing on Ceres.
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