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Leaving Earth: Outer Planets» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Short Game Advancement Picks rss

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Raoul Duke
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Minnesota
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When playing the short game, you start with two advancements of your choice, with no outcome cards on these advancements. After playing a dozen or so games, I've found that I take pretty much the same advancements each time.

Mostly, I have chosen Saturn Rockets and Ion Drives

Once, I chose Saturn Rockets and Reentry, when there were a lot of manned missions on the table.

What are your experiences with this? What advancements have you chosen, and did they work well for you?
 
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Will H.
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I'd think Life Support would be a solid choice, but haven't played this variant. Saturn Rocket seems good, too.
 
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Josh Zscheile
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As always, it depends on the situation and what your opponents choose. Saturn surely is a good one. I would not take Ion but rather something that is harder to test, like Re-Entry, Landing or Life Support.
 
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Raoul Duke
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Dagar wrote:
As always, it depends on the situation and what your opponents choose. Saturn surely is a good one. I would not take Ion but rather something that is harder to test, like Re-Entry, Landing or Life Support.


For me, a lot of the reason to go with Saturn + Ion is because that gives you immediate access to the entire solar system, with no worries about whether or not your rocket is going to fail on you. With those two advancements, you can be tossing probes all over the solar system pretty much from the beginning.

I've found that Life Support and Landing are both pretty easy to test, assuming that space isn't horribly hazardous to manned flight. Landing can be tested with an Eagle, a Pilot, and pile of Junos in a series of suborbital shots. My usual test for Life Support is a pair of Vostoks, a Mechanic, and one Supply, followed by a second supply launch on the next turn. This of course, assumes that I have Rendezvous. With two Vostoks, the only way the crew is going to die is if I draw two Major Failures back to back.

Reentry is a little trickier. Most of the cost here is in launch vehicles, and in practice you often need Rendezvous as well. To me, saving the cost of the boosters is a lot of the reason to choose this right off the bat, assuming that there are a lot of manned missions on the table.

I agree though, that a lot depends on what all other players choose. I've seen advancement trading deals cut between players for these starting advancements, which can result in people starting with between 4 and 6 fully tested advancements on turn 1. This seemed a little gross to us, so we instated a rule that requires that all advancements be chosen without knowledge of what other players are choosing.
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Josh Zscheile
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Remember that you do not need an Astronaut aboard to test Life Support.

Still to me the cost to test LS seems higher than to test Ion Thrusters, as you do not need to keep money for the end of your turn, whereas for ions you just essentially spend it when you want to. Both have no real risks coming with them (loss of Space craft if your Ion fails in Fly-Bys can be mitigated by not going there for starters, loss of Astronauts can be mitigated by not sending them in the beginning).

I see though that there is a nice synergy for Life Support and Re-Entry test (and possibly Landing as well): You launch three Vostoks, keep all your money for Life Support, and next round drop them one by one to test Re-Entry (and maybe Landing, if you have the funds).

But again, this depends on what other players do (as you can trade techs with them) and what the inital missions are (if there is e.g. Man in Space and Man on the Moon, you will maybe want to grab them before everyone else, so Landing might be the tech to go for).
 
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