I'll admit, I've only played 2 games of Darkrock Ventures so far, but in both games the winner piled miners on 1 cobalt or platinum station and mined it all the way out in one turn with appropriate gear to help get that number, then they suddenly had 3 rig dice and 8 times the credits of anyone else. The game is subsequently over in another round or two, not giving any other players much time to do anything.
Beyond the obvious imbalance, the way mining works also causes the game to end before anyone can enjoy the ramp-up. It is supposed to be a short game, so that may be by design. However, my group wanted something more.
I know most of these issues can be chalked up to inexperience. You can do a couple of things to undermine or prevent the player who tries to mine a lot, but it doesn't seem too effective. Other players can try the same strategy, but it leads to even more of an imbalance very quickly, and is highly dependent on luck. When one player succeeds in this and other players fail to mine anything due to poor luck, the entire game is decided on the first mining run.
The composition of Amelia's Jewel is reacting with the minerals in an unstable manner and the crew must tread carefully while mining so that they do not inadvertently trigger an explosion. To make matters worse, the minerals are not found in very large veins.
Each time a player successfully mines resources by pairing a Rig die with another die and matching a station with the sum of the dice, they may only resolve a single Captain or Crewmember. If the player resolves a Captain, they may take 2 units of the corresponding resource at their station. If the player resolves a Crewmember and another Crewmember occupies the same station, the player may optionally sacrifice one Crewmember at that station to take an additional resource. Crewmembers sacrificed in this manner are removed from the board and do not return to the player's ship at the end of the round. They can be recruited at any time (even the current turn) at the Recruit Station.
Note: A maximum of 2 units of a resource can mined with one Rig die pair. You may not sacrifice a Crewmember if you resolve a Captain.
The player may continue looking for additional veins of minerals, even at the same station, by pairing another Rig die. If successful, the player may optionally sacrifice a Crewmember for each pair of dice used in a successful mining operation in the manner described above.
Hmm. If you only start with 3 workers, how can you mine a site out with additional placement of workers on the gear during the first turn?
Are you starting with too many workers?
Or do you mean this happens on the 4th or 5th turn?