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Solarius Mission» Forums » General

Subject: First Impressions? rss

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Dylan Bradshaw
United States
North Scituate
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I've been eagerly waiting to hear some first impressions from those of you lucky enough to have gotten this game already. Anyone willing to share?
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Mikko Saari
Finland
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I got it last week and got to play it once with two players.

It very much reminds me of La Granja. There are similar mechanisms in play: placing cubes on board to denote resources, completing tasks to gain immediate and permanent benefits, many ways to gain points, multi-use cards and all that. It's not just La Granja in Space, but obviously by same designers working in the same design space.

This is one of those games where you need to be focused, and if you are, you can probably achieve greatness. If you don't, you'll end up with little things here, little things there and not many points.

The components have some issues (tiny tiny discs, a resource wheel you have to glue together, rulebook that could use some editing), but outside the tiny discs, nothing serious. I hear those discs will be replaced with proper discs; if not, I'll buy bigger discs myself.

If you like games with lots of options, lots of things to do and lots of ways to score, Solarius Mission is a good choice. I'm really looking forward to playing this with more than two players.
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Nick Davies
United Kingdom
Haddenham
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I've only played it once so far, so...

Rules dump of the year. Somehow took us 90 mins to crunch through the rules. After having played it once, I'm certain I can streamline the explanation a LOT, but there was a lot of reading and re-reading to make sure we understood all the parts. Equally, there were several rules that appeared in the booklet but weren't referenced on the player mats or play aides - perhaps some of these were late developments in the cycle?

It may have helped to have almost split the rules into two parts, given the game feels a bit like two separate pieces that do interlink but seem to require different planning on each (though this may become more connected over further plays). Essentially, each turn you'll get one action to make a change to your player mat - more storage (dice location), increase action points per action type (dice pips), cargo (pink cubes), money or fuel. You then have a choice between flying ("discovering" planets") or further developing your player mat (more engines, mission cards, technologies)
Whilst you need to increase your good storage to hold the goods to complete the missions or settle on planets (major points areas), there's no way to do everything well given there are effectively only 16 turns per player in the whole game.
The space exploration bit is nice enough - different planet types indicate the type of goods needed to settle (or colonize it), and there are bonuses you can get for building "outposts" (with several limitations), you can only move as far as your engines let you (though can burn fuel to go further) and there's also the option of building space stations (for more immediate bonuses and end of game vps if you build more than 1), however - again - limitations on where you can place them (or, rather, good reasons to place them in some spots rather than others).

In essence, it definitely needs a few more plays to get the right sense of pace (what to focus on in the early game, mid game & late game) and whether specialising in one or two areas will really pay off - after we finished, we noticed we'd broadly all done similar things; this could be new player water-testing, or it could be that the game kind of needs you to do that to succeed. There's definitely some good replayability in there as each game will be different to a point (planet locations, missions available, technologies available) but I'm not sure it'll have the delicious variation that La Granja has.

But then, given most of my games have had 5 or fewer plays, that's probably not the end of the world!!
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Mikko Saari
Finland
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Nick, I just posted a condensed version of the rulebook; that should make future teaching much easier.
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Nick Davies
United Kingdom
Haddenham
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I noticed - only 7 pages
Thanks for that - it will help.
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Mikko Saari
Finland
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Yeah, I thought that was at least moderately funny But the similar condensed rulebook for La Granja was a must and the thought of teaching this from the original rulebook horrified me, so I had to do something.
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Stuart Platt
United Kingdom
Duston
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I think this game could be excellent.

I was very skeptical before playing, as the rules were a bear, but once things started clicking across my play I saw the genuine depth and tightness of play.

I imagine with more than 2 the downtime could hurt a little, but that will wane with more plays.

Player interaction is super limited - which will be a dealbreaker for some, but for me, the multitude of interlocking mechanisms, limited and tight scoring possibilities and building of your tableaux with relatively few turns / actions is intriguing.

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Steve Cohn
United States
Racine
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msaari wrote:
It very much reminds me of La Granja. There are similar mechanisms in play: placing cubes on board to denote resources, completing tasks to gain immediate and permanent benefits, many ways to gain points, multi-use cards and all that. It's not just La Granja in Space, but obviously by same designers working in the same design space.


This makes me so happy I could weep.
La Granja is one of my favorites and knowing the pedigree of these designers I never hesitated to pre-order this without knowing anything about it other than "space".

Thanks very much for the thoughts (everyone) and for the consolidated rules, looking forward to my pre-order arriving hopefully any-day now!

~Steve

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Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
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OchreOgre wrote:
msaari wrote:
It very much reminds me of La Granja. There are similar mechanisms in play: placing cubes on board to denote resources, completing tasks to gain immediate and permanent benefits, many ways to gain points, multi-use cards and all that. It's not just La Granja in Space, but obviously by same designers working in the same design space.


This makes me so happy I could weep.
Yeah, that one comment upped my interest in the game considerably. I'm a bit worried about the rulebook though. It's a shame that more publishers don't put enough focus on making a good rulebook. As much as I love La Granja the rulebook could be improved a lot.
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ode.
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Mike and I are here on BGG quite regularly. Please ask if there are any questions. We will try to answer them quickly.
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Mikko Saari
Finland
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For La Granja, you want this: La Granja game aid - 3 pages. The rule book is heavy, like the Solarius rulebook is, but once you've grokked the rules yourself, that condensed version is excellent and makes teaching the game much easier.
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Jason Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
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Thunkd wrote:
OchreOgre wrote:
msaari wrote:
It very much reminds me of La Granja. There are similar mechanisms in play: placing cubes on board to denote resources, completing tasks to gain immediate and permanent benefits, many ways to gain points, multi-use cards and all that. It's not just La Granja in Space, but obviously by same designers working in the same design space.


This makes me so happy I could weep.
Yeah, that one comment upped my interest in the game considerably. I'm a bit worried about the rulebook though. It's a shame that more publishers don't put enough focus on making a good rulebook. As much as I love La Granja the rulebook could be improved a lot.

Same here. This game just went from "wait and see" to "get on my shelf"
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Evan Dunn
United States
New York
New York
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I just finished my first play, using the consolidated rulebook for the most part (tyvm).

We floundered around a lot. It wasn't obvious what a good action looked like in our first play. The game flowed smoothly, we just got caught up on having to look up a lot of the action options. It was hard to remember all the optional action options without a player aid. It was also confusing to remember the difference between outposts and space stations (although we had the hang of it by the third round). We also completely forgot about one,of the scoring criteria until the game ended.

That being said, I see potential to this game. It took la granja 2 plays for me to really love it. I'm absolutely going to play this again, hopefully soon. Absolutely need player aids though. The information on the player board is helpful but only up to a point. Also, those eensy weensy disks are Rediculous.
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ode.
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Hi Evan,

our experience is, that most groups get the flow of the game after half a play. But in those cases we designers were around and knew the rules. Since you need to learn it from the rule book it could take some more time. But I can assure you, that you get over the barrier soon.

Feel free to ask about the rules. Mike and I are frequently checking the BGG forums.

Have fun!
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