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Subject: Deeper Exploration rss

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Joe Fatula
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In the base game, there's only one step to exploring a planet. You land on it or survey it from orbit, and you get to see what's there.

Lately I've been trying out a system where exploration takes multiple steps.

1) If you survey a planet from orbit (or from a space telescope), you get to see the first layer of information about the planet. For example, you survey Mars and see that it looks barren and rocky -- Mars type I.

2) If you actually land on a planet, you get to see the second layer of information. For example, if you land on a type I Mars you might find that it has sparse microbial life down in the soil (type Ib) or that it's actually just a barren rock with nothing living on it (type Ia).

3) There could even be a third step that can only be revealed by sending the right testing equipment, or by bringing a sample home to be tested on Earth.

I think this would make exploration more interesting, and it would make it worthwhile to bring more specialized equipment out into space. What are your thoughts?
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Hobbit Life
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I like it. It seems like it would fit into the existing structure of the game without much modification. Would there be more cards then to reveal for the new options?
 
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Will H.
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I don't know... sounds interesting, but I worry about layering on complexity. I like the current game mechanics.

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David Hadden
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So would there be multiple mission cards that scored differently depending on the level of the survey for one object?

Or one survey mission card per object with different scores for the level?

Could one "steal" a mission card for an object if one "upped" the level of the survey?

In general I liked the idea until I got to the part about more specialized equipment. I'm still very new to the game and the idea of more equipment scares me if it requires outcome cards. But that's just me. More importantly, within the time frame of the game were there significantly different levels of remote surveying capabilities between space programs?
 
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Samuel Hinz
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As a modular expansion I think it sounds neat.
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Israel Waldrom
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Sounds interesting
 
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Neil Roberts
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Sounds great to me.
What I like most Joe, is that you seem to have loads of ideas for additions to this game, and haven't just released it and forgotten about it. It's a great game and deserves our ongoing love
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Roger BW
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It would make having a space telescope worthwhile but not game-breaking. (Under the existing rules, either an ST would just get you victory points or it would replace survey from orbit, neither of which is particularly interesting.)
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Josh Zscheile
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The first suggestion for the new expansion I can get 100% behind. I love more to explore!

And, apart from new planet cards, you do not even need new components.

Stage 1 - Orbital or Fly-By survey. Already have their own missions of kind.
Stage 2 - Surface survey. Also have their own missions already; Lander or Man On missions. You could make atmosphere samples these stage 2 missions for Gas giants.
Stage 3 - I suggest for rocky or liquid bodies that you make more use of the explorer component here. Stage 3 could be drill or dive missions. For Gas giants you could also expend a flyer/ dive Explorer just as it is already to better get to know the inner Atmosphere.

There is no real need for an extra stage of information for sample returns in my opinion. You could make the stage 3 samples worth more, but I do not play the sample economy game anyway (as it is highly unthematic for me), so I do not really care about that aspect.

Also, as Stage 1 has different goals than the others (like making a map of photos, observing the global wheather, volcanic activity, ...) I think Stage 1 missions should not be automatically fulfilled by landing, but they could be a pre-requisite like the mission system of OP.

Really the only thing that would have to change is the planet cards for solid and liquid bodies and the rules, obviously.
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Pawel Garycki
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Unveiling new missions will be necessary then (as in Outer Planets), for example uncovering Extraterrestrial Life mission. Generally gradual exploration is a very good idea. It also provides means for Galileo and Explorer -like explorations for the Inner planets and makes space telescopes possible in future expansions as well.
I am also thinking of exploration of multiple sites of the same body, however the later sites to be discovered in less quantity (oasis in the barren land) and more difficult to get. One example would be Venus life-friendly zone in clouds (above the hostile environment beneath), allowing manned Zeppelin mission. Also subserface oceans of some planemo or ice-covered craters on Mercury. Or rocky islands on the lunar regolith ocean. So not only many level explorations but also many level layers of environments, which could be targeted with the increased technology.
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Gerry Smit
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abodi wrote:
As a modular expansion I think it sounds neat.
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Larry L
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I like this.

Also it would be easier for me to make a "pulp adventure" fan expansion I've been dreaming about (I know, that would be wrong and against the spirit of the game, but, ... dinosaurs on Venus!)
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Robert Manning
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RingelTree wrote:
I like this.

Also it would be easier for me to make a "pulp adventure" fan expansion I've been dreaming about (I know, that would be wrong and against the spirit of the game, but, ... dinosaurs on Venus!)
Space Pirates on Phobos!
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Will H.
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Hey Joe,

What about an "outcome" deck for locations? Most might be blank, but some could be supplies, valuable minerals, microbes, etc.? This would make the locations a little more dynamic, instead of probabilistic but fixed.

May also make existing missions a lot more interesting if you had to do something multiple times at each location to prove or disprove something.

Just an idea...
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Casey Davis
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rmanning wrote:
RingelTree wrote:
I like this.

Also it would be easier for me to make a "pulp adventure" fan expansion I've been dreaming about (I know, that would be wrong and against the spirit of the game, but, ... dinosaurs on Venus!)
Space Pirates on Phobos!


Zeppelins on Mars!
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Paweł Bedz
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improove wrote:
Unveiling new missions will be necessary then (as in Outer Planets), for example uncovering Extraterrestrial Life mission. Generally gradual exploration is a very good idea. It also provides means for Galileo and Explorer -like explorations for the Inner planets and makes space telescopes possible in future expansions as well.
I am also thinking of exploration of multiple sites of the same body, however the later sites to be discovered in less quantity (oasis in the barren land) and more difficult to get. One example would be Venus life-friendly zone in clouds (above the hostile environment beneath), allowing manned Zeppelin mission. Also subserface oceans of some planemo or ice-covered craters on Mercury. Or rocky islands on the lunar regolith ocean. So not only many level explorations but also many level layers of environments, which could be targeted with the increased technology.

Little cardboard tokens representing mentioned sites on a planet? You can have some numbers written on plant card and when you land - you take appropriate token and place it on planet card. That way multiple locations can fit on single card. And each site counter can have some small graphic, name and possible discoveries (like alien life, valuable samples etc).
When you land on given planet again you may land on already discovered and surveyed site or get another site revealed (with possibility it will destroy your craft!).
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Samuel Argento
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A very interesting idea, but as many have pointed out, it would be better to implement this mechanic in a future expansion, so you can choose which types of mechanical exploration play: the classic or new exploration method.

This mechanic also affects, i guess, celestial bodies of outer planets?
 
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Joe Fatula
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kalesin wrote:
A very interesting idea, but as many have pointed out, it would be better to implement this mechanic in a future expansion, so you can choose which types of mechanical exploration play: the classic or new exploration method.

This would definitely be for an expansion, not a change to the base game. Other than correcting mistakes, I'd like to leave the base game alone if possible.
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Israel Waldrom
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buffalohat wrote:
kalesin wrote:
A very interesting idea, but as many have pointed out, it would be better to implement this mechanic in a future expansion, so you can choose which types of mechanical exploration play: the classic or new exploration method.

This would definitely be for an expansion, not a change to the base game. Other than correcting mistakes, I'd like to leave the base game alone if possible.


What mistakes are present in the base version?

Some additional rocket cards, especially Ion Thrusters, would also be useful, as either an addition to the base game, or included in an expansion for those of us who already have it.
 
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Tony M
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gar0u wrote:
I don't know... sounds interesting, but I worry about layering on complexity. I like the current game mechanics.



Same here. I have been a wargamer for 40+ years, and I have dozens of wargames sitting on my shelves never played or hardly played because too many wargame designers are in love with piling on the chrome.

At my age I want--and will enthusiastically spend my money on--games I can actually play. Games that will not seem like work. Work and real life are complicated enough. When I sit down to play a game I want to lose myself for a few hours. I want to forget my problems and have fun.
 
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