Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
Don had gotten this in a new shipment of games. Don, Craig, Trevor and Ken had gotten through the rules and played a few turns before I arrived. I had read the rules online during the week, so they were nice enough to start again and let me join in as a 5th player. We were playing the beginner game, each having the basic corporation of 42 M€. In the basic games, you get dealt 10 cards and you can keep them all. Player order was Craig, myself, Ken, Don and Trevor. I didn’t have any card that bumped up my income in any way, but I had the 18 M€ remote outpost card that reduces each further card by 1M€, and gives you a city on Mars. This was my first play and was instructive for 2 reasons. I built my city at the edge of the map to get some titanium, but this turned out to be a bad play as it is hard to surround a city tile on the edge with greenery tiles. So that was one lesson learned. Being our first game, everyone told me that I could only use the 1 M€ reduction once per generation, but when the game was over, we figured out the card had a continuous effect. So it meant, on perhaps 7 or 8 cards, I didn’t get the reduction, which might have allowed me to play another card. But it was a learning game.
Ken deliberately didn’t play too many cards, to get up to 16 cards, then claim the milestone for first one to 16 cards. Craig was able to get his steel, titanium and heat production up, so he had the best economy. Don was able to maintain the TR lead the whole game, through the use of comets and other cards. Trevor had many bonus cards and one that gave a VP for every 3 microbes and generating many plants.
I continued to play cards to put cities on the map. I paid 25 M€ to place a city off Mars, and go up 1 production in titanium. This wasn’t an optimal move, but I was playing what I felt was best, before I got enough cards to bump up my energy level. By the time I got energy level up to 8, Craig had a lot of heat, so the temperature gauge was running up quickly.
I got my third city down off Mars and claimed the milestone for that. Ken surprised everyone by placing his 8th building tag with around 8 buildings in his tableau to claim the last milestone.
As the endgame approached, Craig paid for the miner award, as he was generating the most steel and titanium. On the last turn, with 2 science tags for myself and Don, I decided to pay 14 M€ to fund the science award, not knowing who would win that, but didn’t want to let someone else have an award. Ken paid 20 M€ for the last award of banker as he easily had the highest M€ generation.
So Ken was going to earn 15 VPs from 2 milestones and 1 award. No one else had that, so it became evident that Ken was the evident favourite. Don played another comet the previous round to push temperature up 3 or 4 times and push his TR even higher, but it was not enough.
Ken 61 (31 TR , 10 milestones, 5 award builder, 9 board, 6 cards),
Norbert 54 (29 TR, 5 milestone, 5 scientist award, 3 board, 12 cards),
Don 53 (36 TR, 2 award scientist, 2 award miner, 5 board, 8 cards),
Craig 49 (29 TR, 2 award builder, 5 award miner, 10 board, 3 cards),
Trevor 47 (28 TR, 6 board, 13 cards)
Ken is blue, I am yellow, Don is white, Craig is red, and Trevor is green. Craig did well on the board with his cities and I am surprised he did not socre more points. Trevor had the plant production lead and had 6 pts worth of greenery tiles. As noted before, my edge city is not great.
Ken's winning cards. His 8 building tag buildings helped pushed his money production up to get that award.
Ken played smart to get to the 16 cards milestone and having 8 brown buildings fairly quickly as well. If I had placed my city more centrally, I might have gotten more VPs, and if we played the remote outpost card properly that may have given me more money to play another card. But we all really enjoyed the game, so much so, knowing there was not enough time, we continued on with the different corporation cards. We’re going to be playing this for the next few weeks and I’m looking forward to it.