This was my first attempt at a very hard mission and so far the furthest a human had to get from Earth was the Moon. This game changed that!
Artificial satellite (2)
Space Station (6), Ceres Lander (8), Phobos Sample Return (12), Mercury Lander (13)
Ceres Sample Return (14), Lunar Station (15), Mars Station (20), Venus Station (27)
Total 117 points.
The mission was clear: Claim all of the inner solar system in the name of humanity!
I started by buying Atlas rockets and ion thrusters. After some early setbacks (two major and one minor failure on the Atlas, as well as a minor failure when the first ion thruster/probe space craft tried to leave Earth Orbit) things went well; Rendezvous had no setbacks and was cleared quickly using the rules for infinite testing, ion thrusters had no further problems, and soon probes were on their slow way into all corners of space.
Of course I was hoping that some locations would be inhospitable enough to prevent landings, but this was not to be: Mars and Mercury had valuable minerals, Ceres and Venus had supplies, Venus and the Moon showed signs of live, and Phobos was clearly an alien artifact! Even worse, solar radiation was even more dangerous than anticipated (radiation level 2) So not only did all missions stay active, flying any further than the Moon required doctors in case the radiation incapacitated individual astronauts.
On the upside, a one way ticket to Venus wasn’t a death sentence.
The probe orbiting Mars was landed on Phobos and the ion thruster returned to earth with two samples of the alien technology. These would be used to clear re-entry of outcomes and get me Saturn rockets.
The Venus probe landed on Ceres from where the ion thruster returned with a sample as requested.
Even into the early 70’s no human had left earth. However, a large stack of Atlas and Saturn rockets was stockpiled on Earth, capsules were readied and loaded with supplies, and all astronauts were trained doctors (no point in having pilots or mechanics since testing had gone very well and with the Phobos samples I had managed to clear the last outcome cards from my technologies)
A group of 3 astronauts would fly to Venus in an Apollo capsule with just enough supplies to get there. Once there they would have to make do with the supplies they could create locally.
Two others where send to the Moon in an Eagle with enough supplies to (hopefully) last until a mission could be launched to retrieve them.
Ion thrusters would bring a single atlas rocket to the probe still orbiting Mercury.
While I had no illusions of doing all this while also going to Mars, I did send another probe that way to at least land on it (had a spare ion thruster and probe, so why not)
My largest rocket yet (4 Saturns,8 Atlas’, 5 astronauts in two capsules, and supplies for both missions) was launched in ’73. Of course things had to get just a little bit worse; Turns out the human body doesn’t react well to being catapulted into space. Roughly one third of my astronauts would require medical attention before even being exposed to solar radiation!
Since the team consisted of 5 doctors this obstacle was easily overcome though.
From there the rocket split up, one part starting the multiyear travel to Venus via inner planet transfer (both times one astronaut was incapacitated due to solar radiation) while the other landed on the Moon the same year. Just before their supplies ran out in ’75 a second, smaller mission was launched to bring more Atlas rockets and allow the astronauts to return home.
The crew aboard the Apollo, who had by now touched down on Venus, was informed that no such mission was planned for them since Venus was hospitable enough to survive indefinitely.
End of game (after 1975 since the next year would have seen no change)
Artificial satellite (2), Space Station (6), Ceres Lander (8), Phobos Sample Return (12), Ceres Sample Return (14), Lunar Station (15), Venus Station (27)
Total 84 points.
Mercury Lander (13), Mars Station (20)
The Mercury Lander would have been complete in ’78, but putting a man on Mars was ignored as soon as I revealed the heavy solar radiation in the late 50s.
Having landed on all inner solar system bodies in one game I think I’m ready to move onto Outer Planets.
Nice session! But do not be so sure about Outer Planets...
Amazing session report. Inspiring.
Inspired me to play tonight if I am feeling well enough.
What are the "infinity testing rules"? I assume you just keep docking and undocking and paying to remove outcome cards from the rendezvous advancement?
Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed reading it!
Pawel: We'll see how it goes tomorrow, though I might set it up tonight and start planning. I'm not expecting the first few times to go well, that would actually be almost disappointing
Will: I think these are the latest rules for it http://boardgamegeek.com/article/23945598#23945598
I didn't have the money to pay to remove successes, but had enough to remove a failure. After a bunch of shuffling and drawing nothing but successes I remembered the post above and tried that instead.
The only change if that rule wasn't available would probably have been to take a pilot or mechanic on my missions which would not have changed anything in the outcomes.
A great session, congratulations. In hard mode I find it difficult to win, soon I will have to try.