François Mahieu
Belgium
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Indeed we eventually gave this game a first try yesterday. 4 experimented players. Competitive mode. And I won't lie the game ended being a total mess. A lot of questions arose, thouth I had read the rulebook carefully, the errata, FAQ, and questions on the BGG forum but it seems it wasn't still enough. It was so confusing, and seemed so broken in the end we even decided to stop playing, before even reaching the supposed last cycle of the game.

The game looked like a unfinished prototype to all of us. Unfinished, but promising, and rather beautiful (except for the choice of tokens, a weird mix of cardboard, plastic and wood that makes absolutely no sense, the wooden tokens being particularly cheap and ugly by the way), so my questions and concerns here below.

1) Is it allowed to perform a rest action, ie getting back all of your action pawns on the main board, although some of them are still available in your reserve? For instance, may a player use 1 TU (Time Unit) to place their action pawn, then spend another TU for a rest action and getting the pawn back, then spend his last TU to place the same action pawn, again, on the exact same action (ie playing the action twice within a single round)?

2) Is there any refill of the RTG at some point? (I would say no, as the rulebook doesn't mention it)

3) Is it allowed to hire the same assistant twice, and get twice their benefits!? Nothing in the rulebook stating the opposite.

4) Can you fire an expert or assistant in order to replace them? Couldn't find the answer.

5) About the regolith examination cards: what are the blank cards to be used for? Nothing I guess? Do we have to trash them in the discard pile right away, or keep them? Couldn't find the answers in the rulebook.
What about the proof of life cards from the collector edition? Do we score 2VP (Victory Point or Reputation, whatever) right away then put them in the discard pile? Do we keep them? Do we indeed score 2VP with them? Nothing about this in the rulebook.

6) Some more clarification: I guess the number of player discs is strictly limited. Does it imply you do have to carefully choose where to place them, and you might not be able to unlock all your technologies during the course of the game?

7) Do you automatically receive a birth-rate token during the supplementation phase of each cycle? It seems so. So you might get, at most, 3 birth-rate tokens within the course of a single cycle: one for having the birth-rate management technology, one "for free" during the first step of the supplementation phase, and a third one during the quarters summary phase (provided you have fully fulfilled the population demand). Is that so? But why gain more than 3 birth-rate tokens (you unlock a 4th colony with only 3 of them)? For a few more VP in the end?

8) Is it allowed to deliver food/medicine even if the demand has already been fulfilled (in order to score additional VP)?

9) Now by far our main concern. At some point, one of us was able to draw 4 to 6 regolith cards each single round. He had unlocked the Molecular Sensor technology from their corporation board (allowing him to draw one more regolith card when excavating) and hired the Soil Analyst expert (allowing him to draw 2 more regolith cards each round. He had a lot of money. We all had.). With so many cards each round, he was able to fulfill almost any available contract. He just had to choose among them. He never spend time trying to feed or heal their colonies. He just wouldn't care. And he was right. It seems there was absolutely nothing we could do to stop him. He was already above 45VP (the track limit) by the end of the 4th cycle. What did we play wrong here? The examination action lets you draw as many cards as the number of regolith (the red ones) tokens you just draw, right? So one might draw up to 4 cards in a single action!? +2 with the Soil Analyst on your side? This strategy seems - by far - the easiest way to win the game. You loose so many time/energy trying to gather food, water then medicines. It seems just worthless... Just give your colonies enough oxygen to survive, then let them starve and fulfill contracts with your cards! Is it that simple? (read below)

10) Why a 45VP limit on the VP track? If we played it right, it seems you can go much higher than that. Again, did we miss something here?

11) What are the "hidden goal cards" from the collector edition? I couldn't find such cards in my copy of the game. At least within my stacks of French cards. How do they look like?

Thanks for your help. I doubt anyone might answer these questions though, aside of the author/publisher of the game themselves.

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Sebastian
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Tychy
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1) Yes. You could spend Your TU like that.

2) No, there's no refill of the RTG.

4) No, You can't get rid of an expert/assistant one You bought them (FAQ p.2 q.9)

6) All tokens ect. are limited.

7) You get a birth-token if You fulfilled all the needs (Medicine/Food/Oxygen), during the quarters summary phase - that's one. The second one You get if You have the Tech, that's the one You get one "free" at the start of the cycle. After unlocking additional Colonist, those tokens don't do anything after that (possible use in fan made or future scenarios).

8) No. Once the needs are fulfilled You can't deliver any more.

10) Just leave a disc there and with another one start counting from the start of the track.

11) Hidden goal cards - they should have a "blueprint" image of some machine/tech with condition like "2 solar panels + solar energy tech" (not actual text from cards), completing those conditions grants some VP.
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Gunther Schmidl
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5) Blank cards mean no reward. Discard.

Proof of life: it doesn't really matter when you score them. I'd say score and discard.

9) If all your colonists die, you lose. If you have ANY tokens on your colony at the end of the game, you lose. For each dead colonist, you also lose a turn per round. And you lose two action pawns if you don't care about food and medicine. Seems to me like you played it completely wrong here.


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François Mahieu
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Rhode-Saint-Genèse
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MordimerMort wrote:

10) Just leave a disc there and with another one start counting from the start of the track.


I certainly won't, as I desperately need them to unlock new technologies!
More seriously, what would happen if I hadn't any disc available (all my discs being either on the main board or my corporation board)? More than that, is it normal to beat so easily the track limit after a first play!?

gschmidel wrote:
9) If all your colonists die, you lose. If you have ANY tokens on your colony at the end of the game, you lose. For each dead colonist, you also lose a turn per round. And you lose two action pawns if you don't care about food and medicine. Seems to me like you played it completely wrong here.


You don't loose at all if you have token left on your colony at the end of the game, no. I don't know where you got this info from.

And I think we played it well on the opposite. Actually my friend didn't let them die per se. He just provided them enough oxygen in order to survive. But he never gathered any food nor medicine. The penalties for playing that way are very low. It seems you only loose 1 TU and 2$ for not healing/feeding your entire colony. Why would one struggle to heal/feed them with such small consequences? I'd rather pay 1 TU and 2$ instead of spending most of my actions trying to gather enough food and medicine. That was my point.
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Gunther Schmidl
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poifpoif wrote:

You don't loose at all if you have token left on your colony at the end of the game, no. I don't know where you got this info from.


Sorry, that's only in cooperative mode.
 
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François Mahieu
Belgium
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Eventually I sold my copy. Easiest path.

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SIMON WRAY
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Troubled by the lack of response to the perceived strategic flaw laid out in the OP... anyone care to comment?
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Alex Pupp
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Norderstedt
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Revenant wrote:
Troubled by the lack of response to the perceived strategic flaw laid out in the OP... anyone care to comment?

Well he loses 3 VP for each demand marker on his quarter. Which if he removed none of hunger and sickness would sum up to (4 + 8) x 3 = 36 VP loss which should remove enough of his VP to make his opponents competitive I assume, not yet having played.
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Erik Downie
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Wirral
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Slayman wrote:
Revenant wrote:
Troubled by the lack of response to the perceived strategic flaw laid out in the OP... anyone care to comment?

Well he loses 3 VP for each demand marker on his quarter. Which if he removed none of hunger and sickness would sum up to (4 + 8) x 3 = 36 VP loss which should remove enough of his VP to make his opponents competitive I assume, not yet having played.


But you remove all the bad tokens at the end of a cycle, apart from the final one. Worst case would be 4 tokens (1 hunger, 1 disease, 2 hunger) = 12 points lost
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Dieter van Loon
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There are 4 tokens each round in COM.4:

- 1 disease (worth 3 points when removed)
- 2 hunger (worth 2 points each when removed)
- 1 oxygen


Assuming he always removed the oxygen to avoid killing his astronauts, he is left with 3 tokens at the end of each cycle worth 7 points in total.

There are 5 cycles in COM.4 but during the first no disease and hunger tokens are placed which means:
Total cost of this strategy:
- 28 VP (7 x 4 cycles) that he misses out on in case he never removed a disease or hunger token.
- 12 VP (3 x 4 tokens) that gets subtracted during end scoring for not removing the tokens.
- 16 credits (4 cycles x 2 hunger tokens) to get all his starved workers back
- 4 time units to get his diseased workers back.

As he never removed the tokens, he also never got any birthrate tokens (unless he was able to research the birth management technology)
This means he also did not have a chance at getting an extra round.
This extra round also means an increase in hunger tokens being placed (population increase), which results in another 2 victory points that could be scored if it's being removed.


Regarding the track that only goes up to 45. We just continued looping, it is not "that" difficult to count your final result + 45 if you looped once. You could use some kind of token to indicate how often you looped. I agree it would have been nice to stop the track at 50 to have easier loops, but it's not something that cannot be overcome.

**Edited as I forgot to include the negative points during end scoring
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Ori Kagan
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Vyking wrote:
Slayman wrote:
Revenant wrote:
Troubled by the lack of response to the perceived strategic flaw laid out in the OP... anyone care to comment?

Well he loses 3 VP for each demand marker on his quarter. Which if he removed none of hunger and sickness would sum up to (4 + 8) x 3 = 36 VP loss which should remove enough of his VP to make his opponents competitive I assume, not yet having played.


But you remove all the bad tokens at the end of a cycle, apart from the final one. Worst case would be 4 tokens (1 hunger, 1 disease, 2 hunger) = 12 points lost


Where does it say this? We've been playing with accumulating bad tokens from cycle to cycle... which becomes near impossible to beat. This makes more sense but i can't find something to back this up in the rules...
 
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Erik Downie
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Page 18. Top right paragraph.
"After analyzing all the quarters, all the oxygen, disease and hunger tokens should be removed from them, except for the last round of the game, when those demand tokens are supposed to stay in the quarters."
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Oliver Kinne
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3) Is it allowed to hire the same assistant twice, and get twice their benefits!? Nothing in the rulebook stating the opposite.

I'd say you can - see another discussion here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1732674/com4-mode-multiple-...
 
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