The wife and I played our first to player game, but we suspect we might be overlooking a rule.
With 72 tiles the last 20 or so cards were placed when each of us had every single emissary out and upgraded as high as we could get them. The game became simply about the luck of the draw in attempts to close off space -- most often small 2-tile areas for six points, then claiming the 2 points for "research".
I've read places that you should play with fewer tiles in a two player game, but the instructions clearly say to shuffle ALL tiles. Am I missing something?
Four Players is 84 tiles. Using that as my basis, I scale the tile count back proportionately so that Three Players is 63 tiles, and Two Players is recommended at 42 tiles.
That tile count works really well for our group. I'm not sure whether this is Canon or not, but it works and I think you will be happy.
I think it is possible to run out of pieces, however it is a matter of strategy rather then construction of the game.
If you are playing 1vs1 game you have 20 pieces and with 72 tiles it is 36 rounds - so it is possible to use them all in 20 rounds and last 16 play without any. Possible but highly improbable
Some rules you might have overlooked:
- you are allowed to do one of the action per round (either upgrade, or place emissary or use trade station or use teleport)
- after you close an area some emissaries are taken back to your hand (two cases a) you loose or draw b) you win - then you can take back as many as you like)
- extractors are forcing neighbouring emissaries back to the hand
Of course it is still possible that playing very non-conflict game and avoiding completely ANY harm to your opponent you never compete for the same nebula/planetary system or use exmiters. But it is very unlikely situation.
And a time for some promotion - there is an easy way to check rules - just play electronic version It is now completely free on Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.greywizard...
Bit late to the game.
For two players there should only be 42 tiles.
Saw it in an errate somewhere and is on one of the player cheet sheets you can download.
Sadly not mentioned in the rule book.
Even so be choosy as to where you place your recouces.
Not so much the stations as they can be built and upgraded as the game goes on.
But the emmisseries as they cannot be recovered from systems locked by your opponent or ones you leave under stations unless you have the ability to teleport them out.
In my experience far to many resources get left in the map because stations are not built so mine them they are valuable at 3 points each and can turn a game. Remember if you place a tile that adds to a system or nebula that you already have a good majority of emmisseries in you don't have to place one on the tile you just placed.
You can use your action to please or upgrade a star base to start mining or improve locked systems for the end scoring.
Also save the limited star bases you have for locked planetry systems where they score big.