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Subject: Opening with Survey team? rss

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Scott Speak
Kenya
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Anyone have much success with this?

In particular with preset hand "B" and going for a gene approach.

Uplift Researchers (4) +1 gene
Uplift Mining Moles (3) +1 gene
Insect Uplift Race (1M) +1 gene

Mining Conglomerate (3)
Pirate Fuel Cache (1)

The goal is to keep all 3 genes in hand, however that is not possible in the opening turn.

Going for quick survey team lets you keep genes around and build up to them.
Do any of the other presets benefit from early survey team like this?
 
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Bwian, just
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It's actually pretty rare for us to not start with Survey Team. Might just be a groupthink thing, but Survey Team followed by Explore can get a good selection of cards going, without tipping you hand to your opponent. (And of course, could be too slow, but since most people I've played with do it the relative speed stays about equal.)
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Kevin B. Smith
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Bwian wrote:
It's actually pretty rare for us to not start with Survey Team.

Do your games tend to end after 7 rounds (give or take a round)?

I sometimes start with Survey team, but usually not. (EDIT: And sometimes when I do it is the survey team alone, but other times it is with a planet.)

I haven't played with the preset hands, so I can't offer any help there. I had a random opening hand last night where I should have done an explore first, because it would have let me get a powerful planet in play on the second round that generated both VP and cards.

This seems like the kind of game where (aside from preset hand openings) if you do the same thing every game, you're probably not playing optimally.
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Serge Levert
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I almost always play survey team. Played around 50 plays.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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As groups become more experienced and better at scoring VPs early and often, Survey Team starts become less common but still happen (30%-70% of the players, depending on their start hands).

Advantages of not starting with a Survey Team are that it A) gives you the option to add one in later (turn 2-4) to help smooth out your growth; B) in 3+ player games, it is possible to get a leg up on some opponents by placing a Trade Pact along with other opponents (which you can't easily do if you start with a Survey Team); and C) you can often get some VP points flowing with some other useful dev (Replicant Robots, Drop Ships, Investment Credits, Trade Pact, Contact Specialist) or a 1 VP, 2 income world.

Advantages of starting with a Survey Team are A) early money can sometimes get out a useful expensive card on turn 2; B) it sets up a possible turn 2 Explore; C) +1 Military along with a 1 defense world can be a good start; and D) did I mention, early money?
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Scott Speak
Kenya
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I imagine an app is in the works? It would be amazing to open up the data stream and let players/programmers parse through the 1000's of games.

At my work we have talked about training a NN for the game.
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