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Subject: Long term occupation rss

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Joe Fatula
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In the Stations expansion, some missions are for long-term manned occupation of space, giving you points for every year that you have an astronaut in a certain location.

For example, there's a mission card for Manned Presence in Space. No one collects this mission card -- instead, at the end of each year, anyone who has an astronaut in space gets half a point.

I'm still working out the proper point values for different manned presence missions, but what I'm using so far is:
- Space: ½ pt/yr
- Moon: 1 pt/yr
- Mars: 2 pt/yr
- Venus: 3 pt/yr

(Currently I'm envisioning engraved wooden tokens to keep track of point values.)

(collected threads about the upcoming Stations expansion)
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Robert Manning
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Would Space be cumulative should more than one such mission be available? That is, would having astronauts on the Moon be 1.5 points per turn if Moon and Space missions were available?
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Joe Fatula
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rmanning wrote:
Would Space be cumulative should more than one such mission be available? That is, would having astronauts on the Moon be 1.5 points per turn if Moon and Space missions were available?

That's a decision I haven't figured out yet. When it's done, the wording will be clear -- it'll either say "Earth Orbit" (not cumulative) or "Space" (cumulative).

If it says "Earth Orbit", it'll give players an incentive to keep a station in Earth Orbit, which is something we've done historically, and something I imagine we'll be doing in the future.

If it says "Space", an Earth Orbit station will only occur as long as it's the most useful way to accomplish other goals. This is a more simulationist way to approach the problem.

I'm not sure which one is better yet.
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Josh Zscheile
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Sounds good, but I hope the supply mechanism is re-worked then. 3 points per year on Venus where
Spoiler (click to reveal)
there can only be supply or spacecraft destroyed as of now
seems pretty excessive. Maybe more points if no supply is to be found there?
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JR
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You're killing me, Joe. I'm itching to design and build a custom box with a custom insert to store my whole LE set, but I am reluctant to get started until I have an idea of what will need to be done to ensure Stations will fit in it as well (and maybe extra space for a future expansion...).
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Roger BW
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Real-world proposals for space stations have tended to be either:

A: scientific sites, with ongoing experiments (which might be rolled into an "X points per year" approach);

B: assembly points for large craft that can't be conveniently built on Earth.

LE as it stands offers no incentive for B: you build everything on Earth and rendezvous it after launch if it couldn't go up all at once.

Even if you could fabricate some spacecraft components on the Moon, you wouldn't need a station; you'd just park them in Earth Orbit.

Not sure how B could be incentivised, or whether it's even worth trying.
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Niko
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Dagar wrote:
Sounds good, but I hope the supply mechanism is re-worked then. 3 points per year on Venus where
Spoiler (click to reveal)
there can only be supply or spacecraft destroyed as of now
seems pretty excessive. Maybe more points if no supply is to be found there?
Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. If there are local supplies these missions will be a lot easier than if one needs to bring supplies to it.
Maybe two point values per mission (one for local supplies,one otherwise) or some way to only assign long term occupation missions if there are/aren't supplies at a specific body similar to how Outer Planets selects missions might work.
 
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David Hadden
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Just some thoughts to throw into the mix for what they are (or might not be) worth: If one accepts that a core aspect of this game is risk management, then I'm concerned about an after the fact modificiation of points based on what is found if the conditions on Venus aren't known in advance of the mission. Perhaps only modify the points if Venus is revealed first? What do the "points" really represent? Is the problem that the Venus cards need to be modified?

 
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Bitchy Little Boy
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buffalohat wrote:

(Currently I'm envisioning engraved wooden tokens to keep track of point values.)

Hourglasses (and half-hourglasses) on the spaceship cards?
 
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Joe Fatula
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gmilitaru wrote:
buffalohat wrote:

(Currently I'm envisioning engraved wooden tokens to keep track of point values.)

Hourglasses (and half-hourglasses) on the spaceship cards?

Hourglasses are already in use for time tokens, so we won't be using that shape.

Like missions cards, point tokens would go straight to the player, not to the spacecraft.
 
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Pawel Garycki
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buffalohat wrote:

- Space: ½ pt/yr
- Moon: 1 pt/yr
- Mars: 2 pt/yr
- Venus: 3 pt/yr

Callisto: 4pt/yr (Human Outer Planet Exploration mission - the only one envisioned by NASA to the outer planets)
Titan: 4pt/yr - a bit obvious
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Roger BW
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Looking at this purely in gamist terms, per-year points are hard to balance - you need to consider when the mission can realistically be achieved (in terms of years left before the end of the game).

(I recently played Jump Drive in which every card scores per-turn after it's bought, and if you're slightly slow off the mark there the opposition can build up a buffer of early points that's very hard to catch up to.)
 
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Josh Zscheile
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I agree with Roger - this can be hard to balance against other missions. The good thing is that in principle anyone can do these; the first gets a little amount of points more at best. The bad thing it seems to me is that as of now these missions tend to give more points than comparable ones when rushed towards. There should be some hazards/risks to counter-act that, as even bringing supply there is rather cheap once the Astronauts are there (and the isolation in space seems to be a factor in Stations, so if you need to rotate crews for continuous points, this is a whole other matter).
 
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Kal Goran
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Pre-warning--I'm very new to the game and so don't have the same perspective as veterans, but: Is there potential for an alternative mode where the only objectives are occupancy/habitation related? Start with various rockets developed, but habitation tech, hydroponics, etc all have to be researched/developed. Ultimately its a race to get the most people into habitations, with players deciding their targets.

Maybe you choose the easy LEO space station for half a point per astronaut/per turn. Its easy to get both bodies and additional hab modules bolted onto the station, but you've got to put quite a few people up there, all of which have to continuously be kept fed.

Another player chooses to go to Venus, while another might choose a science base on Europa. Each body out there counts as dramatically more points, but has more time/hazards/costs. This could lead to a (relatively) massive space station in Earth Orbit, vs a small outpost further out.

Exploration could still be valuable, through the possibility of discovering food supplies making resupplying a non-issue. Players could delay committing to a destination without surveying their options.

Thematically I like the idea of a colonization rush, but I have no idea if that would work, but it might offset the concerns about habitation points vs the traditional mission points. Might be too static after the midgame though, unless the mental health aspect adds more uncertainty. Could make the Shuttle more interesting--maybe all rockets are developed but the Shuttle/reusable rocket system isn't, which is an extra development consideration for a LEO station but not as valuable for a deep space station sending fewer missions?

I certainly like the idea of incentivizing proper habitation, however it ends up working out.
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Josh Zscheile
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In principle a good idea, but the game tends to not work that way. Nothing but money hinders you to take your big space station from earth orbit to Inner Planets Transfer and then to Venus for 3 points. Usually you will tend to build your space craft in Earth Orbit anyways, and not send it out in parts. The thing here is that the Orbital Station around Earth is not really a long term strategy imho, as (at least in terms of how the game works now) there is only a one-time cost to get your station further out (at least with hydroponics producing food).
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Joe Fatula
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Dagar wrote:
In principle a good idea, but the game tends to not work that way. Nothing but money hinders you to take your big space station from earth orbit to Inner Planets Transfer and then to Venus for 3 points. Usually you will tend to build your space craft in Earth Orbit anyways, and not send it out in parts. The thing here is that the Orbital Station around Earth is not really a long term strategy imho, as (at least in terms of how the game works now) there is only a one-time cost to get your station further out (at least with hydroponics producing food).

That right there is the balancing question on the Hydroponics module. It needs to be heavy enough that you'd sometimes choose to just send supplies instead, but it needs to be light enough that you'd sometimes send a Hydroponics module.
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