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Subject: How often do you remove Successes in solo play? rss

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Matt Crawford
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I've been having a rough time in my last several games winning the solo game on Hard difficulty. It makes me think I'm doing something fundamentally unsound. Very often I will just run out of time, or be forced to send up an untested rocket to make it back in time, and the rocket will fail somewhere up in space.

I've read some of the play through threads and such, so I have some idea of how I should be doing things. But one particular question I always have is: How often do you all remove Success outcomes when testing your rockets?

I tend to only remove a Success if it's the 2nd outcome -- because then the next one is free. I tend not to remove a Success if it's the first outcome, because it just seems too expensive (and thus slow, since I need that money to build rockets) to work on removing all the outcomes.
 
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Kellen Freeman
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I haven't played all that much, especially on the higher difficulties, so I might not be the most knowledgeable about this, but I remove successes as often as I can. Once I get those cards off the rocket, I know I can send it wherever I want just fine. I can see leaving them sometimes, especially if I'm trying to snag a quick easy mission, but if I plan on sending astronauts out, I want my rocket ready to go without any question it'll get there.
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Mike Hoyt

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Socrates would ask, " Hmmm..you say you don't spend much money on testing, but your rockets keep blowing up?...Hmmmm"

Paying to remove successes is one of the hard decisions in the game, there is no magic formula and no matter what you do it will cost you sooner or later.
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Josh Zscheile
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I have some solo games under my belt, and I tend to remove successes from
- rockets apart from Juno; the latter is just too cheap to look at the deck often enough
- life support after I have had a good glimpse on the deck. I trusted my draw of 11 successes once just to have my Astronaut die to the 12th draw of a Major Failure... never again!
- Ion Thrusters, as the components themselves are too expensive to get lost in Inner Planets Transfer
- Re-Entry, as it is quite expensive to test. I usually dedicate my Life support test capsules after I have seen the deck enough and drop them one by one, paying any outcome. Expensive, but this is also a tech that can cost lives and therefore games.

I tend to leave them on
- Junos
- Landing (can be tested quite cheaply from Sub-Orbital Space
- Rendezvous

I encourage you to think more of other ways that you can save money. If you want to find out yourself, don't look in the spoiler.

My tips:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
- Usually you do not need Saturn and it costs you time and money especially at the start of the game where you want to explore which location can be visited asap to plan your later missions. Soyuz gets rather little love for some reason, but they are awesome. The 7 payload you can get to Orbit with a stack of 2 suffice in any case apart from when you need a Soyuz in Orbit, and if you need that, you at least know where you are heading.
- Use Ion Thrusters wherever you can. Over the course of the game, they save you ridiculous amounts of money compared to if you do not use any.
- Delay your testing to when you really need the tech reliable.
- If you test rockets and Ion Thrusters, do not make it end in itself. Carry some cheap stuff you will not miss (like Junos, Probes and Supply) in case it explodes to where you might need it one day. I usually have a stack of a couple to a couple dozen Junos in Earth Orbit, and they almost always get used up.
- Consider not even paying a Minor Failure on Life Support if you want to bring an Engineer anyways.
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Tony Holt
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I test every one of my technologies to certainty in the solo game. The key in the solo game, in my opinion, is to only "plan" for the 2 or 3 "Big" missions, understanding that the smaller goals will be reached along the way. I get my "on paper" plan figured out for each mission before I ever start the 1st turn, and so I'll know exactly when I'll have to launch by, which tells me exactly how much testing I can do. Double- or triple-up on your testing when possible.

Tony
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Morgul Vale
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tpholt wrote:
I test every one of my technologies to certainty in the solo game. The key in the solo game, in my opinion, is to only "plan" for the 2 or 3 "Big" missions, understanding that the smaller goals will be reached along the way. I get my "on paper" plan figured out for each mission before I ever start the 1st turn, and so I'll know exactly when I'll have to launch by, which tells me exactly how much testing I can do. Double- or triple-up on your testing when possible.

Tony


That's what I do as well.
 
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Josh Zscheile
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Really? I would not enjoy the solo game if I computed everything in advance. I basically go from year to year, but without wasting much money,a s I still focus on the big missions and what I have to do to achieve them.
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Gustav Åkerfelt
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I aim to remove successes more or less all the time. I usually play on hard, and it seems to work. I try not to test unless i have the funds to clear successes too.

Life support, i leave an empty capsule in orbit to "scout" the deck pretty early.
Orbital junos test rendezvous (and then probably landings to repair.)
First Ion-engine tends to go to the moon and back for test-drive.

That kind of thing. So i usually end the game with everything more or less "safe".
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Morgul Vale
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davekuhns wrote:
tpholt wrote:
I test every one of my technologies to certainty in the solo game. The key in the solo game, in my opinion, is to only "plan" for the 2 or 3 "Big" missions, understanding that the smaller goals will be reached along the way. I get my "on paper" plan figured out for each mission before I ever start the 1st turn, and so I'll know exactly when I'll have to launch by, which tells me exactly how much testing I can do. Double- or triple-up on your testing when possible.

Tony


That's what I do as well.


I should add that I don't write anything down and try to keep it in my head (a personal challenge to myself), but I like to try to do it as realistically as possible, so I have everything vetted by the time it runs on its mission. That is also part of the challenge in figuring out how to put that puzzle together.
 
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Matt Crawford
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Thanks for the replies. For what it's worth, it's not like I don't want to test more, but if I do, I will run out of time. The last few games, I have needed a big mission like bringing a sample back from Mars or a man back from Venus, and those take a long time. But I will try some of these suggestions and remove more success outcomes.

I do think I need to use ion thrusters more, from reading a few recent threads. And I definitely have problems planning out complicated multi-stage rendezvous missions, which you need to do to complete the harder missions. Especially with ion thrusters.

It does seem like one of the main tricks in the solo game is creative testing. Figuring out ways to test your technologies without actually needing them.
 
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