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Sol: Last Days of a Star» Forums » Rules

Subject: Ark made it off Momentum Track / Transmit Tower movement points rss

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Herman Turnip
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Finished up a second game of Sol (fantastic game, BTW), and one player managed to get his Ark off the momentum track relying on Transmit Tower power alone. Does this mean that play ends at that point? I don't see this situation mentioned in the rules.

Also, what's the advantage (if any) to hurling your Sundivers into the core of the sun? It seems more efficient to use your Transmit Towers to gain high movements (1 Sundiver giving you up to 8 moment points for your Ark when placed in the core area) then returning the Sundivers back to your hold instead of vaporizing them if you were to hurl them into the core.

If I'm misinterpreting the movement rules for Transmit Towers please feel free to correct me.

Much appreciated. Thanks!
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Garry Rice
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The momentum track is essentially a score track...I'd just start him over at the beginning with some sort of indicator that he is on his second lap.
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Herman Turnip
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garry_rice wrote:
The momentum track is essentially a score track...I'd just start him over at the beginning with some sort of indicator that he is on his second lap.


Thanks! That's a possible answer, but the Momentum Track has an arrow indicating that once reached the Ark is jettisoned off the board. Am I reading too much into that arrow?
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Ryan Spangler
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Hey Herman!

I have a suspicion: are you sure you were spending 8 energy every time you transmitted 8 momentum with your tower in the core?

That is the main advantage of hurling over using towers, when hurling you don't have to spend energy. This and the fact that you exceeded 55 momentum lead me to believe you were possibly not paying energy for the transmissions?
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Jon W
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prismofeverything wrote:
I have a suspicion: are you sure you were spending 8 energy every time you transmitted 8 momentum with your tower in the core?

I wondered the same thing. I also wondered if he was drawing the extra 3 cards each activation, thus accelerating the end of the game (and shortening opportunities to "abuse" the core tower). That tradeoff's been biting me in my first few solo plays.
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Herman Turnip
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prismofeverything wrote:
Hey Herman!

I have a suspicion: are you sure you were spending 8 energy every time you transmitted 8 momentum with your tower in the core?

That is the main advantage of hurling over using towers, when hurling you don't have to spend energy. This and the fact that you exceeded 55 momentum lead me to believe you were possibly not paying energy for the transmissions?


We were paying energy for each momentum from the towers (8 energy for 8 movement), but when spamming the Transmit Towers our Arks moved at a rapid pace. We also used a max of 5 Sundowners when utilizing the Energy Nodes and Foundries (5 ships at each energy node would gain us max 10 energy at one node). That, coupled with the free activations during solar flares for Energey/Foundries in the 1/0 and 1/1 locations (where we placed most of our Energy/Foundry stations, returning Sundowners to our holds after each activation) we could often stockpile our holds with energy. Using areas 1/0 and 1/1 we didn't have to draw many instability cards.

We did draw instability cards as necessary (1/2/3) when activating/converting in those three layers.

It just seemed like we could take our time and stockpile Sundowners/Energy then make our dives down our gates to our towers.

I don't *feel* like we were playing incorrectly, but if so correcting me would be most welcome.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!
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Jon W
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HermanTurnip wrote:
We also used a max of 5 Sundowners when utilizing the Energy Nodes and Foundries (5 ships at each energy node would gain us max 10 energy at one node).

This feels like it might have been wrong. You activate each node with one sundiver. So if all 3 of your energy nodes were in inner orbit (1/1), and each had one sundiver on it, you could activate, retrieve all 3 sundivers to your hold, and collect 6 energy.

But you can't multiply that effect by retrieving more than one sundiver. So having 5 on a single node wouldn't benefit you much, as it would take 5 turns to get the 10 energy. And presumably time would be passing while that occurs (though not if everyone else had their infrastructure in orbit as well and were biding their time).
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Ryan Spangler
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HermanTurnip wrote:
We were paying energy for each momentum from the towers (8 energy for 8 movement), but when spamming the Transmit Towers our Arks moved at a rapid pace. We also used a max of 5 Sundowners when utilizing the Energy Nodes and Foundries (5 ships at each energy node would gain us max 10 energy at one node). That, coupled with the free activations during solar flares for Energey/Foundries in the 1/0 and 1/1 locations (where we placed most of our Energy/Foundry stations, returning Sundowners to our holds after each activation) we could often stockpile our holds with energy. Using areas 1/0 and 1/1 we didn't have to draw many instability cards.

We did draw instability cards as necessary (1/2/3) when activating/converting in those three layers.

It just seemed like we could take our time and stockpile Sundowners/Energy then make our dives down our gates to our towers.

I don't *feel* like we were playing incorrectly, but if so correcting me would be most welcome.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!


Okay, I think that is the problem: You can only activate each station once a turn! You can activate as many different stations of the same type as you have sundivers on, but having multiple sundivers on a single station does not change anything, you can still only activate it once.

Also, based on your description of "stockpiling" energy, I suspect you were not applying the rule where for each solar flare you pull, if you have 13 or more energy you lose half (rounded up!)

That sounds like a wacky way to play, glad it was still fun for everyone! I will have to try your variant and see how it plays : ) You may find rules-as-written a little tame after that (if possibly more strategic?)
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Herman Turnip
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waddball wrote:
HermanTurnip wrote:
We also used a max of 5 Sundowners when utilizing the Energy Nodes and Foundries (5 ships at each energy node would gain us max 10 energy at one node).

This feels like it might have been wrong. You activate each node with one sundiver. So if all 3 of your energy nodes were in inner orbit (1/1), and each had one sundiver on it, you could activate, retrieve all 3 sundivers to your hold, and collect 6 energy.

But you can't multiply that effect by retrieving more than one sundiver. So having 5 on a single node wouldn't benefit you much, as it would take 5 turns to get the 10 energy. And presumably time would be passing while that occurs (though not if everyone else had their infrastructure in orbit as well and were biding their time).


Ah...thanks for the assist! Much appreciated, Waddball.
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Herman Turnip
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prismofeverything wrote:
Okay, I think that is the problem: You can only activate each station once a turn! You can activate as many different stations of the same type as you have sundivers on, but having multiple sundivers on a single station does not change anything, you can still only activate it once.

Also, based on your description of "stockpiling" energy, I suspect you were not applying the rule where for each solar flare you pull, if you have 13 or more energy you lose half (rounded up!)

That sounds like a wacky way to play, glad it was still fun for everyone! I will have to try your variant and see how it plays : ) You may find rules-as-written a little tame after that (if possibly more strategic?)


It's all so clear now. I *knew* we were doing something wrong here. Thanks for making me see the light. Looking forward to breaking out Sol again this weekend for a fair playthrough!
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Ryan Spangler
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HermanTurnip wrote:
It's all so clear now. I *knew* we were doing something wrong here. Thanks for making me see the light. Looking forward to breaking out Sol again this weekend for a fair playthrough!


Awesome, glad to help! To answer the *original* question of this thread, yes the original intention of the 55 space on the momentum track was that if anyone ever gets there they escape and win immediately!

However, after countless playtests and playthroughs this never actually happened. Ever! So like a strange vestigial appendage the rule gradually faded away and now does not seem to have even made it into the rulebook.

At this point I don't want to make any edits to the rules as written unless absolutely necessary, but if you play a game by the rules and someone makes it to 55 momentum, feel free to tell them they win immediately!

Then, please let me know : ) I expect now that the game is in the wild it is only a matter of time before it happens, but I would still be interested to hear about it.

Thanks again!
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Joshua Schorr
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HermanTurnip wrote:
That, coupled with the free activations during solar flares for Energey/Foundries in the 1/0 and 1/1 locations (where we placed most of our Energy/Foundry stations, returning Sundowners to our holds after each activation) we could often stockpile our holds with energy. Using areas 1/0 and 1/1 we didn't have to draw many instability cards.

Herman: In addition to the rules clarified by Ryan, you only get the "orbital activation" during a solar flare from stations in the outer orbit (the outer most ring), not the inner orbit.

prismofeverything wrote:
Also, based on your description of "stockpiling" energy, I suspect you were not applying the rule where for each solar flare you pull, if you have 13 or more energy you lose half (rounded up!)

Ryan: You just pointed out that during a solar flare, you lose half of your energy if the player has 13 or more "rounded up!". However, the rulebook says "round down loss". I'll probably keep playing the "nicer" way indicated in the rulebook, but just wanted to point out the contradiction. (really liking the game BTW)
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Ryan Spangler
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frogzop wrote:
Ryan: You just pointed out that during a solar flare, you lose half of your energy if the player has 13 or more "rounded up!". However, the rulebook says "round down loss". I'll probably keep playing the "nicer" way indicated in the rulebook, but just wanted to point out the contradiction. (really liking the game BTW)


Aha! You are totally correct. When demoing the game this would change based on my mood. Apparently I was feeling generous the day the final rulebook proofing went out ; )
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Herman Turnip
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frogzop wrote:
[q="HermanTurnip"]
Herman: In addition to the rules clarified by Ryan, you only get the "orbital activation" during a solar flare from stations in the outer orbit (the outer most ring), not the inner orbit.


Thanks Frogzop! Will review the rules on this. Sol is one of those rare games that keeps me thinking about it long after gameplay ends. Can't wait to break it out again this weekend with the group.
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