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Subject: Replicant Robots + Rosetta Stone World. Any other 5pt openers? rss

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Joe Berger
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In the 3 player game we played at lunchtime today, I had both these in my starting hand, and played them for 5 pts (0 income).
Combined they also give a -$4 discount on alien worlds to boot (-$2 to non-alien). I had to spend the next two turns survey teaming/exploring, but I managed to get my income up and won on turn six, but only just (53 vs 51 to my regular nemesis, who otherwise almost always wins).

Does anyone know if there's an equal or better starting combo, points and powers wise?
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Martin G
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*shakes fist*
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Zoe M
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In general, I don't love any starting play that leaves me with no income or cards. Then it basically comes down to the luck of the draw: your first explore has to go well, or you're forced to explore again. And you really can't count on having any decent, playable cards even for your last few turns. The Alien discount is only valuable if you can actually draw Alien worlds. So it may work out nicely, but it could just as easily be a dramatic failure.

I'm often happier with a first-turn explore that will more reliably leave me in good shape for the next two turns. One of my favourite cards to see in my starting hand is Lost Species Ark World (2 points, 4 income), even though it requires a first-turn explore to pay its 5 cost.

In terms of Replicant Robots, I'd rather pair it with an income-generating brown world, even if that means a first-turn explore.

Some tableaus that I've enjoyed, with more emphasis on the bigger picture than the standalone combo:





Basically I don't think the five-point opener is anywhere close to the ideal. The early priority is income, not points.
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Martin G
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Agree with all of that. It was interesting to see Joe's low-income strategy (just) pay off though. He was lucky to draw a couple of alien worlds after the initial gambit. And the first-turn play alone scored 30 of his 53 points!

PS GalFed *and* SETI? That's just brutal
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Zoe M
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Oh, I definitely agree that some strategies can be more fun (and satisfying when they pay off). One thing I like about this game is that it's short enough to take wild risks without worrying about whether they'll go horribly wrong.

The game with both Galactic Federation and SETI seemed like the perfect example of payoff for drawing lots of cards
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Martin G
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Dunyazad wrote:
One thing I like about this game is that it's short enough to take wild risks without worrying about whether they'll go horribly wrong.


The time I played a turn 1 War Propaganda springs to mind...
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Zoe M
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Ha, I was thinking the same thing!

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Martin G
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Yeah, it didn't work out so well for me
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Zoe M
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For some reason I'm less inclined to take pictures when my War Propaganda gets stolen
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Joe Berger
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I'd do it again I think, in the interests of experimentation.
The -$2 discount on all worlds is pretty useful too.
Alien worlds are fairly thin on the ground but Rosetta Stone also gave me 2 eyes, which helped. But I feel like there were other options aside from going Alien.

That said, Martin squeaking over the line with 51 was fairly uncharacteristic - so I'm not kidding myself that it's a dominating strategy; it's a speed-run. :)
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Zoe M
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It would be fun to try an experiment—play that opener five or ten times and report back on how it works out.
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Zoe M
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Here are my two attempts from today, against an opponent playing normally.

The first one was a bad game for both of us; we both had 62 points after seven rounds, and he won on the tiebreak (six income to five).

The second one went much better since I happened to draw a couple of alien cards early on. I won that one 54 to 43.





(ETA: Disregard any carelessness in the arrangement of my cards. The sloppiness didn't affect the gameplay—i.e., I didn't score eyes from the unflipped explore tile, and I didn't play settlements and developments out of order in an attempt to use the settlement powers for the development. I should have made sure everything looked perfect before taking the photos )
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Martin G
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Tonight, a 2-income tableau that scored 80 in 6 turns... and lost by a point!

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Zoe M
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That is pretty impressive!
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Martin G
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If only my turn 6 hand had had a colony convoy and another trendsetter!
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Tom Lehmann
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Just a quick comment: it's great seeing actual tableaus this way. Thanks for posting them and keep taking pictures!
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Zoe M
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qwertymartin wrote:
If only my turn 6 hand had had a colony convoy and another trendsetter!


This raises an interesting question for another thread: what's the maximum possible score in six rounds? Is it basically your board with the one extra via Colony Convoy?
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Zoe M
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Just a quick comment: it's great seeing actual tableaus this way. Thanks for posting them and keep taking pictures!


I like it that so much of the game can be captured in a single photo meeple
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Martin G
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Dunyazad wrote:
Tom Lehmann wrote:
Just a quick comment: it's great seeing actual tableaus this way. Thanks for posting them and keep taking pictures!


I like it that so much of the game can be captured in a single photo meeple


Yeah, just what I was going to say. I really like scoring using the recommended method for that reason too.
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Martin G
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Dunyazad wrote:
qwertymartin wrote:
If only my turn 6 hand had had a colony convoy and another trendsetter!


This raises an interesting question for another thread: what's the maximum possible score in six rounds? Is it basically your board with the one extra via Colony Convoy?


Substitute Gem World for Ancient Races too and you get 49 on turn 5, 104 on turn 6. That seems like a good marker!
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Tom Lehmann
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A trivial variation on this will yield 105 on turn 6. A more sophisticated version will yield 108...

A somewhat different line will give you 123 VPs in 6 turns which is probably the maximum.

And, of course, it is possible to win in 5 turns...
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Martin G
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
A trivial variation on this will yield 105 on turn 6. A more sophisticated version will yield 108...


Without breaking 50 on turn 5? I'll have a think...
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Tom Lehmann
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Well, the theoretical maximum in 6 turns is to assume that you're at 49 VPs at the end of the 5th round and observe that if turn 6 involves going from 4 to 6 Trendsetters (not 3 to 5), then you're adding +40 to your VPs on turn 5, which, assuming you went from 2 to 4 Trendsetters on that turn, is +24 VPs to your VPs on turn 4, which assuming you went from 0 to 2 Trendsetters on turn 4, is +8 to your VPs/turn on turn 3.

X + X+8 + X+8+24 = 49 --> 3X = 9 --> X=3

Turn 6 VPs are then 3 + 3+8 + 3+8+24 + 3+8+24+40 = 124.

But, this assumes that your turn 1 and 2 VPs are 0 and that you can pay for everything. I have to juggle things a bit to set things up and, as a result, can get to only 123 VPs. Perhaps, someone can do better?
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Martin G
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Would this do it?

Turn 1: Galactic Advertisers

Turn 2: Galactic Advertisers

Turn 3: Replicant Robots and a 1/1 world

...
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Kevin B. Smith
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I'm more interested in winning in 5 than in having the highest possible score in 6!
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