He who games with the most dice wins.
I + I = 0
I played my first Stations game last night, solo, on very hard.
I made enough rules mistakes and bone-headed decisions, that I am going to spare everyone a full write-up. Okay-- I'm really sparing myself the embarrassment.
Playing the new expansion was really fun! Not knowing what I might find out there made everything seem new and exciting again. There were some surprises! I'm still holding off reading the hidden information to keep that going for at least a couple more solo games.
I had missions going every which way. All bodies except the moon. Ultimately I skipped Mercury, and a manned flyby of Venus. Almost every mission was manned. If I had played well, I should have at least hit Venus.
I also ran the shuttle rush. Normally I go straight for Saturns, because I know I'm going to haul a lot of mass out of Earth's gravity well. But, even if they do nothing else, the shuttle is more efficient in the long run than Saturns. I lost 4 shuttles in the first few years-- two to bad launches and two burned up on return. I finally had enough sense to wrap up testing of reentry and landing with some Vostoks instead.
I had ongoing points for people in Earth orbit. Traveling to space was dangerous, so I set up a medical station there too. Each year the Vostoks would stay in orbit with my astronauts. The shuttles would land, carry stuff back into orbit and provide sufficient space for the crew to live out the rest of the year in comfort. Two crew finally went up in '64 and never returned to Earth for twenty two years (one of the crew, a pilot, helped with landing in '62). Two more joined them later.
Solar radiation was level two, so I hauled around a space habitat to complete missions to Ceres and Mars. The shuttles worked fine for that. I had a pair of ion engines running light missions (like surveying planets and meeting return shuttles with spare fuel tanks.) I never researched Juno, Saturn or Soyuz. I launched one Atlas, because I had $5 sitting around at the end of one year, but I could have done without.
I should have developed a hydroponics lab, but didn't. Instead I hauled a lot of food into orbit and along mission.
Final score: 130.5 points, with 84 points left on the board (including 40 points for the sample of life mission). Looking forward to playing again, if I can find the time and table space.
Can't wait to play this. Sounds like a lot of fun!
I looked through some of the components and read the rule book again last night. I did not look at any of the mission, location, or feature cards. Would like things to be a surprise when I play for a while...