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High Frontier (Third Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Which modules to add in after base game? rss

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Andrew Roberts
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Which modules are the best to add in after playing the base game? What is the order recommended to add modules in?
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Ronald
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1. Supports
2. Gigawatt thrusters
3. Colonists+Bernal (add them together)

Freighters you can add any time you want, i did it last.
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Dom Rougier
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The Support module is core to everything, so should be added first. You may as well add the other non-card based ones (Combat, politics).

That brings you up to High Frontier pre-Colonisation expansion, so that was originally the "full" game. There's a good argument that this combination is actually the most efficient way to enjoy High Frontier ("fun per hour", if you like, or something like that), we're playing a three player game of just that tonight.

It's definitely worth getting really used to playing with Supports before you bother with the other card decks, since it changes the game completely, and really adds to the depth in bidding, etc.

Aside from that, mostly we've just added the rest in at once, but you can pick and choose.

The real bottleneck are the purple sided cards. You (often) need a Gigawatt Thruster to build labs on TNO sites, so there's an argument that this should be the first module to add.

Freighters will work with just the black sides or the purple sides, but have a relatively minor impact. They might be the easiest to add.

GW and TW thrusters open up the entire board in the mid/late game, but they introduce isotope fuel and awkward building requirements.

Colonists without the Bernal module offer you one additional action, so are reasonably simple to add.

Colonists with the Bernal module and a wet site, you're looking at potentially several, which encourages you to think about colonising sites, rather than just industrial ones.

Bernals by themselves would just add the ability to boost to the Bernal and the chance to create a lab around a Science site. The overhead there is reasonably low, but without the payoff of multiple colonist cards, I'm not sure I'd want them in.

The Endgame modules gets added last.
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Matt Watkins
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Domfluff wrote:
Bernals by themselves would just add the ability to boost to the Bernal and the chance to create a lab around a Science site.


And the ability to produce directly to the Bernal from a dirtside. That's huge! If the dirtside is a science site, you've got a lab--often a much easier way to get a lab than a TNO science site.
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Greg Cooksey
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As far as learning the game goes, I felt like just playing with the Colonization rules (politics, events, flybys, FFT) without adding even the Supports module added a fair bit of complexity. Beyond that, I was thinking about just adding them in the order they're described in the rulebook. Domfluff's advice all looks good to me though.
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Doug DeMoss
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First, supports/politics/events/etc. As already noted, the supports are key to everything else, and you may as well get used to the event cycle screwing you over at every opportunity.

Second, Bernals & colonists. They really go together, IMO. Maybe throw in combat while you're at it. Nobody will probably use it anyway.

Third, everything else. There's no point in adding GW/TW thrusters and advanced freighters before you add the Endgame module - there's just no reason to use them, unless you're using an alternate scenario like the Grand Tour.

Speaking of the Grand Tour, I recommend it as an intermediate-length scenario especially if you DO want to try out GW/TW and freighters, with the caveat that I think it needs to be modified to only require all zones from Mars or perhaps Ceres outward to have claims to trigger the end of the game - unless somebody wants a push factory relatively early, it just doesn't pay to go to Mercury or (especially) Venus in Grand Tour. Plus there's the non-zero possibility that Earth zone will literally have everything bust.
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Scott Mansfield
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I'll second what's been said above;

1. Colonization rules + Supports; radiation hazards, flybys, FFT's, politics, synodic comets, events. Supports are key to all modules, get used to calculating with them.

2. GW/TW thrusters; these are SO much fun you'll never go back...

3. Bernals; not too complicated once you realize they only do a few things, some of which are quite enticing like being able to ET produce to them if they're in the right position

4. Colonists; More operations per turn, special actions, relieves your crew of having to accompany every rocket to avoid the Glitch Event...

The above selection is incredibly rich and along with the Endgame Module, is what I primarily play with.


5. Endgame; The futures are so much fun to try for and a real challenge. Spread between purple side Colonists, Freighters and GW/TW Thrusters there's a lot you can shoot for.

6. Freighters; This is my least favorite, although mobile freighters are quite cool, but I play the least with this and the Combat Module

7. Combat; I've only played with this a few times and didn't like the feel of it. For me it changes the exploration backbone of the game into a more traditional science fiction narrative. I won't spend time or resources exploring out in the Solar System but rather spend more time protecting colonies and factories.
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Stefano Tine'
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demoss1 wrote:
Maybe throw in combat while you're at it. Nobody will probably use it anyway.


Not in my experience. In my games combat is always a huge part. Even if actual fights are rare, the threat of an attack or interception greatly enhances the possibilities and interactivity.

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Patrick Schifano

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demoss1 wrote:
Speaking of the Grand Tour, I recommend it as an intermediate-length scenario especially if you DO want to try out GW/TW and freighters, with the caveat that I think it needs to be modified to only require all zones from Mars or perhaps Ceres outward to have claims to trigger the end of the game - unless somebody wants a push factory relatively early, it just doesn't pay to go to Mercury or (especially) Venus in Grand Tour. Plus there's the non-zero possibility that Earth zone will literally have everything bust.


I will second and third this suggestion. Futures are amazing from a Science Fiction standpoint but really require expert players to not drag on. Both Grand Tour and Futures lead to gameplay not focused around a factory race along with going OUT instead of the belts. Grand Tour is more forgiving to planning mistakes. Leave Futures till everyone is an expert, then allow Frankenstein cybernetic creatures to leave the solar system.
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