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Subject: Explore +5! rss

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Alex Rockwell
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I saw a comment by Tom Lehman, on Brian's blog, that someone he know liked to, as soon as they could get a good sized hand of cards, start doing explore +5 for several turns to get some strong options, while building cheap, helpful things to maintain hand size.

I tried this last night and it worked very well!
The explore +5 will often yield a powerful 6 development or a card that works very well with what youve already got going, such as a production engine card if youve got some production, or a big military card if you have military.

It also has the effect of reducing build opportunities, because you arent creating any, and thus slowing down the game.

So while your opponents are annoyed by the lack of develops/settles, because they have several small things they want to do, you are preparing the big play that you are going to unleash. When the develop/settle does happen you probably do something more powerful than your opponents.


I'm thinking of the explore +1/+1 as more the early game explore (to let you afford something), and +5 explore as the midgame 'I have plenty of cards but need a powerful card to build a strategy around' play.
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Sean Franco
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Makes sense. I think I was doing that intuitively from the beginning, just because I was used to taking Councilor towards the endgame of San Juan, just to find a City Hall or Hero (screw Guildhall).
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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The biggest problem as I see it is that however you explore you are giving your opponents cards for "free" while they are getting discounts/rebates/bonuses on Settling, Developing, Trading, etc. I tend to view explore as I viewed the Mayor in Puerto Rico.
 
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Jimmer Sivertsen
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I was experimenting last night with Explore, performing the action when I could reasonably guess group actions.

For example, you know player A is going to Produce. Without any windfall worlds, it's easiest just to Explore deep, to prepare you for when you have actions to exploit. (Same thing if you sense a wave of Settle actions. Do you really care about drawing a card afterward, or would you rather find a planet that's going to match your overall strategy?)

If you figure there are Settle and Explore actions taking place in the round, it's better off taking Explore +1/+1 than taking Settle. (Keeping 1 of 2 then drawing one more, is worse than keeping 2 of 3.)

Explore +5 is a bit different, but searching deep can pay off sometimes.
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Thom Hall
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Count me in for "goin deep" and I really just started to exercise that option more in my most recent game. Even early on it can yield some helpful cards like the various robots or beefy military.
 
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Matthew M
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cferejohn wrote:
The biggest problem as I see it is that however you explore you are giving your opponents cards for "free" while they are getting discounts/rebates/bonuses on Settling, Developing, Trading, etc. I tend to view explore as I viewed the Mayor in Puerto Rico.


But they are likely just getting a card to use as payment for something else, while you are getting a card that you will actually develop/settle, hopefully to better effect than whatever it is your opponents are playing.

-MMM
 
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Enon Sci
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Better to just get some cheap windfalls down and reap the benefits of retainable cards.

'Course, I do appreciate the Explore +5. It's definitely one of the harder roles to use effectively, but it's likewise a litmus for one's familiarity with this game.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Better to just get some cheap windfalls down and reap the benefits of retainable cards.

'Course, I do appreciate the Explore +5. It's definitely one of the harder roles to use effectively, but it's likewise a litmus for one's familiarity with this game.


Explore +5 is fantastic when you've got plenty of cards, but none of them are screaming to be played. If you suspect a settle or develop that phase, drop and explore +5 and take the best card you can to play if you've got enough garbage in your hand to pay for it. Another thing that you shouldn't overlook is that you can see what phase everyone else picked before you decide which of the 7 cards you liked. If Settle and Produce got picked, take a good production world. If Develop and Consume got picked, pick up a development with a good consume power! Etc... Explore +5 allows you a great amount of versatility to react to whatever phases come up that turn, provided you have enough cards in your hand to pay for what you explore.
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Dave J McWeasely
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There's a flip side to your thoughts on E+5, and that's that you sometimes miss badly and draw 7 chaff cards, and all your well-laid plans go awry. Then your second action (if playing 2-er) or others' actions are useless for you. It seems to happen 33% of the time, though of course the exact %age will depend on what kind of tableau and $ you've got.
 
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Scott Smith
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I know this is obvious, but using the E+5 once I have a 6 point dev in play that gives VPs for specific worlds/devs/card names has worked really well for me.

Usually by this point in the game, giving my opponent a free card has very little impact on the game when compared to the potential bombs you can dig out with your 1 card.
 
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Milinius Corazon
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I totally agree with this strat. Card quality is worth many cards. Especially so for military.

On a related note, the dev bonus is alot better than the settle bonus, because netting one card by reducing whats leaving your hand has higher quality than drawing a card at random. (or in MTG terms, removing a card from your opponent's hand with Duress is generally worth much more than you drawing a card.)
 
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