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Subject: Research Labs rss

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Jimmer Sivertsen
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Seattle
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Research labs.

It’s a card that every new player likes, until he or she realizes that they want to call their own phases, rather than explore every turn. (Phase 1: Keep extra card, Phase 4: Consume 1 Gene = 1 VP, Phase 5: Draw a card for each Yellow produced.)

My 2 friends and I had played about 4 games of Race earlier that night, and we had decided that this would be the last game.

I started with Epsilon Eridani – the starting hand was tough: 2-cost Novelty Military, Research Labs, Export Duties, 5-cost Alien Military, Colony Ship, and the 6-cost Galactic Imperium (Rebel)…needless to say, it seemed like a weak start. No production, not enough military…I’ve tried in the past to use Research Labs, but had given up early once better strategies came up.

The idea for the game would be to Explore EVERY TURN. It’s a 3-player game – I’m essentially giving them 1 card, while I try to piggyback on whatever phases they call. Since Explore is the first phase, I can hopefully pick the best cards to match the phases…let’s see…they chose Settle and Produce, I should pick up a production world.

First turn, Explore (mine), Develop and Trade Consume were chosen. I picked up Galactic Renaissance (!), and built Research Labs. Several turns later, these two cards now set me up for or . I played lots of small blue worlds and developments including Consumer Markets, trying to maximize my leech off of their actions, eventually picking up Galactic Federation and SETI.

I ended the game with 57 points, by finishing my tableau. I felt rich the whole game, always having cards and always having cards to play for the phases taking place during the game. I skipped Exploring a couple times when I shouldn't have, because I had so many cards that I wanted to get into play…my opponents still had called the phases I wanted. By exploring every turn, the only leech they received from me was a card each turn (although one player built Research Labs, after seeing me place Galactic Renaissance early). Meanwhile, it cut down leech on real actions – if they wanted to Settle, Develop, or Produce, they needed to do it – they couldn’t count on me. (I believe I called Explore about 75-80% of my actions, and the remaining 20-25% was used for Develop.)

I’m not sure how this works out in 2-player and 4-player games – I suspect 3-player is a sweet spot for this strategy, but I’ll be trying it out in future sessions as I can.
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Chad Ellis
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Brookline
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I think you're right that 3-player is the sweet spot for that card. You're less likely to gave Develop AND Settle chosen in the same turn, so you're less likely to fall way behind because of your early hand-dump and you have more turns to exploit your +1 draw.

Darwin (one of my regular play-partners) has used this card frequently and I'm always uncertain as to how well it pays off. Occasionally it'll be great -- the game will be a bit slow and he'll end up with Trade League at the end so it ends up being worth 4 VPs. Usually it seems good enough that it's not bad but also not amazing (at least in my opinion).
 
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Big Guy
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I like Research Labs because it gives you two cards every time someone else explores.
 
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Z D
United States
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sbarrera wrote:
I like Research Labs because it gives you two cards every time someone else explores.


Problem with that is if you have RL, they tend *not* to explore, right? They don't want to help empower you, after all.

Plus, who calls Explore multiple times during a round unless the Military guy really needs some good worlds or if someone else has RL.

 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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Galactic Renaissance, SETI, and the -2 Dev Discount... Research Labs...yes, I had them all. And what did I do with them? Why, I explored and developed every turn after I got them. This let me find more 6 devs and always gave me enough cards to play it in the dev phase (I had Interstellar Bank, too!). So, it can work with 2 players too. But it's hit or miss, like everything else in RftG.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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An early Developer can probably afford the Labs early. That really annoys a Military strategy.
 
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