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Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Gauntlet - Difficult - 0 vs. 1 rss

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Greg Jones
United States
Washington
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That is, Old Earth vs. Epsilon Eridani.

I'm writing this session report on paper because the power has gone out.

I got a pretty decent starting hand for Old Earth. I've concluded that the key for Old Earth is a cheap early windfall world. You can Trade it for +1 cards, and later when you Produce on it you can Consume the good for a point using Old Earth's Consume power. I had Rebel Fuel Cache (1-strength brown military windfall) and Contact Specialists. So first turn I called Develop and Settle and put these down.

Next turn I called Explore +1/+1 and Trade, bringing me to exactly 10 cards. I had Lost Species Ark World (5-cost green production, +2 cards Produce power) from my starting hand, and now I had enough cards to build it. I also found some nice stuff. I got Galactic Trendsetters, which would also be part of a good Produce/Consume strategy. Also, I found Reptilian Uplift Race (2-strength green military windfall), which I could Settle cheaply using Contact Specialists if I needed another Trade boost.

Next round I couldn't Settle Reptilian Uplift Race and Trade, though; I would have to spend some cards first to keep under the hand limit. So I called Settle + Settle, planning to Settle Reptilian Uplift Race and Galactic Trendsetters, and Trade next turn. Instead, since the robot called Produce, I Settled Lost Species Ark World. It would get a green good on it by the end of the turn, the same as Reptilian Uplift Race. It only cost 4 more, while immediately earning 2 cards, and having more long-term potential. For my second Settle I put down Rebel Sympathizers (1-strength blue military windfall, +1 card Produce power), which I had found on the robot's Explore. It was 1 cheaper than Reptilian Uplift Race, and the Trade value was not important as I had the good coming on Lost Species Ark World to Trade.

Next turn I Settled Galactic Trendsetters. That left me few cards, so I Traded. I found Merchant Guild, which looked valuable for me.

The robot wasn't really getting anywhere. It had Traded a couple times and its credit was maxed out, but I was carefully avoiding Develop, and it didn't roll it either. It was doing pretty badly at flipping for military worlds too. For the next to last two rounds, it rolled Explore and Trade, which was not very useful for it. It added a card to its draw pile (to little avail), and picked up 2 VP chips each time, but it was already maxed out on credit, so it couldn't add any more.

Next turn I Settled a cheap production world and Produced for 3 goods and 3 cards. Then I Consumed/2xVPs, but didn't immediately Produce, since that would put me over my hand limit given all my card draws on Produce. I Settled another production world instead. Next round it was Settle + Produce. I was going to Settle Volcanic World (2-cost brown prodution), but I drew Alien Robotic Factory (6-cost yellow production) on the robot's Explore. I calculated that even paying full price for it, I could still afford Merchant Guild on the next turn after my Produce draws. So I built it for the points.

The next round would be the last as I would Consume the remaining points. The obvious other action was to Develop Merchant Guild, but I calculated that it would be worth 8 points to me, and the robot, with maximum credit, would be guaranteed to get a 9-point 6-cost development chip. So I would just let the robot decide whether to Develop. What other action to do, though?

I wouldn't choose Settle, because then I wouldn't have enough cards to Develop. In any case, in all likelihood the robot would Settle for more points than me. My most valuable world was worth 2 points. Explore +1/+1 was a possibility. If the robot rolled Develop and Settle, I could then afford to do both and get an extra 1 point. I could Explore +5 and hope to find a different 6-cost Development, but which one would be worth more than 8 points for my tableau? Trade didn't make much sense. It would only be worth tiebreaker points.

I actually figured Produce was my best choice, oddly enough. If the robot matched, choosing Produce would make it take a useless action instead of x2. As it turned out, my tactic didn't work. The robot rolled "star" and "robot". Epsilon Eridani's robot action is "star", so it double-matched my actions. It got 4 points. I hadn't added any new Consume powers to complement my new Production Worlds, which I had intended mostly for bonus points on Merchant Guild. So I still got 8 points, and 3 cards. Then I Produced 5 goods and 3 cards. I exceeded my hand limit, so I had an unbeatable (by the robot) 15-card tiebreaker, if it came to that.

Of course it didn't. The robot had a pretty low score. It only ever built four buildings, and no 6-cost developments.

Final score:
me: 36
robot: 20

me:
6-cost developments:
0
other buildings:
18
VP chips:
18

robot:
6-cost developments:
0
other buildings:
7
VP chips:
13
 
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