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Subject: Not enough Fuel? rss

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Gabriele Tornar
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Some of the friends I played with complain that it is too easy to be stuck if you don't find a "fuel" planet soon.

Personally I don't agree (I think that there viable strategies to compensate for this, so that even a player without fuel in the early game has a chance to win) but we did not play enough yet so that I have a clear "demonstration" of that, is more like a gut feeling which is different for me.

Does anybody else find that there is a problem with fuel?

I think that if you do, just a small variant of starting with one extra fuel card should be a sufficient solution (so that you've got a second chance to find a fuel planet if you feel you really need to).

However I'd also like to know if other people thinks, like my friends do, that there may be an issue in the importance of finding or not fuel in the early game to win. And/or if somebody may suggest to my friends good strategies to win when you've not enough fuel.

(I was unsure if this post fits better the "Strategy" or "Variants" section, sorry if I have chosen the wrong place!)
 
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Terry Simo
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I'm not expert on the game but not having an energy planet is a detriment but the trading option can get you the resources you need. There always seems to be one or two resources that you may not be producing or not producing in big enough quantities so you may have to rely on trading to get what you need from others or the bank.

T-Mo
 
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Betty Dingus
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Being the one with no energy the first few moves in yesterday's game, I can say with certainty that it killed the game for me. No other resources were crucial in that way (as in you can't move to go somewhere better) and no one traded energy till the game was half over. No way to recover that I could see (unless hit the score of 42, which I couldn't, as I couldn't get to alien planets to get the card!). I didn't quit but I might as well have.
 
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James
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In my game last night I did not find a fuel planet for approximately half the game. I did not go on to win the game, but I was in the game the entire time and only lost by a few points (ironically the fellow that won discarded a huge amount of fuel for the 'like resources' scoring card but I digress).

I traded other resources for fuel, and since I had other resources I was able to build colonies/factories/terraformers/ships more easily early game and scoop up some easy bonus victory points. I don't think not having a fuel planet was a huge disadvantage as I was able to trade for the fuel (1-for-2 from the treasury), and it only takes a single fuel to move from a planet to another planet in the same system or move to deep space. Remember, you've seen all the planets in the system your ship is in, so you know if you need to move to deep space or just another planet in that system! Also remember that the move from deep space to a planet does not cost a fuel, so early game it's not as crucial. I did want fuel after I built my second ship, but I was able to find one not too long after that as I had two ships I could send to new systems..
 
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Mike Ruskey
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Since my game won't arrive until tomorrow, I can't speak from experience but it seems odd that you couldn't acquire energy since the rules state that you can trade for it with the bank.
 
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Betty Dingus
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mijoru wrote:
Since my game won't arrive until tomorrow, I can't speak from experience but it seems odd that you couldn't acquire energy since the rules state that you can trade for it with the bank.


Yes, you can trade two other resources for one from the bank. I could choose to use my cards in the line for my planets to produce (other people used their cards to produce energy, water and plants -- I was on two ore planets). So It would take several rounds to produce, trade, build and then fly to another planet that would perhaps be more advantageous. Plus I needed that ore to build a second spaceship! And then have energy to fly it -- two for another system or one for deep space and then wait to land it another turn. I was using that thrifty strategy, as Bruzza mentioned in his post. The system I was at had only two planets left, both water, so no need to go there.

So when I said no one traded ore, I meant people, not the bank. It was like being beside never-rolled hexes in Settlers, with your road segments blocked off. But I didn't choose the planets, the first was random and the second was a choice of ore or water.

Anyway, because it happened to me in a long, disheartening three-hour game, I agree with Gabriele's friends' complaints.
 
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Terry Simo
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Building the spaceship isn't a bad move if you are energy poor as it's first move from Deep Space is free which would help you find an Energy planet.

T-Mo
 
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mojo shivers
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Also, depending if you have food/water planets or mineral planets in your system, you could go early colonies/factories or early ships.

For me, I have a lot more trouble coping with a food/water shortage than a fuel shortage. However, that is not crippling to a win as I've come back to compete for the lead. I don't think there isn't a crippling shortage that is game killing.
 
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Phil Thompson
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Having played my first game of this just to get the rules I thought I would try some strategy for my second, and went with the monopoly strategy, which turned out to be gold.

I never bothered with a second ship or an energy planet, I just produced and traded.In a five player game you can usually always rely on someone else's build action, and it's rare to have enough to build more than one item at a time until the endgame. My third action would always be scoring, single resource/factories/starships ( always tied )

I think I traded twice for energy throughout the whole game, and finished occupying three systems. It served me well as I had an easy victory but I should add this was almost entirely down to two first time players just not getting the scoring.Nobody tried scoring systems until far too late into the game to catch me.

I entirely agree with other posts that this game is won with the three point bonuses and that terraforming is particularly strong in this respect.

 
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Christopher Stone-Bush
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I played a game recently where I was 'Fuel Poor' for most of the time. It was mostly due to bad luck as the few systems I was able to move to either didn't have a Fuel Planet or had already been claimed by another player. It does hurt, but there are ways around it.

As other people have said, you can trade with the bank for Fuel. To that end 'double up' on the type of resource planets you claim. That'll allow you to (hopefully) collect 3 or 4 resource cards with a single Production Action, thereby having a surplus to trade with. Or 'piggyback' off of an opponent's resource, preferably one coupled with a resource you are strong in on your Production card.

Several times during our games I have failed to find the resource I was hoping for when entering a new system. When that happens, I try to land on a planet that makes what seems to be a frequently produced resource. Sure, no one will trade with you, as the other players will have the same resource, but it'll hopefully give you some 'free' resources that you can pitch to the bank.

Basically, I think that there are existing ways around the problem of not having a specific resource. Having people cry about it just means that they are not trying hard enough, or are not being flexible with their strategies.
 
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