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Subject: Love for some unloved cards rss

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Greg Jones
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Mixed-Bag Cards

Cards in Race for the Galaxy are usually priced pretty appropriately. Where you're usually going to find a card that's not too useful is if it has a couple unrelated powers. Some cards have several powers, but they're coherent.



Three different powers, and priced pretty high accordingly, but all you need is one brown world and there's a good chance you can use all of those powers at some point. So this is a pretty popular card.



This one has two pretty distantly-related powers, but it's really worth the price for either one of them.

What some of the unpopular cards have in common is two or more unrelated powers, and a price that reflects the full value. In most circumstances you're not going to build these. It's only in the occasional case when you can make use of both powers that they're worth it.

Produces One Color, Trade Bonus for Another



Produces brown, trade bonus for green.

You probably wouldn't buy it just for the green trade bonus. You'd need to trade twice to make it pay for itself, and you're probably not going to be trading green more than twice. So it's not worth the action opportunity to settle it just for that.

It's more plausible that you'd settle it just as a brown production world. But at 3 it's a bit pricey for that. That's probably the going rate for brown production worlds, but a lot come with better bonus features, like +1 card when you produce on them. Anyway, when it comes to production worlds, you often don't care about the color, and you can definitely get cheaper blue production worlds for 1 or 2. If you have any of those other production worlds in hand, you'll probably build them instead.

Where this world works nicely is in combination with a green windfall world (possibly your start world, Ancient Race, or a military windfall settled with your starting military strength). After you trade off the green windfall good once, you can produce on both of these worlds. Then you can trade two turns in a row without settling or producing in between. You get 3 cards one turn and 6 the other. You would do really well if you could get it out before you initially trade off the green windfall good.



Produces blue, trade bonus for brown.

Likewise, nice in combination with a brown windfall, perhaps Alpha Centauri. Of course the blue good still only trades at 2. It might seem not worth it to trade it, and maybe it's not. Still it could turn into a point, or more later as you start to Produce - Consume cycle with the blue good. Or it might be worth it to trade the blue good. +2 cards is not a bad use of an action early in the game. If you produced and consumed, and all you got was 2 cards, it would be a bad deal, but since you were producing anyway to fill the brown world, trading the blue good is just a bonus.

In any case, 2 is not a bad cost for a production world.



Produces green, trade bonus for blue.

This one's a harder sell. Again, to just use either power individually it's not worth the price. Why would I be so interested in a big blue trade bonus when I've just got a green world that's worth almost as much to trade as the blue with the bonus?

For a non-military green production world, you can't do much better on the price. But again, as far as production worlds go, I usually am not so worried about the color. If I want a trade good, I build a green windfall world for a lot cheaper, and I don't have to wait until I produce on it before I can cash it in.

You can use this one the same way as the others, though. Combine it with a blue windfall. You get two trades for 5 and 4 cards. Of course the initial trade of the blue windfall good is not very worthwhile, unless you can get Distant World out first. That's a bit unlikely, because it's so expensive. You probably need at least one trade first before you can build it. Maybe a more plausible combination is Earth's Lost Colony and Distant World. That could be a good build if you expect an opponent to produce for you. Then you get two nice trades without even having to call Produce yourself.



This one actually has a bonus for its own color, and a production world that trades its good for 4 is not bad at a cost of 2. So this is not really a bad card in any circumstance. Still if I'm just looking for a one-time trade I'd probably prefer one of the 1- or 2-cost green windfalls.

But Spice World is very nice if you can get more than one blue world. Unlike a lot of other blue worlds with blue trade bonuses, its bonus doesn't have to apply to its own good. Use it like a cheaper Distant World. Combine it with a blue windfall or a blue production world, especially if you start with Earth's Lost Colony.

Production Worlds with Consume-for-Cards Powers



Normally, I'd probably prefer if my production worlds have consume-for-points powers. If I'm doing a lot of producing, I can't get around to trading it all.

But these cards help you bootstrap your card supply in a similar way to the trade-bonus cards above. You do a two-world Produce one turn. With these, you then do just one Trade, which pays off in cards for both goods. You might not get quite as much as if you had traded both goods, but it's worth it to get the cards earlier and without tying up as many action selections.





No one really hates these cards, I just include them to illustrate the same principle.

New Vinland actually doesn't consume for fewer cards than it trades for. Note that New Vinland is just Secluded World for double the price and double the benefit. It's nice in combination with a windfall world (especially a windfall start world or early low-strength military windfall).

Smuggling Lair consumes for one fewer card than it trades for. Often you will just build this and trade the good. It's not worth it to call a Trade if you can get the cards without it, but sometimes you can't count on your opponents calling Consume. If the Smuggling Lair good is the only one you have, you may as well call Trade. But an even better use is two have two goods on deck. Call Trade and get cards for both goods. It's especially good in combination with a valuable-color production world (perhaps Damaged Alien Factory).



This is a pretty nice start world. The Trade power alone can make it competitive. However, its price of 3 is pretty high for start worlds, and that makes it one of the start worlds you're less likely to build from your hand. The reason is of course that it has so many powers: a trade power, and actually two consume powers.

The reason I bring it up here is that if you're using some of the above strategies, what you end up with is the ability to produce on two worlds, and often no ability to consume for points at all. Old Earth can drop in at the right time in the game, when you want to switch from generating cards to generating points, and fix that fast. It lets you consume both of those goods for points. If you could get it out a bit earlier, you could also make some gains on your trades. But since it's so expensive, you probably can't. But occasionally, it's worth the cost just for its consume powers.

Production Worlds with Consume for Cards and Points

These are generally some of the most overpriced worlds. The problem is they do so much. They Produce, give you points, and give you cards. Probably you only really wanted one or two out of the three. Production is usually desirable, but at different phases of the game, you either want points of cards, not often both.



5 is just an outrageous price for a brown production world. It's not worth it to get a brown good for trade, it's not worth it to get a good for consuming for points, and it's not worth it to consume a good for cards.

You can use it the same way you use Secluded World. Pair it with a windfall. Trade the windfall good and get a bonus card for consuming the good on New Earth. Or if brown is your best color, reverse it. Trade the good from New Earth, and consume the other good on New Earth for a card.

You also get a point out of the deal, which you probably don't care about at the early stage of the game. Where New Earth is worth its salt is that it stays at least a little bit useful for the rest of the game. It can still be worthwhile when you switch to consuming for points. It's a card that's a little bit useful early and a little bit useful late, which means you have to get it out early to make it worthwhile. And since it's expensive, to me that usually requires using Doomed World or Colony Ship. For those, I'd probably rather have Lost Species Ark World, and I'd almost definitely rather have Galactic Studios. It's the same as New Earth except it gives +1 card on Produce and is blue instead of brown - but the color rarely matters especially as I'm not trading the good. But you can't always be so lucky as to have those in your hand. New Earth is an okay build for Doomed World or Colony Ship.



Plague World is pretty similar to New Earth. It produces and it consumes for a point and a card. It's not really overpriced. 3 is the cheapest for a non-military green production world. The main problem is its point value. 0 points is quite low for a 3-cost card.

It is a bit overpriced. Often, I don't care about the color of my production worlds. If I'm looking for trade goods, I probably use windfall worlds. And most consume-for-points powers take any color. If you disregard the color, it's a bit expensive for a production world. It's a pretty fair price if you're looking for one that also consumes, though.

I don't use this in the early game the same way as New Earth. If I'm trading, I'm probably trading the green good from this world, and because its consume power is limited to green, I can't use it for a bonus card from a second good. However, it is somewhat useful in the midgame. If you're running a Produce - Consume cycle, it's nice if you can gain some cards while you're at it, and this card lets you do that, a little bit.

Non-Military Worlds with +1 Military

These are a mixed bag because they have military strength and some other power unrelated to military. If you're just looking for military strength, developments are a more cost-effective way to go. 1 military strength by itself isn't going to go very far anyway. Once you have some military strength, you're more likely to build on it by building military worlds that have bonus military strength than by settling worlds by paying for them.

Sometimes you just need that 1 extra military strength and you don't have anything else in your hand that will give it to you, so you do build these worlds occasionally.

A couple of these are start worlds: Epsilon Eridani and Separatist Colony. I think these are mainly in the deck as start worlds, and I rarely build them from my hand. Could they have been made more viable for building from your hand by making their cost lower? Yes, but since they come with powers other than the +1 military they would have been too good a deal at the lower cost, while they're too bad a deal at the existing cost.

There are a couple of these, though, that are brown, and that's interesting.





It also happens that there are a number of brown 1-strength military worlds. So if you're going for a brown strategy but didn't start with Alpha Centauri, these can be a nice way to get started.

Other Mixed-Bag Cards



This card is the most mixed bag of all. What do any of its powers have to do with each other? An Explore power, a Consume power for green, and a Produce power having to do with yellow. It only manages to be worthwhile because its powers are so good that sometimes, you only need to make use of two out of three to make it worth the price.

+1 card on Explore is a pretty good power. You can always make use of that. You don't need anything in particular in your hand or tableau to make choosing Explore advantageous. You can always gain one card on your opponents by choosing Explore +1/+1, and with this card you can gain on them by two. That makes choosing Explore a pretty viable way to gain cards. I find Research Labs works pretty well with Galactic Federation. Build Galactic Federation first, and Research Labs isn't so expensive. Then you can call Explore and Develop (2-player advanced) pretty much every round thereafter. Explore +1/+1 and Develop pays for a 6-cost development without spending any of the cards your started the round with. Or Explore +5 and Develop if you need to find more developments to build.

If you're doing a yellow strategy, you might be able to make use of the Explore power and the Produce power. You might be calling Explore frequently to find more yellow worlds, and the Produce power could pay off nicely whenever you or someone else calls Produce.

I haven't found the green power to fit in with the others in any regular way, but occasionally I happen to need to consume an extra green good, and at the same time have use for the other powers on this card.



Sometimes you just need an extra windfall produce power, and Galactic Engineers might be your only way to get it. The powers do make sense together a little bit, because you often use windfall goods for trading, and Galactic Engineers works with windfall worlds. But I don't like this card very much.



Sorry, I couldn't find anything nice to say about this card. I suppose if you're just looking for a consume-for-points power, it's not a much worse alternative than Gambling World. But I really can't see much reason for a blue windfall production power. Not that many blue worlds are windfalls in the first place, and a blue windfall is not that useful to build anyway. It's not too good for trading. I'd usually rather build Artist Colony than go out of my way to build Refugee World and Expanding Colony.

End-Game Worlds



It's rather obvious that this world is not useful for much other than its points. You can certainly get cheaper worlds that just consume for a point. As such, it's usually best played near the end of the game. Earlier, you'd probably do better to spend your cards on cards with powers that will earn you a lot of points in the long run, instead of cards with a fixed face value and little else. But if you get to the end of the game and have some surplus cards in hand, Terraformed World is a good way to convert those to points.



It's less obvious that this is a good end-game card. It's hard to see it as good at any other time than the endgame. 3 is too expensive for a blue windfall. The one point and one card consume power doesn't really make up for it.

I've had it be worth quite a few points in the last round, however. Say on the last round you call Consume/2xVPs, and there is also a Settle. If you can afford it, this card is worth at least 4 points: 2 for face value, and 2 for consuming its good on itself. That's almost as good as Terraformed World and not as expensive.

It can be worth even more. For example, suppose you have Consumer Markets or Free Trade Association, but have not maxed those out with blue goods. You also have another good in your tableau that you have no way to consume. Then you can consume the good from Galactic Resort on one of those developments, and consume the other good on Galactic Resort. You have netted 4 point chips, plus the 2 for the face value of Galactic Resort. 6 points for a 3-cost card is not bad.

You also get one extra card to help with the tiebreaker. Of course, you could make Galactic Resort worth even more if you have a power that consumes cards in hand for points. If you run out of cards in your hand, consuming on Galactic Resort gets you an extra card you can convert. I can imagine a scenario in which Galactic Resort could effectively be worth 7 points, although it would be pretty rare.



Just like Galactic Resort, 3 is too much for a blue windfall. The trade bonus on this one makes it effectively like a brown windfall, but 3 is too much even for a brown windfall. But in the endgame, its power to convert cards in hand to points is most useful, if you have cards to spare. Galactic Bazaar could be worth 3 points for a cost of 4, not too bad. If you happen to have an extra consume-for-points power and have called Consume/2xVPs, it could be worth up to 5 points.



Obviously if you're strapped for cards and in the last round somebody calls Settle, it's nice to have this card in hand. In the early game, its power can actually hurt you by eating your trade good when you don't want it to. So it's best played in mid- or late-game.

However, I have seen some good use made of the power of this card. Of course, if your production is really unbalanced with your consumption, it can come in handy. But I would say you should avoid that situation in the first place. It can also be nice for a Settle-heavy strategy that goes for mostly windfalls, such as a military strategy, yellow strategy, or Terraforming Guild strategy. Going into the last round, you might have two or three windfall goods left over that you never traded, and consuming on Pilgrimage World can be worth a few points.

However the neatest use I've made of it is when you actually want to clear the goods off your worlds, but don't have consume powers. That happens when you have a lot of +cards powers on Produce. Pilgrimage World will clear them in a hurry.
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Matt Davis
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Doesn't Expanding Colony score off a 6-Dev? The blue goods one, I think. So it's got that going for it. And don't sell cheap consume powers short. Especially in a blue-heavy strategy, it's often consume powers holding you back. Expanding colony is a consume power and half a produce. Not shabby for 1.
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Mark Slater
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I put Smuggling lair to good use in a 3 rare produce/consume cycle, producing 3 rares, 2x consuming through 2 items for 1point(x2) 1 card each and 2 cards for the 3rd. for a total of 4 points and 4 cards a turn.

Its a bit better if you have a blue to put through it, cos its trade value is also 2 cards.
 
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Mixed-Bag Cards

Mining Conglomerate
Obviously, you can't do $ and IV at the same time, unless you have multiple brown goods, one to $ and the other to IV onto here. At the very least, having only 1 brown good gives you the option to latter switch to IV brown for VPs when you're set for cards and need to get more pts

V is tricky. If opponents are aggressive and have the opportunity, they'll likely build enough brown worlds to keep you from getting this power's benefit. These not getting and getting these 2 cards per produce has both costed and won games respectively for many players using MC. The fact that IV clears out brown worlds does help for V, b/c if you don't clear out enough brown goods, you may not produce anything to be elgible for the V bonus.

Compared to Consumer Markets. That card works MUCH better in there's no competition for the V bonus. However, that card also costs 5, which is practically a 6-cost dev in its own right

A VERY ATTRACTIVE OPTION FOR GETTING INNOVATION LEADER FIRST GOAD (1 of each power)

Public Works

The forced consumption of goods when you could've traded it is one nasty thing about this card. This affects homeworlds such as New Sparta or Dam Alien Fact. especially. Otherwise, if I already have IV powers on goods, such as starting out with EE or OE, then I won't mind losing the good to IV powers for VP. I'm already "losing" the good to other consume powers

And yeah, most people would prefer Interstellar Bank, but with this, it least you still get a new card (when you settle). If it's a dev, build it next round. If it's a world, you may then settle it in the same round if there is going to be such a phase, as III always follows II! Otherwise, if there was no I called, you now have that card to get you through both II and III. You build a dev, then that rebate can be enough to allow you to pay for a settle! No losing tempo to III next round.

A good OPTION FOR GETTING INNOVATION LEADER FIRST GOAD (1 of each power). There are cases where you just happen to be missing these 2. Kill 2 birds with one stone as they say



Produces One Color, Trade Bonus for Another

Bio-Hazard Mining World

It's more difficult to get green worlds in play (in both cost and def), and even then, a good deal of them are windfall. However, getting 6 cards instead of just 4 cannot be brushed aside as trivial. It can go a long way towards Budget Surplus (1st to discard at round end), and if done multiple times, can help out in finding you the right cards.

Space Port


Yeah, if you get this and many brown worlds, it's a good thing. Trading brown goods will now be like trading yellow goods (both give you 5), so your cashflow problem is even less of an issue. Nice since brown IV powers tend to have less of them that give you cards as well.


Much to say, but it'll have to wait till later on, possibly....




Produces green, trade bonus for blue.

This one's a harder sell. Again, to just use either power individually it's not worth the price. Why would I be so interested in a big blue trade bonus when I've just got a green world that's worth almost as much to trade as the blue with the bonus?

For a non-military green production world, you can't do much better on the price. But again, as far as production worlds go, I usually am not so worried about the color. If I want a trade good, I build a green windfall world for a lot cheaper, and I don't have to wait until I produce on it before I can cash it in.

You can use this one the same way as the others, though. Combine it with a blue windfall. You get two trades for 5 and 4 cards. Of course the initial trade of the blue windfall good is not very worthwhile, unless you can get Distant World out first. That's a bit unlikely, because it's so expensive. You probably need at least one trade first before you can build it. Maybe a more plausible combination is Earth's Lost Colony and Distant World. That could be a good build if you expect an opponent to produce for you. Then you get two nice trades without even having to call Produce yourself.



This one actually has a bonus for its own color, and a production world that trades its good for 4 is not bad at a cost of 2. So this is not really a bad card in any circumstance. Still if I'm just looking for a one-time trade I'd probably prefer one of the 1- or 2-cost green windfalls.

But Spice World is very nice if you can get more than one blue world. Unlike a lot of other blue worlds with blue trade bonuses, its bonus doesn't have to apply to its own good. Use it like a cheaper Distant World. Combine it with a blue windfall or a blue production world, especially if you start with Earth's Lost Colony.

Production Worlds with Consume-for-Cards Powers



Normally, I'd probably prefer if my production worlds have consume-for-points powers. If I'm doing a lot of producing, I can't get around to trading it all.

But these cards help you bootstrap your card supply in a similar way to the trade-bonus cards above. You do a two-world Produce one turn. With these, you then do just one Trade, which pays off in cards for both goods. You might not get quite as much as if you had traded both goods, but it's worth it to get the cards earlier and without tying up as many action selections.





No one really hates these cards, I just include them to illustrate the same principle.

New Vinland actually doesn't consume for fewer cards than it trades for. Note that New Vinland is just Secluded World for double the price and double the benefit. It's nice in combination with a windfall world (especially a windfall start world or early low-strength military windfall).

Smuggling Lair consumes for one fewer card than it trades for. Often you will just build this and trade the good. It's not worth it to call a Trade if you can get the cards without it, but sometimes you can't count on your opponents calling Consume. If the Smuggling Lair good is the only one you have, you may as well call Trade. But an even better use is two have two goods on deck. Call Trade and get cards for both goods. It's especially good in combination with a valuable-color production world (perhaps Damaged Alien Factory).



This is a pretty nice start world. The Trade power alone can make it competitive. However, its price of 3 is pretty high for start worlds, and that makes it one of the start worlds you're less likely to build from your hand. The reason is of course that it has so many powers: a trade power, and actually two consume powers.

The reason I bring it up here is that if you're using some of the above strategies, what you end up with is the ability to produce on two worlds, and often no ability to consume for points at all. Old Earth can drop in at the right time in the game, when you want to switch from generating cards to generating points, and fix that fast. It lets you consume both of those goods for points. If you could get it out a bit earlier, you could also make some gains on your trades. But since it's so expensive, you probably can't. But occasionally, it's worth the cost just for its consume powers.

Production Worlds with Consume for Cards and Points

These are generally some of the most overpriced worlds. The problem is they do so much. They Produce, give you points, and give you cards. Probably you only really wanted one or two out of the three. Production is usually desirable, but at different phases of the game, you either want points of cards, not often both.



5 is just an outrageous price for a brown production world. It's not worth it to get a brown good for trade, it's not worth it to get a good for consuming for points, and it's not worth it to consume a good for cards.

You can use it the same way you use Secluded World. Pair it with a windfall. Trade the windfall good and get a bonus card for consuming the good on New Earth. Or if brown is your best color, reverse it. Trade the good from New Earth, and consume the other good on New Earth for a card.

You also get a point out of the deal, which you probably don't care about at the early stage of the game. Where New Earth is worth its salt is that it stays at least a little bit useful for the rest of the game. It can still be worthwhile when you switch to consuming for points. It's a card that's a little bit useful early and a little bit useful late, which means you have to get it out early to make it worthwhile. And since it's expensive, to me that usually requires using Doomed World or Colony Ship. For those, I'd probably rather have Lost Species Ark World, and I'd almost definitely rather have Galactic Studios. It's the same as New Earth except it gives +1 card on Produce and is blue instead of brown - but the color rarely matters especially as I'm not trading the good. But you can't always be so lucky as to have those in your hand. New Earth is an okay build for Doomed World or Colony Ship.



Plague World is pretty similar to New Earth. It produces and it consumes for a point and a card. It's not really overpriced. 3 is the cheapest for a non-military green production world. The main problem is its point value. 0 points is quite low for a 3-cost card.

It is a bit overpriced. Often, I don't care about the color of my production worlds. If I'm looking for trade goods, I probably use windfall worlds. And most consume-for-points powers take any color. If you disregard the color, it's a bit expensive for a production world. It's a pretty fair price if you're looking for one that also consumes, though.

I don't use this in the early game the same way as New Earth. If I'm trading, I'm probably trading the green good from this world, and because its consume power is limited to green, I can't use it for a bonus card from a second good. However, it is somewhat useful in the midgame. If you're running a Produce - Consume cycle, it's nice if you can gain some cards while you're at it, and this card lets you do that, a little bit.

Non-Military Worlds with +1 Military

These are a mixed bag because they have military strength and some other power unrelated to military. If you're just looking for military strength, developments are a more cost-effective way to go. 1 military strength by itself isn't going to go very far anyway. Once you have some military strength, you're more likely to build on it by building military worlds that have bonus military strength than by settling worlds by paying for them.

Sometimes you just need that 1 extra military strength and you don't have anything else in your hand that will give it to you, so you do build these worlds occasionally.

A couple of these are start worlds: Epsilon Eridani and Separatist Colony. I think these are mainly in the deck as start worlds, and I rarely build them from my hand. Could they have been made more viable for building from your hand by making their cost lower? Yes, but since they come with powers other than the +1 military they would have been too good a deal at the lower cost, while they're too bad a deal at the existing cost.

There are a couple of these, though, that are brown, and that's interesting.





It also happens that there are a number of brown 1-strength military worlds. So if you're going for a brown strategy but didn't start with Alpha Centauri, these can be a nice way to get started.

Other Mixed-Bag Cards



This card is the most mixed bag of all. What do any of its powers have to do with each other? An Explore power, a Consume power for green, and a Produce power having to do with yellow. It only manages to be worthwhile because its powers are so good that sometimes, you only need to make use of two out of three to make it worth the price.

+1 card on Explore is a pretty good power. You can always make use of that. You don't need anything in particular in your hand or tableau to make choosing Explore advantageous. You can always gain one card on your opponents by choosing Explore +1/+1, and with this card you can gain on them by two. That makes choosing Explore a pretty viable way to gain cards. I find Research Labs works pretty well with Galactic Federation. Build Galactic Federation first, and Research Labs isn't so expensive. Then you can call Explore and Develop (2-player advanced) pretty much every round thereafter. Explore +1/+1 and Develop pays for a 6-cost development without spending any of the cards your started the round with. Or Explore +5 and Develop if you need to find more developments to build.

If you're doing a yellow strategy, you might be able to make use of the Explore power and the Produce power. You might be calling Explore frequently to find more yellow worlds, and the Produce power could pay off nicely whenever you or someone else calls Produce.

I haven't found the green power to fit in with the others in any regular way, but occasionally I happen to need to consume an extra green good, and at the same time have use for the other powers on this card.



Sometimes you just need an extra windfall produce power, and Galactic Engineers might be your only way to get it. The powers do make sense together a little bit, because you often use windfall goods for trading, and Galactic Engineers works with windfall worlds. But I don't like this card very much.



Sorry, I couldn't find anything nice to say about this card. I suppose if you're just looking for a consume-for-points power, it's not a much worse alternative than Gambling World. But I really can't see much reason for a blue windfall production power. Not that many blue worlds are windfalls in the first place, and a blue windfall is not that useful to build anyway. It's not too good for trading. I'd usually rather build Artist Colony than go out of my way to build Refugee World and Expanding Colony.

End-Game Worlds



It's rather obvious that this world is not useful for much other than its points. You can certainly get cheaper worlds that just consume for a point. As such, it's usually best played near the end of the game. Earlier, you'd probably do better to spend your cards on cards with powers that will earn you a lot of points in the long run, instead of cards with a fixed face value and little else. But if you get to the end of the game and have some surplus cards in hand, Terraformed World is a good way to convert those to points.



It's less obvious that this is a good end-game card. It's hard to see it as good at any other time than the endgame. 3 is too expensive for a blue windfall. The one point and one card consume power doesn't really make up for it.

I've had it be worth quite a few points in the last round, however. Say on the last round you call Consume/2xVPs, and there is also a Settle. If you can afford it, this card is worth at least 4 points: 2 for face value, and 2 for consuming its good on itself. That's almost as good as Terraformed World and not as expensive.

It can be worth even more. For example, suppose you have Consumer Markets or Free Trade Association, but have not maxed those out with blue goods. You also have another good in your tableau that you have no way to consume. Then you can consume the good from Galactic Resort on one of those developments, and consume the other good on Galactic Resort. You have netted 4 point chips, plus the 2 for the face value of Galactic Resort. 6 points for a 3-cost card is not bad.

You also get one extra card to help with the tiebreaker. Of course, you could make Galactic Resort worth even more if you have a power that consumes cards in hand for points. If you run out of cards in your hand, consuming on Galactic Resort gets you an extra card you can convert. I can imagine a scenario in which Galactic Resort could effectively be worth 7 points, although it would be pretty rare.



Just like Galactic Resort, 3 is too much for a blue windfall. The trade bonus on this one makes it effectively like a brown windfall, but 3 is too much even for a brown windfall. But in the endgame, its power to convert cards in hand to points is most useful, if you have cards to spare. Galactic Bazaar could be worth 3 points for a cost of 4, not too bad. If you happen to have an extra consume-for-points power and have called Consume/2xVPs, it could be worth up to 5 points.



Obviously if you're strapped for cards and in the last round somebody calls Settle, it's nice to have this card in hand. In the early game, its power can actually hurt you by eating your trade good when you don't want it to. So it's best played in mid- or late-game.

However, I have seen some good use made of the power of this card. Of course, if your production is really unbalanced with your consumption, it can come in handy. But I would say you should avoid that situation in the first place. It can also be nice for a Settle-heavy strategy that goes for mostly windfalls, such as a military strategy, yellow strategy, or Terraforming Guild strategy. Going into the last round, you might have two or three windfall goods left over that you never traded, and consuming on Pilgrimage World can be worth a few points.

However the neatest use I've made of it is when you actually want to clear the goods off your worlds, but don't have consume powers. That happens when you have a lot of +cards powers on Produce. Pilgrimage World will clear them in a hurry.
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Greg Jones
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coolpapa wrote:
Doesn't Expanding Colony score off a 6-Dev? The blue goods one, I think. So it's got that going for it.


Yes, but not in a huge way. It scores 2, the same as a blue production world. So I'd rather build a blue production world.

coolpapa wrote:
And don't sell cheap consume powers short. Especially in a blue-heavy strategy, it's often consume powers holding you back. Expanding colony is a consume power and half a produce. Not shabby for 1.


When I am doing a blue-heavy strategy, I probably have Consumer Markets and/or Free Trade Association, which usually give me more than enough consume powers.
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A great discursive article from Greg, like the one that first started my interest in RftG - way before playing it physically, the AI or Genie!

One difference from me - producing AND consuming cards are anything but disconnected! They are the essence of the Produce/ConsumeX2 cycle and actually slightly better than just having their two half-powers added, because it's already in the proper 1:1 proportion, reducing risk of not having the other half. THE prototypical P/C card is of course Earth's Lost Colony, a good start to a P/C cycler. I agree that New Earth and Galactic Studios are too expensive just for that - but they are nice towards the end (with 1-2 P/C cycles left) for their added VP's too, and, like Greg said, good to settle with Colony Ship/Doomed World early. Yes, Plague World is good only if played early enough -not that hard at cost 3- to have at least 3 P/C cycles ahead to get competitive.

For me, VP+card in the Consume (abovementioned New Earth, Galactic Studios, Plague World) is not disconnected either. Having added card draws in the P/C cycle is important if the engine is not to stall (needing to divert actions to Trades, Explores etc), and keep able to use others' Develops and Settles. It's just no different from extra card draws at Produce (think Free Trade Association vs Consumer Markets) or the bonus-producers Comet Zone = Mining World, Gem World, Galactic Studios, Lost Species Ark World (also worth a Colony/DoomedW). One of my favorite cards, Diversified Economy also comes with such a Produce bonus (often useful at 2 types = +2 cards when it's not even entering the Consume side of the P/C) - then it gets really good at 3 types.

Yes, Research Labs feels the most disconnected to me too, and rarely played.

For me, one of the most surprising that it's the top winner according to Genie player statistics even if it's so 'disconnected' strategically is Terraforming Guild.

The 'Draw 1 after settling' is really nice at earliest, but 6 cost is often prohibitive early - or at least tempo-damaging - and just for that bonus, there's Terraforming Robots at cost 3. 'Produce on windfall world' is also nice but hardly decisive, allowing one to play 2 not 1 windfall worlds as P/C cycle producers. The bonus at end is good too, but (excepting the 2 windfalls in the cycle, that's +4 VP) rewards cards otherwise 'wasteful'. So yes, a good card on its powers but how is it really played to be THAT good ? It really contains a contradiction to play it early or late.

[EDIT] And... the best integrated card that everybody rightly loves must be Alien Toy Shop, so rightly deserving it's own cute acronym, ATS.
This card gives 4 VP alone per P/C cycle at the only (opportunity) cost of not producing on another windfall world. Or, you can fix that with the Terraforming Guild above...
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Worlds with trade bonuses:
Spice world is the best, and one that I value very high. It's a cheap blue world that trades like a green, while its bonus also applies and stacks with other +blue trade (Pirate world sells for 7 cards with it)

The others are niche. Space port is awesome when you start with AC, settle/trade first turn in 2Pa, and youve got a full hand, and 2/3 of a diverse economy engine. Biohazard mining world is pretty meh, as you stated its good as a brown prod world in a pinch or if you've got green windfalls to S/T. It doesn't combo like SP, since AR starts with less cards and BHMW costs three, so its hard to do the S/T. Distant world is the worst and very niche, and only really usefull IMO if you start with ELC and can play DiW early. I have had it pay out before though.

The worlds that consume a good for only a card are somewhat meh. However, when I play these, I either have or plan on having a point consume power for its good. That or I leech settled them because I had the military and no other decent world. Sometimes that card is very useful.

New Vineland and Smugling lair are both great worlds. The difference between 1 and 2 cards on a consume is huge. Consuming a blue or brown for 2 cards, in extension of a trade or X2, is very strong to starting up or continuing a prod/consume cycle. Smuggling lair also allows for a blind produce when playing NS/EE/SC agains AC/AR. NV to a lesser extent as AC/AR vs AR/AC.

Old Earth is a hard world to play. I still have trouble playing it online as my start world. I think it is slightly overcosted.

I agree with your comments on New Earth. It's the worst of the 5 cost prod worlds. I only play it from hand if:
1) I have ELC and ATS, I get it off the ATS trade, and I don't have a better "p/c tack-on"
2) I have a colony ship/Doomed world and neither LSAW or GS
3) I have AC and mining robots

Plague world I like more than other people. It really is an early game card, especially with ELC. S/P, T/P, X2/P and you are off to the races.

nonmil w/military- Like you said the browns with + military really help to in a brown strategy to get the brown windfalls. they aren't that effective when growing military.

SC/EE are a different story. I don't mind using these to extend my military, as they are a little cheaper and come with an additionaly power which is oftentimes useful.

Research labs are horrible. The abilities just don't work together, and therefore you are often paying for abilities you won't use. It's ok with DAF, but even then its hard to play and use well.

Galactic Engineers are decent. Again, they are niche as they cost a settle to play, and I'd rather play a cheap production or windfall world.

Expanding colony also falls into this boat. If this were a 2 cost develpoment (maybe even change the consume to blue only) it would be playable. However as a world, there are other things I'd rather play.

Terraformed world is a monument (ie pts=cost) with a slightly useful ability. It is an endgame card that converts your cards to points.

The others I can see you perspective, but they are a lot more flexable in timing. The 2 blue windfalls have decent abilities. definately worth it if they are your only windfall.
Pilgramage world in particular is cost effective to play, and with enough other consume powers, its drawback is reduced.
 
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morningstar wrote:
coolpapa wrote:
Doesn't Expanding Colony score off a 6-Dev? The blue goods one, I think. So it's got that going for it.


Yes, but not in a huge way. It scores 2, the same as a blue production world. So I'd rather build a blue production world.


Ditto, but if all I have is Expanding Colony, I'll take it. Plus, having a generic consume power means if you have a non-blue good to consume, you now have a place to do so now that'll now generate 2 VP per IVx2

Also, if you're stuck with many blue windfalls, you're covered twice with this and FTA's V on windfall power. 3 if you're the one who's calling V. Windfall worlds are ubercheap that if you can effectively turn them into production worlds for the purposes of P/C, then all the better.



morningstar wrote:
coolpapa wrote:
And don't sell cheap consume powers short. Especially in a blue-heavy strategy, it's often consume powers holding you back. Expanding colony is a consume power and half a produce. Not shabby for 1.


When I am doing a blue-heavy strategy, I probably have Consumer Markets and/or Free Trade Association, which usually give me more than enough consume powers.
I've had situations where I've only had Cons Mark -OR- FTA... not fortunate enough to have had both, then a 4th IV for VP is always welcome in my books. Esp. with FTA where the extra 2pts is like starting off with a IVx2 already done
 
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ROMagister wrote:
For me, one of the most surprising that it's the top winner according to Genie player statistics even if it's so 'disconnected' strategically is Terraforming Guild.

The 'Draw 1 after settling' is really nice at earliest, but 6 cost is often prohibitive early - or at least tempo-damaging - and just for that bonus, there's Terraforming Robots at cost 3. 'Produce on windfall world' is also nice but hardly decisive, allowing one to play 2 not 1 windfall worlds as P/C cycle producers. The bonus at end is good too, but (excepting the 2 windfalls in the cycle, that's +4 VP) rewards cards otherwise 'wasteful'. So yes, a good card on its powers but how is it really played to be THAT good ? It really contains a contradiction to play it early or late.


It's like New Economy. No great powers, but an absolute monster point-scorer.
 
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ROMagister wrote:


For me, one of the most surprising that it's the top winner according to Genie player statistics even if it's so 'disconnected' strategically is Terraforming Guild.

The 'Draw 1 after settling' is really nice at earliest, but 6 cost is often prohibitive early - or at least tempo-damaging - and just for that bonus, there's Terraforming Robots at cost 3. 'Produce on windfall world' is also nice but hardly decisive, allowing one to play 2 not 1 windfall worlds as P/C cycle producers. The bonus at end is good too, but (excepting the 2 windfalls in the cycle, that's +4 VP) rewards cards otherwise 'wasteful'. So yes, a good card on its powers but how is it really played to be THAT good ? It really contains a contradiction to play it early or late.


Well, you get 2 cards per settle if YOU called settle. And if you're settling military worlds without paying for them, net effect is you get 1 card per settle. That alone can be your engine. Also pair that with the windfall worlds, of one will produce... say, a green one, and you can always just trade that for 4 cards. To me, TG is also moreso about the cardflow then a P/C cog in the machine.
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ROMagister wrote:

For me, one of the most surprising that it's the top winner according to Genie player statistics even if it's so 'disconnected' strategically is Terraforming Guild.

The 'Draw 1 after settling' is really nice at earliest, but 6 cost is often prohibitive early - or at least tempo-damaging - and just for that bonus, there's Terraforming Robots at cost 3. 'Produce on windfall world' is also nice but hardly decisive, allowing one to play 2 not 1 windfall worlds as P/C cycle producers. The bonus at end is good too, but (excepting the 2 windfalls in the cycle, that's +4 VP) rewards cards otherwise 'wasteful'. So yes, a good card on its powers but how is it really played to be THAT good ? It really contains a contradiction to play it early or late.


What you are missing is that 2 cards per terraforming, plus two cards by itself, plus two on other terraforming cards if you are lucky enough to get them, is going to give you a bunch of points no matter what.

Go look at a few random Genie games, and see how many points each player would have gotten if, magically, you just laid Terraforming Guild right next to the other cards. Barring production heavy strategies, that get worse and worse as more expansions are added, you'll see 6 points at the very least, and you might even find 10s and 12s.

If it didn't have any powers, the card would still be one of the best 6 devs. Now, both powers aren't just useful: They are leech powers that will occur no matter how you are playing! Your opponent, playing military, will give you an opportunity to benefit from the settle power. If he's producing, he'll trigger the production power. The only way to avoid helping the guild player is to develop every time, and that's only even a likely strategy after the second expansion. It's just a monster of a card.

Just compare it merchant guild, which on average delivers less points, and has a power that people will try to play around. Or Uplift world, which might draw more cards, and could get more points, but only if things work exactly right.

Some cards are broad and not extremely powerful. Others are very narrow, but overpowering when they are useful. Terraforming Guild is both very strong, and has very broad usage.
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hibikir wrote:
Go look at a few random Genie games, and see how many points each player would have gotten if, magically, you just laid Terraforming Guild right next to the other cards. Barring production heavy strategies, that get worse and worse as more expansions are added, you'll see 6 points at the very least, and you might even find 10s and 12s.


What I've seen often winning on Genie (and by Mr.Keldon's AI) is exactly those "production-heavy" strategies, with 4-5 production worlds but 1-2 windfall worlds. Those windfall worlds are just ignored and often 'expended' as cash preferentially.

You still didn't answer whether you consider TG a play-earliest card or not. Suppose you get TG early, would you:
- Struggle to play it early, instead of other (say, parts of P/C cycle) ?
and in that case - struggle to settle more windfalls ?
- Struggle to keep it in hand (i.e. effective hand size -1 card) to play it mid-game ?
- Expend it as payment for a better early opportunity ? (say Terraforming Robots where TG would be the last card to pay for TR. Or early Replicating Robots with several nice, expensive worlds becoming worthwhile).

I don't disagree that, say for a military strategy that already played a lot of windfalls and has enough cards, TG can end it nicely. But I rarely saw occasions to include it in the main plan for the start.
 
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ROMagister wrote:
For me, one of the most surprising that it's the top winner according to Genie player statistics even if it's so 'disconnected' strategically is Terraforming Guild.

The 'Draw 1 after settling' is really nice at earliest, but 6 cost is often prohibitive early - or at least tempo-damaging - and just for that bonus, there's Terraforming Robots at cost 3. 'Produce on windfall world' is also nice but hardly decisive, allowing one to play 2 not 1 windfall worlds as P/C cycle producers. The bonus at end is good too, but (excepting the 2 windfalls in the cycle, that's +4 VP) rewards cards otherwise 'wasteful'. So yes, a good card on its powers but how is it really played to be THAT good ? It really contains a contradiction to play it early or late.


Terraforming Guild is a great card because it is well-integrated. Of course the bonus points and Produce power go together. It rewards you for windfall worlds, and Produces on one windfall world.

However, really the better match is the Settle power. The best way to play windfall worlds is not to bother producing on them. Just Settle them, Trade them, and use the proceeds to Settle more. If you are worrying about a P/C cycle with Terraforming Guild, you're usually not playing it right.

It also works because there are a bunch of strategies that let you Settle windfall worlds for free or nearly free - military, yellow. With these, you don't even need to trade the goods off them. The two bonus cards from Settling will draw and pay for the next windfall to Settle. The problem is most windfall worlds aren't worth a lot of points. With Terraforming Guild, that's not a problem.

I didn't have any 6-cost developments on my list. Pretty much any 6-cost development will be worth building just for the points with some tableau. So the powers don't necessarily matter. You could talk about some of the powers as being pretty useless. I've never much been interested in the Explore powers of Galactic Renaissance or SETI. Although they're decent powers, by the time you get them down, there's not often much more Exploring.

The earlier you get down Terraforming Guild the better, but even if it's the last card you put down, it's often worth the points.
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ackmondual wrote:
Also, if you're stuck with many blue windfalls, you're covered twice with this and FTA's V on windfall power. 3 if you're the one who's calling V. Windfall worlds are ubercheap that if you can effectively turn them into production worlds for the purposes of P/C, then all the better.


The problem is, blue windfalls are not that cheap!. You've got Refugee World for 0, and Galactic Resort and Galactic Bazaar for 3 each. They're not that plentiful either. There are some low-strength military blue windfalls, so if you are going for blue and happen to have a little military, that can work for you, but I don't often build up military if I'm going for blue. If I started with New Sparta or Epsilon Eridani or Separatist Colony, as a result built up a few blue windfalls, then I might see Expanding Colony as just as good as a blue production world, but not better.
 
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OK guys, you are starting to convince me about Terraforming Guild.

In this case, TG becomes a strategy-switching backbone card - like starting with New Sparta is for military. And they mutually help too.
These boost a strategy which more likely is (a bit, or more) inferior - chained windfalls and/or military - enough that it becomes competitive.
And both are relative influences, not absolute. I've seen totally conventional P/C engines started by New Sparta, and heavy military/windfalls started by Earth's Lost Colony.

Then we could discuss how well integrated, or not, other such strategy-switching backbone cards are. What that means is, after you draw one such hands, how much does the evaluation of other cards change - what to keep and play sometime, what to use as cash.

Another 6-dev, Galactic Federation, together with one of the other 3x2 (Investment Credits, Public Works, Interstellar Bank) and/or dev-related goals, seriously reward dev-heavy expansion. But developments are hardly a strategy alone, they are good when having enough worlds to help and get income from. In many ordinary tableaux (early builds non-influenced by it) GF would score nicely but not hugely.
 
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ROMagister wrote:
Another 6-dev, Galactic Federation, together with one of the other 3x2 (Investment Credits, Public Works, Interstellar Bank) and/or dev-related goals, seriously reward dev-heavy expansion. But developments are hardly a strategy alone, they are good when having enough worlds to help and get income from. In many ordinary tableaux (early builds non-influenced by it) GF would score nicely but not hugely.


Actually Galactic Federation is very nice with Terraforming Guild. Terraforming Guild is best in combination with another 6-cost development such as New Galactic Order or Alien Tech Institute. That way you get double-bonuses for a lot of your windfall worlds, and the other 6-cost development helps you acquire them. If you're planning on investing in two other 6-cost developments, then Galactic Federation is worthwhile both for the savings and for the points. Trade League is nice too. Usually it's not worth too many points on its own - maybe only 2 - but it's worth 2 more for Galactic Federation and the real value is it lets you get income from trading your windfalls without having to take a break from settling.

In addition, when you're doing this kind of strategy, you want to try to end the game on 12 buildings. If you let it go too long, the Produce - Consume players can get ahead. So it helps to be able to develop as well as you can settle.

A great tableau would be something like Galactic Federation, Trade League, Alien Tech Instutute, New Galactic Order, Galactic Imperium, and a smattering of Alien and Rebel worlds, many of which also have +military powers.
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ROMagister wrote:
Another 6-dev, Galactic Federation, together with one of the other 3x2 (Investment Credits, Public Works, Interstellar Bank) and/or dev-related goals, seriously reward dev-heavy expansion. But developments are hardly a strategy alone, they are good when having enough worlds to help and get income from. In many ordinary tableaux (early builds non-influenced by it) GF would score nicely but not hugely.


Galactic Federation can pretty much be a strategy on its own if the first 6-cost development and most developments goals are both in the game. It pretty much guarantees you'll get both. Since it's a mediocre strategy without goals, with the bonus 8 points it's pretty winning.
 
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ROMagister wrote:
- Expend it as payment for a better early opportunity ? (say Terraforming Robots where TG would be the last card to pay for TR. Or early Replicating Robots with several nice, expensive worlds becoming worthwhile).


Terraforming Robots is not a very good card in my opinion. It would have made my list, but I couldn't find enough nice things to say about it.

It is a mixed-bag card. Settling doesn't have anything particularly to do with consuming brown goods. 3 is a bit too high a price for either power alone. You'd have to use either power about 3 times to make it worthwhile. Unlike the other cards on this list, I can't really find a situation in which you'd justify the cost by using both powers frequently. Either you're Settling a lot, or you're Producing and Consuming, not both. I suppose if you got it out early, it could pay for itself in rebates for building up your Produce - Consume engine, but that's putting the cart before the horse. What you need at the start is the means to build up your Produce - Consume engine, not to get back extra cards after you build it.

But since it goes with Terraforming Guild, I didn't want to say it was a totally useless card. I tend to keep it in hand when I am doing a Terraforming Guild strategy. In theory it would be a good build - worth a bonus two points, and getting a really sick rebate when you Settle, but in practice I rarely end up building it. That's just because when the Develop phase happens, I usually feel like I have something better to build - another 6-cost development, or maybe some military strength to enable me to get more free and valuable windfalls.
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ROMagister wrote:
OK guys, you are starting to convince me about Terraforming Guild.

In this case, TG becomes a strategy-switching backbone card - like starting with New Sparta is for military. And they mutually help too.
These boost a strategy which more likely is (a bit, or more) inferior - chained windfalls and/or military - enough that it becomes competitive.


Typically, in my games, when I don't see a usable strategy in my hand at the start, in a 2 players advanced game, I call settle + trade, put down a windfall world to trade it back. In this way, I still score points, I keep myself in the game in term of number of cards in play and draw a lot of new cards, hoping some kind of strategy/synergy/opportunities emerges in my hand. If not, I repeat again.

Because of that, when I draw Terraforming Guild, it's often a "win card" more often than not, even if I didn't commit to a strategy yet. I haven't played on Genie but I'm pretty sure I'm not the one playing this way.
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I'm surprised by a lot of the cards you picked, which are either popular or fairly intuitive to play.

I would caution against using many (or any) grey worlds when goals are out. Three of the goals, including two of the most goals, give bonuses only for colored worlds, and any settle phase carries the risk of your opponent moving closer to the goal than you. This still applies without goals, but to a lesser extent since production worlds or occasional military worlds give a large benefit-cost spread.

I would add that double-settling >> settling when it comes to playing weaker (or grey) worlds. Your opponent can often mooch off of one phase but not two phases, so the second phase call is relatively safe against an opponent with the right hand size. This is a good way to sneak out something like Pirate World + expanding colony or windfall + galactic engineers. Military does partially screw up the equation however.
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Some time ago, a semi-official pre-announcement for Gathering Storm promised 'a powerful game-changing card'. Did that mean Terraforming Guild ? or Improved Logistics ?

One of my recent games used these two greatly. 16 VP from TG! (7 windfalls and itself), no production worlds, some 'incidental' military (up to 5 after some Alien) and no calling Produce, just a little leeching.
 
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Stunna wrote:
I would caution against using many (or any) grey worlds when goals are out. Three of the goals, including two of the most goals, give bonuses only for colored worlds, and any settle phase carries the risk of your opponent moving closer to the goal than you. This still applies without goals, but to a lesser extent since production worlds or occasional military worlds give a large benefit-cost spread.


This made me think that having a goal for most grey worlds (minimum of say 3) would make for very interesting plays indeed
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ROMagister wrote:
Some time ago, a semi-official pre-announcement for Gathering Storm promised 'a powerful game-changing card'. Did that mean Terraforming Guild ? or Improved Logistics ?

Logistics, without a doubt.
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Another note about the "produce one color, trade another" world types is that they are great for jump-starting a multi-color strategy, a very strong tactic if you have Diversified Economy, that new 6-cost from RvI which I forget the name of, or the Diversity goal.
 
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crushedguava wrote:
Stunna wrote:
I would caution against using many (or any) grey worlds when goals are out. Three of the goals, including two of the most goals, give bonuses only for colored worlds, and any settle phase carries the risk of your opponent moving closer to the goal than you. This still applies without goals, but to a lesser extent since production worlds or occasional military worlds give a large benefit-cost spread.


This made me think that having a goal for most grey worlds (minimum of say 3) would make for very interesting plays indeed
Or a 6-cost dev that only scores for gray worlds and NOT the colored worlds.
 
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