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Subject: Terraformers Unlimited rss

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Merric Blackman
Australia
Waubra
Victoria
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This game was the first of Ad Astra for Popey (green). Unfortunately for him, he was the one player to start with an Energy world. My experiences so far with Ad Astra have indicated that Energy worlds are by no means bad, but they require more skill to play properly. My feeling is that having an Energy world allows you to gain more alien artefacts, as well as having the opportunity to gain a lot of cards for trading (as well as VPs from discarding a lot at the same time).

The best strategy I've found has involved building Terraformers, mainly because the other players haven't quite worked out how to oppose that strategy yet from their limited plays of the game. I played red this game (this is the one game I don't always play Green, as the colours are different in how their systems and production cards are aligned). Starting on a water planet was thus rather useful. However, this was a very strange game where energy was in great demand - we just weren't finding energy planets! Popey might have been able to parley his energy into a great deal of extra resources, and he didn't do so badly at it, but without knowing the rhythms of the game, he wasn't able to score well.

Pat (yellow) had the gold planet (they look like gold bricks, so that's what we call them). He then colonized another gold planet - and I did likewise to get in on the action. In the early game, Pat gained many a gold brick, but no-one else was producing gold, so he found in the late game his early resource advantage had been completely eroded; Jackson (grey) and Liam (blue) between them were producing all the other types of ore - with a little help from Popey - and colonies and factories were soon appearing everywhere!



I was behind in the early scoring, but in the mid-game I got my first terraformers and scored for them. Pat's gold allowed him to buy his way into second place, but my greater familiarity with the game allowed me - despite not a great production base - to better use my victory point cards. I took the game as I was able to cycle through the three cards before anyone else and play the Terraformer VP card again; my final score was 61. Pat was just able to reach 50, Liam close behind on 47. Jackson 45; Popey 32.

I'm enjoying Ad Astra, but I've been introducing it to too many people: I've got a much greater familiarity with it than most of my opponents, and thus I've rarely been challenged. I hope this will change as we get more games in.

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Sean Shaw
United States
Idaho
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My last play had someone challenge me with the terraformer strategy, and it turned into a VERY close game, with me at something like 56 points and they at 55 points at the end. I had started with an energy planet, and couldn't find food for the life of me, but trading always is a nice if you have a monopoly, and I definately got the monopoly on energy that game which is probably what gave me the boost. I used the thing that I could actually travel more and easily to build more factories and colonies in more systems when I could get there, and by the time they realized it, I had my scoring machine down. It still turned into a VERY close race though with the terraformer who also seeme to have the exact planets he needed to build them...when he could travel that was.
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