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High Frontier» Forums » Strategy

Subject: A quick 6 points. rss

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Peet Smith
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I hit on this strategy looking at the board early on.

It seems to me that a glory mission to a science spot has a good chance at success early in the game, and you can probably get a jump on things this way.

The trick is to get one of the solar sails right away. You need to be willing to bid on it if someone else brings it up. Pay 2 or even 3 if you have to.

Boost the sail and your crew module into orbit, and get going. Nobody else will likely have a ship going yet, and since you don't need to fuel up you can get going right away.

Your first move you will have a thrust of 2. Follow the path to Mercury but stop at the Sol-Mercury L4 point.

Your second move you have a thrust of 4, because you are close to the sun. Follow a path through the Rabbithole to the Sol-Venus L3 point. From there you can turn for free, so follow the path straight to Phaethon. You have 3 burns left, so you can get right there.

If you are playing the advanced game, you have passed through a triangle so the first event will have been triggered and yellow will now be in play, allowing you to land next turn. (if you want you can bribe the ESA player to give you a boost on your first turn that will allow you to get to the So-Venus L3, and this will trip the yellow phase a turn earlier, allowing you to land right away).

Getting back is slightly harder but not too difficult. You should be able to do it in 3 turns, or 2 if you have the help of the ESA.

I did this in a game yesterday and it netted me a quick 6 points before anyone else could really do anything.

Peet
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Iain K
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How does your solar sail survive leaving LEO and Earth's radiation belt? Do you return from Venus, which destroyed your sail during entry? I suspect that you have another source of thrust, but the cost in water could be very high.
 
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John Douglass
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I think I remember there being one sail that is immune to radiation belts. I don't have the game in front of me right now to verify but I will check when I get home.

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Peet Smith
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Both basic sails are actually immune to radiation belts. They have a low rad-hardness but that is only a factor for combat (in which they are easily destroyed). Practically speaking, if the sails were always destroyed when leaving Earth then no-one would ever use them.

The advanced sails are immune to radiation belts too, and one of them (the Mag-Sail) actually gets a thrust boost when passing through a radiation belt.

Of course if you are playing the basic game you don't have to worry about that anyway.
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Iain K
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Where in the rule book are sails granted immunity to radiation rolls? I just assumed that you could only put sail on spacecraft assembled in colonies / on bodies outside of earth's radiation belt.
 
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Peet Smith
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Iain: Look on the cards themselves. It's printed right underneath the Rad-Hardness. For this reason sails are awesome for cruising around the inner system.
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Iain K
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Right you are, thanks for the correction Peet!
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Ben Vincent
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You can also get to Eureka in 4 burns, which is a size 1 science site. It's 4 turns round trip wiu a sail using the ESA bonus.
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Peet Smith
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I wouldn't count on the help of the ESA for actions that will put you ahead 6 points at the start of the game... unless you ARE the ESA player.

For this reason Phaethon is preferred because it is closer to the sun. Without the ESA bonus you can't even LAND on Eureka using the sail (so you would have to use your crew rocket if you are the PRC or NASA, and you're out of luck if you are the UN or Shimitzu).

The other advantage of Phaethon is that you can prospect while you're there with your crew - you can't do that on Eureka. Once you get there you can look around and see if anyone else is trying to do what you are doing. If not then you can take your time.
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Ted Kim
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Ah, okay so to get the glory for first science spot you just have to go there and get back without the shame of a life pod, right?

You don't even need to do real science (i.e. get a claim there as is the case for the regular +2 point bonus), right?

Press release: Hey we visited the mysterious object which has fascinated scientists for years, but just tweeted about it and forgot to collect any samples.
 
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George Haberberger
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drpetrov wrote:
Without the ESA bonus you can't even LAND on Eureka using the sail (so you would have to use your crew rocket if you are the PRC or NASA, and you're out of luck if you are the UN or Shimitzu).



I thought a dry solar sail and the UN crew would have a modified thrust of 2 since it would have a probe weight, letting you land and take off Eureka.

The other option would be to add a water tank to mimic a lander.
 
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George Haberberger
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After reviewing, one would need to carry 2 units of water to land and then take off.
 
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Thomas Donnelly
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The Eureka trip is easier than you folks are thinking.

With your initial 2 thrust, you stop at L2 Sol-Earth Lagrange. Next move you still have 2 thrust since you are still in the Earth zone. That will get you to L5, through the 2 burns and in for a free landing on Eureka.

To get up off it again you will need either a single step of fuel, or an ESA boost, either of which will cost you 1WT, but that's a good deal for 6VP. Total trip time: 5 turns without ESA help.

Note that this trip works in the beginning and advanced game.

Now let's look at Phaeton. 2 turns to get out there. 3 turns to get back. Same as Eureka. But you've got a hazard to navigate. Twice. That's a 30% chance of mission failure. For what? A 16% chance at a successful prospect?

We all do our mission planning differently, but I don't like that cost/benefit analysis one bit! Also note that this mission will require one extra turn in the advanced game since the solar cycle will not match if you're getting to Phaeton in turn 2.

And one last negative. In the advanced game, you have to roll for an event, which invites all forms of calamity. Eureka has no triangles. No event possible.

So advanced game, Eureka is a no brainer. But even in the basic game, all thing considered, Eureka is the early glory destination of choice.
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Patrick Schifano

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I might have a newer printing but Eureka does present 2 problems.

1) It does have a triangle.
2) It has a 50% chance of not being a science site. That is still a 4.5 VP expected value.

Asteroids Toro and Ivar also make more reliable targets.

Toro has no hazard and not synodic and science 100% of the time.
Ivar has a hazard but is not synodic.
 
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Chris Berger
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sir_schwick wrote:
I might have a newer printing but Eureka does present 2 problems.

1) It does have a triangle.
2) It has a 50% chance of not being a science site. That is still a 4.5 VP expected value.


Not sure if the triangle burn is new, but making Eureka only 50% a science site is indeed a new addiiton. In newer rules, however, the triangle doesn't really mean anything - they don't cause an event roll any more. Currently, triangle burns let you do inspiration on one card deck, but I think there may have been talk of changing that in 3rd edition.
 
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Igor Radic
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...but landing with 7,5km diameter solar sail?It will be good for basic play,as long you do not try to apply Advanced play.These orbits are fundamentally unstable (lagrange points),so it will take around half a tank of fuel to make corrections at every L - point.
 
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Kyle
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arkayn wrote:
Not sure if the triangle burn is new...
The triangle was in the "First Reprint"/Second Edition of the base game map, but it was not in the first edition and was missing from quite a few of the VASSAL versions up until maybe a year ago. So, even though it's not "new", anyone that didn't have have the second edition or a poster map may not have been aware of it.
 
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