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Subject: Prospecting Sites without Waterdrops? rss

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Konwacht
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There is at least one card with ISRU 0. The rules state that you can prospect a site when your ISRU is equal or less than the number of water drops. So do planetoids and other celestial objects without water drops have a difficulty number of 0 and can be prospected or do they simply have no difficulty number?

If the latter: Why are they included in the game because I could see no use for them if you could not prospect and therefore industrialize them? Simply for the sake of flavour? (I would have no problem with that, I like it, but perhaps I miss something.)
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Francisco Colmenares
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Woodbridge
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ALL sites can be prospected. Obviously a place with no water drops means you need that ISRU 0 prospector or you can't even try. Remember as well that there is a thruster that uses "space dirt" as fuel, so the water drops are irrelevant for a rocket based on that thruster.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Konwacht wrote:
So do planetoids and other celestial objects without water drops have a difficulty number of 0 and can be prospected or do they simply have no difficulty number?

Keep in mind the difficulty is the size of the object, not the hydration. So if you have an ISRU of 0, and are trying to prospect a site with size 3 and hydration 0, you have a 3 in 6 chance of success. Or, you can ISRU refuel there for one WT.
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Yes, to follow up on what Francisco and Kuhrusty said: you must first successfully Prospect a Site before you can place a claim marker there, perform an Industrialize operation and build an ET Factory (and Colony) and build any 'black' patent cards via ET Production whose type matches that of the Site.

To perform a successful Prospecting operation, you must first make a successful Prospecting die roll (1d6) if the Site size is 5 or less (those with size of 6 or greater are automatically successful).

Finally, there is a minimum requirement you must meet to be able to perform a Prospecting operation: your Rocket Stack must have a Robonaut patent card with an ISRU rating that is equal to or less (a lower number is better in the case of ISRU ratings) than the Site's hydration number (the number of 'water drops' shown at the Site on the map). Otherwise, you cannot even attempt to perform a Prospecting operation, no matter what the size of the Site is.

The Karin Cluster and the nearby Koronis Family are all 'S' (Stony) type Sites that are small in size (1 to 3 maximum), easier to Land on and Take-off from because of this, and near enough to LEO and other useful Sites (those that are 'M', 'C' and 'V' types) with average to good hydration numbers to be otherwise accessible early in the game.

Yet they all have a hydration rating of 0 (zero), and until a Robonaut patent card becomes available via ET Production, they are off limits to Prospecting and Claiming, and so they are often overlooked in favor of Sites that are smaller in size and / or farther away when such Sites have hydration values of 2 or greater.

The only relatively large 'S' Sites near LEO are found in the Flora Family (Flora, size 4) and Luna (size 9), with a hydration of 1 and 2 respectively. Unless you're lucky with dice and don't mind wasting several years of travelling, landing, prospecting, and then travelling to a new 'S' site whenever your fail your Prospecting die roll, then developing the two 'ISRU 0' Robonauts (He-Ar Nuclear-pumped Laser & H-B Cat Inertial) to make these ten 0 hydration-value 'S' sites available for Prospecting is a worthwhile goal. It would also greatly increase the number of Sites of any type available for Prospecting & Claiming (and Factory fueling if one has been built there).

Of course, you'll note that both 'ISRU 0' Robonauts must be built at 'S' or 'D' type Sites ...

(Yes, there are also 'D' type Sites, but these also often feature fewer (if any) hydration ratings and distant locations and / or extra Burns required to reach them.)
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Konwacht
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Thanks a lot to all of you. Everything's clear now.
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