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Subject: What are people's favourite variants? rss

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Ed Bradley
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I've got my first Gigantic Poster Map game scheduled for Saturday and I was wondering what, if any, variants people have tried and enjoyed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy to play vanilla, but I thought I'd canvas opinion as part of my extensive preparations for this momentous event
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Adrian Hague
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Good work Mr Ed! I think with the bigger map, the quickstart options are justified. I tend to just give each player 1 card from the basic 3 techs (thruster, robonaut, refinery), rather than 6 (+ radiator, reactor and generator).

Be good to see a session report when your done Last one to Pluto's a loser!
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Ed Bradley
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AdrianPHague wrote:
Good work Mr Ed! I think with the bigger map, the quickstart options are justified. I tend to just give each player 1 card from the basic 3 techs (thruster, robonaut, refinery), rather than 6 (+ radiator, reactor and generator).

Be good to see a session report when your done Last one to Pluto's a loser!


The winner will be the first person to get to Uranus. (Canonical reply: "MY Anus???").

We're starting early and finishing late. I'll probably take some pictures early on, but then get drunk and not bother
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Matthew Eklund
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Mind altering substances and mind altering games are a dangerous mix.
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Adrian Hague
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Matthew_Eklund wrote:
Mind altering substances and mind altering games are a dangerous mix.
Is that from personal experience Matt?
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Victor Caminha
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At express setup, I like the 16 WT variant instead of 6 cards (since it gives more value to the research auction instead of working around your initial cards). We also consider Deimos as a "C" site. I am still testing my Hidden Agenda variant to have a difinite conclusion.
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Ed Bradley
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Matthew_Eklund wrote:
Mind altering substances and mind altering games are a dangerous mix.


Oh. Am I taking the name of the game a little too literally, perhaps?
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Single Malt Scotch = rocket fuel
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Brad German
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wykthor wrote:
At express setup, I like the 16 WT variant instead of 6 cards (since it gives more value to the research auction instead of working around your initial cards). We also consider Deimos as a "C" site. I am still testing my Hidden Agenda variant to have a difinite conclusion.


We tried the 13 WT variant quick start (basic game). In the end I didn't find it sped things up much.

I don't like the idea of blindly giving each player 3 cards due to the luck factor. I think the next game I will try a draft. One of each card type out per player, then doing a first to last, last to first draft. Each player will draft one of each card type and their faction. The main problem with this would be with a new player not knowing a card or factions value.


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Jeff Chamberlain
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Stormbani wrote:

I don't like the idea of blindly giving each player 3 cards due to the luck factor. I think the next game I will try a draft. One of each card type out per player, then doing a first to last, last to first draft. Each player will draft one of each card type and their faction. The main problem with this would be with a new player not knowing a card or factions value.




I agree with the luck factor of dishing out random cards. It works okay with a small number of players, but with large groups of 4 or 5 players, there just aren't enough cards, and there is too much variance among the few cards that there are, to give a random one to every player.

I personally don't see giving bonus cards or WT really impacting play time much. The thing that takes the most time in this game is planning a mission once you have most of your cards in hand. Accumulating your initial set of wt and cards using the existing mechanics doesn't take vert long anyway, in my experience.
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Ed Bradley
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T minus 8 hours.

The poster is down and docked with the table.
Supplies have been laid in.
Latest living rules modifications inhaled.

Next:
Music playlist.
Decide whether or not to print and laminate some updated player sheets (as I'm 1st edition old skool).
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Ed Bradley
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T minus 5 hours

Lego spaceships built.
Extra side-tables procured.

Music still needs attention.
New laminated player aids starting to look less likely
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Ed Bradley
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Lookin' good. . .



Edit: except for one of my wife's hairs stuck between the poster and the perspex. There is no prize for spotting it.
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Ed Bradley
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T minus 3 hours

Playlist complete!
Complete albums:
EVE Online Soundtrack by Jon Hallur Haraldsson.
Microgravity by Biosphere

Selected tracks from:
Moon Safari by Air
Colourform by Higher Intelligence Agency
Equinox by Jean-Michel Jarre
The Mix - Kraftwerk
U.F.Orb by The Orb
Dreamfish by Pete Namlook & Mixmaster Morris.

Yes. Noodly electronica. Space music. . .
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Ed Bradley
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Well that was. . .disappointing.

I might yet do a proper session report but it was probably one of the least enjoyable games of HF I've played yet.

We started with 4 players which puts a lot more pressure on getting the decent patents than we're used to. Some players were very rusty and that led to me having to help run most people's turns for a good while. And I made a horrific error on one guy's turn that then led him to get half way to Uranus (MY anus?) with an illegal rocket. We more or less recovered from that but it left a bad taste. His mission ended up with 3 busted claims on the small Uranus moons then failed rad checks decommissioned all his radiators.

The UN were doing OK. They got some factories working but barely set foot outside the inner system.

My game mostly consisted of busting a claim, spending 5 years doing ISRU refuelling with an ISRU3 robonaut then pootling off to the next site to blow another prospecting role. I got one factory running on a size 5 site. My second mission failed 7 prospecting rolls in a row.

By this time one player had dropped out, the Almost King Of Uranus (MY anus?) had no factories and was amusing himself trying to annoy everyone else (he was PRC), I had one factory and the UN had 3. At about 1am and after 5 hours of play we decided to call it a night and concede to the UN.

I'll see if I can post a picture of my massive trail of black discs if nothing else

It's always great to play HF, though. Even when it sucks
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Ed Bradley
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I'll definitely be using the extra starting water variant next time. And also probably the two-strikes prospecting variant.

I know space exploration is risky and difficult but I'm prepared to take Phil Eklund's word on this at face value: I don't need the game to reinforce the message for me
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John McKendrick
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Sorry to hear you had a disappointing session. When I run it for my son and his friends, I still find I'm having to run every mission, almost like a multi solitaire with onlookers So I feel your pain (and what a real life headache I ended up with after the last game)

I was able to run a four player game with my *very* experienced group of gamers (estb 1983) and I was delighted I started each with 12 WT. This saw the colonisation of Mars and the Moon, and one rocket (Orion Project) reaching the small moonlets of Jupiter!

But at times it still felt like a multi player cooperative

HF is not a game for the light hearted!

-John

(I STRONGLY recommend the 12 WT starting rule, it cuts at least 1 hour from game length without significant impact on actual game play)
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Ed Bradley
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JohnMcKendrick wrote:

(I STRONGLY recommend the 12 WT starting rule, it cuts at least 1 hour from game length without significant impact on actual game play)


And I strongly recommend responding with "MY anus??" every time someone say's Uranus. Childish? Very. But it added some much-needed levity to the proceedings. Especially when everyone hit it in chorus
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Chuffed to bits to see you using the lego models.

Going to adopt your Uranus house rule.
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