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Subject: Some Musings on Colonization rss

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Victor Caminha
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Great! I was sad to see the interstellar portion of the game removed to the solo variant (loved the idea of beehives) but this synopsis sure showed me the game have a lot of new tricks! I can't wait for my preorder!
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Tom Russell
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You start off the game with a Bernal Colony? I assumed the Colony would be something you would build up over time showing a smoother curve from Basic High Frontier to Colonization.

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Matthew Eklund
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My understanding is that you start with it in Earth Orbit. It becomes more powerful as you move it to orbits adjacent to more and more water icons.

Early playtests had the bernal as something you purchased and boosted (mass 10+), but it felt like it took too much time to get into the colonization portion of the game.
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Jens Hoppe
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After three games of HF:C (zazzle map, playtest components), I am not quite sure what to think.

The game has become really long, and the downtime can be horrendous (especially once people start getting colonists into space allowing them more operations per turn, but basically also just because of all the new options).

The game setting is not so much a continuation of the legacy game, but more an alternative, parallel development. Even if playing with all the modules, space is still completely unexplored at start and players are still struggling to boost white cards and put together a functional rocket. So, it's not so much the "next step" in the exploration of the solar system, but more of a way of telling the same story as in HF, only now with a lot more complexity and options. Perhaps a module that allowed players to start off where HF left might have been a good idea?

Thematically, I think like all the new modules. Gameplay-wise I am more torn: Colonist are a great idea, but introducing them makes downtime potentially a problem. Futures add quite a bit to the total game length.

In general, HF in all its incarnations was always a game with a lot of escalation: Everyone started off slowly, but at some point (after the introduction of a couple of black cards) things really took off. However, the end of game criteria was balanced in such a way that once this stage was reached, game end was usually only a few turns away. Bad for the thematically minded players who would like to see their efforts bear fruit, but probably good from a gameplay perspective, since at least the trailing players (and it's not unusual for someone to get left horribly behind) wouldn't have to sit about for ages waiting for the others to finish off the game.

But in HF:C - at least when playing with the futures module - the game drags on a lot more. Great if you're the player with 3-4 operations per turn and functional terawatt thruster, but not so much if you're the one still trying to get an all-white card rocket successfully through the radiation belts heading for the inner solar system (and for the record, I was neither of those players in our last game )


My impression is probably colored by just having spent six hours on a game that I didn't really enjoy all that much, but so far I am not really thrilled with the changes, at least from a gameplay perspective. Thematically, it's awesome a usual.

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Chris Hansen
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So I'm hearing 'lots of downtime' and 'really long' here. What in terms of actual time are we talking in each case? How long is a person's turn, and how long does it take to complete a game?

I'm not adverse to complexity in a game, often times I relish something with great intricacy. Finding others of a like mind can often be difficult however, and then finding those same people with lots of time on their hands is often an even greater challenge.
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Victor Caminha
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raid1280 wrote:
During a Colonization game, you may exit the map and attempt a starshot. This ends your participation in the Colonization game, but you continue on the Interstellar map and attempt to score VP in that manner, added to your Colonization score.


That's great news! The tricky thing will be finding the sweet spot between leaving too early and having little or no impact in the main game or making a starshot too late for any consequence VP-wise.
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Wulf Corbett
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wykthor wrote:
The tricky thing will be finding the sweet spot between leaving too early and having little or no impact in the main game or making a starshot too late for any consequence VP-wise.
I'd have said the tricky thing would be to coordinate a solo player (or more than one) playing through Interstellar while the other players continue with Colonisation. Not to mention finding table space...

Something to discuss next time you meet, perhaps, but not, I feel, a practical way to continue a game...
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Wulf Corbett
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Ichirou wrote:
So I'm hearing 'lots of downtime' and 'really long' here. What in terms of actual time are we talking in each case? How long is a person's turn, and how long does it take to complete a game?
I personally found (during playtesting) that no matter how much downtime I had, it wasn't enough for me to have firmly decided on my own next move...

having said that, when your opponent has 4 actions per turn (due to Colonists) and you still have only 1... that's annoying... yuk
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