The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Race — Differences between the Goods

Based on a discussion on BGG, I’ve been thinking (and staring at the card list) about the various goods. No New Earth Shattering thoughts, but you get what you pay for:

I’ve included my numbers below.(I may have made a mistake in calculations, as I’m still finding minor errors in my spreadsheet

Random things that jump out at me:

As the good improves, consume powers fall off. No Alien worlds have a consume power, and only one for Genes and Rares. Plague World consumes a Gene (only) for a VP + card, but is worth 0 VP. Rare’s New Earth consumes anything for a VP + Card; but it costs 5 (for 3VP). By contrast, almost half the novelty worlds consume. Having a consume power and a good on the same card is efficient, and means you can (often) start consuming x2 earlier. Three Novelty consume powers are ‘only’ for cards, though. The Secluded World (1 cost) and New Survivalists (1 defense) consume for a single card (New Survivalists only accepts novelty goods, but that’s not a big constraint, and could be an advantage in the endgame). New Vinland consumes for 2 cards, and is one of my favorite early draws.

As the good improves, the windfall percentage increases. Again this points towards novelty as the “world of choice” for a massive consumption power. This also makes the “Produce on a windfall power” more attractive for the better goods. (This ties in with the “Windfall vs Production world” thread).

Genes worlds are barely more expensive than Rare worlds. There are fewer purchased gene worlds (5) vs rare worlds (8), but the costs are almost identical. I would have expected them to cost more, since they return one extra card for trading. On the other hand, Alpha Centauri (and Mining Robots) will discount rare worlds, which shifts the equation.

Rare worlds have an advantage in earning via production. There are 3 worlds that give you a card when they produce (Runaway Robots, Comet Zone and Mining World), as compared to 1 for novelty (Gem World) and the expensive Lost Species Ark World for genes. The Mining Conglomerate provides you two cards with a single rare (if nobody else produces) or two (the more typical max rare produced). This makes it cheaper than its novelty counterpart (Consumer Markets), and it also provides a trade bonus. Rares also have an advantage in that Terraforming Robots provide an excellent Rare consumption power. There’s no counterpart for other goods in any cheap development. [But that’s a minor point].

To get multiple Gene world into play, you’ll need a defense budget. Or a Contact Specialist, of course. There are 6 conquerable Genes worlds, vs 4 for each other type. Space Marines alone (or New Sparta), will mean 11 out of the 18 military goods worlds are yours. (Mostly windfall, but two production worlds in the mix). That’s roughly 10% of the deck that you can conquer and trade.

So, what have I taken from this exercise?

  1. I don’t casually discard Novelty production worlds, especially with those that consume. I’ve noticed this trend over the last few weeks of our group’s play. Later on you’ll want cheap goods to power consumption, and there are none cheaper (barring military).
  2. I don’t ignore rare worlds; but they require infrastructure to shine. On the flip side, the infrastructure is cheap and fairly plentiful (Mining Robots, Alpha Centauri, Mining Conglomerate). (The novelty infrastructure is much rarer/more expensive). I’m happy to drop a rare windfall to start a trade cycle. If I don’t have military, it’s probably my best option unless I’m lucky enough to get Pre-sentient race.
  3. This also means I somewhat understand the “Alpha Centauri is weak” option. I don’t agree with it (at all), but I can see what they mean. Rare worlds somewhat pale in comparison to other goods … but with a -1 cost they are just great.
  4. I’ve mentally upgraded Genetics Lab (+1$ when trading genes, and produce on a Gene windfall), which I almost never built during November/December. With any military, it’s surprisingly good. (This actually was a revelation. One of my ugliest losses involved a military player dropping this during my production turn).

    Average Costs (counting only costs, not defense):

    • Novelty – 1.89 [0,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3]
    • Rare – 2.88 [1,2,2,3,3,3,4,5]
    • Genes – 3 [1,2,3,4,5]
    • Alien – 5.25 [4,5,6,6]

    Average Defense (ignoring worlds with a cost):

    • Novelty – 1.75 [1,1,2,3]
    • Rare – 1.85 [1,1,2,3]
    • Genes – 2.33 [1,2,2,2,3,4]
    • Alien – 4.25 [2,4,5,6]

    Windfall/Production Breakdown:

    • Novelty – 5W/9P
    • Rare – 7W/6P
    • Genes – 7W/4P
    • Alien – 6W/2P

    Worlds with consume powers:

    • Novelty – 6 (out of 14) [Counts Earth’s Lost Colony, which is also a Homeworld].
    • Rares – 1 (out of 13).
    • Genes – 1 (out of 11).
    • Alien – 0 (out of 8).

    Advertisements

Written by taogaming

January 10, 2008 at 9:44 am

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I genenrally prefer the production worlds that DONT consume, especially the ones that do something else in addition. The non consuming worlds are much cheaper for what you get, or produce cards.

    I then like to combine these with an ‘engine’ card of some kind (Consumer Markets, Free Trade Association, Diversified Economy, Mining Conglomorate), or with Galactic Trendsetters or Tourist World. Getting production worlds that dont consume, saving money, and building a card that consumes and gives you free cards is very strong.

    I dont like Plague world (the 0vp hurts), I dont like New Earth because its way too expensive for what it does. The novelty worlds that are very cheap and produce/consume are good because you can build an engine or tourist world later to consume them in a better way. New Vinland is great. Prosperous world (cost 3, produce blue, consume blue for 1 pt) I dont like because its too expensive.

    My dislike for production worlds with consume powers is higher with Old Earth or Epsilon Eridani, since they dont need it. With the others I am more tempted to build them.

    Genetics Lab is very good. There are a lot of cheap gene windfall worlds and it makes them sell better and produce. I also love galactic engineers and alien rosetta stone world. They all allow you too make ‘too many’ early windfall worlds, for cash, and then turn them into something useful.

    Contact specialist is amazing for someone without military. It allows building a bunch of very cheap windfall worlds (gives a discount!), and also allows scoring of rebel worlds.

    Alexfrog

    January 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

  2. I genenrally prefer the production worlds that DONT consume, especially the ones that do something else in addition. The non consuming worlds are much cheaper for what you get, or produce cards.

    I then like to combine these with an ‘engine’ card of some kind (Consumer Markets, Free Trade Association, Diversified Economy, Mining Conglomorate), or with Galactic Trendsetters or Tourist World. Getting production worlds that dont consume, saving money, and building a card that consumes and gives you free cards is very strong.

    I dont like Plague world (the 0vp hurts), I dont like New Earth because its way too expensive for what it does. The novelty worlds that are very cheap and produce/consume are good because you can build an engine or tourist world later to consume them in a better way. New Vinland is great. Prosperous world (cost 3, produce blue, consume blue for 1 pt) I dont like because its too expensive.

    My dislike for production worlds with consume powers is higher with Old Earth or Epsilon Eridani, since they dont need it. With the others I am more tempted to build them.

    Genetics Lab is very good. There are a lot of cheap gene windfall worlds and it makes them sell better and produce. I also love galactic engineers and alien rosetta stone world. They all allow you too make ‘too many’ early windfall worlds, for cash, and then turn them into something useful.

    Contact specialist is amazing for someone without military. It allows building a bunch of very cheap windfall worlds (gives a discount!), and also allows scoring of rebel worlds.

    Alexfrog

    January 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

  3. I genenrally prefer the production worlds that DONT consume, especially the ones that do something else in addition. The non consuming worlds are much cheaper for what you get, or produce cards.

    I then like to combine these with an ‘engine’ card of some kind (Consumer Markets, Free Trade Association, Diversified Economy, Mining Conglomorate), or with Galactic Trendsetters or Tourist World. Getting production worlds that dont consume, saving money, and building a card that consumes and gives you free cards is very strong.

    I dont like Plague world (the 0vp hurts), I dont like New Earth because its way too expensive for what it does. The novelty worlds that are very cheap and produce/consume are good because you can build an engine or tourist world later to consume them in a better way. New Vinland is great. Prosperous world (cost 3, produce blue, consume blue for 1 pt) I dont like because its too expensive.

    My dislike for production worlds with consume powers is higher with Old Earth or Epsilon Eridani, since they dont need it. With the others I am more tempted to build them.

    Genetics Lab is very good. There are a lot of cheap gene windfall worlds and it makes them sell better and produce. I also love galactic engineers and alien rosetta stone world. They all allow you too make ‘too many’ early windfall worlds, for cash, and then turn them into something useful.

    Contact specialist is amazing for someone without military. It allows building a bunch of very cheap windfall worlds (gives a discount!), and also allows scoring of rebel worlds.

    Alexfrog

    January 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

  4. As an initial card engine I’d agree that the production worlds that consume aren’t as good, but any time after that I prefer that combo. It radically speeds up when you can start produce/consuming without depending on multiple develops, settles or painful searching for cards. It also allows tacking another world onto an existing produce/consume even if you had already matched up all your goods with consume powers.

    frunk

    January 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

  5. Another way to look at it, compare Galactic Trendsetters with New Earth. The same cost, however Mining Robots and Alpha Centauri can make NE cheaper. GT’s consume power is superior, but NE already supplies the good to power its consume. You can afford to get out NE earlier because it can still be a source of cards either by trading or with its consume power. GT’s big advantage is the late game X2 VP and the 3 VP bonus with Galactic Renaissance. NE gets 2 VP bonuses from Merchant Guild and Mining League, and can combine with another rare for the X2 on Mining League while saving its consume power for a good of a different color.

    With the right setup GT is more powerful, but NE has flexiblity in its timing and works with a variety of tableaus.

    frunk

    January 11, 2008 at 10:11 am


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: