The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Master Solvers Forum #1

I always like those in old Bridge Worlds. So, here we go. Answer in the comments.

Problem 1a:

You are Earth’s Lost Colony. [3 Players, the opponents are Epsilon Eridini and Old Earth]. Your opening hand is:

  1. Alien Tech. Institute
  2. Alien Rosetta Stone World
  3. Destroyed World
  4. Drop Ships
  5. Galactic Engineers
  6. Spice World

What do you discard and what’s your first turn plan?

Problem 1b:
As above, but instead of Drop ships you have New Economy.

I’ve uploaded my spreadsheet of card names/effects. Let me know if you see any errors. (For some reason a card or two doesn’t like the sort fuction. I’ve never seen that before.

Written by taogaming

January 13, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Race for the Galaxy

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4 Responses

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  1. I drop the two alien cards and Explore +1/+1 on turn 1.

    It’s true, the two alien cards are nice, but they do very little in terms of economy. If you go that route and don’t manage to find any alien windfalls, you’re sunk — it will take at least 6 more cards to just get those two out, and where are you making those 6 cards from? Selling your wimpy novelty?

    So, now that I’ve decided to drop the two alien cards, what do I play? Choosing Settle in order to get Galactic Engineers seems ludicrous, but the other three are viable. But the drawback with choosing either Develop or Settle is, what are you doing to do if one of your opponents chooses the other one? If that happens, you’re almost certainly losing a tempo, and it’s not clear if the card you’re putting out is worth the tempo loss. You’re going to be feeling pretty unhappy if you bring out Drop Ships and then can’t find any small military worlds to conquer. Better to pick Explore; that way, you have a reasonable play if only one of Develop or Settle is chosen, and if both of them are chosen, at least you get to look at three cards in an attempt to find a cheap Military World.

    To put another way, let suppose you know that the best possible cards for your hand (I would guess Pirate World and Consumer Markets) are somewhere in the first 10 cards in
    the draw pile. What maximizes your chance of getting one of them while still retaining something to go with it? I think Explore +1,+1 is best for that.


    January 14, 2008 at 3:27 am

  2. I like Produce first turn as it seems like a win/win to me. If another player Settles I get Spice World out, if they don’t nobody else gets anything out of Produce. If I don’t have a Production World to play first turn I’m less excited by the first turn Produce.

    The only reason to go Explore first turn seems to be to hold onto the cards you have or to get something better. If I’m holding I’d rather keep the Alien cards/Drop Ships than the less ambitious DW/GE. Besides Spice World is effectively DW/GE all wrapped up in a single card. The only advantage of DW is you can get the Consume/Trade a turn earlier and if going for diversity it’s not Novelty.


    January 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm

  3. Joe’s approach is sensible. I’d pick it if we were playing 5-handed. I like exploring when my hand can send me in different directions and this hand certainly can. And I agree that it’s great to have one’s key 6-point development in hand. I just don’t like the economics of an early alien strategy, plus I think that the plan won’t really work until I get the Tech Institute onto the table. On the other hand, if this were a top-notch 5-player game, the rest of my hand isn’t all that good, and if I did get the alien strategy working, I’d have a really good chance to win. If I didn’t, well, everyone loses most strong 5-player games anyway. In a 3-player game, I don’t think I need to go for such a high variance approach; even if I’m a little behind now, I ought to have a decent chance to catch up. With 5, someone is going to power through the whole game often enough that my goal is to be one of them, so I’ll go for the brass ring.


    January 15, 2008 at 6:23 pm

  4. More Master Solvers Please!


    January 16, 2008 at 8:25 pm

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