The Tao of Gaming

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Race Master Solvers Club #2

You are New Sparta in a four player game (everyone but Epsilon Eridani, if you care). Your opening hand is:

  • New Vinland (2 Cost Novelty Production, Consume a good for 2 cards).
  • Radioactive World (2 Cost Rare Windfall).
  • Spice World (2 Cost Novelty Production, Trade a novelty for $2 extra)
  • Rebel Miners (2 Military Rare Production)
  • Free Trade Association (The 6-dev for novelties)
  • Mining League (The 6-dev for rares).

What do you discard and what do you play on your first turn?

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Written by taogaming

February 26, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Race for the Galaxy

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25 Responses

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  1. Since your are Sparta, you should be keeping your only military world. Its basically a 0 cost production world for you, and is thus better than your other production world.

    You therefore keep Mining League, as it goes well with Rebel Miners.

    I think you discard Radioactive World, because people with military shouldnt pay for windfall worlds, especially crappy ones. Drawing a military brown world later would be way better, as would some other windfall. You have other good options, so Radioactive World isnt worth keeping.

    New Vinland is strong, its a 2 card income in produce/consume, and its cheap.

    Spice World isnt great when you have the rebel miners, they are free and make a good you can sell for 3, almost as much as Spiec World’s 4. If you have a Novelty military windfall world like Pirate World in your hand, you’d keep it, but you dont.

    You thus keep:

    Rebel Miners
    Mining League
    New Vinland
    Free Trade Association

    This hand has a free play, another good early world, and versatility to build a 6 building based on what you draw next.

    I think you should explore +1/+1 on the first turn, hoping for a good military windfall world to get you going, or more production worlds, or a cheap development that might be helpful, in case people develop.

    Settling could open up others to trade, while you only get a production world that does nothing else. You want to drop Rebel miners on an opponent’s settle, for no card cost. You need to get more options right now, and money to afford your builds, and something that you can develop early in case an opponent develops.

    Alexfrog

    February 26, 2008 at 7:21 pm

  2. Since your are Sparta, you should be keeping your only military world. Its basically a 0 cost production world for you, and is thus better than your other production world.

    You therefore keep Mining League, as it goes well with Rebel Miners.

    I think you discard Radioactive World, because people with military shouldnt pay for windfall worlds, especially crappy ones. Drawing a military brown world later would be way better, as would some other windfall. You have other good options, so Radioactive World isnt worth keeping.

    New Vinland is strong, its a 2 card income in produce/consume, and its cheap.

    Spice World isnt great when you have the rebel miners, they are free and make a good you can sell for 3, almost as much as Spiec World’s 4. If you have a Novelty military windfall world like Pirate World in your hand, you’d keep it, but you dont.

    You thus keep:

    Rebel Miners
    Mining League
    New Vinland
    Free Trade Association

    This hand has a free play, another good early world, and versatility to build a 6 building based on what you draw next.

    I think you should explore +1/+1 on the first turn, hoping for a good military windfall world to get you going, or more production worlds, or a cheap development that might be helpful, in case people develop.

    Settling could open up others to trade, while you only get a production world that does nothing else. You want to drop Rebel miners on an opponent’s settle, for no card cost. You need to get more options right now, and money to afford your builds, and something that you can develop early in case an opponent develops.

    Alexfrog

    February 26, 2008 at 7:21 pm

  3. I discard the Spice World and FTA, and play Explore +1/+1 on the first turn. Not very interesting, I guess. Last week I would have played Settle – Rebel Miners on the first turn, but recent articles have convinced me to wait for someone else to play Settle.

    The explore then determines what you do, of course. Certainly none of the main strategies are looking very good, but at least you got the one rebel planet.

    But I can sort of understand the argument to keep the blues and try to ride the blue production into the FTA. But are you going to be able to get enough cards to develop the FTA? I don’t think so.

    Matt Crawford

    February 26, 2008 at 7:24 pm

  4. I would say to keep the 2 blues, Rebel Miners and Free Trade Association, calling Explore +1/+1 on the first turn. If there’s a settle (assuming nothing earthshattering in the Explore) I’ll drop Rebel Miners and plan to produce/trade.

    I could also see the argument for keeping Mining League and the 2 Rare worlds, but I feel like keeping FTA and 2 blues (each of which helps you with card generation, often a problem for a novelty strategy) is a windfall you can’t refuse. It doesn’t take many turns to get enough cards for FTA, and once you have it you only need one more blue world to have a 3 VP engine.

    Phil

    February 26, 2008 at 8:02 pm

  5. I can definitely see an argument for keeping the second blue over mining league. But I think I’d want mining league a lot if I managed to explore for a brown military windfall world, or a Comet Zone/Minign World something.

    Alexfrog

    February 26, 2008 at 8:05 pm

  6. I can definitely see an argument for keeping the second blue over mining league. But I think I’d want mining league a lot if I managed to explore for a brown military windfall world, or a Comet Zone/Minign World something.

    Alexfrog

    February 26, 2008 at 8:05 pm

  7. Keep:

    Rebel Miners
    Radioactive World
    New Vinland
    Mining League

    The aim is to get Radioactive World and Rebel Miners down for the 3-point consume from Mining League.

    I’d call Settle on the first turn. I’d be hoping to take advantage of a Produce from ELC, in which case I’d settle Rebel Miners. If Produce doesn’t turn up, and Explore does, then settle Radioactive World instead (throwing New Vinland + your Explore card); either way results in a rare good at the end of the turn, which you trade on turn two. If neither Produce nor Explore turn up, then settle the cheaper Rebel Miners – Radioactive World is a poor choice if you lose the chance of the synergy with the other two cards – and call Settle again on turn two, settling either New Vinland or Radioactive World depending on whether Produce was called. (Only AC will probably be able to take advantage of both your settle phases given there was no Explore on turn one, so this is reasonably safe).

    Kester Jarvis

    February 27, 2008 at 10:43 am

  8. Ouch – I’m split. Part of me desperately wants to go down a novelty path, as I’ve seen it work very effectively many times with New Sparta; OTOH, having the cards in hand to start a Produce/Consume 2x cycle for 6 VP is awfully tempting.

    I think, in the end, I hold New Vinland, Spice World, Rebel Miners, and Free Trade Association, and Explore +1/+1. I’m really hoping Earth’s Lost Colony calls Produce and Old Earth calls Settle, in which case I settle Rebel Miners in preparation for a consume/trade in turn two.

    Joe Huber

    February 27, 2008 at 10:51 am

  9. Ouch – I’m split. Part of me desperately wants to go down a novelty path, as I’ve seen it work very effectively many times with New Sparta; OTOH, having the cards in hand to start a Produce/Consume 2x cycle for 6 VP is awfully tempting.

    I think, in the end, I hold New Vinland, Spice World, Rebel Miners, and Free Trade Association, and Explore +1/+1. I’m really hoping Earth’s Lost Colony calls Produce and Old Earth calls Settle, in which case I settle Rebel Miners in preparation for a consume/trade in turn two.

    Joe Huber

    February 27, 2008 at 10:51 am

  10. I have no thoughts on the problem, as I haven’t had the time to devote to this game and, alas, maybe I never will. But I was wondering what you thought about Mr. Huber’s card-by-card review of the game on the Geek? It looks like pretty comprehensive stuff.

    http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/295891

    Larry Levy

    February 27, 2008 at 11:20 am

  11. New Sparta is New Sparta. You can abandon it and go Nnovelty or rare if you want, but you had best dedicate the rest of the game to it. You are the only military power out and going wither route may very well set you up to do your strategy worse than your opponent.

    Therefore I keep Rebel Miners, New Vinland and my sixes. I call Explore +5 (1/1 is for card payment. Again, I am military). I hope Old Earth calls Settle (to the Produce/Consume likely to be called by the others).

    I hold the sixes as long as I can to keep them out of the deck, but its really just picking nits over the other cards.

    Matt Stephans

    February 27, 2008 at 11:53 am

  12. New Sparta is New Sparta. You can abandon it and go Nnovelty or rare if you want, but you had best dedicate the rest of the game to it. You are the only military power out and going wither route may very well set you up to do your strategy worse than your opponent.

    Therefore I keep Rebel Miners, New Vinland and my sixes. I call Explore +5 (1/1 is for card payment. Again, I am military). I hope Old Earth calls Settle (to the Produce/Consume likely to be called by the others).

    I hold the sixes as long as I can to keep them out of the deck, but its really just picking nits over the other cards.

    Matt Stephans

    February 27, 2008 at 11:53 am

  13. New Sparta is New Sparta. You can abandon it and go Nnovelty or rare if you want, but you had best dedicate the rest of the game to it. You are the only military power out and going wither route may very well set you up to do your strategy worse than your opponent.

    Except – they can’t. A novelty strategy without FTA isn’t going to be as good as one with, even with an extra novelty world, and a rare strategy without Mining League will often falter on consumption – not to mention the fact that it’s more competitive, and Alpha Centauri has an advantage.

    I think it’s a bigger mistake to ignore one’s initial cards than it is to underutilize one’s initial powers. Sure, if Galactic Imperium is in my initial draw, I’ll reconsider, but as long as I hold on to Rebel Miners, I haven’t hurt my ability to do so.

    Joe Huber

    February 27, 2008 at 3:41 pm

  14. This time no waffling, even though I do like waffles.

    I’d keep:
    New Vinland
    Radioactive World
    Rebel Miners
    Mining League

    First turn, Settle Rebel Miners. If ELC produces I Consume/Trade T2. Otherwise I Settle again on T2, probably New Vinland but drawn cards could shift my direction.

    frunk

    February 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm

  15. This time no waffling, even though I do like waffles.

    I’d keep:
    New Vinland
    Radioactive World
    Rebel Miners
    Mining League

    First turn, Settle Rebel Miners. If ELC produces I Consume/Trade T2. Otherwise I Settle again on T2, probably New Vinland but drawn cards could shift my direction.

    frunk

    February 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm

  16. I’m going to go with Explore +5 and:
    New Vinland
    Free Trade Association
    Rebel Miners
    Mining League

    Basically, I see no reason to pick Rare or Novelty yet, in both cases production worlds aren’t hard to come by so keeping the inferior planet isn’t really worth it. This way I get to choose based on the first turn actions and the explore. If I get Consumer Markets in my Explore +5 then Novelty it is. If Runaway Robots, then rare. If neither, but NGO I take that. I don’t really need the extra card from +1/+1 as I can settle with either strategy without more cards and I’m kind of screwed if all the other players open with develop anyway.

    Lou

    February 28, 2008 at 8:34 am

  17. I’m with most of the group: stay flexible. Explore +1/+1 first turn. We may not need the cards now, but we will before long if we go novelty or find Drop Ships and go military. Since we are considering three different strategies, three cards should find a good card or two for at least one of them. I’ll just keep the four best cards: New Vineland, Rebel Miners, and the two 6s.

    I’m not sure if I hope AC will go rare with me or ELC will go novelty with me. On the upside, our actions will tend to synergize; on the downside, deck two will be empty. Since I have the big card for each approach, I ought to be able to beat them; in a sense, they are dominated.

    On the other hand, the advantage of a military strategy is that without EE in the game, deck two will rate to be a gold mine for me. Given my start, however, I expect that someone is going to go with a superfast strategy, making deck two be relatively short, so direct competition with someone I can beat looks like a better shot than enjoying a great second deck. I’ll be more prone to considering military if no one builds development boosters early. Or Drop Ships. If someone does that, it’s a good bet he has NGO and/or the Imperium 6, which means I’ll not be getting at least one of them, and I’ll want out of the arms race.

    JeffG

    February 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

  18. I’m with most of the group: stay flexible. Explore +1/+1 first turn. We may not need the cards now, but we will before long if we go novelty or find Drop Ships and go military. Since we are considering three different strategies, three cards should find a good card or two for at least one of them. I’ll just keep the four best cards: New Vineland, Rebel Miners, and the two 6s.

    I’m not sure if I hope AC will go rare with me or ELC will go novelty with me. On the upside, our actions will tend to synergize; on the downside, deck two will be empty. Since I have the big card for each approach, I ought to be able to beat them; in a sense, they are dominated.

    On the other hand, the advantage of a military strategy is that without EE in the game, deck two will rate to be a gold mine for me. Given my start, however, I expect that someone is going to go with a superfast strategy, making deck two be relatively short, so direct competition with someone I can beat looks like a better shot than enjoying a great second deck. I’ll be more prone to considering military if no one builds development boosters early. Or Drop Ships. If someone does that, it’s a good bet he has NGO and/or the Imperium 6, which means I’ll not be getting at least one of them, and I’ll want out of the arms race.

    JeffG

    February 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

  19. I discard FTA and Spice World, and choose Settle with 50% probability, Explore +1, +1 with 35% probability, and Explore +5 with 25% probability. I’ll bias towards Settle with novice players, and bias towards Explore +5 with advanced players.

    learly Rebel Miners is better than any of the other worlds, so that’s a keeper, and therefore Mining League is a keeper. For the other three worlds, Radioactive World becomes a keeper (because it does synergize with ML, and it is my only windfall world. So, now that I’m definitely discarding a Novelty Production, probably FTA isn’t worth keeping. So that goes. Then, among Spice World and New Vinland, the issue is that Spice World gets me four cards on a cycle, but I have to be the one choosing Consume, whereas New Vinland gets me two cards on a cycle, but I get those regardless. Since without Episilon Eridani in the game I’m less likely to have a comrade to push the tableau with, I’m going to need all the tempo I can get … so New Vinland is preferable. (I’d much rather have Smuggling World, but oh well.)

    Reasons to choose Settle are that there’s a modicum of flexibility and I do have a viable world. If there’s a first-turn Produce, great; out comes Mining Robots. (The reason I bias away from Settle against experts is because experts are less likely to do first-turn Produce.) If I don’t choose Settle, it’s not that likely that someone else will choose it, so I’ll be behind a good if Produce does get chosen. Even if Produce doesn’t get chosen, if there’s an Explore I’m happy to put down Radioactive World if I don’t see anything good in my two Explore cards. Worst-case scenario is when I choose Settle, no one chooses Explore, and no one chooses Produce. (That pretty much means that all other players are choosing Consume: Trade or Develop).

    Because of that worst-case scenario, I have a non-zero probability of choosing Explore. I might very well get a cheap development (e.g., Investment Credits) to put out when others choose Develop, and I have some good plays if others choose Settle. My cards aren’t *that* great for my start world, so Explore +5 is also reasonable in the hopes I can find a direction with more military — Runaway Robots or Rebel Fuel Cache would be excellent finds.

    Wei-Hwa

    February 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm

  20. By the way, I don’t agree with Alex’s claim that “people with military shouldn’t pay for windfall worlds”. Having a windfall world out is often more valuable than not having a world out at all. People with Military need to get card flow up and the tableau pressure on.

    Wei-Hwa

    February 28, 2008 at 3:39 pm

  21. By the way, I don’t agree with Alex’s claim that “people with military shouldn’t pay for windfall worlds”. Having a windfall world out is often more valuable than not having a world out at all. People with Military need to get card flow up and the tableau pressure on.

    Wei-Hwa

    February 28, 2008 at 3:39 pm

  22. Toss Spice World, Radioactive World. The only two cards in your opening hand you’re going to use are New Vinland and Rebel Miners. Keep the two 6ers just in case something really comes together before you need to spend them, or on the off chance you end up hanging on to them through a deck cycle (to deny them to anyone else). But likely you’ll use them for cash. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I’d probably favor the Mining League when choosing which to spend later.

    Turn 1: Settle. If there was an explore done, and the card you got was crap (i.e., non-military), and nobody selected Produce (as is likely), put down New Vinland. If no explore was done, drop Rebel Miners for free. Either way, take the kickback from Settle. The logic here being that you want to get down New Vinland and Rebel Miners, and you really, really want someone to do Produce on turn 2. New Vinland is likely to look somewhat less threatening, so maybe you can sucker New Earth or Earth’s Lost Colony into doing it for you.

    Turn 2: Settle, unless you got a cheap military development from somewhere (other players’ Explores, Settle kickbacks). Drop the card you didn’t play last turn (even if you played Rebel Miners last turn and got something like an Uplift world this turn).

    You now have an awesome produce leech. If anyone plays Produce, you either can play Consume to draw 5 cards, or draw 4 cards over two other players’ Consume phases. You can leech one consume for two cards and still have a consume for another 3 if you’re short. You can get cards from your conquered Windfall worlds without having to waste time playing Consume. If on turn 2 nobody else has developed a production engine yet, you can produce/consume right away to kick-start your hand if it’s not going to benefit anyone else very much, then alternate between Explore +5, Settle, and Develop as appropriate, riding on someone else’s Produce when you need an injection of cards.

    Just use the cards this leeching provides to boost your pursuit of the usual New Sparta thing – hunt for military developments and worlds by doing Explore +5. Other players will tend to be much more compelled to produce/consume than you are, so you should be able to turbo-charge your military game.

    Chris Farrell

    February 28, 2008 at 8:07 pm

  23. Sorry, one other thing, I see no reason not to do Settle on turn one, and I think Explore +1/+1 is weak. The odds of picking up a Development or Military World you really need in a 3-card draw are slim, and you already have a cheap, powerful engine in hand anyway. Playing Settle does open up the possibility of a Windfall/Consume combo, since Alpha Centauri is in play and Consume will likely be available on Turn 1 or Turn 2. But if I have a cool Windfall I want to consume right away, it would be very gutsy to simply explore and bank on someone else’s Settle, especially if I’d see a big advantage from an Alpha Centauri turn 1 Consume. And if you do help them out, so what? They get a couple cards right away, but you got a card from their Explore, and you have an engine that will start working right away and will be feeding you cards all game.

    Chris Farrell

    February 28, 2008 at 8:15 pm

  24. Larry wrote:

    But I was wondering what you thought about Mr. Huber’s card-by-card review of the game on the Geek? It looks like pretty comprehensive stuff.

    It was fine. I agree with most of it. Alexfrog has an article out too, and it was similar. I suspect anyeone who plays 100+ games and pays attention will agree most of the time on each card’s utility.

    Wei-Hwa wrote:

    I discard FTA and Spice World, and choose Settle with 50% probability, Explore +1, +1 with 35% probability, and Explore +5 with 25% probability.

    This is why I keep losing. I don’t give 110% at Race.

    Brian

    February 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm

  25. Hehe. Let’s make that Settle = 45%, Explore +1, +1 = 30%, Explore +5 = 25%.

    Wei-Hwa

    March 1, 2008 at 2:34 am


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