The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Master Solvers #4

I realize I never answered #3… perhaps later.

You are New Sparta in a 3 player game (against Alpha Centauri and Epsilon Eridani, if you care). The deck hits you over the head with:

  • Alien Tech. Institute (Alien 6-dev)
  • Lost Alien Warship (Defense 5 Windfall, +2 Military)
  • Deserted Alien Colony (5 Cost Alien Windfall)
  • Replicant Robots (-2 Cost for worlds)
  • Blaster Gem Mines (3 Cost Rare Windfall, +1 Military)
  • Spice World (Novelty Production, +2 to trade a novelty).

What do you keep? What do you play on Turn 1?

Update: Fixed the card errors above.


Written by taogaming

March 24, 2008 at 11:37 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I came up with my plan before reading the comments and it was precisely Alexfrog’s plan (including the detail about 2x +1/+1’s allowing the DAC Settle. Thanks Alex, I shouldn’t have been taking the time to type my answer right now anyhow.

    Instead I’ll note that in a two player game the other day I got, as EE, Alien Survey World, Alien Tech Institute, Alien Rosetta Stone, and Lost Alien Battle Fleet in my opening. I had to try it but lost – in my first two turns of Double Explore I got nothing that gave a lousy +1 to military. ARG!


    March 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm

  2. Well, I know Alex hates the Blaster Gem Mines, but I think this is one of the cases where it is quite useful.

    I would discard Spice World and Replicating Robots and call Explore +1,+1. If I get nothing and EE calls T1 Settle, I put down the BGM, spending my explore cards and DAC to do so, so I can sell for 3 cards on T2. If these still aren’t useful, then you can Explore +1 on T3, develop ATI on T4 and be ready to settle LAW from T4 onwards.

    Yup, in this line you had spend DAC to do this, but eggs, omelets; you’re well on track for a military strategy (there’s only the Rebel 6 and 7 you can’t conquer and +2 Military (from Space Marines, Drop Ships, NGO, the Lost Battle Fleet, or either the Rebel 5 or Alien Robot Ship and one more elsewhere will deal with them), you have a ready source of money (LAW’s Alien good), and you saw 9 cards along the way so you can easily modify this plan based on them. What’s not to like?

    If there is no T1 Settle, then the odds of a T2 Settle go way up, so one possibility is to do everyone’s backup plan of Explore +1 again and put down DAC on T2, sell on T3, but then, even though you can afford to put down ATI on T4, you can’t settle DAW yet because you don’t have another +1 Military. I’m not convinced. I would do a second Explore +1, but (assuming both explores crapped out and I didn’t find a defense 1-2 Military windfall) I would still put down BGM over DAC on turn 2, viewing the second Explore as a chance to save DAC and some other long-term card (such as NGO) that I’ve found. For now I’m back on track to either do exactly my original plan (a turn later) or delay it another turn, if I want to save DAC and another long-term card. Depending on how I feel about tableau tempo after turn 3, I’ll decide.

    The point is that NS, with this hand, is looking for three things: a windfall to churn cards/afford ATI, a source of +1 Military (to get LAW down after ATI), and the ability to leverage your opponent’s actions. Sure, an Expedition Force and an Uplift 2 will do this job better than BGM, but you don’t have these cards and BGM does all three things in one, slightly more costly package. Use the tools you have at hand, even if they are slightly less efficient in some ideal efficiency metric.


    March 26, 2008 at 3:35 pm

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