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So here I am with a rocket on Deimos and some people at home who want me to build some fancier goods out around Ceres. Let’s make this happen. First, I’ll need more fuel on the rocket. Looking at my playmat, I see that I’m already down to a thrust of 1 due to my mass (Transport class -1) and that I’m in Mars’s Heliosphere. Ceres will knock me down to 0, so I’ll be forced to use an afterburner each turn, which looking at the thrust triangle will cost 2 steps of fuel. That will mean the burn right before Ceres will cost 5. But I can have 13 tanks of water before I get too heavy to move (14 tanks will put me in Tug class, which even with Afterburning will still have me at zero thrust). Also, in a pinch I can switch to my Convicts, burn 4 and….wait. It costs the same to use my Convicts as it does to use my solar array? What the heck am I still using my solar array for? The convicts give me 10 thrust and aren’t bound by the limits of the sun! Good thing the Mirror Steamer isn’t costing me mass, otherwise I’d be really really mad at myself here. Okay, let me update my playmat here. I can get 8 WTs with my ISRU Operation and dropping to a Thrust of 8 won’t kill me, so I might as well load up so I can head out farther.

Year 26: Convicts: Site Refuel Ops: add 8 WTs to Rocket, bringing the mass up to 16, keeping it in Transport class. Crew: Freemarket Op: Sell old Magnetocaloric Refridgerator Radiator for 4 WTs, making my total 4WTs.

I then lift the rocket off Deimos to the Sol-Mars Lagrange. I don’t need a factory assist take off because I have plenty of thrust. I hit my first burn which lowers my mass down to 12, but I can keep going (my ship is FAST) but rather than burn out the rest of my water, I’ll pause at the next turn because it would cost me 8 steps, which would only leave me 1 step, not enough to get to the Ceres cluster.

Sadly my rocket won’t make it to the orbit above the Gefion family this turn because of the Hohnman pivot again, but I can be patient. Let’s turn out attention to home and see what we can learn there.

We have another high thrust thruster which also has a fuel consumption of 4…but I think I have the thruster thing solved for now until I can get something that uses far less fuel. The robonaut is useless because you can’t beat ISRU 0 unless you show me something great, which you probably won’t do without the ability to use the black side and this card’s flip side is ‘M’. The refinery is almost identical to the one I’m already using, so we can move past that. We have another solar generator of ‘e’ type, though this one needs one therm of cooling. However it is a ‘c’ class card, so we could flip it for a Thermovoltaic generator which would be lovely were I using a generator required thruster. There’s a rather robust nuclear reactor which, again, would be great for thrusters and a fairly good radiator, but nothing to write home about. The Gigawatt thruster is an ‘S’ and the Freighter is an ‘M’ so no luck there.

So my choices are: build the Stirling Engine and ET Produce it so when my rocket returns to Earth (or my Bernal ventures out to space) I can sell it for 10 WTs, or just sit back and collect base income for now until I need that water for other things.

I’m going to go with option ‘B’ for now. It will be a while before my Convict Cruiser will return (do I dare name it the Firefly?), so I may get better options, or even get a freighter which would solve all my transport problems when it came to selling black cards.

Year 27: Crew: Income Op: 2WTs for a total of 6: Convicts: Income Op for a total of 7

Event: Budget Cut: I hate hate hate budget cuts. Except when this happens. I have no cards in my hand! Ha! Take that!

My rocket now floats over all of those lovely little rocks. I’m obviously doing a Prospecting Operation, but the question is if I want to use a claim disc on Ceres or not. It will be automatic, but it will be another ‘C’ factory, which won’t be worth as many points (the two factories will be worth 16, while another letter will get me 20) and I won’t be able to make new swag with it. It does have a possible ocean, so I could go for the Submersible Prospecter’s Glory. Of course, I might run out of claims discs when I need it for a TNO in order to fulfill a Future and end the game…So I think I might hold back for now and hope that all the Prospecting I’ll be doing will net me some better sites. Besides, I’ll be able to drop a factory on anything I find, so it’s not like a turn or two will kill me.

Year 28: Crew: Prospecting Operation at Gefion Family. Let’s see how I do.

Now some of you might be wondering why I bothered rolling for the other ‘C’ rocks. You know what? I DON’T KNOW! So of COURSE I rolled a 1 on one of them! *sigh*

And here I place a Busted (black) disc on Gefion, Miahelena & Minerva and a claims disc on Aegis Moonlet.

Year 27 Convict: Income Op: 1WT to bring me to 8.

Okay, so I don’t see the reason to build another C factory on the moonlet, so I believe I shall fly off to the Koronis family. There is a slight risk on this move because those rocks are awfully dry, meaning if I crap out on my dice, I’ll only be able to refuel 1 tank at a time. I only have 5 steps left of water, and I can get there with only one burn if I go the dangerous and long way (around to the yarkovsky swarm), I can shorten the time and not have to roll any hazards by doing 2 burns. I don’t have the fuel for that, but I can land on Minerva and get 4 tanks with one op (I could get 5 on Ceres, but I have to cross a half burn to get there, which would cost 2 steps, which is 1 tank, so why bother?) So let’s land on Minerva.

Year 28: Convict: Site Refuel (cost 1): Load 4 tanks onto rocket; mass is now 13. Crew: Research Op: Purchase Cermet NERVA and Pebble Bed Fission Reactor for 4 WTs, total now 3WTs.

Why the purchase? I’m about to fly to a bunch of ‘S’ asteroids, and these are two ‘S’ class cards which can get me a nicely efficient thruster with a ridiculously efficient reactor. These two things might be able to get me out to the outer reaches of the solar system much easier.

Event: Pad Explosion/Space Debris – It’s dangerous near Earth! Good thing I don’t hang out there much.

Okay, my rocket leaves the Gefion family with a boost and points itself towards the Koronis family, halting at the Hohnmann transfer. Stupid boundless distances of space, I want to get there NOW!

Year 29: Crew: Income for 2 WTs Convicts: Income for 1WTs Total now 6WTs. I’m really liking having this extra action each turn, it’s really helping out. Shame I can’t get more yet.

I now have my rocket in orbit around all the Koronis asteroids, a wonderous, dry collection of Silicon I hope to be able to mine. If not, there are a few more rapidly rotating rocks I can check out, but it’s a little dangerous to get close to them. But let’s fire up my lasers and see what I can get out of them.(Note: I later found I could have Prospected those rocks past the hazards as hazards do not count for adjacency. Guess I forgot to point my laser that way)

Year 30: Crew: Prospecting Op:

That’s two spots for me! I will be able to land next turn and get my factory built (I haven’t seen anything hard & fast on this, but it doesn’t look like you can stop a rocket movement to perform an OP and then move it again, “No card can be moved or digitally swapped twice in one turn”) I’ll just grab 1WT for my Convicts and do a little happy dance. New Water total: 7.

Event: Inspiration: I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling inspired.

Lots of D’s and M’s there, but Project Orion shows up. Finally, a useful application of nuclear bombs. We also see the first freighter we can use. We also see how….faulty it is. Firstly, it can only hold 1 card. Secondly, it can only load at factories, so you can link it to your rocket and transfer cargo. Thirdly it’s solar powered, so it can’t grab cards from way out in the black. Fourthly, I don’t have any ‘C’ cards to build and sell at the moment….of course, that’s not its fault. Or is it?

I’m on year 31 and just got a whole new pack of Patent cards to look at. I have 7 water tanks holding at home, and a rocket with only 1 tank floating above Urda and Dresda, two nice looking ‘S’ class asteroids ripe for industrializing. Ah yes, so which of the two to take? Let’s take Dresda. Why? Because I like the Dresden Files, that’s why. It’s size 2, so I have no problems landing there.

Year 31: Crew: Industrialize Operation

I move the exploitation track down 1 for Silicon so the factory is worth 10VPs. I also decommission my Robonaut and Refinery back to my hand, lowering the mass of my rocket. It’s now only mass 3! But we still want that rocket to work, so let’s do this.

Year 31: Convicts: ET Production (cost 1 WT down to 6) the rocket is now equipped with a Vortex Contained Thruster. 6(1)2 – We have a nuclear reactor on board that would boost that to 7, or I can wait a turn and make another reactor that will lower fuel cost down to 1! It will also drop our mass down yet again. I was thinking of decommissioning my Convicts here to make a colony for the extra Vps, but their mass of 2 seems to be the only mass to contend with, so having them aboard for glitch protection seems far more useful.

Year 32: Convicts: ET Production (cost 1 WT down to 5) My rocket is powered entirely by black cards, and it shows. Mass of 2, 7 thrust (+1 for Probe size) and fuel cost of 1. Of course, I can’t build factories with it at this point, but that’s always the issue, isn’t it? Sadly I don’t have access to any black Refineries yet, so I could ET produce my C Robonaut to at least look for Claims out in the outer system.

Just noticed one “issue.” I don’t have enough radiators to cool everything on my ship now that I have my new system. I would have to have my ship at a complete stop for the turn I use my Robonaut. Hrmph. Don’t like that. Then again, I do have the mass to be able to get more radiators on the ship.

I will take this turn to get some money to hope that I will get some Inspiration next event.

Year 32: Crew: Freemarket Operation: Sell Mirror Steamer for 4 WTs. Sniff Goodbye ol’ girl. You served me well. Total now 9WTs.

Event: Solar Flare: Size 6 – Good thing I didn’t lift off this turn! I have nothing in space, so no damage there, but man, that could have hurt.

Well, my rocket sitting there doing nothing isn’t helping, so let’s at least do this:

Year 33: Crew: ISRU factory Refuel (Cost 1WT down to 8), I gave it the full 8 tanks, which put it to Transport class, bringing its thrust down to 5, but I think that will be enough. Watch this:

Zoom!

And since it’s at home, I think I’ll buy it this new Radiator, that way I won’t waste time waiting for heat to dissipate just so I can scan for sites.
Year 33: Crew: Research: Move Steel/Pb-Bi Pumped Loop to Hand

Which makes my next turn pretty easy to gauge.

Year 34: Crew: Boost Refinery and Radiator to Rocket stack. Cost 7 WTs, 1 remaining.

Okay, now my boat is Mass 9. Not a fan of that, but I’ll be able to build a factory, dernit. To Deimos!
With my anti-matter boost and Lagrange point use, it only costs me 2 tanks to get there. Love it!

Year 34: Convicts (cost 1, 0 remaining) ET Production: Add Quantum Laser Robonaut to (arguably Huge) Rocket stack. Now to fuel this baby up and head to….Jupiter? Saturn? Hmmmm…

We have a super-efficient rocket docked at Deimos with a newly loaded Robonaut, ready to head out to the deep deep dark of the outer planets. So let’s get to it.

I’m flat broke, so we’ll start with

Year 35: Crew: Freemarket: Sell Fast-Neutron Fission Reactor for 4 WTs (4 total) Convicts: ISRU Refuel (cost 1WT, 3 total)

This brings me to 21 mass and lowers my thrust to 4, but darnit, I want to see what the outer planets have to say.

I also now have to start planning to move my Bernal so I can start getting more colonists. How does this happen? Well, all bernals have an in-built dirt thruster that’ll slowly push it across the solar system. It’s only thrust 3, and since the Bernal is already mass 10, you’ll be lucky to have 2 thrust once you start moving, but more than likely you’ll be going with 1. You can attach a different thruster on it, which is a better idea. The reason to do this is to dock the Bernal next to a location that has factories and a lot of hydration. Why? Firstly, if you have a factory “Dockside,” you can produce black cards from that factory directly to your Bernal, which saves you a lot of boosting costs. which also means you can produce and then directly sell the produce for 10WTs (if it’s your only factory of that type). Cha-ching! That’s a fantastic way to keep your coffers full for the rest of the game. Another reason to do it is “Dirtside Hydration.” Once your bernal is docked in orbit over your factories, you count the hydration drips under all of your factory cubes. That number, divided by 2 (round down) is now the new limit of colonists you can have. Find a sufficiently wet section of the solar system, you can get a large presence on the map, and access to many actions per turn.

For those looking at the map, you see orbiting Titan will get you 8 hydration, so 4 colonists would be unbelievably lovely. Of course, if you’re lucky, you could score the same thing in the Vesta family, but you’d have to be awfully lucky. I have been toying with the idea of plopping down onto Ceres so that I can get an easy 7 hydration in that system. 3 Colonists would be nice, but that’s aiming low. I had time to build up, so let’s go for Jupiter or the Saturn systems and see what we can find.

Event: World Science Symposium: Hmm, I can change 3 decks. The tough spot is which decks to choose. I think I’m going to take a gamble and flip the Freighter deck and hope for an ‘S’. I’ll also flip the Generator deck to see if I can get a non-solar generator for my Bernal so I can go past the Ceres Heliosphere in the future. Finally I’ll do the Refinery because I’d love to be able to build a black refinery that’s lighter or has some advantage.

And only the last gamble worked. I got a ‘V’ freighter, another solar generator, but I have an ‘S’ Refinery and the black side would get me the wonderfully named Von Neumann Santa Claus Machine:

So here we go again forgetting to move my rocket at the end of last turn. That’s going to bite me in the butt one of these days. So let’s start our slow journey towards Dresda as a stop over to the Outer planets. Not the most efficient way, but I can pick up our new Refinery and drop off our crappier one.

Year 36: Convicts: Income 1WT (4 Total); Crew: Research Basalt Fiber Spinning Refinery & Project Orion Reactor for 4 WTs (0 remaining)
Didn’t realize I could actually make it from Deimos to Dresden in 4 burns. Awesome. But first, I have a meeting to attend.

CEO Meeting: Point goal 20. Current points: 27 New goal: 30

I know 3 points in 12 years sounds easy, but it’s also easy for me to aim too high and end up shooting myself in the foot. I’ve done it in the past. Keep your eyes open on my plans and make sure I’m not doing anything stupid.

A quick rebuilding turn before things officially get started.

Year 37: Crew: Freemarket, sell Project Orion for 4WTs (total 4) Convicts (cost 1 WT; 3 remaining): ET produce Santa Claus)

Free move: Decomission old Refinery on my rocket stack and added ET produced refinery directly to Rocket stack. Dry mass adjustment down one mass to 9.

Right now I have 10 burns of fuel. Let’s see where I can go with that. Hmmm, I can get all the way to the Cubewano Kuiper Belt with 10 burns! That’s amazing! It will take a while. Let’s calculate turns. Woof, 13 turns. Not smart to please the CEOs. Like the Pluto mission, we send things fast so they can happen during our lifetime. Let’s think a bit smaller.

I would love to land on Ganymede. It has a ‘V’ class location which would be a nice new location for a factory, making my boardroom happy, and if I claim another ‘S’ location, I’d score those 3 points for my new space pharmacy venture. Also, a Bernal on Ganymede would get me 4 colonists, so not a bad idea. In order to properly land there, I will have to stop at the Jovian Himala Moonlets for an extra tank or two of water. Not a fan of that.

OR there’s the super crazy option. See the “+4” right in the middle of the Jupiter marble picture? That’s the “Slingshot” number. That means if you pass through that spot, you get the next 4 burns FOR FREE. You also see that instead of slinging PAST Jupiter, you can actually dip into the clouds of Jupiter to break, but you’ll have to make 1) A hazard roll for lightening, 2)An aerobraking roll for a halo crossing, and then another aerobraking roll just because. Not to mention THREE radiation rolls because Jupiter is a monster. But that will mean the burn at the Sol-Jupiter Lagrange and the next three spots won’t cost fuel. You do have an option called “Failure is Not an Option,”(FINAO) which involves using upgraded software so that you don’t have to make these aerobraking rolls and hazard rolls, but they cost 4WTs each. Ouch.

Looking at the math, I’m okay with the radiation. By the time I get to Jupiter I will have a thrust of 5, so I will be rolling 1d6-5 for radiation threat, and all my equipment has rad-hardness of 2 or better, so I won’t be in Jupiter’s radiation field for long enough for any of my stuff to fry.

I will also be able to sell some white cards before my rocket gets there, so I’ll be able to buy FINAO when the time comes, if I so choose. But then again, the hazard only affects you if you roll 1 on 1d6. If I can FINAO one or two of them, the odds should be in my favor (famous last words). I think this might be doable. And Ganymede is just so tempting for my plans and will be a great stepping stone to some TNO labs (which I’ll need to get purple cards per the CEO solitaire rules).

Liftoff! (And I just realized I could make it there in one turn, but I’ll stop at the Hohnmann transfer to a)save fuel and b)make some money)

Event: Pad Explosion/Space Debris: Is this foreshadowing?

Year 38: Crew: Freemarket: Sell old Fluidized Bed refinery for 4WTs (total 7) Convicts: Income 1WT (total 8)

My rocket flies down the green path towards Jupiter. Just to be kosher, I’ll roll for Radiation just to see.
First to hit the belt: 4 (-5= -1) second belt of radiation 2 (-5= -3) All systems looking good. I now hit the Jupiter flyby space, but hang a sharp left and dip into the clouds. But here is where I spend 4WTs to not make a hazard roll for the lightening, simulating spending extra on shielding. I then spend ANOTHER 4 for the halo crossing because darnit, this ship is EXPENSIVE. I’m down to 0WTS now, and there’s one more hazard to go.

It’s moments like these that make this game unbelievably great. It’s a 1 in 6 chance, and you hold your breath because all of your planning and work to get your rocket here could just go poof for no good reason. You can empathize (a little bit) with the Juno team as their satellite turned off as it entered JOI. What if it never turns back on? What if there’s something we didn’t think about? What will that mean? I’ve spent YEARS of my life on this and it could all just disappear into space and we’ll NEVER know why. How do you cope with that?

But as this is merely a simulation, we’ll just roll the die and be thankful there are scientists out there risking their own sanity while we just play games:

And no table flipping for me. Okay, I wouldn’t have flipped the table. I actually do have plenty of plan B’s as I have many prospected sites I could have slammed a factory down on to make sure to get the points for the next meeting, but none would have gotten me this far out into the system. Oh, one more radiation test. Another 2, so we’re good. Another burn at the Jupiter-Ganymede Lagrange gets me into a Highly Eccentric Orbit around our goal. The downside that I hadn’t noticed before is that landing on the ‘V’ site is ALSO a hazard due to geysers, so I may want to wait for that, but let’s deploy our robots first, shall we?

Year 39: Crew: Income 2WTs (total 2) Convicts: Prospecting (cost 1WT, total 1)

Prospecting is automatic because you can’t roll over a 9 on a d6, so that’s 2 more sites for me, an S and a V. That also earns me my 3rd S site, so I gain the Space Pharmacy Venture. 3 more points for me! And once I get an extra 5 WTs (it could happen) I can also flip that Venture to get the bonus power to allow me to gain 1WT every time I do a research action which is nice.

I’m orbiting Ganymede right now which is pretty awesome, but I just finished the 39th year, which means I need to do an event before I move any further.

Event: Glitch: And thank goodness I jammed a bunch of Convicts on to a rocket and haven’t let them back down to Earth for, what, 20 years now?

Okay, so nothing there. I have 1 water tank, so shopping isn’t my main concern, so let’s just land this bad boy. I could go immediately for the ‘V’ location (which I’m having trouble reading what it’s called. Uruk Sulcus?), but I would have to make a hazard roll, and there’s no way I’m making it all the way out here, and then leaving it to a 1-6 chance of everything blowing up. So I’ll do a landing burn and land on Memphis Facula.

Because of the site’s size, I can’t use my Vortex Confirmed Thruster as that only produces 5 thrust, so I have to switch to my Convicts card as my thruster, which now produces 9 thrust, which still isn’t enough. I then pour in another tank of water as coolent into the jet to get 10 thrust for 5 steps. Lucky for me I still had 6 steps of fuel left. We now have humans walking on a moon of Jupiter.

Unfortunately I don’t want to put a factory at this site because I wouldn’t then be able to put one at my ultimate destination (the ‘V’ spot) because I would have to get the Robonaut and Refinery all the way back out here. True, my Refinery is actually an ‘S’ class black card, so I could build it immediately, but my C class Robonaut would take a bit of time to make it back out here. Perhaps later. First, let’s get our Lithium factory built.

Year 40: Crew: Freemarket: Sell old Refinery for 4 WTs (5 total) Convicts: ISRU fuel (cost 1 WT 4 total) Gain 4 WTS on rocket

And now I can do a suborbital hop over to the Lithium site, which is a half lander burn, saving me fuel and a hazard roll. Can’t beat that. I still have to use my Crew card as the moon is still too large for my other Thruster, but at a cost of 3 steps, I’m now landed where I want to be.

Year 41: Crew: Research: Fission Fragment Sail Freighter to my hand for 2WTs (2 total) Convicts: Industrialize (Cost 1Wt 1 Total). Move Robonaut & Refinery to hand. Place factory cube on 9V site on Ganymede. Do dry mass adjustment on fuel track. Move Vestoid track down to 10VP on Exploitation track.

Event: Budget Cuts: Are you kidding me? I’m creating jobs IN SPACE you greedy sons of….okay fine.
Oh no. This is my hand. I don’t want to discard any of these. Arg! Since I’m stopping here, I’ll ponder this one for a while.

I shall discard my refinery. I’ll just have to find another good one.

So here are my long range plans: Build my freighter and get that up and running. I’ll have to tow it off of Ganymede with my rocket, but that’s no biggie. I also notice that the generator remaining on my rocket isn’t being used any more (it powered my robonaut), AND it’s a ‘V’ card, so I shall produce that and send that back to my Bernal to swap out the current solar generator. That way I can start planning on getting my Bernal out to Ganymede which will pretty much start the clock ticking for game end.

Year 42: Free Op: Decommission Generator: Crew: ET Produce Fission Fragment Sail on Ganymede and add it to Rocket stack. Make Dry mass adjustment. Crew (cost 1WT total now 0): ET Production: Produce Dusty Plasma MHD Generator on Rocket stack. Make Dry mass adjustment. I only have 2 steps of fuel on the rocket, so I’ll have to wait before I can lift back off.

I also have the added enjoyment of now entering the Red section of the sun cycle. Now those Jupiter radiation levels may become an issue. I think I’ll have to fly the long way around.

Year 43: Crew: Income Op: 2WT Total 2 Convicts (cost 1WT total 1): ISRU Refuel: I add 7 WTs to my rocket which put me at 16 mass to stay at transport class. I then can spend 3 steps of fuel (bringing my mass down to 13) to hop over to the safe side of Ganymede. This is incredibly inefficient, but I’d rather not blow up right now.

Event: Solar Flare: Strength 1 – Even if I wasn’t on a site, I wouldn’t notice it way out at Jupiter.

Yet another turn wasted as I try to get off of this moon. I need to get my income up so I can just pay my 4 and lift off directly from my factory. This is ridiculous.

Year 44: Crew Income Op: 2WT Total 3; Convicts (cost 1WT total 2): ISRU Refuel: Grab another 3 tanks to get back to “full(ish)” and lift off from the moon back into deep space. I stop in HEO so I can switch thrusters next turn and fly more efficiently as I only have 4 steps of fuel left. Which, now that I look, isn’t enough to get anywhere.

OH! Let me detach my big ol’ freighter! Silly me. That drops mass by three and gets me the same amount of steps, but one more thrust. Dang, I have to land again, refuel and THEN I can get out of here. Yeesh. Who knew Jupiter’s gravity well would be so hard to escape? At least I can start my freighter’s long march home.

And here’s another thing I just noticed, I have 4 therms of cooling on a ship that only requires 2. I can freely decommission my Steel Loop and free up another 4 mass. That should certainly help. Okay, I now have 10 steps of fuel. I can get out now with my probe class rocket. Let’s head home!

Year 45: Crew: Income: 2WTs (Total 4) Convicts Income 1WT (total 5): I’m kind of in a holding pattern at this point. The cards in the patent piles aren’t really showing me much and I’m waiting on the arrival of my ships, so while waiting I might as well stockpile some cash.

With a boost from Io I’m able to get close to my Karin cluster factories. Rather than fly straight through and risking a hazard roll, I stop at the blue intersection, my convicts happy that the sun has been growing steadily bigger.

Event: Pad Explosion/Space Debris: A pain in the arse at the beginning of the game, a sigh of relief at this point.

Year 46: Crew: Research: H2-O2 Fuel Cell (cost 2WTs 3 Total) Crew: Income 1WT 4 Total

I only bought that to ET produce the black side on Dresda and sell it at my Bernal for 10 WTs. I’m trying to stop my money woes here. I also decide to burn the last 2 steps of water on my rocket to make it back to my Bernal LEO this turn, where I can decommission my Convicts to earn the King of the Gods Glory. My Freighter is finally out of Jupiter’s gravity well, and here’s where I start digging through the patent decks looking for a good way to get my Bernal out to Jupiter.

Well I have two years of play before my next CEO meeting. I don’t have to worry about points now, but I may at the next meeting, so I can’t dawdle. So let’s get my people back on my rocket, and get it back to work.

Year 46: Crew: Boost Op Convicts to Rocket stack in LEO. Cost 2 WTs Total 2. Do Dry Mass adjustment. Oh yeah, the humans are the only appreciable mass on the thing. Still considered probe class with 1/3 of a tank of water on board, which is enough to get me to my Bernal at least, which will save me from any Pad Explosions. So away I go! And finally, to be safe Convicts: Income Op 1WT Total 3.

Luckily the Van Allen belt can not be strong enough at this point to harm my rocket. Remember the good ol’ days when that could be a problem? Ah, good times.

My rocket is out of fuel now, but with my Antimatter kick from my Bernal, I have the first pivot free, and there are two Lagrange points between here and Deimos, so it’s an easy flight there. At the beginning of Year 47 my Freighter is now one burn away from Deimos as well, so I should make some cargo for it to load.

Year 47: Convicts: Cost 1 WT total 2 ET Production Microbial Fuel Cell in Outpost #1 Stack at Deimos.
Crew: FreeMarket action: Sell Steel/Pb-Bi Pumped Loop for 4 WTs.

Right now I have to focus on making Black cards. A Mass 4 radiator to get 2 therm is just not worth it, and it’s class ‘M’, so away it goes. Of course, there is absolutely NOTHING in the Patent decks that appeals right now, but that could easily change, and I can still purchase from the bottom of the decks. I have no memory of what’s there, so I could surprise myself. So now with 6WTs and the prospect of some more later once my freighter docks with my Bernal, I’m feeling a bit better.

Event: World Science Symposium: Dang, I can only choose 3 decks to monkey with. Well, generator is a given, because I need one for my Robonaut that doesn’t stink. I also need to do the Refinery because the current one is terrible. The current Thruster is a ‘V’ class, but it’s more of a run small and cheap rather than the big guns I need to move a Bernal. I doubt the black side is any different. So, why not, I’ll try the Gigawatt Thruster. Not only are they really useful, they can also give you a future once upgraded, so let’s see.

Okay, not bad. The Refinery is not great, but it’s not super heavy and doesn’t have any restrictions on it. I won’t be able to upgrade it right away, but beggers can’t be choosers. The Generator is certainly interesting. It doesn’t weigh anything but it runs really hot and also needs a reactor. Luckily my convicts act as a bomb reactor, so that makes that generator seem really worth it if I can work out any heat issues. And speaking of heat, look at that GW thruster! If I can get an upgraded Radiator worth a darn, I’d love to be using that bad boy to get around! But I think the generator is certainly my first purchase.

Year 48: Crew: Research In-Core Thermonic Reactor (6WTs Total 0) Convicts Income 1WT total 1.

Also at the end of this year, my rocket lands on Deimos. And now my freighter will land right behind it. However, the Freighter only has 1 thrust. Even at its small mass, it will need a factory assist to land. I don’t have the money for FINAO, so I have to roll the dreaded hazard die to land the thing.

It’s a ‘5’, I’m cleared for landing. And as a free op I move my outpost stack to my freighter stack, dissolving the former. It’s now loaded up, and if it makes the liftoff, will actually make it to the Bernal next turn due to its two free pivots. I love it when a plan comes together.

CEO Meeting: Goal 30pts. Current points: Claims 6 – Bernal 1- Freighter 1 – Factories 30 – Glories 6
Total 44 Next Goal 40. I’ve got a good feeling about this.

Oops, I just noticed this under J2 “If using the Endgame module, cylinders only count for VP if they are either an Ersatz-Bernal or promoted with a dirtside.” As it’s still my original Bernal and not at a dirtside (yet), I only have 43 points. Look, a rule error that I caught myself!

Oh, and now check out the black side of my new generator. Think I should attach this to my Bernal?

I’m getting a bit of AP at the moment. I have an incoming Generator for my Bernal, but I have this fantastic Generator that I also want to get into my Bernal. I could start small and fly my Bernal to Dresda and just pick up the generator there, or start slowly flying out to Jupiter and just have my freighter or rocket meet it on the way to deliver the upgraded Generator. BUT I also need a generator to get my Robonauts to work, so one of those should get on my Rocket as well.

And to be honest, work has me a bit burnt out, and I’ve been playing this game for a long time now, and my brain is turning mushy. It’s hard to keep track of everything over this long of a time especially when it’s on a computer screen and not laid out on a table. So I need to think about this.

Okay, after some thought, here’s my current plan. Since my rocket and freighter are currently colocated at Deimos, I’m going to dump the freighter’s cargo onto my rocket, load the Robonauts onto said rocket, and then move the rocket towards the Bernal and the freighter towards Dresda. The Rocket will deliver the saleable goods to the Bernal and also receive some boosted Radiators to supply coolant for the Robonaut and a boosted Refinery + as much water as I can get. I’ll also load a bunch of Dirt onto the Bernal (if I have time) and start flying it towards Dresda. The freighter will meet it half way with the generator. If it makes sense to have the Bernal stop at Dresda for more dirt or to sell something, I’ll do that. Actually, that seems the most likely as I could also make the Gigawatt thruster and start making some isotope fuel there for it. I wouldn’t need much to get to Jupiter.

Year 49: Free Op, move Dusty Plasma MHD & Microbial Fuel cell from Freighter stack to Rocket stack. Crew: Freemarket: Sell useless reactor for 4 WTs (5 total) Crew (cost 1WT total 4): ET Produce Quantum Cascade Laser Robonauts on Deimos and immediately add to Rocket stack. Perform Dry mass adjustment to rockets.

I still have 1 step of fuel on the rocket. And I will move both at the end of this turn. And to save a hazard roll, I will have my rocket tow the freighter off of the moon and then let it go as another free op. They go their separate ways.

Event: World Science Symposium: Hmmm.. Should I risk a new Refinery? The Radiator I have is not great when it comes to therms, but it’s very light, so I want to keep it there. Maybe I’ll check out a new Thruster. I’ll also check out a new colonist just for fun because a ‘M’ robot won’t help me at all.

My rocket and freighter do not make it to their destinations this turn, but we can plan ahead anyway. So let’s get some things in our hand.

Year 50: Crew: Research Salt-Water Zurbin & Bubble Membrane Radiator for 4WTs (1 total). I just realized I didn’t move my Robonaut to my rocket stack even though I said I did. Wonder if I included it in my dry mass adjustment, too. Nope. Ug. I actually have a dry tank now at mass 6. Good thing I’m unloading a bunch of stuff back home. Convicts (Cost 1WT total 0): ET Production of Z-pinch Microfission Generator on Dresda in Outpost stack #1.

Think that’s a good start.

So at the start of the next year I can dock my rocket to my Bernal and try to land my Freighter on Dresda. I roll another ‘5’, so the Freighter safely lands and as a free op I’ll move my Outpost #1 stack over to the Freighter. I also drop off the Salt-Water Fuel Cell at the Bernal, which makes my next moves easy.

Year 51: Crew: Freemarket sell Fuel Cell for 10WTs! Convicts: I wish they had business sense, but I guess they can Fuel up the Bernal. I can take 10 dirt tanks, but it’s really only 2 burns to get to Dresda. Our current generator gives us ½ fuel consumption, so 1.5 steps per burst isn’t too bad (you just round up at the end of a turn). I don’t want to get out of Transport class because I’m already only at thrust 2, and once I get into Mars’s heliosphere, I’ll drop to 1. I’ll actually need the new generator to make it to Dresda at all. So 2 dirt tanks is all I’ll need, unless I can come up with a path that keeps me closer to the sun longer. Yes, the Green or Purple path gets me closer and I won’t have to spend as much time out in the Ceres zone, so that’s smarter. I won’t have to wait for the generator that way. I’ll take 4 tanks and go that route. Convicts (cost 1WT total 9) Fuel: 4 tanks of dirt on my Bernal.

I also move it this turn, losing my faction privledge, but gaining the added benefit that I’m towing my rocket (which only gives me a thrust of 1 right now), but it gets both things moving a bit. Again, it only brings them about a millimeter south on the board to the Hohnman intersection right below L3. It’s still something.

Event: Glitch: Freighter gives glitch protection, and everyone else has a human nearby. Phew.

Now I move my rocket on its own, and with the free pivot from the Bernal, I’m able to get to Deimos this year. Let’s see if my Freighter can lift off. A ‘6’, I’m good to go. My Bernal and Freighter are very close to each other (cosmically speaking). It’s a good feeling.

Year 52: Convicts (cost 1WT Total 8): ET Production Electrostatic Membrane on Deimos directly to Rocket stack. I produce it on the 1 Mass, 3therm side. Crew: ISRU Refuel: on Deimos: 8 tanks for my rocket. It’s now transport class with 5 thrust. Big deal.

Now my Bernal only has 1 thrust, but it can move onto the same burn as my freighter. They dock in space and are able to swap generators. Now the bad boy has 5 thrust! Booya. And all it has to do is fall into the Koronis family and land on Dresda for some more fuel. But that will be next year. I’ll also be selling the old generator next turn, so money won’t be a problem, so I think I’m going to do some buying, just to see if I can get a Refinery that I can build the black side of out here.

Year 53: Crew: Researching Electroforming Refinery + Ericsson Engine (cost 4WTs total 4) Which reveals a ‘V’ class refinery! Yay! That’s what I was looking for!

I was able to get my rocket all the way to Dresda in one movement, so let’s give this a shot.
Convicts (cost 1 WT total 3): ET Production Salt-Water Zurbin to Rocket Stack, move old thruster and reactor to freighter stack. Dang, won’t be able to sell them when the Bernal parks here, but if I build an Erstaz-Bernal, I’ll sell them there.

Event: Glitch: Still good. And I avoided budget cuts this cycle. Good.

I’ll continue this again tomorrow.  Hope you’re enjoying this!
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