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Okay, here we go again. I’ve got my freighter loaded up, and I’m sending it back to earth to sell a bunch of black cards. Awesome. I have my Bernal soon to be floating over Dresda to get it some more fuel for its trek over to Jupiter, and I have my rocket waiting to get some isotope fuel to get my Salt-Water Zurbin up and running.

Doesn’t look like I need to do much more. So let’s move some pieces around on the board first. My freighter makes it to the first burn with a successful factory-assist lift off (rolled a two).

I just noticed an amateur mistake I made. My rocket is holding on to 4 ½ tanks of water, which aren’t doing me any good, since I’m going to replace that with isotope fuel. That being the case, I’m going to convert them to Fungible Fuel Tanks, which acts just like a card with a Mass of 1 and a Rad-Hardness of 8. I’ll put it in my Outpost #1 stack, and put that on Dresda. Perhaps I’ll have my freighter pick up two tanks and bring it home as cash, maybe I’ll need the water later, or maybe I’ll just decommission it if I need the Outpost disc. Converting FFTs are free actions. Now for the real fueling:

Year 54: Convicts (Cost 1WT total 3): ISRU Refuel 1 tank of ‘S’ Class isotope for my rocket. Crew: FreeMarket: Sell O’Mara LSP Paralens for 10WTs (It’s a ‘C’ product, so I can sell it now that my Bernal is at a dirtside). Now have 13WTs. Now the real work can begin!

Year 55: Convicts (Cost 1WT total 12) ISRU Refuel 1 tank of ‘S’ Class isotope for my rocket. Crew: ISRU Refuel for my Bernal. Luckily now that I have +4 thrust, I can turn this into a heavy mo-fo, so 10 tanks of dirt for me! And I still have 5 thrust. I like it. And one more tank of isotope will keep me in Scout class, so I’ll have 15 thrust and 14 burns. Of course, I still don’t have a refinery yet. Do I swing by Earth for one? Or do I produce the one on offer and ET produce it on Ganymede? Which isn’t a bad idea if I plan on building a stop over at Saturn. Let me do the math here.

Ah ha! It would have been a waste of fuel until I looked under the claim disc beside my factory on Ganymede (good thing they’re transparent in the physical game).

No only that, I’ll be able to get 4 tanks, so there’s no point in waiting here and getting fuel so slowly. To space!

Event: Solar Flare: Strength 4 Phew, that’s only a 1 on my rocket, and my weakest Radiator is a 2. My Bernal and Freighter are both immune to Flares, so I just saved myself a huuuuuge headache. Thank Sagan.

Year 56: Crew: Research Carbo-Chlorination Refinery & Amtec Thermoelectric Generator (4WTs total 8) Convicts: ET Production of Solo-Carbotherm Refinery on Outpost #2 stack on Ganymede. (Cost 1WT total 7)

I know I don’t need to put it there right away, but Engineering isn’t all that useful when all my rockets and such are in deep space, and I didn’t want to waste the action.

One year later I’m on Ganymede with my rocket, but I had to land on the ‘S’ side first because I was out of fuel. My Bernal is going to make a pit stop at Comet Elst-Pizarro for more dirt since Jupiter’s gravity well is pretty ridiculous. My freighter will make it to LEO next year.

Year 57: Convicts (cost 1WT total 7): ISRU Refuel 4 Isotope tanks on the rocket. Crew: Freemarket: Sell Ericsson Engine for 4 WTs (total 11).

And now because I have the money and I’ll have a nice influx soon, I’ll spend 5 as a free action to flip the Space Pharmacy Venture. Now any time I Research, I’m going to get a water tank.

Drugs!

Event: Pad Explosion/ Space Debris: I wonder if this will be a problem with my freighter in LEO? Yeah, the way it reads, it certainly will. Yuck. Good thing I’m not there yet.

Well, now that I fear more Pad Explosions.

Year 58: Crew: FreeMarket: Sell VCR Light Bulb Fission Reactor for 10 WTs (Total 21) Crew (Cost 1WT total 20) ISRU Refuel Bernal with 10 dirt tanks.

I just realized I’m going to have to do another Jupiter Orbital Insertion, but this time WITH MY BERNAL. Good thing I’m stockpiling water for FINAO, I’ll be spending 12 to make sure I don’t blow the whole thing up.

It also kind of stinks that you round up fuel use at the end of a turn. I’m moving my rocket over to the ‘V’ side of Ganymede and it’s costing ¼ of a step, but because of that rule it costs a full step. Ah well, I’ll refuel after picking up this refinery, which I grab as a free op.

Year 59: Crew: Freemarket: Sell Vortex Confirmed Thruster for 10 WTs (30 Total) Convicts: Um. Income? 1WT (31 Total).

Event: World Science Symposium: Let’s try for a good Robonaut, a good Radiator, and heck, let’s check out the next Colonist since I may be able to get some more. Juiced Cosmonauts! I love those guys. Then again, I’d rather more cards that have Futures on their backs. I do have to win, after all. My Robonaut is another ‘C’ class that’s no good, and my Radiator isn’t that great either. Oh well.

I hop my rocket over to the other side of Ganymede. Move my freighter out to, well, ANYWHERE (It’s now in GEO) and we begin our Bernal’s JOI. Imagine this giant space station, surrounded by rock (used as radiation shielding, but also being show out the back as fuel), hurtling towards a ball of gas that makes Earth look like the tiny blue speck that it is. Oh, and my Taikonauts are piloting the thing. Good luck Taikonauts.

Luckily with a thrust of 5 and nothing with a Rad-hardness of 1, I don’t have to worry about Jupiter’s ridiculous radiation fields. I do, however, spend 12 WTs to not have to roll ANY hazard rolls. Just think how inconceivable 12 water tanks was just a few turns ago. Tech booms are crazy, no? I still have 19 tanks left, too. And my Bernal is now at its new home over Ganymede with 4 tanks of dirt remaining. And with the 4 drops, I am now allowed to have another colonist, provided I kill my Convicts (who don’t allow other colonists) or I upgrade them to a soldier caste which removes their restriction, which may be my plan.

Year 60: Crew: ISRU Refuel: 4 Isotope tanks onto my rocket. Convicts oh heck: ISRU Refuel: 4 more Isotope tanks for my rocket. (Cost 1WT Total 18)

CEO Meeting: Goal 40 Claims – 6 Freighter – 1 Glories & Ventures – 6 Factories – 30 Total: 43 Next Goal 50 gulp

I went 12 years and didn’t score a single point, but I have a rocket at Ganymede with a ton of fuel, a thruster with 15 thrust and ½ efficiency loaded with a 0 ISRU rating Robonaut and a Refinery. I should have a TNO Lab soon, or at least something AT Neptune, where a lot of ‘D’ class objects orbit.

On my hunt to start a TNO lab (For those curious, in order to upgrade to Purple cards in order to make the “Epic Hazard” rolls needed for most Futures, I need a lab farther than Neptune’s orbit. Why? Because Victor likes to make his solitaire variant haaaaarrrrrddddd), I’ve run some numbers and it’s going to require just shy of 20 burns to get to a nice pit stop at Nereid, one of the farther moons of Neptune. I can fuel up there at three tanks a turn and then spend about 9 burns to get to the Cubewano Kupier Belt objects of Sawiakera. Mind you, it’s only size 3, so I have a 50% chance of it being buildable. However, right beside it is a 4S site whose name is incomprehensible at the map’s resolution. (no really, you figure it out). If I’m pressed for time, I can build my factory there for a net 8 points (6 for the factory, 2 for the lab). That’ll be enough to keep my in my CEO position. OR I could refuel at Sawiakera and fly on over to Huya or Weywot which are 5M and 3D, respectively, which will get me another 10 point factory. Then again, for some reason Weywot does not have a star behind it as if it’s not a TNO lab. That’s got to be a mistake, it’s right beside Quaoar for pete’s sake! That’s beyond the orbit of Pluto (sometimes)!

Less yapping. In space, no one can hear you whine. So I moved my rocket for 13 burns, my full TMPs. It got me to the furthest zone of space, where zig-zag lines and burns dominate. It’s a scary place where you hope your previous counting was correct. I still have 7 steps of fuel, which is 14 burns, and many of the burns on the way to Nereid are Hohnmann transfers, so I can stop for a turn if fuel becomes an issue.

Meanwhile, my freighter lands on Deimos, so I could produce a ‘C’ class generator that I just happened to pick up on an earlier turn, and bring it back to Earth for more money, though I’m still showing 18 water tanks. Much like the beginning of the game, sometimes the end of the game mirrors it, but for different reasons: You have the high tech you need, you just need to get it to the place you’re going, and that’s far, like 100’s of AU’s hard.

But getting some WTs to build an Erstaz-Bernal is always a good idea as: It acts as a Bernal in your home space so my freighter won’t have to go back to LEO to sell stuff. Also, and I should have mentioned this earlier, when your Bernal leaves home, you lose your faction privilege. So I couldn’t decommission a human in space. Once I get the next one, my privilege will be back, which is good since I might bump off my Convicts is this TNO lab thing doesn’t work out.

Year 61: Crew: ET Production: Create JTEC H2 Thermoelectric Generator directly to Freighter stack. Convicts (cost 1 WT Total 17): Boost Operation: Boost Erstaz-Bernal to Home Orbit (cost 10WT total 7)

Event: World Science Symposium: Yeesh I get this a lot. I did the Colonist so I could possibly get one with a Future on top. A new Robonaut in case I can get one better than the one I have (it’s possible!) and a new Radiator because why not?

Well, I got a Squid Turing robot, which is only good if I plan to emancipate robots. I also need a ‘D’ to build it anyway. Drat. The Radiator I got is ‘M’ class. The Robonaut? It because a solar-powered ISRU 2 class rocket. Not good. Ah well. I can keep flying.

My rocket gets ever closer to Nereid, but those zig-zags hold it back. Due to my freighter’s two free pivots and my rolling of a 3 for its factory-assist, it makes it back to my new Bernal in one turn. I’ve got a great thing going here.

Year 62: Crew: Freemarket: Sell JTEC H2 Thermoelectric Generator for 10 WTs (total 17) Convicts: Income 1 Total 18 – There’s no engineering for them to do at this point that I can see as useful.

I put my freighter at the Sol-Mars Lagrange, but there’s no point in landing as I don’t have any cargo to haul. We’ll see about rectifying that. I pay the 4 WTs (14 Total) to compensate for Nereid’s chaotic rotation and land safely. Phase one complete! Sadly I’m completely out of fuel, so it will take a few turns of fueling up to make it back out.

Year 63: Crew ISRU Op: 3 tanks of Isotope on Rocket; Convicts ISRU Op: 3 tanks of Isotope on Rocket (being able to teleoperate those Robonauts is awfully handy). Actually, doing the math, 6 tanks should do it. It’s more time than burns, but I can still do it fairly quickly.

Event: Glitch: Lucky for me I have my humans. Gooey, gooey humans.

I make it to my goal of Sawiakera with one step of fuel left. I love this thruster. I can’t do a Prospecting operation this turn because I had to use all my radiators to cool my thruster, but I think my Convicts can use the rest. Instead I’ll refuel the rocket a bit, and sell some of these useless white cards in my hand.

Year 64: Crew: Freemarket: Sell SS NaK Pumped loop for 4WT (14 Total); Convicts (cost 1WT total 13); ISRU Refuel – Woops. Doh, I landed on the ‘D’ planet, not the ‘S’ one. Um, never mind. Income then, I guess. Total 15WTs.

Now for the big reveal. Can I build my new Super Lab on this rock?

YES!

Year 65: Crew: Prospecting Op; Convicts (cost 1WT total 14WTs): move Refinery and Robonaut to hand, place claim disc (from Prospecting Op) and factory cube on site. I also do a little dance, but you don’t have to see that.

I’m also starting the INCREDIBLY long trip for my freighter to go out there so I can unlock mobile factories as well as the freighter’s future.

Event: Inspiration: I think EVERYONE’S inspired now. Though a ‘D’ class robot wouldn’t be a bad thing at this point. Oh well.

Now these cards give me some things to ponder when it comes to futures. Firstly, the only current future I have available is my Freighter’s, which 1) will take a while to upgrade and 2) is very hard to pull off. I have to do TWO epic Hazard ops at a science site with an engineer. Don’t get me wrong, if I keep the Convicts there, that’s exactly what I need. HOWEVER, you can’t FINAO an Epic Hazard roll. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t a TNO lab, it would fail on everything BUT a 6. Luckily I have a TNO lab, so it only fails on a 1. But I would still roll 2 dice and hope to see no ones. If I fail, the lab is destroyed. That is a big freaking deal. It would almost guarantee a loss (as at least 10VPs go up in smoke) and rebuilding would take dozens of turns.

But in here are a ‘D’ class freighter, one I could build at the lab, so I wouldn’t have to wait long. I would just have to become the Emancipator with an emancipated robot at the site. To do that, I have to pay 10 WTs and roll less than the number of purple cards. Of course, there’s the lab rats available, so I could fly them out to the Kupier belt to upgrade them. I’d still have to roll under 2 at that point. Oh, but I’d have upgraded the convicts by then, so it’d be 3. And I might have another colonist (black cards count as robots and do not count against your human population in space) by then, making it 4.

Arg! I hate the idea of blowing up my freighter and starting over, but buying those cards seems like a better idea…

Rather than risk blowing up all my plans, I’m decommissioning my freighter and going to buy the new one and hope to get everything together that way.

Huh, I’m trying to figure out how one would get rid of a Freighter card. H3 states you can Freemarket a white card from your hand or sell a Black card at LEO or at your Bernal. I guess I would need to fly it back home to actually get rid of it. Okay, I won’t decommission it, then, I’ll just turn around and fly it back to my Erstaz-Bernal for sale. It could still get there in 1 turn anyway (it was one burn past the Sun-Mars Lagrange)!

Year 66: Crew: Recruit: Take Smart Pets into hand. My other options were Vatican Observers (which could become people whose future involves SMASHING A COMET INTO THE EARTH), or Islamic Refugees which become Pan Humanists that meld everyone around them into some weird super-being. I’ll take smart-rats for now. Convicts: ET Production (cost 1WT Total 13) Build Rats on Deimos as Outpost #2.

I would have Promoted and/or sold my freighter, but those are Science and Business operations, respectively, so my Convicts can’t do that as they can only do Engineering ops. Dangit. I also completely forgot I can Promote my GW Thruster, too! More fuel efficiency! I’m going to hop it over to the other side and refuel it while I’m waiting for the Promote Ops to become available.

Year 67: Research: Rotary Dirt Launcher Freighter to Hand (Cost 2, 1 WT profit from Venture: Total 12); Convicts: (Cost 1WT total 11) ISRU refuel 4 Isotope tanks in rocket.

Event: Pad Explosion/Space Debris: Nope.

Okay, I hop my rocket back over, and now I can really do stuff.

Year 68: Freemarket: Sell Old Freighter for 10WTs (Total 21) Convicts (cost 1 Total 20) ET Production: Create new Freighter at Lab.

Man, I need a Scientist colonist.

Year 69: Promote: KESTS Hoop Dirt Launcher. Another benefit of upgrading a Freighter Fleet, is that now all my factories become “Mobile factories.” I can fly these bad boys! So with this one action, I can pick up the factory that has my lab rats, and start flying it out towards my lab! Now, normally factories can not carry any cargo, but there is a free action called, plainly, a Big Cube Swap. Basically if your freighter isn’t carrying any cargo, you can switch it with any of your factories anywhere and say “This is my freighter now!” So, boom, my freighter is now my factory on Deimos.

Now I’m sure you’re asking “But wait? What about your 10 points for the ‘C’ factory?”

You’re right, I would lose that. However, in 3 turns, I can land at my claim on Urda, a non-industrialized ‘S’ site. And while that will lower the Vps of ‘S’ sites to 8 each, it will still put me at the 50 point threshold of the next CEO meeting. I’ll also have my other factory (which is not my CURRENT big cube freighter) flying back to Jupiter to take my OTHER non-industrialized claim which will net me some points as well. Complicated and tricky? Yes. But that’s what it’s like when you get close to end game.

Oh and Convicts Income 1WT (Total 21) I’ll need 10 for the Emancipation and I want to have as much as I can to make sure I can succeed fore my 60 point threshold meeting. That one will be hard to make.

Event: Solar Flare: Strength 1 – What solar flare? My TV didn’t even get fuzzy!

My Freighter keeps on trucking, my mobile factory slooowly moves sunward.

Year 70: Crew: Promote Convicts to Soldier Caste; Soldiers: Income 22 Total.

….. etc.

Year 71: Crew: Promote Salt-Water Zurbin to Zurbin GDM; Soldiers Income 23 Total

Now I can actually fly the rocket now that everything is promoted! Damn shame my factories have a mass of 15 now, otherwise I’d tow it out. Actually wait, I can. That would just make me 22 mass. I’ll do that, for now.

Event: Glitch: My little rats are protected, on their freighter (we can 3d print new brains!). Everything else has humans on board.

Year 72: Crew: Recruit: I’ve got my choice between 2 Engineers and 1 scientist. I don’t think I have to explain anything else about the cards. Microgravity Pantrophists, you work for me, now!
Convi…er…Soldiers (Cost 4 WT total 19): Boost Pantrophists to Erstaz-Bernal. Pantrophists: Income Total 20.

CEO Meeting: Goal 50: Claims – 7 Freighter – 1 Erstaz-Bernal – 1 Promoted Bernal with Dirtside – 1 Lab – 2 Ventures & Glories – 3 Factories – 36 Total 51 New Goal: 60

Now as CEO, I sit back and invest my money in bonds, dreaming of retirement as I wait years for my freighter and rocket to meet up and create an interstellar ship filled with uplifted animals. How often do you say THAT in boardgames?

But after moving all my pieces, including my mobile factory, I don’t really have any Ops to do, since buying and selling cards, while it could get me some extra cash down the line, really is using more thought than I’d like to spend right now. And I’m a lame duck CEO anyway.

Year 73: Crew: Freemarket Op: Sell Electroforming Refinery for 4Wts (Total 24): Soldiers: Income (Total 25): Guys with long name: Income (Total 26)

Event: Pad Explosion/Space Debris: A Ersatz-Bernal always counts as promoted, so I’m safe from that. Hooray.

My rocket just broke into the Uranus Heliosphere, so it’s finally getting close to home. It should be able to link up to the factory in a year or so. This is very exciting. And I just realized that my promoted Bernal is also a purple card, so once my Mice go Purple , that will be 5 cards. I like those odds.

Year 74: Crew: Income Op (Total 28); The other two also, Income Ops (Total 30). I’m holding on to my Robonaut and Refinery, just in case this all goes wrong.

I dropped the freighter off back by Uranus because I could use the extra thrust at this point. They are within spitting distance of each other now! I could have burnt a step of isotope for 8 more thrust, but I think I’ll hold on to that for flying back out to the Kupier belt. It’s more dramatic that way.

Year 75: A whole lot of Income Ops (Total 34)

Event: Inspiration – Sniff. I’m feeling a bit of that myself. HA! Go figure, a ‘D’ class robot! I could just produce this thing out on Sawiakera. Ah well, I’m still bringing my Mice out there, darnit.

My Smart Pets are now aboard my rocket, and destined for greatness out in the Kupier belt! My freighter factory will limp back towards its old spot on Deimos while my other freighter’s goal is Ganymede: Maybe it can pick up a Robonaut and find it a nice claim to land on.

Year 76: Crew: Recruit: Security System to Hand. Soldiers (Cost 1 Total 33): ET Produce Security System in Kupier belt as Outpost #2. Panthropists (Cost 1 Total 32) Promote Security System to Frankenstein Navigators. Good thing to have aboard a starship, if you ask me.

More fancy movement all over the map, but little else to do. Cue the Blue Danube.

Year 77: More Income (Total 36)

Event: Budget Cuts: You know what? Fine. This is going to work. I don’t care what you people say. I’m going to discard my refinery. That’s how confident I am in all of this.

My rocket has now passed my freighter, who is getting closer to Jupiter. My rocket is in the Uranus Heliosphere, getting close now. Will start burning Isotope soon to speed things up.

Year 78: Stealing from 401ks (Total 40)

Used a step of Isotope to burn through the zig-zag that separates the Uranus Heliosphere from the Neptune Heliosphere. What a pain to get through. My freighter is about to enter Jupiter’s radiation field, and my other flying factory has now landed (I’m so glad I made all the factory assist rolls throughout this mess) back on Deimos.

Year 79: Beginning shredding paperwork (Total 44)

Event: Inspiration: I barely even look at these cards now.

More movement.

Year 80: Build Xanadu (Total 48)

Spent the last can of fuel to land my rocket on Sawiakera! This is it, folks, big finish now.

Year 81: Panthropists: Promote Op: Cost 1WTs Total 47: Crew: Suffrage Op: Cost 10WTs Total 37
There are now 6 purple cards, so there’s only one number I can’t roll to succeed, a 6.

AHAHAHHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHHAH!!!!!!!!
And as Suffrage is a Science op, I have to wait for next year to try again.

And my Soldiers will give me 1 tank of pity money.

Event: Inspiration: Because nothing inspires like a hero failing.

Well my freighter is at my Bernal if anyone cares. sigh

Year 82: Crew: Suffrage Op: Cost 10WTs Total 28

I am the Robot Emancipator! And after a quick Big Cube Swap, I have my Freighter at my D class Lab, I move my Creeper Neogen onto it, and Fling it off into space!

As an Epic Hazard Op, I just can’t roll a 1. Of course, given what happened last turn, I’m incredibly nervous. But there’s only one way to find out. Drumroll please.

And off they go, achieving a Beehive ARK future. Essentially, that means an Asteroid carrying Genetically engineered animals (they certainly wouldn’t be humans at this point, but a whole new species) are now riding inside a hollowed out asteroid and have used the dirt launcher (a set of tubes rotating at incredible speeds) to propel them out of the solar system. Therein they will continue to use the asteroid as reaction mass until they reach their destination, many generations from now (where they may even appear alien to the current generation).

Of course, if I was really continuing on to a game of High Frontier: Interstellar, I would get as many colonist cards as I could on that thing because that game is ridiculously difficult. But I think I’ve done enough for now. Hope you enjoyed the game, I know I did.

And I can’t believe I won, to boot! Huzzah!

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