Just like surviving in this game, apparently. But let’s keep going and see where we can go today.
If you remember (though why would you?), we just got whacked by two Challenge failures that removed 3 cubes and set our Stability down. However, we did manage to get a technology that will help us if/when we Advance. So Advancing is a very strong point for us. Let’s draw our new hand.
H6 – S5 – H1* – F6 – S2
That….well, that doesn’t help at all. Let’s play one of my Sun cards for Power and try to get some cards I like: K1 – K3.
Now THAT’S more like it. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to play one of those to Advance my Homeworld. I’m going to hope that the tech that’s created is Sun, Hand or Foot. That way I can pay for it during the Payment phase. So action two I play K3 and add my tech. First, I’m going to raise my Xeno-Relations (X) by 1 due to my Galactic Library Philosophy tech. Now I’m at a whopping -2. Don’t care. I’ll take it. My tech for my world is randomly generated: S5 – Industry – Power – Discard 1 card; draw 2 cards. If I want, I could ignore that and choose which Sun power I take, which most of them involve increase your M trait or drawing more cards. But the idea of invoking Power, discarding a card and then drawing 4 cards seems pretty powerful, I’ll stick with Industry. So now I add that to my Homeworld. I also add a little ‘O’ and ‘1’ next to the two different techs on the World to show which times they were added. Again, just to show the evolution of the game.
The payment phase works out for me as I place a cube on my homeworld for my Sun card. Then I deal with one lowly Challenge card for my tech since I have no Moon card.
Card1: F2 – I’ve got a Foot card to discard, so no problem.
Card 2: F4- Dangit! I don’t have TWO foot cards! So this one is going to hit me. I hope it’s gentle. A 5 gives me Xeno intervention: Decrease X by 1 and add 3 cubes. The card I draw is a 1, which means the cubes get added to neutral world Yrth. The cube limit is 5, so one of the cubes has to spread to a random adjacent cube. You draw a card and use those numbers like a clock location. I draw a 6, so that’s to its upper left. It’s getting crowded up there. But I can deal with that. Let’s keep going (as you see, I’m going to explain the rules less and less and speed up the turns as I go along).
R2 and M5 get added to my hand. R2 has a world on it, but it’s a bit of a hike to get there, so I’m not worried about holding on to it. I’m more worried about Growing than Settling at the moment. In fact, I play that to grow, and decide on discarding Quyth to get the 2 Culture points. I need SOMETHING in the positive right now! Then I play a Hand card with my other World on it (so maybe I can Settle somewhere that’s more feasible) to raise my X back up to -3. Darnit, I’m going to get that back to 0 sooner or later! It costs me one of the cubes from that Growth action, but you have to sacrifice to survive in this world…worlds.
The good news is I discard a Skull and a Moon card to pay for both World and Tech, placing a cube on both. Only one challenge card this time!
Card 1(and only!): M6 – Well, I have to take the cube off of my Tech, which is its only cube, which stinks, but still, it’s a scott-free turn, so I’ll take it!
I’m getting there. I was hoping for a little variety in my new hand. Like a Heart card, for instance. Luckily I have the power of INDUSTRY at my disposal, so I chuck out a Sun card as well as an extra Hand card to draw 4 more, which gives me this hand:
H6 – F5 – K4 – M3 – R5 – R1* – K6*
I’ve got Worlds on Sector 32 & 34. Doable, but 34 has an enemy ship on it, so that’s more for a long game. Let me think here. I can grow so I can start to spread and possibly Settle later, or start adding more Tech. I’m able to pay for both cards right now, so the Challenge phase should be easy, but maybe I should grow, just in case. Yeah. I’ll do tech next turn. Two more cubes in sector 46. So what’s my one Challenge card?
Card 1: M4 – there goes the cube on my tech again. Maybe I should add another suit to that one, huh?
Okay, I’m only drawing one card for next turn, and it’s F3. Meh. So let’s add a Tech to my, um, Tech. I can still choose which one I’m adding due to my Physics, so I’ll add Biology, so I can spread out farther, faster. Added bonus – my Xeno Relations goes up by one due to my Philosophy tech. Booya -2!
Now let’s spread, playing that Foot card to move two cubes next to that neutral world up there. Time to get a little feisty. I can only pay for my tech card, so I’ll have to deal with 2 Challenge cards, but I have 3 cubes on my Homeworld so all Skull and Sun cards are covered. Let’s do this.
Card 1: H3 – I have a Hand card in…well…hand. So I’m okay.
Card 2: M2 – because my tech apparently can’t hold onto a cube for more than a turn. But I’m still holding my own against challenges. But you see that the game scales, as you get more powerful, you usually have to deal with more Challenges, but you usually have more ways to deal with them. And you need three techs to win the game, which is a lot of payments. But I survive another Challenge turn.
Next turn I’m able to grow in Sector 36 (and use my Biology power to drop a cube in Sector 35). I then launch the GREAT GALACTIC WAR! Castreen vs. Yrth! Battle is pretty easy, you select a hex, and you remove one of your cubes. You then remove an enemy cube in an adjacent hex. You can do that as long as you have defending cubes to remove.
I have 4 cubes in Sector 36, It has 3 cubes in Sector 25. I remove all three of its and 3 of mine. I should be able to move in and take over when I get the proper cards. MWAHAHAHA!
I’m able to pay for both of my cards (I don’t get a cube on my Homeworld, but I don’t have to add a Challenge card), so I only deal with this one Challenge:
Card 1: F2 – The last card in my hand is F5, so away it goes.
How the tables have turned. Well, kinda. It’s possible that one wrong challenge could drop my Stability to -6 and make me lose the game. I need to do something about that.
My next hand is mostly Hearts and Moons, which suits me (ha! a pun!) just fine. I Grow Sector 36 and use Biology to spread into Sector 25 where Yrth is.
D’oh! This whole time I’ve been using the wrong world. Yrth is in sector 14. Mortensen is in Sector 25. Ummm….a few keystrokes here and boom…it’s Yrth now. I didn’t change the powers or anything, just the names. It’s good to be a conquering race.
Anyway, Yrth (ahem) is mine now with the play of a Moon card. Because it’s a neutral planet I immediately get a freee Power and Advance action. Which is awesome.
So I use my Power Tech to get 4 cards for the price of 1, and then add a third tech to Castreem, which is a Moon power. Since I haven’t chosen one yet, I decide to take Art. At that start of each turn, I gain one Culture! A Culture victory is within my grasp, though my Biology power can probably get me the Territory or Population victory, too. Depends on how the cards fall.
I’m easily able to pay for my cards (due to the free Power action) so my challenge is handled by one cube off of my Homeworld. Things are looking up!
And I’ve just been told there’s ice cream cake in the break room. Why am I here playing this silly game.