Tuesday, 8 July 2014

He's back, guess who's back? High Frontier, with some of the advanced rules

Another day, another game of [b]High Frontier[/b] last Wednesday, this time with some of the advanced rules and five players, this time we used Colonization with the Support Module, the Colonist Module and the Combat Module. The players were, in turn order; Brent (Peoples Republic of China/PRC, 4 previous games played), Jason (United Nations/UN, first game), Conal ( European Space Agency/ESA, first game), Darrin (The Shimzu Corporation, second game) and myself (NASA, fifth game). Since there were 5 players the game would go to 7 factories, not that we made it that far.

I spent about 30 minutes explaining the general rules and the new rules for the expansions, as the Support Module adds three new support cards; Generators, Radiators and Reactors, as some of the original resources; Robonauts, Thrusters and Refineries, would now require them. Then I explained the colonist module, which was not as heavily used as the Support Module but was useful in that it allowed a second action, for a fee. The advanced game also uses politics, and gives victory points to whoever is in power at the time.

The game started with everyone slowly building up their fleets and we moved into Anarchy quickly, which meant that people were unable to use their special abilities except the PRC (claim jump, water steal and impolitely decommission crews in space), but as a bonus, we could all use that ability.

The UN launched first and made it out to a nearby science planet and back before anyone else had launched (6 points), using solar sails. I was the second to launch and landed on the moon, one turn ahead of the Shimzu and their juiced up cosmonauts, who then decided to head back to LEO (low earth orbit) and rebuild/replan for their next venture into space. The ESA launched and took a slow boat Mars, and by they arrived the Shimzu were there as well. I played chicken with the PRC and did not launch from the Moon until the PRC had gone by on their ship (to prevent claim jumping).

Meanwhile, the UN had rebuilt their ship and started Solar War, as apparently they did not care for the Libertarian Work ethic, this allowed us to fight. It also meant things were touch between Shimzu, ESA and PRC as they were all near Mars. As soon as Shimzu headed back to Earth to claim their glory, the PRC claim jumped and took the Shimzu claim on Mars, immediately building a factory there, the first in the game (10 points). While Shimzu and ESA struggled to get back to Earth, I built a factory on the Moon (10 points).

We ended the game at about 11 PM with the scores as follows:
PRC – 13 (10 for factory, 1 for stolen claim, 1 for freighter, 1 for factory cube)
UN – 6 (3 each for first to science and back and first back from any planet)
ESA – 2 (two claims)
Shimzu – 3 (first to Mars and back)
NASA – 13 (10 for factory, 1 for claim, 1 for freighter, 1 for factory cube)

NASA won due to having 4 WT (water tanks) compared to PRC’s 2.

The game took us about 3 hours and we completed 16 or so turns, but the speed was accelerating as the UN was two turns from building a factory on Mercury, PRC was 4 turns from getting their freighter back from Mars and I was 2 turns from getting back to Earth with my freighter. I cannot comment on what PRC had built on Mars, but my Generator added 4 to my thrust, making my ship a 7:1 (7 moves at a cost of 1 each), allowing me to explore deeper in space and get to the juicier planets.

I think we will do this again in 3 weeks…