Had a FtF game of Space Corp on Sunday. Mark and Jason came over to join me and Dave to make a four-player day of it. We started out with the Planeteers era to make sure we had time to get through the Spacefarers era. We also added in Ventures, which is basically a collection of special powers in various custom corporations. It’s very focused, and there’s not really any new rules, but figuring out the fairly complicated plusses and minuses of each corporation takes some doing.

I ended up with Grav Tech, and I managed to abuse their reverse of gravity penalties to get me to Jupiter early. Everyone else set up shop in the asteroids to begin with. Not that any of us did anything for a bit. Starting Planeteers with no previous infrastructure (we didn’t check the ‘variant’ section in the rulebook, though I’d think that needs some updating for Ventures) was punishing. We chewed up a fair amount of the deck just getting going, and only completed two of the contracts by the time the deck was exhausted.

Mark was the first one out to the asteroids, and got into a quick lead for his discoveries. It didn’t take long for the rest of us to get going also, and Mark was generally in a small lead as the rest of us got going in a pack that slowly separated out over the course of the era. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the end of the era, but the asteroid belt was being exploited, Jupiter’s moons had bases (three of them mine), and settlement had started at Saturn. I abused my free starport ability to throw a team into the Oort cloud shortly before the end. Dave had been planning the same, but couldn’t quite manage it.

So, I started Starfarers with a team at Alpha Centauri (my first time in three games, I usually end up with 2nd Beyond). I had also partially lucked into leading the charge on genetics and revelations, and started collecting those as the era got going. (I also took Matter Shifting early on to help with that.) I don’t quite remember what I took first, I thought it was something other than Cooperative Empathy, but I don’t know what; I know I got Radiation Resistant partway into the era, which was a big help. (A good strategy for Grav Tech would seem be to specialize in move infra, and then take Cooperative Empathy, but that does require the other players to have good build/explore infra which wasn’t so true here.)

I burned a Time card to get to Luhman 16 and immediately arrive, with the others scattering to other systems afterwards. I eventually got to 61 Cygni as well, and built colonies at all three. Of course, the problem was with only primaries at the first two, I had to really scrape for colony points, giving up two of my teams.

Jason and Dave also built three colonies each, while Mark scattered himself around, as part of his alternate scoring. (In fact, we all went for alternate scoring.) Dave got a team into the Orion Spur, and settled a couple contracts to catch up to Jason. Both of them were lagging behind me and Mark. I was doing fairly well during this period, but Mark kept doing ‘produce 2’ actions for 6T each time (I briefly contemplated the same thing before Mark started, but went after colonies and on-board position instead).

The deck ran out early again, though there were a few more turns of inertia this time (I tended to start passing early both times from a lack of things left to do). We completed four of the contracts this time, and the board was much better developed.

Green = Mark/Discover Prime?; Blue = Rindis/Grav Tech; Purple = Dave/New Nomads; Yellow = Jason/Space Corp


Doing the Planeteers start, but giving the infrastructure and starting money would work a lot better. The companies in Ventures integrate into the game very well, but I do find them complicated to play, as half the important stuff is hidden away in multiple locations in small text. I like them, but they require you to pay a lot more attention than most ‘lets make everyone different’ mechanisms I’ve seen.

Mark got an early lead, and largely kept it all game. I stayed neck-and-neck for a while, and even passed him, but he got ahead and stayed ahead in the final stretch, despite some good scoring from me. He ended at 62T, while I was second at 57T. Once Jason and Dave fell back in the second half of Planeteers, they never caught up again, and Dave was trailing in last for a good while before turning it around to pas Jason at the last minute with 43T, while Jason finished with 40T.

Overall, it was a good time. I do agree with some sentiment that the game shines better in the first two sections; I do like Starfarers, and there’s some really good choices to make, but it seems to drag more, mostly from the burden of getting high move scores.