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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
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August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
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July 26, 2022
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July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Leaving Earth in Review

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18 Apr 2020 11:48 - 18 Apr 2020 12:15 #309365 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Leaving Earth in Review
This is back in stock at Lumenaris' web site, and still getting great reviews from new users stumbling across it. There are two expansions -- Outer Planets and Stations that are each about as pricey as the original game.

I'm not an expansions guy but honestly, this is a family business and the son that made the game isn't seeing eye-to-eye with the rest of them, so one angry phonecall could pull the expansions for good. I'm just trying to decide if they're worth $82 plus $23 shipping. There's a lot of game in the original package and I hate buying because someday I might want it, especially a C-note's worth. That's a bottle of Yellow Spot that I know will get used.
Last edit: 18 Apr 2020 12:15 by Sagrilarus.
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19 Apr 2020 04:56 #309373 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leaving Earth in Review
If you are going to play solo then Outer Planets is worth it, particularly so if this game is your jam. Pulling off a slingshot to complete the Grand Tour for the first time gives a nice sense of achievement. It’s also good to have some goals that require longer term and more complex planning for the point when building the same old assembly of Juno and Saturn rockets lobbing potatoes at the Moon becomes tiresome. I mentioned it a while back but you can try Outer Planets on TableTop Simulator before you buy.

I never got around to Stations, we moved on from the game by that point so I cancelled my pre-order. It looks like a similar tack to Outer Planets in creating a more complex suite of options to shake up your approach to each game, adding reusable space shuttles and more complex space station building. My teenage son’s interests have skewed back to space travel and the joy of figuring out maths problems so he has started giving me some sly digs for selling it. I might have to re-buy it all again.

A side note on the math. A lot of it comes down to figuring out the optimal build to complete a mission, which is easy to do with simple multiplication tasks but is fairly deterministic so can feel like a dull slog. Once you know some optimal builds it’s much less onerous, but yeah figuring out those builds is very much a big part of the game particularly when you start to think in longer term plans where you scoop up and re-use components that you’ve already paid the cost to put into orbit.
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28 Apr 2021 15:57 #322662 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Leaving Earth in Review
Michael Collins just passed away.

I'd imagine most of you don't recognize the name and may not care when you find out, but Michael Collins was the commander of the Command and Service Module on Apollo 11, the first flight to land on the Moon. A living piece of history just passed on to the next world.

For those of you in deep in engineering, I'll recommend the man's book but even more I'll recommend ApolloInRealTime.org. You can listen to the entire Apollo 11 mission, every feed, every loop in ground control and see for yourself how complicated and how pre-planned the Apollo missions were. Listening through is the equivalent of a 700 level course in process engineering. Really excellent material, beautifully realized by an avid amateur that was hired by NASA after they heard the results of his work.

The Command and Service Module commander was the most technically complex of the three slots on the Apollo missions, and I spent one evening sitting in my driveway as I listened (ApolloInRealTime.org) to the discussion in Mission Control about how Michael Collins needed to visually pick out the Lunar Module on the surface of the Moon so that he could adjust his orbital mechanics to fly directly over it for rendezvous. The Lunar Module didn't have enough fuel for adjustment, Collins had to find them (they landed off course) and had to adjust, while spending about half of each orbit out of radio contact with anyone as he fell behind the shadow of the Moon for the farthest part of his orbit. Talk about having the place to yourself, damn.

Good speed Mr. Collins.

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03 May 2021 01:04 #322805 by ThirstyMan
Replied by ThirstyMan on topic Leaving Earth in Review
IF anyone has a deluxe board for High Frontier I'd be eternally grateful. Paper ripped on mine when I opened the box.

I use it for teaching but it looks a bit messy after repairing.

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01 Dec 2021 09:40 #328405 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Leaving Earth in Review
So after a year and a half of more or less no in-person gaming sessions we've started back up and one of the guys in the photo above, bearded guy on the left, specifically asked to play this one.

I'd like to again reiterate that this game sort of has two personalities at once, and you can sort of count three if you hold your mouth right.

The first is the technical aspect, where you need to mind your Ps and Qs and make sure that you cover all of your bases when you go after one of the goals. I went after one of the hard ones this time, "return a sample from Ceres" which is a glorified asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. It's a long way away, and I found myself adding up the mass of all the pieces I was going to need to land something on it, take it back off, and then get it back to Earth. No people involved, so I could do it on the cheap. But even with just a probe there was a need to boost everything out that far, plus bring along another set of rockets to boost the probe and its shovel full of dust back. It became apparent that I needed to learn how to do a rendezvous in space first, because one rocket couldn't carry everything up. I would need to assemble pieces in space. All of these are simple tasks. The game abstracts these down to cards on the table in front of you that you point at and say, "I have my two rockets meet in space" and you can pull the pieces from your two launches together and continue. But it's a matter of figuring out the 21 simple steps that you need to do to go after a hard project like this one. That's the Technical Personality.

There's also a fellowship aspect to the game. You can do more with your money if you trade with the other players, and frankly, since everything is costly you don't mind giving away stuff to get stuff, even for people going after the same goals. It's the kind of game where you want to win, but you still root for the guy next to you because a) you definitely want them to launch because on occasion it's hilarious; and b) you kind of want them to succeed because there's plenty of other things to go after and the game presents a challenge. Watching a win is almost as fun as doing it yourself. So you trade, you check each others' steps to make sure nothing has been overlooked, you gift someone something for nothing but the promise for a similar favor in a later turn. That's the Social Personality.

There's also a historic aspect that I think most people aren't as concerned with. This isn't just a theme, it's a historic sim of a sort. I'm old enough to remember Apollo and there was some really cool shit going on that, frankly, SpaceX and its ilk can't touch. There was a gravity to it that modern marketing BS shellacs over for fear of someone thinking they're stupid. The people voicing current liftoffs sound like unboxing videos instead of engineering liaisons. This was a cool moment in world history, and Leaving Earth taps on that with authority.

I was very glad to get another shot at this, even if I did bury my probe 18 feet deep in dust when I tried to land it on the Moon. Who knew the Moon sucked?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, Msample, Not Sure, mezike, sornars, DarthJoJo, Dive-Dive-Dive!

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01 Dec 2021 10:11 #328408 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leaving Earth in Review
My brother in law brought this by and we didn't get a chance to play it. I thought of your posts about it, I'll ask him to bring it to the next family gathering.

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01 Dec 2021 18:02 #328419 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leaving Earth in Review
I always forget about this game until this thread pops back up.

This time I just ordered it, maybe I'll get some time with it when my son is home from school over Christmas. He's almost as space-mad as I am.

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01 Dec 2021 18:37 #328423 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Leaving Earth in Review
It's been sitting on my shelf for years now as I've only played a single solo session. I really need to force this to the table. Thanks for keeping the fire burning Sag.

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01 Dec 2021 19:46 #328424 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Leaving Earth in Review
It’s one of the games that’s been calling out to me. Valor & Victory is also on that list, Merchants of Venus, Bolide, Posthuman.

There’s two kinds of shelf toads — those that call to you, those that never say a word.

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01 Dec 2021 22:31 #328426 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Leaving Earth in Review
Croaking vs. non-croaking, obv.
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