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A Private Little Tirade

by Ross Fertel, Ranting Mad

26th September 2020

One time or another, we sit down and look at ourselves. Look at our situation, our place in life, the universe, everything. But there are also times to think of your decks and how all the cards come together in a cohesive whole.

Take personnel, for instance. You can have the coolest ship, the most amazing objectives, even the latest and greatest gear, but if you don’t have the skills, you won’t be getting too many points and yeah you can pat yourself on the back for blowing up the opposing fleet, outpost and headquarters, but without points, you have to hope you can do so before your opponent can really get out of the gate and even then, there are too many ways to report cards in modern day without being able to outright destroy them.

Usually, an opponent’s cards will derail your plans. Whether it is a way to report to another place on the spaceline, thus saving valuable time, or a dilemma seeded perfectly to derail your plan to the point where you’ve glad that you have a backup for the backup,

Choice matters in games. So much of the game is determined before the first card is played in the seed phase. Beyond that, there is the illusion of some choices being random selection, but if you know your way around the cards, the randomness is something you can gently nudge in your favor.

Randomness is not always a bad thing. Certainly, the Squire and his crazy rules have showed that as of late. But what if there were a way to take that randomness and randomize it. If a random selection becomes random, that must equal a choice that both players can agree on, right?

Dilemmas are relocated all the time from underneath a doorway to under a mission. Ships can relocate from one spaceline to another. A black hole can relocate a mission to outside of the game, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t see the game as being entirely rigid after the setup.

To be or not to be. With that line, Shakespeare was not just talking about senility or life, he was talking about this game. He predicted it five hundred years ago and the rest of the text in that soliloquy has an awful lot to deal with this game though you need the original version in seventeenth century Italian, not this modernized garbage that isn’t even in iambic pentameter.

The nearest I can come up with in terms of a perfect metaphor for the game is football but played with soccer rules. That would be awesome with all the cool team jerseys you can have. They’ve both got balls and goals, what more do you need for a good time?

Honestly, this planet has so much to offer by virtue of it being a planet. The atmosphere, the gravity. Why, even the center is a molten core of greatness that if we could tap into without destroying the world, we would be in much better shape than we are now.

With each passing day, we lose nothing but time. Yes, some crews have started drilling but they have been in the ocean, deep on the floor on the theory that the crust is lowest there. Maybe they have dissected other planets, I don’t know, but until you survey a hundred other worlds, don’t tell me where to start digging into the secrets of our world.

Honestly, no matter how far we drill, we will never get far enough. That is why we should give up and work on another planet. We do not know the ramifications of drilling that far down and if we are going to gamble with a planet, why does it have to be this one? Just because we are on it? There are other planets and it is not like we’ve never lost one before.

No more personnel are needed for me to do this. Sure, I cannot pay them in currency, but there are stock options, naming rights and vacation days that the crews seem incredibly happy with. When in doubt, bake cookies. When things get rough, that is what chocolate chips are for.

On top of the issues commonly seen with endeavors of such magnitude, I also must worry about supporting myself while this whole thing is literally drilling away. Thankfully, the occasional article, card lore and saxophone solo satisfy my needs perfectly.

Beyond surface imperfections, most coins are generally weighted to the ‘Tails’ side. It could just be the coins I use, but the mold itself uses more volume on the tails side with their finer details than the other. This is based entirely on the molds I have found discarded from the 1887 set, so it might not hold true for every coin out there.

Though, you opponent can insist on calling it in the air in which case, you have lost already.

May I recommend not letting them do that. Toss it and call it all in one go. They’ll probably complain, and rightly so, but it won’t matter, because it the coin will already have landed, and the victory will literally be sitting there so all you have to do is point at it sternly. You can even sneer a bit.

A download of your choice, that is what it is, essentially. Think of it, any card you want, it is yours at your fingertips at any time you want. Why draw a card when you can just have the one you want? No randomness with shuffling, just get what you need when you need it.

Just take S’Salk, form instance. Look at them strong Herculean arms. Wouldn’t you want to have that to fight your battles or breeze through dilemmas to solve missions. There might be dilemmas that do not require strength, but that invalidates my argument so let’s push that aside. There are probably other counterexamples, but none of them result in the overall thesis of mine, so save them for another time.

There might be room for your opponent to get more guys over there and prevent you from solving, but in that case, either put up some form of barricade or get your guys over and pose a bigger factor. There are always more personnel. That’ s what more means.

Never attempt with a crew that cannot solve the mission unless that benefits you. One of the great tactics in Second Edition is to make an attempt late in the game knowing you can’t solve just to get some dilemmas under. That might not translate to a game where the dilemmas are there are the start of the game, but who knows? You will not until you try.

With no ends in sight, can you keep it going before your opponent has a chance to? Can you keep it going and stay at least thirty steps ahead?

[Editors’ Note: Ross said there was a spoiler hidden in here and there might very well be. He likes to do puzzles, but we never thought it would be something like this. If there is something in here and you are able to decipher it as quick as one-two-three, please put it under the hidden tag so as not to ruin it for others.]


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