Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rocket science is hard (High Frontier)

A few weeks ago, we played High Frontier. This was my second play, but Kozure and Bharmer have played 3-4 times now and Shemp was playing for the first time.

Shemp struggled through the game in much the same way I did the first time out. I came in thinking that it would be much easier this time but I had a hard time getting started anyway. The game simply requires such precise planning that it's hard to wrap your head around when you are not sure what's going on.

I was playing the group that gave a bonus to thrust, so I took the solar sails and went to Mercury. I had forgotten that it was necessary to exceed the planet's rating to land/ take off for free and had to really be creative when I got there to avoid wasting the whole trip. I did manage it, though (I had a second thruster). I developed a better thruster and things became much easier. I managed a second factory, a first for me. Meanwhile, Kozure had a tragic accident and lost all his early progress to an explosion. Bharmer similarly suffered an explosion and suffered a setback, but his was later. Thanks to being explosion free, I managed to beat the more experienced players by a few points (otherwise, I am sure I would have been a distant third).

High Frontiers was much more enjoyable this time. The early game feels kind of pointlessly lengthy (lots of purchasing/ reselling just to get water supplies up), which is a bit irritating in a game that is so long. It also still feels like the dramatic drop in game difficulty once advanced techs are developed could have been softened somewhat. From Kozure's description of the advanced game, there is a bit more granularity to the progress in that version, so it could be a case of seeing the concessions made to simplify the system. Either way, it continues to be a very intriguing game that I look forward to playing again.

No comments:

Post a Comment