Starship Catan Info
General Thoughts and Impressions of th Game
This game could just as easily be called the Starfarers of Catan Card Game. The changes in play are comparable to that of the Settlers of Catan Card Game when you compare them to their board game counterparts. However, there are two boards used in this game (the ships) so perhaps that's why it's not an official card game. It doesn't seem to have a true card game feel to it either. It says it's for two people on the box, but I think the game would work just fine if you got a second set and tried playing with three or four people. In my opinion, it is one of the best Catan games ever and is far better than the Settlers of Catan Card Game.
Setup and Resource Strategy
The setup for this game is different than that of any other catan game. You start of with two mother ships and they hold modules, ships, boosters and cannons. These is the main difference from Starfarers of Catan: You don't get to move your ships around and you don't need frieght rings.
I would recommend getting the logistics module first as your free starting module. The manual suggests this and I think it's a good idea.
When you pick a sector (deck), try to memorize any cards that are special that don't move. Of course if you find a colony or trade planet, you should take them immediately. But keep an eye out for those adventure planets. It's a good idea to know which decks they are in for later in the game. Pirates are bad news early on when progress is important. Pay the 3 astro and don't fight them...unless you know that this is the going to be the last card in your flight sequence anyway because your movement is limited.
What to build then? Ships or modules? I suggest trying to get a command module as soon as possible. After you are well established, you should build another colony ship and try to get a food planet, since the advanced modules take more food to build. I like upgrading the command module first. (I always have every game I've ever played and I must say that my winning record is over 50%!) As far as the other module go, the only other one worth immediately getting is the sensor module. One more thing, especially if you get a command module, you should be building more boosters than cannons.
The middle of the game is quite chaotic. At this point both players generally have sensor modules and this is where strategy is most important. You should be trading resources to get astro at every opportunity. Money is important. The most important thing is to keep moving. Get victory point in other words. Get fame points for helping with that stupid plague. Build colony ships, trade ships, advanced modules, to get or help get you victory points. Also keep in mind that as long as you have at least 5 astro, you don't have to fight those big bad pirates that can do damage to your ship. Basically you don't really need cannons if you are alreadly winning.
Well you made it this far, so how do you pull it of? If you're close to winning and you're stuck and don't have any idea how to put the game away, take another look at those missions for the galactic council. The later ones generally offer victory points or fame points, that might give you the fame bonus point. There's no real trick to it, and it's a lot like the end game for the card game. It just sort of happens, and you are surpised when it does. I think the game, good as it already is, might be better if it took a couple more points to win. Quite honestly, I've never seen a level four card make it into the game.
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