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This is the latest FFG small box release, following last year's Orcz and Drakon. The Delta V cover shows a spaceman next to what I take to be some sort of rocket, although it looks more like a [female anatomy] grafted onto a [male anatomy]. Not very appealing cover compared to last year's releases. The artwork inside the box is functional and attractive.
Play is on a 7-by-7 random assortment of asteroid tiles (with a central space station tile). Position is meaningless, but it does help to remember where certain pieces are as this game has a large memory element to it.
Players have 5 rockets with which to explore the asteroid tiles, but you only start with a single rocket on the space station. On your turn, you can add a new rocket to the space station, move *all* your rockets (movement is only from a space station to an asteroid, or vice versa), or peek at the tiles underneath *all* your rockets (most of which contain a single mineral, some of which contain special event tiles). I do not see why you would not want to get multiple rockets out before leaving the space station - my solo games have demonstrated that three or four rockets is the most efficient.
A fourth action you can take is to fulfill a contract. All contracts are available to all players, and all are revealed at the start of the game. Each contract requires a mix of 1 to 5 specific minerals. You must reveal the minerals one at a time - one misstep, and you fail and must end your turn.
Each player has five counters, one per mineral type, to replace missed guesses - using one incurs a small penalty. However, these counters can also be used to make another player's contract harder. For example, if player A fulfills a contract using the red, green, and blue minerals, player B can use his blue counter to up player A's bid, forcing player A to expose another blue mineral. However, player A can use *his* blue counter at this
point, which would cause player B to both lose his marker and incur the small penalty for using it. I suspect that counters would mainly come into play in the endgame against the leaders, especially if they have used counters previously to fulfill contracts.
Interaction seems moderate. Players will mainly go to their own sector, hoping to find more valuable minerals than their opponents - if a player hits three or more high-valued minerals early on, he is going to be very hard to catch, and there is nothing you can do about it (except to maintain a good poker face if *you* find good minerals!). Players will play "gotcha" events against opponents as they find them. You can also take over opponent's territory by moving rockets onto tiles occupied by an opponent's rocket, but this will mainly come into play in the endgame.
There is nothing groundbreaking in this design. Like Orcz, you get a mixture of nice components and theme, light but not unenjoyable mechanics, and slight bumps in the gameplay. If you are turned off by the memory element, you could always have players record their findings. However, I
suspect that, like last year's sleeper hit Limits, this game will be best played as-is with a brew or two in ya - memory lapses are always hilarious when tipsy. Seems worth checking out if your group likes lighter games or if you will be playing with youths.