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Subject: 2 Player Variant for Ad Astra rss

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Dave Shapiro
United States
Milwaukee
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Ad Astra works best with the full compliment of players but there are times when only two players are available and the game (as published) does not provide a method for playing with only two. After several ill-fated attempts I have found the following to be acceptable.

All of the rules in the game remain the same with the exception of the following:

1.Players will play 5 actions per turn. The first 10 spaces on the track will be filled.


2.Before the start of play one of each of the resource cards is drawn and shuffled together to form the Trade Deck. Somewhere near the board, set the Trade Deck turning over the top card. When a player plays a trade action card, he may trade with his opponent as well as the bank as in the standard rules. In addition to this, he can discard any single resource from his hand and take either the face up card (from the Trade Deck) or the top card from the deck. Whenever there is only one face down card in the Trade Deck, draw additional resources to replenish the deck. (The resource cards should be shuffled whenever a new deck is formed.)
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Vincent Appel
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Fairchild AFB
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My friend and I played a 2p game of Ad Astra and it seemed to work fine for us. First, we chose our race and ensured that all the systems were balanced. Since each race has certain systems he cannot get to using his own orders, we ensured each star in play could be reached by at least one player. Any star that cannot be reached by either player was removed. We then removed 2 of each planet type (including alien planets). Finally, we ensured the planets were somewhat balanced. For instance, if only one player could get to the little red star and the other player could get to the little yellow star, each of these systems got the same number of planets.

It took a little longer to setup and some of the trading mechanic was less powerful, still it was a satisfying game. I'll have to try your trading mechanic next time we play 2p.

-v
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Steve Wessels
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Columbus
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While I know that having more than 2 players makes this a better game, from having played with 3 and 4, this variant is still quite fun. We limited ourselves to 4 actions per person (8 total in a game round) and we used the red and yellow players because they covered all the star systems. I liked the trade variant described above and we adopted that as well.

I like this game even with 2.
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Blake Thomas
United States
Georgia
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I found a 2 player variant on GameShepherd.com that seems to work well. It is a little more challenging as it only calls for 7 cards in all on the game track. The cool thing is it make for an interesting game when you are fighting to be the first player. The first player gets 4 cards and the 2nd gets 3. You can check this out at...

http://www.gameshepherd.com/Forum_ep_39-1.html#bn-forum-1-1-...
 
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Mike Inside
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fastfingers wrote:
While I know that having more than 2 players makes this a better game, from having played with 3 and 4, this variant is still quite fun. We limited ourselves to 4 actions per person (8 total in a game round) and we used the red and yellow players because they covered all the star systems. I liked the trade variant described above and we adopted that as well.
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Before the start of play one of each of the resource cards is drawn and shuffled together to form the Trade Deck. Somewhere near the board, set the Trade Deck turning over the top card. When a player plays a trade action card, he may trade with his opponent as well as the bank as in the standard rules. In addition to this, he can discard any single resource from his hand and take either the face up card (from the Trade Deck) or the top card from the deck. Whenever there is only one face down card in the Trade Deck, draw additional resources to replenish the deck. (The resource cards should be shuffled whenever a new deck is formed.)

I have tried this one a few times now - it's really enjoyable
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Wade Nelson
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qrux wrote:

Before the start of play one of each of the resource cards is drawn and shuffled together to form the Trade Deck. Somewhere near the board, set the Trade Deck turning over the top card. When a player plays a trade action card, he may trade with his opponent as well as the bank as in the standard rules. In addition to this, he can discard any single resource from his hand and take either the face up card (from the Trade Deck) or the top card from the deck. Whenever there is only one face down card in the Trade Deck, draw additional resources to replenish the deck. (The resource cards should be shuffled whenever a new deck is formed.)

We used this trade deck and limited each player to using it twice per trade card.

fastfingers wrote:

We limited ourselves to 4 actions per person (8 total in a game round) and we used the red and yellow players because they covered all the star systems.

We did the same.

Overall it worked pretty well. We just got the game and haven't played it with more, but we both enjoyed it with two. Good variant!
 
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