Return to Planet Steam

Just five of us at the Bistro tonight.  We opted to play Planet Steam, which was great, because we had not played this since last fall.  We had one new player, so once again we did not use the Expert rules.  This is a long-standing goal of ours.  But the game is demanding enough just to learn, so we would not consider foisting these rules on a new or inexperienced player.

I have previously tried to avoid Planet Steam with a full complement of 5 players.  But tonight I did not mind the extra chaos and the reduced number of turns.  In general, I think there is more control with fewer players, and  4 still seems like the sweet spot.  Since I had not played with 5 in a very long time, I needed to be reminded what the extra role available was.  As it turned out, I never got him.  The IDF agent, I think?  Anyway he allows you to select a free resource, even if they are otherwise unavailable; or he allows for a free space ship upgrade.  He was a popular choice each round.

Chester walked away with the victory, with me a small gap back in second.  I had a great time playing this game, and it still remains at the top of my estimation.  I currently rate three games as a “10”.  Planet Steam and El Grande are my very favorite evening-length strategy games.  1830 is my other 10, if a longer game.

Despite Planet Steam being a favorite, I have never sought out the various expansion cards for the game.  They might be fine, but they seem to be the sort of expansion that change the way the game plays, and I am not too keen to do that to this nicely constructed game.


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