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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Directive: Invasion! Harvesting the Planet

Phoenix ComiC-Con is next weekend and I'm desperately trying to get my stuff together. There will be games of Robotic Age: Mars being run, but I'll also be show casing Directive: Invasion for all who want to play.
I'll post my run times in next week's blog, but until then lets talk about harvesting the planet.

The  Harvest Directive

One of the Directives you can use to earn points is to Harvest natural resources. Natural resources being Water and Plant-life.
Let's look at an example of board set up. 

So you should be able to tell the different tiles apart; Water, Plant, City, Open Land, and Power Plant (with unfinished art) are all represented here. 

Now when you want to Harvest all you have to do is the Build Assets action and place an Outpost on a Water or Plant hex.
When your Outpost is on a resource it Harvests all similar resources that are touching either it, or another harvested tile.

This leads to a chain effect where one Outpost can Harvest a single river stretching across the board, earning him a point for each tile in the chain.
But that's not all you can do! There is also the Xenoform action. When you Xenoform you place a Crystal hex in any Open (aka brown) hex.

6 point Harvest chain

 These crystals connect broken resource chains, connecting Water to Water and Plant to Plant. Crystals themselves do not grant points, but when used correctly they open up even more possibilities.
For example: That one Xenoform crystal has also made a 4 point Plant chain available.

Stopping a Harvest Chain

Harvest chains can lead to a ton of points when used correctly, but remember that they don't get scored until the end of the game. This means there are a couple of ways to stop a harvest chain.

Method One: The Steal 

Red: 1 point / White: 5 points

Enemy Outposts block Harvest chains, and you own chain lasts only until it encounters the enemy.
That means you can not only stop but also steal an opponents points by blocking their chain with your own outpost.

However, Outposts are a limited resource which (usually) cannot be moved and are also needed to generate Troops for battle. This means you may not want to place an Outpost or you wont have the Outpost to place.

Method Two: The Block

Red: 1 point and super mad.

Everyone's mothership has a massive energy weapon they can use to level cities and destroy terrain. When you use the Destroy action you place a Destroyed hex on any open hex on Earth, turning it into an Open Ground (aka brown) tile.
This will break the chain without using one of your Outposts.  Sure, your opponent can Xenoform your Destroyed hex but since Xenoform hexes aren't worth points he has now used 2 actions to get limited points.
Plus you can just Destroy again if you feel like it.

I hope that all makes sense, this is the mechanic I'm most worried that I wont be able to explain.
Let me know if you are going to be at Phoenix Comic-Con!

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