Charity Challenge Night 2 - Space Base

Night 2 and I’m already losing the competition.  We’re just getting started so I want to remind you that we’re doing this challenge to raise money and awareness for Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital.  If you’d like to learn more or donate please visit our donation page here.

The Choice

I lost the first night so the choice again falls to me tonight.  There’s one type of game where Rachel tends to struggle – engine building games.  You build these little combinations of abilities, cards or whatever the mechanism is and if you do it right they all synergize and play off of each other.  Rachel tends to be very good at reading and responding to a board state – meaning whatever is happening in the game right in front of her she will read and play well with.  But if its comes down to planning ahead a few turns and reading the interaction between different mechanisms I tend to do that a little bit better.

So in that spirit I’ve selected Space Base, risky though, as this is one of the games on our 50/50 list.  That is games where we each have a 50% win ratio against each other, with no one having a historical edge.

The Gamespace base box cover

In Space Base you literally build a space station composed of cards that are tied to dice numbers.  When you or an opponent rolls the dice value that’s printed on a card you get that ability.  It’s pretty straight forward and tonnes of fun.  The game is ultimately what I consider a race game.  The first to 40 points more or less wins (unless someone can pass that person in the last turn after they cross over the 40 mark).  The balance in the game is in spending time building up your tableau of cards and abilities with keeping pace with your opponents scoring points, something that happens as a result of certain card abilities.

On each turn you roll the dice, take the abilities from the card that matches the dice pairing that you rolled, spend money to buy new cards for your tableau of cards and that’s it.  Turns are really fast and it’s very easy to get this game on the table, taught and underway.

If you’d like to learn more about Space Base, you can check out this great rules explanation and review of the game.

Space Base on the table

The Result

“Rachel, remember this is a race game, if nothing else you want to make sure you’re always within striking distance of your opponents points tally”.  This is more or less how I opened the game after I completed a little refresher on the rules.  And uhhh, I wish I had done a better job of following my own advice.

I started off with a very modest lead.  I think I got 8 or 10 points before Rachel even got a single point.  I built up a beautiful tableau and I was pretty happy with how things were ramping.  And then Rachel managed to make it so any time she rolled anything between 9 and 11 meant that she got mega points.  And roll between 9 and 11 she did.

My early lead evaporated and despite the fact I had a very high income (basically lots of money to spend on new cards every turn) her little high dice value points engine just steam rolled me.  In the end the final score was an embarrassing 40 to 19 with Rachel taking the night.

That puts Rachel up 2-0 on week 1 meaning I cannot afford to lose a single game this week or she’ll take the opening Week Point and be on her way to another championship.  Whatever game I pick tomorrow is going to have to be something that turns the tide.