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Ad Astra is a board game coming from the publisher Nexus and designed by Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget. It's a strategy game made for 3-5 players (although I've played it with just two players as well, although it's not much fun that way).

The game objective is to reach 50 scoring points. The game itself is very peaceful, and it doesn't involve any sort of player conflict throughout the game. It's based on exploration, resource management, and making proper choices on what actions to perform at what time. Player interaction is based mostly on resource trading, although some more interesting interaction can be achieved in case where players make certain arrangements on how to play between themselves (you produce energy, and I'll give you two energy resources the next turn).


The entire game fits within a single box which accommodates enough free space for all the parts of the game to fit in nicely and snugly. Additional interesting option is the use of a plastic part that can secure the box contents by preventing it from shaking all around in the box itself (when carrying it somewhere in a backpack, for example).

<img src="gallery2/d/2296-2/20110104_14_28_50.jpg">

Once opened, the box reveals a number of punch-out tokens in the form of suns, planets, and player scoring tokens. There are nine different starts in the game, and a multitude of planets. Although nicely designed, the planets suffer from being too similar to each-other, which leads one to spend some more time trying to figure out which planet is which resource. This probably could've been avoided if the planets had a matching halo to their base colour instead of the same dark-red one.

The players receive pawns of one of the five colours - red, yellow, green, blue, or grey. There's 5 pieces of each four types (colony, factory, starship, teraformer) for every colour. During game each player can use only up to four of each type, while the remaining pawns are spare parts.

Each player also receives 11 actions cards of appropriate colour. The only flaw I've found during the play with these cards is that the scoring card for bases/ships and production card tend to confuse me (it happened to me to play scoring card instead of production one).


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