One other thing that was brought up in last night’s test was the dramatic strategic advantage that staying in Last Place can have.

On our first game of the test, the player in Last Place came from far behind, broke orbit on a planet, and won the race on the same turn by playing a high-speed card on each of his two turns. First, a 17 allowed him to slingshot around the last planet of the course with enough speed to get into the middle of our pack, and then an 11 pushed him all the way to the finish line, leaving the rest of us wondering just what happened.

The two-turn rule for last place was instituted to keep any one player from getting so far behind that they have no hope of winning the race. And I feel that it’s accomplished this goal pretty well. This wasn’t the first time that a player in Last Place has breezed past the pack on their turn and won the game. I find it a dramatic conclusion, and it’s fun for me to see it happen as I feel like it validates the two-turn rule. But it seems to happen quite often, and it made us wonder if maybe the rule was a little broken.

The player who took advantage of this scenario suggested the following fix, and everyone at the table agreed: Last Place still gets to have two turns, but only ONE of those turns can be used to play a Speed card and move your ship. In our scenario, he would have been able to play his first 17 to get into the pack, but then his next play would have forced him to drift only one space, and Last Place would likely have moved to a different player. This change to the rule I think actually serves the goal better – simply giving that racer the opportunity to catch up to the next racer, but not to dramatically improve their position, as often happens under the current rule.

Something for v0.6!