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I've found that when I start with the windfall world Alpha Centauri, I always open Consume-Trade. If my hand is good, I probably want cards to pay for settling and development. If not, I need more cards.

Is that ever not the right opening?

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Good question, welcome to the site! :D – Gordon Gustafson Aug 18 '12 at 0:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Consume/trade is always a safe opening play with Alpha Centauri. It's never going to be a bad thing to do. More generally, trading when your hand won't overflow and you have a worthwhile good is often a solid play, regardless of whether it's the first turn. But here are some situations in which you might want to delay the first turn trade as Alpha Centauri.

If you have a development that will let you place a military world and have no otherwise settleable worlds, you might want to call develop so you don't miss the settle.

If you have a pair of cheap worlds to settle in a two player advanced game, you might want to call settle/settle to try and get the worlds down and catch your opponents off guard.

With the first expansion, there is a goal worth 5 points that requires having the most developments, and there is also a new start world (Ancient Race) that starts with only 3 cards. You might want to call a first turn develop to put card pressure on Ancient Race, so you can get ahead or make them flush their hand to keep up in the development race.

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Renaud, are you kind of a god? o_O !! – Jonathan Rioux Dec 6 '12 at 3:24

I agree with this strategy. Points to consider:

  • If you Trade on Turn 1, you can produce on Turn 2 without likely helping anyone much (except for Earth's Last Colony.) Many players won't have production worlds on the table yet.

  • If you do this, you'll have 7 cards on Turn 2 (more if someone explores) this gives you the resources to drop that phat Galactic Federation, Merchant League, or similar early!

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