Imagine a a tabuleau which contains both Contact Specialist and Drop Ships, and my hand contains Reptilian Uplift Race and at least one other card, or more generally any other setup which contains both a red to black conversion ability and a total positive military strength in the tableau and a military world in hand.

Is there ever a situation (including cards from any official expansion) in which it would be advantageous to use the red to black conversion ability to settle the military world, thus spending one or more cards, as opposed to simply conquering the military world?

2 Answers 2


The only situation that this happens in practice that you want to discard for the sake of reducing your hand size is with the Brink of War card Retrofit and Salvage, which allows a player to take all cards discarded at end of turn by other players into hand. If you preemptively throw cards away to avoid discarding, then you won't be forced to give an opponent more cards.

Round end: After discarding, take all other players' discards into your hand and keep them

In terms of incenting players to use peace rather than military, there is also Pan-Galactic Mediator in Brink of War that rewards you for settling worlds with military to peace settle abilities. If you have that card in play, you might want to use the peaceful approach to get the reward.

You could also imagine a hypothetical situation in which you discard to avoid claiming the "First to Discard at end of Round" goal, so that another player will chase the goal and take a phase that you want in a multiplayer game. Such a situation might occur if you are coaxing your opponent to call trade when you have Trade League. But I've played thousands of games and I've never seen that happen.

  • Nice; I hadn't considered the possibility of a card which gives you a straight benefit for settling rather than conquering. Aug 18, 2014 at 15:30
  • Likewise, there is also the card (I think the name is Galactic Scavengers) that allows you to place one of the discards when you develop/settle under the card, and retrieve them during the production phase. Here, discarding would allow you to temporarily reduce your hand so you could store a card and not have to discard later.
    – karl
    Aug 18, 2014 at 20:38
  • 1
    @karl My understanding was that Galactic Scavengers stored cards from payments for developments / settling, not from disards. Aug 18, 2014 at 21:25
  • Exactly. By choosing to settle as black instead of red, you can save one card for later. Only really useful if you would have had to discard that card later because of the hand limit.
    – karl
    Aug 18, 2014 at 22:37
  • Ah gotcha. I was slightly confused by your terminology as "discards" is used in the rule for the cards you are forced to get rid of at the end of a turn due to having more than 10 cards, as opposed to "payment" which is for the cards used to buy a development / settlement. You should make your comment into a separate answer as it's another valid case. Aug 19, 2014 at 8:08

In addition to the scenarios rrenaud mentions, this can also be of benefit if you have Galactic Scavengers. This is another card from Brink of War, and it allows you to save one card from your payment for developments and black/civilian worlds.

You could choose to settle by card payment instead of by military strength in order to save a card for later, temporarily reducing your hand size so you don't have to discard at the end of the round. It's highly situational, but it could happen.

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