This is the Solar System Reconnaissance Board Game Layout. Two levels of play are supported. It is used exactly as shown to support playing “THE FULL GAME.” The left edge of the board is a flap that can be folded under, hiding the 2-4-8 icons, to support what is called “THE FAST GAME.”
SOLAR SYSTEM RECONNAISSANCE: THE FAST GAME
The Fast Game focuses on the original intention of the game … to give a math tutor a fun way to work with a kid who is practicing his or her multiplication (or addition) tables. Here the emphasis is on replacing flash cards (what is 2×3? 7×4? 11×5?) with a fast, fun game. Flash cards are replaced by a visually attractive board game and with 12-sided dice that are rolled to present multiplication (or addition) problems to the learner. As the learner sweeps past various features of the solar system, they collect white, blue or red “gems” as their award for making progress.
Can two or more play? Sure … tutor’s choice! To help with that decision, ask yourself the question, “Would you use flash cards to work with more than one kid today?” The answer will depend on whether you want to maximize the number of problems handled in a 10-15 minute period with your kid or whether the current occasion calls for the entertainment value (or competition) provided by adding more than one learner to the activity. If entertainment is the most important thing, then, consider using the FULL GAME version … no extra charge.
SOLAR SYSTEM RECONNAISSANCE: THE FULL GAME
The Full Game takes the Fast Game and adds features to develop it into a board game for young science-technology-engineering-mathematics students.
Conditional cards are added to the play of the game. If the number of steps calculated for a move ends in “2,” the player draws a Q&A/Factoid card which asks a question about the solar system and rewards a correct answer.
If the number ends in “4,” the player is instructed to jump to another point in the solar system. One Jump Card sends the player to Europa, where he or she completes a mission that finds complex life forms in Europa’s ocean. Player receives the 20-credit Drake-Sagan Award for Evidence of High-Order Extraterrestrial Life. (Note: 20-credits in 22nd century money is roughly equivalent to $20B in early 21st century dollars.)
If the number ends in “8,” the player endures the consequences of an “Incident.” One example of an incident is “Meteor Strike: Pay 2 credits for component replacement. Pay 4-credits for delay-of-mission penalty. Another incident card says “NASA SHUT DOWN: 140th Congress zeros out entire NASA budget. All missions recalled to earth. Ooops. Never mind. A continuing resolution reinstated all funding. All Recon Missions receive 10 Credits, each, for recovery funding.”
Game pieces, Q&A Cards, Jump Cards, Incident Cards, Multiplication/Addition Tables used to support the FAST and FULL GAMES.
The COLOR Game is designed for the younger science-technology-engineering-math wannabes. It is non-numeric and teaches color identification and matching, the social elements of gaming and sequencing of tasks. Though not a prerequisite for the FAST and FULL games, skills learned in the COLOR Game will transfer to the FAST and FULL Games.