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In this game, players look with Galileo through his telescope. The goal is to forecast how many stars or planets will light up the night sky. correct forecasts earn points. After all sky counters are uncovered, the player whose score is greatest will become master of the sky.
- 1 game board
- 30 sky counters
- 20 colored forecast markers
- 5 colored scoring markers
- 1 pouch
Average Rating: 3 in 1 review
This game bears quite a resemblence to Members Only. In this one, players have four betting tokens (identical to Members Only), which they may place on any of 24 telescopes. The telescopes are perched around a 5x5 grid and each telescope can 'see' the four nearest (in a direct line) squares of that 5x5 grid. Thus, there are 5 telescopes along each side, plus four in the corners that can 'see' the nearest 4 squares extending diagonally away from them (see photo).
On each of the 25 grid squares are face-down tiles which have either planets or stars on them (there are a total of 27 such tiles in the game). There are no mixed planet/star tokens, but each tile has 1, 2, or 3 of its picture on it (e.g., a 2-planet tile, or a 3-star tile). Thus, at the outset of the game, the four tiles nearest one telescope may be (though this would be unknown to the players, as the tiles are face down) 1-star, 2-planet, 3-planet, and 1-star, for a total of 5 planets and 2 stars.
The objective of each player is to lay bets on telescopes as to whether that telescope sees mostly stars, mostly planets, or nearly an even number of both (a difference of one or less). So, in the example above, the winning bet would be 'mostly planets'.
The challenge is that only the first two bets of any type may be placed on any telescope, and no player may hedge their bets with more than one bet on a particular scope. Players who make a bet earlier (with less information showing on the board) will be rewarded with 3 victory points for their correct guess. The next player with the correct bet receives only 1 V.P. Those betting incorrectly lose a V.P.
The course of the game is simple. On a player's turn, all other players may place bets (as many as they desire, up to their number of remaining betting tokens). The active player may not bet. Then the active player has two options--turn over a face-down tile, or first replace a face-up tile with one of the two tiles remaining in the bag (the player gets to look) and then reveal a face-down tile. Thus, the game will last for exactly 25 turns.
Players may not remove betting tokens until the telescope it's on has been evaluated (which happens as soon as the four necessary tiles are revealed). That's about it, except for comets. Some tiles have a comet on them. The only purpose for the comets is to add an extra victory point to all correct bettors, one per comet in the visible range of the telescope. This bonus applies to both the first and second bettor.
To me, it's essentially the same game as Members Only, with one significant difference: the game will definitely end. In Members Only, the game can spiral on forever if people make bad bets. In this one, you can make all the poor bets you want, but after 25 turns, the game is over. That's a huge plus.