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Designer Phil Eklund has announced that preorders for his High Frontier will open in August 2010, with the game due to be released in October 2010 from his own Sierra Madre Games. In his announcement, Eklund noted that High Frontier is "the most realistic simulation of rocket travel ever made." How realistic, you ask? Here's the game description from the publisher:
[P]layers design rockets to explore and industrialize the solar system. They will need to find water as reaction mass for their rockets. Points are awarded according to the scarcity of the space-products produced, glory, colonies, and mega-engineering projects. A boxed game with rocket, freighter, and factory plastic pieces, along with rules, patent cards, rocket diagrams, and a "delta-v" map of the inner solar system. The basic game goes out as far as the asteroids of the Main Belt and the Jovian Trojans, and the expanded game (also available Oct 2010) adds Jupiter and Saturn.
When people finally emigrate into space, the motivation will be space nanofacturing using processes possible only in zero-gravity and high-vacuum conditions. The key to economic production is finding water on suitable worlds, for rocket propellent and life support. Also key is designing efficient rockets and the remote-controlled machines called robonauts to do the grunt work. Each space mission must be flexible due to changing conditions and emergencies. A chart keeps track of supply and demand of various space products.
The High Frontier Expansion, described in this BGN post, also becomes available for preorder in August for delivery in October 2010. For more details on the basic game play of High Frontier as well as the expansion, head to Matthew Eklund's explanation of the game on BoardGameGeek. As mentioned earlier, preorders for High Frontier and its expansion will be taken on the Sierra Madre Games website for the month of August only, with the preorder price for both items being $44 (the cost for the base game alone).
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com