Mar 31 2015

BASPM Soviet playthrough on ‘Hard’ difficulty level

This is an AAR of a playthrough of Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager. I played iOS version 1.4.16 (March 16, 2015). This page consists of notes I took while I was playing, followed by a few concluding thoughts. This was a Soviet campaign playthrough, on “Hard” difficulty level.

I don’t claim to be an expert at the game, so if I did anything egregiously wrong strategywise, feel free to let me know. Because this is a very long post, with many images I’ll place it behind the “read more tag”. Click the read more or the post title to view. Click on images to view them larger.


Soviet 1955.1

IMG_0106

Soviet space port at start of game

 

I’ve just taken command of the Soviet Space program. I’ll need to build some facilities on those construction sites (rocket assembly building, mission control, and astronaut (erm.. cosmonaut) center). First though, I want to check in on my engineers.

I’ll list characters by their traits in vertical order. So for scientist and engineers, that will go (Rockets, Space Probes, Human Rated Rockets, Crewed Spacecraft, and EVA suits). At the start of the game I have 5 scientists:

Scientist management screen

Scientist management screen

Leonid Prokopchenko (30.8,55.0,41.4,57.0,39.3)
Yuri Gorchakon (50.0,50.0,41.6,40.2,41.7)
Anthony Baldacci (46.3,40.3,36.3,44.5,53.9)
Yegor Tsitov (47.5,33.3,42.6,49.0,44.1)
Joe Miller (38.1,25.9,38.3,38.6,24.8)

These aren’t bad stats for starting scientists, except for that Joe Miller guy. He must be a commisar planted by the party to make sure I’m not building spacecraft to defect to the US! I open the Sputnik I program this turn (it’s important to get into space first) and send Miller to school to learn about human rated rockets. That should put him over 50% in that category, and will make him at least a little useful.

End of Turn
Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 31.3 (+28.3)

News:
NASA opens Explorer I and Project Mercury programs


 

Soviet 1955.2

So, doing this as a let’s play is different than just playing the game. I forgot to hire the two extra scientists I’m able to support right nor. I’ll fix that now, hiring:
Alexi Reznikov (58,59,56.4,47.9,43.2)
Nikita Vodovatov (54.9,54.7,54.0,55.8,54.0)

New scientist hires spend 2 turns in “basic training”, so I’ll have them available at the start of 1956.

IMG_0108

Improved spaceport

 

Mission control is now built, while the astronaut and vehicle assembly building are still being constructed. I need controllers, and will need to get some training under their belt so I hire 5 (my maximum capacity until I upgrade the building). Mission controlers go (Propulsion, Trajectory and GNC, Spacecraft Systems, Crew and Payloads, Mission Operations) First, I select the best Flight Director candidate, then choose specialists:

Salome Jepsen (58.0,57.6,57.0,46.2,50.8)
Anatoly Mamonov (58.0,33.8,32.9,59.0)
Ivan Podshivalov (39.2,42.5,51.0,37.3,42.3)
Chasidy Strey (43.9,51.0,52.0,41.2,33.6)
Geoff Jonas (32.6,46.0,37.0,49.0,50.2)

There’s not really anything else to do quite yet, so I’ll end the turn.

End of Turn
Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 52.3 (+21.0)


Soviet 1955.3

Vehicle assembly has completed, which will let me open a rocket program but I’m not quite ready to do that because I don’t have anyone to work on improving it yet. The cosmonaut facility has also completed, so I’ll go ahead and hire my first three cosmonauts on the basis of leadership, since that’s the primary stat for those guys.

VAB complete

VAB complete

Astronaut stats go (Leadership, Piloting, EVA, Science, Fitness). Fitness is the odd one, which lets the cosmonauts wait longer before retiring. That’s important, since we’ll spend a long time and a lot of money training these people. I hired:
Stanislas Pravdin (56.0,51.8,54.7,57.0,49.3)
Anatoly Ostroverkhov (43.2,37.5,38.0,53.0,52.0)
Natalya Plotnitskaia (40.1,52.0,35.9,54.0,40.5)

(I won’t be typing names in anymore, unless they’re notable.)

I also want to improve my science center, but I need to be careful about timing. Improving the science center would add $400k to my fixed costs each turn, and my current surplus is only $1000k. And I need part of that surplus to open a crewed spaceship program and a human-rated rocket program in the near future. Once my surplus goes negative, I need enough cash in the bank to last me until the next budget review…

End of Turn
Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 65.3 (+13.0)


Soviet 1955.4

Between turns Natalya failed a portion of basic training adding a turn to her initial training time. That’s not a big deal in the long run, but these types of random events can get frustrating (esp when highly trained astronauts get killed). The mission controlers are out of basic training, so I send my flight director to school to improve her worst ability and everyone else to improve their best. This is because the flight director’s rating is based on the average of all his or her abilities, while everyone else gets checked against the ability they’re actually using.

Rocket management R-7 'Sputnik'

Rocket management R-7 ‘Sputnik’

I also now have three scientists available (the plant finished school and the newbies finished basic training). I need a rocket, so they all get assigned to the R-7 ‘Sputnik’ booster. Having the additional program open decreases my surplus to $839k/season. 13 turns until my next budget review.

End of Turn
Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 72.3 (+7.0)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 24.4 (+21.4)


Soviet 1956.1

No characters need to be reassigned yet, so nothing much to report.

End of Turn
Balance $17989k (+839k)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 78.2 (+5.9)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 39.5 (+15.1)


Soviet 1956.2

PAO office

PAO office

Just to see what I’m looking at, here’s the PAO office. My budget per season is $2750k (I add the k’s because it doesn’t make sense otherwise :) I’ll get a budget review in 11 seasons based on what my prestige is then (currently 125, hasn’t changed since start). If I can get over 2500 prestige, I’ll get the maximum budget for the next 16 seasons (8k/season). Each program I have open has some associated costs each season, even if I don’t launch a mission. I also have to pay my people and for facilities maintenance.

Prestige goes up with successful missions– it goes up a lot with first-of-kind missions (first sattelite, first man in orbit, etc), but I’m competing with NASA. They got an early start on project mercury (but I can’t see what kind of progress they’re making) so they may get to space first. Sputnik is cruising right along, when the rocket hits 70-80% I’ll feel comfortable launching. Prestige goes down if the mission fails. The hit is not too bad for robot missions, it’s really bad for manned missions even if the crew survives. So with manned flight I need to be a little more careful.

End of Turn
Balance $18,828k (+839)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 81.8 (+3.5)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 52.2 (+12.7)

News:
NASA opens the Pegasus Satellite program


Soviet 1956.3

I don’t know why NASA just opened the Pegasus program. That’s a heavy earth orbit sattelite, which needs a fairly substantial booster (look this up before posting). They can’t possibly have a suitable rocket yet.

Two of my cosmonauts finished basic training, so they go to school for leadership. My mission control team also finished their advanced training, so they go to school along the same strategy– flight director gets school for her worst ability, everyone else goes for their best. Incidentally, school always costs $100k and lasts for 3 seasons (there’s another version of school which is continuous, but I don’t use it).

Also, with Sputnik I over 80% it’s time to re-align my science team. I need a manned space program, but I’m still worried about funds and don’t want to pull rocket scientists off the rocket. I also want to launch Sputnik II soon after Sputnik I. That doesn’t cost too much to open, so I’ll go ahead and open that for an initial cost of $2416k. I then take everyone off their project, and reassign my 4 best rocket scientists to the rocket. This leaves me with 1 good space probe researcher (56.8%), 1 adequate researcher (42%), and the plant (25.9%). I put the good probe researcher back on Sputnik I, and the other 2 get assigned to Sputnik II where they can get some of the early planning work done.

I could open a manned space vehicle, and a man rated rocket but I’m still worried about having enough funds to make it to the budget review if I do so.

End of Turn
Balance $16,551k (+597)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 82.9 (+1.1)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 61.7 (+9.5)
Sputnik II: 35.0 (+7.4)*

*initial reliability is based on equipment you’ve already researched. If I opened this at the same time as Sputnik I, it would have started at 3%


Soviet 1956.4

Natalya finished basic training, so time for her to go to leadership school. Everyone else is busy. Don’t have the personell to open a manned space capsule program, and don’t have the budget to survive if I upgrade the science center so I can hire more engineers.

End of Turn
Balance $17,148k (+597)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 84.2 (+1.2)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 68.3 (+6.6)
Sputnik II: 41.0 (+6.1)


Soviet 1957.1

Here’s where things get tricky… The booster is getting close to reliable enough to launch, but a failure would set back the program by several seasons (because the components involved in a failed mission get a reliability penalty). My mission controllers are all in training right now, so I can’t launch this season, but do I next season? NASA is probably getting close with their Explorer I program, and I don’t want them to beat me to first sattelite.

8 turns to budget review

End of Turn
Balance $17645k (+597)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 85.0 (+0.8)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 73.4 (+5.1)
Sputnik II: 46.4 (+5.3)


Soviet 1957.2

Flight controllers finished a training cycle.. if I put them all back in training this turn, I won’t be able to launch until 1958.1. If I launch this turn, I’m taking a risk that the rocket will explode on the pad… the advisor says it’s relatively safe to launch, but I want to wait at least a turn.

Advice from advisor

Advice from advisor

The rocket guys are projecting a 3.5% improvement on the booster this season.

Rocket management

Rocket management

I’ll need a flight director, a booster specialist, and a spacecraft systems specialist to manage the sputnik I mission. So I send my trajectory and my payload flight controllers to more school, but don’t do anything with my other controllers. (Actually, trajectory begins broadening her education since she’s over 80% and there are diminishing returns to school. Payload keeps working on payload.) I have two cosmonauts who have finished training, so they go back for more leadership training.

Also, I think I’m far enough along to stand the strain of an upgraded and expanded science team. I need to start working on human rated rockets and crewed space vehicles, and really need another 8 people to do that. Upgrading once will cost $1k, and add 400k to my fixed costs each season. My additional hires will cost $300k in salaries (once I get them), but there’s only 7 turns to the budget review so it should work… I command construction of an upgraded science center. It will be ready in 2 turns.

End of Turn
Balance $16842k (+597)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 85.8 (+0.8)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 76.7 (+3.3)
Sputnik II: 52.3 (+6.0)


1957.3

Well.. it’s time. There’s no training to assign, so I go ahead and schedule the Sputnik I regular mission. My controllers get auto-assigned as I expected. $2100k get taken from my balance…

Mission control assignments

Mission control assignments

End of Turn
Balance $15,326k (+197)

Component Reliabilities:
Sputnik: 86.5 (+0.7)
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 79.0 (+2.3)
Sputnik II: 57.0 (+4.7)

Mission launched Sputnik I…

Sputnik launch on pad

Sputnik launch on pad

Sputnik - Mission Success

Sputnik – Mission Success

… Success!

IMG_0117

Reliability upgrades from mission:

R-7 ‘Sputnik': +5.1
Sputnik: 1.4

(Mission controllers get upgrades also, but since in later missions there are so many controllers I’m not going to record them)


1957.4

I was worried a little that NASA would get Explorer I launched in the same turn I got Sputnik up, but they didn’t. On the plus side, I’ve got prestige up to 1525, and my projected budget at the next review is $6,180k. On the downside, I had to hire two tiger teams during the sputnik mission (I’ll explain those later) and spent $4000k, leaving me with $11k to get to the next budget cycle, which is 5 turns away. I can afford to go negative now, so long as I don’t get too crazy. It will cost (roughly) $3k to launch Sputnik II if I can get its reliability up, and it should put me at max budget for the next cycle. Contrarywise, I could open a manned program now, but I probably wouldn’t get a launch off in the next 5 turns. I’m pretty safe, (unless NASA somehow launches Mercury early), since explorer I and sputnik II don’t overlap on too many goals. I could also launch an extended mission sputnik for 500 prestige, but I’d risk losing 300 if it failed and that would hurt too much right now.

With that in mind, I’m realigning my scientists, putting the best space probe guys on Sputnik II and the rest on the booster rocket. Sputnik I has served it’s purpose, so the program gets closed.

I hire two crewed spacecraft and three human rated rocket scientists (remember, I have the party informer who has been trained in human rockets as well). I’d like more crewed spacecraft people, but the rest of the candidates aren’t very good for that, and I don’t have excess science capacity to train people right now. These hires add $196 to my fixed costs per season. I’ll open manned rocketry and space-flight programs when they graduate from basic training.

With the operational focus on Sputnik II, I send the three controllers from sputnik I back to training, using the same strategy. Flight director gets trained on worst skill, everyone else on best. I also send my lagging cosmonaut for leadership school.

End of Turn
Balance $10,897 (+89.0)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 84.3 (+0.2)
Sputnik II: 65.9 (+8.9)


1958.1

Not much to report this turn. Two cosmonauts finsihed a round of training. They go to school for piloting, since their leadership is starting to get up pretty well. Two mission controllers finish advanced training. I need all 5 controllers to launch Sputnik II, which I want to do on the last turn of the budget cycle. There’s 4 turns left, so they have time to go back into training following the usual scheme.

Checking the science center, I have space for 2 more scientists, and there are 2 crewed spacecraft specialists available, 1 who is over 60%! I hire them in anticipation of opening a manned space program shortly.

End of Turn
Balance $10,586k (-3.0)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 84.5 (+0.2)
Sputnik II: 72.7 (+6.8)


1958.2

Realignment time! 5 new hire scientists finish basic training. Now it’s decision time.. there are 3 turns left to the budget review. I need to open several programs, but I want to end the budget cycle with enough money to launch Sputnik II.

I have two options for manned space flight. In either case I need to open the R-7 ‘Vostok’ human rated booster, which will cost $5250 to open. Option I is to open the Vostok program. This is a 1 man space capsule, historically used by the soviets to put Yuri Gagarin into space. It has the advantage that the same design is used in the Korabl-Sputnik 2 satellite mission, which is the last earth orbiting satellite option for the Soviets. As a result, I can open and research the satelite mission, which will help reliability when opening the human mission– and the satellite counts as an unmanned test of the Vostok capsule. Option 2 is to open the PKA space plane project. The space plane can fill all of the same major goals (man in space, man in orbit, joint manned launch, and orbital duration I) and is a little cheaper. It also doesn’t require as many controllers to launch a mission (4 vs 9), so I could hold off on expanding mission control (although I need to do that anyways, since ultimately I need many controllers). Choosing the space plane means I probably won’t be launching the Korabl-Sputnik biosatellite at all.

I decide to go with the space plane… It cost’s $2872 to open the project, and adds a little to my seasonal overhead. I don’t think I have enough money to open the ‘Vostok’ booster and still launch Sputnik II on schedule. With 3 turns left to budget review, I clear all my scientists off their current projects and:
– assign my four best crewed spacecraft scientists to the space plane
– assign the four best space probe scientists to Sputnik II (from the remaining 8)
– assign the four leftovers to the rocket

That leaves me with 2 scientists in basic training.

No controllers or cosmonauts are unoccupied this turn, so that’s it…

End of Turn
Balance $7711 (-291)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 84.7 (+0.2)
Sputnik II: 76.7 (+4.0)
PKA Space Plane: 20.2 (+9.9)

News:
NASA opens X-15 space plane project


1958.3

Interesting that NASA decided to open the X-15 now. Mercury may not be going well? Fortunately, the X-15 can’t reach space (in the game).

One cosmonaut is out of training, she goes to pilot school. Three controllers finish training, but I need them next turn for Sputnik II so they get no new assignment. The last two scientists I hired come out of basic training, and I slot them into the space plane project, which displaces two space probe scientists, one of whom gets assigned to Sputnik II, who displaces a rocket scientist who displaces… the party informer. The informer and the other guy both go to school for human rated rockets.

End of Turn
Balance $7120 (-291)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 84.8 (+0.1)
Sputnik II: 80.3 (+3.6)
PKA Space Plane: 29.2 (+9.0)

News:
NASA successfully completes Explorer I regular mission


1958.4

Well, we knew that NASA would launch a satellite soon, so this isn’t too worrisome.

Two cosmonauts have finished training, they go back in, both for piloting. With that done, it’s time to launch Sputnik II. I’d open my manned booster program, but I need the funds on hand if I need to hire tiger teams (scientists hired for a short period to fix a specific problem with a mission, giving a better chance to pass a failed stage check).

Sputnik II control team

Sputnik II control team

Here we go…

Missions can be costly

Missions can be costly

End of Turn
Balance $3,639 (-291)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Sputnik': 84.9 (+0.1)
Sputnik II: 82.8 (+2.5)
PKA Space Plane: 36.8 (+7.6)

Mission launched Sputnik II … success!!

Component upgrades:
R-7 ‘Sputnik': +3.3
Sputnik II: +3.5

News:
A major accident took place in the Vehicle Assembly Building, repair costs of $521.1k need to be paid and no launches will be allowed during the next season.

Budget information:
The new budget per season during the next 4 years is $8k. The minimum and maximum target prestige are 2000 and 12500 and will grant a budget of $4,600k and $21,000k per season respectively.


1959.1

You don’t get to see the opponents failures… NASA either didn’t try and squeak a mission under the wire for the budget review, or they tried and failed. In either case, they can’t have the full 8k budget for this period available to them. On the other hand, I’m doing pretty well:

You end up checking the PAO office often

You end up checking the PAO office often

At this point, I can close the R-7 ‘Sputnik’ rocket (there’s nothing else for it to do, except launch a suborbital uncrewed Vostok, and I’m not using the Vostok program) as well as the Sputnik II program. This moves decreases my seasonal overhead, so my surplus goes from +4959 to +5201 when I close Sputnik II, and then to $5451 when I close the booster.

I have a crying need for a man-rated booster though, so I open the R-7 ‘Vostok’ booster… it’s relatively cheap and will let me put the space plane into orbit. I also want the R-7 ‘Luna’ rocket, which is not man-rated but can launch my lunar flyby and lunar impactor probes. On the other hand, I’m somewhat limited on funds (only $2827 left after opening the man-rated rocket), so I can’t start opening programs like crazy.

Opening the Luna-3 (flyby probe) will cost $2490 and then $290 each season, the lunar impactor will cost $2341 to open, and the R-7 ‘Luna’ booster $3000, which I don’t have.
… I think I actually want to wait a bit before opening any of the lunar programs. If I assign my best scientists to the space plane and human rated rocket programs I have open now, I can send the rest for training, as well as the 5 controllers who worked the last mission. I clear all my scientists, and then reassign them first to the space plane, then to the rocket. Of the remaining 4, 2 go to space probe school and 2 for crewed spacecraft.

Controllers go to their schools as well, following the same strategy I’ve described (although all of my specialists are working on their secondary skills now… diminishing returns kick in for training when up above 80% or so).

End of Turn
Balance $1,927 (+4,926)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 43.7 (+6.9)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 41.7 (+12.3)


1959.2

Two scientists come out of Human-rated rocket school, so I re-align all my science guys. This leaves me two scientists, one of whom is 61% in rockets, and 1 who is 51% in space probes (and 53% in human rockets, but my weakest guy on the human-rocket program right now is 59%). I’m about to have a number of programs running at once… but if I expand my science center it will cost $1,500k and increase my overhead by $600k. I need to do that soon, but I also need to start working on the lunar rocket and some of the probes. I elect to open the R-7 ‘Luna’ rocket program, which costs me 3k and assign the 61% scientist to that. I then open the Luna 3 flyby probe program, which costs $2490k, and assign the space probe specialist to that.

I also have an astronaut who has finished her most recent training. I send her to more leadership training.

End of Turn
Balance $1,263 (+4,377)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 50.1 (+6.4)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 54.4 (+12.7)
R-7 ‘Luna': 51.6 (+3.1)
Luna 3: 46.2 (+4.0)


1959.3

Two cosmonauts finish training. They go back in, one for leadership, one for fitness. (He’s about ready for space duty)

No scientists available so it’s not time to start opening projects. Thinking now to upgrade the science center at start of 1960.

End of Turn
Balance (Forgot to record) (+4,377)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 56.2 (+6.1)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 63.2 (+8.8)
R-7 ‘Luna': 54.4 (+2.8)
Luna 3: 50.5 (+4.3)


1959.4

Controllers and scientists come out of school. Controllers go back into school following the usual schema.

With 4 scientists finishing advanced training, it’s worthwhile to wipe everyone off their projects and reassign the best. This time, I put the best 2 on the human-rocket program, then the next 4 on the space plane, then 2 on human rocket. With the rest, 2 go to the space probe, 2 to the lunar rocket, then the last 2 go on the space probe (being better probe scientists than rocket scientists). It would be nice to have more scientists, but I’m leery of increasing my upkeep just yet.

End of Turn
Balance $9,317 (+4,377)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 61.6 (+5.4)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 70.3 (+7.0)
R-7 ‘Luna': 58.6 (+4.3)
Luna 3: 63.1 (+12.7)

News:
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals: Mercury Uncrewed Suborbital Flight Test


1960.1

That mission means NASA could try to put someone in space as soon as next turn. Not much I can do, the space plane is not that close to being ready to fly. One cosmonaut out of training, goes back in for piloting.

Bank balance is getting fat, so I order the upgrade of the science center.

Science center construction

Science center construction

End of Turn
Balance $12,094 (+4,377)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 66.3 (+4.8)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 74.7 (+4.5)
R-7 ‘Luna': 62.5 (+3.8)
Luna 3: 69.9 (+6.8)


1960.2

Two cosmonauts ready to go back for more training, this time fitness and science. Everyone else is occupied, so not much to do this turn.

End of Turn
Balance $16,271 (+3,777)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 70.3 (+4.0)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 78.3 (+3.6)
R-7 ‘Luna': 65.1 (+2.7)
Luna 3: 75.2 (+5.2)

News: Some mismanagement issues required a costly expenditure in order to fix the existing infrastructure. This ended up costing $2412.


1960.3

The unexpected expense isn’t too much of a problem, the bank balance is pretty healthy. The science center has completed its upgrade, so it’s time to hire scientists.

Upgraded science center

Upgraded science center

But now I have a quandary… I need some more rocket people, because the ‘Luna’ is lagging it’s development behind the Luna probe. On the other hand, I only need 1 more (non-rated) rocket after the ‘Luna’, while I need several crewed spacecraft parts developed, as well as human-rated rockets. So who do I hire? My inclination is to get crewed spacecraft people and maybe another space probe team… after looking at who is on offer, only 4 are worth hiring, all with ~50% in both crewed spacecraft and space probes. They all get picked up.

Another minor quandary, all my flight controllers came out of training, but I’m not ready to start using the space plane. If I put them all back in training, I can’t launch anything for 3 turns. On the other hand, 3 turns should assure me of getting smoothly to orbit (after a drop test and suborbital mission). I decide to wait and the controllers go back to school.

End of Turn
Balance $17,135.2 (+3,603)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 73.5 (+3.3)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 81.7 (+3.4)
R-7 ‘Luna': 68.2 (+3.0)
Luna 3: 79.1 (+3.9)


1960.4

Not sure why NASA hasn’t gotten a suborbital into space yet, but that’s working out for me. 1 cosmonaut finishes training and goes back in for fitness. That’s the last training for a minute for the cosmonauts, I need them to start launching the space plane when the controllers finish their last bit of training.

Luna 3 has progressed really well. None of the 4 scientists working on that probe are particularly brilliant rocket scientists, so rather than move them over to the booster, I open the Luna-2 impactor to start getting it ready. I move my second best and my worst from the team working on Luna-3 over to Luna 2.

Scientist management

Scientist management

End of Turn
Balance $18,297 (+3368)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 76.5 (2.9)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 83.7 (+2.0)
R-7 ‘Luna': 70.3 (+2.1)
Luna 3: 81.0 (+1.9)
Luna 2: 67.8 (+4.8)


1961.1

The 4 new scientists finish basic training, so it’s time to re-assign. I don’t wipe everyone this time, but change the human rated rocket crew slightly, bring the ‘Luna’ team up to 4, and then bring the Luna-2 team up to full strength. I hire 2 more crewed spacecraft people, to bring me up to 20 scientists. I currently have 5 component programs running (2 rocket, 3 payload), and can assign 4 scientists to each component. However, some of these should exceed the max R&D reliability (max amount I can improve them without launching) when I start using them in missions.

Two cosmonauts finish training, and I don’t reassign them in anticipation of starting space plane launches next turn. There are 8 turns left before the budget review.

End of Turn
Balance $21,665 (+3290)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 78.6 (+2.1)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 85.3 (+1.6)
R-7 ‘Luna': 72.9 (+2.6)
Luna 3: 82.6 (+1.6)
Luna 2: 72.1 (+4.3)


1961.2

The controllers graduate, so it’s time to start using the space plane. Each program can have several mission associated with it.

Missions for space plane

Missions for space plane

I could go straight to suborbital flight, but I’d like to do the atmospheric drop test, since if it’s successful it will greatly improve the reliability of the space plane. I assign 4 controllers and send my last one back to school, maybe he can make the cut when he gets out.

I also send the extra cosmonaut to training (science), since the lagging cosmonaut will be available next turn. No changes to R&D…

End of Turn
Balance $23,560 (+3290)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 81.0 (+2.4)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 86.6 (+1.2)
R-7 ‘Luna': 75.3 (+2.4)
Luna 3: 83.9 (+1.3)
Luna 2: 75.4 (+3.3)

Mission launched … Atmospheric Drop Test Flight (PKA Space Plane)

The Tupelov bomber only shows up in this mission

The Tupelov bomber only shows up in this mission

Space plane flying

Space plane flying

…. Success!!

Component upgrades:
PKA Space Plane: +4.9

News:
NASA has opened the following programs:
Circumlunar gemini test flights in Earth orbit


1961.3

With 6 turns left to budget review, the 250 prestige isn’t worth all that much, but the 4.9% improvement to the space plane certainly is. Two scientists finish basic training. Neither of them are good enough to make the rocket teams, so I put them in the two vacant spots on Luna 3. Meanwhile, I queue up a suborbital flight with the space plane, riding the R-7 ‘Vostok’ rocket.

Like NASA, I pretty soon need to open my follow-on manned program, but it’s still a little premature. No one has even made it into space yet!

End of Turn
(Forgot to record any numbers)

Mission launched … Suborbital test flight ….

Tiger teams

Tiger teams

This is the tiger team screen. It came up three times. The first I didn’t hire any teams, the second and third I spent the $4k to try to squeeze my way past the stage check. Tiger teams are scientists hired on a short term to try to fix a problem with the mission

Mission failure

Mission failure

It didn’t work.

IMG_0129

IMG_0129

On the plus side, the ‘Vostok’ launcher succeeded in it’s portion of the mission, so its reliability went above the maximum achievable by R&D. That frees up 4 scientists.

NEWS:
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Mercury suborbital flight
Man in space

NASA has opened the following programs:
Biosatellite

The following astronauts have perished during a mission:
Natalya Plotnitskaia

IMG_0130


1961.4

So.. now I’m in a bind. The space plane is back down to 78.6% reliability. I can try again this turn, or wait a turn or two for it to come back up. But NASA will presumably proceed with the Mercury goals, and beat me to man in orbit.The ‘Luna’ rocket is not quite where I’d like it to be, either. And, I have 5 turns to budget review, and it will get harder and harder to get prestige if NASA keeps beating me to goals.

As far as the scientists are concerned, only 1 is particularly good at regular rockets, but all 4 that were freed up by maxing out the ‘Vostok’ are good for human rated rockets. I need a new human rated rocket soon, but need to upgrade my vehicle assembly building before I can start in on that. So all 4 get advanced courses in human rocket design.

Next, I need to hire astronauts, both to replace the one I lost and in anticipation of the next round of missions after the space plane. I’m leaning toward using the Soyuz 7K-L3 for my lunar attempt, which needs 2 crew in the capsule. Ultimately that means I need 5 astronauts, 1 for CAPCOM in mission control, 1 crew on mission and 1 crew on standby. It will take time to train up the standby crew, and I could lose more astronauts, so I’ll hire my max capactiy (5 more, bringing me to 7) now.

So, the last question is launch or wait? I decide to make another suborbital attempt.

End of Turn
Balance $11335 (+3075)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 80.9 (+2.4)
R-7 ‘Vostok': +0 (no R&D)
R-7 ‘Luna': 75.3 (+2.4)
Luna 3: 86.4 (+1.0)
Luna 2: 80.8 (+2.4)

Mission launched … Suborbital test flight

Mission success

Mission success

… success!!
(phew)

Component upgrades:
R-7 ‘Vostok': 92.3 (+1.4)
PKA Space Plane: 86.2 (+5.2)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following goals:
X-15 test flight


1962.1

Yay, we’re back on track. 4 seasons to next budget review, and I’m about 8 thousand prestige points short of maxing the budget. On the plus side, I’m comfortable trying for orbit this season, and if I get that… that’s a lot of points for being first.

PAO screen

PAO screen

After setting up the mission, I still have 1 controller left over (he finished the training I sent him to). He’s getting into the 80s on several skills now, so maybe he’ll end up being my assistant flight director for later missions..

End of Turn
Balance $5094 (+3075)

Component Reliabilities:
PKA Space Plane: 87.1 (+1.0)
R-7 ‘Vostok': 92.3 (+0 no R&D)
R-7 ‘Luna': 79.7 (+1.0) (??- number doesn’t make sense from log..)
Luna 3: 87.1 (+0.7)
Luna 2: 82.7 (+1.9)

Mission launched … Orbital Flight …

Success for orbital flight

Success for orbital flight

Success!!
(hired 1 tiger team)

Component upgrades:
R-7 ‘Vostok': 93.6 (+1.3)
PKA Space Plane: 89.7 (+2.5)


1962.2

Well, made it to orbit first, which was worth a good prestige boost. I’m up to 10925 now (wish I knew what NASA was at). 3 turns to next budget assessment, and I’m projected to get 18,520k per season if I don’t get (or lose) any more prestige. My bank is pretty depleted, so no more space plane missions this turn. There are two more missions available, extended duration I (worth 2500 prestige) and joint orbital flight (for 3250). On the other hand, Luna-3 hits a bunch of goals and is projected to be worth 2450 prestige and there’s a lot less prestige loss if the mission fails. I can get extended duration I and joint orbital on a later program without too much difficulty, so it’s time to close the space plane program.

That frees up my crewed vehicle team, and I don’t have enough money to open a Soyuz program quite yet. (I’m skipping Vostok and Vokshod). So they get sent back to graduate school. I’m super short on money, but it’s time to upgrade the VAB and mission control as well. Upgrading the VAB costs $2000, while upgrading mission control costs 900. I want to keep at least a little in reserve, so I start by upgrading the VAB, since my human-rockets team will be graduating shortly.

I don’t send my 4 idle controllers to school, because I expect to need them in 2 turns to launch Luna-3

End of Turn
Balance $1161.2 (+3363)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Vostok': 93.6 (+0 no R&D)
R-7 ‘Luna': 80.8 (+1.1)
Luna 3: 87.6 (+0.5)
Luna 2: 84.1 (+1.4)


1962.3

More construction

More construction

Oops, I forgot to send my suborbital cosmonaut for training. That’s ok, because I can send him and the first guy into orbit back to school as a crew… Both go for EVA training. One of them may end up being the first man on the moon!

My human-rocket team graduated from advanced training. One of them is better at regular rockets than one of the scientists on the regular rockets team, so I swap them temporarily. That guy goes to training on rockets, the rest of the human rockets guys get another shot at graduate school.

Also, just realized I don’t need the R-7 ‘Vostok’ anymore, since I won’t be launching any more 1 man spaceships. Program closed.

Still don’t have enough money to open projects or enough controllers to launch a lunar probe. 2 turns to budget review.

End of Turn
Balance $3924 (+3888)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Luna': 81.6 (+0.8)
Luna 3: 88.0 (+0.4)
Luna 2: 85.2 (+1.1)

News:
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Hypersonic research at the edge of space – level 1


1962.4

The X-15 program really doesn’t bother me much. It’s a safe way for NASA to train controllers and astronauts, but I already got the man in orbit goal and hopefully can stay ahead of them.

My new cosmonaut group has graduated from basic training. They all get sent for party indoctrination … I mean leadership training.

I now have 5 available controlers, and my bank has built up a little, I think it’s safe to launch Luna-3 and try to grab that extra 3k/season.

End of Turn
Balance $3899 (+3488)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Luna': 82.4 (+0.8)
Luna 3: 88.2 (+0.2)
Luna 2: 86.2 (+1.0)

Mission launched … Luna 3 (Lunar Flyby) … success!!

Successful goals

Successful goals

(tiger team dialog came up twice, and I only had money for the first. Got lucky there…)

Component upgrades:
R-7 ‘Luna': 86.3 (+4.0) (Reached max R&D)
Luna 3: 89.8 (1.6) (Reached max R&D)

Budget information:
The new budget per season during the next 4 years is 21,000k. The minimum and maximum target prestige are 5000 and 35000 and will grant a budget of $5,500k and $35,000k per season respectively.


1963.1

So.. I made the max budget target. And I now have 12 scientists hanging out doing nothing. I need to open new programs!

The first, very important need is for a new manned booster. I want to open the Soyuz 7K-L1 earth orbit missions next, which can be lifted either by the R-7 11A511 Soyuz Booster, or the Proton-KD. The proton is more expensive to open and on a per-unit basis, but it will lift the Soyuz 7K-L3 capsule as well. The proton can also put 7K-L1 into circumlunar orbit. We’ll open the proton program. This leaves $6k for other programs. Unfortunately, the opening cost for 7K-L1 is 11,326 (which is definitely not what the program overview says, which is frustrating). I could either open a lunar lander (Luna 17 with robot rover) for $6240, or Zond 5 (a modified Soyuz capsule) for $4835. I could also open a Mars or Venus probe (and I probably would as GSA), but I don’t want to divert resources away from the moon.

I choose to open Zond 5 so that I can also upgrade my mission control and send people for training. Delaying the lunar flight by three turns while the controllers go to school won’t hurt anything, NASA hasn’t opened a lunar probe program yet and I don’t think they can go from zero to impact in three turns.This leaves me with two scientists from my crewed spacecraft team unoccupied, and two unimpressive scientists who need to go back to school. I send all of them for crewed spacecraft training, since I’ll get the space probe people off Luna-2 whenever I get around to launching it, and they can start work on Soyuz 7K-L1.

I also issue upgrade orders for mission control and headquarters. Up to now I could only have 3 programs running at once, and I’m about to need more.

Even more construction

Even more construction

This leaves me strapped for cash, so the only controller I send to school is my flight director.

End of Turn
Balance $239 (+15,253)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Luna': 86.3 (+0.0 no R&D)
Luna 2: 86.8 (+0.7)
Proton-KD: 65.6 (+2.6) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 54.6 (+7.6)


1963.2

My first cosmonauts finish training, so I send them both back for fitness training. My human rated rocket team graduated advanced training, so it’s time to realign my science priorities. First I need to get that Soyuz program operational though! That takes most of my funds, but allows me to reset my priorities. I need to get people back into space, so my rocket (which I’ll be using for most of my next several flights) needs to have priority.

Scientist management

Scientist management

After that, I need my crewed spaceship (7K-L1) ready soon, so I can start test flights. Zond 5 is a little less important, and Luna 2 is really ready to go and doesn’t need people assigned to it anymore. I assign the last 4 to Luna 2 for the moment anyways, just to eke out the last little bit of reliability there.

Luna 2 and Zond 5 only need 5 controllers each, but the unmanned Soyuz flights will need 11, manned Soyuz flights will need 13, and lunar soyuz will need 15). I hire 6 candidates, including one who might have a shot at assistant flight director. I don’t send my current controllers to training, because I think I can launch Luna-2 next season.

End of Turn
Balance $3,616 (+13,294)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Luna': 86.3 (+0.0 no R&D)
Luna 2: 87.3 (+0.5)
Proton-KD: 68.5 (+2.9) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 62.3 (+7.7)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 62.7 (+4.9)


1963.3

My second cadre of cosmonauts finish their first round of leadership training and get sent right back for a second go. I miscounted seasons, so my flight director is still at training. Still, I can launch Luna 2 next season and still comfortably be ahead of NASA (at least, as regarding lunar probes). With that in mind, it’s time to open Luna 17 with the Lunkhod rover, since I hope to use that to boost the reliability of the Proton-KD. Alternatively, I could start the next upgrade on my science center (or both!). Since I need more scientists really soon to start researching the lunar eva suit, lander, and docking unit as soon as I open Soyuz 7K-L3.

So, that’s what I do. Luna-2 doesn’t really need more work (after all, it just needs to crash into the moon!), so I split the 4 scientists working on Luna 2 between Luna 17 and it’s rover (which are separate components). I also upgrade the science center. This leaves me 8k… opening the Proton-K rocket program costs 7K, but I don’t have scientists to work on it right at the moment, so it can wait.

End of Turn
Balance $8,270 (+12,670)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Luna': 86.3 (+0.0 no R&D)
Luna 2: 87.3 (+0.0 no R&D)
Proton-KD: 71.0 (+2.5) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 68.3 (+6.1)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 67.3 (+4.7)
Luna 17: 43.4 (+10.7)
Lunokod: 26.0 (+4.6)


1963.4

13 turns to budget review

My flight controller (and the new crop of specialist controllers) graduated from training. Time to launch Luna-2! I schedule the mission before doing anything else…

My 4 crewed spacecraft specialists have graduated from advanced training as well. I need $40k to open Soyuz 7K-L3, and I don’t have it. I can however, open the Proton-K and then reassign all my scientists to whatever suits them best. My priorities run:
– Proton-KD… I need this human rated rocket in operation yesterday
– Soyuz 7K-L1 … this is my next crewed spaceship
– Proton-K … I need this rocked to launch Zond 5 and the soil retrieval project I haven’t opened yet
– Zond 5… first real chance at circumlunar flight
– Luna 17 and Lunokod

The first three programs get the 4 best possible scientists each, Zond 5 gets the next 3, as does Luna 17. Lunokod gets the last 2. It should fill back up when I’m able to hire scientists again. Meanwhile, I have six controllers who didn’t make the cut for Luna-2. They each go to training, 1 of them as if a flight director, the rest in their primary abilities. (It will be a little while before I need them)

End of Turn
Balance $10,049 (+11,970)

Component Reliabilities:
R-7 ‘Luna': 86.3 (+0.0 no R&D)
Luna 2: 87.3 (+0.0 no R&D)
Proton-KD: 73.5 (+2.5) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 72.7 (+4.3)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 71.4 (+4.0)
Luna 17: 55.8 (+12.4)
Lunokod: 31.1 (+5.1)
Proton-K: 66.1 (+3.1)

Mission launched … Luna 2 (Lunar Impactor) … Success!!

Lunar mission

Lunar mission

(One tiger team hired)

Component upgrades:
R-7 ‘Luna': 89.0 (+2.7)
Luna 2: 89.1 (+1.8)

News:
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Hypersonic research at the edge of space – Level II
Space plane


1964.1

NASA’s X-15 project doesn’t really scare me much, especially since I beat them to the Space Plane goal. Not much going to happen this turn, I don’t have any programs ready to launch, and it’s time to close the R-7 ‘Luna’ and the Luna-2 probe. This improves my seasonal surplus from 11,970 to 12,505. Not a huge amount in the big scheme of things, but I’ll take it. I have two cosmonauts who have finished a round of advanced training, I send them back for EVA and science (choosing whatever will give the biggest increase). At some point I need to upgrade my VAB so I can start working on the N-1 rocket which will take us to the moon.

I’m still a turn away from being able to hire more scientists. At 12 turns to budget assessment, I can afford to wait a few turns before trying to launch anything, so my controller team goes back to school… I do need to upgrade mission control as well, but want to wait so that I don’t immediately give back the overhead gains I got from closing the Luna-2 program and its rocket.

End of Turn
Balance $18,028 (+11,955)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 75.4 (+1.9) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 76.4 (+3.7)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 75.5 (+4.1)
Luna 17: 62.6 (+6.8)
Lunokod: 36.0 (+4.9)
Proton-K: 69.2 (+3.1)

News:
NASA has opened the Orbiting Frog Otolith Program


1964.2

NASA’s OFO is an orbiting satellite which I don’t have an equivalent to. It will give them some prestige, which they might need since they don’t have a manned capsule in orbit yet.

For my side, the science center upgrade has completed. I need to hire crewed spacecraft scientists most desperately, and 1 or 2 space probe researchers wouldn’t hurt either. Only 5 candidates are over 50% for those skills, so I hire them. I’ll try again in 1965 to get more. I also hire 2 controllers, a spacecraft systems specialist and a payload specialist. I do need to upgrade mission control so I can hire in another batch before I start attempting lunar flights, but it’s still a little too early.

My second wave of cosmonauts finished training. I send them all off to work on their biggest weaknesses. I still don’t have enough money to open the Soyuz 7K-L3 program. I have enough for the Luna 15 Lunar Sample Return Project, but the new hire scientists won’t be available for a few turns, so there’s no reason to pay the upkeep.
End of Turn
Balance $29,483 (+11,631)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 77.2 (+1.8) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 79.4 (+2.9)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 78.0 (+2.6)
Luna 17: 68.7 (+6.1)
Lunokod: 40.1 (+4.1)
Proton-K: 71.8 (+2.6)

News:
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Pegasus Satellite
Mercury uncrewed orbital flight test


1964.3

NASA launching Pegasus means they have a fairly heavy booster. I know from my NASA playthrough I used it to improve reliability for the Saturn 1-B. On the other hand, they’re just getting around to their first unmanned orbital flight test, so I think I’m still ahead. Then again, I haven’t flown a manned mission in a while.

6 controllers finished training. These guys are from the second wave, so they go right back to school to work on their primary abilities.

I have $40,514k in the bank, but need $40,983k to open that next Soyuz program. I’ll get it next turn I suppose. I could also open Luna 15, but still don’t have people free to work on it. I do take the opportunity now to redistribute my space probe people, putting the best 3 on the rover, next group of 3 on Luna 17, and the last 2 on Zond 5 since I just realized it needs to wait for the Proton-K to be ready, while Luna 17/Lunokod can launch on the Proton-KD. Another oops…

End of Turn
Balance $40,514 (+11,631)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 78.8 (+1.6) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 80.5 (+1.1)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 80.6 (+2.6)
Luna 17: 73.4 (+4.7)
Lunokod: 47.4 (+7.4)
Proton-K: 73.7 (+2.0)

News:
NASA has opened the following programs:
Pioneer 4 lunar flyby


1964.4

If NASA launched the Explorer I with the Juno II, it had the rocket capactity to launch Pioneer 4 almost from the start. If not, they may have researched Atlas-Agena, or Atlas-Centaur. I wish I had better visibility of what NASA is doing. Regardless, it should be several turns before they research Pioneer 4 enough to attempt a launch.

First order of business is to open the Soyuz 7K-L3 program, since it costs so much and I hope to be running launches soon. This gives me several new payloads that need to be researched… The 7K-LOK spacecraft (crewed spacecraft), ‘IGLA’ automatic docking system (crewed spacecraft), Krechet-94 EVA Suit (EVA suit), LK Lunar Lander (crewed spacecraft). Knowing this was coming is why I have been so worried about hiring crewed spacecraft scientists! Fortunately, the group of 5 I just hired have finished training, so I unassign everyone and reassign in the following order:
4 – Proton-KD… I still need this in operation ASAP
4 – Proton-K … I also need this really badly
3 – Soyuz 7K-L1 … this is getting close to being able to be used for unmanned tests
3 – Soyuz 7K-LOK … this one ultimately goes to the moon, but I need it ready before the docking and lander modules
2 – Lunokod … the rover is still behind it’s mothership
2 – Luna 17 … but I also need the mothership
2 – Zond 5 … need to eke out a little more reliability for this one
2 – Krechet-94 EVA suit … will need this eventually, but not right away
3 – ‘IGLA’ docking system

I’ll start working on the lander once I hire my next group of scientists in 1965.

Two cosmonauts have finished training, so they go back in to work on their weaknesses… 1 of these guys will probably end up becoming the permanent CAPCOM once I resume manned launches. I also have 7 controllers idle. With 9 turns left before the budget review, I have time to send them for training courses as well before I need to resume launching.

Night at the spaceport

Night at the spaceport

End of Turn
Balance $10,262 (+7,531)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 80.0 (+1.2) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 81.8 (+1.3)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 82.6 (+2.0)
Luna 17: 76.9 (+3.4)
Lunokod: 52.6 (+5.1)
Proton-K: 75.2 (+1.5)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 65.5 (+2.5)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 24.0 (+7.9)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 16.6 (+5.0)


1965.1

The EVA suit would have a higher reliability if I had opened the Voshkod program and done the spacewalk mission that was available there.

So, now we need to start thinking about long term planning. Proton-KD is getting to the point where it is reliable enough to use in launches, at least unmanned ones. I need to upgrade the VAB again so that I can start researching the N-1. That will take 4 turns. I won’t have controllers available for at least 3 turns (because my best flight director is currently in school). If I upgrade the VAB now, I can switch my human rated rocket team over to the N-1 once those launches begin. Accordingly, I order construction.

It’s 1965, so I can hire scientists again. I pick up a 64% rated EVA suit researcher. Pickings are pretty slim for crewed spacecraft, but I take the top 4, since otherwise I have to wait until 1966 to get them, and would still have to wait out their basic training before assigning them to a project. This way I can decide to either use them or train them better before assigning them, and not wait the year and a half to have them available.

The larger cosmonaut group has finished training. I’m not contemplating manned launches in the near future, so back to school they go.

End of Turn
Balance $13,793 (+7,333)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 81.2 (+1.2) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 82.9 (+1.1)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 84.1 (+1.5)
Luna 17: 79.6 (+2.7)
Lunokod: 57.0 (+4.5)
Proton-K: 76.7 (+1.5)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 67.8 (+2.3)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 31.2 (+7.3)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 21.2 (+4.6)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Uncrewed Gemini heat shield test (Reentry at near-lunar velocity)
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Gemini uncrewed orbital flight test
Gemini uncrewed suborbital flight test
Gemini circumlunar transtage test in Earth orbit
Gemini heat shield test at near lunar velocity


1965.2

OK, I’ll admit to being a little spooked. I’m not sure whether NASA is aiming at the Gemini direct ascent, or something else. They may be able to beat me to a manned lunar orbit (but it will be close, Soyuz 7K-L1 and the Proton-KD are also both ready for uncrewed flights). However, none of my other lunar missions are ready (Zond 5 needs the Proton-K, it’s a little too heavy for the -KD), and I need 11 controllers for the uncrewed Soyuz tests. As a result, I need to wait a turn before resuming launches.

7 turns to buget assessment. I have 16,175 prestige points, which if that stays completely constant will reduce my budget to $16,489/season. If I can get to 35,000 prestige, I’ll get $35,000/season. Because they’re using Gemini, NASA will likely do a spacewalk before me, but most of the other interim goals are still up for grabs.

Because I need controllers next turn, I let the 6 who finished training this turn idle.

End of Turn
Balance $21,126 (+7,333)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 82.2 (+0.9) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 83.8 (+0.9)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 85.4 (+1.3)
Luna 17: 81.3 (+1.7)
Lunokod: 61.4 (+4.3)
Proton-K: 78.0 (+1.2)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 70.4 (+2.6)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 37.8 (+6.6)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 25.5 (+4.3)


1965.3

My most recent group of scientists has come out of basic training. I sent the EVA suit specialist right to the Krechet-94 to get to work. I put the 50% crewed spacecraft researchers on the lander. The rest aren’t really good enough to give much of a boost to the other crewed spacecraft programs, so I decide to send them to advanced training. My group of two cosmonauts are done with training… I’m don’t need to do manned launches right away, so I send them back for more training as well.

Proton-K isn’t quire ready yet, but I can use the Proton-KD to do an unmanned test of 7K-L1. The training regime for the controllers has mostly paid off, all but two of the controllers are above 80% for the ability their station requires.

IMG_0142

 

I could actually launch this mission with almost any rocket, even the R-7 ‘Sputnik’, but successful launches seem to be the key to improving reliability in the late game and I want to improve the proton before it gets used for a manned lunar pass.

This leaves me with two idle controllers. They get sent for training, maybe they’ll make the next cut. It’s also time to upgrade mission control- I’m at max capacity for controllers, but I’ll need 15 to actually land on the moon. Once the upgrade finishes, I’ll hire the best on offer, and train them in their primary specialty… it’s probably too late to grow more flight directors.

End of Turn
Balance $16,446 (+7,333)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 82.9 (+0.8) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 84.7 (+0.9)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 86.6 (+1.1)
Luna 17: 82.6 (+1.3)
Lunokod: 65.2 (+3.9)
Proton-K: 79.2 (+1.2)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 72.4 (+2.1)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 44.2 (+6.4)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 30.2 (+4.8)
LK Lunar Lander: 64.0 (+1.0)

Mission launched… Uncrewed Suborbital Flight Test (7K-L1) … Success!!
(no tiger teams)

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 87.5 (+4.6)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 90.2 (+3.7)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Orbital flight
Crewed Gemini Transtage and heat shield test flight in high earth orbit

NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Mercury orbital flight
Man in orbit
Gemini orbital flight
Gemini suborbital flight
Two crew spacecraft
Docking
Rendezvous
Joint manned launch

Programs opened by NASA:
Project Apollo test flights in Earth orbit
Circumlunar Gemini
Lunar orbital Gemini test flights in earth orbit


1965.4

Although I only got 400 prestige for my unmanned suborbital flight with Soyuz, the reliability boost is pretty useful. Looking at NASA however… ouch.. they’re launching multiple missions in a season. I didn’t train enough controllers to do that. I do have 11 controllers though, and that’s enough to do an uncrewed orbital flight. I could probably squeak out the Zond 5 mission, but ultimately manned flight is more important than unmanned.

I won’t have my training controllers back for another two turns, so no manned launches quite yet. 5 cosmonauts finished their training, but they have time to squeeze another course in before I need them. I send each for the course which gives the most improvement, regardless of ability. I only have 5 turns left until budget assessment, so I need to start pushing manned missions again soon (they’re higher prestige than unmanned missions).

End of Turn
Balance $13,366 (+6,283)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 87.6 (+0.1) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 85.3 (+0.6)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 90.3 (+0.1)
Luna 17: 84.0 (+1.4)
Lunokod: 68.1 (+2.9)
Proton-K: 80.2 (+1.1)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 74.4 (+2.0)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 49.2 (+5.0)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 35.2 (+4.9)
LK Lunar Lander: 65.0 (+1.0)

Mission launched … Uncrewed orbital flight test (7K-L1) … success!
(1 tiger team which cost 9,000k!)IMG_0143

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 90.0 (+2.3)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+2.3)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Transtage Lunar flyby test (Gemini)


1966.1

Uh oh… is NASA planning to do a manned lunar flyby next turn?

Hmm.. I got 520 prestige for that uncrewed test flight. There’s 4 turns left, so I really need to pick up prestige.

IMG_0144

However, I also just finished the VAB upgrade, and the Proton-KD and Soyuz 7K-L1 exceeded the max R&D with that last mission. It’s time to start the N-1 program, but I only have $9,736k and the N1 will cost a little more than $11,000k to get rolling. The Proton-KDs are expensive too, and if I launch this turn I might not have enough money to start the N1 next turn. But with only 4 turns left, I might not have enough prestige at the budget assessment to get a max budget. Actually, I might not hold on to the 21,000k/season that I already have. The projection is showing 17,394/season.

Proton-K is ready to launch Zond-5, but the flight will cost $7,475k which won’t leave me any margin to hire tiger teams with.

IMG_0145I think it’s time to rest for a couple of turns, and accept I won’t max out the budget for the next cycle. The human rocket team and Soyuz 7K-L1 teams are available now, so I can fill in some of the programs that don’t have full teams while I wait for the bank to refill. I don’t want to send controllers for training, since I do want to launch more missions by the end of the budget cycle.

Leaving the Proton-K team in place, I clear the rest of my scientists and reassign them in the following order:

4 – 7K-LOK … it’s the moon spacecraft. I need it to get ready so I can do the earth orbit tests
3 – ‘Igla’ Automatic docking system … I need this before I need the lander
4 – Lunokhod … if I can get this into the 70’s by the end of the budget cycle, I’ll risk a shot at a soft robot landing on the moon
3 – Krechet-94 EVA suit … need this relatively soon
4 – LK lunar lander … ultimately, this is what the whole game is about!
2 – Luna 17 … try to squeek a little more reliability out here, especially if I have to launch to rover early
1 – Zond 5 … just tidying up loose ends
1 – ‘Igla’ Automatic docking system … moves the projected improvement from 5.8 – 6.2%
1 – Krechet-94 EVA suit … moves projected improvement from 4.5 – 4.7%

The last two assignments are very much temporary. As soon as I can start the N1 without compromising my ability to launch before budget cycle end, I’ll move my human rocket people back to where they belong.

It is also time to hire a couple more controllers, but only two candidates have skills (other than propulsion, where I’m already well staffed) over 50%. I hire them so that they can start in on the training cycle.

No missions schedules .. darn.

End of Turn
Balance $9,736 (+6,202)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 90.0 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 85.7 (+0.3)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 17: 84.9 (+1.0)
Lunokod: 71.6 (+3.5)
Proton-K: 81.0 (+0.8)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 76.5 (+2.1)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 54.9 (+5.8)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 39.9 (+4.8)
LK Lunar Lander: 67.3 (+2.3)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Lunar Flyby (Duration Level II)
IMG_0146


1966.2

Yup, there’s the manned lunar flyby.

I have 3 turns left before the budget assessment. I have $15,938k and if I don’t build anything or hire anyone I’ll get about $6k more next turn. The robot lander mission to the moon will cost ~8k and get 4000+ prestige, while an orbital Soyuz will get slightly more prestige (but less than 5k) and cost ~9k. The problem comes in that if my robots have trouble and I hire a tiger team, I won’t be able to launch the manned mission. If I wait for the manned mission, I forgo prestige points which I desperately need. Zond-5 will only get me 2.5k, and costs 7k.

2 cosmonauts came out of training. The other 5 will finish next turn. I’ll let these 2 idle so that the other guys end up on the same cycle. I need 3 cosmonauts available at any given time to launch a Soyuz mission. I have 13 controllers available, but haven’t decided what to do about my missions yet, so they idle as well.

I also have three crewed spacecraft scientists who finished advanced training (the most recent newbies). The priority right now is for Luna 17/Lunokhod, so even though their not great, I add two to the Luna 17 mothership component. The other bumps a generalist off the ‘Igla’, who bumps a human-rated rockets specialist off completely. He (the KGB plant) gets put on the Zond-5 project for lack of a better idea. :)

The really agressive path would be to do: Robot (either) this season, followed by manned next season, followed by robot in the third season if I still have funds. I think I’ll launch the Zond, which has the best reliability of the robot missions, and then reassess next season about whether I launch the manned flight or wait. If it fails, I only lose 900 prestige, which I still can recover from and at least hold on to my current budget.

End of Turn
Balance $8,463 (+6,202)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 90.0 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Zond 5: 86.0 (+0.3)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 17: 85.9 (+1.0)
Lunokod: 74.5 (+2.9)
Proton-K: 81.7 (+0.7)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 78.4 (+1.9)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 59.6 (+4.7)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 44.2 (+4.2)
LK Lunar Lander: 69.6 (+2.3)

Mission launched … Zond 5 (Bioscience Lunar Flyby)

so do I hire a tiger team for a robot… no, not this time

IMG_0147

IMG_0148

… success!!

Component upgrades:
Proton-K: 85.4 (+3.7)
Zond 5: 87.5 (+1.5)


1966.3

OK.. if I do nothing I at least hold on to my current budget. I have $14,665k, and having closed the Zond 5 program will get $6,686k next turn. If I launch a mission this turn, and need to use a tiger team, I might not be able to launch next turn. Of course, launching this turn, I may not have the funds to hire the tiger team in the first place.

IMG_0150

My non-human rated rocket team is free now. One of them is also a good crewed spacecraft researcher, and 1 is ok. The rest really are specialized in rockets. I shift a couple people around, but the rest are headed to advanced training, there really just isn’t that much gain to be had by using these guys. I don’t need more unrated rockets, so they’ll train on crewed spacecraft.
I also have all my cosmonauts and controllers available.

That still leaves me a question of what to do next… although I still need as many prestige points as I can manage, failing an orbital mission would cost me 3925. Failing the robotic lunar landing would cost me 1275. Both the oribital flight and the robot potentially gain me ~4.5k prestige. But the risk is pretty high as well, especially when considering I can’t hire tiger teams…

I elect to launch the robots instead.. since I need at most 3 cosmonauts for the rest of the budget cycle, 4 get sent for more training.

End of Turn
Balance $3,064 (+6686)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 90.0 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 17: 86.6 (+0.7)
Lunokod: 76.9 (+2.4)
Proton-K: 85.4 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 80.3 (+1.9)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 64.9 (+5.3)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 48.2 (+4.0)
LK Lunar Lander: 71.8 (+2.2)

Mission launched … Luna 17 (Lunar robotic rover deployment)

IMG_0155

Oh no … on the last step too

IMG_0156

…Success!!

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 92.8 (+2.8)
Luna 17: 88.7 (+2.1)
Lunokhod: 80.5 (+3.6)


1966.4

So with 1 turn left before the budget assessment here’s where I stand:

IMG_0157

I have $9750, which is not enough to launch the manned orbital (need $9913). That’s probably ok, I stand to get a small budget increase next season, and will just have to make do. Closing Luna 17 frees up a good bit of overhead as well, bringing me up to +7310 for next season (not counting the budget increase). I don’t have enough money to do any good launches this turn.

I’m anticipating a budget increase, but I need that increase to start the N1 project. I have 8 idle scientists after the closure of the Luna 17 mission. One thing I can do is open the Luna 15 soil sample return project, and assign my top probe scientists to that. Then the rest can go back to school. I anticipate having to wipe all my scientists off their projects and reassign next turn anyways, if I open N-1. I can also send all my controllers and cosmonauts back to school, since it will be a minute before I have money to be launching rockets again.

Two scientists get training in EVA suits, since that project isn’t really coming along all that well, the others in crewed spacecraft.

End of Turn
Balance $2,772 (+6812)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 92.8 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Proton-K: 85.4 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 81.8 (+1.5)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 69.0 (+4.1)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 52.1 (+3.9)
LK Lunar Lander: 66.3 (+3.3)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Orbital flight (duration level I)
Pioneer 4 (lunar flyby)

NASA has opened the following programs:
Ranger 3 lunar impactor

Budget information: The new budget per season during the next 4 years is $25,196. The minimum and maximum target prestige are 7,500 and 70,000, and will grant a budet of $8,000 and $49,000 per season, respectively.


1967.1

What the heck was Orbital flight (duration level I)? Looking at the goals comparison, was that a Gemini flight? NASA hasn’t completed the three-person spacecraft goal yet…

IMG_0158

In any case, my most pressing need is to get the N-1 started. That takes up most of my funds for this season. Once I have the project started, I need to assign personnel:

4 – N1 rocket project … this is make or break, since it’s the only rocket I’ll be able to get quickly to go to the moon
4 – ‘Igla’ automatic docking system … we need this, and it’s lagging
4 – Soyuz 7K-LOK … not too much left for research improvement here, but it’s also very important
4 – Krechet-94 EVA suit … I need to do a spacewalk soon
4 – LK lander … ultimately important, but won’t use it for a while
2 – Luna 15 … fortunately, my leftovers are top notch space probe researchers

Fortunately, my N1 team has two 90%+ and two 80%+ human-rated rocket engineers

Since I’m not launching anything, here’s a picture of the spaceport. I don’t anticipate any more upgrades.

End of Turn
Balance $2,217 (+9851)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 92.8 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Proton-K: 85.4 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 83.0 (+1.2)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 73.6 (+4.5)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 55.7 (+3.5)
LK Lunar Lander: 75.2 (+1.6)
Luna 15: 68.8 (+2.6)
N1 Booster: 63.9 (+2.5)


1967.2

That N1 is going to take forever. I’ll probably have to risk launching unmanned missions with it by next year if I want to reach the moon in 1969…

4 scientists, 4 astronauts, and 2 controllers have finished training. Two available controllers isn’t enough to do anything… the cosmonauts and controllers can wait, if I can pull off an orbital flight next turn I will. I’ll go ahead an realign my science teams though… filling all my active projects leaves me with 2 leftovers. These guys won’t catch up to my human rated rocket team, so they get EVA training.
IMG_0160

End of Turn
Balance $11,868 (+9851)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 92.8 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Proton-K: 85.4 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 84.0 (+1.0)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 77.2 (+3.7)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 58.6 (+3.0)
LK Lunar Lander: 76.9 (+1.7)
Luna 15: 71.5 (+2.7)
N1 Booster: 66.1 (+2.2)


1967.3

OK.. four scientists have finished training. They swap out where they can and the leftovers go to school for EVA suits and crewed spacecraft. It’s time to try to get back into space… 7K-L1 has already completed an uncrewed orbital flight, so it’s time to do it again with cosmonauts on board. (Later missions would have a penalty for not having completed an orbital flight). I schedule the mission, leaving me $11000k for 1 tiger team… Budget review is 14 turns away, so I need to space out my launches (no pun intended).

My controller team is pretty good. I send my 2 leftover controllers for training, one in trajectory and one on crew and payload.

IMG_0166

End of Turn
Balance $11,206 (+9,851)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 92.8 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 92.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Proton-K: 85.4 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 84.9 (+0.9)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 80.3 (+3.1)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 62.1 (+3.4)
LK Lunar Lander: 78.9 (+1.9)
Luna 15: 73.7 (+2.2)
N1 Booster: 68.3 (+2.1)

Mission launched … Orbital Flight (7K-L1) …

IMG_0167

IMG_0168

…Success

I did hire 1 tiger team for 9k at re-entry

Component upgrades
Proton-KD: 94.4 (+1.6)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 93.7 (+1.0)

News:
NASA has opened the following programs:
Gemini direct ascent test flights in earth orbit


1967.4

NASA may have only opened Apollo back then to research their lunar EVA suit, intending to launch the direct ascent Gemini for their moon attempt. (That’s the program I used for both of my earlier NASA campaigns).

I only have 11k in the bank, so I’m not going to launch anything this turn. It’s time to map out my next several missions, so I can plan cosmonaut training. The point of the game is to land on the moon. I have the equipment needed to do the Soyuz 7K-LOK Lunar Landing mission. That equipment isn’t reliable enough to launch yet of course, and if I did attempt it, I’d get penalties to equipment reliability for precursor missions I haven’t flown yet.

IMG_0170

Right now those penalties would be:

Lunar Landing (7K-LOK)
Relavent Goals this mission achieves:
Wins the game

Equipment Penalties:
Soyuz 7K-LOK spacecraft -13%
-3% Manned lunar orbital flight
-5% Extended duration I
-5% Soyuz 7K-LOK Uncrewed Lunar Orbital Flight

LK Lunar Lander -8%
-2% LK Lander uncrewed test in Earth Orbit
-3% LK Lander test in Earth Orbit (manned?)
-3% Lunar Lander test in Moon Orbit (7K-LOK)

Krechet-94 EVA suit -5%
-5% Spacewalk

Manned Lunar Orbital Flight (7K-LOK)
Relavent goals this mission achieves:
Soyuz 7K-LOK uncrewed lunar orbital flight <– crewed missions achieve all goals for uncrewed equivalents
Extended duration I
Extended duration II
Manned lunar orbital flight

Soyuz 7K-LOK spacecraft -13%
-3% Manned lunar pass
-5% Extended duration I
-5% Soyuz 7K-LOK uncrewed Lunar Orbital flight

Uncrewed Lunar Orbital Flight (7K-LOK)
Relavent goals this mission achieves:
Soyuz 7K-LOK uncrewed lunar orbital flight

Soyuz 7K-LOK spacecraft -5%
-5% Lunar Flyby Flight Test Soyuz Spacecraft <- this should probably be Lunar Flyby Flight Test 7K-LOK

Uncrewed Lunar Flyby Test (7K-LOK)
Relavent goals this mission achieves:
None

No Penalties

Circumlunar Flight (7K-L1)
Relavent goals this mission:
Manned lunar pass
Extended duration I
Extended duration II

Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft -5%
-5% Extended Duration I

Circumlunar Flight (7K-LOK)
Relavent goals this mission:
Manned lunar pass
Extended duration I
Extended duration II

Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft -5%
-5% Extended Duration I
Spacewalk (Duration Level I) (7K-LOK)

Relavent goals this mission:
Spacewalk
Extended Duration I

No penalties

LK Lander Test (manned) (7K-LOK)
Relavent goals this mission:
LK Lander test in Earth Orbit
LK Lander uncrewed test in Earth Orbit
Spacewalk
Equipment Penalties
Krechet-94 EVA suit -5%
-5% Spacewalk
LK Lunar Lander
-10% LK Lander uncrewed test in earth orbit

LK Lander Test (unmanned) (7K-LOK)
Relavent goals:
LK Lander uncrewed test in Earth Orbit

No penalties

Having written this out, I see that I’d really like to do the Spacewalk mission, since it picks up extended duration I and spacewalk, both of which affect the lunar missions. The other mission I could do with no penalty is the LK Lander (unmanned) test, which removes a surprisingly large 10% penalty from the lander for the manned test in earth orbit.

My spacesuit reliability is still very low, and I don’t need to kill a cosmonaut with a leak. On the other hand, the lander isn’t doing so bad. With my current budget, I can launch approximately every other turn so tentatively I’m looking at:
1968.1 LK Lander uncrewed test
1968.3 Spacewalk Duration Level I
1969.1 LK Lander manned test in earth orbit
1969.3 Circumlunar Flight (7K-L1 or 7K-LOK if N1 is ready)
1970.1 Manned lunar orbital flight (7K-LOK)
1970.3 Lunar landing

With this plan, I don’t need cosmonauts until late 1968, so my five who are waiting can go back into training. LK lander needs 13 controllers next turn, so the control team can idle.

End of Turn
Balance $11,144 (+9851)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 94.4 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 93.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Proton-K: 85.4 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 85.7 (+0.8)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 82.5 (+2.2)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 64.8 (+2.8)
LK Lunar Lander: 80.5 (+1.6)
Luna 15: 75.7 (+2.0)
N1 Booster: 70.1 (+1.9)

News:
Nasa has successfully performed the following missions:
Orbiting frog otolith
Biosattelite – regular mission
Joint launch and orbital flight


1968.1

And… I wrote my astronauts were going back into training and forgot to send them. I need 3 in two turns, so 4 go into training now… I keep my best EVA people out of training (both from the initial batch of cosmonauts), and the cosmonaut who acted as CAPCOM on my last orbital flight. Two scientists finish EVA suit school, and they swap places with the weakest two scientists on that team.

NASA launched three missions… the two satellite missions are not particularly important to me. The joint launch could signify preparations for Apollo… but I thought they were trying for direct Gemini? In any case, the plan I had just come up with calls for an LK lander uncrewed test. N-1 is just barely over 70%, so I’ll be using a proton-kd. I could use a proton-k, but the -kd has much better reliability. It occurs to me that I don’t need the proton-K anymore, since the N-1 would be the rocket I use for Luna 15 if my plan changes and I decide to launch that mission. Proton-K is now closed, moving my surplus per season from +9,851 to +10,551.

Completing the LK uncrewed lander test gets 800 prestige, but risks 3250 if it fails. On the other hand I have 12 turns to budget assessment, and if all goes well I can be on the moon before then. Time to launch…

IMG_0173
I have 1 weak controller in the Control slot. Next 2 that come up for training will get assigned to trajectory.

End of Turn
Balance $10,823 (+10,551)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 94.4 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 93.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 86.4 (+0.7)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 84.4 (+1.8)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 67.3 (+2.5)
LK Lunar Lander: 81.8 (+1.3)
Luna 15: 77.4 (+1.7)
N1 Booster: 72.0 (+1.8)

Mission launched … LK lander uncrewed test … success

(but I had to hire a tiger team…)

Component upgrades:

Proton-KD: 95.2 (+0.8)
LK Lunar Lander: 85.1 (+3.3)

News:
NASA has opened the following programs:
Lunar orbiter program


1968.2

4 scientists finish training and get swapped into appropriate programs. I also realized that some of my best crewed spacecraft people have been working on the ‘Igla’ and I might not even need it… I should have mapped out my goals earlier. As usual, the extra scientists go back into training. According to my plan, I’m supposed to do spacewalk duration level I next turn. But the spacesuit is only going to be at 70 for reliability. What I can do instead is launch the manned circumlunar flight (7K-L1) next season, and push everything else back. After that flight I can cancel all 7K-L1 programs to recapture the overhead. I could technically launch the mission this season, but I’m afraid of missions where I can’t hire tiger teams, especially when I have an equipment penalty (minor though it is).

End of Turn
Balance $11,402 (+10,551)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 95.2 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 93.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 87.0 (+0.6)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 85.4 (+1.0)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 69.8 (+2.5)
LK Lunar Lander: 85.9 (+0.8)
Luna 15: 79.1 (+1.7)
N1 Booster: 73.9 (+1.9)


1968.3

Neither N1 nor the space suit are really ready for manned flight. I don’t have a great feeling about the circumlunar flight, because I’d get a penalty for not having completed an extended duration I flight. There are orbital duration I flights available for both 7K-L1 and 7K-LOK. 7K-L1 has a higher reliability, and if I can get through without hiring a tiger team I could conceivably launch the circumlunar mission next turn. Component reliability is 94%, so it could happen. Being a manned mission, there’s a high penalty for failure, and not much prestige in the extended duration orbit, but it should be fairly safe.

IMG_0182

Mission control team is pretty good accross the board…

I have two leftover controllers, they get sent to trajectory and payload school…

End of Turn
Balance $11,840 (+10,551)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 95.2 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 93.7 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 87.6 (+0.6)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 86.4 (+1.0)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 71.8 (+2.0)
LK Lunar Lander: 86.7 (+0.8)
Luna 15: 80.5 (+1.4)
N1 Booster: 75.3 (+1.5)

Mission launched … Orbital Flight (Duration Level I) (7K-L1) …

IMG_0183

IMG_0184

of course I have to hire a tiger team.. at least it works…. success!

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 96.0 (+0.8)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 94.5 (+0.8)


1968.4

The tiger team definately sets me back… I have enough funds to schedule the circumlunar flight, but I wouldn’t have any money for contingencies. I’d also be sending B-team cosmonauts to the moon, which I’d like to avoid. If I wait a turn, I can send experienced cosmonauts… With that in mind, my launch schedule looks like:

1969.1 Circumlunar flight (7K-L1)
1969.3 Spacewalk Duration level I (7K-LOK)
1970.1 LK lander manned test in earth orbit
1970.3 Manned lunar orbital flight
1971.1 Lunar landing

With NASA on the direct ascent Gemini path, this might not get me to the moon first. However, all I can do is try… 9 turns to budget revision, currently projecting a very modest increase. I may end up using Luna-15 to get some prestige and test the N-1, which would insert a flight into this schedule.

B-team cosmonauts go back to training. CAPCOM from the last mission stays idle so she can serve as CAPCOM on the circumlunar flight. Scientists finish training and swap out. Controllers just have to wait for next season.

End of Turn
Balance $11,840 (+10,551)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.0 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 94.5 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 88.1 (+0.5)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 87.3 (+0.9)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 73.9 (+2.1)
LK Lunar Lander: 87.4 (+0.7)
Luna 15: 81.8 (+1.2)
N1 Booster: 76.6 (+1.3)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Ranger 3 (lunar impactor)


1969.1

4 scientists need to be swapped out, so I handle that first. Next order of business is to open the 7K-L1 circumlunar Soyuz program, which doesn’t cost anything, but has a nasty upkeep, which is why it wasn’t opened earlier. I schedule the manned circumlunar mission…
IMG_0186
Pretty decent mission control team. I then cancel the 7K-L1 earth orbit program, since I won’t be using those missions anymore. That’s all that needs to happen this turn.

End of Turn
Balance $12,116 (+9,655)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.0 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-L1: 94.5 (+0.0 no r&d)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 88.5 (+0.5)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 88.1 (+0.8)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 75.8 (+1.9)
LK Lunar Lander: 88.0 (+0.6)
Luna 15: 82.8 (+1.0)
N1 Booster: 77.9 (+1.3)

Mission launched … Circumlunar Flight (7K-L1) … success!
(Used 1 tiger team)

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 96.3 (+0.3)
Soyuz 7K-L1: 95.0 (+0.5)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Uncrewed Gemini lunar propulsion module and heat shield test


1969.2

Tiger teams are killing my budget. It’s time to cancel the circumlunar 7K-L1 program, since it’s goals have been completed. This brings my surplus from +9,655 to +11,684. The flight schedule now looks like this:

1969.3 Spacewalk Duration level I (7K-LOK)
1970.1 LK lander manned test in earth orbit
1970.3 Manned lunar orbital flight
1971.1 Lunar landing

The spacesuit will be just below 80%, which I think I can live with. The alternative would be to launch Luna 15 now, using the N-1. This would boost N-1 reliability, but I have a year left before I need the N-1. Launching that mission would also pretty much deplete my budget, forcing me to push missions back. I’m 7 turns from the reassessment, currently projecting a fairly nice increase.
IMG_0190
Think it’s time to just wait…

End of Turn
Balance $12,116 (+9,655)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.3 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 88.9 (+0.4)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 88.7 (+0.6)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 77.3 (+1.5)
LK Lunar Lander: 88.5 (+0.6)
Luna 15: 83.6 (+0.8)
N1 Booster: 79.1 (+1.2)


1969.3

2 scientists finish training and I swap people around.

It’s tempting to try the Luna 15 launch, but I’m going to stick to the plan. That calls for a spacewalk this turn. I’m not sending cosmonauts for training, because if I don’t have to use a tiger team, I could conceivably push the manned LK lander test forward by a turn.
IMG_0191
Controllers just get better and better.. The mission cost more than I realized. I hope I have enough to get a tiger team if I need it…

End of Turn
Balance $12,116 (+9,655)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.3 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 89.3 (+0.4)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 89.2 (+0.5)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 78.6 (+1.4)
LK Lunar Lander: 89.0 (+0.5)
Luna 15: 84.3 (+0.7)
N1 Booster: 80.0 (+0.9)

Mission launched … Spacewalk (Duration level I) …

IMG_0192

 

IMG_0193

IMG_0194

…success!
(Finally a totally clean mission, with no tiger teams needed)

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 96.7 (+0.3)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 92.1 (+2.8)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 85.2 (+6.6)


1969.4

Soyuz 7K-LOK hit max reliability on that mission.

As it stands, the flight schedule looks like this:
1970.1 LK lander manned test in earth orbit
1970.3 Manned lunar orbital flight
1971.1 Lunar landing

I have 20,701 in the bank and the LK lander manned test in earth orbit will cost me 20,127. I won’t have money for a tiger team. On the other hand, if I wait a turn, I still probably wouldn’t have money for a tiger team because the mission cost is so high. On the other hand, I could launch Luna 15 this turn instead. That only costs 10,441 and if successful gives a lot of prestige. But even if it succeeded perfectly, I’d still be in the same budget situation I’m in this turn. Another option would be to consider testing the LK lander in Lunar orbit instead of earth orbit.

LK Lander test in moon orbit

Equipment penalties:
Soyuz 7K-LOK spacecraft -8%
-3% manned lunar orbital flight
-5% Soyuz 7K-LOK uncrewed lunar orbital flight test
LK Lunar lander -3%
-3% LK lander test in earth orbit

That would change my schedule to:
1969.4 Luna 15
1970.1 Uncrewed lunar orbital flight test
1970.3 LK lander test in moon orbit
1971.1 Lunar landing

That doesn’t move my landing date forward, but might improve reliability. It assumes I can get Luna 15 off without any issues. I’m not at all sure about that. The safe move is probably to stick to my original schedule.

I need cosmonauts next turn, and will have my super experienced people back from their rest period. B-team goes for more training. Also, since the 7K-LOK hit max reliability, I now have 8 scientists free. I cancel the assignments of everyone but my human-rocket and Luna 15 team, and assign in the following order:

4- LK lunar lander … if I don’t test in lunar orbit, I’ll have a small penalty, so I want this as strong as I can get it
4- Krechet-94 EVA suit … still important, just adaquate on reliability right now.
4- ‘Igla’ docking unit … it’s in the equipment list for the LK lander tests, so I suppose it’s important

Everyone else goes back to school.

End of Turn
Balance $19,501 (+11,684)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.7 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 92.1 (+0.0 no r&d)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 89.5 (+0.4)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 85.6 (+0.5)
LK Lunar Lander: 89.5 (+0.4)
Luna 15: 85.0 (+0.6)
N1 Booster: 81.0 (+1.0)

News:
NASA has opened the following program:
Surveyor lunar lander

Operational failures in the VAB will prevent you from launching any missions during the next season


1970.1

If I knew I was going to be idle for a turn, I’d have launched Luna 15. 4 turns to end of budget cycle. I’m in decent shape, and barring a catastrophe I’ll get a reasonable increase in my seasonal budget. All I can really do is wait another turn.

IMG_0196

End of Turn
Balance $31,185 (+11,684)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.7 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 92.1 (+0.0 no r&d)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 89.9 (+0.3)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 86.1 (+0.4)
LK Lunar Lander: 89.9 (+0.4)
Luna 15: 85.6 (+0.6)
N1 Booster: 81.7 (+0.7)

News:
NASA has opened the following programs:
Lunar Orbital Gemini
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Lunar orbital gemini lunar flyby
Lunar orbital gemini uncrewed lunar flyby


1970.2

Don’t know what to think about that…

I’m a season behind because of that VAB failure. I need to do the LK lander earth orbit test now..

Provisionally I’m looking at:
1970.2 LK lander manned test in earth orbit
1970.4 Manned lunar orbital flight
1971.2 Lunar landing

At least my bank refilled during the enforced idleness. I’m up to 42,000k. 2 scientists complete EVA suit training. I’m not getting all that much return from R&D anymore, and maybe I should just start firing people but the overhead isn’t that much and sending people to training doesn’t affect whether or not I’ll be able to hire tiger teams during critical phases of the launch missions.

I schedule the manned test… good mission control team

IMG_0197

These guys must be bored of going into space by now…
IMG_0198

End of Turn
Balance $22,542 (+11,684)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.7 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 92.1 (+0.0 no r&d)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.1 (+0.3)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 86.4 (+0.4)
LK Lunar Lander: 90.2 (+0.3)
Luna 15: 86.0 (+0.5)
N1 Booster: 82.5 (+0.7)

Mission launched … LK lander test …
IMG_0199
Really … tiger team on the descent phase? I elect not to hire them, since it only adds 4%
IMG_0200
Fortunately, the mission succeeds.

Component upgrades:
Proton-KD: 96.8 (+0.1)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.9 (+1.8)
‘Igla’ Automatic Docking: 91.6 (+1.5)
LK lunar lander: 92.6 (+2.4)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+2.5)


1970.3

‘Igla’, LK lander, and Krechet-94 have all hit max R&D. I now have 20 idle scientists, the remainder just working on Luna-15 and the N-1. However, scientist salaries only account for 1,200 of my overhead and I would like to keep some on hand in case a Soyuz fails and I need to recover lost reliability. However, none of them would make the human-rocket team, even with training so I’ll let them sit idle.

I’m pretty well on track for a 1971 landing. I’m facing a 5% penalty if I go straight to a manned lunar orbit.. I have $34,000 in the bank, an uncrewed 7K-LOK lunar orbit would cost $12,635. It also would let me use the N-1 before putting people on top. I’m in the next budget cycle for landing no matter what (unless I get aggressive and try a launch with significant penalties). It’s probably best to play it safe. I schedule the uncrewed orbital mission. The scary part will be the booster …

End of Turn
Balance $21,591 (+9,184)

Component Reliabilities:
Proton-KD: 96.8 (+0.0 no r&d) <– human rated proton
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 15: 86.4 (+0.4)
N1 Booster: 83.1 (+0.7)

Mission launched … Uncrewed lunar orbital flight test …

IMG_0202

I really am starting to hate this dialog box

IMG_0203

… failed at trans-lunar injection

Component downgrades:
N-1: 74.7 (-8.4)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.2 (-0.7)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Uncrewed Lunar Orbital Flight Test <– GRRR!!

NASA has opened the following programs:
Mariner 6 Mars flyby


1970.4

Well, that’s why I kept my scientists around. I put the best 4 back on the Soyuz 7K-LOK. I’m in good shape budget-wise, should double next season. NASA hit a lot of their goals this past cycle, they may be near max budget as well. I’ll need to wait probably 2 turns for N-1 to get over 80% reliability again. I don’t need Proton-KD anymore so I cancel that and the earth orbital 7K-LOK flights. Because I need to improve N-1 reliability, Luna-15 goes back on the schedule..

My plan now looks like:
1971.2 – Luna 15
1971.3 – uncrewed lunar orbital flight test
1971.4 – manned lunar orbital flight
1972.1 – lunar landing

Hopefully I can still get there before NASA, but it’s looking grim.

Since I won’t need cosmonauts for a while, they all get sent back to training.

End of Turn
Balance $17,440 (+12,186)

Component Reliabilities:
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.3 (+0.1)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 15: 86.8 (+0.3)
N1 Booster: 76.2 (+1.5)

News:
NASA has successfully accomplished the following goals:
Gemini direct ascent uncrewed flight test in earth orbit
lunar orbital gemini lunar orbital flight
manned lunar orbit

Budget information:
The new budget per season during the next 4 years is $44,672. The minimum and maximum target prestige are 10,000 and 120,000 and will grant a budget of 10,000 and 52,500 per season respectively.


1971.1

NASA hasn’t opened Gemini direct ascent lunar missions yet, but they don’t necessarily need to. They might be ready to go next turn. All my cosmonauts are in training, so I can’t attempt to go early. My rocket reliability is still terrible. All I can do is wait…

End of Turn
Balance Didn’t record

Component Reliabilities:
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.4 (+0.1)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 15: 87.1 (+0.3)
N1 Booster: 77.4 (+1.2)

News:
NASA has successfully performed the following missions:
Lunar orbiter
NASA has opened the following program:
Pioneer Sun Orbiter


1971.2

Back to taking risks, I really need an improvement in the N-1. Luna 15, here we go…

End of Turn
Balance $70,322 (+31,662)

Component Reliabilities:
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.4 (+0.1)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 15: 87.3 (+0.2)
N1 Booster: 78.5 (+1.1)

Mission launched … Luna 15 (lunar sample return)

IMG_0205

… success

But I have to hire tiger teams on 5 occassions at $10,000k a pop. Every other step the N-1 was involved in caused that dialog to pop up..

Component upgrades:
N1: 83.9 (+5.4)
Luna 15: 88.9 (+1.6)


1971.3

Soyuz is a reliable program. I’m going to skip the unmanned lunar orbit and go straight to the manned lunar orbit. N-1 is back over 80%, hopefully it won’t keep flaking out 50% of the time! Fortunately, it’s a relatively cheap mission (~12,000k) so I have some money for tigers.

End of Turn
Balance $37,145 (+31,662)

Component Reliabilities:
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 93.5 (+0.1)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Luna 15: 89.0 (+0.1) <– forgot to cancel this…
N1 Booster: 84.4 (+0.5)

Mission launched … Lunar Orbital Flight (7K-LOK)

IMG_0206

 

IMG_0207

… success!

IMG_0208
Hired 1 tiger team during launch … that was scary.

Component upgrades:
N1: 87.8 (+3.4)
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 94.6 (+1.1)


1971.4

Well, now it’s decision time. A lunar landing mission will cost $21,143 and I have $56172 in the bank. I might only be able to hire 1 tiger team if I run into trouble. On the other hand, the only penalty is a 3% penalty to the lander for not being tested in lunar orbit. Everything else is reliable. NASA must be close to launching their own lunar attempt as well, so if I can get to the moon this turn I really should try.

I’ll have to use B-team cosmonauts, but they’ve been training their entire career for this so that should be ok.

End of Turn
Balance $35,029 (+32,160)

IMG_0210

Component Reliabilities:
Soyuz 7K-LOK: 94.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
‘IGLA’ Automatic Docking System: 90.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.9 (+0.0 no r&d)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.6 (+0.0 no r&d)
N1 Booster: 87.9 (+0.1)

IMG_0209

Mission launched … Lunar Landing (LOR)

IMG_0211

IMG_0212

IMG_0213

IMG_0214

IMG_0215

IMG_0216

IMG_0217

IMG_0218

… failed

ran out of money for tiger teams

Forgot to record component reliability changes
N1 hit max reliability, it’s role was over by the time the mission failed so it upgraded instead of downgraded.

News:
NASA has opened the following programs:
Mariner 9 mars orbiter


1972.1

Hey, my guys landed on the moon. They didn’t die, so they must have come back. I won right?

I assign my scientists to the programs which lost reliability (LK lunar lander and EVA suit). I’m going to wait a turn before trying again in order to build up a war chest. All I can do other than that is cross my fingers that NASA doesn’t launch the direct ascent Gemini this turn.

End of Turn
Balance $46,046

Component Reliabilities:
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 85.4 (+0.6)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.0 (+0.1)

NASA has accomplished the following goals:
Gemini direct ascent flight test in earth orbit


1972.2

Here we go with another lunar landing attempt… A-team cosmonauts this time.

IMG_0219
Mission control is good these days…

End of Turn
Balance $57,063 (+32,160)

Component Reliabilities:
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 85.9 (+0.5)
LK Lunar Lander: 92.1 (+0.1)

Mission launched … Lunar Landing (LOR) …

IMG_0220IMG_0221IMG_0222IMG_0223IMG_0224IMG_0225IMG_0226

wow, no tiger teams at all … success!!

Component upgrades:
N1: 93.0 (+1.4)
7K-LOK: 95.3 (+0.9)
LK Lander: 94.1 (+2.0)
Krechet-94 EVA suit: 88.6 (+2.7)
‘Igla’ Automatic Docking: 93.4 (+1.8)

News:
NASA has performed the following missions:
Mariner 6 (Mars flyby)

IMG_0228


Final stats:

IMG_0229
Prestige points: 117256
Generic Goals: 17
Total goals: 65
Successful missions: 20
Failed missions: 3

Fallen astronauts: 1

Funds spent in advanced training: 22600
Funds spent in salaries: 109984
Funds spent in buying mission components: 236114

IMG_0230

Didn’t really pursue robotic goals at all.

IMG_0231

Only got the relevant manned goals

IMG_0233

Final budget screen

… After which I did nothing and just kept hitting end turn, NASA makes it to the moon in 1973.1 with the Gemini Direct Ascent


Final Thoughts

– Keeping a record of what I was doing and thinking really helped my planning and focus. But it probably doubled the actual time spent playing the campaign.

– I hate the tiger team system … I swear most of my budget went to those guys, and I never knew if I would have passed the check anyways.

– Playing on hard mode, it felt like the computer opponent was actually trying to get to the moon. On my easy campaigns they hardly launched any missions. However, I do think in this game NASA could have made a landing attempt earlier than they did. It would be nice to know more about what NASA is doing, even if it’s only giving their prestige score.

– It may have been a mistake to skip ahead to the Soyuz programs without doing Vostok and Voskhod. I previously have never lost a PKA space plane, and think it’s a good replacement for Vostok, but I probably should have tried to be launching Voskhod capsules in the early 1960s. Or I could have skipped the space plane and done the Vostok with satellite program instead.

– I think I waited too long to expand science and VAB facilities. In order to do that, it seems absolutely critical to max the budget every cycle, even if that means researching and launching missions you were otherwise going to skip (e.g. Mars probes). I had rocket capacity to send a probe to Venus at one point, but it would have tied up controllers for 6 seasons…

– On that note, I probably should have had more controllers. NASA launched multiple missions during some seasons, and I never was in a position to do that.

– I ended up having only 1 really good crew of cosmonauts, because I was launching them every other turn. I also ended up with a professional CAPCOM who never got to go into space herself. I’m not sure if the first lunar landing failed because of the B-team cosmonauts or because of equipment. I probably should have made more of an attempt to rotate who was going into space.

– The effect of abilities is a bit opaque. I don’t know if I really need to get scientists and controllers on up to 90%. The impact to improvement sometimes only changes by 0.1 when you replace a 60% scientist with an 80%, especially on more mature equipment. I need to read a wiki for this game :)

– I should have mapped out which missions I needed based on the equipment penalties far before 1967!

– Ultimately, I really like this game. I have no idea whether it’s a reasonable simulation of what choices the director of NASA is making… in this game there is real pressure to take risks near the end of a budget cycle, and it’s not possible to do every mission or run every program you might want to. If the installments 2 and 3 which carry the game further (to the space station and mars) mentioned during the kickstarter are on the way, I’ll definitely be picking them up. :) :) :)

 

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