Finally got to try CO2: Second Chance, revived early Lacerda, the same day as my Kickstarter copy of Escape Plan, the latest Lacerda, arrived. Like a lot of Vital Lacerda’s games, at first it seemed completely incomprehensible and crazy complicated, but once we’d taken just a few turns it revealed itself as having quite simple turns (one of three main actions each turn, but two of which require legwork of other main actions; 3 secondary actions that can optionally be taken once each turn) with a bunch of different things you should ideally factor into what to actually do. A second full round into our inaugural game, which we’d chosen to play using the competitive ruleset that was the original design, it also revealed itself to be an absolutely brutal cooperative puzzle that happened to have some points where you can jockey for a bit of points if you don’t all die. We all died.
It’s one of those things - some games where there’s a shared fail condition but you’re still supposed to compete for points, the former is just kind of a background element that you have to manage and can maybe deliberately tank if you’re spiteful and losing, but not anything that needs to be a major part of your plans. CO2? If you’re not immediately fighting to keep carbon emissions down, you’re gonna lose. One suspects that’s a bit of a pointed message for the world. If only we’d listened when it first came out.
Next time we’ll probably play the cooperative ruleset, which is actually the main and front-loaded ruleset in this edition of the game. I thought for sure it would be a tacked on extra given that it was new in this edition, but it really does seem to be the primary mode, and I think only once you have a handle on the puzzle of not dying with a good score would you be likely to be able to keep afloat while jockeying for position in PvP.
Oh, and it’s flipping gorgeous, of course.
Edit: We actually missed a rule about how regions build fossil fuel power plants (namely, that they’re only looking at the current decade and so if there’s green power in that space you’re fine.), so it’s not quite as hard as we thought.