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Manifest Crew

The S.S.O. comes with a wide range of crew, 12 in the base set actually, 4 command crew, 8 general crew. They've all been repeatedly tweaked throughout development, some more or less than others but one that's been the fiddliest so far has been the Botanist. Depending on your tastes and possibly age they are probably either Matt Damon in The Martian or Bruce Dern in Silent Running (or in the case of one playtester Pauly Shore in Biodome and in the case of my wife Charlie Dimmock), the S.S.O. uses Hydro Pods to supply oxygen and so one crew is matched to getting the best out of that pod. But extra oxygen supplies have the potential to seriously unbalance the game. Version one allowed the Botanist to generate 2 oxygen per turn which was balanced but dull and not thematic, so they got a little morale boost for tending their plants sprinkled in, which was powerful and thematic but condemned the Botanist to the Hydro Pod all game long. So currently they have 2 abilities, one for activating 2 Hydro Pod abilities (which does the double duty of future proofing, since at some point if SSO does well the second or third major expansion will feature an extended Hydro Pod); the other ability gains oxygen and morale but only outside the Hydro Pod. Which seems to have made the Botanist more mobile and proactive. So maybe not Bruce Dern after all. Now I just have to figure out a Hewey and Lewey mechanic.



Another version of the Botanist. It should be said, every version gets noted and boxed away in case I can use or reuse it. The previous version was still too powerful, too connected to the Hydro Pod and, above all, too resultant in easy, obvious choices. What looks like being the Botanist's final version now drains other crew to provide oxygen, connecting the Botanist to the Pod but with the ability to rove free and far. It feels quite "Silent Running" turning working the Hydro Pod into even