The Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space Companion
The Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space Companion is a 350-page book published in 1993 shortly after BARIS itself came out on CD. Back then it was considered the source for answers to questions about the game. The first half of the book gives a history of the Space Race, including the Soviet as well as US program, and including information on a number of proposals and programs that never went to production, including the Dyna-Soar and a stripped-down, open-cockpit lunar lander.
The second half gives pointers on how to run your space program, how to manage your buildings and 'nauts, a complete list of the random events in the game, and the history of the development of BARIS and its precursor, the board game "Liftoff!". It also has a chapter called "Winning Strategies" containing four colorfully-written strategies presented by individual contributors. The strategies are:
For having only four examples, it does a great job of covering the different ways to get to the Moon. The only strategy that really isn't included at all is the historical Apollo/Soyuz approach, which might be the best to leave out anyway since it's the most standard approach.
- Simply Put, Direct Ascent by the Rocketman
Take Jupiter/Kvartet to the Moon. Fly Mercury/Vostok but not Gemini/Voskhod; do lunar flybys and probe landings. A reasonable approach for either side, though in the floppy version I find it helpful to use Gemini/Voskhod for my Duration steps when flying direct ascent. In the CD version and RIS I tend to fly Mercury/Vostok and do lunar flybys, then focus on the direct ascent hardware.
- The Glorious One-Cosmonaut-on-the-Moon Approach by Comrade Kawato
Go to the Moon in a Voskhod using the N-1 rocket. Skip Vostok and the A-Series, fly huge numbers of dummy tests with the Voskhod and Proton. Do lunar flybys and probe landings. This is a fairly extreme strategy, but may fit some players' style. It could probably work equally well for Gemini, but I'm glad the author focused on Voskhod because the article is written so cleverly in Soviet style. As he says, "The advantage of our road to victory over that of the capitalists is simple, comrade: it will cost fewer rubles."
- The Winged Gospel by Erik "Bucko" Anderson
Upstage the Space Shuttle by building XMS-2/Lapot. Fly Mercury/Vostok, skip Gemini/Voskhod, and do lunar flybys but possibly skip the probe landing. This is an excellent strategy and works well (at least for me) with XMS-2. Differences between US and Soviet technology make this strategy work a little differently for Lapot, which is less reliable but easier to get off the ground.
- Kicker C, The Red October Surprise by Comrade Wheeler
Dock a Soyuz capsule with a C-Kicker, and land it directly on the Moon. This is, effectively, a variation on direct ascent. Fly Vostok or Voskhod, but not both. Do lunar flybys (and possibly probe landings), but forgo lunar modules and the N-1 rocket. This is a viable strategy; of course it only works for the Soviets, as the US has no equivalent to the Kicker-C—and also, it works only with Soyuz, so don't try this with a Voskhod!
If you'd like more information about this book, send me an email. If you're interested enough to buy a copy, there's a number of places online where you can still find used copies, such as Amazon.com. You may have to hunt around a bit to find it, though.