Gameday First Play – Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition)
Fly to Mars, move around and mine stuff.
Oh, and kill, kill everyone else.
With technology rapidly developing and the human population growing, Victorian-era Earth is in dire need of fuel, land, and other natural resources. Fortunately, automated probes sent to Mars have discovered celerium, an ore that can be combusted to produce ten thousand times more power than a steam engine, and sylvanite, the densest substance ever found. More incredibly, the probes found ice that could be used in terraforming the planet, bringing the idea of colonizing Mars even closer to becoming a reality.
As the head of a mining corporation, these minerals and ice found on Mars could make you unfathomably wealthy – if you can reach them before your competitors. You have ten rounds to send your astronauts into space, occupy the planet’s most resource-rich zones, and harvest as much celerium, sylvanite, and ice as possible. At your command is a team of nine professionals. Each has a unique skill set, from helping your astronauts traverse the Red Planet to blowing up spaceships before they launch.
The game starts with everyone having a matching set of cards and space dudes and a dock with ships equal to the number of players.
Everyone also has a secret mission card for end game scoring.
At the beginning of a round everyone picks one of their 9 cards and reveals simultaneously on a count down. As you’re counting down to take off so you call out “9”, “8”, “7” etc When the number of your card is called you pause the game, resolve it, and carry on until everyone has played their selected card of the matching number.
Once a card has been selected it can’t be used again this game until you use the recruiter card which brings all of the cards played so far into your hand.
The actions available will have you put guys in docked ships which launch when full, move guys around on Mars and Phobos or even kill guys and blow up ships etc
Ships in the dock have destinations printed on them and when launched, the guys in the ship will be put onto those areas of the board.
Each area has a random resource assigned and these are scored in an ‘area control’ kind of way. This is what your Guys are there for, to score points.
Scoring rounds are shown on a dial which marks each round. When a scoring round is reached, points are assigned.
I’ve played a few of these action selection games and haven’t found one I liked. Citadels and Lost Temple took too long due to drafting. Libertalia was unbalanced as with the wrong player count you end up playing “Rock, Paper, Paper”… If you’re the Rock, you’re in trouble.
Eggs and Empires is pretty good but this one is great. Also, it looks really good.
It can be quite mean but it’s never too bad. You want to kill off astronauts to gain/keep controls of areas on Mars and Phobos and blow up ships that are destined to your locations.
So yeah, fantastic game I look forward to playing a lot more in the future.