Rating: 8.5 Excellent
Popularity:9
Difficulty:Hard
Year:2019
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 150-50 minutes
Age:14+

Created by: Vital Lacerda, Ian O'Toole

Published by: Eagle-Gryphon Games

Description:

In 2037, the first settlers arrived on Mars! The base camp was already settled and now, during the next fifty years, a group of very brave people from private space exploration companies are establishing a major colony ruled by a terrestrial organization, the OMDE (Organization for Mars Development and Exploration).

As a chief astronaut from a private space exploration company, you want to be a pioneer in developing the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars, achieving the OMDE mission goals as well as your company's hidden agenda. By bringing in and managing settlers, you can explore, mine, build, power, and upgrade buildings.

You will lead the construction and assembly of greenhouse farms, water compounds, O₂ factories, power generators, and mines. The goal of humanity on this new planet is to learn how to value water, air and the the things we need to live more than money - and in the end, become a self-sufficient colony independent of any terrestrial organization. Do you dare to take part in mankind's next biggest conquest?

On Mars is played in turns using different phases:

  • Players decide which OMDE goals will be part of the game, how the new settlers from earth will be distributed through the different colonies, and which community buildings and materials Earth needs to authorize and provide.
  • Players will have available to everyone a limited set of actions they can take in their turn and the raw materials sent from Earth.
  • In turn order, players take one action, but they need to plan carefully; builds consume power and a second building may not be placed before a generator is upgraded.
  • Last, all the Colony parameters are adjusted.

Actions may be to build buildings, rovers or ships; to produce; to buy or sell resources; to explore; and to research. Actions take the form of worker placement, cards in buildings, scientists tokens, or tech tiles.

All actions have an energy cost, so upgrading the generators and the existing power grid is very important. At the same time, most of the buildings need ore to be built, plus energy, people, and O₂ to run. Settlers need food, water, and shelter to be able to survive. Food, water, and O₂ needs to be stored. If you can't store enough resources, the population will not grow...

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Components

  • 1 Main board
  • 4 Player boards
  • 1 Building tiles display
  • 1 Scientists board
  • 1 Earth Contracts board
  • 130 tiles
  • 30 Crystals
  • 3 Mission Tracker Cubes
  • 48 Colonists
  • 4 Rovers
  • 20 Ships and 20 Progress Cubes
  • 16 bots
  • 56 markers
  • 79 Cards
  • Instructions

Overview

The game is played over several rounds, each consisting of two phases. The colonization phase and the shuttle phase.

During the colonization phase, each player takes a turn, during which they take actions. The actions a player is able to take depends on the side of the board they are on. …



Place the game board in the middle of the table. The board is divided into two sections. The left side of the board represents the Mars Space Station in orbit above Mars [Orbit]. The rest of the board represents the Colony on the planet's surface [Colony].

The main board represents a computer display where the colonization of the planet can be monitored in real time from satellites in orbit.

Orbit Side

1 Shuffle the Discovery tiles and place them face down in a stack beside the board. Turn the top 2 tiles face up and place them on the Exploration space. …



In the solo game, you will be competing directly with one opponent: Lacerda.

To win the game, you must fulfill all the requirments of any one of the goals shown on the following page.

Play with the general game rules for 2 players with the following exceptions:

Setup

Choose a color for yourself and another for Lacerda's company. Setup both Player boards and the main board as for a 2-player game with two exceptions:

  • Lacerda does not get any Private Goal cards. …



First Colonists Variant

When playing for the first time, it is recommended to use the 3 Mission cards shown below, the First Colonist tiles, and the First Colonist cards.

  1. Use the following Mission cards:

    The Mission markers should placed on the following actions: Obtain a Blueprint, Hire a Scientist, and Control Center.

  2. First Colonist tiles: Instead of choosing a Turn Order space, shuffle the tiles and give each player one of them at random. Players then place their Player marker on the indicated Turn Order space and receive the benefit of that space (as described in the Reference book). …




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