You can say one thing for the Victorians they knew all about finish. None of your sitting on an orange box rubbish. it’s overstuffed leather armchairs or this contraption is not going anywhere. Mission Red Planet. There’s a lovely quality feel to this production which is very much par for the course with Fantasy Flight. It’s got a nice cartoony pith helmets, pointy villains, mustached scientist vibe to it.
The game itself is not a million miles from alien frontiers. It sees you and up to five gaming chums trying to get as many of your boys onto the ten or so locations of Mars. There’s elements from Age of Empires 3, citadels, Puerto Rico, aliens frontiers, libertaria and to a lesser extent survive on display here.
In the center we have a map of Mars and its territories (all named after parts of the front bum apparently) Next to it we have the potato like moon Phobos and the void were unlucky astronauts wind up. At the bottom we have the eight or so ships of varying passenger capacity (2-5) all itching to launch and wisk your lads to the red planet.
Each turn you pick one of your operative cards numbered 1-9 each with a special ability each (depending on the situation) ranging from “alright” to “handy as a small pot”. Once everyone has secretly selected their cards the numbers are counted down from nine to one by the first player. When a number matching your card is called you carry out your action (very libertaria). These actions could be Stick some of your boys on a ship and if it’s full launch it (very Puerto Rico), move some of your lads around on Mars (very eight minute empire), recover your cards (very twilight struggle) sabotage a ship (very beastie boys). Once a card is used it can’t be used in the following turns until you’ve used a particular card to recover them so hand management is key.
Mars winds up getting very occupied and careful moves and a little luck will see you outwit your opponents and claim ownership of the resources there If you have a majority of lads in situ during a scoring round. This is very like age of empires 3. A few other card events and secret missions rounds out a nicely formed game.
It’s a fast game. There’s only nine turns and some of these including scoring. An hour will see you all done. It’s quick it’s fun it’s medium lightness. Would I rush out and buy it? No I’d probably Saunter or maybe even mosey out and get it, but since my gaming group already has a copy It’s not an essential for me.
Nice game, nice theme, will play again