Haz Dhim
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Lately I've been looking around for some light-medium games that strike the balance between being fun and interactive enough to entice non-gamers and still being interesting enough in case some of the more seasoned gamers among our friends are present as well (myself included).

Discworld and Mission Red Planet both catched my interest. However, since they're both light and chaotic card driven area-control games, I was wondering which one would be the better addition to my collection. I try to maintain a strict 'one game for every kind of itch'-policy for my game collection, you see

So besides the difference in player counts, in your view is there any reason why one game stands out over the other? Or why one is more suited for a certain kind of occasion/group of people than the other? And are both games indeed relatively similar or do they 'feel' different enough to warrant both being in my collection?

My thanks for your thoughts on the matter

PS: also posted this in the Discworld forums, apologies for crossposting.
 
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Michael Stone
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I haven't played Discworld, but I have played Mission: Red Planet (2nd edition), and I can tell you that it is a very SMOOTH game. The rules, are what you expect them to be. The Mission cards, and starting astronaut positions, give you a head start on a goal, a direction at the beginning of the game. As the tokens representing the mineral finds in the various regions get turned over, you can modify your strategy. Make sure you use the Scientist to look at any Discovery cards that are important to you. (i.e. the ones effecting the the areas your interested in.) Finally you can combine your gathered knowledge and advantages to make a final lunge at victory.

In Short, you always have a thread to follow. You only have ten rounds to work with, so your not going to have to worry about a seven step strategy, a three step strategy will work just fine. The new round tracker makes it really nice and easy to follow the flow of the game. The cards are beautiful and written clearly . . .

The combined action selection and area control mechanics combine really nicely . .

The new board looks great, Phobos is slightly longer but very versatile route to the areas your looking to control . . .

I also am looking to keep my collection under control by having one game per genre or style. So, I understand your policy. Mission Red Planet would be a good addition to your collection. It is simple enough to be a "next step" game, the game that comes after a gateway game. The combined mechanics make it enough of a game for experienced players to enjoy. Not to long, good strategy . . .

Hopefully someone can give you a similar write up on Discworld . . .
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Ben Rubinstein

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Mission: Red Planet HANDS DOWN.

I have owned and traded away Discworld. It's not a BAD game, but MRP is a great game.

There are so many reasons why I think MRP beats DW that I don't even really want to go into all of them, so ask me if you have specific questions.

Key selling points would be MRP is LESS chaotic. It plays 2-6 players. It is easier to understand for new players. It's more thematic & has nicer components.
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Y P
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While I have yet to play Mission Red Planet I have to wonder about this statement:

epilepticemu wrote:
It's more thematic
More thematic than Discworld: Ankh-Morpork? That takes some doing. Not saying it's untrue, but if so it would be a notable achievement IMO. D:AM's hidden roles and goals as well as character card abilities are very true to the characters in the Discworld books.
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Ben Rubinstein

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MentatYP wrote:
While I have yet to play Mission Red Planet I have to wonder about this statement:

epilepticemu wrote:
It's more thematic
More thematic than Discworld: Ankh-Morpork? That takes some doing. Not saying it's untrue, but if so it would be a notable achievement IMO. D:AM's hidden roles and goals as well as character card abilities are very true to the characters in the Discworld books.
Oh, I guess I should clarify that I haven't read any of the Discworld books. So Discworld might be more thematic for those that have.

I can see how the hidden roles would be true to the books, but the meat of the game comes in the character deck which you're drawing cards from. And those cards just have symbols that grant different actions. Not even flavor text. So I could see how book readers would get a kick out of seeing the name/illustration of each character, but it's not like there's much other than that to connect to the book.
 
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epilepticemu wrote:
MentatYP wrote:
While I have yet to play Mission Red Planet I have to wonder about this statement:

epilepticemu wrote:
It's more thematic
More thematic than Discworld: Ankh-Morpork? That takes some doing. Not saying it's untrue, but if so it would be a notable achievement IMO. D:AM's hidden roles and goals as well as character card abilities are very true to the characters in the Discworld books.
Oh, I guess I should clarify that I haven't read any of the Discworld books. So Discworld might be more thematic for those that have.

I can see how the hidden roles would be true to the books, but the meat of the game comes in the character deck which you're drawing cards from. And those cards just have symbols that grant different actions. Not even flavor text. So I could see how book readers would get a kick out of seeing the name/illustration of each character, but it's not like there's much other than that to connect to the book.
Pretty much all of the cards seem related to the name and illustration in function, from what I've seen.
Even the theme of the game, of a political void that has several personalities struggling to gain an upper edge (or in the case of Vimes, just keep the balance as it was), is pretty close to the books that are set in Ankh-Morpork.

The game is seriously thematic, although I'll grant you that it might not seem like it on first sight, or without knowing the original material.
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epilepticemu wrote:
Mission: Red Planet HANDS DOWN.

I have owned and traded away Discworld. It's not a BAD game, but MRP is a great game.

There are so many reasons why I think MRP beats DW that I don't even really want to go into all of them, so ask me if you have specific questions.

Key selling points would be MRP is LESS chaotic. It plays 2-6 players. It is easier to understand for new players. It's more thematic & has nicer components.
The only things in your post that I agree with are the bolded above.
If you prefer less chaos in your games, MRP is indeed less chaotic than Ankh-Morpork. And the game does only play 2-4, which I think is by design.
More players than 4 would increase both the chaos and the downtime, and might make winning the game early much more difficult.

I personally think the amount of chaos is just right, but I know some people who won't play it because of that.
 
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Ben Rubinstein

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Phelanpt wrote:
epilepticemu wrote:
Mission: Red Planet HANDS DOWN.

I have owned and traded away Discworld. It's not a BAD game, but MRP is a great game.

There are so many reasons why I think MRP beats DW that I don't even really want to go into all of them, so ask me if you have specific questions.

Key selling points would be MRP is LESS chaotic. It plays 2-6 players. It is easier to understand for new players. It's more thematic & has nicer components.
The only things in your post that I agree with are the bolded above.
If you prefer less chaos in your games, MRP is indeed less chaotic than Ankh-Morpork. And the game does only play 2-4, which I think is by design.
More players than 4 would increase both the chaos and the downtime, and might make winning the game early much more difficult.

I personally think the amount of chaos is just right, but I know some people who won't play it because of that.
If one has read the books, I'll grant that DW:AM is more thematic. But I'd argue that a lot of that theme comes from the books doing the heavy lifting and not the game itself.

But I'm gonna stand by MRP as being "easier to understand for new players." Playing decently requires a solid knowledge of ALL the hidden objectives and the timing at which they're generally achieved. Sure there's a cheat sheet, but I still think those make the game very difficult to play even decently in your first game.
 
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Haz Dhim
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epilepticemu wrote:
But I'm gonna stand by MRP as being "easier to understand for new players." Playing decently requires a solid knowledge of ALL the hidden objectives and the timing at which they're generally achieved. Sure there's a cheat sheet, but I still think those make the game very difficult to play even decently in your first game.
But aren't their actually more factors new players have to take into account in M:RP? With all the mission and discovery cards, everything that can happen before you get to reveal your card, everything between your card and the launch of your pod, the decisions on which card you'll play when, etc.

From where I'm standing, in essence D:AM seems to be a simpler tug-of-war kind of game (granted, with a lot of unpredictable stuff thrown on top of it). Everyone keeps an eye on the victory conditions, and when it's your turn, you decide which card out of five works best given the current situation on the board.

(Obviously, I could be misjudging things entirely here )
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Ben Rubinstein

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Gaedr wrote:
epilepticemu wrote:
But I'm gonna stand by MRP as being "easier to understand for new players." Playing decently requires a solid knowledge of ALL the hidden objectives and the timing at which they're generally achieved. Sure there's a cheat sheet, but I still think those make the game very difficult to play even decently in your first game.
But aren't their actually more factors new players have to take into account in M:RP? With all the mission and discovery cards, everything that can happen before you get to reveal your card, everything between your card and the launch of your pod, the decisions on which card you'll play when, etc.

From where I'm standing, in essence D:AM seems to be a simpler tug-of-war kind of game (granted, with a lot of unpredictable stuff thrown on top of it). Everyone keeps an eye on the victory conditions, and when it's your turn, you decide which card out of five works best given the current situation on the board.

(Obviously, I could be misjudging things entirely here )
Having played both, I don't think so. The missions & discoveries are all very straightforward. It's pretty easy to tell based on who placed a discovery and where whether it will hurt or help a region. MRP has slightly more factors, but each are quite straightforward. DW:AP really only has the 1, but I found it rather opaque for first time players and it's immensely important.
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Olly P
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Sometimes Discworld can be frustrating. The way the cards work means that it could be entirely possible that you can't possibly achieve your goal by the end of the game. That can make it very unfair, but it is pretty fun. There's a lot more going on though, so it's very interactive and great fun.

Mission: Red Planet, though, gives everybody the same chance as each other, on the other hand. There isn't as much to look at though, where Discworld has hundreds of cards each with beautiful and unique art, M:RP is just nine cards (and the spaceships). It's a much easier game to grasp, too, so for what you're describing it could be the best bet.

At the end of the day, though, I like playing both games quite a lot and I'm keeping a copy of each in my collection.
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Roger Howell
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Mission Red Planet is new to me, just played 2 games. I never once thought about Disc World when playing the game - they both feel very different to me.

I really admire Disc World. Excellent graphics on the cards, nice chunky wooden components, and it's silly fun and can make you laugh at times. The secret winning agenda seems a bit more important than the Mission cards in Mission Red Planet. However, Disc World can drag on if no one is achieving their winning condition and we have had the game drag out longer than we would like.

If I had to chose one it would be a tough call but I would have to lean towards MRP. As others have stated it does play a bit smoother and is just a tad higher on the fun factor.
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