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First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet» Forums » General

Subject: The Board rss

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Andrew Walmsley
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So, looking at the pictures of the board which is full of boxes with cubes in them... bit boring isn't it? I'm assuming this isn't final, at least I hope not. Would certainly put me off buying it.
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Tom S
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Portal Games posted this image on Twitter of an updated board design. Looks pretty sweet.
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Jason Brown
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tigerwalms wrote:
So, looking at the pictures of the board which is full of boxes with cubes in them... bit boring isn't it? I'm assuming this isn't final, at least I hope not. Would certainly put me off buying it.

It looks like a NASA command module to me, which is the aesthetic they're going for.
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Oliver Koenig
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tigerwalms wrote:
So, looking at the pictures of the board which is full of boxes with cubes in them... bit boring isn't it? I'm assuming this isn't final, at least I hope not. Would certainly put me off buying it.


Depends. If u compare it to ...


that makes me itchy
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Andrew Walmsley
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
tigerwalms wrote:
So, looking at the pictures of the board which is full of boxes with cubes in them... bit boring isn't it? I'm assuming this isn't final, at least I hope not. Would certainly put me off buying it.

It looks like a NASA command module to me, which is the aesthetic they're going for.

I appreciate that but looking authentic does not necessarily make a good board design.
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Jared
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At face value it's not very exciting, but I think it'll pull in the theme when you and your game night crew are operating the controls.

It also looks like a TON of things to manage so I suspect this design is also more functional.
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Martin
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I'm with Jason. It has a kind of command centre/holo look that I think works as an in-world piece of machinery. I really like it!
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Martin
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By the way, from looking at the board I tried to piece together how the game works (roughly) and came up with the quote below. When I asked Ignacy (or whoever runs the FB account) about it he answered "Your analysis is very accurate, sir ".

Quote:
Let's see what we can break it down just from looking at the board. These are my thoughts:


At the top there's a Morale Track (not shown in this picture), a Cargo Bay (for the rovers? hab?) and a track of General Supplies. My guess is that the general supplies are either food or an abstraction of all the materiel needed for a project such as this.

Then there are three rows of facilities, from top to bottom: System, Living and Working Facilites.

The System Facilities are obviously the resource generators as we have Oxygen 1/2, Solar (power) 1/2 and Farm(?). These are probably analagous to the roof, palisades and weapons. Each facility card (or plaque - maybe they come attached to the board?) has a row of yellow cubes showing current output and some green/red cubes showing current facility status. The icons to the left of the green/red cubes show what it is: Power, O2, Mechanics and Network, would be my guess.

To the right of the status markers there's a hazard icon on the top two rows (Living and Working), that seem to correspond to the column of red spaces to the right of each row. My guess is if a system status space has a red cube and the effect is the hazard icon you put a cube in the "hazard column" to the right (although, this would mean that the current setup is for display and not a proper game state). When a hazard column fills up there's probably some nasty effect from the app and then you reset. Or another system breaks and you reset. Or something.

On the Living and Working rows there are some other effect icons as well that show what happens if the system breaks down:
* no power = -1 worker or simply unusable
* no O2 = automatic -1 worker
* no mechanical = question mark (probably draw a card, ie check the app)
* no network = a checkmark in the Living row and a recycle mark in the Work row... no idea.

Each facility also says what it does if you work it, and space for two workers each. There is also an expansion space on each of the Living and Working Facilities so they can obviously be expanded in different ways. While mostly similar two facilities jump out as different:

* The middle leftmost one, with the blue cubes (let's call it Facility X); I can't make out what it is exactly or what the blue cubes do (+1 Supply?), but the effect is "Calm Down" which you would think might have to do with the morale track, but it seems like you have a general colony moral and then each player tracks their own stress level. Cabin fever certainly seem to be a factor!
* The Farm has two more cube columns, one with green cubes and another (empty) green column with arrows, which I take has to do with how well the crops are doing in different ways. Might be that the yellow cubes limit the amount of green cubes (then again, this would not be a proper game state).

Below the facilities is the garage for the Scorpio (truck) and Froggy (Rover) which seem to be used as extra workers (for exploration only perhaps?). Since we have (presumably) one quick and one heavy but slow vehicle they're bound to have different abilities as well, like scouting is better with the Froggy but you can bring stuff back home with Scorpio. Again, the Cargo Bay might be the one on the Scorpio.

Then there's the research tracks. You most likely get to advance the blue cubes on the research tracks by working the Lab. I wonder if there's something missing from the research tracks though, as you currently can't see what is being researched. Might be that it's entirely app contained (but in that case, why not have the tracks in the app as well?).

In the corner is, what seems to me, a quick overview of each of the facility rows. But since the spaces are colour coded for the cubes perhaps it's something else: how critical each system facility is?

Finally we have the cool looking circular map (again, not in this picture) which look fairly familiar if you've played RC. You need more workers the further you want to explore, and as you explore you find new terrain that sometimes makes it harder to proceed further (ie, mountains are -2 workers)

Each Terrain Tile has some blue cubes on it that you probably can collect with the Froggy or Scorpio (through the Probe Bay perhaps) and bring back to facility X to turn into supplies somehow (calming you down while doing it). Some tiles have special text: the Old Volcano says "Stress Level +1", there's some text about "Going through ???? -1 worker" on the Mountains and the Geysers seem to say "[Heart]" (probably being a placeholder for a heart icon, ie -1 health for going through a Geyser). Finally there seem to be a round icon below the cube icons on the mountains. No idea about that... extra reserach perhaps?

Oh, and there's a space in the lower left corner that says Aux Device, which I think might indicate where to put your phone for the app.

I think that covers most of it. Now, if Ignacy could correct my guesses. Hehe!

As for art, I imagine we'll see art more in the app as that is where you "draw cards" and scary events happen to you. So if there's a duststorm you get a nice piece of storm art as the background when reading the "card".
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Jack
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Looks like the board game equivalent of a spreadsheet. Not compelling at all.
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Randy Espinoza
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tigerwalms wrote:
So, looking at the pictures of the board which is full of boxes with cubes in them... bit boring isn't it? I'm assuming this isn't final, at least I hope not. Would certainly put me off buying it.
I don't understand. Is this game really based on Robinson Crusoe? I don't remember RC been so spreadsheet-y, or having no art whatsoever. This is NOT what I was expecting for a Mars exploration coop game based on RC.
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M.C.Crispy
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I for one have little interest in what the board looks like. I cannot understand people who are put off a game because the board "looks boring". Surely, the way the game plays is the only thing that matters? Now if the board is confusing in its layout and makes the game harder to grok then that's a problem - but one that can be overcome by an experienced player. Sure, nice boards are... nice, but they count as a bonus IMO. But we're likely to disappear down the rabbit hole of "religiously held viewpoints" on this one.

Let me just say that this is an auto-buy for me. Sight unseen. I trust the designer and the publisher.
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Andrew Walmsley
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mccrispy wrote:
I for one have little interest in what the board looks like. I cannot understand people who are put off a game because the board "looks boring". Surely, the way the game plays is the only thing that matters? Now if the board is confusing in its layout and makes the game harder to grok then that's a problem - but one that can be overcome by an experienced player. Sure, nice boards are... nice, but they count as a bonus IMO. But we're likely to disappear down the rabbit hole of "religiously held viewpoints" on this one.

Let me just say that this is an auto-buy for me. Sight unseen. I trust the designer and the publisher.

The 'only thing that matters'? No, not for me, I'm big on theme and think we've reached a point where we should not accept sub par features because the gameplay is 'all that matters', and certainly don't consider the board as a 'bonus'. I think a game should be the sum of all its parts.

I want to like this game and hope it's good but I'm not going to auto buy it like yourself as have a few concerns. For example the app could have no sound and look rubbish. This wouldn't bother you at all, but for me I love the background music, the sound effects of things happening etc which all impact the enjoyment massively for me. I also don't accept we're at a stage where such things should be classed as bonuses either. But like you said, each to their own.
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Chris Montgomery
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Is there a better link to the board other than the image above?
 
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M.C.Crispy
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tigerwalms wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
I for one have little interest in what the board looks like. I cannot understand people who are put off a game because the board "looks boring". Surely, the way the game plays is the only thing that matters? Now if the board is confusing in its layout and makes the game harder to grok then that's a problem - but one that can be overcome by an experienced player. Sure, nice boards are... nice, but they count as a bonus IMO. But we're likely to disappear down the rabbit hole of "religiously held viewpoints" on this one.

Let me just say that this is an auto-buy for me. Sight unseen. I trust the designer and the publisher.

The 'only thing that matters'? No, not for me, I'm big on theme and think we've reached a point where we should not accept sub par features because the gameplay is 'all that matters', and certainly don't consider the board as a 'bonus'. I think a game should be the sum of all its parts.

I want to like this game and hope it's good but I'm not going to auto buy it like yourself as have a few concerns. For example the app could have no sound and look rubbish. This wouldn't bother you at all, but for me I love the background music, the sound effects of things happening etc which all impact the enjoyment massively for me. I also don't accept we're at a stage where such things should be classed as bonuses either. But like you said, each to their own.
If you think that the Designer/Publisher are out of touch with what is required by current market trends you really don't know "them" at all. As I said: I trust Portal Games to deliver an excellent game. I also trust them to produce a game that will appeal to folk for whom the bling is a super-important.
 
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adam wilson

Oklahoma
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My head hurts already.
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Rob Jennings
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As a longtime Through the Ages player, I have no problem with spreadsheet-based-games.
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Andrew Walmsley
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adam wilson wrote:
My head hurts already.

You ok mate?
 
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William the Fool
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Also note that this is only a partial shot of the board. It's missing the actual 3D Mars base and what looked like modular tiles surrounding it on the prototypes I've seen.

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Andrew Walmsley
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Masque28 wrote:
Also note that this is only a partial shot of the board. It's missing the actual 3D Mars base and what looked like modular tiles surrounding it on the prototypes I've seen.


There's a 3D mars base? That sounds cool, why would they not show this?!
 
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William the Fool
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tigerwalms wrote:
Masque28 wrote:
Also note that this is only a partial shot of the board. It's missing the actual 3D Mars base and what looked like modular tiles surrounding it on the prototypes I've seen.


There's a 3D mars base? That sounds cool, why would they not show this?!
It was shown in other images, like this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3213317
 
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Andrew Walmsley
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Masque28 wrote:
tigerwalms wrote:
Masque28 wrote:
Also note that this is only a partial shot of the board. It's missing the actual 3D Mars base and what looked like modular tiles surrounding it on the prototypes I've seen.


There's a 3D mars base? That sounds cool, why would they not show this?!
It was shown in other images, like this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3213317

Oh, you meant that...
 
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Aleksander Idziak
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Agree, looks like excel. I don't like it. Still, only small part of the board is visible.
 
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W. Cracker
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senorcoo wrote:
Looks like the board game equivalent of a spreadsheet. Not compelling at all.


Hey! I resemble that remark
 
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Katharina Meisheit
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The new picture in the pre-order link looks a bit different. It seems they changed the look of the board?

http://portalgames.pl/new_en/first-martians-adventure-on-the...

The board still doesn't excite me a lot, but it looks much better now. But maybe that's because the facility tiles are not on there. I guess, it will look like a spreadsheet again as soon as the board is full with those facility tiles.
 
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Gerard Dranger
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I like the idea, the concept of this game...but same thing, I fear the spreadsheet aspect takes over the game.
 
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