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Mission: Red Planet (second edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Less chaotic + more strategic Mission Red Planet rss

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Salman Qaisar
United Kingdom
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My group loooove Mission Red Planet, it's in our top 10, fantastic FUN game, lots of interaction and screwage!

But RAW has a bit too much luck (for our tastes), so we play with slight changes to make it bit more strategic:

1. Initial setup = 1 of each player's astronaut on their rockets go straight to mars, thus revealing 4-6 resource tokens immediately.
Effect:
- some strategic planning can start from round 1
- Explorer character (8) that allows movement has some potential value even in round 1

2. Scientist (number 7) can draw a card AND see a discovery
Effects:
- again allowing players bit more info for planning, but not loads
- it does make scientist more powerful, but that is for all players.
- also makes playing scoentist bit less auto-pick, since the first person to do so will lose out on seeing a discovery

3. 1 additional round (11th) AFTER discoveries have been revealed but before 3rd production round.

Effect:
- allows 1 last chance to adjust based on the discoveries. But they won't be massive moves, since only 1 more character will be played.
- likely characters kept for this round are Explorer 8 (3 moves on mars), Femme fatale 4 (kills + replaces astronauts with yours), Soldier 2 (kills on outer zones + drop from phobos), and even Pilot 1 (changes destination of launched rickets).
So no definite Auto-pick.
- We always feel the game ends too quickly, this at least gives 3 rounds before last production round (similar to 2nd production)

4. When using Scientist to pick Event card, pick 2 and choose 1 to keep

Effect:
- helps mitigate luck
- We haven't felt the need to add this, since the other 3 changes reduce luck plenty, and keeping it to 1 card makes one have to make tougher decisions, which is 1 of the key amazing things in this game.

We enjoyed the game before, but now we REALLY LOVE it!

If anyone else tries any of these, please post feedback.
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Gláucio Reis
Brazil
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My opinion on each change:

1. I don't see the need for this. No-one would waste the explorer card just to move a single astronaut around. If you must have some revealed tokens from start, maybe just reveal some randomly, using destination tokens.

2. This may be a good change. Using the scientist to look at a discovery instead of drawing a card was already an unattractive option in the first edition of the game, even though it had a few potentially devastating discoveries. In this second edition, it's a complete waste.

3. I think it might weaken discoveries too much, since the player who draws a discovery is already at a disadvantage in relation to a player who draws a mission, particularly if you are using #2. And what if a scientist is played in the last round? Anyway, a less disruptive change would be simply revealing discoveries before round 10.

4. This would probably have the undesired effect of reducing the number of discoveries. In most cases, players would likely choose a mission (potential VPs) or maybe even an action card over a discovery.
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