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Mission: Red Planet» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Martian bloodbath rss

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James Casey
United Kingdom
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Where'd he go?
Steve, Baz, Tim and I played Red Planet.

First round we all played Scientists, and almost all drew discoveries. Later even more discoveries were drawn and most of the outer provinces had one. With so many to worry about, I pretty much ignored them. The one I played would wipe out whoever had the most settlers in the province, so at the end I tried to sneak a few people in to be in 2nd place there, though since it was an ice province, I am not sure it was worth it in hindsight; I had no other ice, so I was not likely to compete for the bonus, so those astonauts might have been much better placed.

Second round I was in 3rd or 4th position, and I smelled agents, so I played the Explorer to at least get my guys on board before they took off. I moved my people on Mars to central, undiscovered provinces. This turned out to be a good move as Baz and Steve did indeed play agents, and all 4 rockets took off for Mars. Tim did not get to use his Travel Agent.

My explorers found high value resources. My Goal card was to have the most of the 2pt resource, but that looked to be pretty much an impossible goal having used my explorer, so I decided instead to try and keep control of the high value resources.

With 4 empty rockets all with at least 3 spaces, Baz, Steve and I all played Travel Agents on the next turn, and were all successful.

However, despite getting my 3 guys on a ship, it came to nothing as Steve played a Saboteur the next round, and my 3 astronauts sitting on the ground were too tempting a target. I also had people killed by Soldiers and Femme Fatales on the next couple of turns.

After the first scoring things seemed fairly even. Despite my losses, my control of the 3pt resources gave me a decent enough haul. I was resigned to not winning at this point though - with so many dead, and my chance of getting my goal bonus pretty much zero, my long term prospects were bad.

Tim and Baz used their Recruiters after the first scoring round, Steve a round or two later, and I used all my people and only recruited on round 9.

The game was generally a bloodbath - the Lost In Space memorial was pretty crammed by the end. I had 8 men dead, and only 10 on Mars.

The final tally had me and Baz on 36, Steve with 52, and Tim pipped him at the post with 54, scoring the ice bonus despite my discovery killing him off in one ice province. By the second scoring, it was clear that Tim's goal was to occupy the top half of the board, and in hindsight Steve could have won had he used his Soldier to kill off one of Tims loners. It was difficult to tell who had the upper hand though, so he used it elsewhere. I can't remember who he actually killed - probably me

We remarked on how despite the fact there are few random elements and no dice rolling, the game feels very random. With so many options for people, its almost impossible to predict what people will do in the early stages, and after they have recruited. Things are a little more predictable in the mid game when you know what people *can't* do, but that is usually pretty short lived, since often people recruit on turn 6 just as you have an idea of what they have left. Even when you do make a good deduction (e.g. my explorer to doodge the agents, getting the timing of the travel agent right) good tactics can be overriden by bad luck - I lost out on 8 points because the resource tokens didnt fall well for me.
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