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On Mars
$117.00

This bundle happily includes the On Mars base game, the Kickstarter Upgrade Pack, and the Beacon Promo Card.

In-cart coupon!!

OK everyone… this game has a Minimum Advertised Price restriction… so I cannot list the game at less than $117 per copy. Now, mind you, that is still cheaper than just about EVERYONE else out there… but by gosh… I think I can do better! So, what IS allowed is for me too offer a discount in the cart on this game; so long as the advertised price stays put!  So, I’m talking another $10 off in the cart if you use this coupon –> 10OFFONMARS <– See what I did there? Hahaha. Anyway, enjoy!

Worker placement meets pHD in alien planet colonization

THIS GAME IS HEAVY! We’re talking darn-close-to-Lisboa heavy.. hehe.  If you’re not familiar with this other Vital Lacerda title, let’s just say it’s pretty far to the right along the “board game heaviness” likert scale! 🏋️‍♀️ Another thing that’s a bit heavy is this write up! Haha! So, if you’d like less reading and more viewing… simply scroll to the end of this product description to watch a couple videos about the game! 😉👍

This is definitely one of those games where someone walks by, sees it on the table, and says, “Oh my gosh… that looks soooooo complicated!” And, those people would be right!  Haha. But not to fear, like all wonderfully complex Euros, once you’ve digested the rules and taken a few turns you’ll get the hang of it… with maybe a quick rules reference here and there… haha.

Place workers on the board in surface or space station action spots… and then in some cases, you can choose to place additional workers in the working area (wrench) on your player board or pay crystals to boost the action-space worker’s efforts!

Adding to the satisfaction of being able to boost certain actions… there are myriad mini-bonuses that are claimed when you place a tile onto a given space throughout the game. I love this aspect to the game! Mostly because I am a free-resource-bonus connoisseur!! 👨‍🍳

Come in mission control…

Mission goals drive the game… there are three collaborative goals at the start of the game.  Players who contribute the most to these efforts ultimately earn the most opportunity points and thereby win the game. On a related note, the completion of the third mission triggers the game end…

Each player also has their own secret corporate mission… 😉

Start your engines!

On their turn each player takes one main action and then they have the opportunity to perform one executive action (for a cost of 2 crystals).

Available actions are divided between surface actions and orbital actions. Of course, you’ll want/need to do all of the actions at one point or another so there is constant tension in the game surrounding whether you should stay in orbit, head down to the planet, leave the planet to go into orbit or just stay put on the red planet’s surface.  And, as you might imagine… haha… actions above and below are intimately linked together on your path to victory!

Surface actions – aka Colony main actions

5 main actions.

  1. Control center – this action allows you to move bots and rovers. You’ll need your bots to be in the right position when you plan to construct or upgrade a building. Your rover scoots around the planet vacuuming up crystals and research/discovery tiles. Get some!
  2. Construct a building – Your options include mines, generators, water extractors, greenhouses, and oxygen condensers. You may also construct the shelters on your player board; giving you more space to store resources. I won’t get into the meat of the rules here as there is a LOT to consider… but I will give you a glance at the “Mars Construction Cycle.”
    1. Building Shelters for Colonists to live in requires Oxygen, generating Oxygen requires Plants, growing Plants requires Water, extracting Water requires Power, generating Power requires mining Minerals, and mining Minerals requires Colonists. Yes!! This is going to be ridiculously fun!!!  I can feel my heartrate increasing at the mere mention of this cycle! Ladies and Gentlemen.. start your ENGINES!
  1. Upgrade a building – you guessed it. This is where you use your blueprint cards to take one of your buildings to the exhalted “advanced” level! Of course, buildings of the advanced variety are far superior to those of the dreaded “regular” variety.
  2. Welcome a ship – Move one of your private ships from youer depot to your hangar and gain colonists and/or bots.
  3. Hire a scientist or take an Earth contract – Scientists can be used to activate advanced buildings during your Executive Action phase.  Earth contracts earn points when completed.

Executive actions – once per turn (either before or after your main action), you may perform an executive action.  These actions lots are located on the left edge of your player board and unlock as you move space ships out of your depot. I won’t get into all of these actions as I have already taken too much of your time (smile)… and my laptop is ready to overheat… hahaha.

Orbital actions 🛰

Again, 5 main actions

  1. Landing pod – make a quick one-way trip from orbit down to the colony. You sacrifice your entire turn to do this… but hey, you might need to get down there for something important!
  2. Obtain a blueprint – Take one and place it in your player area. You’ll use these blueprints (hopefully) later in the game to upgrade a building. I say hopefully, because if you don’t use blueprints that you have taken you will suffer a loss of points.
  3. Learn a new technology – choose a tile in the tech grid, pay the cost, and add it to your lab. It’s a little more involved than simply plunking the new technology into your lab willy-nilly… but in order to keep this under 5,000,000 words I’ll let you learn that on your own  One sweet aspect to the tech universe is that you can use any other players’ tech. If you do so, that player gets a little bonus. Ohhhhh… I DO love a bonus! I also love writing VERY long game descriptions… hahaha.
  4. R & D – Develop tech tiles on your player board. Doing so increases the power of the given tech tile.
  5. Resupply – take a resource from the warehouse and add it to your player board.

Shuttle service… In the beginning of the game the shuttle moves at the end of every round… but once the colonies start to get built, shuttle service decreases… and therefore moving between the two locations (surface/orbit) gets trickier! Ohhhh… you have to love that tension!

Ships and rovers and colonists and bots… oh my! 🤖

This game is CHOCK FULL of sweet components.  I haven’t actually verified this, but at first glance I believe you could probably build a small home with the number of wooden components that are included in this game!  🏠😁🎉

The cardboard bits are well crafted and of sturdy card stock. The dual-layer player boards are wonderful. And the game board itself is well designed, clearly labeled, and beautifully illustrated. On the Drew scale of awesomeness this game is knocking it out of the park! I mean, who doesn’t want to move a little, screen-printed Mars rover along a hexagonal map?!?!?!  Exactly.

Videos!

Rhado preview

Paul Grogan Gaming Rules!  How to play…

 

Ages: 14+
Players: 1 – 4
Play Time: 90 – 150 minutes 
Designer:
Artist:
Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games
SKU: Eagle-Gryphon Games 002
MSRP:
$139.99 on eBay at the time
of this listing (APR 2020)
Our Price: $117.00 (with added discount in the cart!!)
Link to BGG:

 

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Description

On MarsON MARS!!

Following the success of unmanned rover missions, the United Nations established the Department of Operations and Mars Exploration (D.O.M.E.). The first settlers arrived on Mars in the year 2037 and in the decades after establishment Mars Base Camp, private exploration companies began work on the creation of a self-sustaining colony. As chief astronaut for one of these enterprises, you want to be a pioneer in the development of the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars by achieving both D.O.M.E. mission goals as well as your company’s private agenda.

In the beginning, you will be dependent on supplies from Earth and will have to travel often between the Mars Space Station and the planet’s surface. As the colony expands over time, you will shift your activities to construct mines, power generators, water extractors, greenhouses, oxygen factories, and shelters. Your goal is to develop a self-sustaining colony independent of any terrestrial organization. This will require understanding the importance of water, air, power, and food — the necessities for survival.

Do you dare take part in humankind’s biggest challenge?

On Mars is played over several rounds, each consisting of two phases – the Colonization Phase ​and the Shuttle Phase​.

During the Colonization Phase, each player takes a turn during which they take actions. The available actions depend on the side of the board they are on. If you are in orbit, you can take blueprints, buy and develop technologies, and take supplies from the Warehouse. If you are on the surface of the planet, you can construct buildings with your bots, upgrade these buildings using blueprints, take scientists and new contracts, welcome new ships, and explore the planet’s surface with your rover. In the Shuttle Phase, players may travel between the colony and the Space Station in orbit.

All buildings on Mars have a dependency on each other and some are required for the colony to grow. Building shelters for Colonists to live in requires oxygen; generating oxygen requires plants; growing plants requires water; extracting water from ice requires power; generating power requires mining minerals; and mining minerals requires Colonists. Upgrading the colony’s ability to provide each of these resources is vital. As the colony grows, more shelters are needed so that the Colonists can survive the inhospitable conditions on Mars.

During the game, players are also trying to complete missions. Once a total of three missions have been completed, the game ends. To win the game, players must contribute to the development of the first colony on Mars. This is represented during the game by players gaining Opportunity Points (OP). The player with the most OP at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Additional information
Weight 10.1 lbs
Dimensions 12.5 × 12.5 × 4 in
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