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oliverkinne
June 24, 2022
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Turing Board Game Review

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WadeMonnig
June 22, 2022
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June 17, 2022
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We Can Play Board Game Review

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WadeMonnig
June 15, 2022
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June 13, 2022
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oliverkinne
June 10, 2022
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Skora Review

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Michael Barnes
June 09, 2022
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June 08, 2022
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June 07, 2022
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June 06, 2022
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oliverkinne
June 06, 2022
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Synchronized Board Game Review

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oliverkinne
June 03, 2022
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June 02, 2022
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June 01, 2022
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Into the Wormhole: A Terraforming Mars- Ares Expedition Board Game Review

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22 Jun 2022 00:00 #333849 by WadeMonnig
In Ares Expedition, the combination of the simultaneous play, taking...

First off, I really dislike the title of this game. At a glance, the name Ares Expedition looks and sounds way too close to “Expansion.” It needs a name that nails that it is a stand alone game that just happens to be set in the Terraforming Mars Universe. After numerous games, I also think it needs to somehow work “Wormhole Theory” into the tile. According to Space.com, “The wormhole theory postulates that a theoretical passage through space-time could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe.”

 

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22 Jun 2022 11:14 #333850 by Msample
I really liked this iteration of TM, so much so I dumped my base game/expansions. I'll still play other people's copies...maybe. But once you get the hang of things, it plays faster - like an hour if that. Downtime is practically non existent. And the aspect of trying to predict and draft off of other players action choices more than makes up for the limited interaction of standard TM which only has it via blocking on the board with tile placement.

About the only thing I'd add to your review is that there are ZERO ways of actively hindering other players. For instance the asteroid cards do not kill other people's plants, you can't steal other people's resource production. I am not sure if this was done to put players at ease who don't like gotcha cards, or to speed up play, or both.

You do have to unlearn a few things from TM. For instance cards that give bonus production are basically retroactive. So if your first card gives you a production bonus for a plant tag, if you play a plant tag later, you get that bonus again. Cards are worth $3 for selling, which makes them a secondary source of income in a lot of ways.

The scoring track sucks massively; the spaces are too small and scoring cubes are easy to knock out of place . That is my only real gripe with the game component wise.

The expansion is due out later this year and from the looks of it, will have Goals and Milestones. Not sure if there will be cards that hinder other players.
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22 Jun 2022 13:22 #333853 by WadeMonnig
The selling of cards is one thing I definitely should have mentioned, it really allows you to make moves instead of waiting on production to refill your coffers.

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23 Jun 2022 10:45 #333865 by Ah_Pook
I think my main issues with this game are 1) it's almost impossible to actually get a card income going, so you're stuck taking the Research action repeatedly to get cards, and 2) the role selection is next to meaningless most of the time. There is often an action that you really need to take, so you pick that because it would be a dead turn if you don't get to do the thing. Then you get some bonus actions following other people. It just feels like a missed opportunity for actually interesting decisions most of the time. Like they copped it directly from RFTG without actually copping the interesting stuff about it just the aesthetics.

I do enjoy the game well enough, and think it's a huge step up from regular TM.
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23 Jun 2022 11:31 #333868 by stormseeker75
I played this once and couldn't figure out why I wouldn't just play TM instead. Maybe I need to try this again.
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23 Jun 2022 14:57 #333871 by WadeMonnig

Ah_Pook wrote: I think my main issues with this game are 1) it's almost impossible to actually get a card income going, so you're stuck taking the Research action repeatedly to get cards,


I like the advanced optional rule for this: Once you draw your two corporations, you can discard any number of project cards and draw the same amount before you select a corporation. It makes it easier to select cards that both sync with your corporation and gives you a chance to get better "starting your engine" cards. If you haven't been using the rule, I suggest giving it a shot.
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23 Jun 2022 15:02 #333872 by WadeMonnig

stormseeker75 wrote: I played this once and couldn't figure out why I wouldn't just play TM instead. Maybe I need to try this again.


I'd say the biggest selling point for me is the speed of play with 3 or 4 players. Feels less AP prone as well. Feels like it rips along once everyone knows the game.
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23 Jun 2022 15:05 #333873 by WadeMonnig

Msample wrote:
You do have to unlearn a few things from TM. For instance cards that give bonus production are basically retroactive. So if your first card gives you a production bonus for a plant tag, if you play a plant tag later, you get that bonus again.


That's the exact rule I was talking around bouncing around in my head in the review.

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23 Jun 2022 20:16 #333877 by Legomancer
I feel like Original Recipe and Ares provide just different enough experiences that I'm cool with having both. After playing Ares a bunch I played OG and was like, "oh yeah, I like this too!"

I'm in for the expansions despite not being crazy about some of them. I don't want Ares to get the same bloat that the original did. (I eventually took cards and corps from the Venus, Colonies, and Turmoil expansions that didn't reference expansion stuff and added them to the base game, and everything else is all in a single expansion box that is unlikely to be opened again.)
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