Hot Competition for Ice Cold Mars
Preview Characters, Missions, and Discoveries in Mission: Red Planet
When the company scientist reported a massive and untouched glacier deep in the mountains of Ausonia, they sent the explorer out with a team of three astronauts to verify his findings. After weeks of hard hiking, they found the glacier. Hundreds of thousands of tons of ice ready to be harvested…and one lone human dressed in a red uniform that she recognized instantly. She took out her notepad and began drafting a telegram. “Found iceberg. Competition here too. Send someone to eliminate them.”
In Mission: Red Planet, unfathomably rich mineral deposits and—even more incredibly—ice have just been discovered on Mars. As the heads of greedy mining corporations, you and your friends are eager to claim as much Martian territory as possible and harvest the planet’s newly discovered resources. At your command are countless brave astronauts and an elite team of professionals ready to pilot your spaceships, survey the red planet, and even sabotage your competitors.
Today’s preview of Mission: Red Planet looks at how to accomplish your corporation’s extraterrestrial goals, from the shining and nefarious characters who will guide your astronauts to the sudden discoveries that may thwart your aims or make you rich beyond your wildest imagination.
The Rush to Mars
Once news spread of the riches to be found on the red planet, thousands of prospectors packed their bags and booked passage to Mars. As a corporation, however, you’re not just hoping to amass whatever riches you can: you have a unique and secret mission to fulfill as well. It might be to harvest as much Sylvanite as possible, or occupy certain Strategic Zones . You might even be tasked with establishing Eternal Fame for your corporation by sacrificing as many astronauts as possible in your effort to occupy Mars.
With that mission in mind, you’ll want to send as many astronauts as possible off to Mars. Seating in spaceships is limited, and demand for those seats is high: you’ll have to play your cards right to get the number of astronauts you need placed in ships to your intended Martian zones. Here’s where your team of professionals comes in. Every round you’ll play one of the nine characters from your hand. Each has a different skill set: the Travel Agent secures passage for three astronauts in a single ship of your choice. The Pilot seats two astronauts but, more importantly, alters a ship’s destination. The Saboteur places only one astronaut, but can also detonate a bomb under a docked ship occupied by your competition, sending the astronauts inside to the Lost in Space Memorial.
Each round, you’ll count down to launch, from 9 to 1. The number on each character card determines when that character acts: Saboteurs, for example, always do their dirty work before Pilots take the controls. In addition, since these professionals are short-term hires, once you’ve played a character, you can’t play them again until you use your Recruiter to hire a new team. You’ll have to deploy the characters you command very judiciously if you want to exploit their talents to the fullest.
Movement, Discoveries, and Murder
Getting your astronauts to Mars is only half the battle. Once they’ve landed, you’ll have to survey the planet to find the minerals and ice that you want to harvest. You may have to lead them across the desolate landscape to more profitable zones, or even eliminate a few of your competition’s astronauts in order to claim a particularly resource-rich zone. Only your Explorer can lead astronauts across the red planet once they’ve landed. Only the Soldier can parachute astronauts from the moon Phobos down to the Martian surface. Only the Femme Fatale can both eliminate an astronaut and use her wiles to lure an astronaut over to your corporation.
Achieving your secret mission is only part of your goal. You likely also want to harvest as much ice, celerium, and sylvanite as possible. Three production phases over the course of the game let you mine the riches (and the points) from any zones that you control at that time. Since there’s no way to know what resources lie latent in a zone until an astronaut lands there, you may first want to send astronauts into several different zones and then focus on the specific minerals that you want the most.
Celerium, sylvanite, and ice, aren’t the only things you’ll find on Mars. Your Scientist can make secret discoveries that will be known only to you. He might find that a zone contains an Ether Magnet or deadly Virus . His research could provide you the means to undertake a profitable Planetary Cleanup , or the chance bring your lost astronauts back as Space Zombies . You may even get the opportunity to complete an additional mission. Discoveries don’t become public until they take effect just before the third production phase, so you might also use your Scientist to research what discoveries other corporations have made in a zone and let you know whether to occupy or avoid it.
During final scoring you’ll reveal your missions and total up your points. You may find that even though you didn’t complete your mission, your mining profits have earned you points far beyond those earned by opponents who completed their missions. Or, you may find that completing your mission has granted you a narrow win over your competitors. Triumph may slip into, or out of, your hands because of a shocking discovery. There is also a global mission that all players are striving towards: achieving it may be the decisive factor in the your victory.
Stake Your Claim
A new frontier has just opened to mankind, and the rush for sylvanite, celerium, and ice is on! You can safeguard the future of your mining corporation—and help pioneer the technological advancement of humanity—by investing in the race to mine the red planet’s resources. Start planning your expeditionary forces and prepare to stake your claim.
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