Stronghold Games Announces 3 Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition Expansions

(Edit 4/29/22) – The Late Pledge Manager is open. If you missed it, go to the Kickstarter page and back it now!

(Edit 3/22/22) – It’s live! Go back this now. Doesn’t look like you can buy any of the expansions individually

I was innocently reading Twitter yesterday, basking in the warm glow of having done two posts in a day when I’ve been struggling to do that in two weeks, when I saw something that made my eyes boggle.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

First reaction:

Second reaction: Why does all the news come out at once? Oh well, I’ll post this tomorrow.

This is amazing news!!

It’s no secret that Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition is one of my favourite games. Hell, it made it into my Top 25 of all time.

Let’s go a bit more in depth into what these expansions offer (in other words, let’s showcase the boxes and do a blurb from BGG).

First, as Eric says in the tweet, Stronghold Games has said that these are scheduled to come to Kickstarter in late March.

Let’s take them in the order of my interest in them.

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Ares Expedition: Foundations adds a bunch of stuff that my group and I have been waiting for.

Let’s blurb the BGG page:

Ares Expedition: Foundations contains additional player boards, cubes, and phase cards so that Ares Expedition can be played with up to six players. This expansion also includes to additional game boards. One is a larger score track. The other adds a fourth terraforming metric: infrastructure.”

A larger score track?

Hell, that’s my one major complaint about the base game is the score track is horrible.

And we’ve often wondered about playing it with 6 players, so this expansion is a godsend!

There’s also a few new project cards that use the Infrastructure metric and also a new Phase card.

This sounds interesting, but the larger player board and more players is the most important part for me.

Ares Expedition: Discovery adds wild tags, milestones and awards and upgraded Phase cards.

Adding milestones and awards brings this even closer to the base game, and the Wild tag is pretty cool too, though it operates differently. In this expansion, you choose what tag it is when you play it, and then a marker shows what tag it is for the rest of the game.

Maybe not as versatile but given the new mechanics, that may have been necessary.

The expansion will come with some project cards that will let you upgrade your Phase cards as well. This would give you a more powerful bonus when you choose that phase.

Intriguing!

Finally, the least interesting (to me, but others may disagree) expansion.

Ares Expedition: Crisis makes the game a cooperative game.

Let’s do a blurb:

“In Terraforming Mars Ares Expedition: Crisis, players will play as corporations, just as in the original Ares Expedition. You choose phases and play project cards as normal. The difference is players are working together to keep Mars habitable after a natural disaster has landed the planet in crisis. Every round, a new Crisis card will be drawn that will require the players to achieve a certain goal to remove that crisis from play. Each turn that a Crisis card is not completely dealt with, it will lower one or more of the terraforming metrics that keep Mars habitable.

Handle all the crises as they arise. Eventually, a Crisis card will be drawn that allows the players to win the game once they have completed re-terraforming Mars.”

I’m not sure how that will work and knowing the designers, I’m sure it will be interesting.

I would like to see it in action, but just from the description, it’s the one I’m least looking forward to.

Three whole expansions, though?

Hopefully the Kickstarter will allow you to buy individual ones, but we’ll have to see.

Once it launches, I will let you know!

What are your thoughts on these? Are you a fan of Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition? Are you looking forward to these?

Let me know in the comments.

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