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5 Years to Mars solo rules

One book to rule them all: week July 10 - July 16

5 Years to Mars is a game about the space race to Mars. However you don’t actually go to Mars, you want to earn the right to make the mission possible by wisely spending your government funds.

5 Years to Mars components
Image source: BGG

Summed up

Game is played over five years. Every year you receive government funding of twenty Spucks (space bucks). Your goal is to gather as much victory points as you can, in this case representing the goals required for a successful Mars mission.


Each year you spend Spucks on:

  • Funding research - these can give you discount on project cards and other bonuses (Unavailable during fifth year)

  • Funding project - main source of gaining victory points (Unavailable during first year)

  • Replace displayed card for one Spuck

  • Give your money back to government - in case you don’t want to or can’t do anything else

5 Years to Mars: projects
Image source: Kickstarter page

You can keep spending your Spucks until you run out of money or choose to end things by giving your money back. At the end of year you advance tracks to your goals, earning victory points. Project cards also help you with budget, each year you get only twenty Spucks from the government, but the rest you need to get from project cards to stand a chance. After receiving a new budget, you discard project cards and start a new year. After the fifth year, calculate your scores.


In case the game becomes too easy, you can seed event cards into the project deck. These will hinder you in some way. Recommended seasoned difficulty is two event cards per player (so two in solo game), but you can also use more if you feel like you lack challenge.

5 Years to Mars: events
Image source: Kickstarter page

My thoughts are revealed

Rulebook

Simple rules, no issues with the rulebook text wise. However the rulebook is white text on black background, which hurts my eyes. No idea if this is the final intention, I might ask in the comments. There is also no table to check your scores against, so pure BYOS. However, the cooperative variant says you win if you complete all the missions. Maybe just an omission for the solo game?


Overall

I haven’t posted anything for the last two weeks for lack of my own interest in the projects that weren’t canceled or postponed. I’m sorry for that. This little game took me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting it and even less I expected to be interested in it. Reminds me a bit of Ares Expedition not just due to theme, but also gameplay-wise, but in a much smaller package. I’ll be looking more into this one yet.


 

5 Years to Mars has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 23 more days. The game is also available to try on Tabletop Simulator.



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8 Comments


Sharon Goza
Sharon Goza
Jul 19, 2023

Thanks for the comments! Feel free to reach out and ask any questions. The rule book design is one of the things that's not finalized, so great input about white on black. Also, yes, to win in solo mode you need to complete all 8 mission objectives by the end of the 5th year. (6 points). There are also alternate solo rules that are being considered for a bit more of a challenge.

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SnowDragonka
SnowDragonka
Jul 20, 2023
Replying to

I have an addon for computer screen to turn black background to grey or white text to grey, that's how I function. Black background with white text hurts my eyes even on the screen.


And most "dark modes" I use have grey background, not black, so that's fine.

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Zerbique
Zerbique
Jul 19, 2023

Thanks for the post!


This is a small indie game for sure and I like when these get some attention!


Not my kind of game though, especially since it can run pretty long. I think my very limited allocated space for a "small Sci-Fi themed card with resource management" is entirely fulfilled already by Jump Drive.

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SnowDragonka
SnowDragonka
Jul 20, 2023
Replying to

Race is "more complex", which doesn't say much. But basically Jump Drive has simplified icons and effects, Race has more sprawling engine building. Also revolves around "6 cost developments" which give you scoring bonuses. It's not THAT much longer a game, if you know what you're doing. With the many games I've played, I can crack a game of Race in 30-40 minutes. But I would say it would be harder to table than Jump Drive. I know cause of how many times I cracked a game of Onirim or Limes instead of Race, just cause they're so much quicker.

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