Listen up! The landing of Perseverence seems to have annoyed some of the local bugs, and they have left the Red Planet, heading towards Earth. You boots have all been volunteered for the provisional Frontline Alien Resistance Team - or F.A.R.T. and... what's that, private? Wipe that smirk off your petty excuse for a face. That is a bona fide military grade acronym. In just a few hours you'll realize this is no laughing matter. You are all hopelessly underqualified and plain useless for the task ahead. The good news is, you only have to hold out for the first two waves, until we have the pros in position. Now, we still have time to put you through a short simulation program. What are y'all waiting for? Move your ass to the A.S.S. Oohrah!
Today we continue our plays through Isaludo, the series of ten free solitaire games by Will Su using a standard deck, with the game called F.A.R.T. We'll be deploying our soldiers to fight off two waves of invading aliens. At the start of the game, the black cards will be the defender deck, and the red cards the aliens. The rules are as follows.
Deal six black defenders face up. You then flip three alien cards face-up and fight the first one (while seeing which will follow right after). You can use your soldiers in three ways:
A dual attack: two soldiers go in. The sum of their values should be exactly equal to the alien value (so for example, a 5 and a 3 can attack an alien 8). While one suppresses, the other flanks the alien and takes it out. You put the defeated alien card on the discard pile. Your soldiers are unharmed.
A single attack: one soldier goes in. The defender should have a higher value than the alien (so for example a Q versus a 10) - and be of a different colour. Your fighter gets wounded during the attack: you discard the higher defender (in this case the black Q) and replace it in your formation with the lower card (the red 10).
A sacrifice: if you can't beat the alien, you distract it. You discard one defender of your choice and put the alien back on the bottom of the attack deck. Then place a new defender card from your deck in your formation.
Once you've beaten the red half of the deck, you pick up the discard pile for the second wave of attack. This will have higher cards, and mixed colours. Also, you'll now lose one same-coloured card during each dual attack. So the second wave of aliens is way harder to beat. Your soldiers will be dropping left and right. Still, if you manage to survive, you've won the game. If all defenders get killed, you lose.
Of course this game would greatly benefit from custom cards, for immersion. But the base gameplay is certainly thematic - you understand what's happening to your soldiers. So a little imagination will go a long way. And even though it plays a bit mechanically with an ordinary deck of cards, the tension is no less. This seems to be quite a balanced game, not too easy, but winnable.
If you look at the picture above, you can see the nailbiting ending of my last session. Two alien Queens left. My Jack (V) and Ace (1) could take out the Queen of Spades, but one of them would get killed, as this is the second wave and they have the same colour as the attacker. So it's better to sacrifice one of the other four soldiers and distract the Queen of Spades. Now the Jack and Ace can take out the Queen of Hearts without casualties. Then the Queen of Spades is back and this time either Jack or Ace will die - but the game is won.
The rules are pretty easy and the game plays in 15 minutes including set up, so get out your deck of cards and help defend Earth. 'Cause
The chances of anything coming from Mars
Are a million to one, but still they come!