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Rank 3!

We are thrilled to announce that Terraforming Mars just increased its worldwide ranking on BGG, and it is now the world’s 3rd best board game! The ranking is based on the average rating among voters (8.4/10) and the sheer number of votes, in this case over 40 000! The 2 games that are ranked higher are Gloomhaven and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, both of which are legacy games, a very special kind of game in which the game rules – and often components – change between each play. Terraforming Mars is thus the highest ranked non-legacy game in the world!

How will we celebrate this? By creating more merchandise and expanding our webshop! We have started the production of the next special item for all TM lovers. We’ll have more news about this within a few weeks. Have a great weekend, and as someone on Mars said: “There’s no place like dome”.

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Cubes for everyone!

Time flies, and we’re deep into the process of getting the production of Turmoil started. This includes coordinating the translation of the expansion into more than 15 languages, setting color profiles for the printer, double-checking grammar, iconography etc. Since Turmoil is our first Kickstarted expansion, we also have a lot of new tasks to handle, from sorting out who will send which package to which backer to preparing packaging materials, labels, tape, markers etc. For me, it means I will prepare my home to have 19 fully loaded pallets of games and packing material delivered to my front door in Karlstad, and try to fit them in whatever room possible, even in the bathroom if necessary (no worries, I have 2). From there (my home, not my bathroom), over 4000 packages will be sent to backers in Scandinavia and many other European countries. I am so pumped for this, and really look forward to hearing all your feedback on Turmoil, which has been my favorite expansion since the release of the base game in 2016. Since then, we’ve maintained and enriched the theme of the expansion, but have reworked the mechanics to make a worthy follow-up to Colonies. I recently searched my computer folders for old prototype versions of Turmoil, and came up with a few cards I would like to share. This is the oldest one I found, a global event from long before the release of the base game. These cards were shuffled into to project card deck (the project cards also had this design back then. Good thing Isaac came along to make something better!)

Some time after the release of the base game, we had time to come back to the development of Turmoil, and Jacob had the idea to have one event lead to another event a few generations later. We referred to the events as “sow” events and “reap” events. The essential ideas from the above card were carried over to the new system. In the following example, which made it all the way to the final version, Separatist Movements start gathering support, which leads to War on Earth 3 generations later.

A war on Earth would drastically change the amount of funds available for the terraforming efforts (“Waning funds”), which reduces the Terraform Rating for all players equally. As you can see, in the first version, all players lost 8 TR, without any possibility to protect themselves. Back then, the political system was completely different and players didn’t have “influence”. The theme was there, and it was great. But the mechanics were not interesting enough, and too harsh. The real break-through for Turmoil came after some heated discussions about the expansion in 2018. That’s when the game mechanics started falling into place. The middle card above was the last prototype before the final version. By then, we had added delegates, ruling policies, the chairman, and some cards to interact with those. Suddenly, Turmoil was much more dynamic, allowing for a range of new tactical moves, long-term planning, player interaction, and an ever-present narrative of the growing human civilization on Mars.

Cubes for Terraforming Mars

In other news, we just received a batch of extra cube sets for Terraforming Mars, and we have started to offer them in our webshop. It is the same set that comes in the game, so just over 400 cubes. If your cubes are worn out, or if you want extras, you can order them here.

If you haven’t seen the Terraforming Mugs there already, go check them out as well here.

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Kickstarter and Space Station

Hi everyone!

Things are happening fast right now, so we have 2 great news for you. The first one is that the Kickstarter campaign for our 5th expansion for Terraforming Mars: Turmoil, is soon finished. It has collected over 1,000,000 USD in funds from over 20,000 backers from all over the world! With approximately 40 hours left, this is your last chance to support the campaign and be one of the first to receive the new expansion with the bonus dual layer player boards and the new massive promo pack. Visit the Kickstarter Campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strongholdgames/terraforming-mars-turmoil

 

The second thing is that one of our oldest games, Space Station, will get a face lift and be published as a new edition by Hexy Studio.

We have streamlined the game mechanics, and Hexy Studio will make the new graphics so that the game fits their Star Scrappers universe. We think that this collaboration will be a great benefit for the game, and hope you’ll enjoy it a lot!

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Merry Christmas!

Time flies by, and we are deep into the play-testing of the 5th expansion for Terraforming Mars. That was just a tease, we’re not going to say anything more about the Turmoil expansion now. Oh, did I say that out loud? Oh well, now you know. Turmoil will probably be the only addition to Terraforming Mars in 2019, as we have more projects in our pipeline that need some love. 2 of them will be briefly described in our second newsletter, which will be sent out in a week or so, so please subscribe if you haven’t done so yet.

In Essen, we released the third extra character for After the Virus, our zombie card game. It is now available as a printable pdf in the side menu of its After the Virus game page but here it is in all its glory:

Starting with the tunnel in play, Bill can make really good use of persons in the deck. Saving survivors is a thrill, almost too easy. But having all those persons in play means your deck is quickly running out, and will soon be overrun by zombies which you’d rather have outside the tunnel. As stated, this is the third new character for After the Virus, the other two being Angela and Mac (also available from the game page). With a total of 7 characters, you’ll have many hours of joyful zombie-maiming action and desperate escapes as you complete the campaign with each one. Which one do you prefer? Which one is the best? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Thank you for this year, we hope you’ll continue to follow us as we enter 2019. But first, let’s take a long and jolly Christmas break to play some games with friends and family 🙂

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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The Importance of Earth Connections

Terraforming Mars is very much about colonization, futuristic technologies and settings, but we also believe people will bring society into the solar system, and the Colonies expansion gives us another chance to include mundane ideas that nevertheless are bound to follow humanity wherever we go. For example, species that are introduced on Mars will be chosen for their usefulness, resulting in a different ecosystem than those on Earth. Some animals that are quite common here, like horses, will be rare on Mars, even exotic! So why not ship some exotic animals to Mars to show them off for money in a Zoo? Having good connections on Earth will allow you to use taxpayer money to fund this and other projects. Your increased influence might even be enough to appoint the Luna Governor, with the power to get you through all the red tape of shipping animals.

 

 

The Zoo is giving animals a new role on Terraforming Mars as cash-cows. This will give the player new ways to consider Earth cards which are usually best to play as early as possible. But now you’d like to get the Zoo out first, but that requires a couple of cities in play…

It also gives you a new interesting option for animal shipment cards such as Large Convoy: do you save them for late game animal points, or do you send them to the Zoo as soon as possible to enhance your engine?

One thing is for sure – corporate monkey business has never been so profitable!

 

Terraforming Mars app is live!

The PC version of Terraforming Mars is live on Steam now. We are very thrilled to be able to play the game with each other, even though we all live in different Swedish cities. In fact, we’ll start one right away. Cheers!

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Octoberfest

Fellow terraformers! October is here, and that means new releases! Our own Octoberfest, so to speak.

The first release is tomorrow, when the digital version of Terraforming Mars is released for PC on Steam. It’s been a great journey together with Asmodee Digital and Luckyhammers to bring our flag ship Terraforming Mars to the virtual world. We hope to see many terraformers there, both rookies and veterans.

 

But even though this is huge – this is our first digital release – we also have the 4th expansion for the game being released next week in Essen, Germany. Colonies brings players to the outer solar system in pursuit of new resources to import and new frontiers to push for the sake of humanity. The first copies of the expansion are shipped directly to the fair, so we look forward to celebrating this new release together with our fans at the fair.

After Essen, we will also have local release events in Sweden. For those of you near Stockholm, Västerås, Linköping, Trelleborg, and Karlstad, the Colonies will be waiting in the following times and places:

November 2nd – Release at Dragon’s Lair in Stockholm
Time: 16:00 – 19:00
Address: Sveavägen 118
Your host for the evening is Jacob Fryxelius, the one and only

November 3rd – Release at Seriecentrum in Trelleborg
Time: 12:00 – 20:00
Address: Hedvägen 155
Your host for the evening is Enoch Fryxelius, important CEO

November 5th – Release at Studiefrämjandet in Linköping
Time: 18:00 – 22:00
Address: Platensgatan 25
Your host for the evening is Daniel Fryxelius, enthusiastic gamer

November 6th – Release at Leklust in Västerås
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Address: Vasagatan 16
Your host for the evening is Jacob Fryxelius, beardy gamer

November 10th – Release at Karlstad University
Time: 18:00 – 23:00
Address: House 12, Karlstad University
Your host for the evening is Jonathan Fryxelius, some baby brother

We hope to see you there!

So now, who came here just to see another card from Colonies? Raise your hands!

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Titanium, titanium, titanium

With a focus on trade and colonization of small worlds throughout the solar system, the Colonies expansion for Terraforming Mars naturally features some titanium-producing cards. Not only can titanium be used for lauching your trade fleet, it is also highly useful for building all space infrastructure. Triton is therefore sure to get attention when in play. Trade with it before the competition takes the bounty – or establish a colony to leech off of them even when they beat you to it!

Titanium can also be found on Saturn’s moon Titan, where your shuttles can lift it into orbit, or deliver it to various atmospheric projects.

But you don’t have to go that far though to find titanium. Suitable ship-building materials are found right here on Earth, but are just too expensive to get into orbit in larger quantities. Building a Space Elevator on Earth might change that, and even though some consider the challenges too great, the rewards are more than worth it. The whole of humanity will thank you!

Considerably cheaper, but less glorious, would be to mine the moon.

 

 

Making Lunar Mining efficient will require some Earth tags, but in our next update you’ll be happy to meet the man for the job: the Luna Governor…

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Masters of Trade

The Colonies expansion for Terraforming Mars is all about sending your trade fleet to distant colonies in search of riches. If you can do this more efficiently than the other corporations, you’ll have a strong edge over them. Smart colony placement and timely trades can get you far, but founding a Trading Colony will make your trades more efficient, and space-faring technologies such as Cryo-sleep will reduce your costs. All you need then is a Space Port so that you can host a second trade fleet and utilize your advantage even more!

Each of these cards can give you a distinct advantage, but they also synergize really well. The Trading Colony will allow you to reach higher on the colony tile’s resource track, allowing you to make better profits, and trade with worlds that are not yet beneficial enough for the other players.

Cryo-sleep, on the other hand, reduces the trade cost from 9 MC, 3 titanium, or 3 energy to 8 MC, 2 titanium, or 2 energy. This makes it much more advantageous to use titanium or energy, and at the same time more accessible to do so. And with Cryo-sleep, it will not be so difficult to afford running a second trade fleet, which is where Space Port comes in. The extra trade fleet might seem like a huge deal, but it still needs resources to run, and the increased number of trade fleets in play will deplete the colonies more quickly. Judging when to invest in and use an extra trade fleet is of crucial importance if you want to become the master of trade.

Terraforming Mars Digital coming to Steam on October 17th

Only 8 days to go, Terraforming Mars will soon be launched on Steam. For the iOS and Android versions, we’ll have to wait another month or so.

Add the game to your wishlist already! https://store.steampowered.com/app/800270/Terraforming_Mars/

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Hazeriders

In the Colonies expansion for Terraforming Mars, players can send their trade fleet to distant worlds and bring home valuable goods. The colonies of Titan specialize in producing floating infrastructure – floaters! So what are floaters used for? If you’re familiar with the Venus Next expansion, you’ll know that floaters are indispensible for colonizing the clouds there, making for excellent interaction between these expansions. But Colonies is also ripe with floater cards. Titan has a suitably dense atmosphere, but so do Jupiter and Saturn, and the Jupiter Floating Station is just begging for some help in its construction and expansion so that it can yield a good profit.

 

There’s just one catch – you need some serious technological advancement in order to colonize Jupiter itself, what with the strong radiation and violent storms (and no place to land). The best way to solve this issue is of course to develop Floater Technology, both supplying the know-how (science tag), and floaters if the Titan colonies are not available to do it!

Of course, these are just ways to get the Floating Station going, but it can just as well be used to support other floater projects in the outer solar system, such as the Jovian Lanterns. It is also one of the cheapest Jovian-tagged cards at only 9 M€, making it extra valuable in combination with one of the Jovian-scoring cards from the base game.