Episode 201: Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs (plus a special guests) discuss their recent game plays including Monasterium, Dreamscape, Riftforce and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition; and

3) Look back at Glen More II: Chronicles.

Show Notes

1:25– Brandon drops some knowledge on one of Robb’s beloved authors Stephen King

7:43 – Robb shares the final winner for the Trivia Contest and announce the date for the hangout in which all the Trivia contest contributors will be able to win some games. August 16th, at 8pm EST.

11:25-Robb announces the winners to the 200th Episode Contest brought to us by our sponsors.


17:30– Brandon shares what life has been like post Brawling Brothers last episode

39:35 – Patrick shares what his board game life has been like since leaving the episode

49:15 – Robb shares his birthday weekend extravaganza and how Harper made her debut in a hidden role game; Insider


57:35Monasterium – Publisher: dlp games ; Designer: Arve D. Fühler; Art: Dennis Lohausen;

1:05:20Blume– Publisher: Yanaguana Games ; Designer: Stevo Torres; Art: Stevo Torres;

1:15:03Dreamscape – Publisher: HUCH!; Designer:
David Ausloos et.al ; Art: David Ausloos ;

1:22:00Riftforce * – Publisher: Capstone Games ; Designer: Carlo Bortolini; Art: Miguel Coimbra ;


1:35:20Earthborne Rangers, New Capstone announcements – Boonlake + Maracaibo: The Uprising

1:43:52Omega Virus Prologue-Restoration Games

1:47:26TMG, virtual bankruptcy, No Libertalia

1:54:19Horrified-American Monsters from Ravensburger and conversation about cryptids

REVIEW: Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

2:03:20 – Rules Breakdown

In Terraforming Mars-Ares Expedition players play cards out of their hands and simultaneously resolve those cards to activate their abilities. This game is played in rounds until all three global parameters are met, the oxygen and temperature level are maxed out and when all ocean tiles have been flipped. Now if you are a seasoned TFM player then the game will come natural to you as there are many similarities, however for those who have never heard of Terraforming Mars this next minute and a half are for you. Each player will have a player board where they will track their Mega credit income, Card allotment, heat, plants ,steel and titanium (similar to TFM steel and titanium reduce the cost of some cards with building and space tags). At the start of the game each player will be dealt two corporations and chose one to keep along with  eight project cards which players will keep in their hand and secret from other players until played. Each player is also given identical decks of phase cards 1-5 (development, construction, action, production and research) . The rounds are broken into three steps. Step one is planning where players will chose a phase card out of their hand and put it face down, once all players have chosen, the cards will be revealed to denote what phases will be triggered, only the chosen phase cards will be resolved and all players will get to resolve the chosen phases regardless of who selected it. Step two is the resolve phase, in which the chosen phase cards are activated. If you are the player that chose that specific phase you will also get to do the bonus ability on the bottom of the card. Development cards allow players to play a green card out of their hand, Construction allows players to play a red or blue card out of their hand, Action allows players to trigger the action abilities on blue cards already in their tableau and also enact any of the standard actions that are listed at the bottom of their player boards, Production allows players to gain production in MC’s, heat, cards, and plants. And Research allows players to draw new project cards out of the deck. Any time a card is played out of a players hand into their tableau they must pay the cost in MC which is denoted at the top right of the card (unless you have special abilities or actions from other cards that reduce that cost) AND also gain the benefit depicted on that card. At any time players may discard cards out of their hand to gain 3 MC’s for each card discarded and use MC gained in this manner to pay to get cards played into your tableau. The final step is the End Step in which every player discards down to 10 cards in their hand, for every card discarded you gain 3 mega credits as normal. Players do not return the phase cards just played back into their hand, they must stay on the table until after the next round, which only makes 4 phase cards available for players to choose from. Rounds continue in this manner until the end game conditions are met in which game play ends IMMEDIATELY regardless if there are additional phases left in the round. Players tally their final scoring which consists of the location of their marker on the TR track, points for forest tokens, and any points acquired from project cards played. Who ever has the most points wins. Let’s head back over to the rest of the gang as we share our thoughts on Terraforming Mars-Ares Expedition. 

2:06:57 – Review

2:32:43 – Ratings


2:47:07Glen More II: Chronicles [Buy] – PUBLISHER: Funtails  ; Designer: Matthias Cramer ; Art: Jason CoatesHendrik Noack;

Check out our original review for Glen More II: Chronicles during Episode 176.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

3 thoughts to “Episode 201: Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition”

  1. Hello.
    So, after the Rose Gauntlet episode I began writing out an email to you about just how amazing this episode was. Such great people! The other episode was the Jason Perez episode, This was also so very good.
    Then, the T.Claires episode, which I have gone back and listened to a second time. I am a huge advocate for sustainability, my focus has been in the brewing industry, but why not reset my sights on something else I love, board gaming. T.Claires was an incredibly insightful, thoughtful human and I wish I had kids to but HABA games for. With this interview, I will certainly be investigating more games coming out of Germany.
    Another thing to share, I recently found a podcast called Board Game Chats, and the episode with A.J. Brendon. I think two things. 1. I think Christina would immensely enjoy this episode. 2. I’d love to hear A.J. and Christina chat.
    I truly love your podcast, but the bonus episodes are officially my favorite part of your show.
    One weird aside, this most recently episode seemed to have a very negative, confrontational vibe, which was very weird. I struggled to finish this one. Took me three sessions to work through it, it’s odd because I usually listen to an entire episode while I am out on my walk. I take this as a one off, can’t always hit home runs.
    Back to positives… I’ve been a huge fan for many, many years, I look forward to hearing more bonus episodes and curious to see the direction the podcast goes in.
    Never stop the rerolls.
    Just say no to bath robes in the Legacy Lounge. 😉
    I’ll quite done with my ramblings now.
    Patrick Moore

    1. Patrick,
      Wow….such a wonderful email to read today! Thank you for your kind words in regards to the bonus episodes. I wasn’t sure how the segment was going to evolve so I’m happy to hear that they are enjoyable and informative. I haven’t heard of Board Game Chats but I most certainly will look into it! I’m always looking for new guests so perhaps I’ll have to have AJ on!
      We did in fact have a lot more back and forth during this episode. Patrick 2.85 and a guest was a lot for Robb and I to handle in the studio and we weren’t sure where the show was going to take us. We appreciate the feedback as we navigate this new world without our solid 3rd chair Jeremy (woop woop). As the shows progress please let us know how we are doing or how we can do better!
      Thank you again for the very thoughtful and kind words about the bonus episodes!
      Christina…..and Robb.

  2. Hey Rob,

    Not sure if it’s exactly the kinda of game you’re looking for, but My ex-wife liked to play Star Realms (or Hero Realms). She hated stuff like M:TG and Dice Masters. I think Star Realms was easier for her to get into because she liked dominion.

    Other two-player games we liked were Targi, Lost Cities, and Jaipur. Those aren’t much like the games you mentioned trying to play with Christina, they’re just really good two-player-only games.

    Hope you’re able to find a game that Christina likes and scratches that two-player-competitive itch!

    Love the show!


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