Header AD

Red Outpost Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: Red Outpost
Designer: Raman Hryhoryk
Publisher: Imperial Publishing
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2–4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 30–60 Minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union sent out a spaceship to colonize a planet. The Krasnaya Zarya (Red Morning Star), crash-landed on a distant planet, which is now your home. Before you, the men and women of the colony worked hard to build a home here. Now it is your turn to take up the reins of leadership and lead the people forward.
Red Outpost is a cooperative/competitive worker placement game. The goal is to gain the most victory points in two turns of play by directing the workers to produce supplies, improve morale, show your support to the government, and gain crystals.
We played a 2-player, and a 4-player game and found the allowable structure worked well for both the minimum and the maximum number of players. Red Outpost also provided good variability allowing for back-to-back games without being overly repetitious. We were playing a prototype of the game.
We enjoyed Red Outpost and the difference in the structure of everyone having to use the same workers along with the same placement options.
Getting ready to start
The setup varies a little with the experience of the players with the game.
The resource cubes for coal, wool, fish, and wheat are placed near the board for access by all players.
Each player takes the designated number of influence disks, based on the number playing. One is used on the score tracker and another is used on the production wheel. The rest are kept in front of the player to use during play to show which workers they have influenced when they are moved.
Worker Cards
Place the phase marker on the Morning space and the mood markers on the starting space for each of the workers.
Shuffle up the Fishing and Spaceship Cards and place them next to those work areas.
Determine which 3 locations are closed in the Morning, and what other 3 are closed in the Evening. When learning the game there are suggestions on which 6 locations should be used. As you learn more about the game you can use the location cards to randomly determine which 6 locations are designated. We tried both.
Location Cards
There are Special Cards designated for each of the 6 workers and the 12 locations. They are not used when learning. Later, each player gets one of each, which gives them special actions they can choose to take when moving that worker, or utilizing that location. Again, we played with and without the cards.
Finally, each player starts with one crystal.
Stand all of the worker markers in the Barracks on the board. Standing them up is important for tracking movement later.
You are now ready to start the morning of day 1.
nearing the end of the game
Red Outpost has only 2 turns. Each turn has 5 phases. Each of the phases has specific allowable actions.
Morning Phase
In this phase each player moves 1 of the workers from the barracks to one of the available locations. There are 3 of the locations that are unavailable during the Morning Phase.
The first player chooses which worker they want to move. They lay the marker down to show it cannot be moved again during this phase. They place an Influence Marker on the worker’s portrait, take the action of the location or one of their applicable cards and adjust the worker’s mood accordingly.
The next player has the limitation of not being able to move the worker already moved, or utilizing a space occupied by another worker (unless they have a card that allows that worker to do so). They complete the same action of placing an Influence Marker, taking the action and adjusting the mood.
The workers
The Morning phase continues until each player has moved 1 worker. The rest of the workers have been given the opportunity of sleeping in, which improves their morale.
The first player marker is moved clockwise.
The 1st Half of the Day Phase
Stand up all the workers that had been moved. They are now available to do something different. All of the locations that were designated as closed in the morning are now open.
Starting with the new first player, repeat the moving of the workers. In this phase, all of the workers are moved. In a 4 player game, this means 2 players will move 2 workers and the other 2 players will only move 1.
Again, when done pass the first person marker.
Lunch Phase
During Lunch the Field Kitchen is open and it is the only place you can move workers to.
Each player moves only 1 worker to the Field Kitchen. The remaining workers are still fulfilling their work assignments.
After each player takes their turn, pass the starting player marker.
The 2nd Half of the Day Phase
The Second Half of the Day is played just like the First Half. In this phase, in a 4 person game, the additional workers will be moved by the players who didn’t get to move 2 during the First Half.
Evening Phase
Before moving a worker in the Evening Phase designate the locations that are closed and unavailable for workers to move to. The Barracks is open during this phase and workers can be moved back to their rooms.
Each player only moves 1 worker. This leaves workers out in other areas as night closes in.
Scoring the Turn
At the end of the Evening Phase, the workers’ moods are scored.
Score after turn 1
After scoring, all of the workers are placed standing up in the Barracks, the locations that were close in the Evening are opened and the Morning ones closed. Pass the starting person marker and repeat for Turn 2.
At the end of scoring Turn 2, do the Final Scoring to determine who the most influential citizen of the colony is.
Theme and Mechanics
The theme of creating a Soviet-influenced commune works great for how this game plays.
There are elements of having to work together, all produced goods are stored in a community warehouse. Players earn points when they are produced, but when there are enough to move them to the export track, the player who completed the set gets additional points. Of course, goods can be used in other ways.
Everyone moving the same workers instead of workers from their own team of meeples gives a different complexity. Your move can not only be effectively used to gain you advantage, but has a lot more impact on blocking what other players can do in their turn.
This isn’t about how much can be produced, but how and when the scoring for different actions are done. As the rulebook says, “so make your contribution seem to be the biggest one.”
A closer look at the board
Artwork and Components
The prototype was well made. The cards are a heavier stock and all of the pieces are made to be extremely durable.
I really hope the 6 Green Mood Markers, which are red stars, is the pun that I took them to be and not an “oops” in putting the prototype together.
The Good
  • Completes in 2 turns—10 total play phases
  • Complexity of strategy based on a simple ruleset

Final Thoughts
We played a more cooperative game and one that was more cutthroat. Both of them played out well and maintained a balance to the scoring. If one player starts going for the undercutting of action, it pretty much pushes the game more in that direction. You can still keep a strong heart of helping, but it is harder to do when you see others utilizing your hard work for their personal gain.
After our games all of the players said Red Outpost is one they want to play again because of the different directions that can be taken. They also liked the aspect that this is a higher strategy game that is designed to play quickly.
Players Who Like
  • Worker Placement

The Final Score

Check out Red Outpost on:


On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends December 31, 2019.

Daniel Yocom - Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.

See Daniel's reviews HERE.
Red Outpost Kickstarter Preview Red Outpost Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Guild Master Gaming on December 20, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments