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
Review
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
Setup
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
Gameplay
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.

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