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I rarely back Kickstarters for my personal use, but I love the base game so much I had to back the expansions. And buy the sleeve packs. And the board upgrades. And the promo cards. And suddenly I was at $119 for a $30 game. WORTH IT!!! This is two really good expansions to the base game, as well as a third that turns it into a co-op game. The main upgrade to the game is new Phase cards - some project cards will update the phase cards and give you better bonuses. There are now also end game victory points and milestones you can earn along the way. The reason these expansions are so great is that they don't CHANGE the game - they just add a little more to it. Just some smaller tweaks to keep the base game interesting. But the Crisis (co-op) mode... Oooh boy. I played this solo on repeat for a full day and night, then started again in the morning. You start with Mars completely terraformed, and every turn a new crisis card tells you what decreases and what new cards you need to play in order to stop the crisis from happening again. Like any good co-op game, you've got to split your actions between fixing the problems and improving yourself so you don't get buried. In all the games I've played, I won twicce (easy mode), lost a countless number of games, and put a big asterisk on one game when I completely misunderstood one vital rule. I rarely like solo games, but this one has just grabbed me and isn't letting go.

I got a few games in with the staff the other day. Since my team is so amazing, we didn't have anything to discuss during the monthly staff meeting, so we spent that time playing and learning a few new games! First up, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. That wasn't lunch, that was the game. This is a ridiculous little slapping game that won't make any sense at all through text - just come in and give it a demo. Next, Gimme That! It's a roll and write, but there's only one pencil. When you roll the pencil, you shout "Gimme that!" and take the pencil, then get back to writing. Total nonsense, but a ton of fun. Finally, the Star Wars Deckbuilding game. It's a deckbuilder. It's based on Star Wars. If I have to explain it any further, you probably wouldn't like it. There is one really clever new mechanic, where instead of using attack power to hit your opponent, you can use it to blow up their faction's cards in the center row, so your opponent can't buy them. I do love me some unique mechanics!

My wife Heather and I had a rare afternoon at home alone together, so we got in a game of Terraforming Mars Ares. This is the card game version of Terraforming Mars - all the fun without most of the fiddly bits. I had a great start, and then failed to draw any of the cards that would help me out. I flipped all the oceans on my own, but Heather had built up a really awesome board state and ended up kicking my butt in the end. By the end of that game, both the girls were home, and they wanted to play Liar's Dice. Despite me having an actual world championship in this game, 8 year old Serena just wiped the floor with me. I don't think she made a bad call the entire game. Well, let me correct that. *I* thought she was making some bad calls, but she was just never wrong. It looked like I was coming back, I brought everyone down to 1 die each, but Serena called my final bluff to knock me out.

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