It was July 21, 1969, and Leonid, like 600 million other people around the world, was watching Neil Armstrong step out of the lunar module and down the stairs to the moon's surface. Just before taking the first step onto the lunar surface, Leonid turned off the TV, drank the last sip of vodka from his glass, and smiled wearily. "Let them have their moon landing," he thought. "We have the Krasnaya Zary and soon a communist outpost on a habitable planet". The thought of a shining palace of the Soviets in an alien world made him fall asleep well. In his dream he saw the name of the world clearly before him: RED OUTPOST
I guess that's how, or something like that, the story will have happened at that time. In the meantime we have learned that the Krasnaya Zary has crash-landed on the planet. Our task now is to lead the community of survivors, to motivate our workers and to deliver community goods. Along the way, we also try to score the most victory points to become the new leader in the new Marxist utopia.
Another day in paradise
At the beginning of a game, the blocking markers for the morning and evening are placed on the board. For an easy start, the rules recommend placing them in specific locations. Also, the special cards can be omitted at first. Each player places an influence disc of his color on the victory point track field 5 and an influence disc on the production wheel. In addition, there is one crystal for each. After the workers, the phase and mood markers and the sea and spaceship cards are placed on the board, the game can begin.
RED OUTPOST is played over two days, with each day consisting of five different phases. In each phase, players take turns performing the following steps:
- Move a worker
- Place an influence disc
- Adjust the mood
- Perform a location action
In the morning, at noon and in the evening, only one worker per player is placed. Morning and afternoon are the main work phases - all workers are placed there. After the evening of the second day, the game ends and the final scoring begins.
Off to work
The players have the choice of which workers they use where on their turn - some fields are blocked by the blocking markers, however, depending on the time of day. The mood of the worker can change depending on where they are deployed, which can earn the players victory or minus points at the end. For example, all workers like to go out for a drink. This raises the mood by two points, except for the commissioner - there the mood drops by one point. Also at the places where goods for the common good are produced, the mood sinks, if not the appropriate worker is used. Specifically, this affects the following places and people:
- The shepherd of course likes to herd the animals in the pasture
- The farmer tills the cornfield
- The miner is usually at his best in the mine
- The fisherman fishes at the lake
After a worker has been used for an action or production, he is tired and is laid down for the time being. All produced resources (wool, grain, coal, fish) are of course available to everyone and are put into the warehouse. For each resource produced, the player's marker on the production wheel is advanced by one. Diligent workers are of course rewarded: as soon as the marker on the production wheel exceeds the reward field, the player receives a crystal and two victory points. Victory points can also be generated via the warehouse. As soon as the third resource of a color enters the warehouse it is ready for export. One resource cube from the warehouse is then placed on the export bar (for which points are awarded) and the other two are returned to the supply.
The player who moved the worker also places an influence disc on the corresponding worker portrait. At the end of the day, the worker's mood is also scored. The player with the most influence discs on a worker portrait (in case of a tie, both) gets victory points equal to the worker's mood, but beware - if you are in a bad mood, you get minus points.
In addition to the production fields, the workers can also participate in the construction of the Palace of the Soviets. To do this, they place earned crystals on the field of the palace with their player color. At the end of the game, the most industrious palace builders also receive victory points. When the palace is being built, the commissioner is also happy. Her mood and that of the worker increase by one point each.
In the first rounds, as described above, it makes sense to play without the special cards - they make the game more complex. Special cards are available for each worker and each place. If they are to be used, each player gets a randomly drawn worker card and a place card at the beginning of the game. The cards can be used whenever the corresponding worker or place is used by the player.
да здравствует коммунизм *
RED OUTPOST convinces as a no-frills brisk worker placement with an unusual background story and interesting mechanisms. The ideology of communism is always present and is atmospherically underlined by the graphic design. The first impression that RED OUTPOST is a cooperative game is quickly left behind when the opponent ruins the mood of the own worker for the first time and thus points on the victory track.
Remarkable, but also positive is the quick setup and the short playing time - actually untypical for a worker placement. The game is therefore ideal as a small break snack on a game night or simply for a challenging quick round in between. It's up to the player to decide whether he wants to score victory points or whether he prefers to make life difficult for his fellow players.
With the special cards you have to decide if you want to use them or not. On the one hand they give the players more possibilities to play tactically, on the other hand they disturb the flow of the game, because you have to think about when and where to use a card. If you want to play through the game quickly without an increased pondering factor, you should simply leave them out. For us RED OUTPOST is a successful package. The price surprised us considering the value of the material. If you like worker placement and theme, you can buy it without hesitation.
* Long live communism