Race to the Moons

Race to the Moons
2-4 (5?) Players - 90 minutes
Development Period: July 2016, January 2017
Designed For: July 2016 - 24 Hour Contest Entry
Status: Playtesting

The year is 2169 and mankind has pretty much filled up the Earth.  It has been 200 years since man first set foot on the Moon.  And now there are cities on the Moon and Mars.  But our Solar System is just the beginning.  It might be home, but Earth is the only truly hospitable planet nearby.  But recent breakthroughs in warp travel  mean that interstellar travel is finally within reach.  There are several extrasolar systems that have been discovered to have planets and moons that appear to be very Earthlike and likely hospitable.  The nearest of these is a series of moons, orbiting a gas giant, in the Gamma Leporis system, 29 light years away from Earth.  Now, the race is on.  Several Earthly, Lunar, and Martian organizations are competing to be the first to send humans to one of these habitable moons and establish a permanent human colony.  But this will take research, determination, and a bit of luck to be the first to arrive.  Do you have what it takes to drive the next great space triumph and win the Race to the Moons?

Race to the Moons is a worker placement game where players are working to research the technology needed to complete an interstellar mission to be the first to found a human colony on a moon system around a gas planet in another solar system.  Players must research four technologies that affect four parts of the mission: Launch, Journey, Arrival & Landing, Colonization.  Players must also work on building ships, building facilities (research, factories, and launch stations), managing money, and improving public opinion.  Whichever player successfully builds a ship, launches it, has a successful journey, arrives at the destination, and sets up a successful colony first will be the winner.  Strategies can include a slow and steady research path to ensure that the one ship you launch will be successful, rapidly building cheap ships with less research in the hopes that at least one will get through, or a combination of the strategies.

1/8/2017 - I finally made the components for this and have given it a few solo playtests and one full 3 player game playtest with my family and I'm happy to say that the game went very well!  I did make a few adjustments, but overall it felt very solid and had a great flow.  I adjusted how many workers could be placed on Upgrade Facilities, the cost for Publicity Campaign, the monetary rewards for Raise Funds, made Invest require you to place all remaining workers here, and added an alternate action for Launch Rocket that lets you purchase Save the Day tokens if you have already launched rockets.  I also slightly tweaked some of the penalties for failed dice rolls, added the ability for players to buy the first player token from each other at the end of the round, and cleaned up a number of minor items in the general rules.  I also added in support for special faction abilities on the reverse sides of the player mats.  This allows for each faction to have different starting abilities if players want to try different strategies.  I haven't playtested this yet.  I'm also considering bumping up the player count to 5 (although I'd need more components).

PnP Files:
Rules Document:
Cards & Board:
NOTE: A number of components will need to be provided by the players, including many cubes, rocket pawns, game money, and dice.

Game Board

Special Ability for the Lunar Research Conglomerate

Faction Powers Player Mat for the Asteroid Developers Union

Factory Level 1 Card (NOTE: Income has increased by $1 after playtesting)
Launch Station Level 2 Card
Research Lab Level 3 Card
Player Board (NOTE: After playtesting, different tech levels reward popularity now)

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