Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Red Outpost (Imperial Publishing)

My favorite type of games is worker placement games. However, with the glut of them available, I need one with a unique theme or twist on the style of play. Red Outpost, currently on Kickstarter delivers on both counts. In this game you and up to three other players will be controlling a shared pool of Soviet workers on a distant planet, shortly after the space race. In addition to competing to win, you are all using the same six workers most efficiently to accomplish the mission.
The game is played over two rounds with five phases each round - Morning, 1st half of the Day, Lunch, 2nd half of the Day, and Evening. Each phase you will have a player turn. The first step of your turn is to move a standing worker to an unoccupied space on the board. Next, lay the worker down to make him unusable the rest of the phase. Then, place one of your influence discs on the portrait of the worker you used. Also, adjust the mood of said worker, based on the location you moved to.
Locations you can move to are primarily used to produce goods. However, these aren't your private goods, but communal goods. The non-production locations consist of scavenging the space ship, visiting the storehouse, visiting the beer house, administration, which is where the bureaucrat lives, and lastly visiting the palace. Different phases have slightly different rules, number of turns per player, and different locations they are allowed to visit.

Overall, I found this to be a very unique game. Deciding when and where to play communal workers is a great twist. Do you want to go to the right location with the right worker, even if it gives you goods or actions you might need? Do you want to go the right location with the wrong worker, even if it results in a morale loss? These are tough decisions you have to make each phase. There is also a slightly advanced way to play, which provides some asymmetry to the game. I wouldn't start with this variant, but give it a try after a few games. I highly enjoyed this game, and with only two rounds, I felt I could play it two or three times on a game night without it overstating its welcome. If you like worker placement games like me, this is one to check out!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stuart,just found your site. God bless your helpful reviews. I see you are slowing down! Life too busy?