SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

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ping
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SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by ping » June 25th, 2010, 5:44 pm

Sunday morning. We went for coffee first. Ok, after coffee, we sat down to play Mars Colony. Johnstone ran in at the last minute so he paired up with Kynnin. I explained the rules - more difficult than it sounds for the Sunday morning, no sleep brain (thanks, Macklin) and I fear didn't sell the premise particularly well. Alan and Kynnin had played the previous day which no doubt helped their pairs. Afterwords, there were some mixed reviews and some accusations of loaded dice.
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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by kscott » June 28th, 2010, 10:42 am

I had a great time playing Dr Kelly Perkins this time round. The dice were definitely favouring sixes during the game and some test rolling after confirmed they weren't entirely fair. Despite that the story that unfolded and the vision of Mars that Johnstone and I built was an enjoyable one, which is a testament to the framework that Mars Colony provides. I'm looking forward to playing it again once it's gone to print.

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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by ping » June 28th, 2010, 12:09 pm

kscott wrote:I had a great time playing Dr Kelly Perkins this time round. The dice were definitely favouring sixes during the game and some test rolling after confirmed they weren't entirely fair.
Johnstone mentioned over on Story Games that he and you had the Canadian connection so could use the same political language during your game. I confess, I'm incredibly curious. He mentioned the dice too. :)

As for those "loaded" dice: No comment except that I did fish those dice out to roll some character stats this weekend. Not too bad. (ha ha)

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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by kscott » June 28th, 2010, 12:45 pm

ping wrote:Johnstone mentioned over on Story Games that he and you had the Canadian connection so could use the same political language during your game. I confess, I'm incredibly curious.
At a Seattle con I could be sure that everyone knew Democrats and Republicans, but a two-party system is dull from a Canadian perspective. (The politics itself is far from dull, but that's less to do with the party structure and more to do with the issues of the day and the amazing things that come out of politicians' mouths.)

We have three (or four, depending on how you count) major parties, one of which is the recent product of a merger between one old major party and an upstart reformist party; we have one party that often ends up with major tie-breaking power in Parliament but which can only be voted for by residents of Quebec; we have non-hippie Greens (more like European Greens) who are always a hair's breadth from finally getting their first Parliamentary seat; we have several single-issue and joke parties, such as the Marijuana Party, the Rhino Party, Pirate Party, Work Less Party, Communist Party—and I'll leave it to y'all to guess which are jokes and which are serious! And that's just at the Federal level of elections, never mind our provincial legislatures.

It was nice to be able to say, "the defeated Liberals" and have that be meaningful to both of us. The Canadian view of communists is also really different, since it isn't a McCarthy-era shorthand for "evil" here, and that nuance really came out in our game since Kelly ended up being a very red Red Party member.

There was also a moment when Kelly nationalised the atmosphere plants, which I referred to as "making them Crown Corporations." We had a good laugh that we could say that and know exactly what we meant!

(For context, Crown Corporations are owned by the people via the government. The name is due to the government being de jure the appointed representative of the ruling power of the monarchy, despite the Crown being a ruler in name only.

As Vancouverites our hydroelectric power is a Crown Corporation, our vehicle insurance company is one, the CBC [think the BBC, but Canadian instead of British] is another. Oddly enough, health insurance isn't run by a Crown Corporation, and it's that kind of nuance that playing Mars Colony with a fellow Canadian really brings to the table.)

So the Canadian connection really made Mars Colony's political party setup work for us. That's probably the one flaw in the game: it assumes that you're both going to share the same knowledge of political parties, and have the same understanding of what those parties stand for. I can imagine a game with one player hailing from Taiwan and one from Moscow potentially gaining no common-ground understanding from that part of setup.

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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by ping » June 28th, 2010, 1:42 pm

That's fascinating. I know Tim Koppang is out there somewhere reading this thread. Certainly common understanding of political parties will make the game better and that's a hurdle for any two people, though more so if they come from different nationalities. I think Ben and I used a fascist party in one of our games and that meant we had to agree to what fascism in 30's Germany or Italy was.

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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by Tim C Koppang » June 29th, 2010, 2:30 pm

I love hearing about foreign games of Mars Colony. For some odd reason, I originally feared that the game would lose something when played by non-Americans. This has definitely not been the case. If anything, I've been pleased at just how adaptable the game is to a wide range of political parties.

Yes, it's pretty much a requirement that the two players share at least some knowledge of the political parties in play. (This is mentioned in the book.) If that shared knowledge isn't there on a deeper level, I've found it best to use 2-3 very well known parties (e.g., Republicans, Democrats), and concentrate the game on the other issues raised by the organizations and fear cards.

Anyway, thanks for playing. I'm glad you had a good time. If you have any other questions/comments, I'm all ears.

- Tim

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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by kscott » June 29th, 2010, 11:07 pm

Only one question: when can I give you the monies for this?!

(Not really. I'm already watching the blog for updates.)

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Re: SUN-01 Son of Mars Colony Mob

Post by Tim C Koppang » June 30th, 2010, 5:28 am

kscott wrote:Only one question: when can I give you the monies for this?!
Haha! Soon, my friend. Soon.

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