Phase 10: Don’t Get Left Behind!

If Rummy and Uno had a baby, it would be Phase 10. This card game uses colorful numbered cards to force you to collect unique sets in a race against your opponents. It’s a fast-paced game that’ll keep you on your toes as you draw and discard cards while pondering your opponents’ next moves. If you’re looking for a fun alternative to Rummy that you can play on the go, then Phase 10 is the perfect card game for you.

Completing the Phases

Phase 10 is played in multiple rounds, with each round forcing you to collect a certain set of cards in order to advance. At the beginning of the first round, all of the players are in Phase 1. This requires you to collect two sets of three identical numbers. Players will go around in a circle drawing and discarding one card at a time. 

Once a player completes the phase and discards their last card, the round ends. All the players who still have cards in their hands will receive a penalty to their score based on the number of cards they have left and their value. When the next round begins, all the players who collected the right cards to complete Phase 1 get to move onto Phase 2. Everyone else is forced to complete Phase 1 again.

Phase 10 continues for multiple rounds until one player manages to be the first to complete all 10 phases. The trick of the game comes from being able to know which cards to discard in order to quickly catch up and beat out the other players. While the rules are pretty simple, there is a little wiggle room for a strategy that can make this card game more complex than meets the eye.

Special Cards

There is another element of Phase 10 that makes it a bit more challenging: the special cards. These cards can really throw a wrench in the works by allowing you to skip over opposing players during their turn. You can also draw wild cards that can have any color or number that you choose, allowing you to complete your set.

One thing that can bog down Phase 10 is the length of the game time. If you play it according to the traditional rules, games can often last upwards of 2 hours. However, there is a common house rule that many people employ to speed things up and make the most use of the points system of the game. 

By allowing everyone to advance to the next phase regardless of whether or not they manage to complete the set, then you can get to the finish line much faster. If you play Phase 10 using this house rule, then the player who has the best score by the end of the game is crowned the winner. This can incentivize you to complete your sets and win as many phases as possible.

Phase 10 Twist

Phase 10 Twist is a sequel to the original card game that adds some interesting twists to the original game. Instead of just using a deck of cards, Phase 10 Twist comes with a board with a phase track. This can be used to move players along and easily score the game without having to count the cards every time.

This sequel card game also includes Twist spots that force players to choose a different phase to complete than the one they originally were assigned. Players can choose from the optional Twist phases that are more difficult than the regular phases but offer more of a reward for completing. This card game also includes three discard piles, giving you an additional strategic element to consider when shedding cards.

Better Keep Up with Phase 10

Phase 10 is playable by 2-6 players, so it’s an easy card game to play on a family camping trip. It’s suitable for ages 8 and up, as it’s easy to comprehend and quick to pick up. Playing time lasts around 45 minutes to 2 hours, although it can be much shorter if you use the optional house rule.

Buy Phase 10 today and enjoy the lovechild of Rummy and Uno!

 

Terraforming Mars: Build a New World

Popular board games like Risk and Pandemic deal with the incredibly high stakes of worldwide catastrophe and war.  Terraforming Mars, however, leaves Earth behind completely in an effort to build a sustainable life on our closest neighboring planet.  In the 25th century, giant corporations seek to initiate projects to make Mars hospitable.  As players of the game, you’ll have to work together to achieve these goals while also earning points for your own commendable work.

Playing Cards

Terraforming Mars comes with over 200 different project cards that you can buy and use during each round.  These cards represent different projects that aid in your overall goal of terraforming Mars, including small things like introducing plant life or giant tasks such as mining the moons of planet Jupiter.  Some cards will also give you immediate bonuses or help boost your resource production.

While buying the cards comes with a small cost, the cost of putting them into play depends on the size of the project.  You’ll have to build up enough income to afford some of the costlier projects if you want to beat your fellow competitors and win the most victory points.

Terraforming Rating

Your Terraforming Rating is a special indicator that determines your victory point score, your income, and the amount of resources you produce.  Every time you perform an action that furthers the completion of one of the three main terraforming conditions, you’ll boost your Terraforming Rating and become that much more powerful.

Successfully Terraforming Mars

In each round, players go through three phases.  The first phase is the research phase, where each player is given the opportunity to buy randomly drawn cards.  Then, during the action phase, players can perform 1-2 actions such as playing a card, using the action of a card in play, or small tasks like converting heat into a temperature raise that slowly help to terraform Mars. 

While each player’s goal is to obtain victory points through buying cards and completing projects, the ultimate goal of Terraforming Mars is to complete the three terraforming conditions that make Mars habitable.  Once the oxygen level and temperature have both been raised to sufficient levels and enough of Mars has been covered by ocean, then the game ends.  Players will then count all of their points based on their Terraforming Rating and achievements, and the player with the highest score wins.

Terraforming Mars Expansions

Terraforming Mars comes with five unique expansions that add cool elements to the game such as the planet Venus or a Martian government.  With the Hellas and Elysium expansion, you’ll play with a new double-sided board that can make gameplay last for hours of fun.  The Venus Next expansion transports the game from Mars to Venus, as mankind’s colonization of the planets knows no bounds.

The Colonies expansion adds different areas around the solar system that players can use to produce resources without needing to play cards.  The Turmoil expansion adds the intriguing element of a Martian government that players can manipulate to achieve their own ends and earn elusive bonuses.  Several more expansions are currently in the works as Terraforming Mars continues to be a popular game for all kinds of players.

Terraforming Mars Is Out Of This World

Terraforming Mars can be played by anywhere from 1-5 players.  The fact that the game is so versatile means that you can enjoy it just as easily playing it on your own as you can with your entire family or friend group.  While there are many interesting elements and complex strategies involved with Terraforming Mars, it’s not too difficult to comprehend, and should be suitable for ages 12 and up. 

Terraforming Mars is a bit of an endeavor, as playing time usually lasts around 2 hours.  If you add one of the optional expansions to the mix, you may be looking at an entire night spent building cities and hurling asteroids.  Still, Terraforming Mars is certainly interesting enough that you won’t become tired of it before the game is over.  With a creative premise and endless potential for strategy, Terraforming Mars is one of the top strategy board games on the market.

 

 

How to Play Terraforming Mars

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