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The Ares Project

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Earth has been devastated by thousands of years of human exploitation. The salvation of mankind lies millions of miles away, in the Martian tundra. Mankind embarks on The Ares Project, an ambitious and audacious program to terraform and colonize the red planet. As they spread across the surface of Mars, four factions will fight for the future…

The Ares Project game contents
images © Z-Man Games

Terrans: The remnants of the global Earth Defense Force, the Terran Alliance is making a last stand for democracy.

Kahoum: An ancient cabal that has kept their existence secret, the Kahoum have mastered psychic forces and are ready to reveal themselves to the rest of humanity.

Colossus: A renegade team of underpaid engineers retreated to a secret lab to create the ultimate fighting machine: The Colossus. It is the equal of an entire army, and is prepared to wreak havoc.

Xenos: The original inhabitants of Mars, they have lain in dormant hibernation for millenia. Now the human terraforming has awakened them from their slumber.

Lead one of these four unique sides in fast-paced, card-driven action. Build your forces, upgrade them with advanced technologies, and launch them into battle.

User Reviews (1)

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I play orange
Miniature Painter
Veteran Grader
Intermediate Reviewer
32 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Asymetric tactical wargame with cards? Yes sir!”

There have been a few card based games out there that have tried to be a tactical wargame ala a tabletop wargame. The Ares Project is probably the closet to that endeavor and supersedes even many skirmish ministure games.

The game has its general rules but 4 factions with their own deck of cards and their own abilities that are more asymmetric than you’ll find in most games with factions. These factions supply their own rules.

Players fight for domination of Mars by conquering other player’s “bases” or having the most VPs under the central area of the table by games end.

Players take turns drawing cards and developing their army and/or base in a hidden format until someone attacks, to which the involved players reveal their developments. At this point, players will have differing amounts of resources available and may enlist their units. Then their is combat manuvering, then combat and then resolution. These stages are pretty in depth for the scale and scope of the game and provide a lot of tactical choices. Bonus.

The game actually has more in game strategy than most tabletop games because the strategy is typically determined before the game begins in how you enlist. Players can spy and such to aid in strategic decisions.

The game is a fairly rewarding experience and will require a few plays to get a handle on how deep one commits attacking, defending and holding resources for future actions.

The only quip I have is that there is a snowball affect in play. If you win combat heavily, your opponent is in a crippled state and the game is too sensitive to the randomness of when “attack” cards are drawn. Nonetheless, even if a crippled player can hold out long enough to rebuild, his opponent(s) have had the same amount of time to develop at a similar pace so winning the first combat is crucial unless you can get your opponent to commit to defending to the wrong place.

The asymmetry is a total joy in this game however.


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