"Venus Next" is an expansion for the excellent 'Terraforming Mars". Its central component is a new side board of the planet Venus with a progress track for the atmosphere and room for 4 cities.
To emphasize the inhospitability of this specific environment, the track stops at 30%, with 15 increments of 2%. As usual, some bonuses can be obtained at certain thresholds. The board also includes a new standard action to trigger the progress. In addition, a new set of action cards is provided with focus on Venus and introducing a new resource: floaters. They can be collected like e.g. microbes and can be used to fuel various actions or count towards victory points. 5 new corporations are also available, with various starting conditions and abilities. And finally a new milestone and award is introduced related to Venus and its floaters.
This expansion can be combined with other expansions. To make it easier to distinguish the card sets, they are all marked with a Venus symbol in the lower left side. The Venus board itself is not that remarkable: the new track is not relevant for end game conditions and since it only contains city spots, there's not really much to do. I would have expected something more here, but this was probably decided to keep the main focus on Mars. What I did like however is the new card set with the floaters. This creates new opportunities for constructing your tableau and opens up interesting new action combos. Some of the corporations also have intriguing abilities. I haven't tried them all yet, but it will take some games to find out how they work best.
One final novelty that I haven't mentioned yet is the addition of a new phase: the solar phase (occurs after production). In this phase the first player may choose one progress of his choice for free, but he does not get any rewards for it. I assume this was designed to facilitate progress on Venus, but it could also make the game a lot shorter. The jury is still out on that change...
Ok, time to round up. Is "Venus Next" a must have expansion? Maybe not, but if you're looking for more variation in 'Terraforming Mars" you're certainly at the right address.
This game was donated by Stronghold Games and can be played at Het Geel Pionneke from november 2017.
Venus Next is for sale at spelmagazijn.be with 10% discount for our members.
Age : from 12 years
Time : 90 - 120 minutes