We had a second game of Mission: Red Planet before we left Bristol yesterday. This time I chose more adventurous bonus cards at the beginning as the +2 I'd chosen in the first game was pretty lame, with everyone else getting around 6-8 points for theirs. I got +8 if you have the most astronauts on Mars. At that point I made a concious choice to play the recruiter early, so that I could play those characters which get me two (or three) astronauts onto ships twice. I also tried to play the Explorer in the scoring rounds to maximise the number of locations I would score. Fairly early on I played the Scientist, and got a second bonus card that was worth 6 (I think) if you collected the most of the most expensive ore. So I was aiming for those territories too.
After the second scoring during the turn eight, I was winning by a hefty amount, although Matt was definitely getting more astronauts on the planet. However, it all went a bit Pete Tong in the end. I'd used up my Explorers in turns five and eight, the first two scoring rounds, which were worth as much combined as the final scoring. With my healthy lead I was the person to target so I was attacked a couple of times with Soldiers and the like, and those who chose the Explorer in the final round were able to out-maneouvre me on the surface. As a result Suzy got the most of the most expensive element and Matt had the most astronauts on Mars. Neither of my bonus cards scored me any points. Plus I'd lost control of a couple of territories in the final turn, and hence didn't score very well. The Wife managed to surprise herself as much as the rest of us by completing both her bonus cards in the final turn and getting the bonus for having the most ice tokens. Final scores: The Wife 40, Matt 39, Suzy 33, Me 30.
I'm off to Paul's tonight for more games - woohoo! Session report up tomorrow all being well.