Won my first game against easy AI in Rocketmen by Martin Wallace. I have some difficulties parsing rulebooks, recently. I used to learn games just by reading the rulebook, but now I have to sit in front of the board with the cards, and then I get it. I have a feeling some rulebooks are written that way, you need the material, to get the whole picture. Am I paranoid? Maybe…
Rocketmen is a deckbuilding game with a twist. In deckbuilders usually there are cards, that help you thin your deck. Not here. You thin your deck for every mission you prepare. You pay 10$ to put a card on your launch pad. So while prepping a mission to Mars, your deck becomes thinner and thinner.
After a successful mission all your rocket booster, thrusts and support cards return from your launch pad back to your discard, meaning your deck gets fat again.
The Ai is pretty simple, it gets a boost of a couple of steps when starting a mission and will then proceed to the destination one step per turn. It can get tense, when you have the same goal as the AI, then it gets a race.
On the image, all my yellow markers are completed successful missions (6 in total). That’s the end of the game, once you completed 6 mission. Each mission will also give you permanent advantages like income, resources or increased hand limit.
A mission is a push your luck thing. You can spent all game prepping your first mission or decide at one reasonable point, that you are going to push for lift off. Then you draw cards from the mission success deck. It will tell you how far your rocket will fly. You can boost your rocket distance with cards on your launch pad. The cards are really well done and multi use most of the time. There is no boring card, all are very thematic like the reusable rocket parts card, the quantum computer, and so on…
I bought the game blind in a store, but no regrets.