It is 2250, and the bicentennial celebrations of the first human colony on Mars are about to begin. 200 years of human achievement, but also 200 years of hardship. Mars is an unforgiving world, a barren wasteland on the surface; therefore the people live in vast underground cities known as labyrinths.
Over the years, the people of Mars have formed their own culture and identity and want more say in their own rule. To many, Earth is a remote world with too much control over Martian affairs. Furthermore, Earth’s corporations have too much power over life and death. Some long for a green Mars, covered in oceans and life, while others recoil at the idea that humanity will destroy the climate of another planet.
Red Dust Rebellion tells the story of the Martian revolts of the 2250’s and the rise of Martian nationalism. Up to 4 players will take part in this game and control the following factions:
The Martian Provisional Government (MG) believes it has the best interests of Mars at heart. Made up of bureaucrats appointed from Earth and locally-elected officials, they are walking a political tightrope of representing Earth interests while keeping the local population happy. They need the support of Martian locals to effectively administer the planet. The MG has the backing of Earth and access to their resources, but Earth is far away, and shipping is a time-consuming process, so they will need to manage their flow of resources carefully. They will rely on their sometimes-allies the Corporations to help stabilize Mars and protect against raids from the Church of the Reclaimer.
Mars is the future for humanity, and with rampant climate change events on Earth, the push to further colonize and terraform Mars is growing. The Corporations (CORP) are Earth-controlled companies with vested interests in Mars. And while they have a bottomless amount of resources to commit to the conflict, they ultimately have to answer to their shareholders. This means that profits are their primary motivation. Replacing units costs money, so they want the Mars Government to fight their battles for them. The Corporations also wish to extend their infrastructure to ready the planet for eventual terraforming.
Native-born Martian workers form the backbone of the Red Dust (RD) movement. The so-called "Dusters" demand a government for Martians, by Martians, without Earth interference, and they are willing to take it by force. Nominally a worker's movement, the Dusters are an organized and determined force within the labyrinths of Mars and must rally the unions, guilds, and various popular assemblies to their cause to force the Earthers out and secure a free Mars for Martians.
And finally, many look at the mistakes of old Earth and do not wish to repeat them. We have poisoned our home world and are planning on poisoning another. Human history is a process of making the same mistakes over and over again. These ideas have created The Church of the Reclaimer (CR). A post-humanist faith, they seek to adapt humanity to Mars, not the other way around. And they are opposed to all terraforming and further colonization on Mars. While the moderates of the faith seek to block this progress using peaceful protest and political action, the more extreme elements are not above using violence to achieve their goals—a Mars returned to its natural state with human impact kept to an absolute minimum.
Unique features of Red Dust Rebellion
A hostile world – Dust storms will appear and block access to different regions for extended periods of time. Fighting in the densely-populated labyrinths can end up damaging life-giving infrastructure. And the vast surface of the planet means forces can just disappear in the dust.
The unpredictable raiders – The CR does not use Resources or appear on the standard order of activation. Instead, they use a new system to the COIN series that allows them to interject and decide when they wish to act, allowing for less frequent but sudden moves.
The Aldrin Cycler – Earth is a long way from Mars. Many COIN supplies and replacements will take a long time to get from Earth to Mars, forcing those factions to plan for the long term.
Multiple battlefields – Red Dust Rebellion takes place across 3 major theaters on Mars: The Noctis Labyrinthus, The Hellas Basin, and Arabia Terra. Between these areas is the vast wilderness of Mars, largely unpopulated with barren wastes as vast as the total landmass of Earth.
Satellite warfare – The COIN forces control a network of surveillance satellites, but there are rumors that some are equipped with mass drivers and orbital assault pods as well.
Everything is connected – All of the major cities on Mars are connected by spaceports. If you control both locations, you can freely move forces back and forth, allowing for sudden changes in the complexion of each theatre.
The Earth Governments (EG) form a 5th faction that maintains elite forces and an extensive satellite network. Control of the EG forces changes between the MG and CORP based on how much Earth trusts the Martian government to manage the rebellion.
- A 22" x 34" mounted game board
- 96 cards
- Card-based Solitaire system components
- 173 wooden forces pieces
- 6 white and 6 red pawns
- 1.5 marker sheets
- A 8.5" x 11" double-sided, full-color player aid
- 4 8.5" x 5.5" double-sided, full-color cardstock (not mounted) player mats
- 4 Faction player-aid foldouts (11x17)
- 3 6-sided dice: 1 black, 1 white, 1 red
- A background play book
- A rule book
- A 3" box
Game Designer: J Carmichael
Game Developer: Adam Blinkinsop
COIN Series Developer: Jason Carr