What is the objective of the game Terraforming Mars: Colonies?

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, "Terraforming Mars: Colonies" was an expansion for the base game "Terraforming Mars," designed by Jacob Fryxelius and published by Stronghold Games. This expansion adds new gameplay elements, enhancing the overall experience of the original game. Please note that game rules and objectives might have evolved after my last update, so I'll provide information based on that time.

The objective of "Terraforming Mars: Colonies" remains aligned with the overarching goal of the base game, which is to terraform Mars and make it habitable for human colonization. Players take on the roles of corporations, working to develop the Martian landscape, increase temperature, oxygen levels, and oceans, and establish colonies to sustain life on the planet.

In "Terraforming Mars: Colonies," the primary focus shifts to expanding human presence on Mars through the establishment of colonies and trade routes. Players now have the opportunity to build colonies and send their trade fleets to newly established territories on the planet. The expansion introduces new cards, corporations, and game boards, adding depth and variety to the gameplay.

To achieve the objective of establishing colonies and expanding human presence on Mars, players use a combination of actions and resources. Throughout the game, players can take actions such as playing project cards, using standard projects, and utilizing the abilities of their corporation to gain resources, claim milestones, and raise terraforming parameters.

The expansion introduces the concept of colonies, which players can build on Mars. Colonies are represented by new hexagonal tiles that players can place on their turns. Each colony provides specific bonuses, such as resources, production, or victory points. Additionally, players can build trade fleets to travel between colonies, thereby increasing their access to resources and unlocking unique abilities.

By establishing colonies and trade routes, players can generate more resources and increase their income, enabling them to pursue various projects and accelerate the terraforming process. Players must carefully strategize when and where to build colonies, as well as how to utilize their trade fleets for maximum benefit.

As the game progresses, players continue to accumulate terraforming points, achieved by raising the planet's temperature, oxygen levels, and ocean coverage. These points bring Mars closer to becoming a hospitable environment for human life. The game ends when specific terraforming milestones are achieved, and the player with the most terraforming points is declared the winner.

"Terraforming Mars: Colonies" expands on the base game's mechanics and provides players with additional opportunities for interaction and strategic decision-making. The incorporation of colonies and trade fleets adds a new layer of depth to the gameplay, offering fresh challenges and rewards.

The "Terraforming Mars" series, including the "Colonies" expansion, has received widespread acclaim for its thematic richness, strategic gameplay, and high replayability. The game's blend of science fiction elements, resource management, and card play captivates players, inviting them to embark on a captivating journey to transform the Red Planet into a new home for humanity.

Please note that due to the evolving nature of board games and expansions, there may have been updates or new editions of "Terraforming Mars: Colonies" beyond my last knowledge update. For the most current and accurate information, I recommend consulting the latest rulebook and official sources.