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NOTE: This is a review of a product I found on Etsy and purchased. No discount was given in exchange for this review.

As I mentioned previously, Terraforming Mars needs a 3rd party supplement for the player boards. I found several options on Etsy and after some deliberation with Chubby Unicorn, I purchased a set of 5. They work great!

I looked at “overlays” which sit on top of the existing “boards” (which are in fact just paper). The seller I used (and others) offered overlays with a back board which sandwich the player board, but those were much more expensive (1 with a backboard was almost as much as 5 without). Since the main problem had to do with table bumps and accidentally touching the board, and not needing to pick up the player boards, I opted for just the overlays.

I bought a set of overlays from GamingTrunk for less than $30. Shipping added ~$15 more since it was coming from Canada. There was a seller in the USA who also had a great product, but they were on vacation at the time I was ordering. They (BoardGameBoost) are now back and open for business. Oddly enough, GamingTrunk is now closed.

The overlays work great. There is just enough of an indentation for the production markers so that the cubes will not slide. The boxes for resources do a great job for keeping the cubes separate. I like the open path to push my energy cubes into heat production.

What’s not to like… well I got it without a back, so I can’t pick it up and move it, but I knew that going in. I suppose I could glue the overlay to the player board to remedy that, but I don’t feel the need just yet.

The specific overlay I purchased required me to print a new player board (from one of 3 options on BoardGameGeek). I chose the “squares” option (even though part of my brain screamed, “RECTANGLES!”) and printed out a copy on a thick piece of paper. Prior to the overlays arriving, Chubby Unicorn played with the new mat, while I used the original. She enjoyed that there were dedicated spaces for extra production (she looped on Heat Production). Shortly after that, I printed out 4 more copies for use with the overlays.

We’ve now played with the overlays twice and are both very happy with them and definitely find them to be a useful tool. If you like playing Terraforming Mars and find the existing boards disappointing, I highly recommend these overlays.

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