So you’ve decided to take part in settling planet Irata, a remote and hazardous dustball of a planet light years from home. You’ll be stranded for months, armed only with a bit of cash, your wits and a bevy of glitchy, temperamental M.U.L.E.s (Multiple Use Labor Element). Did I mention your only neighbours are three other colonists who are just as happy to pick over your bones as they are to trade precious resources? There are also thieving pirates, voracious pests and acid rain storms? Still want to go? Than pack your Wampus bait and read on fearless settler!
Build a thriving colony on planet Irata while becoming the most successful player. Ideally the colony will live to see another year with you as it’s wealthiest resident. Hone your strategy by deploying your MULEs effectively and harvesting and trading essential resources such as food, energy, and smithore to form a thriving economy. Get too greedy by exploiting the colony’s weaknesses (or your rival’s stupidity) and you may find yourself ruling a colony doomed to failure.
Winning means having the highest score. Your score is made up of your:
- Goods (all resources combined)
The Colony’s success is dependent on the total of the player scores. The Federation really just cares that in total, wealth was created.
Will you leave a legacy for your descendants or flee Irata with your bags of money as the colony crumbles around you? Perhaps you’ll just starve in the process.
MULE Gameplay-Brief Summary
The game is divided into 4 phases
- Land Plot Acquisition
- Land Development
- Resource Production
- Resource Auction
The Short-Attention-Span Version
- Choose your difficulty and select your race.
- You and 3 other colonists are transported to planet Irata for 12 months (6 in beginner) – 12 rounds of gameplay, each round representing 1 month.
- Players start each round by selecting a land plot. There are 3 kinds of plots. River (ideal for farming), Plains (ideal for energy), Mountains (ideal for mining).
- Depending on difficulty level, additional plots may be auctioned off.
- Players purchase MULEs in the colony’s only store then outfit them to manufacture Food, Energy, Smithore or Crystite. During the same turn (which has a time limit), players place their MULEs on land plots.
- If there’s time left over, players can optionally hunt the mythical Wampus for extra money, survey plots of land looking for valuable Crystite (Tournament level only). Sell plots of land, re-outfit or move MULEs or end the turn by gambling at the pub. There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time so don’t dally!
- Next, each plot produces resources. How much is produced depends on several factors such as the type of land, how much energy the player has (not enough and plots will not produce), if the player’s plots are adjacent, if the player has multiple plots producing the same resource.
- A random event may occur which can impact production (e.g. solar flares boost energy, pirates steal smithore).
- Finally players head to the Auction phase where they may buy or sell resources to each other or to the colony store. Bidding wars, alliances, deceptions, shortfalls and buying out the store to screw over thy neighbor… Irata auctions are never dull.
- When the auctions are complete, the round is officially over and the scores are shown.
- The next round then begins starting with acquiring another plot of land, outfitting it with a MULE, producing more resources, more auctions, etc.
- The game ends after 12 rounds (or 6 rounds at the beginner difficulty), a winner is chosen and the colony’s fate determined.
Alright, that sounds like a lot but you’ll get the hang of it after a few rounds.