The curiosity rover landed in August 2012, and has travelled a total of over 27km, but the rough Martian surface caused havoc with the six aluminium wheels. The rough surfaces or various hazards of Mars cause constant wear and tear on buildings, vehicles and equipment which can lead to malfunctions or failures at any time. A robust maintenance regime and attention to problems before they become too large can make a big difference, but there will always be a need for repairs.
Although equipment for Mars is designed with efficiency in mind, past rovers have still encountered many problems - from damage to wheels, issues with solar panels getting too dusty to produce power, or instruments failing to function as expected. With astronauts on the planet it would be a vital part of their role to check over the equipment and ensure it’s functioning smoothly, and their lives would depend on some of the systems not breaking down. Having mechanically minded engineers on Mars would enable hands on repairs to take place in a way they are unable to currently, and prolong the life of equipment to save replacements having to take up precious space on new missions from Earth.
Mechanical failures can strike any building or piece of machinery at any time, and the interconnected nature of the colony can lead to knock-on impacts. Mechanical Failures can impact any ownership card (not sponsorship cards) and happen in batches at the same time, representing unclassified weather phenomenons, power surges, damaged lines and a host of other miscellaneous events. They have the lowest intensity ranges and are therefore most likely to occur on already damaged cards, or cards which are under/over supported heavily. Well maintained ownership cards with a balanced allocation of active base cards can become almost immune to Mechanical failures.
Mechanical Failure hazards inflicts 50 points of damage each time they damage an ownership card.