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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Rules

Subject: Beginner Corporation starting hand rss

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Matt Smith
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When using the Beginner Corporation, the corporation card says to draw 10 cards for free. Does that mean that player starts the first action phase with 10 cards in hand without having to pay anything to keep the cards?

If the above is true, that seems like a huge advantage for a Beginner Corporation player who is playing against an experienced player with a regular corporation card. Some of the regular corporation cards start with less than 42 mega-credits, and they have to pay 3 mega-credits for each card they want to keep from their initial 10 cards. So the experienced players will start with either much less money or much fewer cards. They also start with no resource production (this is incorrect, as pointed out by the subsequent post).

Is my understanding of how the Beginner Corporation works, and is it not advisable to combine Beginner Corporation players with normal corporation players?
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Joe Martineau
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You are correct, except in that the normal corps still get the +1 production on everything in addition to what their card offers. The exception to that is the Corporate Era game, where everyone gets only what is on the corp card (and I think you can't/wouldn't play with beginner corps).

The beginner corp advantage ends up being a few credits (saved from buying the first round of cards) and then a few more credits when they sell the free cards they don't end up using. There's also the advantage of having all those cards at once and not needing to choose a direction early on, but I think that's balanced by new players not having a great idea of how to play until a few turns in.



I've played four games now and after the first, I've dealt two random corps to everyone (newbies included) and a beginner corp to each first-time player. No one with a beginner corp has ever won.
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Matt Smith
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On average, how many cards have you seen players buy from their initial 10 cards? Just curious if it's typically low (3-4), or if players are spending most of their starting cash to have a larger starting hand. I imagine the goal is to grab a few cards that synergize well together, while still keeping enough cash to play a card or two in the first generation.
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Joe Martineau
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Average 2-4.

I make no claims about us being expert players, though.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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Joe is right. Beginner corporations are better in the start because they have all their corporation worth from the beginning. Other corporations have effects that are ongoing, generating something along the game. All corporations are calculated to have the same worth in the end, but with on-going effects, this is very hard to predict. With good combos, some effects can be more powerful than others. The beginner corporation has no "combo" effect, apart from the played cards, thus instead getting a higher start worth.

My experience of keeping starting cards is varied. My mother, having played this game hundreds of times - usually buys all 10 starting cards and aims for the "Planner" milestone (16 cards in hand). That milestone is usually the one which is fastest to take if you really want to. But I doubt this is a good strategy unless all, or most, cards are actually good. I usually end up keeping 5 cards, plus or minus 2. Out of approximately 100 plays, I think I kept 2 cards only once, while keeping 10 cards several times.

Of course, this is much player preference. I am sure this choice of starting cards is a pretty important decision in the long run. It is important to get going from the start, kick-start the engine, so to speak. But in the late game, it is not unusual to have resources but no cards to play. That's another ditch you don't want to end up in.
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Love Nilsson
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mvettemagred wrote:
If the above is true, that seems like a huge advantage for a Beginner Corporation player who is playing against an experienced player with a regular corporation card.


It is so. Beginner corps have an advantage, but not an unfair one as long as they are played by beginners. Played by an experienced player, they are likely to win.

mvettemagred wrote:
... is it not advisable to combine Beginner Corporation players with normal corporation players?


Players playing their first game with Beginner Corp against normal corporation players is fine. I'd say even up to having only played a few games (2-3) is ok. Once i've seen a first-time player with Beginner Corp beat experienced players. Occurs more often if they've played before.

I don't mind new players having an advantage, it means they keep playing the game and that's a good thing.
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Enoch Fryxelius
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Of course it depends of the length of the game, more precisely on the number of rounds. Playing the basic game with 5 players and no expansions Mars is terraformed in perhaps only 6 rounds (!). In that case it's really good to start with cards for free and a lot of money!

But if you are playing expansions (like CE or the other ones we are developing) and/or fewer players (for example 2!) the game could sometimes last for 20 rounds or more, and that is a looong time to take advantage of your corporation's special ability and find some cool combos.

I agree with Love though - let beginners play Beginner's Corps, that is what they are made for. If it's the first time you play it's much easier to get your 10 first cards without having to make any decisions on which to keep.

It works perfect to mix beginner corps with normal corps. While the experienced players choose their cards and corps, the new ones can just look through their hand and try to understand how their cards work.


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