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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Dice instead of player cubes for production rss

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Joe Martineau
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My group has switched to six siders for tracking production, rather than the player cubes. It is way too easy to bump a production cube when fiddling with all the resources cubes.

Not an especially innovative tweak, but one that I would recommend to everyone.
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Christof
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Why 6-siders? Wouldn't 10-siders have been better?
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Joe Martineau
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Yeah, probably, but it was cheap and easy to buy a brick of brown d6s.
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Steve Carey
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RageGoblin wrote:
It is way too easy to bump a production cube when fiddling with all the resources cubes.


Fully agree with this - the playmats provided are cheap, too small, and they just don't work as well as they should.

During our 4P session last night, two players bumped their mats and dislodged tracking cubes (this despite everyone being as careful as they could be, having been forewarned).
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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I can see this happening, unfortunately. However, during my over hundred plays this has rarely been a problem.
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Steve Carey
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It's a minor annoyance - the game itself is truly excellent!
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Robert F-C
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RageGoblin wrote:
Yeah, probably, but it was cheap and easy to buy a brick of brown d6s.


And probably a D6 is a lot less likely to be knocked off its face than a D10 - which is what you are trying to protect against anyway.

Great idea.
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Matt Smith
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I prefer the look of the translucent cubes, so I'm going to see how it goes for a few plays before resorting to dice.
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Asaf Hamtzany
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Some Eclipse players made transparent playmats with holes for cube locations for similar purposes.
Maybe someone could design something like this for Terraforming Mars.
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Steve Carey
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UAF1 wrote:
Some Eclipse players made transparent playmats with holes for cube locations for similar purposes.
Maybe someone could design something like this for Terraforming Mars.


A member of my group provided the specs to a laser-cutter company and they created a custom plastic tray to fit over an enlarged playmat in order to hold the cubes.



Works great, unfortunately it cost $100 for the set of five.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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Wow, that was a cool way of solving it. Good idea, if you have the money for it. I've never had a real problem with the cubes on the player board.
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Asaf Hamtzany
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An idea I just had - somehow make the playmats slightly sticky. Like sticky pads for cell phones or something.
I wonder if it is possible with some DIY method.
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Rahn
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If the cubes do get bumped off is it possible to reset them exactly by examining the player's tableau?
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Steve Carey
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TumbleSteak wrote:
If the cubes do get bumped off is it possible to reset them exactly by examining the player's tableau?


Not really because a player can perform Standard Actions (listed on the map board) which aren't reflected in the tableau.

It's really a very minor fiddly issue, we've played close to a dozen games now and the cubes are no longer a concern (whether we play with the custom laser-cut tray or not, as we've had two games going on simultaneously).
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Steve Carey wrote:
TumbleSteak wrote:
If the cubes do get bumped off is it possible to reset them exactly by examining the player's tableau?


Not really because a player can perform Standard Actions (listed on the map board) which aren't reflected in the tableau.

It's really a very minor fiddly issue, we've played close to a dozen games now and the cubes are no longer a concern (whether we play with the custom laser-cut tray or not, as we've had two games going on simultaneously).


The production can also be affected by other players' cards, but this is not so often, and the players should be able to help each other recreate the situation.
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Rahn
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I'd love to see recessed boards (like this I'm Scythe) become standard for these types of tracking boards.

Not sure how realistic that is with cost constraints but it does add a strong feel of quality to the components and the game.
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Love Nilsson
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Clumsy people could use Blu-Tack to keep their cubes in place.
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fugazi70 fugazi70
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Steve Carey wrote:
UAF1 wrote:
Some Eclipse players made transparent playmats with holes for cube locations for similar purposes.
Maybe someone could design something like this for Terraforming Mars.


A member of my group provided the specs to a laser-cutter company and they created a custom plastic tray to fit over an enlarged playmat in order to hold the cubes.



Works great, unfortunately it cost $100 for the set of five.



Do you have the name of the company that made the custom tray? Thst looks sweet.
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Matt Krakoff
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I've already sent my wish for acrylic overlays to http://www.boardgameinnovation.com. If someone has all the dimensions for the player mat and could send it to them that might help. They responded saying they would be interested in making them but are still trying to get a copy of the game.

I'd like to see the overly completely cover the mat and have "buckets" for each resource as well.

I've used their other overlays and the quality and price have always been great.
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Bill Buchanan
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I think it's pretty much automatic that someone is going to come out with some overlays for this game ...
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Greg Justice
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mkrakoff wrote:
I've already sent my wish for acrylic overlays to http://www.boardgameinnovation.com. If someone has all the dimensions for the player mat and could send it to them that might help. They responded saying they would be interested in making them but are still trying to get a copy of the game.

I'd like to see the overly completely cover the mat and have "buckets" for each resource as well.

I've used their other overlays and the quality and price have always been great.


Mind keeping us posted? Fantastic idea. Maybe the Fryxelius brothers could send them some specs? TM is a blast (either way) but an overlay for the player mats would be super awesome, next level radness.
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Enoch Fryxelius
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We are painfully aware of the complaints we get about the slippery player boards. Unfortunately, this was the only solution in this price range - switching to plastic or full cardboard would drastically increase production cost (remember: sales price=production costx4-5).
Unfortunately, the finishing layer that protects the colors are also slippery...

Fortunately, the few times you happen to bump your parameters, you can usually backtrack your production by checking the cards you have played. (only problem is remembering other player's cards that might have affected your production, but there are only a few of these cards.)

Love the plastic tray! Now we can make money of selling those seperately and we'll finally be rich and famous!!
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Sam Carroll
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Pete S. is talking about making overlays - and given how good his Star Wars Rebellion leader stands are, I'm excited!

HUGE UPDATE! Arkham/Eldritch Horror investigator stands, Vast player board cube overlays and 2 universal dice accessories

rcpete22 wrote:
I had the pleasure of playing this game the other night with this fellow (who incidentally has a really great game review video series), and immediately we determined that it needed a cube overlay! I'll be starting a design for this very shortly, which will also include some type of backboard since the actual player board is really just a piece of paper. shake Incredible game, though!
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Bart Rachemoss
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While we are talking about component improvement, what about different cubes for money, steel, titanium, and energy/heat? I think the current system is quite functional but different cubes might be a little nicer and might reduce confusion just a little. It makes sense for the energy and heat cubes to be the same.

I'm not saying the original designers should have done this since you are already getting a lot of game for your buck.
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Jacob Fryxelius
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BitJam wrote:
While we are talking about component improvement, what about different cubes for money, steel, titanium, and energy/heat? I think the current system is quite functional but different cubes might be a little nicer and might reduce confusion just a little. It makes sense for the energy and heat cubes to be the same.

I'm not saying the original designers should have done this since you are already getting a lot of game for your buck.


You are right that it would make things a little clearer having different resource cubes for different resources, and we did consider it.
However, it would require a lot of different types of cubes; not only the 6 basic ones, but also animals, microbes, science resources etc. AND you would need a lot of each resource since you don't know how many you will need of a certain resource during a game. Some games have microbes galore, while during others the heat resources pile up for several players, Steel and titanium can vary considerably too, depending both on the production and on if the players get the cards to spend it on or not. Introducing such a resource system would effectively put a cap on how many of a certain resource are available, something we find deeply unthematic.
The current system allows us to invent new types of resources and have change for each one so you can handle any amount of anything. So we decided to go for this, giving us leeway to design the game we wanted. I guess you can't have everything.

Cheers!
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