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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Red Cards: How Many, How Mean? Do you need them? rss

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Roger Brown
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I am looking forward to getting this game but I was disappointed to learn that there are "event" cards, the red cards, that attack other players. I don't like the idea that a player is planning, orchestrating their resources to accomplish something and another player can pick them to set back.

The game doesn't seem to include (from reading the rule book) much information about the cards.How many of the red cards are there? Are they a big part of the game? And how mean or devastating can they be?

I watched the Drive Through video yesterday and he suggested their purpose was to keep a check on people hording for a big game ending push which would imbalance the game. But if there are over 200 cards, it seems that they wouldn't serve that function unless there were lots of them so you would be certain they would come out in any one game.

So, can you play without them? Would it hurt the game to just leave them out?
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Bill Buchanan
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The only negative effects you 100% have to do in order to play a card is when it says to reduce production, either from yourself, or another player.

Any cards that tells you to reduce actual resources that have already been acquired, that's optional, and if you don't do it you can still play the card.

These cards, especially the one's the require you to reduce resources from someone are balanced in that they cost a lot of Mega-credits to play.

I think I remember reading that these cards (reduce production, resources, etc.) make up about 10% of the deck.
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Joshua Schutte
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Columbus
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Most of the events that raise the temperature kill off 2 to 6 plants (8 plants = 1 tile = 1 to 3 vps (final score in the 80-120 range at 3-4 players) so they usually just keep the leader from score 1-3 pts over the entire game. 1 other event steals an energy production, this one is hard to quantify but 1 energy = 1 heat/turn , 8 heat = 1 vp. They are very minor, and the only slight catch up mechanic in the game.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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I want to emphasize that red cards are events. They are not red because they attack other players, they are red because they thematically happen once and then have no further value for your corporation (hence place them face down). The green cards refer thematically to ongoing industries and processes that you own. This is why their tags count, because even if you've already got their effects in-game, they're still there thematically, working for your benefit without you needing to interfere. The blue cards are like the green ones, but they demand your focus and attention.
So, red cards are red for their theme, not for their in-game purposes. That being said, many of the attacky cards are red. And their attacky effects are thematically bound to the concept of the card. If you hurl an asteroid at the surface, you'll get the impact heat, and plant life will suffer. So, naturally, that is the in-game effect. If you don't care about the theme, it is of course ok for any game owner to house-rule the game. But these effects are usually not that mean, not that many, and most of them are volontary.
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Roger Brown
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Is there a card manifest available anywhere?
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Roguester wrote:
I am looking forward to getting this game but I was disappointed to learn that there are "event" cards, the red cards, that attack other players. I don't like the idea that a player is planning, orchestrating their resources to accomplish something and another player can pick them to set back.

The game doesn't seem to include (from reading the rule book) much information about the cards.How many of the red cards are there? Are they a big part of the game? And how mean or devastating can they be?

I watched the Drive Through video yesterday and he suggested their purpose was to keep a check on people hording for a big game ending push which would imbalance the game. But if there are over 200 cards, it seems that they wouldn't serve that function unless there were lots of them so you would be certain they would come out in any one game.

So, can you play without them? Would it hurt the game to just leave them out?


Hello,

Like others have said, the take-that is quite mild in this game, but there is some, especially towards plant resources and plant production.
To take out all those cards would be a mistake since that would remove two important categories of cards (asteroids and animals), so I'd suggest first playing the game as it is, and if you still think the take-that is too much, then remove only the 10-11 most evil cards, not more.
It is good to know, though, going into the game, that plants are not so safe.

The reason for the existing take-that is that we in FryxGames generally like that kind of interaction, AND it's thematic, AND it's a catch-up mechanism. A leader that can't take a little bashing is not a worthy leader! cool Many of those cards also cost quite a bit because they do constructive things as well, like upping the temperature.

Cheers!
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Frank Hamrick
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Rocky Mount
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I was recently hit with a red card. I had produced 8 plants and on my next turn would turn them into a plant tile (giving me 2 VP's as I would place it beside my city). However, the player before me played a card killing all 8 of my plant tiles. Sadly, I wasn't even in the lead or close to the lead (finished 3rd) and it was not close to the end of the game. He simply had the card, wanted to play it, and I was the only one who had 8 plants waiting to turn into vegetation. So, I got hit. How did I feel? Bummed! The 'attack' didn't make sense as I was currently running 5th on the TR track. Further, I saw no benefit to the player for playing the card.

Thus - I have no love for the red cards. but, it didn't sour me on the game, though it did upset me that he played it on my for no apparent benefit to himself.
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John Burt
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Frank Hamrick wrote:
I was recently hit with a red card. I had produced 8 plants and on my next turn would turn them into a plant tile (giving me 2 VP's as I would place it beside my city). However, the player before me played a card killing all 8 of my plant tiles. Sadly, I wasn't even in the lead or close to the lead (finished 3rd) and it was not close to the end of the game. He simply had the card, wanted to play it, and I was the only one who had 8 plants waiting to turn into vegetation. So, I got hit. How did I feel? Bummed! The 'attack' didn't make sense as I was currently running 5th on the TR track. Further, I saw no benefit to the player for playing the card.

Thus - I have no love for the red cards. but, it didn't sour me on the game, though it did upset me that he played it on my for no apparent benefit to himself.


And that's the problem with putting an "leader attack" mechanism into a game: not all players will use it for that purpose, and it's never fun to be attacked when you're behind.

I've played the game twice so far, both times with the attack cards. First time, I was attacked even though I was in last place, second time it was with my wife and we both just didn't use those cards. I'll take them out for our next game, since we won't use them anyway.
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Frank Hamrick wrote:
I was recently hit with a red card. I had produced 8 plants and on my next turn would turn them into a plant tile (giving me 2 VP's as I would place it beside my city). However, the player before me played a card killing all 8 of my plant tiles. Sadly, I wasn't even in the lead or close to the lead (finished 3rd) and it was not close to the end of the game. He simply had the card, wanted to play it, and I was the only one who had 8 plants waiting to turn into vegetation. So, I got hit. How did I feel? Bummed! The 'attack' didn't make sense as I was currently running 5th on the TR track. Further, I saw no benefit to the player for playing the card.

Thus - I have no love for the red cards. but, it didn't sour me on the game, though it did upset me that he played it on my for no apparent benefit to himself.

Well, that would be the card Deimos Down, the meanest of them all, smashing up to 8 plants. AND giving him 3 TR through a 3-step temperature increase, as well as 4 steel resources, and costing him 31 megacredits to play plus 3 to acquire. I'd say he payed a lot and got good benefit from it. Even from the smashing of your unfortunate plants: less competition from you, less competition for oxygen bonuses (TR and possibly the bonus step), and a slower oxygen increase giving more time to other strategies.
Now, I don't know your particular situation, but I believe your feelings. It's always tough to get them blown up just before you were going to convert them into a greenery tile. And you're right it doesn't always hit the leader. Maybe I should have had a warning in the rule-book that plants are easily destroyed...
Anyway, if you find the take-that too annoying, I recommend removing only the 10-11 most evil cards (Corporate Era included), among those Deimos Down.
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Greg Justice
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Frank Hamrick wrote:
I was recently hit with a red card. I had produced 8 plants and on my next turn would turn them into a plant tile (giving me 2 VP's as I would place it beside my city). However, the player before me played a card killing all 8 of my plant tiles. Sadly, I wasn't even in the lead or close to the lead (finished 3rd) and it was not close to the end of the game. He simply had the card, wanted to play it, and I was the only one who had 8 plants waiting to turn into vegetation. So, I got hit. How did I feel? Bummed! The 'attack' didn't make sense as I was currently running 5th on the TR track. Further, I saw no benefit to the player for playing the card.

Thus - I have no love for the red cards. but, it didn't sour me on the game, though it did upset me that he played it on my for no apparent benefit to himself.


What happened to you is that a "runaway leader" mechanism turned into a "kingmaking" play. Your friend either doesn't like you or is an inexperienced gamer.

If you've ever played Lords of Waterdeep, the Mandatory Quests (attack cards) can have the same effect.

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Jeff Meyer
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Don't forget, a lot of times if you own the game, or are teaching the game, that may also make you a target of the red cards from the other players. Or, at least, that's what always happens to me - winning or not, other players figure I can handle it shake

But honestly, there's not that much take that in the game. The card prices are high for those which hurt others, and they tend not to be huge setbacks - maybe a turn or two behind schedule for that greenery tile you were planning on. Yeah, Deimos down is pretty mean, but also super expensive, and just badass. We're lucky it doesn't wipe out another player's city, or previously placed tile or somesuch. I mean, it's a freaking moon being crashed into a planet.surprisesurprisesurprise

Also, remember that killing a player's plants helps balance out the most point-efficient tiles in the game, since, with proper placement and timing, plant tiles may be worth 3 points (1 terraforming rating, 1 end game VP + 1 bonus VP for the city adjacent to the greenery tile). I think they help limit a player from taking an excessively plant-heavy strategy.

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Brie
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jefimeyerhoff wrote:
Don't forget, a lot of times if you own the game, or are teaching the game, that may also make you a target of the red cards from the other players. Or, at least, that's what always happens to me - winning or not, other players figure I can handle it shake

My friends figure that since it is my game, I know it better and am automatically the best player.
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Steve Marano
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Just for the heck of it, I went through the deck of standard and corporate era cards. Looks like about 25 of the 140 or so cards give the player the option of attacking another. But the vast majority appear to do relatively modest damage. In my opinion, there are only six cards that one might want to house rule if he/she prefers a less aggressive game, and they are all event (red) cards. Here's what I might try if we decide we want to try a 'friendlier' game:
- Three asteroid event cards (all from standard game): Giant Ice, Big, and Deimos Down. All three are expensive (averaging about 30 ME's). For these we might all agree simply not to execute the attack portion of the card, but perform all the other actions on them.
- Three 'attack only' cards (Virus, Hired Raiders, Sabotage): They are very cheap (1 ME each). And they are all from the Corporate Era deck. For these, we might agree to omit them from the game.

That's about it!
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Frank Hamrick
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And you're on target. It is my game, and historically, I've been the preferred target in games more often than not as I'm perceived as 'the one to beat' even when I'm getting destroyed; AND, even though I haven't lived up to that reputation in the last 5 years!

Postscript: I was over it by the end of the game, though it did sting at the time. I remember remarking - I didn't know those kinds of cards were in this game! I had played once before and don't recall seeing a red card played against anyone. so was stunned when it wiped out 8 plants in one fell swoop!
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Michael Denman
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I have a fairly low tolerance for "take that" in my games, and I don't have any problem with the amount that there is in Terraforming Mars.
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Y P
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Frank Hamrick wrote:
And you're on target. It is my game, and historically, I've been the preferred target in games more often than not as I'm perceived as 'the one to beat' even when I'm getting destroyed; AND, even though I haven't lived up to that reputation in the last 5 years!

Postscript: I was over it by the end of the game, though it did sting at the time. I remember remarking - I didn't know those kinds of cards were in this game! I had played once before and don't recall seeing a red card played against anyone. so was stunned when it wiped out 8 plants in one fell swoop!

Sounds like you have some lobbying work to do. Time to play the long game and work on convincing them that you're not the right target for these kinds of attacks. Maybe it'll pay off in more wins, at which point you'll be the target again
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Bill Buchanan
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I think this is another plus in favour of always playing with drafting rules. That way if you pass on some of the red event cards that have some "take that" effects, you have no one to blame bout yourself ...
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Matt Smith
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Frank Hamrick wrote:
And you're on target. It is my game, and historically, I've been the preferred target in games more often than not as I'm perceived as 'the one to beat' even when I'm getting destroyed; AND, even though I haven't lived up to that reputation in the last 5 years!

Postscript: I was over it by the end of the game, though it did sting at the time. I remember remarking - I didn't know those kinds of cards were in this game! I had played once before and don't recall seeing a red card played against anyone. so was stunned when it wiped out 8 plants in one fell swoop!

It sounds like you learned a valuable lesson about this game: Set yourself up to produce the plants and turn them into a greenery tile in the same turn (2 actions). I realize that's easier said than done sometimes, but keep it in mind. Also, if I plan to get enough plants to produce a greenery tile in a particular generation, I delay getting the plants as long as possible to see if I can wait out the other players actions. After my opponents have passed, I can use as many actions as I need to get my plants up to 8, then produce the greenery tile without their interference.
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Frank Hamrick
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mvettemagred wrote:
Frank Hamrick wrote:
And you're on target. It is my game, and historically, I've been the preferred target in games more often than not as I'm perceived as 'the one to beat' even when I'm getting destroyed; AND, even though I haven't lived up to that reputation in the last 5 years!

Postscript: I was over it by the end of the game, though it did sting at the time. I remember remarking - I didn't know those kinds of cards were in this game! I had played once before and don't recall seeing a red card played against anyone. so was stunned when it wiped out 8 plants in one fell swoop!

It sounds like you learned a valuable lesson about this game: Set yourself up to produce the plants and turn them into a greenery tile in the same turn (2 actions). I realize that's easier said than done sometimes, but keep it in mind. Also, if I plan to get enough plants to produce a greenery tile in a particular generation, I delay getting the plants as long as possible to see if I can wait out the other players actions. After my opponents have passed, I can use as many actions as I need to get my plants up to 8, then produce the greenery tile without their interference.


Good thoughts. Now that I know those threats are in the game, I'll definitely plan for them! (And I'm just devious enough to use them myself!) hehehehe.
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Darcy Dueck
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Attack-the-plants cards are absolutely necessary to the balance of Terraforming Mars. You need to attack the plants, otherwise an accumulate-plants strategy is too powerful.
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