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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Planner milestone rss

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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Do you guys see yourself frequently going for the planne milestone?
In our playgroup it has been claimed precisely 0 times over a bunch of games.
(Well, actually I tried it out in one 2 player game and was not impressed.)


For the most part, it seems like the planner milestone just costs you too much to actually be worth it.
You need to store a ton of extra cards just to get up to 16 cards, most of which you will probably sell again anyway after claiming the milestone.
While the cost/VP ratio seems nice (approx. 30M€/5VP), you can't really afford to destroy your early game development for this kind of gambit (I think?).

Do you guys have any experience with the award?
In what type of game do you claim it?
Do you think there's an especially smart way to claim the award?
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Michael Denman
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Katy
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Granted, I have only played twice now, but that milestone has been claimed both times. I didn't go for it, so I can't explain the mind of the player who did choose to go for it. I have noticed though that both times that player had one of the action cards where he was able to draw extra cards. That combined with card drawing tile placement probably makes that milestone appealing.
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Bastinator1 wrote:
the cost/VP ratio seems nice (approx. 30M€/5VP)

I think it would usually be even better than that.

Cards that you would have bought anyway don't incur any extra cost toward the milestone.
Cards that you bought only to get the milestone you can Sell For Patents afterwards, reducing their effective cost to 2 M€/card.
Cards that you acquired via card draw are free anyway.

But as you said, you do put yourself at a tempo disadvantage. Not only are you spending lots of money that could be invested into your engine or early terraforming benefits instead, you may also hold back on playing cards until you've secured the milestone, too.

Some of the money you can get back via Sell For Patents, and worthwhile cards you can still play later on. Regardless, it's some serious opportunity cost especially in the early game.
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Snapshot wrote:
Bastinator1 wrote:
the cost/VP ratio seems nice (approx. 30M€/5VP)

I think it would usually be even better than that.

Cards that you would have bought anyway don't incur any extra cost toward the milestone.
Cards that you bought only to get the milestone you can Sell For Patents afterwards, reducing their effective cost to 2 M€/card.
Cards that you acquired via card draw are free anyway.

But as you said, you do put yourself at a tempo disadvantage. Not only are you spending lots of money that could be invested into your engine or early terraforming benefits instead, you may also hold back on playing cards until you've secured the milestone, too.

Some of the money you can get back via Sell For Patents, and worthwhile cards you can still play later on. Regardless, it's some serious opportunity cost especially in the early game.


Well, the assumption was that you need to buy at least 11 extra cards to get the milestone. Given that you'd rarely have any use for more than 5 cards, that seems quite realistic to me.
Obviously, you can get some bonus cards, too, making it a bit easier. (Though you are missing out on another bonus then, such as 2 steel)
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Rico Melchert
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Karlskoga
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http://www.Spelpojken.se
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Played just hours ago, and I went for it
Ended up in second position, one point after the winner.
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Love Nilsson
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Trelleborg
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Player with beginner corps sitting as second player should never not go for the ocean tile for two extra cards, get their 4 cards in the research phase and then claim planner.

I go for the planner quite often if certain conditions are met. Need a decent corp i.e. getting extra cards (Inventrix) or good starting capital (Teractor). If the corp isn't optimal then where I sit in the player order, the likelyhood that someone else will be going for it and the quality of the starting cards matters.

I like planner.
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Bastinator1 wrote:
you'd rarely have any use for more than 5 cards

I don't have enough experience to make a definite statement about that, but I recall a thread about "how many starting cards do you keep" (which I can't find quickly right now unfortunately) where one of the Fryxpeople said he'll usually keep anywhere between 3 and 7 cards in hand. So the "typical starting hand size range" may be a bit wider, but YMMV.

Quote:
Obviously, you can get some bonus cards, too, making it a bit easier. (Though you are missing out on another bonus then, such as 2 steel)

True. It's opportunity costs wherever you look! ninja

LoveNson wrote:
Player with beginner corps sitting as second player should never not go for the ocean tile for two extra cards, get their 4 cards in the research phase and then claim planner.

Yeah, I'm sure that with beginner corps it's a whole different ballgame for Planner.
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Nick P.
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We've played four times now and the planner milestone was claimed once. The player who did it played with Inventrix and claimed the milestone rather early. He later went on to win the game, so judging from that limited experience I guess it doesn't "damage" your chances to win if you have some favorable circumstances.
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Clyde W
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I claimed Planner in my second game with mon-starter corps. I had a a few "draw cards" actions which let me be the first person to claim anything. (2p)
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Maciej Matejko
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I get it once, playing as Inventrix. 3 cards draw in the first action and ocean on 2 cards draw space in the second one
 
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Thanks for your answers so far, guys!

I am still not sure when/how to claim the milestone, though I suppose eventually we'll figure out after enough plays...
 
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Love Nilsson
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Bastinator1 wrote:
I am still not sure when/how to claim the milestone, ...


When = just before someone else does! devil
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Örjan Almén
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Bastinator1 wrote:
Thanks for your answers so far, guys!

I am still not sure when/how to claim the milestone, though I suppose eventually we'll figure out after enough plays...


I'd suggest to claim them as soon as you've fulfilled one!
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Sebastian Stückl
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orjanalmen wrote:
Bastinator1 wrote:
Thanks for your answers so far, guys!

I am still not sure when/how to claim the milestone, though I suppose eventually we'll figure out after enough plays...


I'd suggest to claim them as soon as you've fulfilled one!


Clearly you two are missing the point on purpose shake
 
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Dave K
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I agree this is one of the less commonly obtained milestones, although I hesitate to say "never."
 
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Danny Perello
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Salmo
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Happymrdave wrote:
I agree this is one of the less commonly obtained milestones, although I hesitate to say "never."

I've seen it claimed twice in three games, both times by the same player, both times that player didn't win. I think beginners can make it work, sort of, but overall I think it's the weakest of the milestones.
 
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Flying Arrow
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Inventrix or Starter Corp seem like the only reasonable ways to go for Planner. You need to keep all 10 starters, most likely, and go for it as quickly as possible so that you can start playing cards to get your engine going. If you stock up so many cards mid-game, you're probably losing.
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Snapshot wrote:
Bastinator1 wrote:
the cost/VP ratio seems nice (approx. 30M€/5VP)

I think it would usually be even better than that.

Been pondering about this a little more, and I think the thing is: Even if the cost/VP ratio isn't at all bad for the Planner, it's very likely still worse than other milestones - because for the others, your only cost is the 8 M€ for actually claiming it (maybe plus some extra M€ if you purposely used standard projects to get it). And you're not actually playing (many) cards.

Building 3 cities/greeneries, getting to TR 35, even getting 8 building tags... those are all things you were probably going to do anyway. Sitting on 16 project cards? Not so much...

So, cool, you get the Planner, and you paid some price and tempo for it. Which means you are probably not in the running anymore for much of any other milestone. If instead you had gotten off to a decent, "regular" start, you could be competing for Gardener or whatever now!

Bottom line is: I still haven't seen Planner being taken either. I suspect its role might be some extra incentive if you got a really awesome starting draw and want to keep 7+ cards:
"Oh, you're worried about being cash-starved if you buy that many cards? If your start is going to be so slow, why not go all the way, get up to 16 cards ASAP, and treat yourself to an uncontested milestone? kiss "

OR, get it sometime later in the game with multiple card-drawing actions. I think that could work actually - but I'm not sure the effort of setting up such a card-drawing engine and then just hoarding cards until you have 16+ is worth it... Somebody must try this! arrrh
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Snapshot wrote:
Snapshot wrote:
Bastinator1 wrote:
the cost/VP ratio seems nice (approx. 30M€/5VP)

I think it would usually be even better than that.

Been pondering about this a little more


You are not the only one... and I just can't figure out whether I should be buying it, or my gut feeling is right and the award isn't very great.
Though I must say I recently had a (2 player) game in which I had 9 cards in my hand in the mid game, because I could chain them all quickly once I would get another science tag. Which only took 6 turns and that almost cost me the game...

But even there, I did not go for the milestone, since that would set me back even further, and I had the feeling it was already going to be difficult to catch up...

Also, I find it interesting I noted the award would cost 30M€, assuming that 11 of the cards would be useless.
Nowadays, I would have guessed it's closer to 24M€ (8 useless cards), though that may be a bit too generous.

Also, note that, funnily, the award is cheaper when your starting cards are good (since you generally want to keep more cards), and more expensive when only a few of them are good, since you will need to buy more cards you'll discard later anyway.
But if your other cards are good anyway, then why go for this gambit?
Shouldn't they be able to give you a better benefit?

(Though it's noteworthy a few very good opening hands have you keep only 2-3 cards, e.g. two expensive space events with credicor that let you spend your whole money. You can't keep more since you can play all your stuff on the first turn.
In that case, the planner won't be any cheaper, but of course becomes worse compared to your other options)


Sebastian,
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Yan P.
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I've claimed it when I had both the Olympus Conference and the Restricted area, and was playing lots of science tags - I think I also threw in the space probe in there (which netted me one card for the play, and another for the olympus conference).

Worked out rather well. Was swimming in cards all game long.
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Enoch Fryxelius
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5 VPs is a lot and if most of the cards you collect are good for later use, then I would go for Planner.
Time is an issue: If you cannot claim it by the third generation than you are wasting too much time.
One time I played just one card, Underground Detonations, and then I saved up to 16 cards. While I was doing that I kept pumping my heat production by using the action on Underground Detonations. By the fourth generation I opened up with a lot of cards, 5VPs, and a heat engine. Then it was time to catch up on the other players' engines. It was agonizing to make priorities but I succeeded. I won. And I loved every second of it.

Planner allows for another strategy that is very different from other available strategies in the game. Therefore, I guess it will be very different between gaming groups, so I'm not at all surprised that some don't see this milestone used at all. In my own gaming group Planner is claimed almost every game...
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Darcy Dueck
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To start the 4th generation, you will have seen 22 cards. To play a game-long strategy it is very easy and reasonable to have kept 16 by then.

In the games I have seen, half the players have that many cards and Planner is claimed every game.
 
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Brian Stallings
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At the start of the 4th gen. you would have seen 22 cards. The 10 cards you see on Turn 1 plus 4 each for Turn 2,3,4.

Unless you start on Turn 0.
 
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Darcy Dueck
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Noted and corrected.
 
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