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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Expansion Ideas rss

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O.Shane Balloun
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Admittedly, the regolith hasn't settled, so clamoring for expansions might seem premature. Also, I do not at all wish to imply that I think that Terraforming Mars needs more features. It is an exquisite game as published, and I look forward to playing it as is a long time.

However, when everybody has wiped the iron oxide dust off their boots, here are some ideas I think would be fun to explore:

(a) More cards. Any game with as much replayability as Terraforming Mars ironically lends itself to more variety;

(b) One, two, or a few new icons and related sideboards for resource management;

(c) City-stealing/takeover (dare I say, war on Mars?) to encourage more direct conflict between players;

(d) Some sort of score modification variant using the seemingly vestigial generation marker; and

(e) A second map depicting the other side of the planet (with such features as Elysium Mons, Utopia Planitia, and Promethei Terra…).
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Enoch Fryxelius
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grammatoncleric wrote:
Admittedly, the regolith hasn't settled, so clamoring for expansions might seem premature. Also, I do not at all wish to imply that I think that Terraforming Mars needs more features. It is an exquisite game as published, and I look forward to playing it as is a long time.

However, when everybody has wiped the iron oxide dust off their boots, here are some ideas I think would be fun to explore:

(a) More cards. Any game with as much replayability as Terraforming Mars ironically lends itself to more variety;

(b) One, two, or a few new icons and related sideboards for resource management;

(c) City-stealing/takeover (dare I say, war on Mars?) to encourage more direct conflict between players;

(d) Some sort of score modification variant using the seemingly vestigial generation marker; and

(e) A second map depicting the other side of the planet (with such features as Elysium Mons, Utopia Planitia, and Promethei Terra…).


Thanks a lot for the suggestions!
We read this with great interest. As we have mentioned in earlier threads (but there is a LOT of threads here now!) we already have several expansions in different stages of alpha- and beta-testing. As soon as our co-publishers feels the timing is right we'll have some really cool stuff to add to this game!
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Nick P.
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While I like the solo play, the thing I'd like to see the most would be an alternative way to play solo - with a competing opponent, preferably automa-style.

What I'd like to get furthermore would be some additional corporations and a few more project cards (but not too many).

And I'd like to see a way to give existing corporations some sort of starting position with some tiles placed on mars at the beginning (like a mine for the mining corporation, a greenery tile for ecoline or some new special tiles like a space station).

And events would be nice - one event to be drawn at the start of each generation, e.g. "the buildings of the first landing site get dismantled and all corporations gain 2 steel" or "government grants each corporation a 3MC discount on their first standard project in this generation".

I'm sorry, but for me the following would be arguments against buying an expansion:
Quote:
(b) One, two, or a few new icons and related sideboards for resource management;

(c) City-stealing/takeover (dare I say, war on Mars?) to encourage more direct conflict between players;
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Young, rich and sexy wrote:
While I like the solo play, the thing I'd like to see the most would be an alternative way to play solo - with a competing opponent, preferably automa-style.


I have actually tried out two new ways to adjust solo play so far, a solo campgain and an AI opponent:

- I played a few games of a solo campgain that allows you to carry over TR based on your previous result (until you won with all corporations).
However, it turned out that the scaling was not perfect.
In the campaign I tried, you'd use the following way to determine the starting TR for your next game:
The first 50 points give you 8 TR,
after this the first step costs 1 point, the second one 2, and so on, each step costing 1 more than the previous one.
(The steps are 50-51-53-56-60-65-71-78-86-95-105-116-...)

I played 4 games into the campaign so far, but it already became apparent it does not reach the goal I wanted to reach (Basically, your previous score should modify the starting conditions for your next game).
In the games I scored 95, 103, 102 and 101 points, which all result in a starting-TR of 17.
So presumably, the formula needs to be revised, and perhaps a different starting bonus has to be added.

- I tried an abstract AI opponent that makes random moves:
Each generation, before you take your turns, it would take 2 actions, and have a 50% at an extra one.
For each action, there's a 12,5% for it to be increasing heat, building an ocean, a greenery or a city, respectively.* The remaining time it would play the top card of the deck and only perform the immediate actions (The AI never uses ongoing effects or produces resources).
When the AI reaches any milestone, it immediately claims it.
All awards are not available in this variant.
I was only able to play 1 game with it so far, and only using 1 bot (though I certainly want to try more, and rebalance it)

The result was quite pleasant overall, and I beat the bot by about 10-15 points.
The flow of the game was fine, with the AI only taking up a short amount of time each turn, while still presenting a relevant opponent (but one that doesnt really interact with you :/ )

The main problem so far was that most cards are useless when the AI draws them. Since it's abstract and doesn't use any resources, only tile placements and victory points matter, and some cards that steal/destroy resources.
Overall, the amount of relevant cards in the deck was not big enough for this action to make much sense.
Furthermore, the AI will not force the game to end by increasing the TR.
This could potentially create a situation where you have several animals etc. that give you points each turn, while the AI struggles to close out the game.

Basically, those can be changed the following way:
- The AI always takes 2 random standard actions each turn (Never sells cards or increases energy production!)(also note it can be the same action twice), and draws 2 cards from the top of the deck (for VP, the builder milestone, and sometimes bonus placements)
- When a global parameter becomes unavailable, the bot can't perform that action anymore, and will instead use another action that increases a global parameter. Cities can always be built with a 25% chance.



* The bot places tiles using the following rules:
1. It will place the tile on a space where it scores the highest amount of VP at this time. In case of a negative/no effect, it will try to block a random opponent as much as possible.
2. Of all spaces available using rule 1, it will choose one with the highest amount of resources as a placement bonus (all resources are worth the same)
3. If there are still multiple options, choose one at random
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Wim van Gruisen
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It would be fun to get some themed expansions to tell a different story. Some classics from literature:

* Human settlement and terraforming destroys already existing sentient life on Mars - unless we can stop it (after Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles)

* Revolutionary Mars: Mars fighting from independence from Earth (lots of books and movies, including Total Recall - my hunch is that this is mainly an important theme for Americans, glorifying the moment in their own history when they fought independence as a colony)

* Likewise, a conflict between those who want to redevelop Mars further and an ecological group who wants to keep (part of) Mars in the state it used to be before Mankind started destroying everything (for instance, in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy).

* Items left by an ancient civilisation that help humans to survive (see the excellent short story "In the Halls of the Martian Kings" by John Varley).
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Bill Buchanan
Canada
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EagleEye80 wrote:


we already have several expansions in different stages of alpha- and beta-testing. As soon as our co-publishers feels the timing is right we'll have some really cool stuff to add to this game!


All I have to say is ... that's awesome!
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Austin Austin
United States
South Carolina
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Some expansion things I'd like to see:

*New corporations with a little more impact on gameplay/goals. Like a corporation that changes the VP value of cities or collects a VP recource (possibly unique like the fighters).

*More cards with the Jovian tag. It's rare to see someone get more than three or four in a game, and they likely won't get to play all of them. A Jovian themed expansion that adds several (~50?) new cards (not all need Jovian tags, but at least a dozen do I think), and maybe a couple more Jovian themed corporations with different mechanics, or possibly even punish Jovian players (something like steal/remove a megacredit when a Jovian tag is played for shipping expenses).

*Cards that let you replace/remove tiles on the board. For example, you might be able to remove the fallout tile (regardless of owner) with an expensive event card (that also gives VPs to counterbalance the -VPs on the nuke event), or replace one of your greenery tiles with a city tile (so long as a city could be placed there).

*An extended game variant that goes beyond the current 14% atmosphere, 8 degrees, and 9% ocean.
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Svafa wrote:
*More cards with the Jovian tag. It's rare to see someone get more than three or four in a game, and they likely won't get to play all of them. A Jovian themed expansion that adds several (~50?) new cards (not all need Jovian tags, but at least a dozen do I think), and maybe a couple more Jovian themed corporations with different mechanics, or possibly even punish Jovian players (something like steal/remove a megacredit when a Jovian tag is played for shipping expenses).


I highly suggest using the draft variant. Since we started using it a few games ago, the issue of too few jovian tags hasn't really come up.
If somebody wants to go for the strategy, they can easily do so (while others can only hatepick to disrupt them), but the strategy isn't oppressive and always used either.
 
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Codeguru Tomy
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West Virginia
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EagleEye80 wrote:

Thanks a lot for the suggestions!
We read this with great interest. As we have mentioned in earlier threads (but there is a LOT of threads here now!) we already have several expansions in different stages of alpha- and beta-testing. As soon as our co-publishers feels the timing is right we'll have some really cool stuff to add to this game!


I have one simple suggestion. A quick booster pack of corporations. Hell, add 50 more if you can. This is a game I can literally play back to back to back and never get bored, and the only thing that gets a little stale is having to play with the same corp card over and over because you've just played so many times. Even 20 or so more would help spice things up a ton. This game has literally shot to the top of the play list for so many groups I play with, and more variable player powers would add a lot to the replay factor even as huge as it already is.
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Chaddyboy
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To further expand on the "more cards" idea, it seems like a good way to do it is with variant decks you could add to the base deck, in the same way you can currently add the Corporate Era expansion to the deck.

So, rather than just more cards, you'd get a slightly different flavor depending on which expansion deck you shuffle in with the base deck.
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Enoch Fryxelius
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More corporations and more cards for the main deck - you got it!

But there will also be other new features - stay tuned. We'll start release expansions in the summer of 2017, if things go as planned...
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Matthieu Fontaines
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A Venusian deck would be really nice, as, globally more cards would be cool.

Overall, I really hope you will keep the pace of the hard science feeling. So as cool as would be "wars on mars" "doom" or "bradbury" scenarios, I think they would totally break the theme of the game. So I really hope you won't take this way and let it to fan made sets :/
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