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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: playing the solo game using standard vs corporate era decks rss

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John Burt
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The solo game is supposed to be played with the corporate era deck, a fact that I had not been aware of before playing the solo game three times with the standard era deck. In every game, I struggled to complete all terraforming tasks by the 14th generation. My best game took 17 generations to complete (I always keep going even after losing).

A while back I asked whether playing solo with the standard deck was harder than using the CE deck (maybe that was why I never came close to winning...), and I got mixed answers. Today, I played the solo game w/ CE (i.e., properly), and while I lost and the game state wasn't that different from the standard deck games, I think the CE game did improve performance a bit. Particularly, I was closer to completing terraforming and in the last few generations I had more income, allowing me to pay for more standard projects. My CE game completed terraforming in generation 16.

So what have we learned from this exercise? First of all: I suck at this game no matter what. Secondly, playing by the rules helps me to suck a little less.
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Donny Behne
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"Supposed to" is a stretch. Maybe "should be" but the solo rules don't require it. It says, in the variants, use the normal solo rules with the following exceptions. The normal solo rules are the basic game played by yourself. It was a little misleading that they didn't have a heading that says "the solo game is exactly like a normal game, have fun" but it's figured out pretty quickly.
 
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John Burt
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kelann08 wrote:
"Supposed to" is a stretch. Maybe "should be" but the solo rules don't require it. It says, in the variants, use the normal solo rules with the following exceptions. The normal solo rules are the basic game played by yourself. It was a little misleading that they didn't have a heading that says "the solo game is exactly like a normal game, have fun" but it's figured out pretty quickly.


As I understand discussions with Jacob in another thread, there is only one solo variant, and it uses the CE deck. There is no official standard deck solo variant. The English for the solo rules is confusing, leading you to think otherwise, which tripped me up initially.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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Solo game is only defined for Corporate Era. There is no solo version without it, for several reasons.
1. To be able to compare solo scores efficiently, it's best to have only one version.
2. The Corporate Era demands more strategy and allows for many more paths to victory and Engine building.
3. CE is more thematic and deep, which can substitute the lack of Milestones and Awards in the solo game.
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David Arlington
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I thought it was pretty clear in the rulebook (from the Stronghold Games version anyway) that the solo game was played ONLY with the Corporate Era cards and rules with the few exceptions noted for solo play (limited to 14 generations, no starting production, etc.)

I wouldn't know how difficult it is to win at the Standard Game since I never thought to try it solo because of the above, but the Corporate Era does give you enough avenues to pull off a win, for sure.

I'm 5-3 right now playing the Solo game (with Corporate Era rules). Last night I took my third loss, but I was just three dollars short of placing the last ocean tile I needed to win. All I could think was "Ugh! There was one card somewhere that I shouldn't have bought!"

Dave
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John Burt
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Quote:
All I could think was "Ugh! There was one card somewhere that I shouldn't have bought!"


Or one MC or TR bump I should have invested in earlier...
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Steven Amamoto
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From an earlier thread from Jacob Fryxelius:

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mvettemagred wrote:
In the rulebook, the solo variant is described as "Solo variant for Corporate Era". Does that mean I must include the Corporate Era (CE) project cards in my project deck when playing solo? I thought the CE cards do not directly affect the global parameters, so including them would mean drawing more cards that make it harder to win the solo game, seeing as you have limited generations to raise all global parameters to their maximum level.

Please clarify if the intent of the solo game is to include all CE project cards in the project deck (and have available the two CE Corporation cards).


Yes, the CE cards (including corps) should be added in the solo version.

The solo game is balanced with the CE cards for two reasons. First, we wanted a varied experience with all the possibilities that comes with the full game (CE). I'd say that without CE, you're missing out on a lot of cool stuff. Second, CE allows you to follow different strategies, including economy of different sorts, and even multiple ways to gain VPs if you are already sure to reach the goal.

I think the solo game may actually be harder without the CE cards, since the 14 generations is a long time and you need to get production up early in order to succeed. CE has a lot of economy.

Cheers!


For myself, I played my first few solos w/o the CE cards. After 4 or 5 plays I got the hang of it and added the CE cards for the challenge. It adds strategy as I try to balance winning and using the CE cards that can boost my point total.
 
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Jay Gischer
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Well, starting with 1 production in everything is a big boost and that's the standard game.

That said, the CE cards do give you a lot of new options for engine building and economic development. Without them, you pretty much have to focus on building either a plant or heat/energy engine to start with. Once you boost your TR, and hence your income, you get more options.
 
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John Burt
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Toldain wrote:
Well, starting with 1 production in everything is a big boost and that's the standard game.

That said, the CE cards do give you a lot of new options for engine building and economic development. Without them, you pretty much have to focus on building either a plant or heat/energy engine to start with. Once you boost your TR, and hence your income, you get more options.


Yeah, though I'm less sure now which gives the better advantage (playing standard vs CE). If you focus on increasing income, you may sacrifice opportunities to increase other needed resource production. In my last solo game, played properly w/ CE cards, I did that, and significantly increased my income, BUT I had almost no plant production by the end (I'd gotten heat up OK), and my O2 rating was barely past halfway done. Having income to buy green tiles helped, but wasn't enough.
 
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