$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 107.35

6,678 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
42.1% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
44 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: A much too long game yesterday due to a certain situation rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Pascal Cadot
Belgium
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello All,

I do like this game, but we were confronted to a strange situation yesterday evening.

There is actually nothing in the rules that forces players to finish the game! We could imagine, for example, that after a given temperature or oxygen level has been reached, then it automatically raises every two turns, or something like that.
But it is not the case (unless we have missed a point in the rules! Sorry if it would be the case ! blush)

I 'll explain the case now:
Oxygen was at the maximum, but not the temperature (still 4-5 levels to go), and there were 3 Ocean tiles left. Everyone had their own business to run: microbes or animals, etc...
The award for Heat was selected, so nobody wanted to lose 8 Heat markers to raise the temperature... status quo. There was production of heat every generation, but the heat was not used anymore on the board. Logical.
The remaining Ocean tiles were interesting for no one. WHy would have I spend 18 megacredits to place an Ocean tile on a non-interesting place on the board to have a single "leaf" in which I was not interested ? Only one player had fully invested in the production of greenery tiles. He was already producing 15 "leaves" at the end of each generation.

There was no place anymore for any city to be build.

So the game could not end, as we were all busy with increasing heat or money production (the best of us finished by producing 40 in addition to the Terraforming revenue, thus approxiamtely 75 per generation), but this money could not be used for cities, and not for greenery anymore, because by placing a greenery tile, one would offer more points to other players than to their own benefit.
We all could have paid to increase temperature through a standard project action, but this would have ended the game with no garantee that I would be the winner by doing so. It is indeed very difficult to estimate who is the winner if the game stops.

So we were turning around like this,... until one sacrificed and paid to place the last Ocean tiles and increase the temperature.... He ended as second of the game...

ALl of this to say that the authors should have foreseen a mechanism that would allow the game to progress to the end in a quite automatic way. Something like a limited number of generations or a mechanism as explained earlier.

Have you been confronted with such kind of never-ending Terraforming Mars game?


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Conor Hickey
Ireland
Dublin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Shouldn't the player who thinks he is winning be interested in ending the game as fast as possible? It's what I do anyway.
34 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Derr
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Get off my Avatar NERD!
mbmbmbmbmb
I only ran into this once and it was because I was playing the rules wrong.

You only produce after every player has passed their turn. This means you continue going round and round the table until everyone has passed. Only after everyone has passed, should you produce.

If you were producing every single time you went around the table then you accumulate resources way too fast and you run into this situation.

Let us know if you were playing correctly.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julien Robert
France
Thiverval-Grignon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TwoShedsJackson wrote:
Shouldn't the player who thinks he is winning be interested in ending the game as fast as possible? It's what I do anyway.


this !
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
flag msg tools
ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
badge
Beneath this mask there is an idea.....and ideas are bulletproof.
mbmbmbmbmb
At some point was someone not far enough ahead (or indeed far enough behind) on heat production that they could afford the 8 heat to raise the temperature without affecting their position on the award - after all this is another VP each time you do it.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Smith
United States
Orion
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have not experienced this situation. Was there no way to calculate how much TR each player was gaining each round? Usually one player eventually gains an advantage in TR production, so the other players rush to max out the global parameters for two reasons:
1. To prevent the "leading" player from gaining as much TR from raising the global parameters (these are a finite source of TR, after all)
2. To end the game before the "leading" player can use his/her TR production advantage to run away with the game.

If all players are content to run their microbe/algae/animal/MC engines and not try to get the remaining TR from the global parameters, one player's personal engine will be better than the others and, given enough time, that player will win. Don't let that happen. Keep putting pressure on the other players by grabbing TR from the global parameters. They will see what you're doing and feel compelled to grab a slice of the remaining global-parameter-TR pie.

As to the Heat award, if you're not clearly in the lead for that award and there are more than 2 TR still available from Temperature, you're better off spending your heat to raise Temperature. Worst case you're giving up 2 points for second place, but you're gaining more than 2 points from Temperature, and you're preventing the other players from getting those Temperature points. I think Global Parameter TR denial is an oft-overlooked aspect of this game.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
flag msg tools
designer
mb
I can certainly see how this could happen, and agree that this should have been foreseeable during design (though I've not had it happen myself).

If I saw this situation arise, I would probably suggest to end the game and jointly award the Thermalist award among the joint winners, but it's a poor workaround.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pascal Cadot
Belgium
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks to All for these prompt replies.

To answer some of the comments:

Yes, we were playing the right way: production at the end of a generation.

Indeed, it is the player who thought he was leading who ended the game, but he ended second.. bad decision thus. But it not so easy to estimate who is in the lead; we ended all five players within a 10 VPs interval.


I also think that some Heat producers could spend 8 heat markers to increase temperature and still be in the lead for this award, but they were all so close in heat production rates that no one dared (I was not at all involved in heat things - zero production in energy and heat! )

I suppose it was a unique situation. There were also two players who played it for the first time, hence they probably did not evaluate their situation correctly.

But anyway, I am sure that the game lasted one hour too long because of this.

Not a big issue for me; I love it anyway...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Meijlof
Netherlands
Utrecht
Utrecht
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
There is no such thing as a too long game of Terraforming Mars.
There should always be more Terraforming Mars.
5 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pascal Cadot
Belgium
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Dirk_M wrote:
There is no such thing as a too long game of Terraforming Mars.
There should always be more Terraforming Mars.


laugh

Yes, agree...
except when it is a Thursday evening, you work on Friday, and you end up at 00.30, with still half an hour to drive to go home .. and you have to wake up at 5 !
Thus, looking at your watch, seeing that the game is not going to the end, you do not enjoy it anymore as much as it should...

But for the rest I agree. I want more Terraforming Mars!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Y P
United States
Mississippi
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Do you remember how many generations you played?

House rule: after the 10th generation if nobody terraforms for 2 generations the game automatically ends.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pascal Cadot
Belgium
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
MentatYP wrote:
Do you remember how many generations you played?

House rule: after the 10th generation if nobody terraforms for 2 generations the game automatically ends.


We did not count the number of generations. Seemed useless for a more-than-one player game.

Certainly moe than 10! I would even say much more than 10....

But your tip is a good one. A house rule like that is maybe needed.

Thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
flag msg tools
What are you, like 80?
badge
It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
mbmb
Paasca wrote:
The award for Heat was selected, so nobody wanted to lose 8 Heat markers to raise the temperature... status quo.

That doesn't make any sense. Did every Heat producer believe he/she was going to win that award? If not, why not spend your Heat to increase temperature - it's "free" victory points, after all. Even if you aren't sure of what position you will be in when determining the award majority, if the other players are holding back on spending their Heat, *you* could pay for those five temperature increases. That's 5 VP right there - the same as winning the award.

Paasca wrote:
The remaining Ocean tiles were interesting for no one. WHy would have I spend 18 megacredits to place an Ocean tile on a non-interesting place on the board to have a single "leaf" in which I was not interested ?

Again, placing an ocean tile gives you a victory point, so why would you *not* spend that 18 M€?

Increasing a global parameter grants a player a victory point, and since there's a fixed limit to those global parameter points, players might as well try to get as big a share of them as they can. It seems odd that no one wanted to end the game - *everybody* thought they would strengthen their position relative to the other players by extending the game another generation??

Even if everybody thought so, why not get a share of those "free" global parameter points without ending the game? Build, say, two of those three oceans. Hey, presto, 2 VP and you still haven't triggered the end of the game!
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J M
United States
Scottdale
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If the heat leaders are stockpiling heat due to the award and you are sitting there with zero energy/heat production... that's your mistake. Spend 44MC/turn on energy production and end the game in three turns. Then get a good night's sleep.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geeky McGeekface
United States
Manassas
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
For the first time in 108 years, the Cubs are world champions! Incredible game 7 victory over a valiant Cleveland team.
mbmbmbmbmb
jens_hoppe wrote:
Again, placing an ocean tile gives you a victory point, so why would you *not* spend that 18 M€?

Alternatively, one could spend 14 M€ to do the Asteroid standard action, raise the temperature by 1 and get that same VP. Seems like whoever was making the fewest VPs per generation would have found this to be an appealing option.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Edens
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
We just played last night and I made a thread asking about this possibility like 2 months ago. I foresaw this and everyone said that it wouldn't happen as players would see who will win and that persona will do it. But like you said so much is unsure or hidden or hard to add up that to know it at every moment is impossible.

Last night everything was done but one ocean. The leader was way ahead of everyone but also was content getting the most points he could in the game. He other players and I should have pushed the end game a generation sooner in the hopes that someone could beat him but I knew I couldn't and needed more points than the one the ocean would give. We played a full extra generation with the leader just maxing his points while one player decided to "just end it already" and did the ocean knowing it wouldn't matter. This was frustrating but we did it to ourselves. The winner built an engine and the other players should have pushed the end game sooner before his engine started making him points. He had mining guild, the card that made steel and titanium with 1 more each also. He has production of 10 or more on each as well. So for him the game became how many points can I get and for us it was we are never going to win so how long are we ok with just playing the game. It took 10 generations. One player actually left in generation 9 as he had a long drive ahead of him and saw no reason to sit through it anymore.

I love the game and if you follow my posts I have done videos of every corporation solo but this one game was bad for the 2 first time players and great for the first time player that won. I felt bad that the 2 now don't like the game based purely on how it ended.


But to your point. Yes the game is potentially a game that will never end until someone decides to end it. And if the lead player either doesn't want to or players can't see if they are in the lead it will not end. Yes you will eventually have no ther way to get points like no more space to place stuff, no more cards to buy, etc. but with cards like ants or microbes where you can get a point or two each round they may see them as better than ending the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J M
United States
Scottdale
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Larry Levy wrote:
jens_hoppe wrote:
Again, placing an ocean tile gives you a victory point, so why would you *not* spend that 18 M€?

Alternatively, one could spend 14 M€ to do the Asteroid standard action, raise the temperature by 1 and get that same VP. Seems like whoever was making the fewest VPs per generation would have found this to be an appealing option.


Ha! I went right around the houses. Here's the answer.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Choy
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Am I missing something? Why is stockpiling money of any use to anyone? Wouldn't you rather convert money into victory points?

Obviously money generation is important if the Banker award is up for grabs. But there's no value to holding cash.

As for thermalist - it is trivial to determine who will be ahead. If every single player is generating the same amount of heat and has exactly the same amount in their stockpile then yes, I can see getting stuck in a standoff. But if one player is even in third place (and less heat generation) then they have no incentive to try and win Thermalist, just spend that heat and gain the TR points.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Furry Fox
msg tools
Haven't seen anything like this. Mostly because everyone would try to get those free points before someone else gets them. Hoarding is almost never the right choice just for an award. And I don't see how 3 or more people could be investing in similar ways into heat: If one person is clearly ahead, chasing him is not worth it, as 2nd place is only 2 points. And fighting for second place is also not worth it when you can easily get 2-3 points from the temperature-track that then other players cannot get anymore.

To arrive at such a situation, several people would have to be bad at comparing investment to gains (or more likely blinded by the 5 award-points) OR it is a once in a million situation.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Shields
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Paasca wrote:
But it not so easy to estimate who is in the lead; we ended all five players within a 10 VPs interval.


I don't understand this. There's very little secret information - only the cards still in hand. I could count up exactly how many points each player has during my turn and know exactly where I stood. It might take a couple of minutes to do that, but it's not complicated.

If everyone is continuing to play, it seems like at least a couple of people are making a mistake by doing so. You can estimate how many points everyone is gaining each turn. If others are gaining more than you, then you need to end the game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Humulus Lupulus
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TwitchBot wrote:
Paasca wrote:
But it not so easy to estimate who is in the lead; we ended all five players within a 10 VPs interval.


I don't understand this. There's very little secret information - only the cards still in hand. I could count up exactly how many points each player has during my turn and know exactly where I stood. It might take a couple of minutes to do that, but it's not complicated.

If everyone is continuing to play, it seems like at least a couple of people are making a mistake by doing so. You can estimate how many points everyone is gaining each turn. If others are gaining more than you, then you need to end the game.

Aren't there some event cards played that are then turned face down for the remainder of the game? It isn't reasonable to expect players to remember all of these their opponent(s) played and how many were worth VPs.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Chaney

California
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Desiderata wrote:
TwitchBot wrote:
Paasca wrote:
But it not so easy to estimate who is in the lead; we ended all five players within a 10 VPs interval.


I don't understand this. There's very little secret information - only the cards still in hand. I could count up exactly how many points each player has during my turn and know exactly where I stood. It might take a couple of minutes to do that, but it's not complicated.

If everyone is continuing to play, it seems like at least a couple of people are making a mistake by doing so. You can estimate how many points everyone is gaining each turn. If others are gaining more than you, then you need to end the game.

Aren't there some event cards played that are then turned face down for the remainder of the game? It isn't reasonable to expect players to remember all of these their opponent(s) played and how many were worth VPs.


I try to play with people I consider "reasonable." We have evolved a few general methods that help us play and save tedium.

In general, information that was available and is now hidden (but can't have changed) is "trackable." Event cards with VP are in this category. Some players have great memories and will track it all. This is an advantage to them. Some of us could remember, but find it tedious and not fun. I usually ask that such information be made available publicly. If it is not public, it can just be written down, which is again tedious so for fun's sake, just make it public.
I understand that this memory is an important part of some games, and would not insist on keeping trackable information public in all cases. Tracking VP in Dominion is an example where tracking would be ponderous and the fuzzy memory is actually fun for me.

With this in mind, we sometimes track the end game VP. We just put a second player cube on the TR track (starting off the track at zero) so we can easily add them to the player's TR to find their current effective "final" score. Card VP's are trivial, as are tile VP's and Milestones. We usually do this in the last generation or two so we can have a communal form of AP which is rather more fun and less trying - as well as more accurate! Nobody has to wait while each player calculates. A little discussion about Award points clears up most of the remaining issues, and it becomes clear who the leader is. It is simple enough to estimate changes based on production from there.

Since we are all capable of calculating these numbers, doing it together is a faster, more fun way to get to the right answer. We're all just AP enough to want the info.

At this point, an "uncatchable" leader can chip in to end the game, or if they refuse, others can cede the win to them and compete with each other for second if they like.

We find this makes end game much more enjoyable, hope you do to!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek Fearnley
Canada
flag msg tools
mebesquee wrote:
We just played last night and I made a thread asking about this possibility like 2 months ago. I foresaw this and everyone said that it wouldn't happen as players would see who will win and that persona will do it. But like you said so much is unsure or hidden or hard to add up that to know it at every moment is impossible.

Last night everything was done but one ocean. The leader was way ahead of everyone but also was content getting the most points he could in the game. He other players and I should have pushed the end game a generation sooner in the hopes that someone could beat him but I knew I couldn't and needed more points than the one the ocean would give. We played a full extra generation with the leader just maxing his points while one player decided to "just end it already" and did the ocean knowing it wouldn't matter. This was frustrating but we did it to ourselves. The winner built an engine and the other players should have pushed the end game sooner before his engine started making him points. He had mining guild, the card that made steel and titanium with 1 more each also. He has production of 10 or more on each as well. So for him the game became how many points can I get and for us it was we are never going to win so how long are we ok with just playing the game. It took 10 generations. One player actually left in generation 9 as he had a long drive ahead of him and saw no reason to sit through it anymore.

I love the game and if you follow my posts I have done videos of every corporation solo but this one game was bad for the 2 first time players and great for the first time player that won. I felt bad that the 2 now don't like the game based purely on how it ended.


But to your point. Yes the game is potentially a game that will never end until someone decides to end it. And if the lead player either doesn't want to or players can't see if they are in the lead it will not end. Yes you will eventually have no ther way to get points like no more space to place stuff, no more cards to buy, etc. but with cards like ants or microbes where you can get a point or two each round they may see them as better than ending the game.


This makes no sense to me..."no reason to sit through it anymore"? Then, rather than leaving, this person could have just bought the last ocean tile. Though it shouldn't have gotten to that point. The 'take that' element is so minor in this game that if one player has a great engine and is obviously a favorite, the others need to scramble for points and end it quickly.

My last game was just like this. I had built a great engine and in 1 or two generations, I would have been long gone. The other players noticed this and hammered out 8 or 9 global parameters in one generation. I ended up coming second by 2 VPs.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris thatcher
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
House rule: after the 10th generation if nobody terraforms for 2 generations the game automatically ends.


Brilliant..im using it thumbsup
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Edens
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
EnPHard wrote:
mebesquee wrote:
We just played last night and I made a thread asking about this possibility like 2 months ago. I foresaw this and everyone said that it wouldn't happen as players would see who will win and that persona will do it. But like you said so much is unsure or hidden or hard to add up that to know it at every moment is impossible.

Last night everything was done but one ocean. The leader was way ahead of everyone but also was content getting the most points he could in the game. He other players and I should have pushed the end game a generation sooner in the hopes that someone could beat him but I knew I couldn't and needed more points than the one the ocean would give. We played a full extra generation with the leader just maxing his points while one player decided to "just end it already" and did the ocean knowing it wouldn't matter. This was frustrating but we did it to ourselves. The winner built an engine and the other players should have pushed the end game sooner before his engine started making him points. He had mining guild, the card that made steel and titanium with 1 more each also. He has production of 10 or more on each as well. So for him the game became how many points can I get and for us it was we are never going to win so how long are we ok with just playing the game. It took 10 generations. One player actually left in generation 9 as he had a long drive ahead of him and saw no reason to sit through it anymore.

I love the game and if you follow my posts I have done videos of every corporation solo but this one game was bad for the 2 first time players and great for the first time player that won. I felt bad that the 2 now don't like the game based purely on how it ended.


But to your point. Yes the game is potentially a game that will never end until someone decides to end it. And if the lead player either doesn't want to or players can't see if they are in the lead it will not end. Yes you will eventually have no ther way to get points like no more space to place stuff, no more cards to buy, etc. but with cards like ants or microbes where you can get a point or two each round they may see them as better than ending the game.


This makes no sense to me..."no reason to sit through it anymore"? Then, rather than leaving, this person could have just bought the last ocean tile. Though it shouldn't have gotten to that point. The 'take that' element is so minor in this game that if one player has a great engine and is obviously a favorite, the others need to scramble for points and end it quickly.

My last game was just like this. I had built a great engine and in 1 or two generations, I would have been long gone. The other players noticed this and hammered out 8 or 9 global parameters in one generation. I ended up coming second by 2 VPs.
2 things. The guy that left was in no position to buy the ocean tile. He didn't have cash. Also, I told the other players to push the end game sooner and no one but me did. And I lost because of this. I wasn't able to finish it solely and then had nothing else left and no points to gain as all my money was spent trying to end it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.