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Subject: 2 Player Count Issues rss

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Richard Derr
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Edit: I was playing incorrectly, read responses below to see the mistake I was making.

I want to open that I played this with 4 players and ran into no issues. The game seemed to run smoothly and there was a lot of stress of how to best use your resources. I enjoyed the game.

At 2 players, this game ran into issues for me. I want to see if anyone else had these same issues or if I'm missing something. I also have some proposed 2 player rule modifications that I want to try next time I play.

But first the issues. The driving factor of the problems is that to finish a game you need to perform a total of 41 actions, raise oxygen 14 times, get 9 ocean tiles on the board, and raise the temperature 18 times.

The first issue is that when you're playing with 2 players and at 2 actions per round, those 41 actions will take 11 rounds on their own. But there's a lot of rounds early where you can only take 1 or 0 of those actions. This means more rounds, more production, more drawing cards. The game dragged a lot longer than it did when I played with 4 players.

The second issue is that when you perform the game ending actions you get to raise your TR score. However, now you're splitting those actions between only 2 players. This means by the time we were only halfway through the game ending actions our TR scores were in the low 40s. We were producing enough mega credits to do almost anything we wanted. Our production in the other categories were generally very high as well. This was happening because we had to play so many more rounds, so we got to play a lot more cards that bumped our stats. This generally made the game less interesting. There were no struggles on how to best utilize our resources. In fact, we had stopped producing the full amounts because we were producing faster than we could use it.

The third issue is that midway through the game we had enough resources to place 2 green tiles almost every turn. The green tiles mixed with the cities, mixed with oxygen increase provide you with many more points than raising temperature. As such there was zero incentive for either of us to raise the temperature. So the game dragged even longer because it was better for each of us to fill the board with green tiles and cities before we started raising the temperature.

The mechanics of the game still worked for 2 players, but the game was a lot longer and the decision points less interesting. A simple round cap could fix this, but I like theme of getting the stats to a liveable level. So, these are the rule changes I plan on making the next time I play 2 players.

1. Remove 3 ocean tiles from the game.
2. When a player pays 8 heat to raise the temperature, they will actually raise it 2 degrees and gain both points for that increase.
3. When a player places a green tile, the oxygen levels are raised 2%, but the player only receives 1 point for the entire increase.

This will reduce the number of action required to end the game to 22 actions. It will incentivize a player to raise temperature even when they can play the green tiles. Though green tiles will still be worth more points when combined with city tiles.

Curious to see if people ran into the same issues as me and if people think that these 2 player rule modifications would work.
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Joe Martineau
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I have only played with four, so I can't weigh in on this too much.

Just to make sure you are playing correctly, though: you aren't taking production every round, are you? Maybe you are using round instead of generation, but then you say 2 actions per round.
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Richard Derr
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RageGoblin wrote:
I have only played with four, so I can't weigh in on this too much.

Just to make sure you are playing correctly, though: you aren't taking production every round, are you? Maybe you are using round instead of generation, but then you say 2 actions per round.


I believe I was playing correctly. I am using round and generation interchangeably because we took both actions each turn even though we had the choice to take 1 action and see what the other player would do.

But just to be sure, here's how a generation would go for us.

1. Change first player
2. Cards
3a. First player took both actions
3b. Second player took both actions
4. Produce
5. Repeat
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Thomas Leitner
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If I understand your description, you did not play correctly. In a generation, steps 3a and 3b happen multiple times until both players pass, and then you produce.

It appears you took far too many production steps.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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No, go round and round, taking one or two actions intil everyone PASS (take no action). This means that you usually spend all or most of your resources before you pass, THEN you get new resources (when all have passed)
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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Thomas is right. In one generation you may essentially perform any number of actions, but only 1 or 2 at a time.
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Richard Derr
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Thanks that makes much more sense. Thanks everyone, that's a huge help.

I wasn't running the 4 player game that went smoothly, and something just seemed off with 2 player game. Now I know why. Should have re-read the rules instead of trying to play off of memory, rookie mistake.
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Cookie Monster
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Just out of curiousity: have you had a chance to play it 2 player with the correct rules? If so: how was it? I am really interested in picking this one up in Essen :-)
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Richard Derr
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I've played 9 game solo. I've won 4 of them. I love the solo play of this game.
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Katie Schumm
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I know this is an old thread. We finally got this game after loving a couple 4 player games year.

My wife and I were playing it correctly and ran into the exact same 2 player issues.

It takes forever 2 players, and there was little incentive to play the temperature game until the end. Income gets crazy and it just takes too many actions.

I would cut it to 6 ocean tiles and have oxygen and temperature move double, and potential dump the rewards and milestones as well.
 
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Örjan Almén
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wonderwitch wrote:
I know this is an old thread. We finally got this game after loving a couple 4 player games year.

My wife and I were playing it correctly and ran into the exact same 2 player issues.

It takes forever 2 players, and there was little incentive to play the temperature game until the end. Income gets crazy and it just takes too many actions.

I would cut it to 6 ocean tiles and have oxygen and temperature move double, and potential dump the rewards and milestones as well.


What do you mean by "takes too many actions"? You have unlimited actions each generation before production phase, but you can only do one or two at a time then let the other player do their one or two actions before you can continue.
 
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Donny Behne
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wonderwitch wrote:
I know this is an old thread. We finally got this game after loving a couple 4 player games year.

My wife and I were playing it correctly and ran into the exact same 2 player issues.

It takes forever 2 players, and there was little incentive to play the temperature game until the end. Income gets crazy and it just takes too many actions.

I would cut it to 6 ocean tiles and have oxygen and temperature move double, and potential dump the rewards and milestones as well.


This is one of the few games where players have a significant impact on how long it takes to play. If you and your partner do nothing but build your engine and progress none of the global parameters, yes it will take forever. You don't need three or four players to make that happen. If you see your opponent just engine building, jump start the progress by advancing various global parameters and moving up the TR track. They will either keep engine building, ignoring you, almost cementing your victory, or they will panic and start doing the same to keep from falling behind and thus the game will move at a solid clip.
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