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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Three Player Beginner setup - did we do something wrong? rss

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Dwsparks
United States
Huntsville
Alabama
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Played a three-player game using the Beginner Corporations, and I'm convinced that we did something wrong. Scanning the rules again, I can't figure out what we did (or didn't do) wrong.

To summarize, the game ran very long (about 3 hours) - we cycled through the project cards multiple times (at least four?), and had so many resource cubes in play that we ended up using poker chips as 50-point counters. I had something like 178 MegaCredits at the end of the game (and could afford to hurl asteroids with impunity). Everyone was very focused on getting cards into play to support their particular engine: Plants/Space/Energy.

The lack of additional actions seemed particularly limiting. Each turn we would draft cards (picking from 4 cards and paying 3 credits each), and towards the end of the game we had MASSIVE hands to choose from (which didn't help the AP aspect). Very few Standard Actions were taken, until right near the end of the game there was a land-grab with City placement.

No one had any incentive to end the game as you could always score "just a few more points" with project card plays instead (temperature was the last track to be completed, which I finally triggered with a card + converting heat - but that was still not the best play to make for VPs).

A LOT of points were scored in the final Plants-to-Greenery conversion, which seemed to give people an incentive to sit on their cubes and wait for the end-game, as opposed to spending actions to get those placed earlier.


Are there any mechanisms for additional actions? Or free actions? (such as heat to temperature without taking an action? That would seem like as no-brainer, how exactly are we storing all of this heat?).

Thoughts on what we did wrong? or just a bunch of compounded n00b mistakes?
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Steve Carey
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During a Generation, players may take as many Actions as they want (but only 1 or 2 at a time). Typically this uses up money, resources, and/or cards. A Generation only ends when all players have passed.

For example, Player A takes 2 Actions. Player B takes 2 Actions. Player C takes 2 Actions. Player A takes 2 Actions. Player B passes. Player C takes 2 Actions. Player A passes. Player C takes 1 Action. Player C passes.

I suspect you were allowing players to take only 1 or 2 actions per Generation, which is why you ended up with so much stuff.
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Örjan Almén
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Karlstad
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Yes, Steve is right, a generation consists of many turns, where in each turn, a player may perform one or two actions. If a player don't want to or can not perform at least one action on their turn, they need to pass and can not jump back in to performing more actions this generation. When everyone has passed, it's time for new production of resources.

This system is brilliant according to me, as players don't have to wait too long for others to perform their one or two tasks, so the turns go around pretty quick, while you aren't limited in how much you can do by turns, only by lack of resources or cards.

The possibility to do one or two is also good if you want to do things that build up on each other before another player seizes the moment and does that action, like places a city next to your greenery, or makes you raise the oxygen level two steps at once so you can take the bonus of raising the temperature wen you prepared it.
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Richard Derr
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I made the same mistake Steve and Örjan described and likely what you did wrong as well.

You're the 3rd person (including myself) I've seen post about making this mistake, so don't feel bad.

Oddly, I don't think anywhere in the rules does it explicitly say that a player can take as many actions (in 1 or 2 action increments) as they like in a round. The rule is certainly implied a few times on page 8. But, I could be wrong and it could be in there somewhere and I just missed it.
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Marty Strubczewski
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Gettysburg
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Did the same thing and felt very underwhelmed by the game. I'm excited to try the game again with proper play.

The rules should be more clear on this.
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Thomas Leitner
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Madison
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I'm curious why people sat on their plants until end game? It is generally far more advantageous to place greenery tiles earlier rather than later. You get better placement selection and you also get a TR bump for raising O2 levels.
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Matt Smith
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Orion
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The rules state:

"You can do 1 or 2 actions on your turn. If you do no action at all, you are out of the round and may not do anything more this generation. When everyone is out, the action phase ends." (bold added by me)

I didn't find it confusing, but since several people have, I suppose it could have been worded better.
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Dwsparks
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While this session report was waiting for moderation, we did figure out how we messed up: not taking multiple turns each generation. (Basically, we produced too often, hence the oversupply of resources at game end)

Obviously this turn/generation distinction could be clearer in the rules (and we're not the first group to make this mistake!)
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John Burt
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Portland
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Also,

Quote:
Each turn we would draft cards (picking from 4 cards and paying 3 credits each), and towards the end of the game we had MASSIVE hands to choose from (which didn't help the AP aspect).


Were you taking cards every turn? That should happen only at the start of every generation.
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Isaac Fryxelius
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Page 8 in the rulebook says that "you take 1 or 2 actions each turn, or pass. play proceeds clockise around the table until all players have passed" The rest of that page, including the example, does make it clear that you get as many turns as you like per generation, as long as you do not pass.

We should have made that more clear on the reference card, and we are sorry about that.
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Greg Lary
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Huntsville
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Isaac Fryxelius wrote:
We should have made that more clear on the reference card, and we are sorry about that.


I think the wording of "you take 1 or 2 actions each turn" leads to this mistake. The multiple actions per turn makes it seems like that's all you get without a careful parsing of the sentence. Particularly since many similar games actions often *are* limited, a conclusion is reached erroneously.
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Matthieu Fontaines
France
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Nice, that is something that may be corrected with the french translation...

What..

What?

I'm Still hopeful against all odds :)
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Jaime D.
Spain
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Duinhir wrote:
Nice, that is something that may be corrected with the french translation...

What..

What?

I'm Still hopeful against all odds


And with the Spanish one
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Bill Buchanan
Canada
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Page 8 of the rulebook seems pretty clear on this ...
 
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Matthieu Fontaines
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Almilcar wrote:
Duinhir wrote:
Nice, that is something that may be corrected with the french translation...

What..

What?

I'm Still hopeful against all odds :)


And with the Spanish one :D


We should really start to promote a European common langage, sort of esperanto, it will help editors ;)
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Jo
Germany
Pyrbaum
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Made exactly the same mistake on our first play yesterday with the german version. And we missed to give everyone one production on beginning in all places. It was a long game with a bad start.

But we feel fine playing. Good game!
 
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Winvayren
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Victorville
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Made the exact same mistake in our first game yesterday. Had way to many resources by the end of the game and we were wondering why only two actions lol. Makes a lot more sense now.
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