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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Rules

Subject: First play through and it doesn't feel right, what am I doing wrong? rss

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Karen Knoblaugh
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So in a two-player game using the beginner corporations, it's at the end of the 14th round. We still have to add two ocean tiles, oxygen is at 9, and temp is a 0. Both players have more money than we know what to do with, more heat and plants saved up than we could ever spend, and more cards in our hands than we know what to do with. This means that even several rounds ago, we could have just used the standard actions (or spent heat and plants) to add all oceans, greenery, and raise the temperature to end the game without any strategy involved. Spend money/resources, end the game.

We must be doing something wrong. Were we being too conservative in card buying (one player has 16 cards played, the other has 12 cards played)?
I know the game isn't over, so more cards may have been bought, but still, something just doesn't feel right.

Any insights? Also, what is the average playing time for two players - it seems that it's a bit longer than it should be as well ('cause we're doing something wrong!?) Also, we haven't really used cards against each other, which I'm sure would impact things, but not that much I'm guessing.

Thanks for any suggestions/comments.

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Brie
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Are you playing multiple rounds per generation? It sounds like you might be producing resources too often.
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Jeff Noel
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Are you only taking 1 or 2 actions per generation? Each player takes 1 or 2 actions on their turn, but each player has multiple turns in a generation (i.e. a player stays in the turn rotation for a generation until they've passed).
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Bill Buchanan
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In a basic game you each start off with 1 production on each track, and place 2 markers on 20 on the terraforming track.

First round is special. You will take 10 cards each and keep them all (basic game only.)

You will then each take turns performing 1 or 2 actions, until both players have passed. This is a generation. Only at the end of a generation will you finally do production (ie. get money and resources).

In each subsequent generations you will each draw 4 cards at the start, and decide if you wish to spend 3 megacredits per card you wish to keep, or discard those you don't want. You will still each take turns performing 1 or 2 actions until both people pass, then produce.

You will repeat this until the 3 victory conditions are reached, you will finish the current generation and including production. After which you do final scoring.

Important to note that once you pass out of a generation, you can't come back in until a new generation begins.

It's impossible to say what you might be doing wrong without more info.

If you have more cards and money than you know what to do with, why aren't you buying and then playing more cards as an action?

If you have more plants than you know what to do with, why aren't you placing more greenery tiles, and thereby increasing the oxygen level as an action?

If you have more heat than you know what to do with, why aren't you raising the temperature level as an action?

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Matt Smith
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Yep, it sounds like you did the same thing as was noted on this thread.

During the action phase, each player on his turn may play 1 or 2 actions, or pass. The action phase continues until all players have passed. So as long as at least one player takes an action on his turn, the action phase continues around and around the table.

In the early rounds you may only have enough cash to perform a couple of actions per generation (round), but by the mid to late game, players will be performing many actions per generation, so the action phase will go around the table multiple times in a generation.
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Matt Smith
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As for play time, I read on another thread one of the designers say the game length is actually a little longer for less players, considering the three global parameter targets stay the same no matter how many player "engines" are being developed.
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Karen Knoblaugh
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briezee wrote:
Are you playing multiple rounds per generation? It sounds like you might be producing resources too often.
I am taking two actions, second player takes two actions, then we end the generation (round).

I just read the referenced thread from Matt Smith (thanks!) and realized I am making the exact same error that they did. I reread the instructions and it still wasn't super obvious to me that players take multiple turns within a generation, but now I get it.

Thank you all for your prompt replies! Now to play it properly....
Karen.
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Brie
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Karenv731 wrote:
briezee wrote:
Are you playing multiple rounds per generation? It sounds like you might be producing resources too often.
I am taking two actions, second player takes two actions, then we end the generation (round).

I just read the referenced thread from Matt Smith (thanks!) and realized I am making the exact same error that they did. I reread the instructions and it still wasn't super obvious to me that players take multiple turns within a generation, but now I get it.

Thank you all for your prompt replies! Now to play it properly....
Karen.


I still need a chance to play it properly. First time I played, we only gave TR for placing oceans and wondered why we couldn't afford to play the more expensive cards.
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Justin Schuber
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Yeah, the simple way to think of playing solo in this game is that you can do as many actions as you want as long as you have the resources to do so.
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Matt Smith
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Neojames82 wrote:
Yeah, the simple way to think of playing solo in this game is that you can do as many actions as you want as long as you have the resources to do so.

That's not a bad way to teach the game. Tell players, "You can do as many actions as you want/can afford each game round/generation, but you can perform at most 2 actions each turn. And if you pass on your turn, you may not perform any more actions that round/generation."
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Karen Knoblaugh
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mvettemagred wrote:
Neojames82 wrote:
Yeah, the simple way to think of playing solo in this game is that you can do as many actions as you want as long as you have the resources to do so.

That's not a bad way to teach the game. Tell players, "You can do as many actions as you want/can afford each game round/generation, but you can perform at most 2 actions each turn. And if you pass on your turn, you may not perform any more actions that round/generation."
Agreed - that would have been much clearer. Now that I have a few generations of proper play completed, and changed to the corporate card instead of using the beginner corporations, I am loving it. This is the game that I was expecting!
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