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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: The Search for Life rss

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Daniel King
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My wife and two friends played this last night at our local board game meetup and had a blast. This was my third play of the game. In the first round I found a card "The search for life" that allowed you, as an action, to spend one megacredit to look at the top of the deck. If it has a microbe tag you add a science resource to this card and it was worth 3 points per science tag. I figured that this card was probably not worth it, but it too thematic to pass up. I searched almost every round for the whole game, but came up short. Ended up losing to my wife by one point when everything was said and done.

I was impressed with how thematic this card felt and even though I knew it was probably a sub-optimal move it was too fun to pass up and I would have gladly picked it again, even knowing the final outcome. I think this speaks volumes for this game. To appease my curiosity (Mars pun intended), have any of you been successful in finding life in this game, or have any of you searched desperately and come up short?
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Michael Murphy
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I was in a three player game and someone else played that card in Generation 2 or 3. They were able to find life a few turns later. Really a little luck driven but a fun way to get more points. It can also be good for getting all the tags you need.
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Thomas Leitner
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The card you reference does not give you 3 points per science marker on it, but only for one. You can stop searching for life once you've found it
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Daniel King
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MDJD wrote:
The card you reference does not give you 3 points per science marker on it, but only for one. You can stop searching for life once you've found it


I think the true scientist would be willing to continue sacrifice megacredits in the name of science, even without the reward
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Jeff Noel
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I've always passed this card up because of the high luck factor. A friend pointed out though, that having that extra action as a means of delaying has value in itself. I might give this a shot the next time I see it, assuming it comes up early.

I think I've seen it played a few times, and it successfully found life one of those times.
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Örjan Almén
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wkufan89 wrote:
To appease my curiosity (Mars pun intended), have any of you been successful in finding life in this game, or have any of you searched desperately and come up short?


I have successfylly found life on mars once with this card!
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Daniel King
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I don't have the statistics, but I wonder what the odds of flipping a microbe card are? Does it stay the same when playing the short or long game? Or are all the tags proportional in both games?
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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I've found life at the first try in one game, and in the last generation of a couple of games
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Steve Carey
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One of my favorite cards in the game, a brilliant design stroke.
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Jacob Walker
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jeff0 wrote:
I've always passed this card up because of the high luck factor. A friend pointed out though, that having that extra action as a means of delaying has value in itself. I might give this a shot the next time I see it, assuming it comes up early.

I think I've seen it played a few times, and it successfully found life one of those times.


I have never once seen a successful search for life, but this is an excellent point. The more I play, the more I see the value in completing only one action on a turn. Having a cheap way of delaying another turn is quite appealing.
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Andrzej Aftar
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this card is easy to complete when you draft red card "boss favourite project". It is for 1 megacredit and it gives you 1 resource for free on one card.

its just another combo. You dont need luck to complete it.
 
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Sebastian Stückl
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Aftar2 wrote:
this card is easy to complete when you draft red card "boss favourite project". It is for 1 megacredit and it gives you 1 resource for free on one card.

its just another combo. You dont need luck to complete it.


Unfortunately, your favourite project can only put a resources on a card that already has one on it.
So in the quest to find life, it won't be any help. (Unless you want to find EVEN MORE LIFE!)

Did we figure out the chance to find life based on the number of uses?
What's the number of cards with... life on them... in the game?
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Sebastian Stückl
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Bastinator1 wrote:
Did we figure out the chance to find life based on the number of uses?
What's the number of cards with... life on them... in the game?


So... I looked very closely at the cards. They all have microbes on them! whistle

Though only 16 have a microbe symbol on them, 3 are from the corporate era

This gives you the following chance to hit at least once during the corporate era(+promo):
1 try: 7.69%
2 tries: 14.83%
3 tries: 21.44%
4 tries: 27.57%
5 tries: 33.25%
6 tries: 38.52%
7 tries: 43.39%
8 tries: 47.89%
9 tries: 52.06%
10 tries: 55.91%
11 tries: 59.48%
12 tries: 62.77%
13 tries: 65.81%
14 tries: 68.61%
15 tries: 71.20%
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Daniel King
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Bastinator1 wrote:
So... I looked very closely at the cards. They all have microbes on them! whistle

Though only 16 have a microbe symbol on them, 3 are from the corporate era

This gives you the following chance to hit at least once during the corporate era(+promo):
1 try: 7.69%
2 tries: 14.83%
3 tries: 21.44%
4 tries: 27.57%
5 tries: 33.25%
6 tries: 38.52%
7 tries: 43.39%
8 tries: 47.89%
9 tries: 52.06%
10 tries: 55.91%
11 tries: 59.48%
12 tries: 62.77%
13 tries: 65.81%
14 tries: 68.61%
15 tries: 71.20%


Interesting. Thanks for the anlysis. 50% chance over 10 rounds seems ok, but I think when you take the 10 megacredits into account it might not be worth it. Then again, there is value in having an action that can just delay your turn. I think I would try it again if I found it in the first 2 rounds.
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Sebastian Stückl
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wkufan89 wrote:
Bastinator1 wrote:
So... I looked very closely at the cards. They all have microbes on them! whistle

Though only 16 have a microbe symbol on them, 3 are from the corporate era

This gives you the following chance to hit at least once during the corporate era(+promo):
1 try: 7.69%
2 tries: 14.83%
3 tries: 21.44%
4 tries: 27.57%
5 tries: 33.25%
6 tries: 38.52%
7 tries: 43.39%
8 tries: 47.89%
9 tries: 52.06%
10 tries: 55.91%
11 tries: 59.48%
12 tries: 62.77%
13 tries: 65.81%
14 tries: 68.61%
15 tries: 71.20%



Interesting. Thanks for the anlysis. 50% chance over 10 rounds seems ok, but I think when you take the 10 megacredits into account it might not be worth it. Then again, there is value in having an action that can just delay your turn. I think I would try it again if I found it in the first 2 rounds.


Searching for life seems much easier when playing without the corporate era cards. However, I didn't know how many corporate era cards there are.
If somebody can tell me I could post a quick update for the chance to hit using the standard deck.
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Jonathan Franklin
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This is affected by whether someone else has tried or is trying a microbe strategy, so somewhat conditional re after the draw deck is depleted.
 
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mfl134
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After revealing the top card, where does the card go?
 
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Jacob Fryxelius
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mfl134 wrote:
After revealing the top card, where does the card go?


It is discarded. It should say so on the card, but apparently this slipped through our proof-reading... shake
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Chris Morriss
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Does the oxygen have to be at no more than 6% to search (as well as for playing it)???
 
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H-B-G
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Chris Morriss wrote:
Does the oxygen have to be at no more than 6% to search (as well as for playing it)???


Global requirements like that only apply to playing the card. Once played they make no difference to using any action or effect it may have.
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Ido Abelman
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I used it in my first game (non-corporate era beginner corporations). I had it from the start and activated it each round but found nothing shake

I also wanted to use it to play a card that requires 2 science tags but I couldn't find any more science tags shake
Actually I think a good part of the value of this card is being (one of) the cheapest science cards - good for cards that require or work with science and for the scientist award. And once you have it, it seems decievingly cheap to activate each round...
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Daniel King
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I didn't think about the value of the science tag, but that is a good point. I certainly think I underestimated this card at first, though I'm still not convinced it's "good" unless you already have some of those synergies in hand. I still doubt that I could ever take it in a solo game. I had the option to take it first round in a solo game the other day and just couldn't do it.
 
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Sam Carroll
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wkufan89 wrote:
I didn't think about the value of the science tag, but that is a good point. I certainly think I underestimated this card at first, though I'm still not convinced it's "good" unless you already have some of those synergies in hand. I still doubt that I could ever take it in a solo game. I had the option to take it first round in a solo game the other day and just couldn't do it.


I've taken it in a solo game, but only for the science tag.
 
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Enoch Fryxelius
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Personally I hate that card because I never get lucky. I take it ONLY when I need science tags...
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Georg D.
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I'm sure someone alse did it befor me but I did some math.

Whoever doesn't want the game decisions be spoiled by facts should stop reading.


With 16 microbe cards out of 209 cards...

... the expected number of rounds to have a >90% success is 27

... after 10 rounds you have a 55.9% chance of success
as you only pay until you have success you can expect to have payed 7.1 MC (+ 3MC for buying, +3MC for playing)
when you include costs for buying and playing that are about 7.4 MC per victory point (with most of it payed in round 1).


For this calculation I used the (false) assumption that 'search for life' is the only known card. Of course this numbers change if you have already seen many non-microbe cards or know that some microbe-cards are already gone.

In a solo game where you know exactly 14 cards (4 for neutral cities and greeneries and 10 startcards) and none of them was a microbe card the number are:

... after 14 rounds (solo game) you have a 71.1% chance of success
as you only pay until you have success you can expect to have payed 8.4 MC (+ 3MC for buying, +3MC for playing)
when you include costs for buying and playing that are about 6.8 MC per victory point (with most of it payed in round 1).
If you would pay alle the money in round 14 that would be better than playing a standardproject-city next to 3 greeneries. But as you have to pay most of the money quite early I don't think it is worth the cost (unless you need the science tag).
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