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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Am I missing something with solo play? rss

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Chris
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I'm no Kasparov, but I tend to be able to fairly quickly figure out strategy for solo games that some may have issues solving (Pandemic, Death Angel, and Friday come to mind), but I'm having a hard time getting anywhere close to a full terraforming. Albeit, I've only played the game twice, but rarely do I do so poorly at achieving the goal.

Is there something I could be missing, like any rules I might be overlooking favoring the game vs. the player? Any strategies I should be pursuing?

I basically find myself building a pretty decent engine with lots of credits, heat, trees, etc. -- but then I end up just hoping for some expensive card that will raise 3 temp/O2 levels. Anyone else encounter that?
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Bart Rachemoss
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I suggest you watch the solo playthroughs Nerd E.

edit: E Nerd --> Nerd E
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Jordan Booth
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A common mistake I'm seeing is people only taking 2 actions per generation. You can take as many actions as you like/are able between each production.
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Chris
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That is KEY - I'm not limited to 2 actions? For example, after drawing cards, I can then buy an ocean tile, play a card, use heat to raise temp, and spend trees for a land tile (provided I have the resources) -- then produce?
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Jeff Noel
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You get 1 or 2 actions per turn, but as many turns as you want per generation. In a solo game, just take as many actions as you want in a row.
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Chris
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*Facepalm

shake

Thank you.
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Game Night Games
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You are not alone. I didn't make that specific mistake, but found myself going back and forth through the rulebook all over the place to make sure I got all that stuff right, and I still assume i'm getting something wrong
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Justin Green
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Thanks for posting this question and thanks also to those who answered.

I made the same mistake
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Florian Ruckeisen
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Born-of-Ashes wrote:
A common mistake I'm seeing is people only taking 2 actions per generation.

Yep. And I'm not quite sure why this misinterpretation of the rules is so common.

Granted, the rulebook doesn't make a suuuper crystal clear distinction between "generations" and "(Action Phase) turns", but it always seemed obvious enough to me:
Rulebook p. 3, Game Overview wrote:
Time is measured in generations, and each generation starts with a Turn Order phase, followed by a Research phase, in which players access new cards. In the Action phase, players take turns doing 1 or 2 actions, going around the table until everyone has passed.

Rulebook p. 8, 3) Action Phase wrote:
Players take 1 or 2 actions each turn, or pass. Play proceeds clockwise around the table until all players have passed. [...] You can choose to take 1 or 2 actions on your turn. If you take no action at all (pass), you are out of the round and may not take any anymore actions this generation. When everyone has passed, the action phase ends.


And if all else fails, the example following on p.8 really leaves no doubt that you can take multiple turns within the Action Phase of a single generation.
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Chris
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For dunces like me, it would be ideal to simply state in the rulebook under the solo variant, "Please note that you may take as many actions as you'd like during each generation as there are technically no "turns.""

Anyhow, looking forward to returning this to the table!
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Örjan Almén
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Well, I heard that they will be clarifying the generation-turn-action relationships so this mistakes should be avoided more easily. Weäll see what text they actually write.
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Jebstone Boppman
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yeah it's normal game rules - just no other players to interrupt your 2 actions so you can basically just do everything you need to until you need to pass.

2 actions per generation would be IMPOSSIBLE, and there will be some generations you might only be able to afford 1 or 2 actions anyway - but there will be some generations when your engine is built up enough and you have enough blue cards and resources to go ham and get 3-4 oxygen points and temp in a single generation!
 
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Francesco Grimaldi
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Even playing generations in the right way, i still find difficult to reach scores above 80 and most of the times i fail in terraforming....maybe i'm wrong with some orher rules, for istance exact numbers of rounds?
Can you help me to improve my solo play?
 
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Sebastian Stückl
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inzivro wrote:
Even playing generations in the right way, i still find difficult to reach scores above 80 and most of the times i fail in terraforming....maybe i'm wrong with some orher rules, for istance exact numbers of rounds?
Can you help me to improve my solo play?


The learning curve in solo play is relatively steep.
It's mostly about aligning your strategy to the goal at hand.
The gameplay is very different from multiplayer. In multiplayer, you are trying to accumulate the most VP by the time Mars is completely terraformed.
In solo player, you are trying to EXACTLY terraform Mars, and spend all other resources on accumulating points efficiently.
This means, for instance, that you should try to never have extra heat leftover, because that would be a wasted resource.
It also means that you usually won't place more than 14-15 greenery tiles, and so on.

As an example, assume you are in generation 7,
and you currently have 9 heat and 2 energy, your heat production is 9 while your energy production is 2.
At the moment, temperature is -20°C
In this case, you know that you still have to make 14 more steps on the temperature track. One of them can come from the oygen track bonus, so you still need 13*8 = 104 heat in the rest of the game.
Your energy and heat production will give you 11 heat per turn, for 7 more rounds. That equals 77 heat, plus the 9 you have right now (=86).
Enough for 10 temperature raises, and 18 heat short of doing the last 3.
Now, say you draw a card that would increase your energy production by 3. Obviously, you will buy that, bumping your total heat available for the rest of the game to precisely 104. (86 you have, plus 6*3=18)
Now you are stuck with no leftover heat though, which means if you draw a city card that requires energy, you must wait until generation 13 to play it, else you will need an extra temp increase costing you 14 M€.
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