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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Playing with 1 action instead of 1-2 per turn. rss

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Roman Helms
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Hi there.
So, getting right to it: has anyone (else) tried playing TM with only one action per turn (instead of 1-2). If so, did you find any strong disadvantages, issues, etc.

We've knocked out a few games in my group (with drafting and CE) and there is a universal preference for only a single move per turn. The game flows much more quickly. Notably, it eliminates the downtime between that first move you know you want to do and the lag of feeling like maybe you should do another (it's got to somehow be to your advantage, right...right?)...but you're juuuust not exactly sure what to do. (It gives a little time to think as others go.)

We have found a few instances where back-to-back moves or card combinations had a good synergy (advantage): placing a tile; getting a few bonus placement plants; getting to place another tile; etc etc etc.
Still, in every instance the game seemed to play better by allowing your opponents to react before you go again: "Ah, I see you picked up a few bonus plants that last turn...did you know that my Coroporation has detected an incoming asteroid baby!"

Anyway, just seeing if anyone else had similar positive or negative impressions of 1 vs 1-2 actions per turn.
I agree TM was certainly designed with 1-2 for a reason, and that the second move is obviously optional (and not always taken in any event), still, we're just not seeing the strategy/tactical advantage outweigh the speed/player reaction gain.

Thanks everyone.
 
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Eric Lee
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I've only played one game as of last night, but in that game with 4 new players (including myself), by mid-game, we were all taking 2 actions with a kind of combo-mentality, so to speak. And when we only had one action to take, or when we couldn't figure out a second action, most of us simply said "I'm done for now" so that they can keep thinking they're next turn over if they had one at all.

In sum, in our experience, having the option for a second action wasn't an issue. The issue was trying to figure out our first action! And then, when we started feeling the game flow, we weren't having an AP issue for the second action (if we were to take it at all). So it sounds like: your mileage may vary.

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Geeky McGeekface
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Most of the time, experienced players take one action at a time, if only to be able to react to what other folks are doing (and passing early in a turn can often be problematic). However, there are definitely times when taking a second action is good, if only to take advantage of what you did with the first action. For example, first action gives me a bunch of plants; build greenery with my second action before anyone can steal the plants from me. Or place greenery with my first action; build a city with my second action, to take advantage of the juicy spot I just created, before another player can build there. The game could work with just a 1 action per turn rule, but I think it's much better, and more interesting, the way the designer crafted it.
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Alan Fluck
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ericaustinlee wrote:
I've only played one game as of last night, but in that game with 4 new players (including myself), by mid-game, we were all taking 2 actions with a kind of combo-mentality, so to speak. And when we only had one action to take, or when we couldn't figure out a second action, most of us simply said "I'm done for now" so that they can keep thinking they're next turn over if they had one at all.

In sum, in our experience, having the option for a second action wasn't an issue. The issue was trying to figure out our first action! And then, when we started feeling the game flow, we weren't having an AP issue for the second action (if we were to take it at all). So it sounds like: your mileage may vary.



This has been our experience, too. Spending 2 actions was reserved for times when we had 2 actions that went well together. I.e., I'll get some plants, then put down a greenery tile before they can be destroyed; I'll get a TR, then claim the Terraformer achievement; I'll put down a greenery tile, then place a city next to it. I think you would lose a lot of strategy by forcing those actions to be separate.

If we have a "standalone" action, we usually just do it, and then end our turn while we think about what to do next.

I can definitely see running into the issue OP is having if everyone is fixated on taking their full 2 actions every turn even if they can't think of an obvious second action. I'd rather try to change how the players view the game than house rule it, though.
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Clyde W
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Spending two actions is often just a matter of timing. If you can bump yourself up twice on a track, you might get the bonus. Or there are only two spaces left on the track and you want to ensure you obtain both of them. Or you do an action that lets you claim an achievement that is a must-claim, otherwise you'll miss out on it.
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Örjan Almén
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I believe a lot is missed with the game if only one action per turn is allowed. I really prefer the game as it is in this regard (and others). It is part of the fun to plan on which turn to place that greenery so I can claim the milestone directly afterwards, just because player X forgot to claim it on his or her turn just a moment ago.
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Ken Chaney

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I'd agree with the majority here, allowing 2 actions is best.

There are the races mentioned (qualifying for and claiming a Milestone, tile placement leverage, etc.) that are enabled by 2 actions. Splitting the race across an extra round just makes the trailing player "waste" playing something that may end up being very low value just to force the earlier player to complete the combo, so they lose out doubly. The added tension provides added aggravation without adding value to game play. Some people may like that I suppose.

I'll suggest a philosophical/attitude change:
Unless you are in a race this Generation, taking only 1 action is usually better than taking 2.
 
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SirMaoh S.
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There's a corporation that needs the second action to activate it's ability (don't know the name right now). As an action, after getting terraforming rating (TR), they can spend 3? credits to gain another point in TR.

I'm pretty sure there are more cards that can only be activated as a second action
 
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Ken Chaney

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SirMaoh wrote:
There's a corporation that needs the second action to activate it's ability (don't know the name right now). As an action, after getting terraforming rating (TR), they can spend 3? credits to gain another point in TR.

I'm pretty sure there are more cards that can only be activated as a second action


I don't recall exactly what that is, but I recall the action can be taken any time in the same Generation after gaining a TR, so it would not need to be a second action in the same "round."

Edit: United Nations Mars Initiative
Action: If your TR was raised this generation, you may pay 3 MC to raise it 1 step more.
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Love Nilsson
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RomFish wrote:
... has anyone (else) tried playing TM with only one action per turn (instead of 1-2).


No. Game isn't broken, no need to fix it.
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SirMaoh S.
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kenchaney wrote:
SirMaoh wrote:
There's a corporation that needs the second action to activate it's ability (don't know the name right now). As an action, after getting terraforming rating (TR), they can spend 3? credits to gain another point in TR.

I'm pretty sure there are more cards that can only be activated as a second action


I don't recall exactly what that is, but I recall the action can be taken any time in the same Generation after gaining a TR, so it would not need to be a second action in the same "round."

Edit: United Nations Mars Initiative
Action: If your TR was raised this generation, you may pay 3 MC to raise it 1 step more.


well thats true then. I don't know if all cards are written like that. The game is a lot more random and less tactical with only 1 action per round though
 
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