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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Of Solo and group play rss

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Matthieu Fontaines
France
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I finally played my first game on solo yesterday. I did not yet played multi, so please forgive me if I am very far from the reality.

First, I'd like to say I played with cinematics, and lost (It took me 16 generations to achieve a successfull terraformation, with a head start on oceans (completed by G13), then temperature (G15), then O2 (G16))

It seems to me there is a very different gameplay between solo and multi.

In Solo, you play a Race (14 generations), lots of cards giving you VP but no increase of parameters seem very unusefull. All the animals for instance who consume plants to produce VP seem conterproductive in Solo game.

In multi, Animals and other VP engines are way more interesting, since your goal is to be the one with most VP, you don't really have to work for a quick terraforming unless you are first and want to finish quick. In fact, if you are late on VP, you may want to delay the game, hopping to have some counterbalancing cards.

Solo game is really interesting, I know I have a big progression margin.

What do you think of this assumption on the difference of gameplay?
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Joshua Schutte
United States
Columbus
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Very fair.
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Marty Strubczewski
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That is an accurate assessment.

Solo Play = Timed Race

Multi Play = Combo Fun
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Örjan Almén
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Karlstad
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Well, in solo play, you don't only want to win of course, you want to win with a great score. but still, a great score without winning is worthless, so you need to balance it. So in that case, in the later generations, it might be worth playing such animals, microbes or other point cards just to increase your score if you can afford them.

But of course solo play and multi play is different. For example, the board is a totally different thing with several players, where you compete about the sweet spots. Also, the competition upon milestones and awards are also an element that's not in the solo that makes the multi different.
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Marius van der Merwe
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St. George
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Örjan makes a good point. Once you get comfortable with solo play simply winning becomes fairly easy, but winning with a high score (say 110 plus) can be very challenging. The solo game then becomes an interesting tight rope walk between avoiding a loss, while trying to push your luck with the play of as many victory point generating cards as you think you can get away with.

While I do regularly play board games solo, I enjoy multiplayer more, but the solo game in Terraforming Mars may actually be more interesting than the multiplayer version of it.
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David Arlington
United States
Spanish Fort
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Sciurus wrote:
Örjan makes a good point. Once you get comfortable with solo play simply winning becomes fairly easy, but winning with a high score (say 110 plus) can be very challenging. The solo game then becomes an interesting tight rope walk between avoiding a loss, while trying to push your luck with the play of as many victory point generating cards as you think you can get away with.


Agreed. Totally fantastic as a solo game. Your first few solo games, you're just worried about finding the right "pace" to hit the winning conditions in 14 generations. Then you start figuring how to pick up the "pace" so you can buy yourself some time to play more points cards at the end. That's where I think I'm at now.

But I can already see that where I want to be is knowing or having a feel for my 'pace' but be able to recognize it enough to be able to start looking at points cards much earlier in the game and finding the right balance to push hitting the winning conditions right out to 14 generations (without going over) while bringing in as many points as possible.

And given how many different starting corporations there are and how many cards (only 62 plus a few out of 200+ you will see in a solo game), it looks to be re-playable for a long, long, long time.

Dave
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Joe Zarate-Sanderlin
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San Francisco
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A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
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Having only played solo, I am curious to see how things will differ when I play in a group. I imagine it will be a big adjustment when there is competition.

I love TM solo, so far. The game is a fun challenge, I have barely scratched the surface in terms of corporations and projects, and I believe that it will continue to be an interesting gaming experience. I think that the tight integration of theme really makes the solo game interesting for me since I am big fan of hard scifi generally and Kim Stanley Robinson specifically. I picked up Red Mars again right after I ordered my copy of TM and I find myself narrating a story for each game that reflects some of the themes in the novel. Since no one is waiting on me to play, I can linger on cards and ponder how they fit into the grand story of each terraforming experience.
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