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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: What I would like to see in the upcoming expansions rss

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Kamil Łukasik
Poland
Lublin
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I was thinking about what I would like to see in the forthcoming expansions. New project cards and corporations would always be a welcome addition, but I was thinking about something else:

At the beginning of every generation players would draw a new Event Card that would affect the gameplay for this generation. These events would either have positive or negative effects, e.g.:

"Economic crisis - the cost of every standard project during this generation is increased by 2MC"

"Fertile lands - greenery tiles placed during this generation provide an additional +1 TR".

"Governmental protection - player/players with the lowest TR cannot be affected by red cards during this generation. The protected players might change, depending on their current TR (ties are friendly)".

These are just some examples .

What do you guys think? This wouldn't be a revolution, just another thing to consider during the gameplay.
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POUM
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Sounds like a good idea.

I'm still waiting for my copy whistle
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Claudio Coppini
Germany
Frankfurt am Main
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Hmmm, I would rather have tons of new cards, I love the fact that I'm always drawing cards I've never seen before in previous plays.

I'm not against event cards, but recently lots of Euro games have started including them so I just don't want it to become a stable thing in every game.
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Morten K
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Drugo81 wrote:
Hmmm, I would rather have tons of new cards, I love the fact that I'm always drawing cards I've never seen before in previous plays.

I'm not against event cards, but recently lots of Euro games have started including them so I just don't want it to become a stable thing in every game.


Yeah that's adding more tactical play to the game. I don't think that's needed in this game as it already has plenty of that.
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Ken Chaney

California
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I don't love the random swing that comes with events. They can really give a player a boost if they luck into the right timing, or punish you by making your brilliant but tightly planned move impossible. I don't like how much the random swings bring in more of a luck factor - card draw as it presently is (with drafting) has the luck factor covered for my taste. (Honestly, I'd like to see a little more evening - we are considering trying a draft 5 keep 4 max research house rule to even out luck of the draw more.)

That said, some players like more luck, and random events do have an effect on suppressing some AP (you can't plan a tight series of actions to the last detail if events are likely to spoil/enable big differences.)

I would like to see more catch-up. I don't think current TR is a very good surrogate for who is in the best position to win, but it has the virtue of simplicity. Maybe the ability to get some compensation when you are attacked (resources or production are taken away by another player) would be nice ... something small like a MC or larger like a card draw.

As more cards are added, it may be balancing to have cards that can do more than one thing. Adding more and more separate combo paths would be bad because the chances to draw them decreases, but a card that could act as, say either a Jovian OR a Microbe might be good. Put one tag on top as usual, but when played, the player has the choice to flip the card, losing that tag in exchange for the other.
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Joao F. Falaschi
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Mannheim
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Tigrillo wrote:
Drugo81 wrote:
Hmmm, I would rather have tons of new cards, I love the fact that I'm always drawing cards I've never seen before in previous plays.

I'm not against event cards, but recently lots of Euro games have started including them so I just don't want it to become a stable thing in every game.


Yeah that's adding more tactical play to the game. I don't think that's needed in this game as it already has plenty of that.


Same here, aren't we sick of "events" in games? There are so many of them out there. I believe adding more cards to the already huge card pool would be much better.
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Kamil Łukasik
Poland
Lublin
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Tigrillo wrote:
Drugo81 wrote:
Hmmm, I would rather have tons of new cards, I love the fact that I'm always drawing cards I've never seen before in previous plays.

I'm not against event cards, but recently lots of Euro games have started including them so I just don't want it to become a stable thing in every game.


Yeah that's adding more tactical play to the game. I don't think that's needed in this game as it already has plenty of that.

Well, what if you drew an event for the next generation so that you could always see what's coming and make some preparations? This way events would be more strategic and a little less tactical .

I was thinking about an expansion that wouldn't affect the core gameplay drastically, but still managed to add another layer of planning . And you could do a lot of interesting event cards in this game, adding even more replayability .
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Örjan Almén
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Karlstad
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jffalaschi wrote:
Same here, aren't we sick of "events" in games? There are so many of them out there. I believe adding more cards to the already huge card pool would be much better.


But in an expansion, you can play with or without it much easier than if it was built into the standard game?
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Matthieu Fontaines
France
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I'm not sure I would like per round events (that is a good idea that works in some great games, but it adds another layer of luck depending on the players strategies)

New cards would be nice, but with a way to avoid the "huge deck syndrom" of race for the galaxy, addition of more cards to draw cards would be valuable.

I noticed the security fleet is the only one producing and using "fighter" ressource... that is asking for some developpment.

Maybe some thematics around the "red martians" conflict against the "terraformers", with, why not a "non corporation" player trying to reverse the terraformation process.

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Spyros Koronis
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Duinhir wrote:
why not a "non corporation" player trying to reverse the terraformation process.


If this means having a way to consistently reduce the global parameters, this sounds like it would most help the other terraformers, since

a) it might give them a second chance to play cards with MAX requirements,
b) it would give them a way to boost their TR even more,
c) it would make every card that increases a parameter (of which there are a lot) dead weight for that player,
d) it would be one player trying to oppose everyone else, so there might be point balance issues
and e) taking back oceans might open a whole new can of worms.

Maybe it might work if it was similar to the solo game, i.e. that player would win if the game didn't end by a certain generation, otherwise they might still win on points? But that still sounds potentially problematic, since they would probably just focus on point scoring cards with animals, microbes etc.
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Örjan Almén
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Karlstad
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I think Matthieu means a NPC doing this actions, not one of the players themselves., or maybe a player's corporation has a ability which gains TR by removing tiles from the board, which would not affect the other players TR but end scoring.. There are endless ways...
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Matthieu Fontaines
France
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To be honest, I had not really a precise idea of the mechanic behind the "red martian". Just thought it may be cool.
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Marcel S.
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How about a "bad", ruthless corporation, which gets bonus points for doing "bad stuff" in order to terraform the planet, like the Nuclear Zone or Flooding.laugh It could get the negative points transformed to positive points at the end of the game. This expansion could come with some extra cards, which would terraform more quickly, but with side effects. In addition, this corporation might not play certain cards with a nice background, or get negative points for them.
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karl jobs
France
Nantes
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The events cards could be a brilliant idea, to give a feeling of uncertainty about the rough life on Mars, but should be used sparingly to not be too affected by random events (2,3 events max by game, each 5 generations for exemple)

Some others exemples :
"Earthquake from mars" - Delete one blue cards placed on your board, if you haven't, lost 2TR by missing card
"interstellar ice" - Decrease by to 2 steps the temperature scale
"Panic Scientific" - Delete 2 projects cards from your hands, if you haven't enough cards in your hands, lost 3TR
"Aquatic drought" - Reset one ocean tile on the board from oceans stack
"Epidemic infectious forest" - Delete all greeneries tiles on the board neighbor with ocean tiles, decrease as the same the impacted oxygen
"Insurrection city" - Each player lost 2M€/city on the board
"Earth cut communication" - No action/No cards with earth tags could be used for the 2 next generations
"Titanium drop" - Each player win 2 Titaniums
"Electrostatic wind"- Each player win 3 Energies
"Default energy converter" - the energy can't be converted into heat at the beginning of the production phase for the next 2 generations
"Bank striking" - The M€ production is not included at this turn for the M€ income
"Funding Earth foundation" - At this generation, raise 2M€/Earth tag in your game
"Industrial revolution" - Steel & Titanium ressources can't be used at this generation
"vegetal impoverishment" - Each player must decrease 2 step of Plants production, If it's not possible, lost 2TR by missing step.
"Acid rain" - No new tile could be placed for the 2 next generations on the board
"Spacial Engineer Help" - Each player win 1 card by Science Tag
"Projects concensus" - Project cards on hand with a cost of 15M€ or more can't be used at this generation; Project cards on hand with a cost of 15M€ or less can't be used at the next generation
"Temporal and spatial boundaries" - Play for free a second time a event card in your discard stack
"Bacterial proliferation" - add 2 Microbes on a card / or 4 plants
"Nuclear fission" - decrease all production by 1 (M€, steel, titaninium, plant, energy, heet)
"Finish ajustement Oxygen" - Two global parameters ocean, temperature don't change, oxygen goal could be finish at 12%
"Finish ajustement Ocean" - Two global parameters Oxygen, temperature don't change, Ocean goal could be finish at 7 tiles
"Finish ajustement Temperature" - Two global parameters Oxygen, Ocean don't change, Temperature goal could be finish at 4°C
"Restricted ceremony" - Milestones & Awards have each 2 places only instead of 3

What are your thoughts about it?
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Alex Treacher
United Kingdom
Moorlinch
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One of the best points about this game is the adherence to the theme; the cards are all in keeping with the theoretical science of terraforming (as much as can be possible at the moment). Any new cards really need to continue this policy.

For me, if an expansion consisted of cards that just arbitrarily added stuff, or subtracted stuff to the map/player boards it would lessen the appeal of the game hugely. If I wanted to turn over a 'Chance' card and receive £100 as a tax rebate, I'd play Monopoly.
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Tom Cannon
United States
Annapolis
Maryland
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I don't see a need to add Event cards as a step in the beginning of a generation. The game already has event cards in the project deck that players can use if they wish.

However, I could see an expansion that adds a subsystem using political or social trends that are spreading around the solar system. Changes in these trends might impact the Corporations in some way. For example, adding constraints to actions or requiring corporate resources to be redirected to other projects back on earth. Since the game reflects multiple generations this could reflect the challenge of maintaining Earth's priorities to invest in Terraforming Mars.

Another idea would be to have an expansion that starts from where this game ends. The final map of Mars that players created to end the Terraforming phase would be used to play a civilization expansion style game that involves different factions from earth travelling to Mars to settle and create a human-based Martian civilization. Something along the lines of answering "Can we create a better civilization on Mars, than the one we left behind on Earth?"
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Ken Chaney

California
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spinoza44 wrote:
The events cards could be a brilliant idea, to give a feeling of uncertainty about the rough life on Mars, but should be used sparingly to not be too affected by random events (2,3 events max by game, each 5 generations for exemple)

Some others exemples :
"Earthquake from mars" - Delete one blue cards placed on your board, if you haven't, lost 2TR by missing card
...
What are your thoughts about it?


Most people who try the game currently like it. The main reason people opt out of playing (in my experience) is time - it's a fairly long game at 2-3 hours. The big negative events listed would make the game even longer. Probably not a lot longer as people develop strong abilities to recover lost terraforming progress, but longer. On the other hand, if some of these big events hit before strong capacities were built, they would cripple development.

I'm not a fan of large random swings that only really hurt/help some players. Some of these events are very large random swings. Suppose a player had a slow start, but has set up a very lean but powerful combo to catch up. Other players have built up their companies and have some extra cards that are nice but not a big deal. A "loose cards" event barely touches the latter group, who are already ahead, but takes away the former player's well planned recovery completely. This is the kind of experience that puts a player off a game.

If such effects are in a game, players should have some ability to anticipate and plan for them. Having them only at the start of generation 6, 11, etc., as suggested, would blunt the potential for disaster somewhat. Maybe putting such effects at specific points on TR tracks would work. There is no "boost" on placing water tiles like there are on the O2 and Temperature tracks, so maybe put a random event on the 7th ocean tile placement? At least that makes timing a player controlled event ... I'm still not loving it.

When thinking of expanding a game, adding mechanisms has a strong siren song. Adding thematic mechanism is really attractive, but more often than not it doesn't improve the game, and in many cases the added complexity actually detracts by bogging down the system. For very simple games, adding another mechanism is fine. For very complex games where AP isn't as big an issue (solo games, sometimes co-op games) it can work out. I feel like multi-player Terraforming Mars has about the right amount of complexity now. Adding random swings to the solo game would not be good, but other forms of complexity would be more tolerable in solo.

I appreciate the thought you put into the events, and find them thematically very appealing, but I don't like them as game effects, sorry!
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Bill Buchanan
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Instead of random events, how about a side board that has various effects, with whatever theme used for reasoning, that players can choose from generation to generation.

Each spot would give you a benefit, but each spot you move off of would give you a negative effect too. So you'd need to think about how that would effect your strategy.

This way it's not random.
 
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Morten K
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I find it very odd that a game lasting 2-3 hours is too long. Especially if it is a game that keeps you engaged all the time and keeps having meaningful decisions.
 
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Daniel Kitamura Bylund
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Tigrillo wrote:
I find it very odd that a game lasting 2-3 hours is too long. Especially if it is a game that keeps you engaged all the time and keeps having meaningful decisions.


If you only have 1.5 hours between the time your kids finally fall asleep and the time you have to go to bed yourself to be able to function as a human beeing at work the next day, THEN even the most interesting of games can be too long.
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Cameron Murtagh
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Kingston
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Thematically - espionage and sabotage between the corporations

Mars separatists and ecoteurs - the locals might have their own views about the direction of the direction of the terraforming.



 
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s schmi
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Surcal wrote:
Thematically - espionage and sabotage between the corporations


+1 more interaction between players.

-stealing played cards
-stealing hand cards
-destroying played cards
-destroying plant hex
-conquer a enemy hex, make it yours.
-give other play -VP cards



And including things that should have been in the original $70 game
- player mat overlay (or just new proper mats)
- proper box insert to hold cards, hexes


A new base map that allows a random distribution of ocean tiles, resource providing tiles, (cover me to get a plant, steel, TI, card etc)
 
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jay
United States
Fargo
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I would like new maps.
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Alex Treacher
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Moorlinch
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schmism wrote:
A new base map that allows a random distribution of ocean tiles, resource providing tiles, (cover me to get a plant, steel, TI, card etc)

Different strokes, different folks as that saying goes.

Personally, no. This hurts even as a concept; replacing the accurate map with a random Settlers-style modular board. I like modular boards in a lot of games, but...
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Furry Fox
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I frown upon the generaltion-events that make things more random.

What I would like is:

-More Corporations (+ balance current ones)
-Card Draw Standard Project
-Initial Draft
-Additional Era Deck

- N°1 is clear, I think.

- N°2 is there to remove the randomness that can hit you hard. Something like "Discard 2 cards: Look at the top card. You can buy it if you want." Very inefficient, but gives you a chance to get out of a bad draw.

- N°3: I wonder why the drafting only starts in the second generation. I think there should also be an initial draft. e.g. two rounds with 5 cards each.

- N°4 would be a deck that lets you play in another Era. Maybe one that allows for shorter games when added to the Standard Deck, or just more diversity when added to the Corporate Era.
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