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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Our first game with drafting rss

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Norbert Chan
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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In player order, Jean was Phobolog, Gary was Teractor, I was United Nations Mars Initiative, Craig was Tharsis Republic and Don was the Mining Guild. Don had suggested we do drafting, now that we had played enough times and got a good sense of the cards, and we wanted to reduce the luck when one player gets four good cards.

The first round set the tone for the game for Gary. As Teractor, keeping 5 cards, he had the most M€, and he was able to get down an Earth Catapult (reduce all other played cards by 2 M€), and he followed that up with a Lunar Beam reducing his M€ by 2, but gaining 2 in heat production and 2 in energy production. So Gary had a really good start. Jean had played a card (I think it was called Tardagus) for every 4 microbes it is worth 1 VP. I played bribed committee to gain 2 TR and used my corporation’s(I didn’t want to type out UN Mars Initiative again) ability to spend 3 M€ to increase TR a further one. I had kept 8 cards, with 3 or 4 of them with science tags, but I didn’t have any good opening cards; my only plan was I could fund the scientist award. Craig played the Media Group to reduce his cost of event cards by 3 M€. Don played a mine and nuclear power plant.

Gary got down an early pets ( I think it was turn 2 or turn 3), which gives an animal everytime a city is played. He ended the game with 6 pts in pets! Jean was playing many Jovian cards.

Craig really surprised us by delaying a turn, and getting to 16 cards to claim the planner milestone. Craig also was the first one to get down 8 building tags to claim the builder milestone. Later on Don would put down the 3rd city to claim the mayor milestone. I had never seen a game yet where someone gets the terraforming milestone with 35 TR. I was trying my best, with my corporation, gaining 2 TR a turn when I could, but it was too slow. So with my science tags, I funded the scientist award for 14 M€; I had 4 science to Gary’s 2 science tags. Earlier, Don had funded the Miner award as he had huge steel and titanium production

Towards the midgame, Craig got a card that for an action, score M€ equal to the number of cities and turn a steel into 7 M€ so he was rolling in money. Don had pre-emptively funded the thermalist to prevent Craig from funding the banker. I thought that was good for me since in turn 4, I had played Mohole area increasing my heat to 4 production, then I played robotics factory in turn 5 to copy it and get it 8 production (contrast this when last week Jean got both those cards out on turn 1!). I kept using the heat to heat up Mars and bump up my TR then using my corporation for 3 M€ to bump up another TR. It seemed slow, but I got my TR up to 43, which is good in a 5 player game, but the other aspects of my game suffered. I could have saved my heat to compete for the thermalist award, and I thought I would gain at least 2 VPs, but I really wanted to increase my TR.

This game went 12 turns, and that allowed Craig to amass a huge amount of M€. He was able to parlay this into getting 7 heat production and saving it to eventually claim the thermalist. So it was a toss up between Craig and Gary. I made a mistake in the last round, I forgot to put in an evergreen tile to claim the last oxygen, letting Craig get it, but that didn’t influence the final score. Gary overtook me in science tags and I had to spend a card in the last round to tie him so we both got the scientist award.

Scores:
Gary 81 (34 TR, 5 Scientist, 4 greenery, 6 cities, 32 cards),
Craig 80 (27 TR, 10 milestones in planner and builder, 5 thermalist, 2 Miner, 5 greenery, 8 city, 23 cards),
Jean 76 (36 TR, 3 greenery, 3 city, 34 cards),
Norbert 70 (43 TR, 5 scientist, 4 greenery, 3 city, 15 cards),
Don 59 (31 TR, 5 mayor, 2 thermalist, 5 miner, 2 greenery, 6 city, 8 cards


Gary is yellow, Craig is green, Jean is blue, I am red and Don is black.


It was really close between Gary and Craig. Jean surprised everyone, as he had down 5 Jovian cards, earning him 34 pts in cards, and he got 5 pts from fighters as well. I'm impressed that gary got 32 pts in cards as well. It was really fun to play with everyone playing so well. It was hard to get the UN Mars Initiative to run well – I got the TR up, but didn’t have much else. The fact that the game went 12 rounds, also resulted in higher scores.


Gary's winning tableau.One of Jean's cards, the Tardiges got mixed in. Gary had said he got 8 pts in pets, and I wasn't sure if they were all on the pets card; with 12 cubes it looks like he got 6 pts, so he must have gained 2 pts elsewhere from animals.

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Anthony Rubbo
United States
Philadelphia
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So, which do you prefer - draft or no?
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Norbert Chan
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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LemonyFresh wrote:
So, which do you prefer - draft or no?


I do like the drafting. It makes each game more tense as you can only keep 1 of the 4 you are dealt, and you have to make a tough decision about which card to kept. You have to balance it with what your opponents want to collect, and what you want.
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Tom Cannon
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Annapolis
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Nice session report. Thanks for sharing!
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Jack
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Cumberland
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Personally, I enjoyed drafting, but it was in a 5p game. Even at 2-3 minutes per generation and if the game goes 14 generations, you're adding 45 minutes to the game. I wouldn't mind doing it in 2p or even 3p game, but above that player count, I'm sticking with deal 4 and let's go.
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Thomas Öhman
Sweden
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doesn't the forest need på be connecting to each other with the same color?
 
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Örjan Almén
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Ohman84 wrote:
doesn't the forest need på be connecting to each other with the same color?


No, they need to be placed next to another of your tiles, not necessarily next to a greenery tile, it can be next to another city tile or an special brown tile you have placed. That way you can spread your greenery areas across the board.
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Joshua Schutte
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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senorcoo wrote:
Personally, I enjoyed drafting, but it was in a 5p game. Even at 2-3 minutes per generation and if the game goes 14 generations, you're adding 45 minutes to the game. I wouldn't mind doing it in 2p or even 3p game, but above that player count, I'm sticking with deal 4 and let's go.


With people that have played before we always draft and don't mind the hour it can add to the game. Anytime we have a new players or AP prone players I don't even mention the draft and we play standard. More players won't make the draft longer, it just makes it so you won't see the same hand again.
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Robert F-C
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And games with more players will go for fewer generations.
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Jack
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My experience has been that the game tends to go 14 generations regardless of player count.
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Joshua Schutte
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Columbus
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senorcoo wrote:
My experience has been that the game tends to go 14 generations regardless of player count.


Interesting all 20 of our 4 players games have gone 10 turns give or take 1. I'm excited to play this at a con and see how different metas form based around game length expectations.
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Jack
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It also depends if you start with the game parameters at 1 production or 0. I play the full game at 0.
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Joshua Schutte
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Columbus
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We do too and play with drafting, 4 player is consistently 10 turns +/-1.
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Frank Conradie
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Rossland
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Agreed - our 4 and 5 player games (with drafting FWIW) always go 9 or 10 generations. I am extremely curious how a 4 player game can get to 14 generations - what are people doing instead of the 3 main terraforming requirements?

Incidentally, with experienced players the draft does not really add as much time as one might think, as once drafting is done you pretty much already know what you want to keep, and later generation drafts are often very fast due to more limited end of game options.
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