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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Minimum Terraforming time with perfect information rss

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Lorry Moller
Canada
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I've played the solo game a bunch of times now and managed to finish the three terraforming tracks (oceans/O2/Temp) in 13 turns twice.

I started to wonder - what is the fastest possible Terraforming time? So I set myself a little challenge - with perfect information (ie if I could draw the perfect card every time, but otherwise followed all other rules) what would be the fastest number of generations to finish the three tracks?

I figured if I could get a lot of use out of the water pumping station, etc, I could probably do it in 7 or 8 generations.

So I tried it out, fine tuned it, and was _floored_ to do it in <cough> three generations.

Don't believe it? (I wouldn't have either and would assume someone played a rule wrong...) I have a little CSV file with the list of cards I played and how the costs/discounts were paid. I am uncertain what the BGG-approved way is for posting such a file - the guidelines suggest that session reports should not be uploaded, so I'm a little unclear whether that is considered a session report. I could post a list of the cards played below, but i don't think the full spreadsheet of how costs were paid would reproduce well in the BGG forum format.

Not sure if anyone would want to try such a crazy experiment themselves (probably not!), but hiding my methodology in a spoiler tag:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Tesseract, with the discount on earth cards. Basically, turn 1 is using earth tags to generate money and discounts, then science tags to generate cards and electricity. Olympus conference is a key card here; over the course of the game played 22 science tags and drew 11 cards that way. Media Group was key to generating money from events. Even though turn one starts with only ten cards (at a cost of 30Me), I played a whopping 23 in the first turn due to cards that draw more cards.

Turn 2 is space discounts and space cards, with a side order of electro->oxygen conversion. Optimal areobraking and arctic algae shine here. Again, after only buying the standard 4 cards at the start of the turn, using various card drawing effects drew this out to 23 more cards total.

Turn 3 is only 13 cards (4 at the beginning and then the few remaining effects to get the other 9), but they are big ones - big asteroids for oceans and exploiting the board for plants/trees

Finished on turn three with 0 dollars and 99 points. I'm sure a few more points could be fine tuned out of it, but it's already pretty finely tuned...

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Lorry Moller
Canada
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Here is a basic list (without the full payment details), actually the BGG forum formatting isn't too bad but the spoiler tag makes it tiny font, not sure if I should bother with that spoiler thing.
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Asterisks on a cardname below indicate a science tag; in the 'Cards' field that indicates that Olympus conference has a pending resource.

sea o2 temp cards Me Generation 1
10 30 Start Terractor (-3 per earth tag)
9 30 earth office (-3 earth)
8 13 earth catapult (-2 all)
7 13 media group (+3 per event)
6* 11 *Olympus conf (+1/2 card on sci)
5* 11 Mineral Deposit
5 4 *Advanced Alloys(+1Me for st or ti)
4* 3 *Research Outpost (-1 all) city on +2 steel hex
5* 6 Business Contacts (draw 4 keep 2)
4* 6 Business Network (Action: buy1)
5 9 *Invention Contest (draw 3 keep 1)
4 12 Indentured Workers (-8Me next card)
6 12 **Research (2 draw)
5* 7 *Mass Converter (-2space, 6energy prod)
4* 10 Hired Raiders (+2 steel)
2 3* 9 Nuclear Zone(hex on +2steel)
3 9 *AI Central (Action: draw 2 cards,-1en)
6 6 Draw 3 (AI, Business)
5 13 Investment Loan (-1 prd, +10 Me)
4* 2 *Anti-gravity Tech (-2all)
4 5 *Special Design
3 5 Acquired Company (+3Me prod)
2 12 Media Archives (1/prev event)
1 12 Cartel (+Earth Me Prod)
0* 4 *Quantum extractor (-2 space, 4energy prod)


sea o2 temp cards Me Generation 2
31
6* 19 Buy 4, Draw 2 (AI)
7 19 *Lagrange observatory (draw1)
7* 13 *Restricted Area (Action: 2Me->1card) Acretious Mons
6* 13 Optimal AeroBraking (Sp event: 3Me, 3He)
8 19 *Technology Demonstration (2Cards)
7 18 Space Station (-2sp)
1 6 14 Mining Expedition
2 5 10 Steel Works (Action: 4energy->2st, o2) and use
3 4 8 Ore processor (Action: 4energy->Ti, o2) and use
3 1 Arctic Algae(pl, Sea:2pl)
1 4 10 Imported Hydrogen (Sea on 2card hex) 3pl,
4* 6 *Natural preserve (tile on draw card hex)
4 8 *Solar Wind Power (1Enprd, 2Ti)
2 4 4 14 Towing A Comet (2pl, o2, searaw1Cardhex )
5 5 14 Action:8pl->Forest hex on 1card hex
4 14 Shuttles (sp -2, -1en, +2Me)
3 4 18 Convoy From Europa (draw card, Sea: +2Steel hex)
4* 18 *Development Center (1En->card) and use
3 3* 23 Asteroid (Temp, 2Ti)
5 2* 23 Big Asteroid (2Temp, 4Ti)
2 19 *Inventor's Guild (buy card)
4 13 Action: Inventor's Guild,Business Network- buy cards
8 3 17 Deimos Down (3Temp,4Steel)
7 2 9 Strip Mine
1 5 Giant Space Mirror (3En Prod)
0 5 Miranda resort(+1Me prd per earth tag)
10 Action: 16He->2Temp


sea o2 temp cards Me Generation 3
3 7 10 0 62
6 50 Buy 4, Draw 2 (AI),
3 9 11 Action: Steel Works,OreProcessor
5 13 5 41 Giant Ice Asteroid (Sea:+2Ti, Sea;+2pl)
9 33 draw for Inventor, business, restricted, devcenter
15 8 23 Lava Flows (+2Temp, tile on Pavonis)
6 25 From Heat Track – Sea;pl+2, +2Me
7 16 7 33 Comet (+1tmp, +1Sea:+2pl+2Me)
6 39 Imported GHG (+1He prd, +3He)
18 Action: 16He->2Temp
5* 35 *Viral Enhancers
4* 31 Fish (add 1VP fish)
3* 33 Imported Nitrogen (TR, 4pl, 2fish)
8 4* 24 Large Convoy(Sea:1plant,2Me 2cards, 4fish)
4 24 *Trans-Neptune Probe
19 Action: 8He->1Temp
3* 23 *Standard Technology (-3 std actions)
9 10 Action: buy Std sea zone(+1 plant, +2 me)
2* 7 Capital touching 3 oceans, 2plants
12 15 Action: 3 forest hexes (2touching capital,1above sea)
2 9 *Breathing Filters
1 10 Interstellar colony ship
13 Action: 1 forest hex (1touching capital)
14 0 0 Mangrove (2plant)
Action: 1 forest hex (1touching research outpost)

TR:57
Forests:6
Forests touching cities:5
Points on cards:31

Total:99vp

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Benjamin Fryxelius
Sweden
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Insane!!!
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Derek Fearnley
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Personally, I would have pegged 5 gens with optimal plays before seeing this. Congrats. So very well done.

I've looked for a more efficient way, but every card I've thought of so far is already in the list. I can't find anything just looking at it, so I would need to pull out a board and start moving things around.
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Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
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What are you, like 80?
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It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
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Kazoomba! Well done.
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Matthieu Fontaines
France
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Forests touching cities : 5 PV

did you count the number of forest touching at least a city or, for each city the number of adjacent forest?

It seems to me the second version is the good one. Maybe you made even more VP.

3 generations, I would never have thought it would be possible...
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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That is really impressive, Lorry!
I think nobody was really expecting such a quick win to be possible.

If I recall correctly, Jonathan once said he tried playing the cards in any order he chooses, and reached over 400 points in the solo game.

Looking at your play-by-play report, 400 points sounds much more "realistic" now.
I wonder how much more optimisation can be done, but doubt an even quicker win on the second turn would be possible.

Sebastian
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Lorry Moller
Canada
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@Duinhir - there were three forests touching the capital (which was bordered by three oceans) and two forests touching the research outpost at the bottom of the board. The Mangrove forest was in the 2-plant hex on the right of the board and did not touch a city.

A few of the cards on turn 3 are strictly for points (Fish for 8 pts!). I had one more forest than necessary for O2 requirements so I might have been able to tweak things to squeeze in a few more points, such as not playing space mirror turn 2 as i wouldn't need to power one of the En->o2 plants on turn 3. I think I'm done optimising for now tho

And I think I do see an error, but correcting it is in my favour! Investment Loan should have added 13Me to the 6 I had (19 total), instead I recorded it as 13 total. This would have let Media archive (+1Me for all previous events) be played much later after all the space events, and play Miranda resorts at the end of turn one for 10 more Me in turn 2 and ... <must...stop...optimizing...>

This game cries out for a computer to keep track of it all...
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James Wolfpacker
United States
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So... Teractor was done... how about Credicor, or any other corp? whistle
 
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Wawrzyniec Bonk
Poland
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Bastinator1 wrote:

I wonder how much more optimisation can be done, but doubt an even quicker win on the second turn would be possible.

Sebastian


Without looking at Lorry's cards, I've done it in 2(!) generations with Credicor and pretty much no income cards, 19 credits left at the end. 32 cards playd in 1st generation, 14 cards and 4 Standard Projects in seccond generation. I've made a full step-by-step guide in Polish, could also do it in English but i don't know some/most English card names. 56 TR +8 forests +10 points on Cards = 74 Victory Points Total

edit: Got English Card Names List, so will write English guide in the weekend, also could probably squeeze a bit more budget etc from it in the meantime
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Wawrzyniec Bonk
Poland
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As I promised, here is my full step-by-step guide to get Full Terraformation in 2 Generations:

WARNING: in purpose to guide/photo be more clear, I didn't put those two neutral cities+forest, You can asume they were in any spaces/hexes We do not use
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Formating for this Guide:
1$ is 1 megacredit
1S is 1 steel
1T is 1 Titan
1G is 1 plant resource
1E is 1 Energy
1H is 1 Heat
1# is 1 Card (draw)
30/5/4.3/2/1 #10 is 30$, 5S, 4T, 3G, 2E, 1H and 10 cards in Hand
[14+10/5/4.3/2/1] is Production: 14TR+10$, 5S, 4T, 3G, 2E, 1H
<5%/9!/-20> is 5% Oxygen, 9 oceans(! is max) and -20 Temperature

Reference numbers of Mars' hexes:

---------01(02)03(04.05)
-------06.07.08.09.10(11)
-----12.13.14.15.16.17.18
--19.20.21.22.23.24.25(26)
27.28.NC(30.31.32)33.34.35
--36.37.38.39.40(41.42.43)
----44.45.46.47.48.49.50
------51.52.53.54.55.56
-------57.58.59.60(61)

"1." Full numbers are Card Actions
"1a." Numbers with letters are Non-Card actions (actions from blue cards, building Forest for 8G, rising temperature for 8H etc)

Corporation: Credicor
Start budget after buing 10 cards:
27/0/0.0/0/0 #10

GENERATION I

1. Pay 1$ for Earth Office
26/0/0.0/0/0 #9
2. Pay 20$ for Earth Catapult, we get +4$
10/0/0.0/0/0 #8
3. Pay 1$ for Media Group
9/0/0.0/0/0 #7
4. Pay 3$ for Mineral Deposit, we get +3$, +5S
9/5/0.0/0/0 #6
5. Pay nothing for Investment Loan, we get +13$
22/5/0.0/0/0 #5
[14-1/0/0.0/0/0]
6. Pay nothing for Indentured Workers, we get +3$
25/5/0.0/0/0 #4
7. Pay 4S for Research Outpost
Put it on Hex 53 to get +1#
25/1/0.0/0/0 #4
8. Pay 2$+1S for Olympus Conference
23/0/0.0/0/0 #3+("plus" is a Science resource on Olympus Conference)
9. Pay nothing for Invention Contest, we get +3$, +1# and +1# from OC
26/0/0.0/0/0 #4
10. Pay 8$ for Research, we get +2# and +1# from OC
18/0/0.0/0/0 #6
11. Pay 10$ for Quantum Extractor
8/0/0.0/0/0 #5+
[14-1/0/0.0/4/0]
12. Pay 5$ for Mass Converter, we get +1# from OC
3/0/0.0/0/0 #5
[14-1/0/0.0/10/0]
13. Pay 3$ for Space Station
0/0/0.0/0/0 #4
14. Pay nothing for Optimal Aerobreaking
0/0/0.0/0/0 #3
15. Pay nothing for Technology Demonstration, we get +6$, +3H and +2#
6/0/0.0/0/3 #4+
16. Pay nothing for Import of Advanced GHG, we get +6$ and +3H
12/0/0.0/0/6 #3+
[14-1/0/0.0/10/2]
17. Pay nothing for Imported GHG, we get +6$ and +6H
18/0/0.0/0/12 #2+
[14-1/0/0.0/10/3]
18. Pay nothing for Lagrange Observatory, we get +1# and +1# from OC
18/0/0.0/0/12 #3
19. Pay 11$ for Anti Gravity Technology
7/0/0.0/0/12 #2+
20. Pay 4 for Advanced Alloys, we get +1# from OC
3/0/0.0/0/12 #2
21. Pay nothing for Business Contacts, we get +3$ and +2#
6/0/0.0/0/12 #3
22. Pay 3$ for Asteroid, we get +6$, +2T and +3H
9/0/2.0/0/15 #2
[15-1/0/0.0/10/3]
<0%/0/-28>
23. PAy 1T for Convoy From Europa, we get +6$, +3H and +1#
Put Ocean on Hex (11) to get +2#
15/0/1.0/0/18 #4
[16-1/0/0.0/10/3]
<0%/1/-28>
24. Pay nothing for Small Asteroid(promo), we get +6$ and +3H
21/0/1.0/0/21 #3
[17-1/0/0.0/10/3]
<0%/0/-26>
25. Pay nothing for Solar wind Power, we get +2T
21/0/3.0/0/21 #2+
[17-1/0/0.0/11/3]
26. Pay 2 for Nuclear Zone
Put it on Hex 12 to get +1#
19/0/3.0/0/21 #2+
We get [+1H] cause of -24 Temperature
[19-1/0/0.0/11/4]
<0%/1/-22>
27. Pay nothing for Mining Area
Put it on Hex 19 (next to Nuclear Zone) to get [+1T], +1T and +1G
19/0/4.1/0/21 #1+
[19-1/0/1.0/11/4]
28. Pay 6 for Restricted Area, we get +1# from OC
Put it on Hex 18 to get 2$ and 1S
15/1/4.1/0/21 #1
28a. Use Restricted Area, to get +1# for 2$
13/1/4.1/0/21 #2
29. Pay 4$ and 4T for Deimos Down, we get +10$, +4S and +3H
We get [+1H] cause of -20 Temperature
19/5/0.1/0/24 #1
[22-1/0/1.0/11/5]
<0%/1/-26>
30. Pay 1$ and 5S for AI Central, we get +4$
22/0/0.1/0/24 #0+
[22-1/0/1.0/10/5]
30a. Use AI Central to get +2#
22/0/0.1/0/24 #2+
31. Pay 4$ for Inventor's Guild, we get +1# from OC
18/0/0.1/0/24 #2
31a. Use Inventor's Guild to get +1# for 3$
15/0/0.1/0/24 #3
32. Pay nothing for Business Network
15/0/0.1/0/24 #2
[22-2/0/0.0/10/5]
32a. Use Business Network to get +1# for 3$
12/0/0.1/0/24 #3
33. Pay nothing for Hired Raiders to steal(get) 2S and get 3$
15/2/0.1/0/24 #2
34. Pay 7 for Mining Expedition, we get +3$ and +2S
11/4/0.1/0/24 #1
[23-2/0/1.0/10/5]
<1%/1/-16>
35. Pay 8$ and 4S for Strip Mine, we get +4$
7/0/0.1/0/24 #0
[25-2/2/2.0/8/5]
<3%/1/-16>
35abc. Pay 24H to rise Temperature 3 times
7/0/0.1/0/0 #0
[28-2/2/2.0/8/5]
<3%/1/-10>

PRODUCTION
Buy 4 cards for 12$
21/2/2.1/8/5 #4
<3%/1/-10>

GENERATION II

1. Pay 4$ and 2S for Steelwork
17/0/2.1/8/5 #3
1a. Use Steelwork to get 2S for 4E
17/2/2.1/4/5 #3
[29-1/2/2.0/8/5]
<4%/1/-10>
2. Pay 2$ and 2S for Ore Processor
15/0/2.1/4/5 #2
2a. Use Ore Processor to get 1T for 4E
15/0/3.1/0/5 #2
[30-1/2/2.0/8/5]
<5%/1/-10>
3. Pay nothing for Special Design, we get +3$
18/0/3.1/0/5 #1+
4. Pay 7$ for Arctic Alguae, we get +1G
11/0/3.2/0/5 #0+
4a. Use AI Central to get +2#
11/0/3.2/0/5 #2+
5. Pay nothing for Shuttles
11/0/3.2/0/5 #1+
[30+0/2/2.0/7/5]
6. Pay 8$ and 3T for Large Convoy, we get +10$, +5G, +3H and +2#
Put Ocean on Hex (04) to get +1# and +2G
13/0/0.9/0/8 #3+
[31+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<5%/2/-10>
7. Pay 10$ for Ice Asteroid, we get +10$ and +3H
Put Ocean on Hex (61) to get +2T and +2G
Put Ocean on Hex (26) to get +4G
13/0/2.15/0/11 #2+
[33+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<5%/4/-10>
8. Pay 6$ and 2T for Big Asteroid, We get +10$, +4T and +3H
17/0/4.15/0/14 #1+
[35+0/2/1.0/7/5]
<5%/4/-6>
9. Pay 2$ and 2T for Towing a Comet, we get +10$, +2G and +3H
Put Ocean on Hex (32) to get +4G
25/0/2.21/0/17 #0+
[37+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<6%/5/-6>
9a. Use Resctricted Area to get +1# for 2$
23/0/2.21/0/17 #1+
9b. Use Inventor's Guild to get +1# for 3$
20/0/2.21/0/17 #2+
9c. Use Business Network to get +1# for 3$
17/0/2.21/0/17 #3+
10. Pay 15$ and 2T for Giant Ice Asteroid, we get +10$ and +3H
Put Ocean on Hex (41) to get +2$ and +3G
Put Ocean on Hex (42) to get +2$ and +3G
16/0/0.27/0/20 #2+
[41+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<6%/7/-2>
11. Pay 8$ for comet, we get +10$ and +3H
Cause of rising temperature to 0, put bonus Ocean on Hex (25) to get +2$ and +4G
Put the last Ocean on Hex (24) to get +2$ and +4G
22/0/0.35/0/23 #1+
[44+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<6%/9!/0>
12. Pay 8$ for Regolith Eaters, we get +1# from OC
14/0/0.35/0/23 #1
13. Pay 7$ for Imported Nitrogen, we get +10$, +4G and +3H
Put 3 microbes on Regolith Eaters
17/0/0.39/0/26 #0
[45+0/2/2.0/7/5]
13a. Use Regolith Eaters to rise Oxygen for 2 microbes
[46+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<7%/9!/0>
13b. Pay 8G to put Forest on Hex 25(next to Restricted Area), to get +2$ and +1G
19/0/0.32/0/26 #0
[48+0/2/2.0/7/5]
Rising Oxygen to 8% also rises Temperature
<8%/9!/+2>
13c. Pay 8G to put Forest on Hex 33, to get +6$ and +2G
25/0/0.26/0/26 #0
[49+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<9%/9!/+2>
13d. Pay 8G to put Forest on Hex 34, to get +4$ and +2
29/0/0.20/0/26 #0
[50+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<10%/9!/+2>
13e. Pay 8G to put Forest on Hex 35, to get +2$ and +2i
31/0/0.14/0/26 #0
[51+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<11%/9!/+2>
13f. Pay 8G to put Forest on Hex 27(or 28, next to Mining Area), to get +2G
31/0/0.8/0/26 #0
[52+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<12%/9!/+2>
13g. Pay 8G to put Forest on Hex 54(next to Research Outpost), to get +1#
31/0/0.0/0/26 #1
[53+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<13%/9!/+2>
13hij. Pay 24H to rise Temperature 3 times
31/0/0.0/0/2 #1
[56+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<13%/9!/+8!>
14. Pay 7 for Mangrove
Put Forest on Hex (5), to get +4$
28/0/0.0/0/2 #0
[57+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<14%!/9!/+8!>

As You can see I managed to reach full Terraformation in 2 Generations with 28 credits leftover and without a single Standard Project use. But if "not using Standard Projects" doesn't bother You, instead of Mangrove we could play:

14. Pay nothing for Media Archives to get +22$
53/0/0.0/0/2 #1
14a. Pay 23$ to put Forest on Hex 17, to get +6$
36/0/0.0/0/2 #0
[57+0/2/2.0/7/5]
<14%!/9!/+8!>

So we finish with even more leftover Credits


and here is a reference photo of Mars Board
https://scontent-waw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/17349799_1335...
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