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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Solo Play UN---How to win? rss

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I've been having a heck of a time winning with the UN initiative corporation in my solo games. Is there a way best to press its advantage? It's proving to be a very difficult Corp to play.
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Florian Ruckeisen
Germany
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As far as I remember, I've only played UNMI solo once so far, but I managed to win with 99 VP, making it one of my best results so far.

Pressing its advantage would obviously mean to aim for a TR increase every round, to "make it a double". To do that, adjustments to your play may include:
- If you can't increase TR in another way this generation, play a standard project (usually temp increase, as it's the cheapest, but may find laying an ocean tile better for placement bonuses).
- If you can increase parameters twice or more during this generation, but don't expect to get one next generation, it may be worth delaying one TR increase.

I don't think you necessarily should or "have to" use UNMI's special ability every generation - in the game mentioned above, I did use it every generation except one, when I needed all my money to get Soletta out ASAP. It is a very efficient option tho, so it's extremely tempting to use it as often as possible.

I say "tempting" because it does have its downsides.
For one, the adjustments to accomodate for UNMI's special aren't things you'd really want to do from an efficieny perspective. Sure you'll most likely need standard projects at some point, but you'd rather play them later than sooner. Early on, their steep cost hurts more, and you may not know yet which parameters you end up handling with your engine and which needs "boosting" with standard projects.
Secondly, spending the extra 3 M€ every generation (more or less) doesn't seem much, but it adds up and is cash that is sorely missing in your pockets. With a starting income of just 14, money is very tight, and it's easy to forgo playing vital production cards just to squeeze out that extra TR increase.

If you can squeeze it in without hurting your economy/production too much, it is a good investment, tho! Early in the game, those 3 M€ will pay nice dividends by the midgame and on, and in the later game, 3 M€ don't really hurt as much, and you'll do it more for the cheap VP.

All in all, I find UNMI rides a fine line. They can do great, but I can just as easily see them simply not get any engine up soon enough, and finish the game with a decent TR rating - yet half the planet not terraformed. shake

In terms of general playstyle, I feel that because UNMI is so cash-starved when they do their TR thing, one virtue they require is that you are very picky with buying cards. Because you really can't expect to play many at all for quite a while.
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Vergililus De Kat
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I haven't been able to win solo with UNMI either (after 3 or 4 tries)
Snapshot wrote:
...In terms of general playstyle, I feel that because UNMI is so cash-starved when they do their TR thing, one virtue they require is that you are very picky with buying cards....

I try to limit the cards I buy, but it's *so* tempting when you have many "juicy" cards to choose from laugh
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Jordan Booth
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Yesterday I finally won on 4th play with UNMI. Really was about to give up at turn 6, due partly to having a wicked cold. Saved up for Soletta (7! heat production) and cashed in half with Insulation (turn heat prod. into money prod.). Then I built Noctis City(best value city) completely surrounded by forest. Arctic Algea(LOTS of free plants) in opening hand and Optimal Breaking(heat/money rebate on space events) later did their part. The choices just get harder as you remember how each card has helped before. I want to build them all! This time I used the UNMI TR boost almost every round and finished with a decent 91.

Checkout my Advent of Gaming entry for TM playthroughs all season.
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Sam Carroll
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I just finished a solo game with UNMI this morning at 102. I played few cards, but got a nifty blue-card engine going. I used GHG-Producing Bacteria, fed by Extreme-Cold Fungus, so I could get a temp increase every generation, then pay my 3 credits for another TR increase. Then, once I got some energy production up, I was able to use Steelworks to feed Electro-Catapult and Aquifer Pumping.

So right there I had O2, temp, and oceans increasing once per turn, then was able to do the remainder easily. However, this took several turns to set up. My first turn I put out GHG-producing Bacteria, Release of Inert Gases, and I think Fueled Generators, but I had a dead turn in there (either the 2nd or 3rd) where I didn't get a single card down or parameter increased.

As Florian mentioned above, I think it's important to be choosy about your cards with UNMI - I played only maybe 70% of the number of cards I usually have in a winning tableau. Getting a card like GHG-Producing Bacteria that will give you several cheap TR increases is very helpful.
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David Arlington
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I don't remember HOW I did it, other than to try to take advantage of it's ability whenever possible (what is that? like an extra 70-something MC? if you can get it once a turn), and I beat it first try with MY highest score so far.

The upside to UNMI versus some other corporations is that you aren't hampered by having to have certain kinds of cards come out to use it's special ability. You can use it's ability from so many different sources of TR raises. I'd rather have that corp than some corps where you NEED events or NEED Jovian tags or whatever.

Dave
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Enoch Fryxelius
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As we might have mentioned before, the corporations are balanced for multiplayer games - not for solo!

In multiplayer, all corporations have been balanced to have equal winning statistics, e g same ability to score a decent final score in multiplayer games.

In solo, some corporations will be harder to complete terraforming with, or special abilities that don't work as well in solo. Saturn Systems I think is one of the hardest, because it favours you to play Jovian cards, which is a very hard and expensive strategy for solo. And you don't have any opponents playing Jovian either...
UNMI is tricky because you need the actual terraforming in solo - but not terraform rating. So basically, UNMI offers a strategy to boost your TR to get a better income and better final score - but only if you succeed! But I love to play that corp!!

Another corp I love to play is Manutech, getting free resources when I increase the corresponding production... (or was that in the coming expansion? Can't remember. I have so many different corps in my prototype...) ninja
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Sebastian Stückl
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EagleEye80 wrote:
As we might have mentioned before, the corporations are balanced for multiplayer games - not for solo!


I am just wondering, are they balanced for a particular player number? (say 3 or 4)
Also, what's the effect on balancing if you play with a different player number than the ideal one? I would assume 2 player games to be affected the most, balancing-wise. But surely, you have more stats than any of us, so is there any particular corporation that is out of line at a certain player number?


EagleEye80 wrote:
Another corp I love to play is Manutech, getting free resources when I increase the corresponding production... (or was that in the coming expansion? Can't remember. I have so many different corps in my prototype...) ninja

You did that on purpose! soblue
Just kidding, I love spoilers!
That sounds like a pretty cool corporation! A bit like a reverse mining guild, but not centered around steel.


Sebastian
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Enoch Fryxelius
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The balancing is based on statistics from all test-games recorded by us and the beta-testers, and could be anything from 2-5 players, basic or CE, with or without draft.

I don't think that the balance change much from 2-5 players. Sure, more starting MC is more important in a short game with few generations (like a 5 player basic game), and that is why Beginner Corps is stronger in that setting. The other corps all have ongoing advantages that is going to benefit the player more the longer the game is, but if that is true for all corps, then it's not a big balancing issue.

While I don't think that the game is unbalanced generally, I would find a discussion about the corps interesting. Is there an ideal player count for one particular corp? Is there an opening hand he just can't lose if he gets it? Are particular corps better or worse depending on the other corps in play?

One example is that Tharsis Republic usually loves to have a Ecoline corp on the same board to supply greeneries for his cities!
 
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Lemme just say---with Inventrix, the first hand had Olympus Conference, Inventors Guild and some steel production, and in my three free cards I had Improved Alloys. That would be good enough, but within two generations I managed to play or have in hand Restricted Area and Mars University, and by the end of the game I played Research and Business Network. So, yeah, major luck in this game. A score of 118 by the end, mostly because of a low TR as late as Generation 8, and this because of a slow start to actually terraforming the place.

I didn't have enough cash to capitalize on my successes, and I wasn't producing enough greeneries to make the most of my city placements.

At the end of a solo game, there were several dozen cards left. The deck was looking pretty small.
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