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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Max Solo High Score rss

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Mike C
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I just finished playing out a solo game of TFM where i controlled every aspect of the game (I controlled every random event, such as card draws). I was trying to see what the highest possible score was.

I scored 341, but i can assure you that is not the highest attainable. After playing through it, I can see plenty of ways to further optimize it. I bet you could put another 20 to 30 points on. I have included a link to the google spreadsheet I used to track the game.

[url]
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F398vYJAuPPpUlMttIFw...[/url]

In general my strategy was to rush the heat and O2 tracks to make the various animal cards playable. They (and a few others) are the only cards that are time dependent. The faster you get them out the more they will be worth. The rest of the game is just getting everything played in the 14 turns. I had plenty of time left over (I was effectively done on turn 12).

I started the beginner corp because it starts with 10 free cards, which is huge, when you get to pick them all. My early strategy was to get all the card reducing cards out, followed quickly by all the space events that don't add plants. I used those to rush heat and get fish out, which provided a home for all the animals on the space events. Then I focused on getting the rest of the animals out. After that its just a really boring exercise in playing all the forests and cities optimally (make a map of how you want it to look first and don't forget the two cities and forests that start out.)

I'm sure I madea ton of errors, there is just too much to keep track of. I often made simplifications like reducing production for recurring costs (-1SP for +7MCP for space elevator).

I hope someone other than me finds this interesting.

Someone else did this Lord_Aethan but had a prototype solo expansion at the time. If anyone else has done it I'd love to hear what your strategy was and score.
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Lorry Moller
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I have a little thread similar to yours but documenting the minimum generations to finish terraforming rather than max score, assuming being able to pick the drawn cards. I was surprised to do it in under 3 generations (at 99 points)!

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1673173/minimum-terraformin...

In that thread, user Bastinator1 mentioned that Jonathan (Frylexius?) had challenged himself the way you did and finished with over 400 points (although from your spreadsheet I think you stopped at turn 12 rather than 14) I'm not sure if there are details for his game anywhere.
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Mike C
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LorryMoller wrote:
I have a little thread similar to yours but documenting the minimum generations to finish terraforming rather than max score, assuming being able to pick the drawn cards. I was surprised to do it in under 3 generations (at 99 points)!

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1673173/minimum-terraformin...

In that thread, user Bastinator1 mentioned that Jonathan (Frylexius?) had challenged himself the way you did and finished with over 400 points (although from your spreadsheet I think you stopped at turn 12 rather than 14) I'm not sure if there are details for his game anywhere.


Yes I looked at your thread, very cool, and ultimately probably more fun. Jonathan was using a prototype solo expansion so i don't think the scores are comparable. (based on the name I assume he is related to the designer or involved in the design). I didn't stop at turn 12, I just stopped logging anything. Nothing after that generated points other than plant/animal cards, so i just counted up how many I had left to play and adjusted the appropriate cards.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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My challenge was different in both goal and setup, but overall similar. My goal was to see if the solo game gives the player enough time to theoretically play every card in the game (+ expansion). The answer: no, you cannot. A side challenge was to fill the entire board with tiles (and by playing all cards, I had to be careful to leave specific areas open for special tiles). So my goal was never the optimal score, but I did score over 400.
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Mike C
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Lord_Aethan wrote:
My challenge was different in both goal and setup, but overall similar. My goal was to see if the solo game gives the player enough time to theoretically play every card in the game (+ expansion). The answer: no, you cannot. A side challenge was to fill the entire board with tiles (and by playing all cards, I had to be careful to leave specific areas open for special tiles). So my goal was never the optimal score, but I did score over 400.


How different is the "prototype solo expansion" you were using?

I just added up all the total possible points in the game. They are as follows:

"perfect map": 31 from trees, 73 from cities: 104 total
Standard point/Terraforming point cards (non-jovian): 81
Standard point/Terraforming point cards (jovian): 62
max attainable from pets/bacteria: 218

465 max points (247 static points + 218 variable points)

cards for points not worth playing (they all create a net loss of points from the board): Artificial Lake, Commercial District, Urbanized Area, Natural Preserve

I may have missed an optimization or two, but I doubt for more than 10 points total.

Of course in order to score this high you have to raise O2 to 13%, Temperature to 2 C and build at least one forest on turn 1. Then you need to play at least 26 cards in turn 1 (virtually none of which help the needed terraforming). Clearly not even remotely possible.

The "fastest" terraforming was done here by Lorry:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1673173/minimum-terraformin...
and they effectively get the planet to the state needed to play all the animal cards at the end of turn 3. Assuming you play them all on turn 4 and 5 (limited by card draw). That's about a 40 point loss, putting the max attainable somewhere around 425. Also consider that with Lorry's start you miss a bunch of optimizations by playing things in the wrong order, which great for faster play, but not for points:
such as having no where to put animal tokens from the events
not having herbivores out for all the forests
not getting ecological zone, viral enhancers and decomposers out before any other plant/animal/microbe cards

Lorry's start is much faster than the one I used, and I think a hybrid of the two that focuses more on points would be the way to go. It certainly seems like 400 is possible, but you said you weren't focusing on points and more on trying to play all the cards. It would seem very tough to break 400 if you weren't rushing the animals early. Were there other cards, or different rules in the prototype?

here is the spreadsheet i used: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F398vYJAuPPpUlMttIFw...
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DoM Lauzon
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You should discuss with the author.

He is tracking scores here...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1623613/solo-highscores
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Mike C
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Domostie wrote:
You should discuss with the author.

He is tracking scores here...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1623613/solo-highscores


There is a post in that thread as well.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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canavm2 wrote:

How different is the "prototype solo expansion" you were using?


Well, it added about 60 cards and 1 generation to solo play. That means a LOT more potential points, and some extra time to gather them. There are some more changes too, of course, but I should not spoil everything yet
 
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Mike C
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Lord_Aethan wrote:
canavm2 wrote:

How different is the "prototype solo expansion" you were using?


Well, it added about 60 cards and 1 generation to solo play. That means a LOT more potential points, and some extra time to gather them. There are some more changes too, of course, but I should not spoil everything yet


That makes a ton of sense. Thanks for the responses and the attentiveness to the forums. This has become my favorite game of all time.
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