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Subject: First attemt at a (not very) competitive solo play. rss

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Arthur Williams
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I'll go ahead and try one of these, using Helion.

Start of game: 42 MC and 3 Heat Production.
Neutral Tiles: Discarded Large Convoy and Business Convoy for cities, Energy Savings and Breathing Filters for forests. The last forest covers a free-card spot, while the first city obliterates a single plant; the second city is adjacent to the two-titanium ocean space, but otherwise doesn't hurt me, nor does the first forest.
Initial 10 cards: Trees, Moss, Io Mining Industries, Gene Repair, Big Asteroid, Tectonic Stress-Power, Extreme-Cold Fungus, Regolith Eaters, Titanium Mine, and Mineral Deposit. Of these, I keep only the two microbes, paying 6 and left with 36.

Generation 1: Created both microbes (10 MC left), using both their actions to raise oxygen by 1 (TR 15). Produced 3 heat and 15 MC.

Generation 2: Picked up my first research pile, but found five cards in it; rather than figure out which card to lose after a casual glance at them, I simply put them on the bottom of the deck and drew four other cards. (I'm liveblogging the game, so I didn't strictly need to do the card-pile thing anyway, but whatever.) The replacement cards are Callisto Penal Mines, Advanced Alloys, Quantum Extractor and Mangrove, none of which I decided I wanted, so I ditched them all, raised the oxygen again, and bought one Asteroid (11 MC left). Produced 3 heat and 17 MC.

Generation 3: Drew ecological Zone, Release of Inert Gases, Space Station, and Water Import From Europa, keeping the second and 4th (22 MC left). Inert Gases raises my TR twice as much as an Asteroid for the same price, but doesn't get me any closer to winning - but hey, I'm Helion here. Microbes get me to TR 20; I have 28 MC and 9 heat after producing.

Generation 4: I research Tropical Resort, Invention Contest, Media Archives and Small Animals, keeping only the second. All my remaining money goes to playing Water Import from Europa; heat is spent to raise temperature and the microbes create oxygen. I produce 3 heat and 22 MC.

Generation 5: I research Corporate Stronghold, CEO's Favorite Project, Plantation and Towing a Comet; the last two are keepers. They are not playable yet, however; all I can afford to do is import water (4 MC left), placing it to gain 2 Titanium. Microbes provide my only other TR increase for the round. With leftover money, I play Invention Contest. Toll Station is completely useless in solo and Open City isn't great, so I keep Archaebacteria. Just for laughs, I spend my 4 heat and the last of my money to play it at once; I then produce 3 heat, 1 plant, and 24 MC.

Generation 6: Adaptation Technology tempts me, Fueled Generators do not, and Decomposers are a VP card, so the only thing I take is the Giant Ice Asteroid. Microbes go off, then I spend all my cash on Towing a Comet, gaining 2 TR and 2 plants, dropping the ocean on Ius Chasma to gain 2 more plants. I produce 1 plant on top of those, 3 heat, and 27 MC.

Generation 7: Ore Processor might me awesome in a different game, and Heather would be super handy at this moment if I could play it, but I'll have to settle for just mohole Area and Black Polar Dust. Water Import from Europa is fueled by the 2 Titanium along with 6 MC, and gets me two plants and 2 MC. I spend all my MC except those 2 to play the Polar Dust, reducing my net money by 1 but raising my heat production by 3, dropping another ocean, gaining another 2 plants and 2 money. I then use my microbes to raise oxygen to 8%, triggering a temperature increase, giving me 2 TR and 1 more heat production. The last thing I can do is drop my first Greenery, which I put on Hebes Chasma to get 4 more money back from the oceans and another 2 plants. That was in fact 5 terraform increases in one round! Although my TR is 32, I produce only 30 MC, plus one plant and 7 heat.

Generation 8: I research Designed Microorganisms, Livestock, Insects and Protected Valley, and keep only the last. One money short of playing the Giant Ice Asteroid, I settle for Europa Water, gaining a plant and two money, and raising my TR 2 when the Regolith Fungus goes off. The Protected Valley counteracts my MC penalty and gives me 1 more TR, plus it fills the next spot in the Chasma and gives me 1 plant and 2 MC. 8 heat is spent to raise temp, and my TR hits 36. Make that 37, since I have 8 plants piled up; the new Greenery can go next to the Protected Valley, getting me 2 MC back and 1 plant, and placing me adjacent to the 1-Titanium spot. Although with Oxygen at 12%, I'm not at all sure I'll be doing much more greenery-making! Finally done, I collect 7 heat, 1 plant, and all the money in the world, more or less.

Generation 9: Arctic Algae, Wave Power, Mining Rights, Interstellar Colony Ship - none especially good this late in the game, but the Mining Rights will probably suffice, since I can certainly afford something. I drop the Mine on Pavonis Mons, taking 1 Titanium and 1 plant. Regoliths do their dirty deed, then heat is spent to give me the second production boost, which sets me to 8 heat production per round (always a fun number, though hardly sufficient for Helions' needs). I decide the time has come to spend my one titanium, 3 of my heat, and the entire 30 MC I have piled up for that Giant Ice Asteroid; 4 more terraforming, an ocean on the Viking Site to draw Local Heat Trapping and Investment Loan, and another ocean next to it to make back 2 MC, are the upshot thereof. Tempting though it is to cash in that Investment Loan, I'd just as soon wait; I produce 8 heat, 1 plant, 1 titanium, and 41 MC.

Generation 10: Aerobraked Ammonia Asteroid, Noctis City, Nitrophilic Moss and Viral Enhancers: none of these interest me. I raise the heat for 8 heat, then I raise it for 14 MC, then I raise it for 14 MC again (to -10), and then I use my Regoliths for the last time. With 15 money left, I decide it's time to take out that Investment Loan, enabling me to create the Mohole Area; with me able to literally burn money, this is effectively +3 net MC production, plus it drops onto Fesenkov and gets me 2 steel. My last two cards are probably worthless, but there are only 2 oceans to place, and all my remaining energy can go into heat increases - of which I can afford six in the remaining 4 rounds. I produce my 12 heat for the first time, 1 plant, 1 titanium, and 44 MC with my 45 TR.

Generation 11: I can have Shuttles, Lightning Harvest, Power Plant and Building Industries, assuming I want any of those things. Instead, I want to spend 8 heat, then buy three Asteroids, leaving me 4 MC. Zero degrees Celsius is just barely out of reach. I produce 12 heat, 1 plant, 1 titanium, and 48 MC.

Generation 12 - I don't care about Ganymede Colony, but Satellites will just about pay for itself, and with Indentured Workers, I get just enough of a discount to make it work. Meanwhile, Business Network is just essential. Two temperature increases with heat turns -2 into +2 degrees, and creates an ocean; this goes on Karsei Valley and gives me 2 MC. Three titanium have piled up by now, paying all but 3 MC of the cost to Import Water From Europa one last time; the last ocean has nowhere more useful to go than Shalbatana Valley. At this point, with only three temperature increases needed and my heat being able to handle them in two turns, I abruptly realize that my emphasis has shifted from "make sure I win at all" into "maximize the score I've previously ignored". Losing a VP for the Indentured Workers thus no longer seems wise, and I'll just play the Business Network, going further negative on MC production. The next card is Colonizer Training Camp, which is worth VP, but sadly it's unplayable thanks to the high oxygen, so I discard it. With Mars's future assured, I turn my attention to building cities with standard projects, getting my MC production back up to -1, and putting a city on Ritchey for 2 VP. I also might as well use the Extreme-Cold Fungus to give myself a plant (I could have done that last round, and then I'd get a greenery this round, but it would no longer raise my TR so there's no real point). Ending the generation, I produce 52 MC, 1 titanium, 1 plant, and 12 heat.

Generation 13: With my new priorities, I'm not even tempted to keep Bribed Committee or Small Asteroid, which have been some of the best cards in previous solo games where I came within inches of winning and never quite managed. Ice Asteroid is also worthless, so just for laughs, I keep the Giant Space Mirror. I raise heat once, giving the last relevant bump to my TR in terms of money production; I drop a greenery on Nereidium Montes, collect a titanium, and then spend both titanium and 11 MC on the Mirror, having gone entirely without energy for the previous 6/7th of the game. Business Network digs up a Mass Converter than I'll never be able to use, Cold Fungi get me an irrelevant plant, and all else I have left is money to burn; another city goes on Solis Planum, and I draw the totally blank Protected Habitats, immediately selling it for a buck in disgust. I then build a greenery next to it on Thaumasia Fossae, gaining 2 steel. Selling Plantation, Indentured Workers, and Local Heat Trapping, I get just enough cash to play Satellites, taking my just-raised-out-of-negatives MC production up by 4 (for the Satellites themselves, the Space Mirror, Europa, and my corporation itself). For my final relevant production, I get one plant, my first and last 3 energy, the all-important 12 heat, a titanium, and a staggering 58 MC.

Generation 14: The last four cards I set aside for research were Aquifer Pumping, Asteroid Mining, Asteroid Mining Consortium, and Solar Wind Power. Discarding the two which don't have VP out of hand, I examine their effective cost of 49, and their VP value of 5 (counting +1 each from Europa counting my Jovian tags, of which it was previously the only one), and find it to be 1 more than I can make by just dropping two greeneries next to my city, for only 3 money more, with no relevant difference use for the leftover money. Make it so, number one. Finally maxing out the temperature, I am left with a substantial pile of irrelevant resources (the four steel I dug off the board remain untouched, and my single plant production won't get me a final greenery). None of my events had a VP value, nor did any of my non-Jovian cards; I have 5 greenery and 5 VP worth of cities, so my final score is 71. Nothing close to a record, but only the second time I've won at all, and certainly a less suspicious victory than the one I got with Ecoline yesterday.

(I am posting this here so that it may be seen promptly; I will also make a Session report of it, and replace this wall of text in your thread with a link to that new post after it gets published.)
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Wayne Walker
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Chuluota
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Nice report. I played a Helion solo game last night and won for the first time. I first majored in heat production and got the temp going. Later I was able to fill in oceans pretty easily and finally I brute forced the Oxygen with standard forest tiles due to my nice income and good trickle of plant production.
 
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Arthur Williams
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wwalker98 wrote:
Nice report. I played a Helion solo game last night and won for the first time. I first majored in heat production and got the temp going. Later I was able to fill in oceans pretty easily and finally I brute forced the Oxygen with standard forest tiles due to my nice income and good trickle of plant production.


This is generally how it goes....
 
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Vergililus De Kat
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Nice session report, thanks for the detailed write up and the fun read thumbsup

collectible cardinal wrote:
...Extreme-Cold Fungus, Regolith Eaters
[...]
my final score is 71...

Extreme-Cold Fungus + Regolith Eaters combo in your opening hand, nice cool

I really like Extreme-Cold Fungus, if only for the free plant, and I'll always play it both in Solo and Multiplayer.
I never had the luck to combine it with a card like Regolith Eaters though.

Don't worry about your score, 71 is quiet good.
The scores in the Solo Highscore Challenge are of a different league
 
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Arthur Williams
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Vergilius wrote:
Don't worry about your score, 71 is quiet good.
The scores in the Solo Highscore Challenge are of a different league


Right, well I am trying to get into that league, but this was only my second solo win (and my first where I'm not suspicious of the outcome). I think ultimately it will just be a matter of luck, and I'm most likely to succeed with factions that are very luck-based (particularly ones like Inventrix where nobody has yet hit a big jackpot; Phobos is probably the MOST luck-based corporation, but someone has already hit the payout for that one and it has one of the highest scores on record).

If I ever again see the Fungus-Regolith combo again, I will definitely start playing for VP right away in that game. I didn't realize at the time just HOW good this was - you literally don't EVER need to plant a greenery, unless you happen to have the plants sitting around and want to bump your TR prematurely, at the cost of having the combo do nothing at the end of the game (as happened to me here).
 
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