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Subject: Corporate Era Variant Gets Bogged Down? rss

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elite six
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Our playgroup has played two games: 2player with stock rules (1 starting production, stock deck), and 3player with corporate era rules (0 starting production, stock+corporate deck) + solar phase rules (official dev variant to speed up gameplay - increase 1 global parameter at the end of each generation). No drafting at any time.

Our 2player game (both new players) ended generation 10, averaging around 80 points per player, in about 2 hours.

Our 3player (1/3 new players) ended generation 12, around averaging around 60 points per player, in about 3 hours.

The corporate era variant felt really slow, in part because it seemed there was were fewer plant production cards relative to the stock deck. We had a total of 1 plant production by the end of our 3 player game, among the three of us. I know I personally saw only 1 plant production card the entire game in all research phases. The other players also commented on a lack of plant production cards. Also, it seemed a lot of turns were overspent on building the MC engine (relative to the 2player stock game) simply because it seemed that stock projects for greenery tiles AFTER gardener was claimed was the best way to get greenery tiles given no one had plant production.

A quick check of the corporate era cards seems to confirm that there are much fewer plant production cards, diluting the plant production of the game. Also the higher numbers of take that cards seems to further drag out the game.

-----

In general, does anyone else have any luck playing the corporate era variant(with or without solar phase variant) in the same amount of time as the base game?



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Andrii Chabykin
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Just now. 4 ppl, about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Maybe less.
 
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elite six
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Chabster wrote:
Just now. 4 ppl, about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Maybe less.


I'm not interested in the absolute playtimes, as different groups have different playing speeds....

Have you played stock game and compared it to the playtime of the corporate era game? And if so, how much is the difference in playtime for you?
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Patrick G.
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The base game is boring as crap.
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Ido Abelman
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The corporate era game is supposed to be longer. I'd say it add maybe half an hour to an hour. Not only plant production is less common but basically anything that directly increases global parameters. There is much greater focus on engine building and customization with more options to score points from sources other than TR.

In fact the game was designed as corporate era first (all the cards and no starting production) and later the idea of the shorter "base game" was created, removing many cards that don't directly drive the game to an end and adding starting production. But the corporate era game is the original game as intended. It is not "bogged down", the "base game" is "sped up". And IMO, the corporate era game is the "real game", it is much more interesting. Unless I am short on time (in which case I am more likely to play something else), I'll most likely play CE, probably with drafting too.
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Tarjei Aasen
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Yeah, I don't think you are meant to play it in the same amount of time. I for one think it's great that you can choose to play the game whichever way you want. We played 5p on Saturday and it took about 3 hours, and that was the sort of game we wanted.

(And if you think TM is boring whichever way, there are thousands of other games out there.)
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Andreas Krüger
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For us, CE adds 30-60 minutes.
 
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Dan Thorpe
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Playtime is longer sure, but the game play is much better for me and everyone we play with. I wouldnt play this without drafting and corp era cards ever.

If time is a concern though, just houserule a 1 starting production again even with corp era cards. It doesnt do anything to the game but speed it back up.
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General Norris
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elitesix wrote:
We had a total of 1 plant production by the end of our 3 player game, among the three of us.

This is extremely unlikely. There are many, many plant-generating cards and in a three player game you should have seen half of the deck by the fifth generation. Also, you might have gotten alternate oxygen-generating cards like the steel mills.

Chances are people did draw these cards and chose not to buy them when they could.

A three player-game that ends on generation 12 is also a fast game, though 60 points is low. Chances are people closed the game even when it was not in their intention to do so.

A two-player game that ends on generation 10 is extremely fast. Points seem very low too.

There are extremely few "take that" cards and they do not significantly slow down the game.



Like others have said, the "basic game" is a boring. I never use it, not even to introduce the game to new players.
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Konstantin Lasko
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Dlthorpe wrote:
Playtime is longer sure, but the game play is much better for me and everyone we play with. I wouldnt play this without drafting and corp era cards ever.

If time is a concern though, just houserule a 1 starting production again even with corp era cards. It doesnt do anything to the game but speed it back up.

Well it does change the balance for some cards as quite often they require you to have 1 production. And if you have 0 at the start those cards become less preferable. In addition a lot of blue cards change their values as you will have less time to use them on average.

Not sure how much this changes the gameplay, but the designer mentioned he balanced all cards, milestones and awards together and I think he was doing it for the corp era, so houseruling might affect the balance. Plus, I'm sure it's the side of me that doesn't like house rules is speaking now.

But overall the goal is to have fun, right?
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Trevor Taylor
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I personally feel that the game is less interesting without the Corporate Era cards. As these cards add a lot more in terms of engine variation they means people tend to have more unique ways to success and it keeps the game fresher. It's certainly a longer game for new people having no product at the beginning and more cards. But for experienced players it adds little time compared to the increased replay-ability.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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General_Norris wrote:
Chances are people closed the game even when it was not in their intention to do so.


This is, I think, due to the variants used.

elitesix wrote:
2player with stock rules (1 starting production, stock deck), and 3player with (...) solar phase rules (official dev variant to speed up gameplay - increase 1 global parameter at the end of each generation).
 
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Don Smith
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We don't play with the corporate era cards because of the added time.

We'd rather play three games than two in the time available.

Longer and more options doesn't always mean better.

I guess once we've played this a few hundred times we'll add in the corporate cards but so far, after a few dozen plays, we're still keen to play the more basic version. If we could play the Corporate version in less than 2 hours we would be fine, but we have some AP-prone players which drag this out to 4 hours!!!

PS We do draft, however! This adds time but is worth it!
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RyuSora
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The corporate era is a more involving game, with a lot more strategy and take that cards, i consider it the full tmars experience.

But hey, you should make the game fun for you, dont play the corporate era if you think thats too slow. Or add any variant!

A popular variant for corporate era cards is "start with 1 production on all resources, instead of 0" by doing this you mix both the speed of base game and the strategy of corporate era. This is not an official variant or nothing like that, but a lot of people seems to enjoy playing like this.
 
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elite six
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
General_Norris wrote:
Chances are people closed the game even when it was not in their intention to do so.


This is, I think, due to the variants used.

elitesix wrote:
2player with stock rules (1 starting production, stock deck), and 3player with (...) solar phase rules (official dev variant to speed up gameplay - increase 1 global parameter at the end of each generation).


The 2player game was stock, the 3player game had the solar variant rule, so that's definitely a part of it.

Our playgroup is a veteran of other games like powergrid, dominion, and puerto rico, where the player in the lead often rushes to finish the game versus those not in the lead but with better VP engines. We completely took that philosophy to TM, and it seems it's paid off (for the winners).

 
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Peter Bakija
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elitesix wrote:
In general, does anyone else have any luck playing the corporate era variant(with or without solar phase variant) in the same amount of time as the base game?


Full disclosure--I have never played the non-corporate era version of this game. I have only ever played with corporate era cards and rules.

We play 3-4 player games all the time (full, corporate era rules) in 2 hours or less (assuming everyone already knows the rules; games with new players where we have to teach someone the rules clearly take longer). I can't imagine that playing the game without corporate era cards is going to make the game take significantly less time; the part of the game that contributes the most time to the game is the drafting, and I can't imagine that drafting is going to be significantly less time consuming without corporate era cards (as they aren't any more *complicated* than non corporate era cards; they just do things that aren't specifically focused on raising TR, generally speaking).

There is plenty of plant production in the corporate era game. There is plenty of everything production. I mean, like, yeah, if you aren't drafting, a given player might not see a lot of them by virtue of dumb luck, but there should never be a problem generating plant production for *someone* who wants in in a corporate era game.
 
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Alexandre Limoges
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We have played many, many games, and as I said somewhere else, experience made us settle with the following use of the different modes and variants:

1. We do not use the draft, but we draw 7 cards (6 is good too) and still keep a maximum of 4 every turn after the first. Many use the draft, but we think that apart from equalizing things, it also prevents veteran games from having a well-built engine (good players will deny every other player the cards they need). The method we use brings both a variety of options for the player to consider and luck mitigation.

2. We do use the named Corporations, not the starting, identical corporations.

3. We do not use the Corporation era cards. They just make the game too long. Unless you like 3 hours + games or you play with a group of people that are not prone to AP at all, consider, at least, not adding all of them to the deck. Just take 10 or 15 or 20, as you like, and mix them in. We take none and the game just moves quicker, which in turn makes it much more enjoyable for our entire group.
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