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Subject: Eleven new corporation ideas rss

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Dana Black
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Jumping on the bandwagon, sharing the 11 custom corporation that our group plays with. One of them is virtually stolen from another post here, and a couple of others are loosely based on discussions from here.

Anyway, here:

Blue Sunrise Inc
Through the use of specialized greenhouses and biomass-powered furnaces, Blue Sunrise is taking the terraforming of Mars to the next level.
Starting: $48, 2 plants
Tags: Plant, Space

Ability:
3 Heat -> Increase your plant production by 1
3 Plants -> Increase your heat production by 1.

---
Sotheby’s Interplanetary Realty
Sotheby's is the first real estate company licensed to operate on Mars.
Starting: $42
Tags: Earth

Ability:
Whenever a tile is placed ON MARS, gain $1. Whenever a tile is placed adjacent to one or more ocean tiles, gain 1 megacredit production.

---

Union Reclamation
Over the years, Union has morphed from a waste disposal and recycling venture to a thriving laboratory for the re-purposing of outdated ideas.
Starting: $38
Tags: Science

Ability:
$3 -> Look at the bottom 5 cards of the discard pile. Take 1 of them into hand and discard the rest to the top of the discard pile.

---

Mars Hardware and Sundries
Why go to all the trouble of transporting your own tools to Mars when you can buy them from us when you get there?
Starting: $45
Tags: Building

Ability:
Any opponent may pay you $3 when building a standard project. If they do, the cost of that project is reduced by $7.
When you build a standard project, the cost is reduced by 3.

---

Capital Funding Initiative
The first financial institute to successful tap into the Mars Terraforming Initiative's stream of revenue, CFI has managed to get some of the funding for itself in exchange for providing much-needed capital to the corporations doing the terraforming.
Starting: $34
Tags: Earth

Ability:
As your first action of the game, gain $2 per opponent.
-> Choose any number of opponents. For each chosen opponent, pay them $5 and increase your TR and Megacredit production by 1.

---

Calisto Engineering Ltd
After some success setting up titanium mining on Jupiter's second largest moon, its engineers turned their eyes towards a closer, albeit less lucrative endeavor.
Starting: $24, 12 Steel
Tags: Jovian

Ability:
You may use steel to reduce the cost of standard projects.
$3 -> Increase your steel production by 1. Usable only if you have raised your TR through the use of a standard project this generation.

---

Atlantean Oceanics
This collective of young idealists took the opportunity of the Mars Initiative more for the chance to study the formation of oceans first-hand, rather than for the profits that motivate most of the other corporations. Not that they'll turn down the money.
Starting: $42
Tags: Science, Plant

Ability:
Whenever anyone places a tile next to an ocean tile, gain 1 plant and $1. You may place greenery tiles next to ocean tiles as if the ocean tile was one you owned.

---

Society for the Preservation of Terran Fauna
Some view this group of passionate individuals as a fanatical cult rather than a proper corporation.
Starting: $44, 4 animal resources
Tags: Animal, Microbe
VP: 1 / 3 animal resources on this card.

Ability:
$2 -> Put an animal resource on this card.
$3, Remove an animal resource from a card you control -> Put 2 animal resources on another card.

---

Collins, Rubin, and Haytham
The law firm of Collins, Rubin, and Haytham specializes in patent law. Copyright 2017 Justin Robbins.
Starting: $48
Tags: Earth

Ability:
Whenever a card is added to your hand, either during research or otherwise, gain $1.

---

Efficiency Analytics LLC
Originally consultants in the field of Operational Efficiency Analysis, EA decided to put their combined 150 years of experience to work on the problem of terraforming Mars.
Starting: $40
Tags: Wildcard (Starts as a science tag. You may change this to any tag at any time.)

Ability:
Gain $2 whenever you place a tile without a placement bonus.
Whenever you play a card, pay $1 less for it for each science resource on this card.
Reduce your TR by 2 -> Increase Megacredit production by 1. Place a science resource on this card.

---

Temporal Energy Solutions
Generating power at the speed of light.
Start: $50, 7 energy
Tags: Power

Ability:
-> If your energy production is less than 2, increase it by 2. Otherwise increase it by 1.
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These are great, especially Blue Sunrise, Inc. Perhaps you might want to make it start with one of each resource rather than two plant resources. It's slightly unbalanced.

These two, however interesting, are potentially gamebreaking.

blackdt wrote:
Mars Hardware and Sundries
Why go to all the trouble of transporting your own tools to Mars when you can buy them from us when you get there?
Starting: $45
Tags: Building

Ability:
Any opponent may pay you $3 when building a standard project. If they do, the cost of that project is reduced by $7.
When you build a standard project, the cost is reduced by 3.


A discount of 7 is crazy!

blackdt wrote:
Efficiency Analytics LLC
Originally consultants in the field of Operational Efficiency Analysis, EA decided to put their combined 150 years of experience to work on the problem of terraforming Mars.
Starting: $40
Tags: Wildcard (Starts as a science tag. You may change this to any tag at any time.)

Ability:
Gain $2 whenever you place a tile without a placement bonus.
Whenever you play a card, pay $1 less for it for each science resource on this card.
Reduce your TR by 2 -> Increase Megacredit production by 1. Place a science resource on this card.


This is even huger. It might be better to say:

Reduce your TR by 3 -> Increase Megacredit production by 2. Place a science resource on this card.

or

Whenever you play a card, pay $1 less for it for each science resource on this card. At the end of the game, each science resource is worth -1 VP.

Reduce your Megacredit production by 1 -> Place a science resource on this card.

 
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Mil Myman
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blackdt wrote:
Blue Sunrise Inc
...
Ability:
3 Heat -> Increase your plant production by 1
3 Plants -> Increase your heat production by 1.

Seems way OP and would spiral out of control. Maybe better if it could only do one or the other each generation, rather than both.

Quote:
Union Reclamation
Starting: $38
Tags: Science

Ability:
$3 -> Look at the bottom 5 cards of the discard pile. Take 1 of them into hand and discard the rest to the top of the discard pile.

Useful! But seems a bit weak, maybe? One extra card per generation, for $3, that another player (or maybe you) has already discarded. If you could buy up to two of the five cards for $3 each, that might be too strong.

Quote:
Mars Hardware and Sundries
Ability:
Any opponent may pay you $3 when building a standard project. If they do, the cost of that project is reduced by $7.
When you build a standard project, the cost is reduced by 3.[/]
Mostly useless in a solo game. $7 for a Power Plant, $10 for an "Asteroid" (increase heat), 14 for an Aquifer (ocean tile), $19 for a Greenery, or $21 for a city. Feels like this would throw off the balance of the game.

[q]Capital Funding Initiative
Ability:
As your first action of the game, gain $2 per opponent.
-> Choose any number of opponents. For each chosen opponent, pay them $5 and increase your TR and Megacredit production by 1.

Useless in a solo game. In a 5-p game:

First action: Gain $8 (total $42)
Second action, give away $20, gain +4 TR and +4 MC income.
$22 left - play cards or whatever.
Next Generation: $28 income
Give away $20 and gain another +4 TR and +4 MC income.
$8, plus whatever you had leftover from the previous generation left.
3rd Generation: $36 income
Give away $20 and gain another +4 TR and +4 MC income.
$16 left plus whatever you had leftover.
4th Generation: $44 income
Give away $20 and gain another +4 TR and +4 MC income.
$24 left plus whatever you had leftover.
Claim Terraformer Milestone.
Fund Banker Award.
Repeat until the game is over, win by 50+ points.

Quote:
Calisto Engineering Ltd
Starting: $24, 12 Steel
Ability:
You may use steel to reduce the cost of standard projects.
$3 -> Increase your steel production by 1. Usable only if you have raised your TR through the use of a standard project this generation.

Way too cheap to increase steel production. Spend 7 steel to increase the temperature, then $3 to increase steel production. Next generation, spend 6 steel and $3 to increase temperature again, then another $3 to increase Steel production. 3rd generation: increase temperature for 2 steel and $10, and another steel production for $3. 4th generation: temp costs 3 steel and $8. 5th generation, temp costs 4 steel and $6. etc.

Quote:
Atlantean Oceanics
Starting: $42
Tags: Science, Plant

Ability:
Whenever anyone places a tile next to an ocean tile, gain 1 plant and $1. You may place greenery tiles next to ocean tiles as if the ocean tile was one you owned.

Seems very weak, especially compared to Sotheby's.

Quote:
Collins, Rubin, and Haytham
Starting: $48
Tags: Earth

Ability:
Whenever a card is added to your hand, either during research or otherwise, gain $1.

So essentially, cards cost $2, instead of $3. I think it's been done. Probably a bit weak.

Quote:
Efficiency Analytics LLC
Starting: $40
Tags: Wildcard (Starts as a science tag. You may change this to any tag at any time.)

Ability:
Gain $2 whenever you place a tile without a placement bonus.
Whenever you play a card, pay $1 less for it for each science resource on this card.
Reduce your TR by 2 -> Increase Megacredit production by 1. Place a science resource on this card.

Interesting. Seems way to expensive to buy the discount. -2 points and -1 income for the rest of the game, to get a discount of $1 on each card played. If you do this 5 times, all cards from the fifth generation on are at -$5, but you'll have lost 10 points, and $5 income. Off the top of my head, I'd say this ability should cost just 1 TR and increase your MC income by one. So you're losing one victory point for each $1 discount.

Quote:
Temporal Energy Solutions
Generating power at the speed of light.
Start: $50, 7 energy
Tags: Power

Ability:
-> If your energy production is less than 2, increase it by 2. Otherwise increase it by 1.

Seems OP - a free power plant every generation, and sometimes 2 power plants.

Sotheby's might be too powerful, but maybe not.

Society for the Preservation of Terran Fauna is interesting.
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Cory Yates
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Love love love the ideas man! Everyone's a critic but I like a lot of them. Blue is wayyy OP though imo! Thanks for sharing!
 
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Juzzo Hawkins
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TheUbiquitous wrote:

These two, however interesting, are potentially gamebreaking.

blackdt wrote:
Mars Hardware and Sundries
Why go to all the trouble of transporting your own tools to Mars when you can buy them from us when you get there?
Starting: $45
Tags: Building

Ability:
Any opponent may pay you $3 when building a standard project. If they do, the cost of that project is reduced by $7.
When you build a standard project, the cost is reduced by 3.


A discount of 7 is crazy!


Actually it is a discount of $4 because they have to spend $3 to get it. and you gain $3 so it is a $6 swing.
I like it actually,
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Dana Black
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These corporation have been tries out an average of 3-4 times each with varying player counts from 3-5. They are not really balanced with solo play in mind. The perfect balance has not been reached yet, in particular Atlantean Oceanics and Collins & company still need a bit of a buff. Efficiency Analytics has had a surprisingly good win rate, so long as they choose not to overdo it with using their activated ability too often. I find Temporal Energy to be a bit boring, but I haven't come up with anything more interesting that makes sense to have a power tag, and doesn't duplicate an existing corporation.

Our particular group tends to finish a game in about 7-10 generation, we draft about 33% of the time, and most of the players have played 4-12 times with regular corporations. We often play with Corporate Era cards in the deck, but almost always use the "1 additional resource production of each type at start" rule so that the game runs a little quicker.

As an important note, Blue Sunrise and the Society for the Preservation of Terran Fauna both have multiple arrow abilities. Just a quick reminder, all cards with activated abilities (arrows) may only be used once per generation, not once per ability per generation. So if they use one activated ability, they can't use the other in the same generation.

Mars Hardware and Sundries & Capital Investment both seem very strong at first glance, but playtesting has shown that giving away money to an opponent helps bring things into greater parity than you might first think.

As an example, playing Capital Investment, several people have tried to do exactly as Jack of Clubs suggested, only to find that having all of your opponents running with +5 MC, while you are gaining +2 MC income is not as swing-y as you might think. By the time you can claim Terraformer in generation 5 or so, five opponents having 5 extra income per turn have always managed to have already claimed all 3 milestones. You do have an advantage in winning banker, but with your more limited income compared to your opponents, I've only seen them fund banker for $8 one time. Usually they fund it for $14 and $20, and they still have lost it about 1/3rd of the time. The more I see it played, the more convinced I am that the correct play is usually NOT to give money to everyone, but to consistently give money to only the 1-2 weakest players. This keeps them in the game, making for a tighter point spread. I find that choosing which opponents to benefit each turn is almost always an interesting decision.

The reason for the 2 plants that Blue Sunrise starts with is to give them a chance to use their ability on the first turn, if they are willing to prioritize it.

Union Reclamation is actually a bit stronger than it first appears. It's true that you are viewing things that people have already declined, but often the first few cards you take using this ability were discarded due to being good mid- to late-game cards that were just drawn too early. Originally it was a choice of 4, but with choice of 5 and them generally waiting until generation 2 to use the ability for the first time, we find that they can almost always find something worth buying.

As far as Atlantean Oceanics, the original concept was synergy between oceans and another global parameter. Giving them extra money and plants for placing next to Oceans, plus the $2 placement bonus for placing next to ocean, plus on-board tile placement bonuses was intended to reward you more than anyone else for placing tiles on the board, while the ability to always place next to an ocean, ANY ocean was intended to give you increased tactical flexibility.

Overall, these corporations were designed to increase interactivity between players, and give you abilities that you may or may not want to use every turn. Personally, I find that all of them except Temporal Energy have succeeded by those criteria.
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Misguidedbow wrote:
Actually it is a discount of $4 because they have to spend $3 to get it. and you gain $3 so it is a $6 swing.
I like it actually,


Ah, understood.
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
blackdt wrote:
Blue Sunrise Inc
...
Ability:
3 Heat -> Increase your plant production by 1
3 Plants -> Increase your heat production by 1.

Seems way OP and would spiral out of control. Maybe better if it could only do one or the other each generation, rather than both.

No, since it's an action, you can only do it once per generation, and assuming the general rule that you need to choose one if there is a set of actions on the same card, you could increase heat one generation, then plant the next generation etc. (IMHO it's not more unbalanced than the corp that lets you increase TR for 3 M€ in a generation where you increased in a different manner.)
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JadedGamer wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
blackdt wrote:
Blue Sunrise Inc
...
Ability:
3 Heat -> Increase your plant production by 1
3 Plants -> Increase your heat production by 1.

Seems way OP and would spiral out of control. Maybe better if it could only do one or the other each generation, rather than both.

No, since it's an action, you can only do it once per generation, and assuming the general rule that you need to choose one if there is a set of actions on the same card, you could increase heat one generation, then plant the next generation etc. (IMHO it's not more unbalanced than the corp that lets you increase TR for 3 M€ in a generation where you increased in a different manner.)

In that case, it's probably fine as-is.

Yes, I criticized these, but there are certainly some interesting ideas here. What I suggested are minor tweaks only, and only based on reading them - not on actually playing them. If I though these were just plain bad, I wouldn't have bothered to comment on them at all.

My favorites are Union Reclamation and SPTF.

Some of these remind me of my own ideas: My turn for New Corporations
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Dana Black
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Jack of Clubs wrote:
My favorites are Union Reclamation and SPTF.

Some of these remind me of my own ideas: My turn for New Corporations


blackdt wrote:
One of them is virtually stolen from another post here, and a couple of others are loosely based on discussions from here.


Yes Jack, I have to admit that my "Mars Hardware and Sundries" was inspired by your "Space Hardware". I really liked the idea of a corporation that existed to profit off of Standard Projects, and it came at a time when I was exploring the idea of corporations that directly help other corporations in a cooperative manner. Your corp involved a straight up benefit for other people doing standard projects, but I felt that in general players already saw standard projects as a sub-optimal play, kind of a last resort, and my group was a bit more cut-throat then most. These factors combined just discouraged the use of standard projects even more, meaning that the total benefit of their interesting ability would be minimal. Your addition of multiple productions made them a bit stronger to keep them competitive, but I didn't feel that it added interesting strategic decisions, just buffed them in a general way, and didn't drive them towards a strategy that they might otherwise feel was sub-optimal.

In contrast, Mars Hardware and Sundries has a pair of abilities that really make Standard Projects (abbreviated SP here) a much more attractive option. First, when an opponent is considering whether to use a SP, they effectively can get a discount of $4 in exchange for allowing MH&S to gain $3. They are getting a better deal than they are giving, so it doesn't sting nearly so much as a "I get $3, you get $3" deal would. That means it is more likely to be used more often, and ends up benefiting MH&S a lot more than a "$3 for you, $3 for me" deal would. The only complaint that players had with the original playtest version of this was that opponents could benefit from SPs, but MH&S didn't benefit from their own SPs. Thematically, if they were willing to sell the tools they brought, why couldn't they use them themselves? So we added the $3 discount for their own SPs as a second ability. With this version, neither the MH&S player nor their opponents had complaints about the power of the corporation.

I apologize for not calling you out by name when using this, I was in a bit of a hurry to get this out.

Oh, in case you were wondering, Collins, Rubin, and Haytham was the one that was virtually stolen from the thread https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25818721 (Six New Corporations, Ready to Terraform Mars) by Justin Collins. Hence the copyright reference in the flavor text. Atlantean Oceanics was similarly inspired by Astro Oceanics from that thread. Callisto Engineering Ltd bears a remarkable resemblance to Foundation from that thread, but was developed independently.
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Steve Clark
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I like the idea of utilising the discard pile, as there's currently nothing that does it.
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Dana Black
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By the way, since people seem to be interested in my reasoning behind the creation of each of these corporations, I'll do a reply later to address some of the design philosophy behind these. Currently I'm pretty happy with 7 of these corporations. I have updated versions I will list below for Atlantean Oceanics and Collins, Rubin, and Haytham. Note that these versions have NOT been playtested, but seem to be a logical extension of their intended playstyle. The other two, the Society for the Preservation of Terran Fauna and Temporal Energy Solutions need work, but I don't have any good ideas yet for how to adjust them.

Atlantean Oceanics
This collective of young idealists took the opportunity of the Mars Initiative more for the chance to study the formation of oceans first-hand, rather than for the profits that motivate most of the other corporations. Not that they'll turn down the money.
Starting: $38, 3 plants
Tags: Science, Plant

Ability:
Whenever anyone places a tile next to an ocean tile, gain 1 plant and $1. You may place greenery tiles next to ocean tiles as if the ocean tile was one you owned.
$18 -> Place an ocean tile. Plants may be used to pay for this ability, being worth $2 per plant.

My thinking here was that this corporation as formerly written was a bit to weak in cases where ocean tiles were slow to come out. The $18 is the same as the cost of the Aquifer standard project, but allowing plants to discount it, plus giving a few starting plants, allows them to get the ball rolling on their ability a bit earlier. Additionally it strengthens their theme of tying plants and oceans together. Exact adjustment of cost, starting money, and starting plants will probably need tweaking.

Collins, Rubin, and Haytham
The law firm of Collins, Rubin, and Haytham specializes in patent law. Copyright 2017 Justin Robbins.
Starting: $48
Tags: Earth

Ability:
Whenever a card is added to your hand gain $1.
Discard a card -> Draw 2 cards.
Discard 2 cards -> $5

So Collins, Rubin, and Haytham has been one of my favorites ever since I saw it in Justin Robbins' thread (credited in my previous post). I really like the idea, and its elegance. A small rule change has notable effects on outcome. The original version Justin presented was simply to pay $2 to buy cards during initial setup and research phases, but that ended up being a bit weak. Most corporations in our group buy 4-6 of their initial hand, and then an average of 2.1 cards per research phase for the remaining 6-9 generations after the first. This meant that they saved $11 to $25 in our playtest games, with a median savings of $20. This is pretty good, but usually meant that they just bought extra cards, and tended to end games with more unplayed cards that they bought because they were cheap, but never ended up playing. The effect was that players of this corporation were more likely to take a risk to get an iffy card. Making it apply to all cards bought rather than just research phase cards helped if they could get some sort of card drawing engine going, but was a bit too uncommon to help it enough.

The new playtest version has two abilities that allow you to get rid of those iffy cards. I expect the final version to only have one of those two, but I want to see which of the two options players will tend to use in actual games.

I would expect that if they use the card draw version, their hands would grow, but they would be discarding virtually useless cards to gain a chance at something more useful to their current situation. I would then expect them to use the "sell patents" standard project more often, since they in effect would be doing the following: Pay $3 for a card. Get a $1 rebate. Trade it for 2 cards. Get $2 in rebates. Sell them as a Standard Project for $2. That ability by itself nets them $2 more than they would have gotten originally.

By contrast, the second ability takes their useless cards in pairs, as follows: Buy 2 cards for $6. Get $2 in rebate. Sell them for $5. Net $1.

Either one encourages them to buy more of the cards they see, burning through the deck faster and making a reshuffle more likely in a longer game. The first is obviously stronger, despite its initial appearance of being worth less money than the $5 given by the second ability. I just worry that it would take a corporation that is just a little underpowered and make it a bit too over-the-top.

Having both on the next playtest version may encourage players to alternate using them, as follows: In generation N, buy one useless card in the research phase for $3. Get $1 in rebate. Discard it to get 2 new cards. Get $2 in rebate. At this point, it is a $0 for 2 random cards net effect. The next generation, sell those 2 random cards for $5. This is greater than the $1 or $2 that you would get by using either ability by itself, but since it is done over 2 generations, it only nets you $2.5 per generation. It would be much less complicated to simply use the first ability only, followed by a "Sell Patents" action to net $2 per turn. I feel that the extra playtest data gained by having both abilities on the card more than make it worth having both when I only intend to keep one.

One other strategic possibility I see is using the first ability every turn to keep a "bank" of unwanted cards in your hand, allowing you to have a surprise influx of cash at a key moment to snatch a milestone or to get terraforming bonuses by buying an extra temperature or oxygen increase via standard projects.

Any feedback on these?
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Dana Black
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So my problem with the Society is that you really need an animal card, and the earlier, the better, to make them work. If you fail to draw an animal card of some sort, you are stuck with 1 point per 3, which is just not good enough. That being said, if I made it any greater, there would be no reason to transfer them to other cards, which is a key part of their concept.

My problem with Temporal Energy is just that it is so boring. The point of having these corporations was to add interesting decision making, and this just doesn't do it. There is no cost to raising your energy production, so all it does is encourage you to find more ways to use your energy.

The best ideas I've had for a corporation with an energy theme are as follows:

Ability:
Whenever an opponent reduces their power production, gain that much power production.

Ability:
Whenever a card requires you to reduce your power production, reduce it by one less.

I like both of these a bit better than our current playtest version, but both have significant flaws that show up fairly quickly in actual play.

Anybody got any other ideas for either of these?
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Mil Myman
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My own idea of "Space Hardware" was based on the real hardware chain "Ace Hardware". I'm not sure how far across the country Ace Hardware's chain of stores extends.

What can I say? I like a good play on words, like I did with my other corporation: WalMars.
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blackdt wrote:
So my problem with the Society is that you really need an animal card, and the earlier, the better, to make them work.

I assume people choose their starting corp based on their initial hand? So if you don't get any cards that suit a particular corp of those you choose from, you pick another...
 
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