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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing on multiple boards to make the game longer-more fun? rss

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Attila Magyar
Hungary
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Hi all,

I have been checking this game for a nice month now, watching reviews and stuff, if i should buy this for christmas to my very beginner boardgaming friends. Most of the people were saying that its good and we should buy it, but i found some people who say that it is not good enough, or ends too soon. So i decided to wait if the rating here or somewhere will change, and what the overall community opinion about it. Is it a flavour of the month thing only or will it remain on high level of Top 100 etc, people get bored out of it too soon etc.

SU&SD and others were saying that the game ends too soon when your engine builds up and some cards are burned and suddenly the game is over.

What if you would play it on the normal board, and on the hellas & elysium board AT THE SAME TIME? Like you terraform the whole Mars! I know that the game does not have enough forest and water tokens, so you have to get some more, to terraform the whole Mars (on the both sides) which is one possibility, but it is an other idea that you do not need to have more forest and water, you only have double space to do it? More space to conquer, more tiles to fight about and so on...

If i get creative even i can imagine some "regions" on the both sides of the map, which you have to build a city into it to claim the region as yours, which can bring you some bonuses, depending on the unique region. For example 4 region on both maps which give one multiplier for one particular resource or trading bonus for the owner of the city or something like that. Regions might have some rules to get them created (3 forests and 1 sea card, and 1 mine etc).

This little addition would strengthen the players interaction and they would compete for the region bonuses, which is more player interaction, not just the well known multiplayer solitaire gaming style. Bonus cards to help the region building, as well as some more "take that" cards to slow down your opponents("One of the chosen region capitol loses electricity, no production bonus for 3 turns!") or something along those lines.

What do you think?
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Des Lee
Australia
Quakers Hill
NSW
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How about you actually play it first?

Doubling up on the board (and requiring BOTH sets of attributes to be maxed out to end the game would make the game unbelievably tedious.

In my opinion, games last just long enough, and I actually prefer playing with the solar variant that hurries the game along and enforces a bit of urgency amongst the players.

Of course, you can buy it and play it how you want, but I'd argue that you're no longer playing Terraforming Mars.
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Marcus S
Canada
Calgary
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If you have read plenty of reviews on the game, you will notice that one of the biggest knocks against the game is that it takes too long. Many people say it would be a much better game if it only lasted 60-75 minutes or so... But if you are playing this with people that are new to the game and new to board games in general, I think you can expect the standard game to take 2-3+ hours... I really don't think making it longer will make it more fun.

Quite honestly, most engine building games are meant to end about the time your engine feels like it gets going... There aren't too many games focused on executing your engine vs building your engine.

My recommendation, get the game first, play it a couple times, play with the Corporate era, play with drafting, playing the both the expansions, and tell me you still want to extend it.
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Ido Abelman
Israel
Hod Hasharon
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I've never heard people describe this game as "ending too soon". It can be 3+ hours with the corporate era "expansion" (by my and many other people opinions, the right way to play), especially if you use drafting.

It might happen that you don't manage to do everything that you wanted, and that might lead to an "it ended too soon for me" feeling. But that can happen in any good euro game - time is limited, you need to prioritize. It actually happens to me a lot less often than in games like race/roll for the galaxy where I often feel like I'm just starting to run my engine when the game ends. Here you can have several engines during the game.

Anyways the idea of combining boards was suggested - as an "epic" variant or "something for crazy people to try". It's definitely not a standard way to play, and I wouldn't recommend it to "very beginner" players at all...
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Justin Green
United States
Georgetown
Texas
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I'd recommend playing by the rules as written before messing with things.
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Justin Schuber
United States
Big Bear City
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I actually would LOVE to play it with all three boards. But yeah, with new people to the game? Oh no no no...that will FOR SURE probably make them most likely hate the game or will get bored with it quickly.

I actually made a mistake recently with this game myself when trying to get my sister and brother in law to play it. First, I should have let them play as the beginner corps instead of the non-beginner ones. Second, should have also taken out the corporate-era cards from the deck as well.

Also, it was nice that in "Venus Next" they have the World Government phase where they step in and raise of one the three requirements, helping the game move along faster.

But yeah, as others have said, I would highly recommend you NOT do three boards as your first play-through with friends.
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Örjan Almén
Sweden
Karlstad
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We actually tried a mega variant once, with three boards. That took six hours for four experienced players. You can read about our session here: Mega Terraforming Mars

I totally agree that you should get used with normal game play before doing something similar. Those who say it ends too soon probably don’t mean timewise but gamewise, that they had wanted to play another generation or two.
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