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Subject: What am I missing playing solo? rss

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Carrie Rostollan
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Today I set up a solo game and played three times.

Lost egregiously every time.

I don’t know what it is, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to do all the Terraforming required in just 14 turns. Money is too tight, and cards don’t do enough things together to make it matter.

I am not a newbie at this. I’ve played Terraforming Mars about six times and won three times, twice in a tie situation. So I understand the mechanics, but is there something I’m missing here in the solo mode?

Or is the game supposed to be this difficult to do as a single?
 
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Anne Skelding
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Just to check, you're not limiting yourself to two turns per generation, right?

Otherwise, be really careful about what cards you buy. Not a single spacebuck wasted. Can't use the card now? Not worth it. Doesn't directly aid production or terraforming? Not worth it. Standard projects are your friend.

Those are the general rules I recommend until you're winning at least sometimes. From there you can start playing around with ways to get higher scores.
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Marlene Thornstrom
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My general approach is to exploit my corporation's special ability as much as possible to boost TR, then in the last 3-4 rounds, I should be generating enough money to buy standard projects to max out the remaining terraforming categories.

Hard to tell what's going wrong for you without more details. How close are you to winning at the end (in terms of oxygen, heat, oceans)? What's your TR at that point?
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Malcolm King
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I've played solo half a dozen times and won all but my first attempt so I hope I'm not doing anything wrong.

Keep in mind that score doesn't matter when playing solo so you can ignore a lot of cards. Insect, animals, fighters etc all count for zip in the solo game. Got a smashing heat engine that's gonna hit the target before the end game? No need to keep those asteroids then. The standard projects also help early to get your income ticking over.

Sorry I don't have a lot of advice, though in my opinion it's better to have a difficult game you can improve at then one that's too easy.
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Darren Quinlivan
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A common mistake is to only take two actions per generation; you get as many actions as you want each generation. So, thats the first question I suppose...

If you are playing multiple turns per generation, next suggestion is making sure not to overbuy cards and always keep tabs on how many generations left and what your broad plan is to increase each of the parameters.

I thought it would be impossible in my first couple of games (I only play solo) but now i complete terraforming more often than not. I find everything tends to ramp up in the last few turns.
 
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Ken Brenner
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Danneq wrote:
Just to check, you're not limiting yourself to two turns per generation, right?

Otherwise, be really careful about what cards you buy. Not a single spacebuck wasted. Can't use the card now? Not worth it. Doesn't directly aid production or terraforming? Not worth it. Standard projects are your friend.

Those are the general rules I recommend until you're winning at least sometimes. From there you can start playing around with ways to get higher scores.


Wanted to second this one - you can't do any standard projects to help yourself along if you're throwing all 12 megacredits away each turn to keep all 4 cards. Sometimes it's easier to just pay 11 MC a turn to get the energy production right then than hold onto a card that will eventually give you two energy production but costs MC to keep, MC to play, and two generations to get out.
 
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Gary Hammond
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I didn't start winning at solo until I had learned NOT to keep buying the projects in the early stages and only buy projects with quick returns in the late stages.
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Dan The Man
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DukePhoenix wrote:
Danneq wrote:
Just to check, you're not limiting yourself to two turns per generation, right?

Otherwise, be really careful about what cards you buy. Not a single spacebuck wasted. Can't use the card now? Not worth it. Doesn't directly aid production or terraforming? Not worth it. Standard projects are your friend.

Those are the general rules I recommend until you're winning at least sometimes. From there you can start playing around with ways to get higher scores.


Wanted to second this one - you can't do any standard projects to help yourself along if you're throwing all 12 megacredits away each turn to keep all 4 cards. Sometimes it's easier to just pay 11 MC a turn to get the energy production right then than hold onto a card that will eventually give you two energy production but costs MC to keep, MC to play, and two generations to get out.

Energy production???

Better to have a TR in 9 turns than spend 3 more $ to get a TR (and more importantly $8 extra), this turn?

 
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Dan The Man
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turbo_gecko wrote:
I didn't start winning at solo until I had learned NOT to keep buying the projects in the early stages and only buy projects with quick returns in the late stages.

By "projects" do you mean cards, or Standard Projects?
 
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Dan The Man
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I'm doing some research on the solo experience not as a game, but as a puzzle.

Obviously, other than Credicor, Std Projects will not quite cover the ground (a few hundred $ short). I am trying to figure out how some people have claimed to solve the puzzle, but so far it is still a crap shoot when I run the numbers, even using their "tips."

There are complex synergies and obviously compounding, but until I stumble on the solution or someone posts an actual game showing how it was done, claims of 80%+ win rates will remain unfounded in my mind.
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Gary Hammond
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DnaDan56 wrote:
turbo_gecko wrote:
I didn't start winning at solo until I had learned NOT to keep buying the projects in the early stages and only buy projects with quick returns in the late stages.

By "projects" do you mean cards, or Standard Projects?


Cards
 
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Marlene Thornstrom
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DnaDan56 wrote:
I'm doing some research on the solo experience not as a game, but as a puzzle.

Obviously, other than Credicor, Std Projects will not quite cover the ground (a few hundred $ short). I am trying to figure out how some people have claimed to solve the puzzle, but so far it is still a crap shoot when I run the numbers, even using their "tips."

There are complex synergies and obviously compounding, but until I stumble on the solution or someone posts an actual game showing how it was done, claims of 80%+ win rates will remain unfounded in my mind.


Which corporations have you tried it with? It seems possible that the corporations are (presumably) balanced for multi-player, but some may be easier or more difficult for solo play.

NerdE recorded several solo plays on his YouTube channel. He won many of them, and the others were at least pretty close.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2UOYBbwHymb2an_yyLl_4g/vid...
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Örjan Almén
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Tikatoy wrote:

It seems possible that the corporations are (presumably) balanced for multi-player, but some may be easier or more difficult for solo play.


You are correct, They are balanced for multiplayer, so they differ some for solo play.
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Carrie Rostollan
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That may be what I was doing wrong: overbuying cards. I just keep thinking that standard projects are too expensive to make headway in only 14 turns.

I keep looking for cards that will allow me to do multiple Terraforming things at low cost. Thanks for all the encouragement and advice, guys.
 
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Peter Bakija
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CarrieSue41 wrote:
That may be what I was doing wrong: overbuying cards. I just keep thinking that standard projects are too expensive to make headway in only 14 turns.

I keep looking for cards that will allow me to do multiple Terraforming things at low cost. Thanks for all the encouragement and advice, guys.


Yeah, if you aren't worried about your score, and are just trying to finish the TR tracks (and win) in 14 generations, it isn't that difficult to do, but still, after playing many, many, many solo games, I *still* regularly fail to win (although I am also generally playing to maximize score as well, which means taking more risks than if you aren't caring about score).

You need to keep an eye out for cards that make an engine work (lots of bonus heat production, lots of plant production; Arctic Algae is *huge* in solo games) while also not buying too many cards, and being willing to use standard projects a significant amount of time.

Cards that are generally super good in solo play are Arctic Algae, Standard Technology, AI Complex (with any of the big Science cards), Earth Catapult, and any of the big asteroid events that give you multiple TR jumps with one card.
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G K
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To get a baseline, I just tried what I'd call a near worst-case solo game on the original map: starting from the two least liquid corps (Phobolog and Mining Guild) and picking MG (30MC starting money) and opponent tile placement cutting off the northeast edge of the equator and most importantly, using only standard projects.

I ended with all 9 oceans placed, temp at +6 (1 raise short), O2 at 5%, 8MC and 2 plants left.

Since I still had the temp bonus left on the O2 scale, I just needed to place 9 more greeneries. My next 7 could be placed to get me 6 more plants (enough to drop yet another greenery) and 12 MC back. Another 153 MC would have gotten me those 7+1 greeneries, leaving me another 11MC short, or 164MC short in all.

So, winning's not a sure thing, especially if you're trying to maximize your score, but it's well within reach.



 
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Bryan Thunkd
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maljking wrote:
Keep in mind that score doesn't matter when playing solo
Once you learn how to play solo well, you'll start winning on a regular basis. After that, the main challenge of solo play is to get a high score. You start doing riskier things to get more points, but that jeopardizes your chances of winning. If the score didn't matter, and winning was the only challenge, then solo play would get old fairly quick.
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Björn Harzer
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Tikatoy wrote:
DnaDan56 wrote:
I'm doing some research on the solo experience not as a game, but as a puzzle.

Obviously, other than Credicor, Std Projects will not quite cover the ground (a few hundred $ short). I am trying to figure out how some people have claimed to solve the puzzle, but so far it is still a crap shoot when I run the numbers, even using their "tips."

There are complex synergies and obviously compounding, but until I stumble on the solution or someone posts an actual game showing how it was done, claims of 80%+ win rates will remain unfounded in my mind.


Which corporations have you tried it with? It seems possible that the corporations are (presumably) balanced for multi-player, but some may be easier or more difficult for solo play.

NerdE recorded several solo plays on his YouTube channel. He won many of them, and the others were at least pretty close.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2UOYBbwHymb2an_yyLl_4g/vid...


I have been playing it solo twice so far and won both. I don’t think there is “a solution”. It is more about working out the projects given to you and create a compounding engine as quickly as possible and ditch all other projects and not waste money on them in the early stages. Later on your engine just keeps generating and then I use the standard projects to get the remaining goals over the line. Both games were quite different on my main engine, but both worked...
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Chemist .
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bakija wrote:
any of the big asteroid events that give you multiple TR jumps with one card.


These are my favorite cards when I play solo.
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Marcel Van Assen
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Solo games are rather easy, if you do not buy many cards. I am currently trying to complete the solo game with a minimum number of cards.
I succeeded to win the game using Helion and Credicor, using just ONE card, which is Standard Technology.
Without playing cards I cannot win with these corporations, missing up to planting six forests.
I did not try the other corporations yet. Perhaps later on I post the puzzles how to maximize points using just one card, with different corporations. These are nice and not too hard puzzles.
 
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Martijn van Baal
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I tried to win the solo game with Ecoline buying and playing 0 cards, thus only using standard projects.

I was 8MC short of buying the last temperature step; oxygene and oceans were maxed out.

I don't think it's possible without any cards, but I will have a go at this, try to scrape those extra 8MC from somewhere.

Anyone else tried this puzzle?
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Fabrice Dubois
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9 solo plays so far and i have yet to win with Tharsis Republic (2 plays and 2 defeats).

Perhaps that i am too focused on cities because in the solo game it is first a matter of winning the game and cities don't help toward the 3 global parameters.

I will try something different the next time with Tharsis Republic :
- keeping 22+ M$ after choosing my initial hand
- put the first "free" city
- put another city with standard project

By doing so, i will start with +5 MCR production.

This will give me 70 M$ in the game but above all more choices to place my greeneries.
 
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Xelto G
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fdubois wrote:
9 solo plays so far and i have yet to win with Tharsis Republic (2 plays and 2 defeats).

Perhaps that i am too focused on cities because in the solo game it is first a matter of winning the game and cities don't help toward the 3 global parameters.


Tharsis Republic is one of my highest-win corporations. And yes, you're right: despite cities being their primary schtick in multiplayer, you mostly want to consider them an afterthought in solo—any card that increases your M€ production via global parameters at a similar cost is better, because it counts towards victory, not just income increase.
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