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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Variants

Subject: Pax-Series style Market Row rss

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Paul L
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Trialled a market row variant of TM, with some success. I'm keen to play it some more, rather than being ready to sell it as I was before.

Setup and start as normal (i.e. each faction gets 10 cards to buy at start)

Create a market row: 2x4 cards


Row 1 X X X X Draw Deck
Row 2 X X X X Discard Pile
Price 2 2 4 8



Game sequence:

Research phase is removed completely.

During the regular player turn phase:
1. As an action, purchase a card from the Market.
After each player's turn (set of one or two actions), slide cards from right to left, refill at the end. If only one player is still active, do not refill or reduce the price of any cards.
2. Once all players have passed, remove all the cards in the '2' columns. Restock the market, sliding all the cards in the four and eight columns left.

Any action that allows a player to purchase a card from the top of the deck will be for 3 Mars Bucks, as per regular rules.

Haven't tried different values, so you may want to make the cheapest cards 3 mars bucks rather than two, to simulate the costings of the standard research rules.
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Steve
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I'm also a keen Pax series gamer.

The market suggestion (or something similar) has been proposed a few times previously. Maybe read some of the following threads to see some of the feedback and pitfalls of a market approach to research:

Alternate card distribution method
Card selection at the begining of the turn
Replace research phase with a Nations style market
"Small World" Style Research Projects
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Mihir Shah
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Sounds interesting, however the last buy needs to be 4 instead of 8 as 8 is just too high of a price.
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AJ Cooper
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As with any face up draft proposal, one big unintended effect is that most of the cards people hold become known. I would expect some gameplay consequences from that.
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Bill Buchanan
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I'd call it the "Contract Row" ...

more thematic.
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Mil Myman
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jalwaaa wrote:
Sounds interesting, however the last buy needs to be 4 instead of 8 as 8 is just too high of a price.

Yeah, I find it hard to imagine anyone spending 8 for a card. I'd make the columns 2, 3, 4, 5.

And since there's no real significance to the rows, you could easily just have one row, with prices adjusted however you want it to work:

2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6 - for example.

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Bill Buchanan
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
jalwaaa wrote:
Sounds interesting, however the last buy needs to be 4 instead of 8 as 8 is just too high of a price.

Yeah, I find it hard to imagine anyone spending 8 for a card. I'd make the columns 2, 3, 4, 5.

And since there's no real significance to the rows, you could easily just have one row, with prices adjusted however you want it to work:

2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6 - for example.



I think having it in a "box" with multiple rows is good for gameplay. I like how the different rows re-fill independantly of each other. It also saves table space, and you can better/easily make a custom contract row board for it.

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Marty Sample
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:

Yeah, I find it hard to imagine anyone spending 8 for a card.


Rare perhaps, but a player with several Jovian tags already in play would pay 8 for one of the cards that awards 1 VP per Jovian tag. Or the Space Fighter card if a player already has Ti production. But I agree that this would be rare.
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Paul L
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Just sharing what I've personally tried. Folks are free to do what they will
 
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Paul L
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Talmanes wrote:
As with any face up draft proposal, one big unintended effect is that most of the cards people hold become known. I would expect some gameplay consequences from that.


Not that dramatic a departure from drafting. There's not many direct effect cards in the game, so blocking is indirect at best.

It's more about preventing the stumbling into lucky combos people can end up with, or at the very least raising the opportunity cost.

It's the same reason I like 8 rather than 6 as the high cost. Folks are free to try what works for them, but my main objective is to smooth out the acceleration curve that can happen in this game. By the time people are willing to spend big, the game is accelerating towards the terminus.
 
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Robert Schraut
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
jalwaaa wrote:
Sounds interesting, however the last buy needs to be 4 instead of 8 as 8 is just too high of a price.

Yeah, I find it hard to imagine anyone spending 8 for a card. I'd make the columns 2, 3, 4, 5.

And since there's no real significance to the rows, you could easily just have one row, with prices adjusted however you want it to work:

2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6 - for example.



+1
I think a longer row with a slower $ gradient would work better. Also I would refill after every player, like Through the Ages.
We are not at the point where we need a card row yet, but we started thinking about it.

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Paul L
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My variant does refill after every player. Just not for the last one standing in a generation, otherwise they could game the market.
 
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Mil Myman
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AztecTwoStep wrote:
My variant does refill after every player. Just not for the last one standing in a generation, otherwise they could game the market.

Which is important. However, if you wanted to, you could add another tweak to it: The it still refills for the last player, but the prices don't go down. So there's still the same number of cards available to purchase, but the prices get higher and higher.

For example, using the progression I gave above, and extending it:

2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, (7, 8, 9, 10, ...)

So if the last player buys the first two cards as his two turn actions, two new cards come out to replace them, for a cost of 7 and 8. Then if he buys the two 3-cost cards, two more cards come out for a cost of 9 and 10. If he really wants to spend 10 on that last card, he can. And then another card will come out for 11. etc.

And this technique can be used even with the two-row method. Granted, it makes things a bit more complicated, and probably won't have much effect on the game, so maybe nevermind. Just a wacky thought.

For a more useful and interesting idea, you could have a market row Power-Grid-style. Extra cards are shown face up as the next ones in the queue, but they're not available for purchase at all, until the cards in the purchase row are bought. So you've got a "preview row" of cards to see. This could add another layer of strategy to the game. "If I buy this card, then that card will then be available to purchase. Do I want it? Do I want my opponents to have the opportunity to get it? Should I forgo buying a card I'd like to have now, if it means my opponent won't be able to get that card that's coming up?"

The array might look like this:

2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, P1, P2, P3, P4

There doesn't necessarily have to be the same number of "previews" as there are purchasable cards. When a card is bought, P1 slides down into the 6 slot, and so forth.
 
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Sean Grabowski
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I'm curious to know why you think this variant is necessary? What's wrong with the research phase as is that you think having an open market will fix?
 
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Paul L
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SeanLG wrote:
I'm curious to know why you think this variant is necessary? What's wrong with the research phase as is that you think having an open market will fix?


Drafting is practically mandatory in the core game, otherwise the random draws make the outcome nearly random. But top decking is still very influential to the game even with drafting, whereas the market row either gives players a better opportunity to block super powered combos, or at the very least, slugs the beneficiary with a big financial hit. Otherwise whichever player lucks into a synergistic combo usually wins.
 
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Örjan Almén
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SeanLG wrote:
I'm curious to know why you think this variant is necessary? What's wrong with the research phase as is that you think having an open market will fix?


I think that "total knowledge" is a factor to count on here as well, if everyone have cards that everyone knows about they can plan in a different way, no surprises. Some people dislikes disclosed information in games.
 
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Martin H.
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this game is not about luck...I usually win the game or come a close second (4 player)..it is just a way on making informed decisions...know what to draft and what not to draft...reading the game and the game state..know the preceived costs and opportunity costs..if someone is willing to pay 8!MC to destroy a combo...he is welcome to do it...and I dont like people to know what is in my hand...even with draft people could draft cards and later discard it..the first pick you never now until they play it... I would never bother with a "market" but maybe some people will
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Paul L
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Thanks for assuming we're bad at the game.
 
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