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Subject: Just nabbed a copy - how long should I wait for expansions? rss

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Enon Sci
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Just curious about the community consensus.

Hellas & Elysium looks neat, but doesn't appear to add much we'd be hungering for until after 4 or 5 games.

Venus Next is much more intriguing, but the added complexity might be a bit much for start? Unsure.

Prelude (unreleased, I know) also looks interesting, but will likely be appreciated more after we play the conventional early game a few times or so.

So, ultimately, I guess this is more focused on Venus Next. Good addition for newbs, or better to hold off for a bit before inclusion?
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Sam Carroll
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Just curious about the community consensus.

Hellas & Elysium looks neat, but doesn't appear to add much we'd be hungering for until after 4 or 5 games.

Venus Next is much more intriguing, but the added complexity might be a bit much for start? Unsure.

Prelude (unreleased, I know) also looks interesting, but will likely be appreciated more after we play the conventional early game a few times or so.

So, ultimately, I guess this is more focused on Venus Next. Good addition for newbs, or better to hold off for a bit before inclusion?


Wait on it. Play the base game, adding H&E when you feel like some variety. Venus Next . . . eh, it's on the edge of being "bloat."
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Jason DuVall

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The worst aspect of Venus Next is that the core function - raising the Venus chart - is entirely ignorable, while the cards that do that effectively dilute the deck for availability of the base card synergies. When you draw four cards at the start of a generation and half (or more!) of them are Venus-specific, you're SOL if you've already decided not to invest in Venus.

You're correct about Hellas & Elysium being something to add later - it adds some variety to the game, and is ultimately worthwhile. But only after you're comfortable with the base game.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Anarchosyn wrote:
So, ultimately, I guess this is more focused on Venus Next. Good addition for newbs, or better to hold off for a bit before inclusion?
The main value of Venus Next is after you've seen the base cards fifty times already and have them memorized. It's refreshing to see an influx of new cards that you have to evaluate. I wouldn't add them until you've played the game a number of times.
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RyuSora
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First of all, i feel prelude expansion is a must, but it is not out yet!

Other than that, WAIT! Play the game and keep playing until you feel you need something to make it fresh... and then go for hellas and elysium and after that, again, if you feel you need something to make it fresh go for venus next.

Other than those, you do not need any expansion for this game, prelude looks really cool and do something interesting to the game but it is not a must!
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Venus Next is not bloat. It's just more ways to do a variety of things.
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Peter Bakija
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Just curious about the community consensus.

Hellas & Elysium looks neat, but doesn't appear to add much we'd be hungering for until after 4 or 5 games.

Venus Next is much more intriguing, but the added complexity might be a bit much for start? Unsure.


Hellas and Elysium is really just a very minor variation on the game--you get 2 different maps (that kind of change map emphasis) with two different sets of Milestones and Awards (which are really the biggest change to the game from the map). They are fun if you like the game a lot, but not remotely necessary. But also not at all difficult to implement--i.e. if you understand TM, using the alternate maps doesn't change the basic play of the game at all.

Venus Next is really fun, but a lot more stuff to look at/after, and will likely confuse new people. As noted above, yeah, you *can* completely ignore the terraforming Venus aspect of the game, but that generally doesn't happen. As it is a very good source of VPs, and most of the cards that operate on Venus or due to Venus tend to be pretty strong. So it incentivizes you to advance Venus, so as to facilitate those cards.

Play the base game a lot. When it seems like you understand it pretty well and everyone likes it, pick up the expansions. They are good.
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Sean Karamanyan
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I'd make sure you truly enjoy the game and can see getting a lot of replay out of it. I found myself not tiring of it but also wanting more, then figured why not pull the trigger. Still not tired of it and now play with both expansions as if they're just part of the base game.

Specifically for Venus Next, it's kinda more of the same as the base game. I wanted more TM content and that's what it did.
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H&E I agree with the others. Get it when you feel the need for variety (map, milestones, awards)

Venus isn't bloat. I think of it as a balancing expansion. It dilutes certain cards to be less common and makes others more common. Earth tags are buffed a lot in this expansion, making more strategies viable. New strategies involving new floater resources make the game more interesting. I would get it once you start learning the deck and see each other start using the same strategies and become more predictable.

Prelude exists to speed up the game.
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Mimikyu wrote:
H&E I agree with the others. Get it when you feel the need for variety (map, milestones, awards)

Venus isn't bloat. I think of it as a balancing expansion. It dilutes certain cards to be less common and makes others more common. Earth tags are buffed a lot in this expansion, making more strategies viable. New strategies involving new floater resources make the game more interesting. I would get it once you start learning the deck and see each other start using the same strategies and become more predictable.

Prelude exists to speed up the game.

Agree on H&E, except that you don't necessarily need to feel like you want variety. If you have played the base game maybe 30 times, even if you are totally satisfied with it, try H&E. The variety is just really rewarding even if you didn't know you wanted it.

VN is a little different. We usually play with it, but I could go either way. There are a few minor balance issues also, (biggest one that the hoverlord milestone is almost an outright gift to Celestic) but it's not a big problem. And there are some cool things in there too. But get H&E first.

Prelude certainly looks cool, in a way. Jump-started powers can be exciting and efficient, and there are sure to be many new synergies. But some players may see this as losing the pleasure of building their own engine entirely from scratch. I'm definitely buying it though!
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Tomasz Slupek
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Win with each corporation at least once first.
Then start to think about expansions
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Martin Persson
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I really like the H&E expansion and would get it fairly soon after buying the base game and deciding that you like it enough to get expansions. Venus Next is a lot more "meh"
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Kim Solberg
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I'd get H&E right away. It doesn't add any complexity, but adds variety to an already excellent game.

Venus Next fell flat for me, and I will probably never play with it again. It was fun to see the new cards the first couple of plays, but it adds a lot of playtime and ends up a boring snoozefest where you just sit and wait for one player to be done with all his or her blue cards. And if you happen to be that person yourself, you feel sorry for all the other players. I cannot recommend it.

Prelude, on the other hand, looks really good.
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Örjan Almén
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Catanid wrote:
I'd get H&E right away. It doesn't add any complexity, but adds variety to an already excellent game.

Venus Next fell flat for me, and I will probably never play with it again. It was fun to see the new cards the first couple of plays, but it adds a lot of playtime and ends up a boring snoozefest where you just sit and wait for one player to be done with all his or her blue cards. And if you happen to be that person yourself, you feel sorry for all the other players. I cannot recommend it.

Prelude, on the other hand, looks really good.


Interesting, I haven't seen that snoozefest effect as you call it connected to Venus Next, but to play styles and how single games turns out. The blue cards will be more in figures, but in percentage, they will actually be more rare.
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Sid Ward

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H&E had a much bigger impact on replayability than I expected. The new Milestones and Awards changed how I viewed the cards/corps and changed how the game plays out in the early rounds. I think I got H&E after about 12-15 plays or so. Probably played the same amount since then (not counting VN). Well worth it.

VN, is just ... ok. I have played about 10 games with VN. The new cards and corps do not introduce many new ideas or strategies. The game goes longer, you have more money and so can do more cool stuff, but that's about it. The extra board is kinda lame, as it adds almost nothing to the game. I'd probably wait on Prelude instead.
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Enon Sci
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rskaramanyan wrote:
I'd make sure you truly enjoy the game and can see getting a lot of replay out of it. I found myself not tiring of it but also wanting more, then figured why not pull the trigger.


This is a sensible approach, but I've also played games where I rather disliked the core game, but found it enjoyable with expansions (Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport Expansion is my classic "go to" example of an addition that fixed the base game for me).

All that aside, I wanted to thank one and all for the advice.

On a related note, any thoughts on the available promos?
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Peter Bakija
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Anarchosyn wrote:
On a related note, any thoughts on the available promos?


3 of them are completely benign and minor variations on existing cards-Small Asteroid, Penguins, Snow Algae. Like, they are good, but not remotely earth shattering.

The 4th, Self Replicating Robots, is very interesting, potentially very powerful, and has a lot of words on it, and often confuses people the first time they draw into it, which results in them possibly missing out on how good it is as they don't want to figure out the wall of text. So if you are using this, make sure everyone knows what it does up front.
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Us early adopters had to wait well over a year before adding expansions

Really there's no rush. The game is perfectly playable many, many times without expansions.

Personally I would leave Terraforming Mars: Venus Next out until people have played at least a few times as it introduces new things. Not as necessary for Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium as it is not a big a change to the base game.
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Kim Solberg
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orjanalmen wrote:
Catanid wrote:
I'd get H&E right away. It doesn't add any complexity, but adds variety to an already excellent game.

Venus Next fell flat for me, and I will probably never play with it again. It was fun to see the new cards the first couple of plays, but it adds a lot of playtime and ends up a boring snoozefest where you just sit and wait for one player to be done with all his or her blue cards. And if you happen to be that person yourself, you feel sorry for all the other players. I cannot recommend it.

Prelude, on the other hand, looks really good.


Interesting, I haven't seen that snoozefest effect as you call it connected to Venus Next, but to play styles and how single games turns out. The blue cards will be more in figures, but in percentage, they will actually be more rare.


You might be right about it being about play styles, but it's the expansion that makes the play style possible. I have played with VN somewhere around 10 plays, and more than once has one player played out more than 60 cards (in 2 or 3 player games), which never happens with the base game and corporate era. The player sees that she/he can delay triggering end of game to hoard more points, even though they're already the obvious winner. That's where the snoozefest starts.
 
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Catanid wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
Catanid wrote:
I'd get H&E right away. It doesn't add any complexity, but adds variety to an already excellent game.

Venus Next fell flat for me, and I will probably never play with it again. It was fun to see the new cards the first couple of plays, but it adds a lot of playtime and ends up a boring snoozefest where you just sit and wait for one player to be done with all his or her blue cards. And if you happen to be that person yourself, you feel sorry for all the other players. I cannot recommend it.

Prelude, on the other hand, looks really good.


Interesting, I haven't seen that snoozefest effect as you call it connected to Venus Next, but to play styles and how single games turns out. The blue cards will be more in figures, but in percentage, they will actually be more rare.


You might be right about it being about play styles, but it's the expansion that makes the play style possible. I have played with VN somewhere around 10 plays, and more than once has one player played out more than 60 cards (in 2 or 3 player games), which never happens with the base game and corporate era. The player sees that she/he can delay triggering end of game to hoard more points, even though they're already the obvious winner. That's where the snoozefest starts.


Are you playing with the solar phase? Play time should be about the same as the base game.
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Örjan Almén
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Catanid wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
Catanid wrote:
I'd get H&E right away. It doesn't add any complexity, but adds variety to an already excellent game.

Venus Next fell flat for me, and I will probably never play with it again. It was fun to see the new cards the first couple of plays, but it adds a lot of playtime and ends up a boring snoozefest where you just sit and wait for one player to be done with all his or her blue cards. And if you happen to be that person yourself, you feel sorry for all the other players. I cannot recommend it.

Prelude, on the other hand, looks really good.


Interesting, I haven't seen that snoozefest effect as you call it connected to Venus Next, but to play styles and how single games turns out. The blue cards will be more in figures, but in percentage, they will actually be more rare.


You might be right about it being about play styles, but it's the expansion that makes the play style possible. I have played with VN somewhere around 10 plays, and more than once has one player played out more than 60 cards (in 2 or 3 player games), which never happens with the base game and corporate era. The player sees that she/he can delay triggering end of game to hoard more points, even though they're already the obvious winner. That's where the snoozefest starts.


I've seen this with just the Corporate Era as well, when some people get their rebate/discount engine going, they can play loads of cards and have loads of blue cards to activate actions on each turn. It's one of the viable paths to victory. Sure, it might not be so fun to sit for a few minutes to wait for that person to be finished, but take the moment to follow up on the board and how the game progresses for everyone so you are up to date :-)
 
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NeoDobby wrote:
Catanid wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
Catanid wrote:
I'd get H&E right away. It doesn't add any complexity, but adds variety to an already excellent game.

Venus Next fell flat for me, and I will probably never play with it again. It was fun to see the new cards the first couple of plays, but it adds a lot of playtime and ends up a boring snoozefest where you just sit and wait for one player to be done with all his or her blue cards. And if you happen to be that person yourself, you feel sorry for all the other players. I cannot recommend it.

Prelude, on the other hand, looks really good.


Interesting, I haven't seen that snoozefest effect as you call it connected to Venus Next, but to play styles and how single games turns out. The blue cards will be more in figures, but in percentage, they will actually be more rare.


You might be right about it being about play styles, but it's the expansion that makes the play style possible. I have played with VN somewhere around 10 plays, and more than once has one player played out more than 60 cards (in 2 or 3 player games), which never happens with the base game and corporate era. The player sees that she/he can delay triggering end of game to hoard more points, even though they're already the obvious winner. That's where the snoozefest starts.


Are you playing with the solar phase? Play time should be about the same as the base game.


That's a good point. We've never played with the Solar Phase. I guess VN could be less of a snoozefest with Solar Phase and 5 players.
 
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Catanid wrote:
You might be right about it being about play styles, but it's the expansion that makes the play style possible. I have played with VN somewhere around 10 plays, and more than once has one player played out more than 60 cards (in 2 or 3 player games), which never happens with the base game and corporate era. The player sees that she/he can delay triggering end of game to hoard more points, even though they're already the obvious winner. That's where the snoozefest starts.

First, declining to end the game when clearly winning is a strange behavior. Secondly, other players can choose to end the game, with standard actions if necessary. If the game drags on excessively, it is by mutual consent of all the players.

Catanid wrote:
That's a good point. We've never played with the Solar Phase. I guess VN could be less of a snoozefest with Solar Phase and 5 players.

Use of the solar phase is actually part of the VN rules. Not using it is a variant, expressly described as "skip this step for a longer game".
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Bryan Thunkd
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Catanid wrote:
That's a good point. We've never played with the Solar Phase. I guess VN could be less of a snoozefest with Solar Phase and 5 players.
Adding Venus Next adds another, albeit optional, terraforming option. If players devote resources to terraforming Venus, that's resources they're not devoting to advancing the Martian global parameters, i.e. the clock that marks the end of the game.

Which means that if you forgo the Solar phase, you're using the parts of VN that extend the length of the game without using the one part of the expansion that offsets the added length. By reducing the number of global parameters left, the solar phase either directly shortens the game, when Martian global parameters are selected, or indirectly shortens the game, by reducing player's ability to take Venusian global parameters.

So yeah, if you're feeling like Venus Next makes for a long, slower game, then you should definitely not be skipping the solar phase!
 
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The new maps provide much more variability than Venus. The maps might not seem like much at first glance, but the different layouts with new awards/milestones completely changes the power of many cards - thus changing the flow of the entire game. Venus is more of a fluff expansion. It's nice, but feels a bit like more of the same - more cards to fill an additional parameter.
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