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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Expansions breaking steel vs titanium balance? rss

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Ben P
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In the base game (with corporate era), there's a pretty consistent trade-off between steel and titanium. Titanium is worth 50% more, but there are about 50% more building tags than space tags to spend them on (67 vs 42), so in the end it works out - titanium is more valuable but harder to use. This is reflected in the quantified guide - 1 steel production is valued at 8 MC (4 MC per income), while 1 titanium production is valued at 10 MC (3.33 MC per income)

The expansions have completely wiped out this balance. Between VN and colonies, there are 34 new space cards, but only 6 (!) new building cards. All in, there are actually more space tag than building tag cards.

Isn't this a balance problem? To me, this implies that all the steel production cards from the base game are now less valuable, and the titanium production cards more valuable
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RyuSora
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This has already been this discussed on at least 5 other threads... i dont remember the overall conclusion of those discusions
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Art Entre
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Yes, the balance changed through the expansions.
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Bill Buchanan
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I dunno, but it's more interesting now.
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Paul Couch
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It has also meant that the corp balance has changed. Mining Guild is very strong in the base game has been knocked way back, but Saturn Systems and Phobolog are way better.
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Örjan Almén
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Changed balance? Yes.
Balance problem? No.

All expansions modifies the balance in some way and one big thing of using the expansion(s) will be how to master the game with the new balance. The game does not automatically become unbalanced because the balance changed. But the balance you learned in base game need to be altered.
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Derry Salewski
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Not really.

All the stuff making titanium better contributes to more cards a lot which just gives you stuff to spend steel on. It’s pretty rare I can’t spend steel.
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Peter Bakija
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ryusora wrote:
This has already been this discussed on at least 5 other threads... i dont remember the overall conclusion of those discusions :D


The overall conclusions off those discussions:

Steel. It is fine.
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Peter Bakija
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DeathBySnuSnu wrote:
Isn't this a balance problem? To me, this implies that all the steel production cards from the base game are now less valuable, and the titanium production cards more valuable


No.

Steel is still valuable; steel is still good to have, and running a strategy on steel and building cards still works just fine. Ceres gets traded with all the time when it is in play. Yes, there are fewer building cards in the deck relative to with just base+CE, but there ares still plenty of them, and you still see plenty of them, and still have all sorts of cards to spend steel on. Yes, steel is a little *less* good than it was in just base+CE, but arguably, steel was *too* good in base+CE, and now it is just regular good.

I just played a game the other night (4P, all expansions) as Cheung Shing, played a metric tone of building cards; got Builder on, like, gen3 (got Mayor on gen4 due to a few early cities built with steel). I never had problems using most of my excessive steel (I had 10 steel production by the end of the game); ended with a big pile of steel intentionally so I could secure Miner (and win the game).

Steel. It is fine.
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B C
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I played less than 10 games with just the "base" or "base" + CE, but in those plays figuring out how to get Titanium production always seemed like a complete crapshoot (even with drafting) and going for a Titanium strategy seemed very unlikely to succeed. I've only played with Prelude and Venus Next, but I like the balance change making more Titanium production available.
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Frank Jones
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bakija wrote:
DeathBySnuSnu wrote:
Isn't this a balance problem? To me, this implies that all the steel production cards from the base game are now less valuable, and the titanium production cards more valuable


No.

Steel is still valuable; steel is still good to have, and running a strategy on steel and building cards still works just fine. Ceres gets traded with all the time when it is in play. Yes, there are fewer building cards in the deck relative to with just base+CE, but there ares still plenty of them, and you still see plenty of them, and still have all sorts of cards to spend steel on. Yes, steel is a little *less* good than it was in just base+CE, but arguably, steel was *too* good in base+CE, and now it is just regular good.

I just played a game the other night (4P, all expansions) as Cheung Shing, played a metric tone of building cards; got Builder on, like, gen3 (got Mayor on gen4 due to a few early cities built with steel). I never had problems using most of my excessive steel (I had 10 steel production by the end of the game); ended with a big pile of steel intentionally so I could secure Miner (and win the game).

Steel. It is fine.



Also, titanium is still more expensive to obtain in the first place, usually.
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AJ Cooper
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orjanalmen wrote:
Changed balance? Yes.
Balance problem? No.

All expansions modifies the balance in some way and one big thing of using the expansion(s) will be how to master the game with the new balance. The game does not automatically become unbalanced because the balance changed. But the balance you learned in base game need to be altered.

But it isn't always good.

Consider energy. The energy cost for trades in Colonies is much less than the cost in MC or titanium. This has turned the early generations of most games into a scramble for energy. All cards that add energy production are now substantially more valuable, and the preludes that produce 2 or 3 energy are outright unbalanced, IMO. I don't consider any of this a good development. Trade cost should have been 4 energy.
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Örjan Almén
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Talmanes wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
Changed balance? Yes.
Balance problem? No.

All expansions modifies the balance in some way and one big thing of using the expansion(s) will be how to master the game with the new balance. The game does not automatically become unbalanced because the balance changed. But the balance you learned in base game need to be altered.

But it isn't always good.

Consider energy. The energy cost for trades in Colonies is much less than the cost in MC or titanium. This has turned the early generations of most games into a scramble for energy. All cards that add energy production are now substantially more valuable, and the preludes that produce 2 or 3 energy are outright unbalanced, IMO. I don't consider any of this a good development. Trade cost should have been 4 energy.


I think this is a bit more complex than that. I think it is a little bit of symptom of the new or what you could call it in English. It also quite a lot depends on the group meta. I've been playing many games with Colonies without any energy racing, even some games where the colonies were hardly ever touched. Yes, sometimes, there can be energy racing in the early start, but I don't see this happening that often that it would be a problem.

I rather see this as normalization of energy value from a low level to a better level. Now you can actually do something real with your energy except using it's production to build city from cards or to pay for a few blue cards, or letting it become heat.

But back on topic. Of course changing balance can be bad. If you change it too much or too fast. I do not see this happen in any of the expansions. I also believe that the expansions should have a rebalancing factor so you can not be stuck in your thoughts and just go with ease on some strategics, and with the modularity of the expansions, you can soon combine this in so many combinations that you can't be sure of the current balance in this combination.
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Peter Bakija
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Talmanes wrote:
Consider energy. The energy cost for trades in Colonies is much less than the cost in MC or titanium. This has turned the early generations of most games into a scramble for energy. All cards that add energy production are now substantially more valuable, and the preludes that produce 2 or 3 energy are outright unbalanced, IMO. I don't consider any of this a good development. Trade cost should have been 4 energy.


Yeah, I dunno; I mean, yes, you now *really* want energy, and the energy preludes are super good to draw. And early in the game, everyone is always drafting for Energy production. But in the grand scheme, it all seems to shake out as ok; by mid game, most people most of the time have 3 energy, generally speaking. Pretty much every game I play, I have 3+ energy production by the middle of the game (or other tech that makes trading easier anyway, like 2 energy production and a -1 cost card or whatever).

You still can trade for $9 if it seems like a good plan, and often does. And then most of the time, you are gonna end up with 3 energy anyway.

It is certainly a change to the balance of energy production, and certainly makes it *way* better than it used to be, but I don't know that it is necessarily problematic. And heck, I started a whole long thread early on that was saying essentially the same thing you are :-)
 
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AJ Cooper
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orjanalmen wrote:
I rather see this as normalization of energy value from a low level to a better level. Now you can actually do something real with your energy except using it's production to build city from cards or to pay for a few blue cards, or letting it become heat.

Hmm, so you are saying there isn't anything real to do with energy, then in the same sentence name three things to do with it.
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Örjan Almén
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Talmanes wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
I rather see this as normalization of energy value from a low level to a better level. Now you can actually do something real with your energy except using it's production to build city from cards or to pay for a few blue cards, or letting it become heat.

Hmm, so you are saying there isn't anything real to do with energy, then in the same sentence name three things to do with it.


What I mean is that those things depends on cards in a high level, paying for trade is available every generation independent of your cards.
 
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