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This was the game that really pulled me into board gaming. It was wonderfully intricate while not becoming overwhelming. It struck a fascinating balance of providing complex mechanics while also maintaining an intuitive execution.
Amazing game. All the whiners about the components or people that claim to knock the cubes around "multiple times per game"? Ignore them. Components are fine. Card artwork is great for me. Learn how to control where your hands and elbows are. Enjoy the game immensely every time I play, win or lose. I will play with or without drafting. Once you know the various paths and strategies, I do not see drafting adding gobs of time unless you have an AP animal playing. I have to admit - it's not fun when people target your plants with asteroids, haha.
A perfectly pleasant multiplayer solitaire tableau-builder, the pointless and grotesquely arbitrary take-that attacks notwithstanding. I'd rather play Race for the Galaxy or Ginkgopolis or 51st State or many others, as they are faster and arguable have more player interaction, but there's nothing especially repellent about this one.
The best tableau/engine builder I've ever played! Very thematic! A common complaint is that the components are not very good and I definitely have to agree. $70 is way to much to pay for thin cards and player boards and stock photos. Luckily the price dropped down to sub $50. However, the game itself is excellent and has become one of my all-time favorites despite this.
After more plays I am liking this game less and less. I am not sure the best way to explain this. But it feels like I am learning the game for the first time every time I play it. Yeah I get the basics. But I guess I don't play it enough to feel like I am gaining a grasp on the game in general. Or maybe the boring nature of the theme, or as I like to say, "the lack of theme" disinterests me. Yeah you are supposed to be of course terraforming mars. But it does not feel like that at all for me, despite all of the cool components, art, and board. Every time I play it just feels like a card game, with too much text, and takes way too GD long!! Seriously, can anyone even name one card that they have in their tableau when done?? Maybe the uber fans that have played it 50+ times? I don't know, I would rather play something interesting during those 5+ hours. It is a good game for those it is targeting. Obviously it has a following. I will/would give it another chance maybe, if in the mood. But I can't honestly picture when that would be.
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This game is good. It's full of tense decisions and there's opportunity for clever play. I'm not a huge fan of how much your cards need to dictate your strategy, but you get enough of them that you do usually have options.
The theme completely makes this for me. It's a great engine builder on its own, but the theme really elevates it for me.I really like the puzzle it presents. That said, the basic rules are dumb. Play with the "draft variant" at the back of the rulebook or not at all. Also, I strongly recommend playing the tournament rules and starting everyone with +1 production in all areas. This goes a long way towards shortening the games and makes the first few turns WAY more interesting.
I tried so hard to like this game, but in the end the mechanics just don't excite me. The science built into the premise is interesting and I liked many of the overall concepts. However, these elements killed this game for me: 1. It felt like a pile of point-generation mechanics all stacked on top of one another rather than an integrated, holistic experience. 2. Player mats were so thin and I constantly bumped the sheet and shot my cubes all over the place. Hated keeping up with cube management. 3. I felt disconnected from my spouse playing with me. Yes, we were playing the same game and our actions affected each other, but essentially he was building his little engine and I was building mine, and we were head-down buried in that for both of our playthroughs. I wish I could have loved this game but it just didn't do it for me. I'd rather play Agricola, Archipelago, Power Grid....even Settlers: Cities and Knights.
1/31/19: After several plays, this is always considered as an option for game night. Built a custom insert for it so I expect to continue to play this game, with the expansions, for years to come. Some luck with the cards, but this is one of my favorites.
When I went in to my first play it was top of my list to my. Since my one play of it, it has been slowly dropping down the list. I really quite like the game but it is very fiddly. The art work leaves a lot to be desired, and I am discovering that aesthetics mean a lot for me in the board game scene.
4.19.18 (2nd Play) Terraforming Mars, despite the evocative board, is a card-drafting, tableau builder. Players take one to two actions on their turn performing the following: play a card; buy a standard project (a way to do an action that you might not be able to do but in a much less efficient way); claim an objective (end game VP for being the first to complete a specific objective); fund an award (gamble on being the best at something by game end); perform a blue card action (i.e., pumping your engine); use plants to place a greenery tile; use heat to increase the temperature; or pass. At its core, Terraforming Mars is a completely serviceable mid-weight Euro that leaves me cold. Add to this the fact that the game often overstays its welcome, and my enthusiasm for playing is nearly snuffed out. Fortunately, the two-player game speeds things along. Would not play with more than three or with anyone who is AP-prone. I struggle to see why so many find this game as appealing as they do. PROS -Board art looks sharp. -Giant stack of cards means a lot of replayability. -Cards frequently make you go, “Wow! This is really good!” NEUTRAL -For all the things that happen on the board, it feels relatively superfluous. CONS -Card art is a mish-mash of clip art, real photos, and images. I don’t know what the design team was thinking… -Not only are the player boards easy to jostle, they look terrible and they’re flimsy. -Sometimes there are some great combos but I am rarely excited about the actions I take on my turn. -Even with the drafting variant, you sometimes get unlucky with the cards, especially at the very beginning or very end of games as the condition requirements are impossible to meet.
2 player playthrough. Game was slightly overwhelming at first, missed quite a few mechanic interactions due to how many there are to monitor. Expect a 4 player playthrough to be much different. Definitely want to play again.
Learning game tonight with the wife. Liked it. Played 3 times in a week now and enjoying it, lots of variability & replayability. The engine building integrates well into the theme. For me game, the length of gameplay isn't an issue, as it give you a good sense of building that engine. The one design difference i would make, would be to integrate the various cards into generation decks, thereby mitigating some of the luck of the draw. But then not sure how that would play overall, as part of the fun is hoping a card you picked up early, will be playable later on. 5 players - why!! Includes promos Small asteroid Snow algae
As of writing this its my favorite solo game. too heavy for family but plays great with 3 to 4. Components are ehh. Player board is flimsy and compenents on boards too easy to be miss placed. Actual game board is already seeing wear near fold. Some terrain tile started peeling moment after punching them out. Card quality is fine but notice some color difference between base and prelude.
[b] :STAR: COMPLETE RATING: [/b] [c] [b]SCORE CRITERIA WEIGHTING ------- STAR RATING SCALE -------[/b] (7.0) FUN (x15): BORING :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: REALLY FUN (7.0) GAMEPLAY (x5): NO DEPTH :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: LOT OF DEPTH (FOR THE WEIGHT) (7.0) GAME FLOW (x5): FIDDLY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: SILKY SMOOTH (6.0) DOWNTIMES (x2): LOT OF :star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: ZERO (5.0) RANDOMNESS (x2): PURE LUCK :star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: PURE SKILLS (7.0) MECHANICS (x2): BORING :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: INTERESTING / INNOVATIVE (9.0) REPLAYABILITY (x5): ZERO :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: INFINITE (8.0) SCALABILITY (x3): POOR :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: GREAT AT ALL PLAYER COUNTS (6.0) PORTABILITY (x1): BULKY :star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: SUPER EASY TO PLAY ANYWHERE (7.0) THEME (x1): UNATTRACTIVE :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: ATTRACTIVE (7.0) AESTHETICS (x1): UGLY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: GORGEOUS (7.0) COMPONENTS (x1): LOW QUALITY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: HIGH QUALITY (8.0) VALUE (x2): TOO EXPENSIVE :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: REALLY CHEAP(LOW COST FOR WHAT WE GET) (7.0) SETUP TIME (x2): LONG :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: ZERO (6.0) GAME LENGTH (x2): TOO SHORT/LONG :star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: JUST PERFECT (8.0) RULES COMPLEXITY (x1): COMPLEX :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: SIMPLE [/c] [b]TOTAL =357/50 =7.14[/b] :thumbsup: [b]POSITIVE POINTS:[/b] ++ Strong tactical play with lots of decision space, while also allowing for long term strategies. ++ Multiple paths to victory. :thumbsdown: [b]NEGATIVE POINTS:[/b] -- The game often goes on way longer than it should if no one is pushing terraforming
W/ Exp: Hellas and Elysium Promo: Small Asteroid A lot of fun, very deep gameplay. The biggest drawback has always been the amount of time it takes to play. For the same footprint on the shelf/table, there are definitely faster games to run through. I like a lot of what it brings though in terms of the variety of options for each player (and by extension, game since the deck is so huge).
Overlong with way too many cards that chain together in the name of "variability." It's not a complicated game, but it's not nearly as epic in scope as it wants to be. Playing without drafting is madness, but it also adds significant time to what is already an interminably long game. Legitimately perplexed as to why this game has such a following. Will never play this intolerable mess again.
Terraforming Mars is littered with both greatness and mediocrity. The product value is shoddy, with thin cards and player boards, and pitifully incongruous art. It also lacks focus. The objective is clear; terraform mars, but there are several tangential paths players can take which divert the focus from the objective at hand to marginal victory point gains. Length is also a bit of an issue, and the game would benefit greatly from a balanced set of production asymmetries, which would add variety and speed up the game. However, the game is fun. Crashing comets, erecting cities, and building solar lenses is fun, and the cards help establish the scope of the game. Needing to pay for held cards is this game's most unique contribution. This mechanism mitigates card draw luck and monkey with your pace , creating a lot of interesting interplay between long- and short-term strategies. All together, I enjoy Terraforming Mars, but its definitely a short term relationship. Once the novelty of its cards has run dry, there will be little reason to tolerate its shortcomings.
Best described as tactical, not strategic. The theme is fun and the vast amount of cards makes it very replay-able. It's a game I always feel like I'm losing in and then come to find out I've barely squeaked out a win.
(4/17) 7. This number will probably rise with more plays as, because the game is so card dependent, knowing them in advance will definitely enrich the experience. The poor component quality, while DEFINITELY true, is not as big a hindrance as I feared it might be. Definitely want to play this again and see how different strategies emerge and work. (10/17) 7. While 7 is a great rating, I feel the need to defend it. I just feel like it goes just a biiiiit long and for whatever reason it feels a bit to card draw dependent. But still wonderful.
Almost perfect engine builder. I dont like it with the higher counts, drag out to long and feels like you never get the engine going. How people play this for 3-4 hours on a 2 player game is beyond me. 60-75 mins for 2 players i say
This is not a bad game, but I am rating it a 3 based on "Lilely won't play this again". Although the game is a wonderful representation of the Kim Stanley Robinson's series of books on Mars, it is, at it's heart, another dry multi-solo-player drawn out experience with a burden of additional bookkeeping. If that's your thing, then you'll probably love it but it will never hit the table in our household, and it is unlikely I would want to invest 2-3 hrs of life into.