You’re at the game shop and looking for something that sounds like fun. Something different and sci-fi for a change since last week had you slaying dragons.
When you spot an orange-tinged box with the name Terraforming Mars on it, you flip it over and read the back. “Aha,” you think, this could be it. The first question to ask yourself is, besides the basic game, how many expansions do you need?
I would start with the base game since I felt like the game was fun enough with enough variation for quite a few rounds before I felt the need to adventure into the many expansions.
I liked playing Terraforming Mars since it’s a nice mix of cooperative and competitive. It’s not that it’s an actual co-op game, but since you are working towards the same goal of warming the planet, to some extent, progress can’t help but be shared.
Even if you don’t win, there are also awards that soften the blow and make your first play experience feel positive.
There are plenty of guides that will sit you down and explain just what your strategy should be as a beginner terraformer. This isn’t going to be one of those articles since it’s been done before, and I hate how so many game guides turn into, well, do this one thing, and you’re setting yourself up to win the game.
It gives no room for creativity in play. The point of gaming is to have fun in the end. However, I have some tips to help you make the most of your first few times playing.
Tips For Your First Play Through of Terraforming Mars
So, it’s your first time sitting down to play Terraforming Mars. You’ve read the rule book. You’ve even watched a few YouTube videos. You’ve got some snacks laid out. Now, what do you do?
Ultimately, your goal, along with everyone around you, is to turn the red planet green.
#1 I recommend using the beginner modifications for your first few games since it made it more fun and easier for me and my friends to jump in. Eventually, I wanted to use the standard corporations since they have some unique benefits that I wanted to explore.
Even though I am, let’s say, not the best at learning new games just from listening to the rules, by the end of round three, I had a good handle on the game mechanics and how to play.
This made me feel like I could experiment to find a strategy that I liked and felt natural to me, so I recommend starting off with the beginners rules and easing your way in.
#2 Eventually, I noticed getting a good handle on my resources early in the game was essential. Managing your resources early on gives you more options later in the game and gives you a much better chance of winning/interacting with other players in the game.
#3 I also saw that a lot depended on knowing my corporation and its unique characteristics to win. Understanding your options and how your corporation’s unique abilities affect the game is crucial to success. Leveraging that is a big part of what makes Terraforming Mars fun too.
Keeping those in mind helped me refine my strategy so I could win and also helped me have fun while learning to turn Mars green.