Terraforming Mars

Designer Jacob Fryxelius
Artist Isaac Fryxelius
Publisher FryxGames, Stronghold Games

Boardgamegeek Info:

Welcome to the Terraforming Mars tournament at EuroQuest! All Terrans seeking to terraform Mars are welcome to play, as long as they have read the rules or attended a demo.


GM: Bill Crenshaw


Demo: Thurs 10:00 AM

The rules for the various expansions will be covered. The GM will also answer any questions about the base game, but will not teach it.

See schedule for Heat times


The top finisher from the Final will receive a plaque.

Event Description

2022 draft – rules could still change

Preliminary Rounds

Format All games will use the full corporate version rules (including all cards), corporations and production starting at 0), the drafting rules described below.  Heats will have 4-player games with some 3-player games as needed.  Heat 1 will use the original board; heat 2 will use the Hellas board; heat 3 will use the Elysium board.  The semifinals will use the original board, the finals will use the Elysium board and both will have a 4-hour time limit.

In heats, we will assign tables based on interest in playing expansions. If you agree to play expansions, you must play at least 2 of the Venus, Prelude and Colony expansions. If you do not, you will play without expansions, except the Prelude expansion may still be used.  In the semifinals and finals, unless all players agree, all expansions must be used.  If there is no consensus, each player may veto 1 expansion.

RANDOMIZED MILESTONES AND AWARDS.  Randomized milestones and awards  will be used: (1) in games using the original board (with expansions); (2) in elimination rounds; and (3) in heats 2 and 3 if all players agree.  The GM may be able to supply these to those who do not have them. Refer to rules below regarding use.

TRADING: When playing the colonies expansion, no more than one trade per turn is allowed (meaning a player with space port colony, space port, or sky docks cannot use their first two actions to trade twice.  On their second turn, they may trade again once).

BANNED CARDS.  Do not use:  (1) Poseidon if playing Colonies; and (2) Toll Station. 

TURMOIL AND PROMO CARDS.  Turmoil and promo cards will be used in the semifinals and finals and unless all players disagree.

FAST MODE.  All players must take 2 actions each turn or pass. You may sell 1 patent as your first action and then sell a second patent as your second action.  If you can only take one action, your second action must be to pass.  If you are not familiar with Fast Mode, attend the demo and the GM will explain it in detail.


Corporations.  Deal each player 2 corporations if no expansions are used and otherwise 1 regular corporation and 1 from each expansion used.  Beginner corporations may not be used.  

Initial draft of Project cards. At the start of the game, deal each player 5 project cards. Each player keeps 1 project card and passes the others to the left. Keep taking one card and passing the rest until each player has 5 cards. Deal each player another 5 project cards, keep 1 and pass the others to the right. Keep taking 1 card and passing the rest until each player has a total of 10 project cards. Choose a corporation and which of the 10 project cards to buy (after the Prelude card draft if applicable).  

Turn drafts.  At the start of each turn from Turn 2 on, deal 4 project cards to each player. On even turns, keep 1 and pass the rest to the left; on odd turns, keep 1 and pass the rest to the right. Once everyone has 4 cards, decide which cards to buy.

Prelude.  Prelude cards are DRAFTED.  Deal each player 4 Prelude cards along with the initial set of 5 project cards.  After the project card draft is completed, keep 1 Prelude card and pass the rest to the left; repeat passing 1 Prelude card until all players have 4 Prelude cards, then choose 2. 

Venus.  If Venus is used, include the Venusphile Award and the Hoverlord Milestone. Remember: the starting player must advance one of the global parameters (including the Venus scale) at the end of each turn.  Dues to time constraints, this rule is mandatory in heats and the SFs but may be waived in the finals if all players agree.

Colonies You CAN build a colony or trade at a colony even if you cannot use their resources (Titan, Miranda or Enceladus).  (Note this is a rule clarification that differs from prior years based on designer guidance.) Floaters, microbes and animals received when a colony is built or traded at may not be split between different cards but if received when trading may be placed on a different card than received due to a colony bonus.

Rules clarification:  We will refer to Board Game Geek for any rule clarifications not covered by the tournament rules. https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1705209/official-faq-rules-clarifications 

Elimination Rounds
  1. If there are 4 or less winners, we will advance directly to a final.
  2. If there are 5 to 8 winners, we will play an 8 player semi advancing first and second to the final.
  3. If there are 9 to 12 winners, we will play a 12 player semi advancing winners and the best second to the final.
  4. If 17-20 heat winners appear for the semifinals, some semifinals will have 5-player games; there will be 4 semifinals, with the winners advancing to a 4-player final. 
  5. If 21-25 winners appear for the semifinals, some semifinals will have 5-player games; there will be 5 semifinals, with the winners advancing to a 5-player final. 
  6. If more than 25 winners appear for the semifinals, winners will qualify based on (1) most games won; and (2) Euroquest tournament tiebreakers.  Semifinal pairings will be seeded based on tournament performance.  If there are both 4 and 5 player games, higher seeded players will play in 4-player games to the extent possible.

The top 4 players from the semifinals will advance to the final.

Time Limits

Heats will have a strict 3½-hour time limit. The GM will make an announcement when there are 30-45 minutes left.  At the end of the 3 ½ hour limit, if all players have taken at least 1 action in the current turn, the players will finish the current turn and play one final turn; otherwise, the current turn will be the final turn.  The semifinals and finals will not have a strict time limit, although the GM reserves the right to impose one as necessary.

Playing Procedures

Seating and Starting player:  Randomly determine seating (with the owner of the game sitting where they want and the other players sitting randomly around in order of clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades based on the card you drew for table assignment) and then randomly determine the starting player and proceed clockwise.

Game Play.  For each action you take, state OUT LOUD, what you are doing and do the following:  (1) for cards, state the name of the card and what it does; (2) state how you are paying for your action and place the payment in front of your mat so all players can see the payment; (3) adjust production and resources as indicated on the card; (4) place any tile on the board (and receive any placement bonus).  Hopefully following this order will reduce mistakes.

Mistakes.  Any mistakes based on failure to properly implement a production box adjustment of the player playing a card MUST be corrected as soon as they are noticed.  If you have taken too many resources in production, you lose them immediately (if you do not have any, correct the mistake as best possible). If you have not taken enough resources, you do not get the resources missed unless the mistake is noticed that generation and all other players agree you are entitled to the resources in question.  Once you have ended your turn and the next player announces a move, if you failed to remove resources from another player, you may not do so.

If you are entitled to benefits as a result of the action of another player (e.g., Pets, Rover Construction, Immigrant City, or Tharsus when a city is built or Arctic Algae when an ocean is placed), hopefully you will claim them during the turn of the other player if the other player has stated the move OUT LOUD.  Any mistakes must be corrected that generation or you do not get the benefit.  If another player took or declined to take an action based on your resources or lack thereof and would have taken a different action, the latter player may take a different action unless it adversely affects a 3rd player. If you run into a problem, try to work it out and if not, ask the GM.

Please be nice and let the players entitled to a bonus know when a city or ocean is built.  (It is permissible to place 2 resource markers next to the stack of ocean tiles to serve as a reminder if Arctic Algae is in play and 1-3 markers next to the city stack to serve as a reminder if Pets/Rover Construction is/are in play.)

Production.  To minimize mistakes, do not mark production on your player board until you have a production level other than 0.  When you take production, first move your existing resources to the far right side of the production box. Then place your production on the left side. Before mixing the new resources and the old, have the player next to you audit the resources.

Moving TR/Cards Dealing.  Appoint one player to move all players’ TR and global parameters and another to deal cards.  When moving TR, state out loud what the movement is – e.g., I’m moving red from 20 to 21.

Last Turn Greenery Build.  The last turn greenery build is an extension of the current turn, so building takes place in current turn order.

Scoresheet.  Please fill out the scoresheet and start doing so before final scoring to prevent mistakes.  If 2 or more players have the same TR and the same amount of mega credits left over at the end of the game, in heats all tied players will be deemed winners; in elimination rounds, whichever tied player moved later on turn 1 will be the winner.

Terraforming Mars Random Milestones and Awards

Randomly draw 5 milestones and 5 awards.  Add Hoverlord and Venuphile if playing the Venus expansion.

The following duplicative milestones/awards cannot be used in the same game:

  • Gardener and Cultivator
  • Landlord and Cultivator
  • Builder and Contractor
  • Tycoon and Magnate
  • Miner and Industrialist
  • Terraformer and Benefactor

Do not use Desert Settler unless playing Elysium and do not use Polar Explorer unless playing Hellas.

Most Important Rule:  Have fun!


Meeple League Logo_Side Text

Terraforming Mars at EuroQuest 2022 will award Meeple League points