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: Jason Leggett


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 finishers (TBD) from the Final will receive a plaque.

The 2021 rules are still being determined. Here are the rules from the 2019 event for reference. 

Event Description

Preliminary Rounds

Format  All games will use the full corporate version rules and the drafting rules described below.  Heats will have 4-player games with some 3-player games and have a 3½ hour time limit.   Heat 1 (Thursday 2:30 p.m.) will use the original board (with randomized milestones and awards if available – see separate rules); Heat 2 (Friday 11 a.m.) will use the Hellas expansion board and Heat 3 (Saturday 10 a.m.) will use the Elysium expansion board and the option to use randomized milestones and awards if agreed.  We will try to accommodate whether the Venus, Prelude and Colony expansions will be used in heats.

The semifinals (Saturday 4 p.m.) will use the Elysium board and the finals (Sunday 9 a.m.) will use the original board. The semifinals will use at least 2 of the Venus, Prelude and Colonies expansions and randomized milestones and awards unless the majority at the table agree otherwise. The finals will use the Venus, Prelude and Colonies expansions board with randomized milestones and awards unless all players agree not to do so.


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 1 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 cards. Choose a corporation and which of the 10 project cards to buy.

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.

Venus  If Venus cards are 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 the heats but may be waived in later rounds if all players agree.

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 has been completed, keep 1 Prelude card, pass the rest to the left until all players have 4 Prelude cards, then choose 2.

Colonies  You cannot build a colony or trade at: Titan unless you have played a floater card; Miranda unless you have played an animal card, or Enceladus unless you have played a microbe card. 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.  The FAQ clarifies you must be able to place a tile to play a card providing for tile placement (unless it is an ocean tile and they are all placed) despite the contrary statement on page 10 in the rulebook.  (For example, Lava Flows would be unplayable if all the allowable spaces have been built on.)

Elimination Rounds

If there are 25 or fewer heat winners, all heat winners will advance to the semifinals.

If 6-15 heat winners appear for the semifinals, second place finishers will advance as necessary to get to 8, 12 or 16 semifinalists; the winners will advance to a 4-player final.

If there are only 2 or 3 semifinal games, the closest second place semifinal finisher(s) will advance to the finals.

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.  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.  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.  For heats with a strict time limit, the GM will make an announcement when there are 30-45 minutes left.  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.  To speed play the GM may require all players to take 2 actions each 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 2021 will award Meeple League points