Terraforming Mars

Designer Jacob Fryxelius
Artist Isaac Fryxelius
Publisher FryxGames, Stronghold Games

Boardgamegeek Info:

Welcome to the inaugural 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
Asst GM: Eric Wrobel


Full learning game/demo : Thurs 9:30 AM

The rules will be taught, and those who choose to do so may play through a full game. The GMs will remain available to answer any rules questions.

Please note that any game played at this time will not count as a Heat.

See schedule for Heat times


The top finisher from the Final will receive a plaque.

Event Description

Preliminary Rounds

All heats will use the full corporate version rules (including all cards, corporations and production starting at 0), the drafting rules described below and have a three hour time limit.  Heats will have 4-player games with some 3-player games as needed.

Drafting.  Initial draft. At the start of the game, deal each player 2 corporations and 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 which starting corporation and which of the 10 project cards to buy.  (If playing the full corporate game and there are 4 players, deal each player 3 corporations to choose from).

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

Time Limits.  Heats will have a strict 3-hour time limit (although heats starting at night will have a slightly more flexible time limit — anyone insisting on a tighter time limit should let the GM know before the game).  For heats with a strict time limit, the GM will make an announcement when there are 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.

Elimination Rounds

The top 16 players will advance to the semifinals.  The semifinals and the final will use the same rules as the heats, except each player will be dealt 3 corporations rather than 2.  The semifinal pairings will be seeded based on tournament performance.

If more than 16 heat winners appear for the semifinal, winners will qualify in the following order: (1) most games won; (2) most games finishing second (in addition to game won); and (3) margin of victory in game won.

If fewer than 16 heat winners appear for the semifinals, all heat winners will qualify and second place finishers will qualify in the following order:  (1) most games finishing second; and (2) closest margin of defeat.

Time Limits.  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 he or she wants and the other players sitting randomly around him/her 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 before you finish your next turn 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:  (1) failed to reduce a production box of ANOTHER player; (2) failed to remove resources from another player; or (3) failed to take resources awarded by a card, you do not get the benefit involved.

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 before you finish your next turn that generation or you do not get the benefit.  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 on top of the stack of ocean tiles to serve as a reminder if Arctic Algae is in play and 1-3 markers on top of the city stack to serve as a reminder if Pets/Rover Construction is/are in play.)

If you run into a problem, try to work it out and if not, ask the GM.

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 Terraforming Rating.  Appoint one player to move all players’ TR. Whenever that player moves TR, he/she should state out loud what the movement is – e.g., I’m moving red from 20 to 21.

Card Dealing.  Appoint one player to deal cards. The player moving first is dealt the first card each turn.

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. Since this is a new tournament, please take the time to fill it out as requested.

Misbehaving Terrans.  Any Terrans not properly respecting the honor of being allowed to Terraform Mars may be released to the planet prior to completion of terraforming (and if you’ve seen or read The Martian, you know that’s not a pretty picture).  i.e., be a good sport and take any adverse card play as a good Martian would.

Feedback.  Feedback, and particularly suggestions for next year’s tournament format, are welcome.

Most Important Rule:  Have fun!


Non-tournament handicapping suggestion.  If you have a newbie(s) playing with equally experienced players, have the newbie(s) start with 1 production and the experienced players with 0.  If some players are better than others, have the best player(s) start with 0 production and have the other players start with 1 production in between 1-6 categories, depending on how much of a handicap they want or deserve.  Roll dice or draw cards to determine which of the six categories start production at 1 (1 being credits, 2 steel, 3 titanium, 4 plants, 5 energy and 6 heat).  Whoever wins gets 1 or 2 fewer 1 level productions next game.  (Caveat: if a card requires a player to have production to reduce another player’s production, the player playing the card must have earned that production – i.e., the player cannot rely on the free production to reduce another player’s.)