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Terraforming Mars (TFM) Links Email GM   Last updated May 24, 2019
Class B: Beginning Players Welcome You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demo. Be on time for the scheduled demonstration. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.
Schedule  GM: Bill Crenshaw (3rd Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Demo 1/1Mo101Exhibit Hall Annex 2
Heat 1/3FSu204Seasons
Heat 2/3Mo194Seasons
Heat 3/3We204Seasons
2019 Tournament Format HMW

Welcome to the third Terraforming Mars tournament at WBC! Congratulations to Keith Dent who beat Duncan McGregor, Pascale LaFreniere, and Greg Thatcher in last year’s finals. All Terrans seeking to terraform Mars are welcome to play, as long as they have read the rules or attended a demo.

Heat Format

All games will use the full corporate version rules (including all cards (except promo cards), corporations and production starting at 0), the drafting rules described below and have a four hour time limit. 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 expansion board.
  • Heat 3: will use the Elysium expansion board.
  • Quarterfinal: will use the Hellas expansion board
  • Semifinal: will use the Elysium expansion board.
  • Final: will use whichever board the players agree on.

Expansions: If all players agree, the Venus, Prelude and/or Colonies expansions may be used in any round. In the quarterfinal, unless all players agree, at least 2 of the expansions must be used. If there is no consensus, each player vetoes 1 expansion and the expansion with the most vetoes is not used; if tied, the veto of the #1 seed at the table prevails. In the semifinal and final, all of the expansions will be used unless all players agree. If you are not familiar with the rules for the expansions, feel free to ask the GM.


  • 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.
  • 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.


If Venus cards are used, include the Venusphile Award. Players may agree not to include the Hoverlord Milestone. (Hoverlord previously was not used in tournament play as it was potentially overpowered, but if Prelude cards are used, Milestones may be claimed early in the game, so Hoverlord is less overpowered). If there is no agreement, use it.

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 quarterfinal but may be waived in the semifinal and final if all players agree.


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.


Rules clarification: you cannot trade at Titan unless you have a floater card in play; you cannot trade at Miranda unless you have an animal card in play; you cannot trade at Enceladus unless you have a microbe card in play.

Elimination Rounds

If 16-125 heat winners appear for the quarterfinal, all heat winners (and only winners) will advance. If 21-63 heat winners appear for the quarterfinal, the quarterfinal will have as many 4-player games as possible, with some games only having 3 players. If fewer than 20 heat winners appear, there will be no quarterfinal. If fewer than 16 heat winners appear, the closest second place finisher(s) will advance to a 16 player semifinal. If 65-71 heat winners appear for the quarterfinals, there will be 16 games, some of which will be 5-player games, with the winners advancing to a 16-player semifinal. If 72-80 or more heat winners appear for the quarterfinal, there will be as many 4-player games as possible (with a few 5-player games if needed) and the top 20 finishers will advance to five 4-player semifinal, with the winners advancing to a 5-player final. If 80-125 heat winners appear for the quarterfinal, the quarterfinal will have as many 4-player games as possible, with the winners advancing to either a 20 or 25 player semifinal.

All semifinal winners will advance to the final. If one or more semifinal winners do not appear for the final, the finals will have 4-players, with the closest semifinals second place finishers advancing as necessary. (Second place finishers in 3-player game are not eligible to advance as a replacement in any elimination round.) The top 16 finishers will be seeded based on tournament performance (including avoiding 5-player games if possible).

Time Limits

All games will have a 4-hour time limit, although the game should be playable in under 3 hours. 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.

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.


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 third 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.)


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.


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 considered winners. In elimination rounds, whichever tied player moved later on turn 1 will be deemed the winner.

GM: Bill Crenshaw; Assistant GM: Eric Wrobel, Eric Guttag