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Terraforming Mars (TFM)   Updated July 2, 2023
Class A: Experienced Players Only Rules will not be explained. Neither GMs nor players will teach the game to beginners during the event. 
Schedule  GM: Bill Crenshaw (5th Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Heat 1/2FSu204Seasons
Heat 2/2We194Seasons
2023 Tournament Format Heats Most Wins - Points

Welcome to the fifth Terraforming Mars tournament at WBC! Congratulations to 2 time defending champ Eric Wrobel for his runaway victory last year over Sid Venthakesh, Ricky Boyes and Drew Doughan.

CHANGES FROM RULEBOOK. These are the key rulebook changes for this year’s tournament:

  • BANNED CORPORATIONS. DO NOT PLAY WITH MANUTECH, VITOR, POINT LUNA OR POSEIDON.When playing with expansions, shuffle the expansion corporations together and deal 2 expansion corporations and 2 base game corporations to each player. When playing with the Base board and Prelude cards, do NOT use Prelude corporations; just deal each player 2 (or if agreed by all, 3) base game corporations.
  • RANDOMIZED MILESTONES AND AWARDS. Randomized milestones and awards (if available) will be used: (1) in all games using the original board; and (2) in elimination rounds. Refer to separate rules regarding use.
  • REBALANCED CARD. Modify Toll Station so it increases MC production by 1 for each space tag held by any 1 opponent (not all opponents).
  • TURMOIL AND PROMO CARDS. Turmoil and promo cards may be used only in the Semifinal and Final and only if all players agree.
  • ,b>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. You may take 1 action and then pass for the generation.
  • 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).

Heat Format. All games will use the full corporate version rules (including all cards), corporations and production starting at 0) and the drafting rules described below. Heats will have 4-player games with some 3- or 5-player games as needed. There are only 2 heats this year. Heat 1 will use the original board (with randomized milestones and awards if available). Heat 2 will use the Hellas board. The Quarterfinals will use the Elysium board with randomized milestones and awards and the Semifinal will use the original board with randomized milestones and awards. The Final will use whichever board the players agree on with randomized milestones and awards.

Expansions. In Heats, we will try to 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 if at least 2 players request. In the Quarterfinal, unless all players agree, at least 2 expansions (other than Turmoil) must be used. If there is no consensus, each player may veto 1 expansion and the expansion with the most vetoes is not used; if tied, the #1 seed at the table decides. In the Semifinal and Final, all of the expansions (except Turmoil) will be used unless all players agree otherwise.

Drafting. Corporations. Unless players otherwise agree, deal each player 2 corporations if no expansions are used and otherwise 2 regular corporations and 2 expansion corporations. 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.

Colonies. You CAN build a colony or trade at a colony even if you cannot use their resources (Titan, Miranda or Enceladus). 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.

Elimination Rounds. Only winners advance to the Quarterfinal. If more than 64 heat winners appear for the Quarterfinal, winners will qualify based on Heats Most Wins Points standard tiebreakers 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 or 5 players; if 20 or fewer heat winners appear, there will be no Quarterfinal, the Semifinal will have 4-5 player games with winners advancing to the finals. If 6-15 Quarterfinal winners appear for the Semifinal, second place Quarterfinal finishers will advance as necessary to get to 8, 12 or 16 Semifinalist; 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 Final. If one or more Semifinal winner do not appear for the Final, the Final will have 4-players, with the closest Semifinal second place finishers in 4 player games advancing as necessary. For the Quarterfinal, the top 16 finishers will be seeded as best possible, based on tournament performance. For the Semifinal, players will be divided into 4 groups based on total tournament performance and each game will have 1 player from each group.

Time Limits. Heats and the Quarterfinal will have a 4-hour 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. The Semifinal and Final will have a soft 4 hour time limit.

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 BEFORE placing the payment into stock; (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 failure to properly implement a production box adjustment of the player playing a card MUST be corrected as soon as it is 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 take an action in the next 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 neglect to claim benefits as a result of the action of another player (e.g., Pets, Rover Construction, Arctic Algae, etc.), you must correct the mistake before you take an action in the next generation. 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. (Suggestion: 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; building occurs in current turn order.

Scoresheet. Please fill out the scoresheet and start doing so before final scoring to prevent mistakes. If you won a heat and aren’t playing in the Quarterfinal (or won in the Quarterfinal and aren’t playing in the Semifinal), please let the GM know!

Ties. If 2 or more players have the same number of victory points 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.

GM: Bill Crenshaw; Assistant GMs: Eric Wrobel, Chad Weaver

Terraforming Mars Random Milestones and Awards

Randomly draw 5 milestones and 5 awards. Add Hoverlord and Venusphile 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
  • Energizer and Industrialist
  • Terraformer and Benefactor


  1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
  2. Total Points – Players earn the following pints in each heat they entered:
    • 1st Place - 1,000 points
    • 2nd Place - 100 points
    • 3rd Place - 10 points
    • 4th Place - 1 points
    • All other places - 0 points
    • e.g. player has a 1st, 2nd, and 4th in three heats: total points would be 1,101
  3. GM Specific Tie-breaker - best net margin/defeat in all games played (margin of victory/defeat in 3-player games is halved/doubled; margin of victory/defeat in 5-player games is doubled/halved)
  4. High dice roll.