The restrictions to be met for playing a card are always clear when referring to temperature; they either say "temperature below or equal to X degrees" or "above or equal to X degrees". However, when the restriction is on oxygen level, we have only found cards explicitly saying "below or equal to X% level", but none explicitly stating "above or equal to X% level". We therefore have the doubt on how to interpret the restriction for those that state only "X% level". Does it mean the card can only be played when the oxygen level is that "exact X% level"? Or can it be played when it is "X% level or above"? Thanks!


It's a minimum.

From the designer (on this post):

All maximum requirements have a 'max' in the requirement box and have a red background color in the box. All other requirements are minimum requirements (and should have been explained as such) and have a yellow background color in the requirement box. Most requirements are of the 'minimum' type, so we thought it would clutter up the cards too much to have a 'min' there. 'Minimum' is, after all, the most natural type of requirement.

  • Thanks Scott! However, the requirements for temperature DO say either "max -24ºC" or when it says "-24ºC" the text at the bottom explains "Requires -24ºC OR WARMER" as in the "LICHEN" card. However, the cards with requirements on Oxygen, such as "ZEPPELINS", which at the top states "5%", in the text at the bottom ONLY says "Requires 5% oxygen", but does not explicitly say "or higher". I think this asymmetry is not justified and causes unnecessary discussion in players that are starting to play Terraforming Mars.;-) But thanks for your clarification. Jan 7 at 15:57
  • Right. the designer also agrees that it should have been otherwise: "All other requirements are minimum requirements (and should have been explained as such)" Jan 7 at 16:14

It is "X% level or above".

The rulebook gives a few examples of cards, along with the restrictions of when they can be played. Card "D" in the example list is Livestock, which shows "9% oxygen as a requirement", and the rules state:

To play card D, the oxygen level must be 9% or higher. You also need to have plant production, since the card requires you to decrease your plant production.

(Emphasis mine).

Card E is Shuttles, and it shows the same requirement icon, needing 5% oxygen. The rules state:

Card E requires 5% oxygen and energy production.

So the rules consider "requires x% oxygen" to be interchangeable with "requires x% oxygen or more".

  • Great, thanks Gendolkari! I wasn't sure of this since the requirements on temperature are really clear while these aren't. But, indeed, the first example in the rules book is clear about this (although the second is not ;-) ). Jan 7 at 15:45

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