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Playing TI3 with 4 players in 2 hours

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#1 dexMilano



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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:35 PM

I like TI3 a lot, I like the plastics, the tiles, many of the cards, the turn based logic,

but with my friends we cannot spent 6 hours to have a complete game.


Do you think is there some variants we can use to limit the game to 2 hours.


Thanks in advance




#2 rbelikov



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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:41 PM

With experienced players (at least 5+ games), a 3-player game is possible in 3 hours, not counting setup / takedown time. But you have to play much longer games to get that experience.


There are 2-player variants on BGG. I have never tried them, but those may be possible in 2 hours.

#3 Wick



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Posted 01 February 2014 - 10:28 PM

I am lucky enough to have a "Man cave" with a pool/ping pong table.  I usually just leave it setup until next time. We usually end the game after picking out strategy cards for the next game round. Any Strategy phase Action cards are resolved and placed face up on target ( on race card, on system tile or on a strategy card as the case may be.) We even take a few notes and I take an electronic picture of the game board just in case it gets messed up some how.  Pre-game as much as you can, keep good records, and take the extra time to set everything up before the game (this assumes that you are not the person with the time constraints.) 


If you are not so lucky. save time by setting up prior to game start. Take pic of the board set up, select races and starting strategy cards. Have the board set up before they arrive. You could even have them use the optional rules of the quick start and set their board up prior to their arrival for the main event of the game. Then get a timer and give the players a set time limit on their action. If they go over it you make them use a strategy card (random or maybe by initiative value.) If the have used those strategy cards make them pass. Just like in speed chess if you dawdle too much you will lose. If there is a rules conflict or disagreement have the players dice off and play the rest of that game under that ruling (just make sure you clarify the rule before the next game.) Penalize players for being tardy, after all 15 minutes late to a 2 hour game is significant.


If you have a hex map program you can send the players a copy of the map layout and game master their opening moves before the arrive for the main game too.   Really this game takes some time to thinks things through so it is not recommended to try to cram it all in besides where is the enjoyment in that.  So if you can break it up over multiple sessions than do so. You may also look up or make scenarios where the map and force placement is already set up and the players only have a few game rounds to reach the objective or objectives. 


I guess the best way to answer your question would be for you to specify the problem. Are you not able to keep the game set up? Why the time constraint?

Edited by Wick, 01 February 2014 - 10:29 PM.

#4 Steve-O



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Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:34 AM

I like TI3 a lot, I like the plastics, the tiles, many of the cards, the turn based logic,
but with my friends we cannot spent 6 hours to have a complete game.
Do you think is there some variants we can use to limit the game to 2 hours.

To be honest, I'm not sure this is possible. It would require some pretty heavy house rules, I think.  TI3 is a fantastic game, God bless it, but it is not short.


I would start with the following variants (some official, some not) and see how it goes:

1) use the short VP track (duh)

2) no Distant Suns/Final Frontiers (is that the name of the "space DS tokens?")

3) set up the board yourself in advance of the game.  Maybe use one of the pre-set maps to ensure balanced distribution of planets.

4) don't use any optional rules that add more components to the game - no leaders, no relics, etc.  Flagships are probably best left out.

5) DO use the variant that puts all POs face up right off the bat. (I forget the name)

6) Get rid of political cards.  They generate debate during voting and introduce new rules mid-game, neither of which will help you finish the game in such a strict time limit.  You may want to remove some of the more politically oriented races as well, just so nobody has to deal with a race that has useless abilities now.

7) Also ban Yssaril.  Not because they're too powerful, but because their skip ability has a tendency to draw out the game.

8) You might consider some house rules for speeding up ships and/or encouraging faster production.  Using lots of wormholes on the map is also an option.

9) Give everybody 2 or 3 free trade goods at the start of each new round (at the same time that they get CCs.)  While you're at it, maybe give people more CCs each round.

10) Give some serious thought to using the original SCs.  The Initiative/Bureaucracy clock might be mind-numbingly predictable, but it also keeps the game moving toward an end point.

Edited by Steve-O, 02 February 2014 - 08:39 AM.

#5 dexMilano



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Posted 03 February 2014 - 01:55 AM

Thanks guys,

I will keep your suggestions.


I think that a faster game could help to play TI3 more times.

It is clear it should be a different game.

But I like a lot "things" in the box, and I like the idea to use them also for different games.


I agree that a "variant" should be designed adhoc.

I already designed a couple of variants (on BGG) and I think to design a new one.

I'm looking suggestion to define an approach for it.




#6 Lynyrd



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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:45 AM


I am looking for some possibility to speed up the game too.

In the rulebook I found the optional rule "Age of Empire", which limited the game to 7-10 rounds regardless of the VP.

Does somebody have experince in using this rule?
Does sombody tried the following combination:
Using "Age of Empire" rule fully and include the winning condition with 10 VP

Does this speed up the game?

#7 adamwehn



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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:08 AM

I don't think I'd want a game to take two hours, at that point in my opinion it no longer is Twilight Imperium.  Part of why it takes so long is the depth of the game play, when you start trying to shorten the game invariably you're going to cut out the depth of the gameplay.

Edited by adamwehn, 23 February 2014 - 07:08 AM.

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