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#1 pedrotronic

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 09:16 PM

Hello:

I have bought TI3 + expansion and I want to make a 5-6 players play with newbies (me too I'm newbie)

Which races I should take and which rules I may use???

Should I use all the cards of the expansion, only Imperial II or what???

Thanks in advanced.

 



#2 Dax

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:11 PM

My suggestion; play the basic game without the expansion and with the original Imperial.

 

Why? Because the Imperial will act as a clock, your first game will probably take for ever to finish otherwise. Newbies tend to build huge fleets and buy a lot of tech instead of trying to score VP:s

And after you play with the expansion you will never want to go back to the “old” version so if you want to play the original version, do it now or you will never do so. It is also easier to play without the expansion in the beginning (less things to keep track off)
 



#3 pedrotronic

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:14 PM

But Imperial with 2 points or home rule 1 point???

 



#4 Actuarialnutt

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:38 AM

Use the Two Point version.  I still play with the 2-point version regularly, and even in games where all the players have played at least a couple of times the games still take about 6 to 8 hours.  The biggest purpose of Imperial is preventing the game from lasting a week.

I agree that you should start with just the base game.  Exclude leaders.  Distant suns could be excluded, but they make the game really fun and give everyone practice on invasion combat in opening rounds.  Races that should be avoided by new players (in my opinion) are the Xxcha, Yssaril, Emirates of Hacan, and Jol Nar.  Once you've played some games those races will be really fun to use, but they can be an extra challenge for new players.  You could also try using the one of the preset maps to save time setting up the game (you can just approximate a map using the base game's hexes to keep it simple.)

Hope that helps!



#5 BigKahuna

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:37 AM

Wow, ok sorry guys but this is just terrible advice.

If time is your main issue, using the Imperial Strategy Card is without question the worse possible way to speed things up.  This card has nothing good about it at all and you can just as easily simply give a player 2 points (in round robin order) every round and have the same effect without all the terrible drawbacks of the Imperial Strategy card, and more importantly without all the broken and negative effects the card has on the game as a whole.

My suggestion for first timers looking to get through their first game is to

1. Play with all public objectives open (this will speed the game up a lot).

2. Don't play with Distun Suns, Leaders or any of the other 'extras' if using the expansion.

3. Don't play with secret objectives.

4. Play till 7 points.

 

Even if you have never played you'll finish a game under 6 hours.  Never schedule a game session unless you have at least 6 hours and over time slowly add elements of the game you think can make it more interesting.  Eventually you will be able to play with the entire set and still finishing in 6-7 hours.



#6 pedrotronic

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

Time is no problem



#7 BigKahuna

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:00 AM

pedrotronic said:

Time is no problem

If time is not an issue bud, then there is even less reason to use the Imperial Strategy card, especially if you have the expansion.  The game is without question (I think most will agree with me here) 1000% better using the expansion cards rather then the original.

The Ideal Game in my eyes would be setup like this.

1. Leaders

2. Using Expansion SC's and swapping out Warfare I for Warefare II.

3. Draw 2 pick 1 Secret Objectives (this is done after the galaxy is built).

4. Political Cards cannot be traded in for Trade Goods (but can be traded in for votes).

5. Simulated Early Turns

6.  First two public objectives up, the rest down (Imperium Rex removed from the deck).

7. Mecatol Guardians

8. 1 extra PDF for Xxcha.  Allow Clan of Saar to recieve its extra trade goods in the Simulated Early Turns rounds when they claim planets.

9. Play to 10 points or play to 14 points with Artifact Planets

Optionally I might suggest some race card changes for certain races, but its not a nescessity.

With this setup on a 6 player game your facing at least 7 hours of play (possibly 8), however in my personal experiance it makes for the most interesting game.  No distunt suns, no faucilities or colonies.  No Mines or Shock Troops (although some might appear do to cards or special planets, we usually don't bother removing them).



#8 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:41 AM

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!

Do NOT use Simulated Early Turns EVER!

It hurts some races and helps others far too much. You lose half the early game strategy too.

 

Race Changes:

Xxcha: +2 GF

Norr: +1 TG or 1 resource worth of units

Mentak: Steal immediately after Trade is completed.

 

Game Rules:

1) Play to 9 VP as stated

2) Use the expansion Strategy Cards (optional switching in the Warfare I card)

3) Artifacts (some modification to make duds worthwhile is good)

4) Guardians of MR

5) PCs cannot be traded in for TGs

6) Leaders (optional depending on your groups opinion)

7) 2 SOs, pick 1 or modify some of the SOs to make them equal

8) Draw 2 random races and pick one

9) Objectives as written

 

Do NOT use:

1) Voice of the Council

2) Distant Suns

3) Simulated Early Turns

 

 

This should give a relatively balanced (in terms of not being random) game and is easily finished in 6 hours or less.



#9 BigKahuna

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:35 PM

Beren_Erchamion said:

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!

Do NOT use Simulated Early Turns EVER!

It hurts some races and helps others far too much. You lose half the early game strategy too.

I couldn't disagree more.  Simulated Early Turns (SET), effecitvly eliminates the early round player elimination (at least eliminations from contention) which in my experiance is a very good thing.  The impact on racial start positions is severly overstated here, its actually barely even noticable and the result of SET on strategy is that it gives everyone (regardless of race) a fair starting position from which to build a successful strategy. 

Before my group and I started playing with SET it never failed that one or two players were taken out of contention in the early rounds resulting in the 'angry play' effect in which players aren't trying to win, but are out to 'get someone' for screwing them in the early rounds.  This usually leads to straight up king making and makes for a pretty negative gaming experiance.

SET basicaly levels the playing field and while I agree to some extent some races get screwed, its a pretty minor screw and most of the races negativly effected are from the stronger pool of races (like Ysarril Tribes for example) which in the broader scope of the game is not that big of a deal.

Just my opinion but my suggestion is to try both, I think you are more likely to settle on playing with SET as this creates a far more balanced game then trying to play out those early rounds,.



#10 Lord_Nerdhammer

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:29 AM

Beren_Erchamion said:

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!

Do NOT use Simulated Early Turns EVER!

Unless you want to speed up the game, then go ahead and use them.

I also like them because it gives some of the less warlike races a better foothold on the galaxy. Keeping players from getting wiped out in the first few turns by more warlike neighbors.

Our group uses them every game and it works out just fine.

 

 



#11 Psyco

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 07:15 AM

I agree with Beren about SET, but not for the same reasons.  I just the beginning of the game should be more exciting and my experience is that SET has about as much flavor Elmer's Glue.

Beren is correct on most else, but is HORRIBLY wrong concerning a couple of elements; 1)Distant Suns are great.  As noted above my FTF group likes to have something important possibly happen even in the first round.  If it's just a big galaxy with open planets, it's lame.  2) VotC can be lots of fun.  Just make it mandatory whenever the #3 card is picked.  If you want extra flavor, have each player split their total votes between the proposed agenda and VotC. 3)PC's as TG's.  Some poo-poo this variant but I've never found anything to be wrong with it and I personally like the flexibility of it.  Unless time is an option, always use Leaders because they round out each race.

Race Variants(different than already listed); Give Xxcha +2 GF & have Diplomacy Ability mirror the Jol Nar Tech ability (as in, both primary & secondary).  Yssaril only have Antimass to start.

Race Selection in my group works very well by having each player (depending on the size) eliminate 1 race from the game.  That way you can avoid getting the same race each time or just get rid of the mutally agreed upon crappy races.



#12 BigKahuna

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:53 AM

Just wanted to add one more thing to the pot here about SET.

This is something you'll have to test out yourself, but I can guarantee you that if you take the same exact races and galaxy setup and play out the first 2 turns and take a picture of it, then clear the board and start the same game with SET, the results will be extremly similiar.  Players will own the same planets, have roughly the same amount of units and be in roughly the same general position.  Grant it the political situation might be different since players have 2 rounds to interact, but the disputes over territory will probobly be the same.

My point is that the first two rounds are anything but exciting.  Its basicaly completetly predictable, I can take any galaxy setup and tell you exactly what planets everyone will own after round two.  I mean its not magic, its just common sense. 

SET basicaly starts the game in round 2 when the game starts to get exciting and things actually start happening, unless as mentioned your playing with distunt suns, but in my humble opinion distunt suns are about as exciting as car accidents.  They are definitly a suprise but its basicaly nothing more then a completly random crap shoot which you can do nothing about except pray that you survive it. 



#13 sigmazero13

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:53 AM

BigKahuna said:

This is something you'll have to test out yourself, but I can guarantee you that if you take the same exact races and galaxy setup and play out the first 2 turns and take a picture of it, then clear the board and start the same game with SET, the results will be extremly similiar.  Players will own the same planets, have roughly the same amount of units and be in roughly the same general position.  Grant it the political situation might be different since players have 2 rounds to interact, but the disputes over territory will probobly be the same.

I don't know if I completely agree with this.  From the games of SET I've played, I've noted that some races get a decent advantage by it, some races get a bit of a disadvantage by it.

The Muaat, for example, tend to be slow to expand the first couple rounds, due to their lack of transports.  Set lets them bypas this a bit by giving them more units near the beginning of the game than they'd normally get, and be ready to go with more planets very soon.

The Hacan are a bit shafted, as during the first two round, Trade is usually played in there at least once, and the Hacan use this time to negotiate, and get some TGs on the second round.

The Saar are also shafted, as they don't get thier TG bonus for getting planets.

 

I think SET is good for first time players, to speed it up, but even if there's little action the first couple rounds, I think SET doesn't really accomplish what it sets out to do in a completely "balanced" way.



#14 BigKahuna

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:31 AM

sigmazero13 said:

I think SET is good for first time players, to speed it up, but even if there's little action the first couple rounds, I think SET doesn't really accomplish what it sets out to do in a completely "balanced" way.

Well there is balanced and then there is equal and I think the two often get sort of mushed together and then promptly seperated depending on the situation.  For example we talk about 'balancing' races often as everyone agrees that the races are not balanced, but no one attempts to make them equal, they just need to have relative balance as a whole. This is always a matter of opinion and debatable but there are some consensus in this regard, like for example most people will agree that the Xxcha are too weak in comparison to the other races. 

SET simply sticks to the formula of variants which ultimatly alter the starting conditions of the game and potentialy strengthning or weakning the postions of players who happen to be playing certain races. I believe that the effect it has on the races is really not that relevant since there are many things that can in any given game give a race one race an advantage while screwing another. 

I guess the point I'm making and I actually make quite often about TI3 is that you can say that its not a balanced game because their is nothing in the game that starts out 'equal and so any variant, race, card or anything in the game can easily be debated as to wether or not its balanced'. Most importantly however is that starting conditions for races are all drasticaly different and depending on the setup of the game their position might strengthen or weaken which is always arguably unbalanced.  SET simply continues along that same tradition as any other  variant and all it does is change the strength or weakness of the positions of certain races, in the same way playing with distunt suns, leaders or wether you do or don't play with the expansion does.  Its just another 'element' of change, but I don't think it derails the game anymore or less then any other variant you use.

Certainly I agree that like any variant its easy to break it down and start house ruling it to bring the balance tighter but personaly in my experiance most 'adjustments' of rules that we house rule as a group inadvertantly create some other counter 'weakening' or 'strengthening' of another races/players starting conditions.  It's kind of enevitable with so many variables all inner mixing with each other.  At some point you just have to say... screw it lets just play already, because otherwise we could debate the balance of everything until we are blue in the face and there will never be a consensus in that regard.

SET as a whole does a good job of speeding up the game and getting the players through what is usually (perhaps not always) a boring stage of the game.  Does it effect the races? of course it does, but keep in mind there is nothing you can add or remove from the game that will NOT effect the races because everything effects the races in one way or another.

Personaly I think SET is one of the few variants who's impact is pretty minimal.  I would suggest house ruling the Clan of Saar, as this is probobly the race which is most affected by SET.  After all the key advantage of the Clan of Saar is that everytime they claim a planet they get trade goods.  This can amount to 6-10 trade goods in the openning rounds and that is quite a significant impact.  There are many suggestions on the forum in the the case of the Saar and SET but in my group we actually forgot to adjust them one time and in that particular game the player won with the Saar hence the debate about their SET related starting condition kind of died right then and there. Proving once again that this games complexity of this game extends beyond any concivable way to predict anything beyond the first couple of rounds.



#15 sigmazero13

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:47 AM

Well, again, I can only speak from my experience, but I've found the impact to be far from "minimal" in terms of shifting the gameplay balance.  I agree some races, like the Xxcha and N'orr get boosted a bit to make their opening game a bit more usable with SET.  But the Muaat, for instance, an already powerful race, get an even BETTER start with SET.  The Yssaril, already very fast to start, get even better with SET as they can get even closer to their goals right off the bat.

I don't think SET is an equalizer or balancer at all.  Yes, it speeds up the game, but I don't think the cost is worth it.  My group has all come to the agreement that we'll never use SET again unless we are REALLY pressed for time - it's left that much of a sour taste in our mouths.



#16 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:12 PM

BigKahuna said:

My point is that the first two rounds are anything but exciting.  Its basicaly completetly predictable, I can take any galaxy setup and tell you exactly what planets everyone will own after round two.  I mean its not magic, its just common sense. 

 

Please do so with this map as soon as everyone has their starting location chosen....

http://ti3wiki.org/index.php?title=The_Five_PBeM



#17 BigKahuna

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:38 AM

Beren_Erchamion said:

 

BigKahuna said:

 

My point is that the first two rounds are anything but exciting.  Its basicaly completetly predictable, I can take any galaxy setup and tell you exactly what planets everyone will own after round two.  I mean its not magic, its just common sense. 

 

 

 

Please do so with this map as soon as everyone has their starting location chosen....

http://ti3wiki.org/index.php?title=The_Five_PBeM

 

 

 

Given that you are not following the normal game set up rules (actually not following most of the setup rules) on this one, the openning sequence will be equally none standard.  Obviously when I said the game was predictable in the openning rounds I was refering to a standard Twilight Imperium game.  I can only assume that if your not following the setup rules you are probobly changing other rules as well which would probobly make it even less possible to predict.  Good Luck with that one.



#18 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:00 PM

pedrotronic said:

Hello:

I have bought TI3 + expansion and I want to make a 5-6 players play with newbies (me too I'm newbie)

Which races I should take and which rules I may use???

Should I use all the cards of the expansion, only Imperial II or what???

Thanks in advanced.

 

 

My suggestions are as follows. The simpler the better for your first game or it may take you 12 hours.

 

Do NOT use Naalu, Saar or Muaat. Naalu and Saar tend to confuse first time players with thei racial abilities. Muaat is just plain hard to play until you ahve a handle on the game.

 

Good races for beginners: Sol, Norr, Letnev, L1z1x, Hacan, Mentak, Winnu (remember Winnu's racial abilities, they are easily forgotten)

The other races are alright, but a tad bit tougher to play.

 

RULES

Expansion Strategy Cards (Bureaucracy is generally better, but Imperial II can be fun)

Expansion Objectives (Gives more warfare related objectives so there is less "turtling")

Wormhole Nexus (You may forget it's there, but this is a key addition to the game and should be included. Note that it is NOT needed for the Keeper of Gates SO)

Artifacts (Adds more VPs which makes for a quicker game)

Voice of the Council (Optional, I don't like it personally, but it is a good addition to the game.)

Sabotage Runs (Just because they're cool. I never see anyone actually do one.)

Racial Techs (These balance a lot of the races that were underdogs in the original version.)

NO NOs

Whatever you do your first time playing, do NOT use Simulated Early Turns. You may find  you have a liking for it later and that's all fine and good, but the more playing you do the first game the more you will learn.

 

 

Good luck and have fun!



#19 Beren_Erchamion

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:01 PM

BigKahuna said:

Beren_Erchamion said:

 

BigKahuna said:

 

My point is that the first two rounds are anything but exciting.  Its basicaly completetly predictable, I can take any galaxy setup and tell you exactly what planets everyone will own after round two.  I mean its not magic, its just common sense. 

 

 

 

Please do so with this map as soon as everyone has their starting location chosen....

http://ti3wiki.org/index.php?title=The_Five_PBeM

 

 

 

Given that you are not following the normal game set up rules (actually not following most of the setup rules) on this one, the openning sequence will be equally none standard.  Obviously when I said the game was predictable in the openning rounds I was refering to a standard Twilight Imperium game.  I can only assume that if your not following the setup rules you are probobly changing other rules as well which would probobly make it even less possible to predict.  Good Luck with that one.

 

And this is exactly why I don't use SET. You should try out the Star by Star Variant to set up some time. It makes for a far more interesting game than the out of the box set up.



#20 sigmazero13

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 04:32 PM

Indeed, I can vouch for that.  I'm largely opposed to major game variants, because I like the game as written, but two variants that I do kind of like are:

1) Dreadnoughts roll 2 dice in battle when undamaged.  They count as 2 units for production purposes.  War suns take 3 hits to kill, roll one die per hit they have left, and count as 3 units for production purposes.  This variant makes Dreadnoughts more worthwhile, but still balances their added power (both with the non-constant dice, and the extra "production").  War Suns become better than they are because they take one extra hit, but they also lose power as they are hurt, and take up quite a bit of production to build.  I just like this one.

2) Star-by-Star.  This one I like, but don't "need" to make things fun, but I like how something so simple as more control over home system placement can add a LOT of interesting twists to the game without drastically altering the balance.  In a way, it can actually ENSURE more balance as no player is "stuck" in a bad starting position just because of having a bad hand - anyone can end up pretty much anywhere in the galaxy.

 

I just don't like SET because although the first few rounds may be "repetitive", they often set the tempo for the rest of the game.






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