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Is Twilight Imperium good for my group?


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#1 Innsmouth13

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:42 AM

 My group I play with only has tried Arkham Horror and Battlestar Galatica. We have all expansions for both and love both games. I am thinking of asking for TI3 for my birthday this year but I have some questions about it.
1) How vital are the expansions?
2) how complicated is TI3 compared to AH & BSG?
3) how easily can the components be condensed and stored?
4 and final) if you had to rank TI3, AH, and BSG in order of which is more fun for a group of four, what would it be?

 

Thanks in advance and happy gaming.


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#2 Goldherz

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:59 AM

 I dont know AH & BSG.

 

But i look a long time for a game for my group we can play a lot of times to get a deep playing experience. TI3 is the best we found till now.

I played a lot of strategie games. Diplomacy, Axis & Allies, Runewars and a lot more.

I think TI3 is a good game if you group wants a really complex game. It needs a lot of time. If you know the rules about 10h per round.

We are experienced players but we need a long time to completly understand the gamerules. But they are clearly structered and without paradoxes.

 

In summary the game has a lot of interesting aspects and a lot of interesting races with really individual abilitys. its a lot of fun in the first time plays to explore the options with the races and the complex techtree.

 

If you like long play sessions and a complex game with a lot of aspects and high playing deep its a good game for your group. You players should like a real challenge.

The expansions are a must have in my opinion. They complet the ruleset and bring some nice aspects such as techs special for each race. special motherships for each race etc. So the races be really specificy and have each an own playstile.

 

 

 



#3 Panzerkanzler

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:14 AM

Innsmouth13 said:

3) how easily can the components be condensed and stored?

 

A long time ago I ordered 100 zip-lock bags. I've used some to organize my various other games but I'm VERY glad I had those bags when I got Twilight Imperium. I've used roughly 30 of the bags to sort counters, ships, tokens and other bits. I also keep the map hexes sorted in the bags according to empty, filled and special systems, so as to minimize wear and tear. I have both the expansions and we use almost all the optional rules. The box of the original base game is pretty much filled to the brim with stuff. All the ziplock bags add some padding but they're a must in my opinion. As long as everything is intelligently sorted you can speed up the pre-game-sorting-phase considerably.



#4 Team Wrong

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:51 PM

My group are avid players of AH though we've never tried Galatica (on the to-do list!).  I even have every AH expansion set and we play all sorts of crazy variations with AH.  TI is IMHO on a whole other level.  Honestly, I think it's on a whole other level compared to almost any other game out there.  My group loves it.  We play a lot, at one point playing every weekend.  I consider TI the top of the pyramid for boardgames, it's for pretty hardcore gamers because of the length of play (I've played 9 hour games!), the complexity of rules, the strategies and all the moving parts that your in control of.

It's got more moving parts than the basic AH though less cards.  Pretty much what everyone says is true about how long the game is.  It can really be a whole day affair (just Google the horror/delight stories!).  It is a game with a lot more depth in everything.  Resource management, strategy, tactics and table diplomacy.  It's the diplomacy that we love the most.  You negotiate everything and nothing is binding!  I (and everyone else on this forum) could go on and on about how great this game is but I'll try to sum up a couple things.  AH and BG are co-op, with the exception of BG eventually making the Cylon traitor.  In TI it's everyone for themselves.  Everyone there has to want to win for the game to be enjoyable.  So it can get really competitive (but don't things personally!).  So the dynamic is obviously quite different from a co-op game.  And there's a lot to remember though about 70-80% of the rules become very intuitive when you actually start playing the game.  So don't let the thick rule book intimidate you.  I actually teach this game a lot (cons and so forth) and everyone agrees that the game becomes pretty intuitive when you actually start playing.

The expansion sets are awesome.  Though they're kinda a situation where you don't know what you're missing until you get it and it's a lot another $60 for each expansion.  Once you play with one of them, you'll never play without them.  They really are that good and they even fix some of the issues from the basic box.  But are they vital?  No they're not, and my group played the basic for some time before I decided to shell out the cash for the other expansions.  And I really understand what Goldherz means about them being a must have because they really are awesome expansions but are they vital?  No.  Kinda like Dunwich isn't vital to AH but it's a pretty awesome expansion.  

The other advice I can recommend is to watch some youtube videos.  There are some pretty good ones out there that describe the mechanics and the play of the game and you may better gauge if this is the game for your group.  Most of them are really long but it usually takes me about 1 hour just to explain rules and I'm really practiced at teaching this game.

Like Panzerkanzler I got zip lock bags for everything and I fit both expansion sets with the basic set in the original box and it completely closes.  Though I've been wanting to get some plano boxes to better organize everything.  So storage isn't a problem as long as you got room for original box.

And your last question, again I've never played BG and I really love AH a lot but TI is quite possibly my favorite boardgame ever.  And this is among all those other games we all play like Agricola, Settlers, Eclipse, Ticket to Ride, etc..  The real challenge is finding other people who loves it as much and are willing to devote an entire day to just playing one boardgame.  Hope this helps a bit!

Oh and it's a long shot but I live in the Orange County area in California.  If by some slim chance you live nearby, I'm always willing to teach new people the grand wonderment that is Twilight Imperium.  May the Lazax rule again!

 



#5 Treguard

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:17 PM

Team Wrong said:

  May the Lazax rule again!

But they're so tasty when cooked right..



#6 Kerrin2

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:04 AM

By the way, here is an excellent web walkthrough of the first few rounds of a three player game of Twilight Imperium:

http://www.preeminen...ome/index.shtml

And, here is an fairly decent YouTube walkthrough (and there are several others on YouTube as well):

These may give you a good idea of how the game plays.



#7 Innsmouth13

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:00 AM

Thanks everyone for your input.  Team Wrong, I live on the other side of the country in New Jersey.  My group doesn't care about the comeptive or co-op aspect, we like a great epic story and fun.  I'll be honest the length of play is what has me worried cause my group normally can't meet till after noon and some of the guys have short  attention spans (they like food).  One more question, compared to AH, how much free space do you need for the "board"?


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#8 Fnoffen

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:36 AM

Compared to AH you need at least the same amount of space. If you have the plastic bits sorted in plano or tackle boxes you could possibly save some table space.


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#9 Shadow

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:56 AM

You need a table the size of your kitchen table is ideal but it can be smaller.

Alot of players like to spend time arranging their ships into groups like destroyers, carriers, crusiers etc.  so the extra space helps.

You also get alot of planet cards, action cards, political cards etc. so extra space is a nice thing to have if you have it.

 

As far as players disappearing for a while, well……. they will learn their lesson about that in this game to not to do that.

This game is designed to punish people who leave the table….

In this game, every player picks a strategy card.   When the player does his strategy card, everyone else can do the secondary of the card if they choose.

But if you are not at the table, everyone assumes you do not want to do it.

 

So player 1 leaves the table.  Player 2 flips the strategy card called Technology to recieve a free tech.  Everyone else can buy a tech.

When player 1 comes back, he may have lost out to buy some tech especially if player 5 is doing his turn already.

 

Also if a player leaves the table too long, everyone at the table may plot to divide up his empire.  So players like to leave the table as a group for a break time to prevent group plotting like this. 

You know you are in trouble when you come back to the table and every player is smiling at you. 



#10 Kerrin2

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:24 AM

Innsmouth13 said:

One more question, compared to AH, how much free space do you need for the "board"?

I have each color of my Twilight Imperium ships in separate, small Plano boxes. With each player needing:

  • A box of ships
  • Race card
  • Command counters
  • Control makers
  • Planet cards
  • Action cards
  • Political cards
  • Secret objective cards
  • …and whatever else

We manage to play with each person utilizing a 2-foot wide by 1-foot deep section of the table for all their stuff.

The board takes up a fair bit of room on the table (not so bad for up to 6 players, but pretty big for 7 or 8) so depending upon the size of your table you might want some small side tables for folks to keep some of their stuff on (also handy for keeping snacks and drinks away from the main table).

If you are used top playing Arkham Horror, then you probably have a good sized table.



#11 Team Wrong

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

Treguard said:

Team Wrong said:

  May the Lazax rule again!

 

But they're so tasty when cooked right..

LOL! 

Innsmouth13:

In response to the table space, I definitely won't disagree with what everyone else has already wrote about space.  I'll just add a bit more to what's been said.  If you only play with the basic AH game, I definitely feel TI needs more space, especially the more players the more space.  Maybe a 3-4 player TI game takes the same room as AH and I'll lean more towards 3 players than the 4.

What Shadow said about players wanting to layout their armada is very true.  Some players absolutely love doing this.  If you keep everything except what's currently in play in plastic boxes or bags whatever, then you definitely minimize some of the space needed.  I honestly don't enjoy doing that too much and the more room the better.  The game just looks so much more impressive when you've got enough room for everyone to lay everything out and you don't feel as cramped.  I generally tell people that TI needs a lot of real estate.  We play with both expansions and typically do 5-8 players and when I can manage it, I'll make a table that's something like 6'x6' which involves the dining room table plus a few other tables I add to it all.  Understand that this is a hex map so adding players increases the diameter while AH expands in a very rectangular way.  I would say for a 3 players game a good starting point would be at the minimum 2'x2' and that to me is a bit cramped.  3'x3' is more comfortable and just add 1/2-1' for every additional player. 

The only time we ever need the same space as AH is when we play AH with 1 or more of the big expansion sets and yes, we have even played with every expansion ever made.  If you've done the same, that same kind of space is needed when you play an 8 player TI game.  Again though, TI expands in a circle while AH expands up and down.  So it's a lot harder to accommodate TI.  I also teach people to lay out all their pieces as described in the manual which probably is not the best way to minimize space and I'll admit it, I'm a little anal about this so that all our play areas looks the same.  IMO this is really important as everything you have is public knowledge so needs to be transparent.  In AH everyone can have their own setup and it's not as important as everyone's working together so minimizing space is easier.  How Kerrin2's got their setup with plano boxes actually makes a lot of sense and something I've been really considering. 

Kerrin2-what size plano boxes do you use?

Not sure what to say about some of your players having a short attention span.  This game really is a game that does not do well with players like this.  Requires a lot of attention and focus to win the game much less track everything that goes on in a game.  Though one of the most brilliant things I think this game does so well, is that it almost always keeps you engaged 100% of the time, even when it's not your turn.  So even with players that get distracted easily may find themselves really involved in this game.  Like Shadow wrote, the game can be really punishing if you leave the table but this is kinda dependent on the players.  For a legitimate leave of absence, I generally freeze play until the player can come back.  But if you want to play more cutthroat, by all means, plot and plan behind that player's back and play cards while they're away.  Mind you, the way we play a lot of the times we're constantly making and breaking secret alliances and deals so players are always leaving the room to discuss the details in private anyways…

Jersey is a trip brother, though I make a trip to NYC every now and then.  NYC is my 2nd home and I actually might be heading up there sometime soon and nk, I'm actually thinking of lugging TI up with me so I can teach my NYC group the game.  So maybe if you don't live too far from NYC?  The final advice I can give you is if you do decide to jump into this, I strongly recommend that you play your first game to only 5 VP points.  10 is the normal but y'all burn out the first time you play trying to shoot for 10 points.  I always teach my 1st game to 5 VP points and change the Imperial Strategy card to give you only 1 point.  This game should take y'all about 4-6 hours.  Trying to play to 10 VPs the 1st time can take a punishing 9+ hour game.  Not IMO the best way to teach newbies to play any game.  But after this 1st game or maybe even a 2nd game like this, it usually becomes unanimous that everyone agrees 5 VPs is just not enough and you move on to 10 VPs or 8 VPs, whatever your group is comfortable with.  Whatever you decide definitely keep us all informed.  We'd all welcome a new convert to the Galaxy!

 



#12 Kerrin2

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:02 AM

Team Wrong said:

 

Kerrin2-what size plano boxes do you use?

They are not actually branded as Plano boxes, but as Field & Stream utility boxes (F&S 3-Pack Utility Box 350 Size). Each measures 9"x4.75"x1.25" and has 10 compartments with removable dividers. I found them at a local ****'s Sporting Goods store.

I found that nipping off a small plastic nub from the center of each hinge allows the lid to be popped off so the lid can be slipped under the box itself so it takes up less room on the playing table. Then I just pop the lids back on then storing the game.

I imagine Plano would have a similar box but I haven't looked since I have these.



#13 Campbell

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:09 PM

Shadow said:

 

As far as players disappearing for a while, well……. they will learn their lesson about that in this game to not to do that.

This game is designed to punish people who leave the table….

In this game, every player picks a strategy card.   When the player does his strategy card, everyone else can do the secondary of the card if they choose.

But if you are not at the table, everyone assumes you do not want to do it.

 

So player 1 leaves the table.  Player 2 flips the strategy card called Technology to recieve a free tech.  Everyone else can buy a tech.

When player 1 comes back, he may have lost out to buy some tech especially if player 5 is doing his turn already.

 

Also if a player leaves the table too long, everyone at the table may plot to divide up his empire.  So players like to leave the table as a group for a break time to prevent group plotting like this. 

You know you are in trouble when you come back to the table and every player is smiling at you. 

 

Nah man, the game's not designed to do that.  Your players are.  

 



#14 Treguard

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:05 AM

^Yeah, that's more than a little harsh. The plotting I wouldn't mind, but forgoing secondary actions? That could potentially ruin a player's entire strategy. Thankfully our group doesn't follow this rather mean house ruling and I sympathise with the players who get stung by this.

I get that it's a pain for someone to be absent from the table when there is decision making going on, but to flat out state, "if you're not there when a SC is played, you're missing the secondary" feels wrong to me.

This is partly why we have films on in the background so we can call a timeout when needed.



#15 Innsmouth13

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:35 AM

 Team Wrong:

NYC is maybe an 40 minute train ride from my house.  If you want to exchange info send me a private message.

Everyone:

Thank you all for your input.  It sounds like a truly epic and fun game.  Unfortunatly I am in the process of moving and also the length of play/setup time has most of my group scared.  So for now I will not be getting it. Maybe next year when my life is a little more settled. But again thanks for all the input.


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#16 Aeonim

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:50 AM

Innsmouth13 said:

1) How vital are the expansions?
2) how complicated is TI3 compared to AH & BSG?
3) how easily can the components be condensed and stored?
4 and final) if you had to rank TI3, AH, and BSG in order of which is more fun for a group of four, what would it be?

Hi!

 

1) In my opinion, expansions are vital to make the game fun, variable, in some regards playable. In any case: You DO want them, if you want TI:3

2) Since you have a lot of AH-expansions, compared to that, there are much less rules. It's just a pretty chunk at once. I advice taking all the rulebooks and FAQs, and condense them into one neat simplified pack of data. It also helps memorize it all. Doesn't take that long even :)

TI has more core-rules than AH, but much less special-case rules, even with the expansions.

3) Difficult. I have two magazines with plastic cupthingies. Where I needed 2 per Fleet, and 1 per race, in which I stored Markers, and all race-speicific counters and cards (including home planets - really guys, it makes sense to put them to the races! You never need them in the planet-deck)

And then a few others for all the other cards and counters… It's around 40-45 I'd say with the current system. I'm still looking for something better though.

4) For a group of 4 I would probably prefer AH. Personally I think about TI:3:

3 players: playable, but rather militaristic

4 players: starting to work, but mostly ending in 2 on 2s

5 players: the fun begins.

 

I can't say anything about BSG though, sorry.

 






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