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Just bought both expansions and… question for a newbie

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#1 NateWolfman



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Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

 So far I have logged 3 games in on the base set (not bad for only 2-3 weeks) and i finally ordered the two expansions (set to come in tuesday) my question is this, I know aside from new races, and im sure new cards or systems added in, alot of what is in the games is optional game play. Which is neat, but my question is, What is the optional gameplay, and what should we be playing with VS what is best left out entirely.

Note: our 3 games played with just the base game itself, so we also have not played with any optional content from the original game either (leaders and what not)

Just curious on everyones thoughts and opinions, thanks!

#2 Shadow



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Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:44 PM

If you have both expansions, the best base game is the expansion 'shattered empire' set with the leaders option.

Generally, when you say you are going to play a standerd game of twilight 3, this is what players think you mean and all other options are added or subtracted from this set.


#3 NateWolfman



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Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:59 PM

Shadow said:

If you have both expansions, the best base game is the expansion 'shattered empire' set with the leaders option.

Generally, when you say you are going to play a standerd game of twilight 3, this is what players think you mean and all other options are added or subtracted from this set.

Interesting, @ leaders, we hadnt played with them yet since we wanted to try out just the game itself to get it down (pretty simple after the first full game) but good to know, I honestly dont even know for sure what the other expansions even come with (honestly the availability of more options in race alone was enough to make me want to buy the games :P )

#4 Shadow



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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:26 PM

Leaders, Artifacts, Distant sun tokens is usually the next step up.

Switching out some Strategy cards is next.   Use Warfare I or Warfare II is a popular Strategy card switch.


But each option added does change the game slightly.   Players need to account for that.

Example:  Artifact option

Games can end with one player getting 5 VPs in one round for a unexpected ending of the game win.  1 VP for objective, 1 VP for Secret Objective and capturing 3 Artifacts for 3 Vps.


Example: Leaders option

Some races improve alot with their Leaders.   Jolnar and XXcha get alot better with their leaders.  Other races do not improve much.

(Fighting XXcha with his two Diplomat leaders is very hard to do)      


Distant sun option

If you get all nasty red sun tokens by you, your game could be over.  But the other players will greatly enjoy your misfortune.   

#5 AFrede



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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:15 PM

I wouldn't say that the leaders expansion constitutes a "normal" game every gaming group is going to play the game differently.

Here is a breakdown of all the variants we have played with and our feeling on them.

Base Game

The Long War: Have not tried this variant yet.

Age of Empire: Have not tried this variant yet.

Distant Suns: we often do not play with as it can dramatically slow the early game down as well as making the game even more random and giving some players that hit good tokens a significant edge which in the early game can really have a big impact further down the road.

Leaders: If your group is experienced with the game and has been playing with leaders a long time than it may just come naturally and add a little bit of flavor. Our group tends to have new players cycling in fairly often so it is an option that adds a whole lot of rules to remember and really doesn't add all that much to the game. The capturing leaders aspect is really neat but happens rarely and when it does, often they are not as powerful of a bargaining chip as one would expect.

Sabotage Runs: Have not tried this option yet. Looks cool but seems like it is often a waste of fighters as the odds of succeeding are very slim.

Shattered Empire

Imperial II: Have not tried this variant yet.

Variant Strategy Cards: Our groups standard game is played with the following cards - Leadership, Diplomacy II, Assembly II, Production, Trade II, Warfare, Technology II, Bureaucracy.

Variant Objectives: We include the extra objectives, more variables make each game different.

Race Specific Technologies: Always included, this is one of the best options that either expansion brings.

Artifacts: Speeds up the game a bit and usually causes more intense fights over systems other than Mecatol Rex

Shock Troops: Have not tried this variant yet.

Space Mines: Have not tried this variant yet.

Wormhole Nexus: We include this system in most games, it makes the wormholes always in play if you have randomly selected the tiles with which to build the galaxy and lets players that may not have any interaction have a chance to strike to the far reaches of space.

Facilities: Another easy factor that can speed the game up a little bit although they are more effective for races with easy access to trade goods.

Tactical Retreats: We enjoy this variant, although some people may say that it makes the game less strategic and makes CC a little less valuable, we find it is slightly more realistic than having a fleet trapped in a losing fight.

Territorial Distant Suns: Have not tried this yet but may do so soon, looks much more balanced than the old Distant Suns

Custodians of Mecatol Rex: Have not tried this variant yet.

Voice of the Council: Have not tried this variant yet.

Simulated Early Turns: Have not tried this variant yet. Probably won't try it, our early turns are pretty fast already.

Shards of the Throne

Preliminary Objectives: Speed up the game, but not enough of them to make each game unique so often it is easy to see which one each player is going for. Despite that, they are a staple in our group, anything that speeds the game tends to be.

Flagships: Very cool, minimal extra rules for people to grasp, the only downside is that a few races have extremely powerful flagships compared to others.

The Final Frontier: Have not tried this variant yet.

Mechanized Units: Who doesn't want to play a game with tanks in it. Always included for us, easy to add to any game.

Mercenaries: Have not tried this variant yet, but it is next on our list.

Political Intrigue: The Political Intrigue option has been our groups favorite. It gives some added excitement to the political part of the game without too many extra rules.

Fall of the Empire: Have not tried this variant yet.



So that is our breakdown. I would say of all the options the top ones would be the new Strategy Cards, Political Intrigue, Race Specific Tech, and Tactical Retreats. Leaders are cool but like I said they can be a lot to handle for newer players, Flagships are very fun but can be unbalanced. Preliminary Objectives, Facilities, Artifacts, and the Wormhole Nexus are all nice quality of life additions.

Distant Suns is the only one we avoid but it may be better with the Territorial option.

There are a lot of options and that keeps the game fresh, we are looking forward to seeing how Mercenaries play out next game.

I hope you have fun building your groups personal set of variants that will make the game unique and exciting for you.

#6 NateWolfman



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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:55 PM

AFrede said:

Thanks for the very detailed post, it was alot of help, ive now outlined to my group the list with my thoughts on each individual one to see what they all think. 

#7 Fnoffen



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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:23 PM

I'd like to add that Territorial Distant Suns and The Final Frontier are absolute musts in our TI3-group as we like the randomness. I have, for example, been granted a free planet in Yin space by way of the Settlement DS-token. I was playing Nekrovirus at the time and Yin just let my colony sit in peace until AFTER getting the War Sun tech… Big mistake by the brotherhood as the following turn I built both my Suns. Let's just say that the Nekrovirus with War Suns is… nasty. The other players didn't quite forgive the Yin after that.

Pax Magnifica Bellum Gloriosum

#8 NateWolfman



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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:45 PM

 Thanks again for the advice, we played with a number of the new rules (all of us had a new race as well). We cut some of the interesting sounding ones for simplicities sake, but I think it went well, we used:

Age of Empire - Made the game much faster which is a good thing

Leaders - Although they didnt come into play much, I liked the added bit of strategy they posed

Variant Strategy Cards: We played around with the many different strategy cards, we used a new version of all 8 for the first round, then the 2nd round exchanged a couple that we didnt like as much as we thought we would.

Race Specific Technologies

Wormhole Nexus - an easy addition

Tactical Retreats - never came into play, but the option was there

Voice of the Council - A very interesting element to the game, especially with my brother playing a race who was not allowed to vote, but could suicide bomb us if he wanted >.< (note: I lost 2 councelers do to this, everyone else, lost none aside from the suicide bomber himself)

Preliminary Objectives - These worked well, with 4 players we delt 2 to each person and allowed them to pick. some of the objectives seemed REALLY unbalanced though.

Flagships: Didnt get much play, 2 players did build them but they never got into the fights before the game ended

Mechanized Units - Available but noone built any

Next game we will add a couple rules we skipped simply because we didnt want to learn to many new things at once, including distant suns, facilities/colonies and mercenaries.

#9 Archangelion



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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

The simulated first turns is nice, it basically gives about 2 turns worth of expansion and production, without giving any chance for anyone to cap a victory point early game. So players have a bit of a nicer set up, with having multiple planets in up to three systems. We just used it in our last game, and I think we might be usinging it from now on.

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