I have been playing Twilight Imperium today to get familiar with the game before I run a short 1 or 2 hour game with my best friend and some of his family members. I have some big questions that I have to ask though I know search is a friend, I just am curious.
I know that command counters are used to enable fleet movements into activated systems, conduct transfer actions. However, I still cannot find in the rulebook about WHEN to put your command counters to the allocation area. For instance, in the Status Phase, you can obtain 2 Command Counters and re-organize your allocation area as you wish to benefit your race. But what if you were in the strategy phase, obtained a strategic card that says "You may obtain 4 Command Counters from your reinforcement area." Do I plop those command counters down immediately or must I wait until the Status phase has started and putting them down when reaching the "Re-organize the Command Area" subphase?
Another question is, I can understand command counters are required to be used to activate systems before moving, attacking, or building. For example, if I have not activated a specific system but have reached the stage in tactical action where I can produce units, could I simply take a command counter straight out of the Command Pool and then activate the system BEFORE producing an unit? Or must I activate the system FIRST before the last tactical action to take?
From what I can surmise, I MUST activate the system first, continue down the list, and then plop down whatever I want to build. I can understand how a new space dock cannot build anything until the next round, it's the space dock that's been pre-built since Round 1 that I'm concerned with, including all other ones after its "first fresh round". Even though I do build units on an activated system, could I simply place them near that dock at that time? Regarding that, my understanding is that it can be placed there since the Status phase did not require units to be placed AFTER the Status phase has begun.
I also noticed that each player is required to take ONLY one action per action phase. For instance, strategy requires that one player conducts an action to take one strategy card. Each player continues to do so until it has been fully resolved. Next, the action phase begins. Does that mean that if one player plopped down a command counter moving ONE fleet to a system to populate planet(s) constitutes one action or can he continue to move more fleets and complete them all as an action? From what I've been seeing in my play is that I keep moving ships, different fleets, in one action by activating several systems as one player. I could be wrong in this but if I'm reading it right, the rulebook says ONLY one action. That means one activated system, one fleet, several options to take, then let the next player take his action, then repeat for next action to take for another fleet. Could this be right?
For now, these are my questions. I'm new so I'm ready to be de-virginized someday as TI3 will see the light of day when the next BBQ comes along. Of course, no race sheet will be harmed in the process by grubby, grimy fingers.