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El Mariachi

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Everything posted by El Mariachi

  1. Content deleted. Could any mods please delete this thread. Cheers, El
  2. Hey guys, Not long to go now, game time is one week this saturday! We have the whole day to play so time won't be an issue but it's definitely going to be quite long. It sounds like it's not worth trying a 7 or 8 player game unless all the players were quite experienced! I'm going to start looking into printing off some more player handouts to take into account the extra players and get them laminated. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the deals that are going to be made and broken across the table!
  3. Following an amazingly successful 4 player game a week ago in which I introduced and converted 2 newbies (who weren't even sure they liked board games) to Twilight Imperium, I've now got my first 6 player game lined up! This 6 player game will consist of myself and my girlfriend who now have 5 games under our belts, my friends geoff and lyndsay who were the converts from my 4 player game, and two more friends called Tom and Henry who really like board games in general and whilst they've never of Twilight Imperium they really like the sound of it and can't wait to try it. I will be using the same rule variants as I for the last game: 1) Alternate Strategy Cards with Bureaucracy and Objectives. 2)Territorial Distant Suns (yup, it slows down the game but it adds a lot of flavour and we plan so that time isn't an issue). 3)Age of Empire with the Red Tape variant so Bureaucracy works. 4)Preset Map The game will be set up on a Friday evening (sadly a friday evening 3 weeks away!) with play starting at about 10/1030am on the Saturday morning. The house we'll be playing in will be quite large and we're all going in with the frame of mind that if it finishes late, we'll all night over so we don't need to rush in order to get home in time for anything. Thankfully the two players who will be brand new are already familiar with games like axis and allies and want to actually read the rulebook before game night. So my question is what can I expect from a 6 player game? I've heard from various sources that this is the ideal size, more so than 7 or 8 players but the largest I've played was the 4 player game last week so I'm not really sure (coincidentally I could make this game a 7 player game by adding in another experienced player but I've heard this is slightly unbalanced in the same way a 5 player one is). So what's the game like with 6 players? I'm thinking of taking out the Sardakk N'orr as from what I've seen they'll be quite a hard race to play if any of the new (or newer) player gets them simply because they kinda become a target from game on. If you've got any tips, they'd be much appreciated! Cheers, El
  4. Hi guys, Quick question: How often can the Barony of Letnev's ability to pay trade goods to improve their chances at winning fights be used? Once upgraded with their race technology it seems a bit brutal if all the time!
  5. All interesting ideas, definitely looking forward to seeing these guys pop up in my next game!
  6. Brilliant, that makes it more interesting than merely swapping action cards!
  7. I have a quick question in regards to the Hacan's ability to trade action cards. When they do this, do they trade them for trade goods, other action cards or both? Cheers, El
  8. I see what you're saying and I agree, normally I'd always choose Bureaucracy and Artifacts however, I think the Imperial II/no Artififact idea might be better for the first game with new players... I'm still 50/50 on this idea, I might actually just go with Bureaucracy and Artifacts...
  9. Thanks Nargnarfer, that's a really useful post. The first pair I'll be teaching the game to are a couple and one of them has already volunteered without me prompting, to read the rulebook beforehand so I'll take that as a good sign Unfortunately neither of them have much board game experience that I know of, but I'll think we'll probably cope with the limited variants I'm thinking. We'll definitely be using the Variant Strategy cards just with warfare I subbed in I imagine. In my first game we intentionally used the entire vanilla set, but only because we were all new. In this case we'll be introducing the new players to the variant strategy cards because those are the cards we'll probably always use now and the more experienced players can help them through understanding them if need be. The only variant I've suggested that I'm thinking of taking out is Artifacts. The reason is despite being very simple in concept, they had a lot of strategic implication in the game I first used them which was great, and a lot of political bargaining was made over the right to those systems and exploring them etc. However, in the first game the new players are going to be more worried about learning the mechanics than figuring out any subtle strategies. It'll probably be better for them to see what the objectives are to begin with (Age of Empire) and work towards them whilst learning the mechanics. I'll probably also use Imperial II instead of bureaucracy in that case to help speed the game up a little (more so than bureaucracy would with new players anyhow) and help emphasise the importance of Mecatol Rex... What do you reckon? Cheers, El
  10. Bugger, that cost me the game! Oh well, the experience was totally worth it Glad you liked the report!
  11. Apologies for creating another thread immediately after my last one. The last one is long enough as it is and I felt this topic was different enough to warrant its own thread. I'm in the position now where I have a core group of 3 players, including myself, that have 2 games of TI3 under their belt and really enjoy it. We're quite busy in real life but we're looking at having a game of TI3 once a month, or every 6 weeks or so. I'm also in the fortunate position to be able to get another potential 4 players into the game, possibly more in the longer term, meaning larger player games shouldn't be too hard to organise. My question is, what's the best way to introduce these people to the game? I'm not planning on using Vanilla TI3 because there will be more experienced players there to help them through the basic mechanics and it'll be good to introduce them to the more fun aspects such as the brokering of deals between players which I've seen happens more in the expansion and the rules are generally just better. However, I would like some advice as to what I should and shouldn't do. My current plans are: 1) Keep the game size down. If I keep the game down to about 4 players with 2 experienced and 2 new it should help keep the game time down whilst providing enough interesting player interaction. Out of interest, how well would a 5 player game work with 3 experienced players and 2 new players? I dare not run a 7 player game in which 4 players are completely new, I fear it would put them off as it may seem just a little too overwhelming! 2) Preset maps- a must I reckon- it'll ensure a nice balance so no one is disadvantaged from the start and as I know myself from experience, new players cannot know the importance of different planets. I'm only about to use a random galaxy set up for the first time in my next game. 3)Age of Empire to provide focus and to make it clear to the new players from the start, what they have to do to win the game. This will be accompanied by a quick briefing informing the players the game isn't about warfare, warfare is merely a tool to help you achieve your goals, which is claiming Victory points. If you go to war for no point, it can really hurt you as much as your opponent. 4)Variant objectives and strategy cards. The variant objectives are simply more interesting and encourage player interaction a bit more and the new strategy cards are also much better. We'll have the experienced players help push the new guys along if they're flagging a bit. Undecided between bureaucracy with the red tape variant or Imperial II at the moment. 5)Player hand outs. These have been standard in my games, having your own tech tree to refer to really helps as you don't have to keep passing the rulebook around. I'll also print out a reference sheet for the strategy cards as well. 6)Territorial Distant suns if the game includes no more than 4 players. In our game we felt this added a lot of fun and flavour to the early part of the game. Sure it adds time, especially with new people but on the day we'll try and make sure this isn't a problem by setting the entire day aside for TI3, explaining that it'll take a long time but with experience, you can shorten the game to an hour per player. 7)Artifacts to help keep play time down a bit. That's pretty much it, it's quite a bit but should be a good compromise of keeping the game interesting and accessible (the experienced players will help out the new players, we wont be looking to crush them at all- we'll see this as a tutorial game). We'd normally use more variants but I'd like to keep it simple for brand new players- in fact they only true 'variants' so to speak that I'd consider optional that we've included are territorial Distant Suns and Artifacts. I'm umming and arring about including Racial Tech but to be honest, I found the basic technology list intimidating enough as it is. On the other hand, it is simply one extra technology but to be honest I'd probably leave it out, What do you guys think? Cheers, El
  12. Wow, well it's the morning after the night before when we finished an epic game of Twilight Imperium. It was another 3 player game with the same players as before: myself, my girlfriend Alex and my mate Tony but using the expansion and several variants we had never used before. Game length was long- coming in at about 9 and a half hours between start and finish! However, this wasn't massively representative of actual game time had we been focused on keeping the time down because: 1) We were using a lot (but not all) of the variants which we had never used before. 2)We had dedicated the entire day to Twilight Imperium- we understood from the beginning it would take a long time so we weren't going to be bothered by the time- we would simply enjoy the game and if it finished late at night, my friend Tony could crash around ours instead of worrying about going home. to that extend we played at quite a relax pace often getting up to add more music to the play list on the computer or getting a beer in addition to having a 3 to 5 minute break at the end of every Status Phase. 3) We also went to the local super market to pick up dinner which we then prepared and ate whilst playing. All in all, with added familiarity and perhaps some focus we could quite happily cut the playing time in half. However, when there's only 3 of you willing to dedicate the entire day to the game, it's not necessary. With more players of course, this would have to be a bit more disciplined! The variants in play were: 3 player Preset Map with Age of Empire (this time though we used the map exactly instead of subbing out expansion systems for base game ones) Variant Strategy Cards with Bureaucracy (using the Red Tape home brew variant found on the net) Variant Objective Cards Wormhole Nexus Leaders Territorial Distant Suns Artifacts Race Specific Tech Guardians of Mecatol Rex Naturally all the new political and actions cards were shuffled into the existing decks. To summarise the game, the random races assigned were as followed: I drew the Fire Slaves (Embers of Muatt) My girlfriend drew the posh-gits (Winnu) My mate Tony drew the Arab-Cats (Emirates of Hacan) This was a little bit of a shame, my plan was to try and play this one by being as subtle as possible and encouraging the other two to go to war with each other. This was obviously right out of the question when my race's starting forces included a War Sun! Long story I short, I decided to go to town- forming trade agreements at first but knowing full well they were going to be broken. Incidentally I never attacked anyone once except in retaliation. Throughout the game I kept enforcing how honest I was to any agreements made (so I can better capitalise on this in future games ). My main mistake with the game was that I completed my secret objective too easily and racked up the Victory Points too quickly, At one point I was winning 8-3-1 in VPs. Unfortunately this, combined with the War Sun made me Public Enemy #1 and from that point on I was assaulted on all fronts. Thankfully I was able to preserve a lot of my forces by conceeding ground, then counter attacking in force (and of course, the tactical use of actions cards- enhanced armour - I love you). However, it wasn't enough. Had we played to 9 VPs as recommend with Bureaucracy I would have won, but we played to 10. By playing well, and by sneakily back stabbing her Hacan ally in the back at the last second, my girlfriend declared Victory for Winnu (in a moment of sheer silliness, Tony had left his Home System unprotected and it was near a wormhole- my girlfriend's cruisers zoomed in and destroyed his homesystem's space docks for her S.O). It was a great game, much fun was had by all although I cursed myself for not getting the speaker token in the last turn- had I done so I would have won- I was 9 VP, about to claim 2 VPs for a Stage 2 public objective but my girlfriend got to claim them first as she was the speaker!) To conclude, if I ever again suspect there's a slight chance someone is about to get all the VPs they need and I'm in the running for winning the game, I will do my best to get the **** speaker token! In our first game (vanilla TI3) we felt the speaker token was a bit pointless to game play it didn't do that much if everyone was following the Imperial I, Initiative game clock. However, in this game it dawned on us just how important it is. So what did we make of the expansion? In essence, it was truly excellent. Vanilla TI3 is good fun however, it's definitely lacking in something and this becomes quite apparent once you have the expansion. Whilst we're glad we kept to vanilla TI3 for our first game to learn the mechanics and would recommend all-newbie games to do the same in the future, we wouldn't go back to it now. As for the variants we used: 3 player Preset Map with Age of Empire: Again this was a good choice, the Age of Empire variant really helps focus the game and whilst we'll eventually try a game without it- we'll definitely be keeping this variant for the time being. The preset map was again, good. We had used it before but in our first game we subbed out the expansion tiles for vanilla ones. In this game we used it with all the tiles laid out in the map-i.e. hope's end and the trade stations. These were interesting in of themselves- nice little additions to the game without changing anything big. Hope's end will be more useful when we use Shock Troops. Our next game will involve randomly creating the map as normal for the first time- it'll be nice to have a different layout. It's my understanding that it can take sometime so we'll probably end up creating it the night before we play. What do you think? Variant Strategy Cards with Bureaucracy: Superb. I can see why everybody thinks they're superior. They made planning strategy more interesting as there was rarely an obvious choice and all the cards worked well together. Bureaucracy is also much better than Imperial I. As we were using the age of empire variant, we modified the game by placing a 'red tape' marker on all the objectives. Objectives could not be claimed whislt they had this marker. The bureaucracy card removed the markers in the same way objectives would be revealed if not using Age of Empire. This worked really well and combined with the cards ability to allow you to claim an extra objective there and then, made it a good choice in the mid to late game. Perhaps the only card I would sub out in future is Warfare II. We didn't really liked the way it worked as it too easy to forget to move the marker or to add+1 to your combat rolls. We'd use it again, but I reckon Warfare I is just as good, if not a bit better. What's the general consensus here? Another card which stood out as being significantly better was Assembly over the original Political. It was much more fun having your own agendas to present and politics was much more important in this game. Although I think the political cards in this game -so far- seem quite weak and not as interesting compared with the ones in Warrior Knights (for example), there were some nice ones that we came across. These cards though merely added a bit of spice, what we really liked in terms of the political nature of the game was there was a LOT of political discussion as to the rammifications of different player actions and a lot of deals were discussed and made. This was great fun and added just the right level of political debate for our game. I also like how the Assembly card governs how the speaker token is moved. *It looks like this post is getting to be a lot longer than I anticipated, I'll try and wrap it up quickly!* Variant Objective Cards: These were very good. Definately more warfare orientated but not everything involved attacking another player- there were a few 'peaceful' ones in there. Overall these promoted more player interaction and added a level of drama as fulfilling some objectives would mean breaking deals with other players that would help you get another objective. In the future I may add cards from the vanilla objective set to make an optimised list of cards to randomly choose from but to be honest I may not bother- these variant objectives were great as they were. Wormhole Nexus: Good fun. It allowed fast ships like cruisers to traverse huge sections of the board for surprise raids into enemy systems. I'd use this again. Leaders: These were alright, they had a bit of an effect but not much. I could take them or leave them. I'd probably leave them out in smaller games and use them when there were more players when trading captured characters can come into play a bit better. Territorial Distant Suns: This was the first time we used Distant Suns and reading through the effects we decided to use the Territorial varaint and we're glad we did. Overall we really, really liked this variant. This added a lot of flavour and fun to the game and we'll be using this variant again for sure. It did add some time and in larger game (6-8 players, and possibly 5) we'd probably leave them out to help speed up game play (unless we had the weekend to play). Race Specific Tech and Guardians of Mecatol Rex: I've grouped these together as these aren't massive changes to the game. These were nice additions that didn't affect game length and I see no reason to always use these. Artifacts: These surprised me as they're such a simple addition but added so much to TI3 and are probably my favourite additions to the game. Undiscovered artifacts were subject to much negotiation as to the rights of different players to explore them first and once the genuine artifacts were revealed they added even more to the political debates that went on and obviously became important strategic locations to defend/gain control of whilst also trying to use your forces to expand elsewhere in the galaxy. Phew, finally there! If you're still with me, thanks for reading this far! I'd appreciate your comments! As you can see, we really enjoyed our game and the variant rules. Our next game will be similar although we'll drop leaders, create the map ourselves and possibly use Warfare I instead. In addition we'll add shock troops and whilst i'm not convinced by how much they'll be used, we'll add facilities just to give them a go. Cheers, El
  13. Haha actually ignore this. I just had a game where it was the speaker token which ultimately decided who won first and I realised, had it gone to a vote- even with a good bunch of friends it may have been taken personally. Much better to simply anticipate becoming the speaker at the right time as a factor to a winning strategy.
  14. Hi there, I've got a suggestion for a slight home brew variant I'd like to put to the more experienced players on this board as I have the grand total of 1 game under my belt. If this is a good idea or has already been tried, great, if not please do tell! Purely from vicarious experience i've inferred by reading session reports and also in order to encourage perhaps slightly more realistic political interactions between players, i've thought of an idea which would mean players would have to be a little more careful with when deciding which allies to stab in the back. Whilst stabbing in the back is a perfectly valid game tactic, I propose the following: In the status phase, objectives are claimed simultaneously. In the event that more than one player claims victory (i.e. has 10VPs), the galactic council must convene and all players must use their influence as normal, and use their votes to elect one of the tied winners as the overall winner of the game. In this way, players could still backstab each other in the back but would have to be more wary as to the consequences of doing this in the end game. Feel free to say the idea is rubbish It's new year's eve and I'm too ill to go out partying so could just be chatting rubbish! Cheers, El
  15. Sounds good, hopefully i'll be able to have my next game a couple of weeks into January, it'll be another 3 way game with the same players. Having said that at some point I'm planning on introducing this game to two people from work. What level of complexity would you recommend in terms of variants if 2 people in a 4 player game are experienced, and 2 are completely new? Cheers, El
  16. Hi Dave, thanks for your reply! I was looking at the strategy cards again last night and I reckon that whilst it we're still using the Age of Empire option, we'll house rule the Bureaucracy card with the 'Red Tape' rule I've seen bouncing around the web. Essentially what this does is whilst you know what the objectives are in advance through Age of Empire, you cannot claim them until the 'Red Tape' has been removed- i.e. you put counters on the objectives you can't claim and you remove them in the same way you would reveal hidden objectives using the Bureaucracy card. Also, I believe it was when I was reading the Imperial II card, I gleamed that normally you can only claim one objective per turn- something we missed in our first game. Is this correct? I quite like your idea of mixing the two objective decks together to help boost replayability. In fact I imagine we'll do this after our next game- i.e. we'll have a game with just the new objectives to see what they're like and then mix them together for the future although part of me is tempted to do this before the next game in case the variant objective cards are perhaps a little too warlike? We're quite keen to try out Distant Suns but I have heard this variant does slow down the game somewhat, particularly if people probe every system they want to land on first however I hadn't considered the possibility of people losing their entire fleet in the first turn. Whilst this sounds entertaining I reckon in reality it would be quite a hinderence when you don't have the resources available to recoup your early losses. I think I'll take your advice play "Territorial Distant Suns" simply to avoid this. As for time, well hopefully the artifacts option will keep it down a little but at the end of the day, as long as it isn't a 12 hour three player game, we'll be alright- we'll set aside a whole day for our game. Cheers! El
  17. Hi everyone, it's been a while since I created this thread, but Christmas has finally happened and I managed to grab my first game of vanilla TI3! My first game was a 3 player game, all of us being new. The options we used were: Preset Maps: We used the 3 player preset map, subbing out the SE tiles (Hope's End and Trade Stations) for tiles from the base game. Age of Empire. Base game strategy cards including Imperial I (all players were made aware of how to use the game clock mechanic). The races were decided randomly as per the normal rules and ended up with my friend getting the Jol-Nar, my girlfriend getting the Yssaril Tribes and with myself being the Mentak Coalition. To summarise, the game went really well and we all had a lot of fun- we played to 10 VPs which took us about 6 hours including a small break at the end of every game round to allow us to rest, grab a quick bite to eat and drink and generally allow us to keep focused whilst we were actually playing. We intentionally kept the game very 'vanilla' so that we could concentrate on learning the mechanics of the game. As a group we concluded: The game isn't as complicated as first thought- it's sophisticated and there's a lot of subtley to the potential strategies which will eventually reveal themselves as we get more comfortable with the rules but overall, it all seemed quite logical. The fact that we have previously played a lot of Warrior Knights helped I imagine as the essence of the games are similar. The vanilla game was great fun, but we can see how some of the variants add a lot of flavour. The three races were good fun. The Mentak Coalition seemed fairly balanced although having a fleet size of 4 at the start helped a lot and it was cheeky being able to steal trade goods from the other players if they had enough counters. I also managed to win with the coalition! The Jol-Nar seemed to be quite powerful with a lot of starting technology and the fact that the public objectives consisted of several tech based objectives, meant the jol-nar had an early lead. They were quickly dealt with though . The Yassaril Tribes seemed quite good and my girlfriend actually lead most of the game with them until I was able to sneak the win right at the end. The Imperial I Card....yeah...we can see the reason it's like that but having to always choose Imperial and Initiative was quite restricting at times and the only reason the Jol Nar lost quite so badly in the end was that they were prevented from choosing it when it was their turn to thanks to a sneaky card played by my girlfriend. It was very useful in an all newbie game and I recommend it for other newbies, however we will be ditching it in the future. Using a preset map and the age of empire variant saved a lot of time. We will try the game without these variants eventually, but for now we'll be keeping them to help keep the game time fairly reasonable. Player aids like a tech tree are invaluable, many thanks for pointing this out! We're confident enough with the rules to play the next game with the following variants to form our opinions on them: Age of Empire and the 3 player preset map. However, the preset map will now be used with the SE tiles as suggested. SE Variant Strategy Cards with Bureaucracy (any ideas how to make the bureaucracy card a better choice whilst using Age of Empire?) Race Specific Tech Artifacts (to reduce game time due to the added options we're using) SE Variant Objectives (they seem more interesting) Distant Suns to spice up the early game phase rather than merely going, I claim this planet, and I claim this one, and this one etc. Guardians of Mecatol Rex (merely waltzing in on Mecatol Rex in the last game felt wrong somehow) Leaders (some people say they don't add much, but my group are keen on trying them) Sabotage Runs There are others we're interested in trying like shock troops, facilities, the wormhole nexus etc; but I reckon the above lot will keep us more than busy in our next game. Do you guys have any tips and advice for players at our stage (newbie, but no longer TI virgins!) Cheers, El
  18. Cheers for the responses guys. I'm really looking forward to playing this- it's making Christmas seem like it's ages away! To begin with its my intention to use the old objective cards like a game clock just to keep things ticking along in the first game, but I imagine we'll be replacing the vanilla cards with the SE cards almost straight after. I'll also give some of the recommend SE options a go from the 2nd game onwards. Many thanks for the play-aids, they look like they'll help a lot! Do you guys and gals have any general advice as well on ensuring everything goes smoothly and as quickly as possible (don't worry, we'll be setting plenty of time aside for the game but anything that will help ensure we can close the game will be much appreciated!) Cheers, El
  19. Fair enough, what does everybody else think? I must admit the game is still teasing me, hiding away in the garage still unopened! Without breaking any forum rules, is it possible to have a quick run down as to how bad the vanilla strategey cards are in comparison?
  20. I've bought Twilight Imperium 3 and Shattered Empires as a joint present for my missus and I this Christmas and was just looking for a bit of advice for the first game. I've read back through some threads both on this board and BGG and just wanted to make sure I've got it more or less right. Our first game will most likely be a 3 player game although it is quite likely in the future we'll be mainly playing 4 player games and possibly 5 player games at somepoint (getting any more players than that any time soon will be quite unlikely). Until now the game most like TI3 that we've played is Warrior Knights with its expansion and whilst I'd call that a sophisticated game, it isn't overly complex it looks like TI3 will be quite the step up! So for the first game, I was thinking of keeping it simple by: 1) Playing vanilla TI3 without the expansion in order to learn the mechanics of the game at first. The first game will be more about learning the rules than trying to win as we dont know the rules well enough to formulate any strategies. 2) Using Imperial 1. This is probably something we'll most likely drop from the 2nd game onwards, but we'll use it to keep the game as short as possible. 3)Using a preset map for the first game- this will keep it balanced whilst we learn the rules and should save some time. 4)Although it'll be the vanilla version we play, we'll probably use the Age of Empires variant (is that correct?) The one where all the public objectives are revealed at the start to give some focus to the game from the off. 5)Print out several copies of the tech tree for us players to use. That's pretty much it. Does any one have any advice they can provide? Cheers, El
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