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Laurefindel

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  1. I can only imagine the nightmare! Half the players would probably be eliminated by round three. With Death Star flying Muat, trigger happy Mentak and techno-dreadnought Hylar as neighbours, Ysaril better jump on that diplomacy card ASAP!
  2. So I finally came up with a version of the galaxy that I like. I'm still hesitating between two or three slightly different versions, but I one for show, if only as a proof of concept. It uses every tile published in all basic game and extensions with the exception of the home systems of the three Shards races (Arborec, Nekro Virus and Ghosts of Creuss), one Ion Storm and one supernova. It's 9 tiles wide in one direction, and 11 tiles wide in another (not unlike our galaxy is more elliptic than perfectly circular). The "core" of the map is taken from the 7-player Fall of the Lazax scenario from TI3: Shards of the Throne, with the following alterations: - The supernova next to the Xxcha home system is moved one tile closer to Mecatol Rex. Rather than being a supernova per se, this sector represents the galactic core and center of the whole map; an impenetrable concentration of gigantic stars and supermassive black holes. People commonly refer to it as the "supernova", perhaps for poetic reasons, but everyone knows that it isn't really so. - The supernova system shunts the Quann/B system one tile "up" toward Jord; Quann is an important part of the Federation history in TI, and I wish to represent that proximity geographically as well. - The empty system moved by Quann goes "down" one tile in front of Xxcha home system. I later replaced that empty system with a nebula because I wanted a central anomaly, but that could easily be reverted to an empty system. - Two empty system tiles receive the "empty" A and B wormholes; Malice takes the place of the satellite galaxy from the scenario. - Winnu takes the place of Arinam/Meer, which in turn takes the place of Saudor. Saudor moves in proximity of Jol and Nar to represent the Hylar's last line of defense against the N'orr. The galaxy is then extended with the Shattered Imperium and Shards of the Throne tiles. This distribution is pretty arbitrary at this point, but the Arcturus, Rigel and Vega systems are placed near Jord to represent their proximity to Earth in galactic space. Distances are way exaggerated, but it works for a sci-fi/fantasy game. Close attention is also given to the galactic "west" where the Mahact Plateau (the gravity rift tile) is located. Both Muat and Moll Primus of the Mentak are described as being "past the Mahact Plateau", which I took as "on the other side" from Mecatol Rex's perspective. Since they were able to operate in such secrecy, Muat should be relatively close to the Hylar home system, so the whole Mahact Plateau thing is going to be close-ish to Jol-Nar. The Ysaril home system is also said to be located "near the Mahact Plateau, but in a richer part of the galaxy), so Shallok and Rectilon are going to be somewhere there as well, surrounded with wealthy and influential systems. "Diametrically from the Passage of Tears" implies directly above the plateau from the present Gravity Rift/Moll Primus juxtaposition. Hope's End is also said to be the last stop on the Passage of Tears, so behind Moll Primus it goes. This region is getting crowded... [edit] Oops, this is the "player version" map that hides the L1Z1X home system. Should you try to recreate this map with your TI3 tiles, you'll be one empty system short to make-up for the L1Z1X. Without much surprise, it stands near Perimeter in the galactic "north-west" Anyhow, that is the result Comments, reflections and suggestions are welcome credit to the Map editor at Astral Vault for the tile images.
  3. Oh, I agree completely. I meant to say that if we focus on the factions (in order to stay true to the nature of the game?), Mentak is, among the 17 factions, the most RPG-friendly.
  4. To be noted that Mentak is the only truly cosmopolitan faction. Since racial and cultural diversity is usually a key element in character creation, basing a game or a RPG on a racially diverse faction makes sense. We can assume that there are other cosmopolitan hubs in the "international waters" of the galaxy (Mecatol, trade stations, some planets, etc), but the factions themselves are all centered around their own race's quest for supremacy, either by elitism (Hylar), arrogance (Letnev), condescension (Xxcha), tribal mentality (Yssaril), or because no one else wants to associate with them (Saar). Of the official factions and things we have enough information on to make a RPG without extrapolating too much, Mentak appears like the only faction allowing a "choose your race" RPG element. And with so many developed races in the TI-verse, it would be a shame to pass on that.
  5. Yes, recognizing that this was probably the closest to a "canon" map we'll ever get (until a full setting is developed for Genesys, who knows?), that's what I ended-up doing. Or at least it was my main source of inspiration, keeping the relative position of the 6 "great races" around Mecatol Rex. Interestingly, I used the supernova on the Xxcha's side as the galactic center (the galactic core, impassable due to its concentration of high-gravity stars and supermassive black holes). Even with both extensions, There isn't quite enough tiles to make a complete 5th ring (that's ok, it makes for an elliptical galaxy, not unlike our own)
  6. In that line of thought, the leaders and mercenaries concepts could be merged, either with a single deck of generic leaders, or a small deck (like three cards) of race-specific leaders. With a cost to deploy, they don't have to be all three out at the top of the game.
  7. Whatever it is, I'd like something that speeds the game up or drives the game forward (by giving you stuff or allowing things to be built/bought for cheap). I wouldn't want something that bogs the game down. - I liked the wormhole nexus in TI3 and would like to see it return. - I have mixed feeling about domain counters. I like them a lot in TI3. If they appear in TI4, they would have to help as much as they can crap. - Artifacts that give victory points / achieve objectives / give tech rebates would be nice. - I'd like to see some planets / trade stations return, if only for the sake of diversity . - I loved leaders in TI3, and I would like to see them return (perhaps with less but more straightforward abilities). What I don't want: - a whole new series of races. - a bunch of action cards that dilutes the deck too much. - meaningless political agenda cards. - new units (although I wouldn't be against new units upgrades).
  8. Yeah, my first attempts were based on the maps from Throne, and I still used them to some extent, but the positioning of the 6 races don't quite match the set-up I "saw" from the TI4 lore book. The maps tend to vary greatly depending on player count, but there are some constants... In the end I did something similar to the OP, moving homeworlds a bit to break the game's symmetry and balanced placement. At 4 and 1/2 rings, around mecatol, the galaxy feels satisfactorily large and is readily usable for a RPG.
  9. [update] version 1 map available in this post. While creating my Twilight Imperium RPG campaign, I stumbled while making a map of the galaxy. As far as I know, there are no official one other than the preset maps. But even as a 6-player board, the galaxy feels small and leaves so many planets unused… Digging from all the extensions of TI3, I come with a total of 42 systems. With all the empty tiles, the red-border systems and most home systems, I can gather 84 tiles; enough for a (almost) 5-ring galaxy with twelve evenly-distributed home-system slots. Struggling with what to place where, I noticed that the races described in the lore book of TI4 were not placed in alphabetical order. Not only that, but their adjacency matches the notes I’ve taken from the race’s description of TI3. Could the races in the lore book been placed in galactic order? Let’s see… Starting at the “galactic north” (cause you got to start somewhere) is the first race described in the book: the United Emirates of the Hacan and their tri-planet system. Next, going clockwise is Jord of the Sol Federation. They are described next in the book, and as old allies against the Lazax, it makes sense that Hacan and humans are galactic neighbours. Next, still going clockwise, is the Barony of Letnev. Quann should be somewhere between Jord and Arc Prime, well within the Baron’s reach but essential to the Federation’s traffic. The Xxcha are the next race described in the book, and it makes sense that Archon Tau is within the Letnev’s reach as well. It also places the Xxcha relatively close to the humans who will blast the Letnev out of Archon Tau later in the Twilight Wars. So far so good. Jol and Nar are next in the book and so they are next on the ring. They are the unfortunate neighbours of the following race: the Sardakk N’orr. Again, this is consistent with the Hylar-N’orr enmity during the late Twilight Wars. The planet Lisis should be place nearby as well… Next would be the L1Z1X, the big bads of my campaign, placing 0.0.0 due south in the galaxy, probably within a few empty space tiles to reinforce that knowledge of this part of the galaxy was lost when the Hall of Cartography burned on Mecatol Rex. This places them diametrically opposed to the Hacan however, who are making first contact with the L1Z1X. But since the Hacan are space merchants, it is not impossible for them to be far from home I guess… Then we have the Naalu, followed by Moll Primus of the Mentak Coallition. Hope’s End is going to be west of Moll Primus, thus creating a east-west Passage of Tears on the galactic borderland. This places the Yssaril, the next race described in the book, due north from Moll Primus (conveniently diagonally opposite to the Passage of Tears). Somewhere near those two home systems is the Mahact Plateau, which if I understand correctly, is a region of space plagued with asteroids and black holes (gravity rift tile?). The Winnu are next on the list, normally followed by the Embers of Muat. However, since I have only twelve home system “slots” and I consider the Gashlai a “minor” race, I will instead place them on the outskirt of the galaxy, somewhere near Jol and Nar, the Gashlai’s old slave-masters. This way, the Hylar could invent the War Sun without the rest of the galaxy noticing. The botherhood of Yin are next. Again, they represent a minor race in my campaign and so I will reserve my twelfth and last slot for one of my favourite race; the Saar (probably among more asteroid tiles on the Hacan’s side since both of them start with the Antimass Deflector technology). Darien can lay somewhere hidden on the outer rim, between Winnu and Ragh to keep the order as intact as possible. I didn’t want to include the races of Shards of the Throne (Ghosts, Nekro and Arborec) but I’m short one single tile to complete my galaxy (I forgot that Malice would not be part of the map). Among the three, the Ghosts of Creuss have the most narrative potential (I already have the L1Z1X for bad guys and the Arborec are just too weird). The Gate of Creuss will most likely lie somewhere near Moll Primus of the Mentak, not known to the other galactic races but creating a space “Bermuda Triangle” of some sort. So I’m not sure if the races where placed in that order for that purpose, but it works just fine for me. Now I still have to place all the planets, but at least the big pieces of the puzzle are laid. 'findel
  10. I'm away from the game presently, but I believe there is one or two in one of the rulebooks, or perhaps I'm confusing it with this document from the FFG site. Community-made preset maps are also easy to find on internet.
  11. In my experience, when someone has a really bad hand of systems, others have fairly good ones. So when you relentlessly put bad systems in other players' territories, they don't have a choice but to give you half-decent ones, especially toward the two or three last rounds of placement. From what I've seen, a player starting with a really bad hand often ends-up with a decent neighborhood, and is able to handicap other players enough to balance it out. Also, empty systems are easy to control, which is good for certain objectives. Sometimes it's good not to be threatening from the start. I've seen plenty of games where the most advanced players run out of steam after turn 5 and start fighting one another enough to lose their headstart. That being said, the galaxy generation is a game within a game that requires a certain amount of luck and strategy, and I know that people use preset maps exactly to avoid situations where animosity begins before the game even starts.
  12. I'm convinced that a AI deck could work, if you accept that the AI does not play by the same rules as other players. The game one would experience against an AI deck would be different from that of game against a human player(s), but it may be close enough to be a fulfilling and fun TI experience. Due to the complexity of the game, I could see a 2-player game set as a 3-player game with one AI (rather than enough AIs to make it up to a 6-player game). In this case, the point is not so much whether the AI is likely to win the game (one of the human player is going to win), but whether it can be competitive enough for the game to remain a 3-way war. So while it's too bad that it isn't included in the base game, I'm sure fans will come up with one (or a few) AI deck(s) before the end of next summer.
  13. I made a homebrewed 2-player variant for TI3, whereas you set-up like a 3-player game with a third virtual player like the Automa in Stonemaier games (like Sythe) It would need a bit of work to adapt it to 4th ed, but the core principles should work.
  14. Any new information in there, or mostly a nice compendium of the history we knew about? Also, any information about things like FTL travel or implications of technologies in society?
  15. Nice story. I read that a few months ago but never replied to voice my appreciation. Consider it done. As I was thinking about the core of my TI RPG, I considered making it primarily about the Mentak Coalition as it provides the most opportunities for multiculturalism - something desirable in a RPG but not in a faction-based board game like TI. In the end I decide to give the campaign a more neutral approach, but Mentak would definitely be the faction of choice if a more boradgame-like focus was required. I decided to set my RPG a few years before the present TI timeline and make the return of the L1Z1X the focal point of the campaign. I like the "renaissance" feel and the rediscovery or ancient technologies. I could see the interest in a Lazax Imperium game too; mid to late Age of Dusk when races don't hate each other too much yet but with going opportunities for trouble and "adventures". Played canonically, this would rule out the L1Z1X, the Ghost of Creuss, the Necro Virus and (i think) the Arborec; all of which make lousy PC races anyway (although it would open-up the Lazax themselves) . It would also rule out the Naalu and perhaps the Yin brothers as PC.
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