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Willange

TI4 loses some fun variants but you can still use most of them

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I went through last night and found all the variants that I might miss if I play TI4 over TI3.  I then went through and tried to judge the ease with which you could bring these elements over to TI4.

First, the list of things I (or others) might still like to have in TI4: (Note that this isn't an exhaustive list)

  • Facilities
  • Mechanized Units
  • Leaders
  • Representatives
  • Space Mines
  • Artifacts
  • Mercenaries
  • Distant Suns/Final Frontier
  • Shock Troops

If you like them, Facililties, Artifacts, Mechs, and Space Mines all seem very straightforward to add to TI4.  

Leaders might require slight modification, but they seem relatively straightforward as well.  Personally, I felt like I was the only one who really used them in my group anyway.  Also, the scientist might be slightly overpowered now that tech research has become cheaper overall.  The discount would be a larger percentage of the original price now than it used to be.

Representatives wouldn't be hard to add, but I would worry about the balance implications.  Once the new custodians token is gone, you have 2 votes per round.  On top of that, the politics action seems better now than it used to, so I worry that if there was a lot more voting going on in TI4 than in TI3, the consequences of getting your reps assassinated could be much more severe.  As such slight modifications could be in order, but that will take playtesting.

Shock Troops would be easy to add, but it's worth noting that the only consistent way of getting them (Hope's End) won't be in the game and even if it was, then it won't have it's old refresh ability.

Mercenaries.  This one makes me sad because I love mercenaries, but just sticking them on the new Trade strategy would probably make it too good.  That said, they would function just fine but their acquisition could use tweaks.  I'll probably find a way to add them after playing a round or two of TI4.  My group (and especially me) just like them too much.

Distant Suns/Final Frontier.  All of these seem like they would work just fine in TI4.  That said, I always felt the counters could be too extreme sometimes, so I will probably be removing some of the overly rewarding/punishing ones.

So why bother with all this and not just play TI3?  Because TI4 seems to vastly improve the systems for trading, technology, and voting.  I also expect there to be a general balance pass (fix Yssaril??) and the new components should be much nicer.  Also, race specific promissory notes is a completely new feature ;).  

I'm still personally a bit on the fence about getting TI4, but my list of variants I could bring over has helped somewhat in this decision.  I just thought I'd share it with anyone else weighing the options!  Feel free to add on to this.

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I have a feeling that Shock Troops are going to be a Ground Forces upgrade now.

I may port over DS/FF as-is, or perhaps with a bit of editing, but I'll wait and see how the new traits interact with action cards now. If there are enough DS-feeling action cards (e.g., "Play this when an opponent lands on a blue/cultural planet. The indigenous people appeal to the galactic community for independence. Return all of his Ground Forces to reinforcements; the planet remains uncontrolled."), it might scratch that itch.

Agreed on mercenaries. They're going to require some sort of brilliant house rule to port over, or we can wait to see if FFG has plans to reintroduce them. They're not a favorite of mine, but they were definitely an interesting thing to add if you wanted a bit more complexity. That said, I hated how they had to dominate the entire Trade action to work; that always felt really clunky, like it turned TI3 into TI3: Mercenaries. So I'm okay with holding off on them.

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Posted (edited)

With the distant suns I think you could merge them with the planet trait via green and red. Put the green on industrial worlds and the red on hazardous worlds. Culture trait planets could be a blank as they are already well known or they could be used to put a random final frontier token on them.

Edited by Marinealver
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11 hours ago, Marinealver said:

With the distant suns I think you could merge them with the planet trait via green and red. Put the green on industrial worlds and the red on hazardous worlds. Culture trait planets could be a blank as they are already well known or they could be used to put a random final frontier token on them.

That's a pretty cool idea!  I also think some kind of deck for each planet type would work (in a future expansion) that would only be drawn if you took a previously un-owned planet.

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1 hour ago, Willange said:

That's a pretty cool idea!  I also think some kind of deck for each planet type would work (in a future expansion) that would only be drawn if you took a previously un-owned planet.

Well you would only need one deck, it just has different conditions kind of like the eldritch horror encounter deck which has 3 different encounters depending on what type of place or locations you are on you used the corresponding one and ignore the rest.

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36 minutes ago, Marinealver said:

Well you would only need one deck, it just has different conditions kind of like the eldritch horror encounter deck which has 3 different encounters depending on what type of place or locations you are on you used the corresponding one and ignore the rest.

True, that would work pretty well

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Depends on how wordy the effects are, you would need to fit 3 different titles and effects (and hopefully some flavor text) onto one card. 

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8 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

Depends on how wordy the effects are, you would need to fit 3 different titles and effects (and hopefully some flavor text) onto one card. 

At least 2, there could be a couple of blank effects in the cards, especially for those hazardous planets.

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I think three separate decks would be better because it would allow for some cooler effects that might be a bit more wordy.

It would also be neat if some of them attached to the planet card. Some examples:

Hazardous worlds could make it harder to fight, similar to a nebula's effect, but it could just as easy be for the attacker instead of the defender, card depending.

Cultural planets could have a card that allows them to be able to refresh after the first agenda is resolved, on the other hand the planets influence could only be used to spend on other things and not of votes.

Industrial planets could have a card that boosts any unit with production by increasing its production value. On the other hand they could have a card that would be a workers union and make it so that it costs an extra resource for each unit produced at a space dock there. They could also be a clause that forces the player to place a space dock there the next time they would build a space dock, and that their space dock cannot be removed by that player by building a space dock elsewhere, and that a player who takes control of the planet must replace the space dock with one from their reserves of able. Blah, that one was really wordy.

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, Archangelion said:

It would also be neat if some of them attached to the planet card. Some examples:

Hazardous worlds could make it harder to fight, similar to a nebula's effect, but it could just as easy be for the attacker instead of the defender, card depending.

etc....

Oooh, I really like that idea. Despite the different resource/influence values, I've always though the planets in TI seemed awfully same-y, something like that would go a long way toward fixing that. 

 

 

In fact, for a purely house rule addition, someone could make decks and gave a condition card automatically assigned to each planet, sort of like the race/trait system in smallworld. With some of the conditions having a resource cost to terraform the world to remove the condition (or lessen it in stages). Waaay to complex for retail, but I could see the right group blowing off the "game" aspect and just creating a freeform ongoing narrative. 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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12 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

Oooh, I really like that idea. Despite the different resource/influence values, I've always though the planets in TI seemed awfully same-y, something like that would go a long way toward fixing that. 

 

 

In fact, for a purely house rule addition, someone could make decks and gave a condition card automatically assigned to each planet, sort of like the race/trait system in smallworld. With some of the conditions having a resource cost to terraform the world to remove the condition (or lessen it in stages). Waaay to complex for retail, but I could see the right group blowing off the "game" aspect and just creating a freeform ongoing narrative. 

I'd still like to see the old style of one offs as well. But it would defiantly add a bit of story to the exploration aspect of the game.

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