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7 player variant possible?

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Our gaming group has been playing 3rd edition ever since it came out and we were really exited for the 4th edition. But we're usually with 7 or 8 people to play (next session we'll be with 7).

Any suggestions on how we can adapt the 4th edition rules for a 7 player game? We've got the third edition base game and it's two expansions to pilfer pieces from if needed.

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I never really played with more than 6 but i know 4th is just a refinement of 3rd. As such I would follow that principle and streamline the way you did it in 3rd. You would probably need to construct a new tec deck, use the 3rd ships and maybe a few other things but should not be a problem.

edit: typo

Edited by Vixen Icaza
typo

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I think component wise you are going to be missing only a couple of things that can be tracked on a sheet of paper or proxied like Tech deck.  There are no issues with using planets/systems from 3rd edition in 4th edition, to my knowledge the changes have been strictly cosmetic.  I think if you have 3e, turning 4e into a 7 or 8 player game should not be a problem.

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When adding TI3 systems you'll need to decide what type of planet each one is; Cultural, Hazardous, or Industrial.  There are about the same number of each type in TI4 (10, 11, and 11 specifically).

In general Cultural planets tend to have more Influence, Hazardous more Resource, and Industrial fairly balanced low values, but most of the tech specialties are on Industrial planets.  But there are exceptions to these general rules.

Regarding tech specialties they are much rarer in TI4.  Only 8 of 32 planets have them in Ti4, and they are evenly balanced between the 4 colors.  So if you want to maintain the same ratios on the added TI3 systems you'll need to ignore the tech specialties printed on the tiles and make up your own tech specialty assignments.

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You might find yourself playing a hybrid of 3e and 4e to support more players. As BigKahuna mentioned, at the very least, you'll need to account for more ship components. At least it's not the case that there just aren't all the races in 4e to reference.

You should probably consult with the players in advance if possible, since a lot of judgement calls and modifications could tinker with game balance too. I always get new TI3 players to read the rules in advance at least once. In your case you'd need the players to read 4e rules, then read a list of your proposed changes to make a 7th/8th player integrate into the game. It would be a potentially big deal to explain the 4e rules to 7 players, then add on that you'll be ignoring planet types for the whole game. To be honest I haven't looked at the rules thoroughly enough to know if there are multiple cards and mechanics that hinge on that. Are there objective cards that reference that, for example? You wouldn't want to get into a game and realize someone's secret objective is broken, or will have to be houseruled on the spot, potentially wrecking the secrecy of it, and how hard/easy it is to fulfill.

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Yeah I would imagine a complete review of the components in TI4 is necessary to asses how TI3 can be brought into the mix, but I think as a general rule when it comes to modification/adaption of house rules for anything in a complex game like TI, you need to take it one step at a time.  The first step is of course playing a few games of TI4 to understand the impact of the different (new) elements of the game.  I know some people already have their copies, but I think right now the majority of us are impatiently waiting for our pre-orders.  I think a more well thought out assessment will come out of the community once we have all had a chance to try the game.

Suffice to say, from what we have seen via the rules and our general understanding of TI, its seems that most of the core rules from TI3 apply to TI4.  In a sense, TI4 feels more like a new community variant of TI3, which is to say, the core of TI3 is used to created adapted new rules and modifications to components.  As such I don't expect their too be too much problem finding ways to mix the two editions, but yeah there is probably some testing and thinking required to make this work and its a bit early at this point for the community to say anything conclusive at this point.

I do suspect however that FFG had given some thought to how the community might approach this problem, Christian T. P. is clearly very in tune with the community in regards to understanding the mentality so I think some conversation at some point took place in regards to how the community would embrace TI4 and what role TI3 would play in the future of the franchise.  Had he wanted to make a clean break and make the two systems incompatible, there are some minor adjustments he could have made like slightly resizing the components to ensure it would be impossible, but that is not the case here.  

Its just going to take everyone some time to absorb the material, I mean consider some of the fundemental/core adaptations the community embraced in TI3, I mean PSI's ruleset for example was key resource for most veteran TI3 gamers and that game out several years after the release of the core game.

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15 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

Had he wanted to make a clean break and make the two systems incompatible, there are some minor adjustments he could have made like slightly resizing the components to ensure it would be impossible, but that is not the case here.  

Wait -- you are aware that the TI4 and TI3 hexes are completely different sizes, right? The TI4 hexes are larger.

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Just going to say that. To make a 7 player board you’ll need to put up with 2 sizes of hexes. 

 

That said, the biggest mechanical change has to be technology. They seem to want to make tech much easier to acquire and more potent. To add a 7th player you would need an extra tech deck in some form, either copies of the cards or written down, or something. Everything else is just kinda changes to how certain sequences, such as politics, are structured and don’t require additional components that aren’t included in TI3. 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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All right, I think I've got a good idea of what to do now.

Tech deck: going to need an extra, so most likely we'll be printing out the tech tree (although technically no longer a tree) on a sheet of paper. This'll allow the seventh player an overview of all the tech and he can mark each tech that he's bought on there.

Promissory notes: we'll have to handcraft (badly, most likely) the four basic ones.

Armies: one poor unfortunate soul will have to use 3rd edition plastics.

Systems: quite a bother that the size differs (even larger then before??? We're gonna need new tables again :P ). Nevertheless, we'll need the following:

-3 empty systems

-2 hazards (doesn't really matter which, but an extra gravity rift wouldn't hurt given the larger board for 7 players)

-9 systems with 2 planets

-6 systems with a single planet

Of these planets, 8 should have a lot of influence, 8 lot of resources and 8 a good balance. These'll be respectively cultural, hazardous and industrial which we'll indicate with markers (no shortage of those ;) ). We'll ignore the tech specialities of these planets and assign an extra tech speciality of each colour to 4 of the 8 industrials (probably in the double systems, if possible). Once again we'll be using markers (perhaps the artefact markers). 

And for the shape of the galaxy, we'll obviously be using the setup as defined in 3rd edition.

I think with those changes, We've got everything covered. If anything crops up during play, we should be able to adjust on the fly with the plethora of pieces at our disposal.

Thank you everyone for your input. And don't hesitate to point out if I've missed something (inconceivable as that might be :P ).

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9 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

Just verified, they are the exact same size.

No, they’re not. I compared them a couple days after I got 4th at gencon and they are definitely different. 

Looking at one of each now, the new ones are just a bit bigger. 

 

Here is a picture. TI3 hex in front, TI4 hex in back.

TI hexes - small.jpg

Edited by Forgottenlore

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hmmm well that's a very minor size difference, but that is very unfortunate, I'm really surprised that FFG would do that.  The only reason to resize the tiles by some such an insignificant amount is to very deliberately make the two tiles incompatible, which is a giant **** you to the community.  I'm very disappointed. 

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The difference is minimal enough that we can make it work. Not as bad as it could be.

I've never checked, but is there a difference between 2nd and 3rd edition tiles? Because if 2nd edition tiles are the same as 4th, I can use those instead.

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6 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

hmmm well that's a very minor size difference, but that is very unfortunate, I'm really surprised that FFG would do that.  The only reason to resize the tiles by some such an insignificant amount is to very deliberately make the two tiles incompatible, which is a giant **** you to the community.  I'm very disappointed. 

No no, FFG did a micrometer-level measuring of how big it needs to be to accommodate the average fleet size, determined by stimulating 10,000,000 games and averaging how many of each ship type each fleet had, plus leaving room for the average number of planets, command counters, and spacedocks/PDS a system is likely to have.

/s

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On 10/11/2017 at 7:20 AM, BigKahuna said:

hmmm well that's a very minor size difference, but that is very unfortunate, I'm really surprised that FFG would do that.  The only reason to resize the tiles by some such an insignificant amount is to very deliberately make the two tiles incompatible, which is a giant **** you to the community.  I'm very disappointed. 

I'm disappointed too but not surprised: TI3 is an awesome game (the best in my opinion) and  improve such a thing is difficult; unfortunately they have to keep selling something and a new edition always means new incomes. Incompatibilities are needed to make sure that any re-use of previous edition won't reduce the incomes.
Maybe I'll buy TI4 expansions if FFG adds new units and/or races (I don't care of tile incompatibility since I made a handcrafted table with 3D planets) but for the moment I think I'll wait TI5 hoping that FFG will add stuffs and improve the game instead of make some rearrangement and add some little incompatibility to call it a new edition.

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1 hour ago, Pretorian said:

I'm disappointed too but not surprised: TI3 is an awesome game (the best in my opinion) and  improve such a thing is difficult; unfortunately they have to keep selling something and a new edition always means new incomes. Incompatibilities are needed to make sure that any re-use of previous edition won't reduce the incomes.
Maybe I'll buy TI4 expansions if FFG adds new units and/or races (I don't care of tile incompatibility since I made a handcrafted table with 3D planets) but for the moment I think I'll wait TI5 hoping that FFG will add stuffs and improve the game instead of make some rearrangement and add some little incompatibility to call it a new edition.

Yeah I actually think its a big miscalculation on their part to do this.  Anyone who plays and loves TI3 WILL buy TI4, this is as automatic as Star Wars fans going to see the new Star Wars movie.  It was completely unnecessary for them to create this pointless size issue, all it does is frustrate the fans with zero gains.  My hope was that TI3 and TI4 could be blended so that we can continue to do what as a community we have always done, adapt, adjust, create variants etc..  To intentionally sabotage that is a stupid and unnecessary decision, they are screwing with fan loyalty and there is absolutely nothing to be gained from it.  

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