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Newbie to Twilight Imperium 3rd edition - Questions

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I'm new to Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition. I bought the game years ago and finally dusted it off to play with my kids. Some questions came up during play that I was hoping to get help with from TI 3rd edition veterans. 

1) At the beginning of the game, who gets the Speaker Token before the first turn, and who gets to pick strategy cards first before the first turn? Will it be the same person who got to place the first planet, or some other method used to determine that? 

2) If you only have 3 players, do you have to use the 3-player game variant option, or will the game function just fine with 3 players using the base rules.?

3) In the 3-player variant option where each player gets to pick two strategy cards, what happens to the player who picks the #1 strategy card (initiative) - is he unable to play either Strategy card since Initiative card says he is not to take a Strategic Action? Or does he still get to take a Strategic Action to play his other card? 

4) Can leaders transfer from one ship to another in the same system without having to activate the system or control a planet in the system? 

5) Can multiple players get a victory point for attaining the same public objective?

6) Does anyone have recommendations for storing the game in one box with all components from the expansions including sleeved cards and laminated race cards? There is an expensive ($100+) option by "Game Fit" on Etsy, but I'm not sure it would support laminated race cards and I'm not too crazy about the time I would need to spend building it. Another option consisting of various small boxes on Etsy does not support sleeved cards. I'm looking for storage containers that would store all of the tech cards, ships, ground forces, and 4-5 dice for each color in one easy to open/close box, that would be smaller than my current solution (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AM8BB8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Those containers fit the components well, but still have enough spare space making it impossible for me to store more than 6 such boxes in the game. So, something smaller but still sufficient would be needed for me. 

Game on!

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1)  After all players have drawn their Home Systems, find the Mecatol Rex system and place it in the middle of the table. Then randomly determine one player to be “first player.“ Give the “Speaker“ Token to the first player.

2)  Yes play with the three player rules.

3) You still play the other strategy card. 

4)  I believe they have the same movement restrictions a grounds forces, but can be transported by any ship, including fighters. not 100% on this though.

5) Yes.

6. Good luck. :)

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Cool, thanks for the response. 

One more question - at beginning of space battles when destroyers get their anti-fighter barrage, do they still later get to roll dice against other capital ships? Or do they only fight fighters? Or, do they only get to fight other capital ships if there are no fighters for them to fight? 

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Also, what exactly do you do when you want to play a transfer action, which requires that you take one command counter from your reinforcement counters, in situations where all of your command counters are on your player board? Are you still allowed to take the transfer action? 

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Firstly: Welcome to the wonderful world of Twilight Imperium!

Now to add to the first posts question 5: Yes, but each player can still only achieve each Public Objective once.

As to the Destroyers: Yes they get to roll for both a pre-combat anti-fighter barrage where their hits are fighter-only, and roll within each combat round where their hits are no longer fighter-only.

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Thanks! What about the situation where you've run out of command counters in your reinforcements box, and you want to do something like a transfer action which requires that you take a command counter out of reinforcements? 

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That one I'm not sure about. I know there was an FAQ for TI3 somewhere but I think that FFG removed the entire 3rd ed page. I might have printed a copy and put it in my 'ol 3-box. I'll check and see if it says anything about it.

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I know that under normal circumstances you were limited to the number of CC the game came with. This might be a special case, but absent anything to clarify, I would probably say you couldn’t do the transfer action if there were no CCs in your reserves.

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