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Seren2

Solitaire Twilight Imperium

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I've found that I can never get enough of this game. In order to satisfy my appetite for galactic domination, I occasionally set up a solitaire game. This helps keep me fresh on rules, let's me play around with different races and play styles, and experiment with game variants that aren't in favor in my TI3 game group. I've played 3-player, 4-player, and 6-player games all the way to their conclusion.

It's awesome. I can play a game round, go about normal life, and resume the game the next day.

I'm curious. Does anyone else do this? Do they have a special ward in the asylum for people like me?

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I do 6-player games all by myself.  Spend at least an hour a day when I am playing a game.  I get a chance to try out everything (techwise, racewise) and I don't forget how the game is played, also, inbetween real games which might not happen for 6 months.

A typical game by myself goes on for about 8 hours.  I randomly choose sides that I want to win/beat during a game, and ally players with others as (not) wanted.  The race that I think will win at the beginning of a game never does. So it's a suprise still how a game ends even when it's just me playing.

Once I've memorized my one-page rules for the game, I'm ready to go out and play a real one with a group.

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I play every game that I have solo at first to get familiar with the rules.  Some games I dont mind playing solo if I am in the mood for it (arkham actually makes sense this way, runewars and chaos in the old world have been ok for a solo ride).

I did find Twilight pretty tricky (much more so then most games) due to the heavy emphasis on diplomacy, I still get the occasional itch to give it a go again (still havent gone through a whole game solo though, generally do a refresher on the rules), I always end up wishing I had someone to bargain with.

 

 

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Here is a link to a perfectly playable solitaire version of Twilight Imperium:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/17279/twilight-imperium-solo-v1-doc

 

I will confess that I play TI solitaire on a regular basis, and use this as a starting point.  Among other things, this is a great way to try out a race you haven't played before, or optional rules you haven't yet phased in.

 

I own and use both the base game and Shattered Empire, with plans to get Shards of the Throne ASAP after it hits the market.

 

Here's how I go different from the variant above:

1) I ignore all the political stuff.  That means take out the Lazax survivors domain counters, too.

2) I use both Technology strategy cards, picking and choosing between the two versions of the SCs.

3) I lay out all the Objective cards in advance, so I don't have to deal with the Imperial card.

4) I don't use the increased CC cost for activating inner-ring or Mecatol Rex.  You could never as a practical matter use the tactic of 3-6 PDS using Deep Space Cannon, Graviton Laser System, and Magen Defense Grid slowly but without friendly losses attritioning a heavily-held AI hex.  (This is particularly useful to use against a massed AI fleet that has just retaken one of your systems.

5) Much of the time, I don't stop the game when I hit turn 14, just seeing how many turns it takes me until I can clear the map.

6) I haven't yet played with dreadnoughts getting to fire 2 shots a combat round, but am about to; otherwise, they're too weak for what they are.

7) I believe the game is too low in certain pieces.  That is, each player IMO should have 1 more space dock, 1 more war sun, 4 more PDSs, 4-6 more destroyers (currently only the same # as there are of cruisers, which is ridiculous), and 6 more each of fighter and ground force top pieces for each race.  Some 5-denomination fighter and ground force universal tokens would be handy as well to keep things neat (these I'm going to make some of myself).  Two more CC counters per race wouldn't be a bad idea, either.  For solo play, feel free to add any or all of these.

8) I absolutely love the Distant Suns option, and will in a heartbeat integrate the equivalent they have coming in Shards of the Throne for empty space hexes.  I do believe that it's a good idea at the beginning of games for each player to pick a planet from one adjacent system, and one hex of empty space, that they get to peek at the domain counter.

9) I interpret "war" that ends trade agreements to only occur on AI attack. 

10) After you've taken Mecatol Rex, where (if anywhere) does the AI counterattack fleet form?  I've never definitively decided that.

11) If you hoard TGs, never spending them once you no longer need them for technology purchases and builds, eventually the AI can no longer accumulate TGs to build a counterattack fleet, and you can build with impunity.  The cards where you take TGs from another player are devastating if you interpret them to work on the AI TG pile.

12) I've made player aids of color copies of the Distant Sun and technology tree pages, laminating them.  This saves my rulebooks from getting shredded.  At least 2 DS and 3 tech tree sets are desirable IMO.  Also, I've used a white paint pen and put in the # of each Distant Sun counter next to where each one is explained, so players can make informed probability judgements.  For Hostile Natives and Fighter Ambush, I put X-1, Y-2, and Z-3 for each strength.

That's it for now.  I hope this helps someone.

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is another "house rule" I've already come up with for Shards. I love the Space Domain counter idea, but think it's a bit unfavorably unbalanced.   There are two results which destroy half or all of a player's fleet, with nothing as desirable for positive results to compensate .  I also dislike the Precursor Space Station counter (it's boring and clutters up the board), so I'm not using that.  Instead, I use something I call "Clone Fleet":

"CLONE FLEET"

Warp from alternate/parallel universe briefly opens.  Exact duplicate friendly fleet appears (ships, GF/shock troops/PDS/fighters, leaders, Saar space docks, etc.) in that hexagon of space. Use unit pieces from a race color not in play in that game. Ignore additional Fleet Supply limit issue until end of next game turn for units that remain in that hex (but no more can be move in above Fleet Supply limits if all units there were counted towards FS).  Clone fleet units (other than GF/fighters) may not be replaced when lost.

 

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