Thursday, November 22, 2012

Long Game of Twilight Imperium

Have not seen any posts here in a long time. Mark and I played a LONG game of TI3 with some friends this past Monday. It was an almost 12 hour session. Part of the slowdown was due to 2 inexperienced players. Part of it was that we had a seven player game.  All said it was an excellent game.  Rather than go into detail about the flow of the game, I would like to share some of my experiences with winning and losing this epic “mini-monster” of a game.
I think that when people sit down to play TI3, that very often they revert back to simpler days of gaming and games such as RISK! Enter their minds. The mentality of conquest and warfare take control and they go into “Attack Mode”.  But that is the perfect strategy for losing this game if you ask me.  So here are a few tips that are worth considering:
1)      Always make decisions based on Victory Points (VPs). Yes sometimes you need to make a quick reactive decision or you need to pounce on an unexpected target of opportunity, but do this in the shadow of getting VPs.
2)      Don’t do something just because you can. Have a really mean and nasty Action Card? Don’t want it to go to waste? Sure, go ahead and use it, but think about those VPs. Are you going to make someone angry? Sure that can be a lot of fun, but it may hurt you in the long run.
3)      See a juicy planet lightly defended? Should you take it from another player? If it dosent help you gain VPs then maybe the answer to that is “No.”  If you take it then the other player may amass a fleet to get it back. Maybe you don’t want to let him have it back. You may spend 10+ resources beefing up the defenses of a planet that is not going to help you gain any VPs and miss an opportunity to cash in on the good old “I Now Spend xx Trade Goods for 1 VP”.
4)      Ok, so you decided to take a planet from your friend…maybe you did not really like him too much anyway.  Before you get in a really nasty shooting match with him, why not offer him a few trade goods for his trouble. Bury the hatchet and make him feel better.  Maybe he’ll use that money to attack someone else.
5)      Did some mean and un-feeling slimy alien seize your planet, destroy your ships, and kill your troops on some distant little dust ball of a planet whose name escapes you?  Do you really NEED that planet?  Before you call a jihad on it and sacrifice a bunch of VPs, maybe you can use this experience to make a new friend. “Ok, Mr. Insect Guy, now that you have got what you want, lets talk this over and be friends.”  May not work, but it’s worth thinking about. Maybe be is really not such a bad guy...maybe he just needed the VPs.
6)      Have some good trade contracts?  I just love those! Most people like to trade them for other big juicy trace contracts and that’s great. But they can also help secure friendships and cooperation. If someone wants to attack you just remind him about that trade contract he has with you. Remember that insects and cyborgs have big guns, but no one really wants to buy their crappy products. Maybe you can just to play nice.
7)      Remember that in TI3 good friends are the very best thing that trade goods can buy!
Shards of the Throne is an excellent expansion.  We are considering letting the winner of this game (Who pulled off a brilliant win with perfect use of the Bureaucracy Card) play the Lazax in the “Fall of the Empire” scenario this December. Still not sure if we will play that or the standard game. Have played “Fall of Empire” once before and I liked it.


At 9:35 PM, November 22, 2012, Blogger Carlos said...

This time we used the "Preset Board Option". I have mixed feelings about this. Overall I did like it and would like to use it again. I just feel that there is something to be said about those random boards with big voids, uneven planet distributions, and rich/poor sections of the galaxy. Both methods have their arguments.


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