Daniel Blumentritt
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Our group has been playing TI for a while and just tried out this scenario. It appears that whoever gets the "Control Someone Else's Home Planet" objective should just give their #1 treaty card to someone near them. That person, able to win without their home system, just abandons it and then wins along with the guy who conquers it on the cheap. Afteward we thought it over a bit and realized that even had everyone else known what was coming, it would have been pretty unlikely that anybody could have stopped it. Is there something we're missing?
 
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I found out the combination of objectives and treaty cards to be fairly broken. I would advice not to play the scenario as it may transform a fine TI3 experience into something quite boring and anticlimactic.
 
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Statalyzer wrote:
Our group has been playing TI for a while and just tried out this scenario. It appears that whoever gets the "Control Someone Else's Home Planet" objective should just give their #1 treaty card to someone near them. That person, able to win without their home system, just abandons it and then wins along with the guy who conquers it on the cheap. Afteward we thought it over a bit and realized that even had everyone else known what was coming, it would have been pretty unlikely that anybody could have stopped it. Is there something we're missing?


Nope, you've come across exactly the problem we did in our first try of the scenario. Fortunately it is easily fixed: simply houserule that a player cannot win by having a treaty with the Traitor or Anarchist if the latter wins by taking the former player's home world(s). That solves the problem.

Oh, also eliminate the "Support of the People" objective! That one is absolutely ridiculous and should be removed from the game.
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Solan wrote:
Oh, also eliminate the "Support of the People" objective! That one is absolutely ridiculous and should be removed from the game.

Why? It seems like it would be a hard one to pull off, but there are other ways to win.

I'm going to be trying this scenario in a couple weeks, and I think while we want to play it RAW, we want to make sure it's not abused, so we may do the house rule you state above.
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Email exchange with Corey:

Q: Traitor scenario objective card (you win the game if you control an enemy Home System). I may be wrong, but it seems that this can be easy to accomplish if the traitor has a treaty with the person whose Home System he is taking over (making both of them win). Is this allowed and balanced?

Corey: In this particular case, the allied player WILL NOT win if he abandon's his home system.
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rbelikov wrote:
Email exchange with Corey:

Q: Traitor scenario objective card (you win the game if you control an enemy Home System). I may be wrong, but it seems that this can be easy to accomplish if the traitor has a treaty with the person whose Home System he is taking over (making both of them win). Is this allowed and balanced?

Corey: In this particular case, the allied player WILL NOT win if he abandon's his home system.


I take it the same holds true for the Anarchist, then, since the situation is so similar?

Here's why Support of the People should be removed:
1. It's transparently obvious when a player is going for this objective and once you know what he is doing this is extremely easy to thwart.
2. Even if by some chance everyone else is asleep at the wheel, this is one is still almost certainly doomed to fail. Only the player with the winner's lowest numbered treaty wins the game along with him, and any player with treaties of two or more players automatically loses. Given this there is no sensible reason to retain a #2, #3 or #4 treaty, and for someone to win by SotP at the least three other players have to keep your #1, #2 and #3 treaties!

Yes, you can also win by Treaty rather than fulfilling your own Victory condition, but why should one player be handicapped with a virtually impossible win condition?
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Solan wrote:
Here's why Support of the People should be removed:


What makes Support of the People viable is the ability to use treates for secret messages, which is often ignored. For more details, see

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/772885/on-the-viability-...
 
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rbelikov wrote:
Solan wrote:
Here's why Support of the People should be removed:


What makes Support of the People viable is the ability to use treates for secret messages, which is often ignored. For more details, see

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/772885/on-the-viability-...


Thank you for the link, but I believe the individual arguing against the viability of SotP made a much more compelling argument.
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It is not as fun a scenario as just playing the game but it has its merits. While some objectives are very hard they can be achieved or others can be done. I just won with the 60 units on the board.
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Yes, that objective has won for me as well. This is one of the ones the Emperor can and should actively suppress.
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Quote:
What makes Support of the People viable is the ability to use treates for secret messages, which is often ignored. For more details, see


That might be valid if nobody knew beforehand what all the objectives were, but once you know this one exists, everyone at the table will be on the looking for someone who is giving away all his treaties and make sure a couple of them are discarded.

After all, you can receive secret messages without keeping the treaty cards in your hand. And a player trying to give them away too readily is just burning command tokens which are not cheap.

Quote:
Corey: In this particular case, the allied player WILL NOT win if he abandon's his home system.


I agree that's how it should be, and that's how we'd play next time, but there's nothing in the rules to suggest it.
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Statalyzer wrote:
Quote:
Corey: In this particular case, the allied player WILL NOT win if he abandon's his home system.


I agree that's how it should be, and that's how we'd play next time, but there's nothing in the rules to suggest it.

Perhaps, but rules or no, Corey is the designer, and so even if it's not in the FAQ that's the "official" ruling on the matter
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Statalyzer wrote:
...everyone at the table will be on the looking for someone who is giving away all his treaties and make sure a couple of them are discarded...


Wholeheartedly agree. That is exactly why the player with the SotT objective should not simply be "giving away all his treaties", but rather follow something like the strategy in the link above.

Yes, this strategy is not foolproof and challenging to execute. But, arguably not much more difficult than any of the other objectives. Furthermore, any perceived difficulties with it are arguably balanced by the fact that once you've tried it and failed, you become a trustworthy ally.

Finally, other players should be bluffing that they have SotT, which should not only help balance it for the player who actually has it, but also create an interesting bluffing dimension to the strategy.
 
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I haven't played this scenario yet, but will be soon, but it seems to me this is one that I think a good strategy for anyone but Lazax would be to try bluffing they have SEVERAL of the objectives (or all of them, if they can pull it off!), to keep people constantly guessing
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Quote:
Wholeheartedly agree. That is exactly why the player with the SotT objective should not simply be "giving away all his treaties", but rather follow something like the strategy in the link above.


You have to give your treaties away. You can be subtle about why you're doing it, but not subtle about the fact that you are doing it. And anyone should be able to count and not give it a chance to happen.
 
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Statalyzer wrote:
You have to give your treaties away. You can be subtle about why you're doing it, but not subtle about the fact that you are doing it. And anyone should be able to count and not give it a chance to happen.


I think what you are saying is that if somebody gave out two treaties already, their third treaty should never be accepted. However, if the third treaty guarantees a win for the recipient, then a rational player will always accept it. The link above describes how to set such a forced win after only two treaties (have you read it?)

Or are you saying that a *second* treaty should never be accepted? Even by the player who is behind and is desperate enough to take the risk of SotP?
 
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rbelikov wrote:
Statalyzer wrote:
You have to give your treaties away. You can be subtle about why you're doing it, but not subtle about the fact that you are doing it. And anyone should be able to count and not give it a chance to happen.


I think what you are saying is that if somebody gave out two treaties already, their third treaty should never be accepted. However, if the third treaty guarantees a win for the recipient, then a rational player will always accept it. The link above describes how to set such a forced win after only two treaties (have you read it?)

Or are you saying that a *second* treaty should never be accepted? Even by the player who is behind and is desperate enough to take the risk of SotP?


The third treaty doesn't necessarily guarantee a win for the recipient, not if at least one of the first two people you offered treaties to had the sense to reject it. Furthermore, the idea that the weakest player would accept your #2 treaty because he "has nothing to lose" is highly suspect to my mind. He's already seen you betray your previous partner; why on Earth would he then accept anything but your #1 treaty from you?!?

Then, too, I believe the poster arguing against you brought up a good point regarding the secret messages: "Okay, message recieved and eliminated. Now offer me a worthwhile treaty if you expect me to help you!"

Also, I believe a very valid argument can be made that no treaty except #1 should EVER be accepted. By accepting an inferior treaty you're just opening the door for your "partner" to stab you in the back after you've wasted your time, resources and ships trying to help him win! You're basically begging to be used and discarded in such a case. "If you want my allegience, give me the number treaty or forget it" is a good policy to follow.

As has been pointed out by others, succeeding in SotP requires your other players to be playing very sub-optimally, and thus is the only objective which I feel should be removed from the game.
 
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Solan wrote:
Also, I believe a very valid argument can be made that no treaty except #1 should EVER be accepted. By accepting an inferior treaty you're just opening the door for your "partner" to stab you in the back after you've wasted your time, resources and ships trying to help him win! You're basically begging to be used and discarded in such a case. "If you want my allegience, give me the number treaty or forget it" is a good policy to follow.

You never know if the #1 treaty has already been given away, or if they are hedging their bets, though. Giving the #1 away too early is also just asking for betrayal, because while that person will win if you do, there's no guarantee they won't dump you for their own objective or a stronger opponent, either.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Solan wrote:
Also, I believe a very valid argument can be made that no treaty except #1 should EVER be accepted. By accepting an inferior treaty you're just opening the door for your "partner" to stab you in the back after you've wasted your time, resources and ships trying to help him win! You're basically begging to be used and discarded in such a case. "If you want my allegience, give me the number treaty or forget it" is a good policy to follow.

You never know if the #1 treaty has already been given away, or if they are hedging their bets, though. Giving the #1 away too early is also just asking for betrayal, because while that person will win if you do, there's no guarantee they won't dump you for their own objective or a stronger opponent, either.


Well, if you receive the first treaty the other player gives away and it's not the #1, then you know his #1 treaty hasn't been given away yet. Other than that, though, you're right, which is why you should never trust anything but another player's #1 treaty. Receive that and you know you'll win if he does (assuming he's not the Traitor or Anarchist and sneakily tries to take your Home World(s)).

There is never any guarantee that a person you give a treaty to won't dump you for their own objective or a stronger opponent, regardless of when you give them your #1 treaty. If you fear such a betrayal is likely, though, then the obvious answer is to negotiate a mutual exchange of each of your #1 treaties. That way the two of you are inextricably tied together.
 
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Solan wrote:
the idea that the weakest player would accept your #2 treaty because he "has nothing to lose" is highly suspect to my mind. He's already seen you betray your previous partner; why on Earth would he then accept anything but your #1 treaty from you?!?

Details are in the other thread (link above), but the short story is to set things up so that this is not perceived as a betrayal.

Solan wrote:
Then, too, I believe the poster arguing against you brought up a good point regarding the secret messages: "Okay, message recieved and eliminated. Now offer me a worthwhile treaty if you expect me to help you!"

(1) This makes you lose a precious CC; (2) starts the alliance out on the wrong foot; (3) if everybody understands alliances by their nature may shift, caution in giving out the #1 treaty early is to be expected from everyone (as pointed out by sigmazero13).

Solan wrote:
As has been pointed out by others, succeeding in SotP requires your other players to be playing very sub-optimally, and thus is the only objective which I feel should be removed from the game.
I think by "playing very sub-optimally", you mean accepting any treaty that's not #1 early in the game, and accepting a #2 treaty later in the game by a weak desperate player. Is there anything else? I don't think this is sub-optimal as I outline above. In fact, I think it is suboptimally conservative to decline a beneficial alliance simply out of risk of SotP. However, I'm happy to agree to disagree.

I also think it depends on your group's playstyle. In a treaty-liberal group where alliances tend to shift and where everybody gives away multiple treaties throughout the game, SotP is much more viable than in a treaty-conservative group.
 
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Eppic wrote:
Yes, that objective has won for me as well. This is one of the ones the Emperor can and should actively suppress.


I'm more than a little surprised that both of you managed to win through completing the "Unstoppable Army" objective. You do realize that the objective specifies "60 plastic units", right? Meaning you literally have to build everything except the two War Suns and the Flagship?
 
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Solan wrote:
Eppic wrote:
Yes, that objective has won for me as well. This is one of the ones the Emperor can and should actively suppress.


I'm more than a little surprised that both of you managed to win through completing the "Unstoppable Army" objective. You do realize that the objective specifies "60 plastic units", right? Meaning you literally have to build everything except the two War Suns and the Flagship?

You can't build the Flagship during the scenario anyway.
 
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rbelikov wrote:
Solan wrote:
the idea that the weakest player would accept your #2 treaty because he "has nothing to lose" is highly suspect to my mind. He's already seen you betray your previous partner; why on Earth would he then accept anything but your #1 treaty from you?!?

Details are in the other thread (link above), but the short story is to set things up so that this is not perceived as a betrayal.

Solan wrote:
Then, too, I believe the poster arguing against you brought up a good point regarding the secret messages: "Okay, message recieved and eliminated. Now offer me a worthwhile treaty if you expect me to help you!"

(1) This makes you lose a precious CC; (2) starts the alliance out on the wrong foot; (3) if everybody understands alliances by their nature may shift, caution in giving out the #1 treaty early is to be expected from everyone (as pointed out by sigmazero13).

Solan wrote:
As has been pointed out by others, succeeding in SotP requires your other players to be playing very sub-optimally, and thus is the only objective which I feel should be removed from the game.
I think by "playing very sub-optimally", you mean accepting any treaty that's not #1 early in the game, and accepting a #2 treaty later in the game by a weak desperate player. Is there anything else? I don't think this is sub-optimal as I outline above. In fact, I think it is suboptimally conservative to decline a beneficial alliance simply out of risk of SotP. However, I'm happy to agree to disagree.

I also think it depends on your group's playstyle. In a treaty-liberal group where alliances tend to shift and where everybody gives away multiple treaties throughout the game, SotP is much more viable than in a treaty-conservative group.


As I mentioned earlier, I read the other thread and I would still perceive cutting out the first person you offered the treaty to as a betrayal unless he obliged you by doing little to help you to your objective. If the first player did try to help, though, I would perceive your constant criticisms of him as unfair and you as a player it would be best not to ally with, given the evident difficulty of pleasing you. Who needs that aggravation?

Furthermore, if I was the weakest player and was offered the #2 treay when you'd already given out a previous treaty, then I would have to be an incurable optimist to accept it, especially when SotP is in the game! It's a choice between likely losing and losing plus being seen as a gullible fool.

1. You don't lose any CC's; the player who offered you the treaty loses another CC to offer you a new one. And if the message was that important, then he shouldn't mind paying another CC and giving you a worthwhile treaty to get it across.

2. The alliance has ALREADY gotten off on the wrong foot if the other player has offered me anything but their #1 treaty. I did quite right in noting the message, rejecting their treaty, and then insisting that they give me a decent treaty if they truly want my alliance.

3. Huh? Why would anyone understand "that alliances may shift"? I don't underestand that at all! If someone gives me a treaty, that person is the supplicant, asking for my help in achieving their objective. If they want my help, then they need to make very certain it is worth my while, otherwise every single thing I do on their behalf is worse than wasted effort on my part because I've stupidly helped one of my opponents toward victory!

If I get their #1 treaty, I can be confident that all of my assistance will be adequeately repaid if I can bring my partner to victory. By accepting anything less I am being something of an optimistic fool, since my "partner" can double-cross me at any time. Indeed, the most logical move in such a situation WOULD be for my partner to double-cross me, to lure me into wasting my time, effort and ships helping him and then, when I've depleted myself, to offer a lower numbered treaty to a stronger player.

That's why it's a grave mistake to accept anything less than a #1 treaty, because the logical thing to do is for your partner to use you up and betray you. Only if you get his #1 treaty is there any reason for you to work on his behalf, since you know then that he can't cut you out in favor of someone else.

As noted above, I think it is deeply suboptimal to accept and act on any but a #1 treaty, since logic suggests you won't profit by doing so. Then, too, there's a reason your plan requires the SotP player to outlast everyone and then offer his last three treaties one after another; otherwise any sensible player who accepted your #3 or #2 treaties will have a chance to say "Quick, someone offer me a worthless #4 treaty, I have to get this one out of my hand cause I'm afraid Player X has SotP!"

"In fact, I think it is suboptimally conservative to decline a beneficial alliance simply out of risk of SotP."

First, you are NOT declining a beneficial alliance. If someone offers you a treaty, the only way you can substantially benefit from it is if they win and you have the lowest numbered treaty card they gave out. The other player doesn't have one of your treaty cards, so he is certainly not going to help you win! And if you leave the door open for the player who offered it to cut you out by being silly enough to accept and act on less than his best treaty, he's more than likely to do so as soon as he sees benefit to be gained from it, thus making all the help you gave him the act of a sucker.

Second, it's not just the risk of SotP; it's having all the effort you went to in order to help him win thrown aside as he teams up with a player who hasn't depleted himself.

Third, if you truly want a mutually beneficial alliance, then do as I said earlier and negotiate a mutual exchange of your #1 treaties. That way each partner knows that victory for his partner also means victory for him.

So a "treaty liberal group" is one that happily accepts less than another person's best treaty, content in the knowledge that they can effortlessly be played for fools, with everything they did to help their "partner" only serving to lose the game for them? In that case, as Margaret Thatcher once said, "The facts of life have a conservative bias"laugh.

Lastly, yes, SigmaZero, I know you can't build the Flagship in the scenario, but since it along with the War Suns are the only pieces of plastic you will have that you WON'T have to build to reach sixty, I though I would mention it.
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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne » Forums » Strategy
Re: How to prevent easy win in the Lazax Empire scenario
It's not that hard for Hacan or Letnev to build 60 units when helping each other out.

They've got pretty significant Production Capacity and resources, especially when allied with each other and using Transfabrication to give away TGs for the other to use. In this case, I'd give the secret message "Don't attack", and if Hacan, might sway my partner into picking Trade more often.


The meta-game of my group is to give out the #2, because you never know if that player is going to be selfish or crippled. There's no reason for a player not to accept the first treaty offered, as it neither hurts nor hinders them.

Sometimes, the #3 or 4 is given out, for the secret message. As Jol-Nar, I'll gladly tell the Sol to attack the Lazax if I need to get to Quann.

With Logistics instead of Leadership, CCs are quite scarce, especially in a 5 player game (minimum to be able to use SotT).


In that thread, you'd have to be the sort of player who uses Treaties like that in every single game for it to work more than one time per life with any player who was involved in that game.

Other problem with SotT:
If you ever accept a Treaty Card, you have exactly 1 agenda that will allow you to strive for your objective.
You have no way of knowing if the bottom tier accepted your treaty.
Once you offer the 4th treaty, you cannot accept treaties. (Look at it, shuffle up your hand of 1, then discard it).
Thus, the second player you offer it to could avoid screaming out what you're doing, discard your treaty, and you'd turn the rest of the game into a chore, with no possible path to victory.

My main peeve with SotT:
It's an incredibly hollow victory, like spending the whole game getting a great movement bonus, then fly into your ally's HS.
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