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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Speeding up the game rss

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Jan Panhoff
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Hi,

sorry if something like this has been posted before (if it has, I did not find it in a quick search).

I by now have played about 15 games of TI (with both SotT and SE) and nearly all of them were super long (>12 hours). I have had this issue with games with 6 players and with 9 players and while it can be nice to just set everything up for hours, it can get boring at times.
The main issue has always been that everyone just tried to stay in their corner and play defense most of the time, just our of the knowledge that if you attack to one side, your other neighbor is likely to stab you in the back. Basically, nobody was going for victory point as as soon as someone had 2 or 3 more points than the other players, he would get crushed.
The root of the problem in my view is that victory points really do not do anything for the game - they are just there so that you can win but until you get to 10 points, you really have no benefit from gathering points.

To address this, we tried the following house rules:

- For each victory point you gain an additional bonus
e.g.
- for one VP you can - once per round - move one ship at +2 movement
- for 4 points all your ships are +1 attack when attacking
- for 6 points you can - once per game - at the end of the strategy phase switch strategies with another player (you can only get non-initiative / victory point strategies)
- for 7 points all your ships are +1 battle when on defense etc.

Every player always has two preliminary / secret objectives
- we often found that some objectives are virtually impossible (e.g. having one planet with a bonus for each tech in a small galaxy where these planets just do not exist)

Every player starts with 2 action cards

We played with the Imperium strategy card - but it only provided 1 victory point instead of two and this point could not be your tenth point / could not secure your victory

All these rules resulted in a much quicker and much more aggressive game. We finished two rounds with 5 players in 10 hours and these were the best games I have ever had in TI. Players were really trying to get to VPs / complete their objectives as having a lower amount of VPs was now a real disadvantage.

What do you think?

Best wishes,
japande
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David Damerell
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I would suggest playing with the Shattered Empire Strategy Cards and perhaps the Public Objectives, which promote aggression.

That said, your idea of getting combat bonuses for gathering VPs is an interesting one.
 
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Shawn Garbett
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Nashville
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japande wrote:

What do you think?


Have you tried this? Does it create a run away leader early on?
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Cedar Rapids
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You could also limit the number of votes during the political phase. That also may speed up the game with less objectives.
 
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Hector Flores
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Round Rock
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If it works - doesn't matter what we think. Thanks for offering your variant.
 
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Lance Harrop
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Manassas
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I think it's good to give players a choice of their preliminary objectives and a choice of secret objectives between those for MR and those not. But a choice, not the option of holding on to two.

Of course it helps if you have a few more Secret Objectives created.

Adding the aggressive objectives is helpful. But you are right, attacking first is generally an invitation for another player to try and take you down.
 
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Jan Panhoff
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CyberGarp wrote:
japande wrote:

What do you think?


Have you tried this? Does it create a run away leader early on?


Yes, this is always the first effect on a game with players who have not used this rule before - however, once one player has pulled 3-4 VPs ahead of the others, the game gets much more aggressive and other players are going for VP much more than before (as intended). I have to say that I am really happy with this change. If you play again with people who have already played with the new rule, this effect is much less significant - all players are likely to aim at VP from the start (at least they did in my games)
 
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Jan Panhoff
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damerell wrote:
I would suggest playing with the Shattered Empire Strategy Cards and perhaps the Public Objectives, which promote aggression.

That said, your idea of getting combat bonuses for gathering VPs is an interesting one.


I think it is also nice to not only provide combat bonuses - I like to play the game as it also allows you to win without firing a single shot. So mixing in some non combat bonuses is nice for those players who do not want to only play aggressively. The important thing for me was to make VPs more important to the actual gameplay so that players actually want to get VPs - I have played with this ruleset several times now and our sessions tend to be much quicker (meaning 6-7 hours instead of 14 hours and still no winner).
 
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Jan Panhoff
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Good idea to allow them only to chose one and to not hold on to two - I'll try this next time :-)
 
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