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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: New way to claim objectives rss

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8th Doctor
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Hello everyone, one thing I dislike about the way the game pans out in our games is that there is little emphasis on combat or defending our own planets. Instead, we get agreements like 'yes I'll let you take my planet if you move out the turn after so you can get that objective.' Of course you might just say it's our own fault, but I have an idea that could hopefully change all that whilst being true to the objective card mechanic:

As soon as a player meets an objective (can be at any point in the game), he takes that card to himself. Nobody else can claim it! As soon as the card is claimed, another card replaces it. If it is Imperium Rex then the game finishes. If a replacement card is something that a player has already, he just takes it. If several players have already met the conditions, then the player with the most of that thing (eg planets, techs, etc) gets the card [to reduce this effect you could start with just stage one cards out and when a certain number are claimed you start replacing them with stage two cards, thus making it less likely that ones that have already been fulfilled will be drawn]. If the objective says 'I spend x resources/influence/trade goods' then spending them could be an action.

I think this would make combat truly more worthwhile, since when the 'I control x planets' card comes up all players are fighting to be the first to get it - nobody else can benefit!

However, this would require lots more objective cards to be made. And if you want to encourage fighting (as I do!) it would be good to make more fighting-based cards.

So, does anyone have a good objective card template they wouldn't mind me using please? Thanks so much if you do!
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Martin Presley
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Handing free VPs over to your GALACTIC RIVALS is enough reason to discourage these kinds of agreements. Don't get me wrong, I'll sometimes peacefully vacate MR, or accommodate other objectives, but that's only in the face of overwhelming force.

Put another way, not doing those kinds of agreements (or not honoring them while you're ahead) will lead to you winning more in the long run, which is enough to disrupt this care-bear approach you don't like.
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David Damerell
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hoobajoo wrote:
Handing free VPs over to your GALACTIC RIVALS is enough reason to discourage these kinds of agreements.
That depends if they are offering an equal quid pro quo.

That said, I think this doesn't apply to so many objectives... and if you are trying for a nice peaceful swap of the only red-technology planet in the universe, or whatever, you must expect the other players to be disrupting this friendly state of affairs.
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8th Doctor
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Found what I was looking for: thanks Tawnos!

http://www.mediafire.com/view/u3dbusnow9xu1/TI3_Images_for_V...

Does anyone know of any custom objective cards that people have made and work well, or any in the expansions that you like? (I don't have the expansions)

Thanks!
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Joshua Armstrong
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Check out:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/221351/racial-objectives-var...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/221356/new-secret-objectives
 
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Lance Harrop
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My variant objectives are tied to my variant components. If you adopt the latter you can use the former.

The only objectives that aren't variant tied is glorious Army and glorious Fleets. These you can use with the regular game.

Tawnos probably has the files posted somewhere.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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I think there are two problems here...

One is your groupthink...

The other is that TI3 is NOT a WARGAME! If you really want a combat is space game then it's not the game for you - You might want to look at Eclipse, or Starcraft for example. It is a Civ game, and a game of playing to get VP's. The corollary of that is that if you let your opponents score free VP's without getting the same or more back, then you are giving the game away.

Your idea is not great to be honest. It requires fr more objective cards and is also very random as to whether the right card appears for someone at the point they can grab it, rather than letting everyone work towards the same objectives.

It's another case of not needing to change the game, but either change the way you play, or maybe just change the game you are playing - it may not actually be the game your group wants to play.
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Magic Octopus
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Dr Who Audio wrote:

Does anyone know of any custom objective cards that people have made and work well, or any in the expansions that you like? (I don't have the expansions)

Thanks!
Shattered Ascension has some additional Objectives that encourage interesting fleet movements and conflict:
http://www.astralvault.net/games/SA/Cards/ObjectiveCards.jpg

Also check out the Special (green) objectives here:
http://www.astralvault.net/games/SA/Cards/SpecialSecretObjec...

Those green ones often have an important factor in our games. They mean that the player with the most planets is quite often in the running to win the game, and war becomes important.

The Shattered Empire expansion does put some more emphasis on war with more aggression oriented objectives.

About your own variant: I'd say you just playtest it and see how it goes. It might be apparent quickly if it works or not.
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8th Doctor
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Thanks Tomi, that's really helpful.

Thanks for everyone for your ideas on the variant - I'm quite happy for you to say you think it's a bad idea if it really is! My idea is to have various objectives about controlling planets, some could even be identical (with a stipulation that only one of the same objective can be claimed per turn). That way I hope it can force people to hold on to territory a bit more.

The problem wasn't so much us letting each other score points for free. Rather, here's an example: last game I'd expanded as far as I could but didn't have enough ships to really defend myself. I was throwing everything at my brother, trying to capture his home system to complete my secret objective. Meanwhile my sister came along to take a planet whilst my back door was open. I told her I wouldn't fight her there if she only took the one planet she needed for her objective (so as to stop my empire crumbling), so she did that. It seemed there was little incentive for her to press her advantage, which I found rather dissatisfying. Another game involved me making a pack not to stop my sister-in-law taking a system of mine on the understanding she would move out again and let me back in again next turn. That wasn't to be nice, but to prevent a war that would have been too damaging to us both. However, I just don't like these kinds of 'fake wars'.

So, I'll play test it and see what happens. Thanks so much for those who posted links to cards so I can make my own and try it.
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Magic Octopus
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Dr Who Audio wrote:

The problem wasn't so much us letting each other score points for free. Rather, here's an example: last game I'd expanded as far as I could but didn't have enough ships to really defend myself. I was throwing everything at my brother, trying to capture his home system to complete my secret objective. Meanwhile my sister came along to take a planet whilst my back door was open. I told her I wouldn't fight her there if she only took the one planet she needed for her objective (so as to stop my empire crumbling), so she did that. It seemed there was little incentive for her to press her advantage, which I found rather dissatisfying. Another game involved me making a pack not to stop my sister-in-law taking a system of mine on the understanding she would move out again and let me back in again next turn. That wasn't to be nice, but to prevent a war that would have been too damaging to us both. However, I just don't like these kinds of 'fake wars'.
I think you just gave examples of great play. TI3 is not a pure war game. The best players are able to leverage their advantage to points, and negotiate themselves out of vulnerable positions. I'd say that in any multiplayer area control war-like game you have to negotiate to secure your flank and rear in order to attack in one direction.

I'm still interested in hearing about if your variant works, though
 
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David Damerell
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Dr Who Audio wrote:
The problem wasn't so much us letting each other score points for free. Rather, here's an example: last game I'd expanded as far as I could but didn't have enough ships to really defend myself. I was throwing everything at my brother, trying to capture his home system to complete my secret objective. Meanwhile my sister came along to take a planet whilst my back door was open. I told her I wouldn't fight her there if she only took the one planet she needed for her objective (so as to stop my empire crumbling), so she did that. It seemed there was little incentive for her to press her advantage, which I found rather dissatisfying.
I can see the incentive there. It seems like pressing her advantage would have eliminated a rival, since you were overextended and engaged on another front. If I were her, I'd have entered into that agreement with you, stabbed you as hard as possible, and pointed out to your brother that now we could just carve you up between us.

It's common wisdom that one can concentrate too much on growth and get distracted from taking objectives. That's true, and it addresses the usual novice mistake; but "quantity has a quality of its own"; a large empire with plenty of resources and influence is well positioned to score many sorts of objective, and to interfere with its rivals doing so.

You might try the Shattered Empire alternative objectives and the Shards Preliminaries; both promote aggression.
 
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James Grider
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damerell wrote:
If I were her, I'd have entered into that agreement with you, stabbed you as hard as possible, and pointed out to your brother that now we could just carve you up between us.
We have similar stuff happening in our group, with just giving stuff away for free. From what I've seen, we can't really do what you would (I've tried) b/c everyone is too focused on keeping their word and being known to be honest. Thus, there isn't a whole lot of backstabbing in my games.

Mostly everyone in my group thinks of me as this totally dishonest person so I can't make plans with anyone (hardly) and it's difficult for me to win because I've got other group members that will gladly lose the game to make another person win and they keep teaming up together, doing the sorts of agreements laid out above.

Now, I still enjoy playing with them, it's a sort of challenge to try and win despite going up against a team and trying to still make an alliance on my end.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that how you described that you would backstab and then point out to the brother that they can both decimate this person. In my group, the brother would likely say something like, "Yeah but we just made a new agreement for him to stop attacking me and I don't wanna piss him off so good luck on your end."
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David Damerell
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Keysdude wrote:
I guess what I'm trying to say is that how you described that you would backstab and then point out to the brother that they can both decimate this person. In my group, the brother would likely say something like, "Yeah but we just made a new agreement for him to stop attacking me and I don't wanna piss him off so good luck on your end."
Well, that was not the situation described; the situation described was where the other two were still fighting, an excellent time for a stab. But if your group plays that way, it seems not so much that there aren't incentives to attack, but that they aren't responded to.
 
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8th Doctor
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damerell wrote:
Keysdude wrote:
I guess what I'm trying to say is that how you described that you would backstab and then point out to the brother that they can both decimate this person. In my group, the brother would likely say something like, "Yeah but we just made a new agreement for him to stop attacking me and I don't wanna piss him off so good luck on your end."
Well, that was not the situation described; the situation described was where the other two were still fighting, an excellent time for a stab. But if your group plays that way, it seems not so much that there aren't incentives to attack, but that they aren't responded to.
You're right, David. But I agree with you, James, that the situation is similar in the sense that both our play groups tend much more towards the side of not attacking someone else if they can help it. In the game I described I thought, 'well I have this secret objective to conquer a home system, well I might as well try and see what happens.' The result was a very unhappy younger brother, who didn't enjoy spending the whole game trying to (and succeeding in) staving off invasion. I was just looking for a way such a group could enjoy the game better. Unfortunately I have many more opportunities to post ideas on here and get people's ideas than I do to actually play test them! (I think I can only persuade my friends so far to try my variants even when I can get a game going!) Anyway, if and when I do try it I'll let you all know how it went
 
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David Damerell
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Dr Who Audio wrote:
You're right, David. But I agree with you, James, that the situation is similar in the sense that both our play groups tend much more towards the side of not attacking someone else if they can help it.
There's a limit to what you can do to make non-stabbers stab, short of making war actually required. Fortunately, I've always played with at least one rabid dog or erratic player who can be relied upon to kick things off; and I confess, I don't really regard a gaming session as complete unless I stabbed someone.

However, here's another idea. Remove Imperium Rex and maybe the other "I win" objectives; build the objective deck with all other Stage 2 Objectives. Objectives are claimed as normal, but the game is played to elimination. When two players fight, if one has more VP than the other, they get a combat roll bonus for every N VP they have in excess of the other, for some value of N. 2, maybe?

The Norr don't work with this (their slow start will never work out if anyone can duplicate their ability), and you probably need to patch any ability that makes a race effectively unassailable (Ghosts in the Nexus?).
 
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8th Doctor
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OK, so over Christmas I actually got my first chance to try this out! (with some other modifications I will post some other time). So, I've played three games with this rule and I think it's a resounding success! (And I don't say that just because it was my idea - plenty of those have failed lol). And the others playing it liked it too. Here's how it worked (we were playing 4 players each time):

Reveal 4 stage-1 objectives at the start (all worth 1 point)
Each time a player hits an objective, take it immediately and replace with another stage-1
After 4 have been hit, start replacing objectives with stage-2 objectives (all worth 2 points)
Each time a stage-2 is completed, take it immediately and replace as above
When 4 stage-2 objectives have been completed, start replacing with stage-3 (each worth 3 points)
When the Imperium Rex card (which is in the stage-3 pile) is drawn, the player with the most points wins
(Alternatively, could just play to a certain number of points as in the original).

Obviously I had to make my own objective cards, which I will post when I figure out how to! Also we ignored secret objectives.

I can tell you the whole flavour of the game changed compared with what I described in the opening posts. It was often tense and exciting, plotting how you could hit the objectives before someone else. There was no incentive for any allowing others to take something small from you so they could hit their objective. The player who started winning the first several points was always stopped by others trying to stop them getting more (especially with objectives such as 'since this card was drawn I gained more planets (net) than the next highest player. Assess at the end of the next turn). And the fact that as we went on the objectives became worth more points meant that players who started out not getting points were able to catch up and get back into the game - even into winning positions - relatively easily.

PS does anyone know how I can post up my word files with my objectives on them please?
 
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