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Subject: Double Systems rss

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Tom N
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We play with a very passive group. But we always pre-make the map beforehand, and this time we tried to make a resource poor galaxy with big systems in between people, with the idea that they would have to fight over systems. What ended up happening was that most of the big resource systems are double systems and then everyone just agreed to split the systems! Two planets on a system and one goes to each player!

What ends up happening in a lot of our games is that everyone ends up building massive fleets until someone is one turn away from winning and then we have 3 ENORMOUS space battles in the last turn. The space battles are so big with so much technology involved that they are more tiresome than fun. By the end of the game every player had two warsuns and their flagship on the board.

Do you guys have this problem?
 
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Martin DeOlden
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Are you playing with the expansion. The first expansion has more war based objectives and if you use those over the original set you will have to fight more and not have a turtle game.
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Justin Rio
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No. There are too many Secret Objectives which require conflict to have that kind off passivity. And you can always achieve victory quicker with more planets.
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Andy Day

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Zeromage wrote:
We play with a very passive group. But we always pre-make the map beforehand, and this time we tried to make a resource poor galaxy with big systems in between people, with the idea that they would have to fight over systems. What ended up happening was that most of the big resource systems are double systems and then everyone just agreed to split the systems! Two planets on a system and one goes to each player!

What ends up happening in a lot of our games is that everyone ends up building massive fleets until someone is one turn away from winning and then we have 3 ENORMOUS space battles in the last turn. The space battles are so big with so much technology involved that they are more tiresome than fun. By the end of the game every player had two warsuns and their flagship on the board.

Do you guys have this problem?

When we first started playing, this is how our games went. Though the final battles were fun, rather than boring, the game as a whole had little action. As we got more experienced, we learned the benefits and drawbacks of fighting border skirmishes and smaller battles, and generally no longer allow our foes to build up truly enormous fleets. This also happens when playing with the war objectives from Shattered Empire. I also find the Age of Empire variant gets people off their duffs and working towards objectives, rather than the way the RAW works where you sit on your thumb waiting on objectives to come out.
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Magic Octopus
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The single biggest factor in getting more fighting in the game is stacking the Objective deck so that you have more Objectives that require attacking.

Even one aggressive player can tilt the balance. Try playing Letnev and disagreeing to any system splitting deals. You can do it because you have a resource advantage over most other players at the start.
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Jon Horne
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Gylthinel wrote:
When we first started playing, this is how our games went. Though the final battles were fun, rather than boring, the game as a whole had little action. As we got more experienced, we learned the benefits and drawbacks of fighting border skirmishes and smaller battles, and generally no longer allow our foes to build up truly enormous fleets. This also happens when playing with the war objectives from Shattered Empire. I also find the Age of Empire variant gets people off their duffs and working towards objectives, rather than the way the RAW works where you sit on your thumb waiting on objectives to come out.

Our group had the same progression. Gigantic turn 9 fleet battles gradually gave way to smaller skirmishes with only occasional grand armadas. Play more games and you will learn that a bunch of smaller fleets are usually better at scoring objectives than nine capital ships in a big knot near Mecatol.

As to sharing systems, I've only ever seen it happen under duress, with each occupant making plans for the eventual ouster of the other. The only thing I share with my neighbors is the business end of my Hylar V. That's not to say that you can't have agreed-upon boarders, but in our games I always expect them to eventually be betrayed. An unguarded Home System with an open route to it is a goddamn GUARANTEE that it will be invaded.

I would say that if you want to change the culture of your game group, then start waging war fast and early, and encourage your friends to do the same. Point out ways that other players can score objectives by punching their neighbors. Make deals with your opponents to share a system or offer reciprocity in scoring (ex: If you let me blockade your space dock to score this objective, then I'll let you blockade mine next turn), and then betray them after you get your end of the deal (Yeah, so I'm going to build ships after all at that space dock you're approaching. Also, I'm going to land troops at yours. It blows up). Lock people out of trade. Attack unguarded carriers. Play juicy action cards on the cheap bastard that offers you the smallest bribe not to. Generally disrupt your opponents whenever it is convenient (i.e. you've already qualified for an objective this turn), not just when they are at 8 VP.

And then, once you've finally transformed your hippie friends into bloodthirsty barbarians, make sure that you are not the softest target.
 
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Tom N
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We used warlike objectives...but here's what happened:

Example: Invade a planet with at least one opposing ground force.

Hacan player has a planet with one guy on it in a double system. Mentak player has a guy on the other planet and 2 ships.

Mentak Player: "Can I invade that planet this turn, then evacuate it, and then you can invade it back and each of us get a victory point?

Hacan Player: "Sounds good to me."

I know this game has a lot already, but I would absolutely kill for another expansion that had more war like objective cards with more teeth to them, some 4 or 5 resources single planet systems, and like 3 more playable races.

Examples:

1VP: I won a space battle that destroyed 3 enemy non-fighter ships.

1VP: I activated an opponent's system, destroyed at least 2 non fighter ships and destroyed at least 2 ground forces.

I destroyed an opponents warsun

I destroyed an opponents flagship.

I destroyed an opponents dreadnaught.
 
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David Damerell
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IndyOfComo wrote:
No. There are too many Secret Objectives which require conflict to have that kind off passivity. And you can always achieve victory quicker with more planets.


For all that people don't like them, the Preliminaries often require you to kick something off, or to build enough of a fleet to be wondering what to do with it.
 
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Starkiller
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Sounds like your group needs a shake up.
I would play one game where you announce at the start you are going to be waging war from the start. (Ideally with Letnev, maybe L1z1x.) I would even state you're doing it to make the games more exciting.

Some of your players may like the theory, but be prepared for the hate when you execute the plan...

Then, DO IT.
Attack an undefended Carrier with two cruisers.
Make a deal to trade a planet for an objective--then keep it anyway.
Take over an undefended planet just because.

Consequences: everyone will HATE you. They will probably band together and crush you. You will not win that game. (Almost certanly.)
After it's over, point out how much more fun it was.

The next game will be a blast! They just need a bit of groupthink shake-up.

Incidentally, how many games have you all played?
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Tom N
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We just played our 10th game yesterday. Don't get me wrong, we still have a lot of fun, and time still flies by I just wish I could force everyone to fight more. I almost want to set the galaxy up this way:

6 home systems, each with one adjacent 1 resource planet. Each one resource planet borders the a one resource planet from one other player, like this:

Home Planet - 1 Resource Planet - 1 Resource Planet - Home Planet.

Three pairs of two like that.

So everyone has one natural enemy. Then adjacent to both 1 resource planets, is a single system 3 resource planet. So each pair of players will naturally battle over the 3 resource planet between them (with an artifact each). Then all empty space and around mecatol rex have 2 supernovas, 1 gravity rift and 2 one resource planets and maybe the 5 resource double system with an artifact. And put wormhole tokens on the double system (an A and a B). Then leave the rest of the galaxy either empty or asteroid fields.
 
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Jon Horne
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Zeromage wrote:
We used warlike objectives...but here's what happened:

Example: Invade a planet with at least one opposing ground force.

Hacan player has a planet with one guy on it in a double system. Mentak player has a guy on the other planet and 2 ships.

Mentak Player: "Can I invade that planet this turn, then evacuate it, and then you can invade it back and each of us get a victory point?

Hacan Player: "Sounds good to me."

The Mentak player should have either: a) made that deal and then reneged, or b) never asked for permission. If you and your opponent score a point, then you both scored nothing relative to each other.

Zeromage wrote:
I know this game has a lot already, but I would absolutely kill for another expansion that had more war like objective cards with more teeth to them, some 4 or 5 resources single planet systems, and like 3 more playable races.

They have these. They're called Home Systems, and you should be stealing them whenever you get the opportunity.

Zeromage wrote:
Examples:

1VP: I won a space battle that destroyed 3 enemy non-fighter ships.

1VP: I activated an opponent's system, destroyed at least 2 non fighter ships and destroyed at least 2 ground forces.

I destroyed an opponents warsun

I destroyed an opponents flagship.

I destroyed an opponents dreadnaught.

If you have specific ships targeted by Objectives, then a smart player won't build those ships. This is why it sucks to get the "Destroy 2 Cruisers" Preliminary Objective. Public Objectives would be even worse, since everyone would know how to block everyone else.

Really, there are plenty of objectives that reward attacking. Your group's problem, as Starkiller said, is groupthink. Instead of seeing your initial relationships as being at peace until some jerk does something aggressive, think of TI3 as being a multi-faction civil war with occasional alliances of convenience.
 
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Adam Wehn
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Zeromage wrote:
We used warlike objectives...but here's what happened:

Example: Invade a planet with at least one opposing ground force.

Hacan player has a planet with one guy on it in a double system. Mentak player has a guy on the other planet and 2 ships.

Mentak Player: "Can I invade that planet this turn, then evacuate it, and then you can invade it back and each of us get a victory point?

Hacan Player: "Sounds good to me."


I think perhaps you've misread this objective. Or I am misunderstanding your post here. But when the objective says you invaded a planet with one opposing ground force, if the Mentak evacuate the planet how is the Hacan player getting a VP? Again I could be misunderstanding your post since you aren't being exactly crystal clear about what's going on in this example.
 
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Tom N
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PracticalImperialist wrote:
Zeromage wrote:
We used warlike objectives...but here's what happened:

Example: Invade a planet with at least one opposing ground force.

Hacan player has a planet with one guy on it in a double system. Mentak player has a guy on the other planet and 2 ships.

Mentak Player: "Can I invade that planet this turn, then evacuate it, and then you can invade it back and each of us get a victory point?

Hacan Player: "Sounds good to me."


I think perhaps you've misread this objective. Or I am misunderstanding your post here. But when the objective says you invaded a planet with one opposing ground force, if the Mentak evacuate the planet how is the Hacan player getting a VP? Again I could be misunderstanding your post since you aren't being exactly crystal clear about what's going on in this example.


Sorry, I guess evacuated was the wrong word. He left the ground force there to be killed.
 
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Tom N
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Just to be clear, a lot of people keep saying it's a problem with my group and not the game. I'm pretty sure I said that myself. I realize it's our group that's passive.

I love the game, and I'm in no way attacking it. I'm trying to figure out how to force my group into fighting more. And it's not a big deal either as everyone still has fun.
 
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David Damerell
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
The Mentak player should have either: a) made that deal and then reneged, or b) never asked for permission. If you and your opponent score a point, then you both scored nothing relative to each other.


This misses the obvious point that you score a point relative to every other player, with the likelihood of more cosy deals in the future. If A and B keep their quid-pro-quo deals while C stabs D over the first deal they make, A isn't getting an advantage relative to B but is still improving the odds that A wins the game; and C isn't playing smartly, they are making it more likely C will lose. D is the unfortunate victim of C's foolishness, although of course they should have explained to C more clearly why this was a bad idea.

I like a good stab as well as the next Illuminati player, but you've got to stab someone for a winning advantage, not for a slight one (in particular, pulling 1 or 2 VP into the lead early in TI3 is hardly an advantage at all, with the accompanying "target hat"; if you're putting blood in the eye of another player while all the other players cooperate, you're getting a very definite disadvantage); you've got to keep your bargains almost all the time, or no-one will ever bargain with you at all.
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Jon Horne
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damerell wrote:
This misses the obvious point that you score a point relative to every other player, with the likelihood of more cosy deals in the future. If A and B keep their quid-pro-quo deals while C stabs D over the first deal they make, A isn't getting an advantage relative to B but is still improving the odds that A wins the game; and C isn't playing smartly, they are making it more likely C will lose. D is the unfortunate victim of C's foolishness, although of course they should have explained to C more clearly why this was a bad idea.

I like a good stab as well as the next Illuminati player, but you've got to stab someone for a winning advantage, not for a slight one (in particular, pulling 1 or 2 VP into the lead early in TI3 is hardly an advantage at all, with the accompanying "target hat"; if you're putting blood in the eye of another player while all the other players cooperate, you're getting a very definite disadvantage); you've got to keep your bargains almost all the time, or no-one will ever bargain with you at all.

You are correct. It is pretty common to make deals with each other; there is definitely a negotiation aspect to TI3. And I agree that you have to keep your word most of the time. But all alliances will always eventually be betrayed, or someone isn't playing right. Two players in lock-step with each other must eventually turn on each other, even if it is on the last turn because one of them will get to score before the other.

Also, your example illustrates my point. If C hadn't betrayed D, then no one at the table accomplished anything. Making and keeping deals is only an advantage if your table's mindset generally punishes cooperation. Otherwise, it's just a six hour circle jerk.

Your criticisms are valid, damerell, in the context of a typical game of TI3. I was trying to offer advice on how to be more cutthroat, since that is what Zeromage's group struggles with. It sounds as if he is dissatisfied with the current culture at his table. No one wants to be the first guy to throw a stone and attract the ire of the other players. Everyone gets along until it looks like somebody is going to win. Then all the plastic crashes into a big clusterfuck and the winner is sorted out from the smoking remains. I can relate, because this is how our games used to go, and they were boring. He needs to shake the system up with some good, old fashioned wiener punches if he wants to change that groupthink.
 
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David Damerell
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
Also, your example illustrates my point. If C hadn't betrayed D, then no one at the table accomplished anything.


No, it doesn't illustrate your point at all. If C does betray D, they accomplish "helping A and B to win". They are better off not doing so.

Quote:
Making and keeping deals is only an advantage if your table's mindset generally punishes cooperation.


No, it's also an advantage if the first person to break a deal will be punished.

Quote:
He needs to shake the system up with some good, old fashioned wiener punches if he wants to change that groupthink.


This is just metagaming; in particular, the idea that you should throw a game or two to change the group's culture is not playing to win.

The right thing to do is to try for a proper betrayal at the moment of maximum advantage, with the aim of winning the game through doing so.
 
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Jon Horne
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damerell wrote:
This is just metagaming; in particular, the idea that you should throw a game or two to change the group's culture is not playing to win.

The right thing to do is to try for a proper betrayal at the moment of maximum advantage, with the aim of winning the game through doing so.

Oh, it's totally metagaming. That's the whole point of this thread. I think we can safely paraphrase Zeromage in his OP that he is dissatisfied with his group's metagame. Starkiller specifically advocated for throwing a game on purpose to change that paradigm, and I think that's a fine suggestion. Ordinarily, I would agree with you that players should always play to win. But if the game is "more tiresome than fun," who cares who wins?

Zeromage has started numerous posts in the Strategy category. This isn't one of them.
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Tom N
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
damerell wrote:
This is just metagaming; in particular, the idea that you should throw a game or two to change the group's culture is not playing to win.

The right thing to do is to try for a proper betrayal at the moment of maximum advantage, with the aim of winning the game through doing so.

Oh, it's totally metagaming. That's the whole point of this thread. I think we can safely paraphrase Zeromage in his OP that he is dissatisfied with his group's metagame. Starkiller specifically advocated for throwing a game on purpose to change that paradigm, and I think that's a fine suggestion. Ordinarily, I would agree with you that players should always play to win. But if the game is "more tiresome than fun," who cares who wins?

Zeromage has started numerous posts in the Strategy category. This isn't one of them.


You've definitely hit the nail on the head. We've designed a map which we think will really cause fights and we also handpicked the Objective cards. I'll let you guys know how it goes (planning our next game for Saturday night).
 
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Roberto Armentia
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If you are playing with the expansion, don't miss the artifacts. You can do the following house-rule or similar:

- If playing up to 4 players, let each player pick a real artifact and set it faceup wherever he sees fit, usually near his home system.

- If playing with more than 4 players, make sure to include all real artifacts during setup; let each player pick one token and set it facedown as normal; after setup, reveal all tokens and dismiss the dummies. You will have the 4 real artifacts there to fight for.

For sure you people will not be sharing systems anymore. At least I wouldn't, not in the artifact system nor nearby.

EDIT: or waddahell, treat every artifact token as real, worth 1 VP each.
 
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Christopher Halbower
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damerell wrote:
This is just metagaming...


I agree that this is metagaming. But I think the solution to groupthink is metagaming. Metagaming is good when it solves a huge groupthink obstacle, no?
 
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David Damerell
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halbower wrote:
I agree that this is metagaming. But I think the solution to groupthink is metagaming. Metagaming is good when it solves a huge groupthink obstacle, no?


I'm not convinced it's going to solve anything. One player breaks the cycle of cooperation and loses massively; if the other players are awake, they should conclude that cooperation has been the right strategy all along. Maybe they'll also notice the mixed-up game is more fun, but maybe they won't; and maybe _they_ are playing to win and will stick with what appears to be the winning strategy in future games.

On the other hand, one player breaks the cycle of cooperation and gives themselves a solid advantage and a good shot at victory; now there's a lesson to be learned.
 
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Christopher Halbower
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damerell wrote:

I'm not convinced it's going to solve anything. One player breaks the cycle of cooperation and loses massively


Why would the player lose massively? The advice on metagaming given above was to stop being cooperative and "give a wiener punch". This doesn't equate to losing massively. It will probably give you an advantage over those cooperating.
 
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David Damerell
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halbower wrote:
damerell wrote:

I'm not convinced it's going to solve anything. One player breaks the cycle of cooperation and loses massively

Why would the player lose massively?

akinfantryman wrote:
Consequences: everyone will HATE you. They will probably band together and crush you.


That was what I was responding to, so ask the person who wrote it that question, not me.
 
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Christopher Halbower
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damerell wrote:
halbower wrote:
damerell wrote:

I'm not convinced it's going to solve anything. One player breaks the cycle of cooperation and loses massively

Why would the player lose massively?

akinfantryman wrote:
Consequences: everyone will HATE you. They will probably band together and crush you.


That was what I was responding to, so ask the person who wrote it that question, not me.


You want me to ask akinfantry why you said a player would lose massively?


Ok.

Akinfantry: why did Damerell say a player would lose massively?
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