Christopher Halbower
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We play games every Sunday morning from 10am to about 4pm. I wasn't sure how many players we would have because we only had two RSVP. As such, we didn't have any games on the docket per se.

Professor Mike, a newer member of our group, came by unexpectedly. When another member showed up, we ended up with four players. Someone mentioned Twilight Imperium. Professor Mike who hadn't played it yet was intrigued. We broke out TI3.

We used all the accouterments from Shattered Empire along with some of those from Shards of the Throne. We inundated the poor professor with rules for about an hour. We gave him the Federation of Sol. Then we began the game.

For those who didn't see my previous session report, our group plays TI3 with a leaderboard. This is a statistical tool that tries to track as much data as possible about our games. In an effort to accrue data that is meaningful, we distribute the races in a not-too-random and not-according-to-Hoyle fashion. Players are given the choice of two races about a week ahead of time. This gives them the opportunity to review the race's racial techs and abilities. We play the game. Then we log the results. That player may not play that same race again until he has played all 17 races. This means that eventually all our gamers will eventually play all the races and we will have more meaningful data.

On Sunday, I played my 15th leaderboard game. This one was as the Emirates of Hacan. Dusty played his 13th game as the Barony of Letnev. Kevin played his 11th game as the Xxcha Kingdom. (Normally we play with 6 to 8 players but this game was impromptu).

The first public objective was "I won an invasion combat against at least one enemy ground force". Dusty took Warfare II and ended up taking Abaddon from Professor Mike. This not only gave Dusty the right to claim this objective, Abaddon was a red-tech specialty--and Dusty was Focused. It didn't occur to me why Dusty would take Abaddon over the more juicy locations in Ashtoroth-Loki-Abaddon, but it did occur to Kevin. He called Dusty on it correctly.

Professor Mike's world was rocked again. Kevin took Jord in an effort to prove how Merciless he was. Kevin and Dusty, having scored their secret objectives, were off to the races in score.

My secret objective proved difficult to score. Conqueror with two experienced players on either side just didn't happen. And that was the difference in the game (for me).

Kevin amassed a large influence lead over the rest of the table. He took Voice of the Council and kept taking Assembly to prevent his loss of it. He then put up for election "Public Execution". After careful deliberation, we voted that the Baron himself (Dusty) should be publicly executed. The Baron lost his hand of action cards (he had just played Synchronicity in the Strategy phase), his planets were exhausted (14 resources down the drain) and he was at -1 to combat--and he had to fight Professor Mike for an artifact.

The Imperial Datacache was a highly contested site in our game. Mech units from the Barony and Gen-synthesized troops from Jord were trading haymakers over that planet for several rounds.

The other artifacts in the game were spread out. The Kingdom of Xxcha had a small force on the Lazax Armory. The Emirates had a large force on the Precursor fossil that was also barricaded by a supernova.

The score was 7 (Xxcha), 6 (Baron), 4 (Hacan) and 1 (Sol). One of the two objectives on the objective deck was a Stage II Objective, meaning there was a 20% chance of Imperium Rex being within reach of Bureaucracy. The Xxcha, leading the game, had the Speaker token. He could either go for broke and take Bureaucracy or he could solidify his holdings by going first and taking Leadership. He went for Bureaucracy.

I took Assembly. I put Voice of the Council up for vote. The Xxcha knew he was going to lose his VP for Voice of the Council. If we gave the point to the Baron, the Baron would be leading and that would neuter the Xxcha's Bureaucracy pick. The Xxcha voted for Sol for Voice of the Council. The Emirates and Baron voted for the Baron. But Sol voted for himself too! This gave the Federation of Sol 2 VP but it meant that the Xxcha was still ahead of the Baron in score (by tie breaker).

The Xxcha player played Bureaucracy. The first Stage II Objective was in fact Imperium Rex. The Kingdom of Xxcha emerge victorious.

Looking back, it was difficult to fault Professor Mike's play to take the Voice of the Council vote for himself. There was only a 20% chance of the game ending and therefore an 80% chance of him simply taking 1VP.

The final score was 6-6-4-2. The two players with 6VP both scored their secret objectives. Our leaderboard has only taken Secret Objective information into consideration for the past five games. And in all five games, the winner has scored his SO. More data could be useful, but I don't see this salient conclusion ever differing from what we've so far witnessed. You either score your Secret Objective or you don't win.




Below are the charts for how well the races are doing.

This one is for how many wins the races have accrued.


This one is for how far the races have come to winning (Winning Score - Actual Score). The smaller the number, the closer the race was to winning.

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Matt Freitas
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Are you not playing with preliminary objectives just secret objectives?
 
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Christopher Halbower
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Tolio wrote:
Are you not playing with preliminary objectives just secret objectives?


Just secret objectives. One of the Preliminary Objectives can be almost impossible to score if you have savvy opponents. We've opted to only play with Secret Objectives.
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Justin Rio
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halbower wrote:
Below are the charts for how well the races are doing.
This one is for how many wins the races have accrued.

It would be interesting to know how many ranked games each race has been in, or their win-loss ratio--gives more meaning to the number of wins.
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Christopher Halbower
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Good idea!

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Necessary Evil
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IMHO Merciless is broken, we remove it from play at the WBC. we also never use the nekro but thats due to not using assembly 3.

You win chart look about right from my experience save Sol, they don't win in competitive play much. Also Saar in the right hands are extremely powerful, and simply cant be stopped when they get close to a win.

I personally do not like the preliminary objectives, they make the game quick, but also can really screw people as certain ones are a lot harder than others. (much like secrets)

-M
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Christopher Halbower
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I wonder why Sol doesn't win in competitive play. What is their downfall?
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Justin Rio
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halbower wrote:
Good idea!


1) I'm not surprised to see Jol-Nar knocked down like that among experienced players.

2) Starting War Sun isn't all that powerful.

3) I can't get my Mindnet to win like that.

4) I'm really surprised Hacan have so few wins. (I say it like that because if they had been 1-7 I or even 2-6 I would have been surprised.)
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Dustin Shunta
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malloc wrote:
IMHO Merciless is broken, we remove it from play at the WBC. we also never use the nekro but thats due to not using assembly 3.


Are the official WBC TI3 rules memorialized anywhere? I'd love to try playing with that ruleset sometime.

I always thought the neighbor restriction on Merciless was a bit excessive. I'd be hesitant to remove an objective though because it seems like that would throw off the balance of Mecatol to non-Mecatol based objectives.
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Jon Horne
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halbower wrote:
You either score your Secret Objective or you don't win.

I've done it, but it was with multiple points from holding Mecatol via Imperial II. In a Bureaucracy game, I agree with your analysis. I don't really care for Secret Objectives for this reason. Getting shafted by your SO draw takes you out of the running before the game even starts. Merciless is probably the top offender, but Focused, Conqueror, and Keeper of the Gates can also be impossibly hard in some games.
 
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David Gagner
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halbower wrote:
Tolio wrote:
Are you not playing with preliminary objectives just secret objectives?


Just secret objectives. One of the Preliminary Objectives can be almost impossible to score if you have savvy opponents. We've opted to only play with Secret Objectives.


Do you mean Enemy? Destroy 2 cruisers?

We have changed that one to "I have destroyed 5 resources worth of ships this round."

It actually amounts to more destruction than normal, but can be achieved by any unit.

I should sit down and upload all my groups custom stuff.
We have races and action cards and political cards as well.
 
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Christopher Halbower
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Yes, Enemy is the preliminary objective I was talking about.
 
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Starkiller
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halbower wrote:
Good idea!


This is fascinating!!!

But why does it show only 3 wins for Sol, and they are the only race to have 4 wins in the first graph? Am I missing something?
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Christopher Halbower
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Good eye! I didn't have the right filter on. We calculate wins for the Scenario as well. The Sol were part of a winning team when we played the Fall of the Empire Scenario.

I've updated the top chart. Thanks for the keen observation.
 
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