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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: How useful is Influence? rss

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CNY Gamer
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My gaming group has been playing more and more Twilight Imperium lately. We have been using the Political Intrigue option from Shards of the Throne.

I have found that there isn't a lot of demand for Influence in our games. People haven't been going out of their way to secure high-influence planets, refineries generally disappear before the first colony is purchased (if any colonies get purchased at all), etc.

Have other players had the same experience? Or is our group missing the point somewhere along the line?
 
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Adam Lucas
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Nothing shakes up the game quite like a well-timed law. If the right laws are passed you can seriously screw up another player's game plan. The L1z1x, Letnev, and Mentak in particular have issues if the production and influence values get switched and those wormhole secret objectives are a lot easier to complete when all of the wormholes are connected. Or how about giving Dreadnoughts -2 on all of their combat rolls? Maybe your opponent hasn't used his Technology strategy and the law fails and bans tech advances for the turn. That would really make him sorry he picked his strategy early.
Laws are one of the ways the weaker players can gang up on the leaders to knock them down a few pegs so if you're not doing so well try grabbing the Politics strategy and see how it goes.
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Scott Randolph
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Influence = buying extra Command Counters, incredibly important.
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Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
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SFRR wrote:
Influence = buying extra Command Counters, incredibly important.

Yep!
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Jon Horne
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In a recent game, my "pie slice" of the galaxy had a total of 2 Resources outside of my home system, but buttloads of Influence. I took Mecatol Rex on the first turn. I dominated the Assembly for most of the game, and I was swimming in Command Counters. Although I didn't win, I did very respectably given my pathetic industry, ending the game at 7 VP.
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Brian Petersen
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Influence is very important, up to 6 with no resources tied to it. Other than that, it becomes incredibly important for objectives about having more influence than your neighbors, or spending 4, 10, or 20 of it.

Other than that, there may be some laws that you are the swing/controlling vote on & gain some tangible benefit. However, if you use Political Intrigue and are certain races (Yssaril, Yin, Arborec, Nekro), you are guaranteed to never vote in a game containing at least one Spy in most metagames.
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Scott Lewis
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TomBoombs wrote:
However, if you use Political Intrigue and are certain races (Yssaril, Yin, Arborec, Nekro), you are guaranteed to never vote in a game containing at least one Spy in most metagames.
Maybe I'm not in that group, but I've found this to not be true, because when no-Bodyguard races are in play, while playing an Assassin against them seems obvious, it leaves your own spy vulnerable to being Assassinated. I see that happen a lot - a Spy is revealed, assassinates an easy target, and then in turn is killed by another assassin.

This leads to less wonton assassination overall, at least for us If I know someone is likely to try and assassinate an "exposed" leader, I'd be likely to take advantage of the exposed spy.

(The Spy/Bodyguard combo obviously would be somewhat immune to this).
 
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Steve Williams
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Influence not being desired is also a sign of disinterest in voting on Agendas. One of the main flaws with TI3 is the number of ineffective agendas that no one cares one way or the other how they pass. This seamless variant fixes it by cutting many agendas from the deck, so that the ones that remain are mostly heavy hitters and game changers. With this variant the sleeves come off and voting gets interesting.
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Brian Petersen
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Yeah, I guess I've been too used to having either Hacan, Sol, or Winnu in a game, all of which are tough, but possible (given other races in play), to kill/assassinate.
 
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Edko Fuzz
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I played my first game yesterday. Meer happened to be adjacent to my home system and I quickly conquered it.

Its 4 influence gave me 2 command tokens each time the Leadership action was taken, plus I spent some 2 more from somewhere else to gain the third token, since the game was not very inclined to voting laws (sadly, since the couple times it happened I found it extremely amusing). I was the only one to end the game with a size 6 fleet and command tokens to spare. Granted I could not use them all every time, but I saved them and I could burn three easily for the 1 Victory Point objective. I won the game in the end with the Emirates of Hacan.

Pretty useful to me!!
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possum man
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Nothing cripples a war effort like a lack of command counters. Fleet supply, building ships and moving ships are all thirsty for CCs, not to mention the occasional tactical retreat or production/tech secondary.
While resources are undoubtedly more important (the agreed ratio is roughly 1.5 inf = 1 res) influence is not to be ignored.
And on top of voting, don't forget Voice of the Council! When you have a couple of players at 8VP, that can be a hell of a tense time to be short on influence.
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David Damerell
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possumman wrote:
And on top of voting, don't forget Voice of the Council! When you have a couple of players at 8VP, that can be a hell of a tense time to be short on influence.

To be honest, I've given up on Voice of the Council. Unless one of the lead players can also arrange to control the voting - which, admittedly, is a coup which deserves a reward - if there's any possibility someone can win, the other players can always cooperate to give it to the player with the fewest points. Even the players on 8VP may cooperate to keep it from each other.
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Jon Horne
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damerell wrote:
To be honest, I've given up on Voice of the Council. Unless one of the lead players can also arrange to control the voting - which, admittedly, is a coup which deserves a reward - if there's any possibility someone can win, the other players can always cooperate to give it to the player with the fewest points. Even the players on 8VP may cooperate to keep it from each other.
I like VotC, because it makes Political I (I'm a weirdo that prefers Imperial II over Bureaucracy) very important in the late game, when it otherwise would be a suboptimal choice. VP leaders want to take it either to arrange the coup you describe or to prevent a VotC vote (after all, someone has it from the early game - sometimes a point leader).

When playing with Bureaucracy, Assembly is vital to set up a victory on the NEXT turn, but not so important in the turn you are trying to win; VotC muddies that up a bit, so that Assembly is a solid choice in any turn.
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David Damerell
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AxleKerrigan wrote:
VP leaders want to take it either to arrange the coup you describe or to prevent a VotC vote (after all, someone has it from the early game - sometimes a point leader).

You say that, but the hard part is arranging the coup, no?
 
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Jon Horne
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damerell wrote:
You say that, but the hard part is arranging the coup, no?

Oh, for sure. Taking Political or Assembly to retain VotC is far more common. We often have all of our players with a VP or two of each other, though, so the old "give VotC to the loser" isn't always as clear cut.

I don't believe I've seen anyone get VotC for an instant win, but I have seen the table scared of who has it, scramble to take it away, and then have the person win anyway because his opponents had too many fires to put out.
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Brandon Aeschleman
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It is to me. My favorite thing to do in TI3 is to just get as much influence as possible and become annoying with the politics. Plus there are some VP's that ask you to pay influence to get a point. it's nice to have those available.
 
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Volbound1700 No
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I had a law that changed the course of a game. The law basically was voted down and allowed players to steal a tech from anyone they had a trade treaty with regardless of prerequisites.

Well two players had trade treaties with Jol Nar who had War Suns and both got War Suns.

One, the Winnu, was able to acquire a War Sun and turn the tide of a war against the Federation of Sol who was leading the game. The FoS ended up even losing their home system and collasping.

The other race, Clans of Saar, used War Suns plus Mothership to destroy the Xxcha in a war that had been balanced to that point.

Yes, Influence can matter (not always).

It is also helpful to spend for more Command Counters.
 
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