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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Dark Tide in the Cosmos rss

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Adrian Vermeer
United States
Phoenix
Arizona
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Finished a furious 4 hour session of Twilight Imperium 3 last night, playing with the TI3 strategy cards and four of the oldest races: Hacan (yellow), Xxcha (green), N'orr (red), and Letnev (blue). Since one of the players was less experienced we went with the older strategy cards and did not use any expansions. In this, the first installment of TI3 for this game group, it remained to be seen if an empire would mirror the creation and be accomplished in 6 rounds.

The construction of the cosmos led to great consternation when the N'orr player complained that the Letnev was able to place multiple double planet systems near his home system. The Xxcha and N'orr were also able to do this, with the Xxcha having the greatest amount of potential production value in the near ring of hexes. The Hacan player had the fewest potential resources, and the wormholes were adjacent to Mecatol Rex and the home systems of Hacan and N'orr.

Since we were using the older strategy cards, we immediately fell into the Imperial-Initiative cycle, with the third player grabbing Technology and the fourth player Trade. There was little construction in the first turn, with each race expanding into adjacent systems to grab planets and construct space docks on higher production planets if they had the resources. The Hacan established a trade agreement with the N'orr, with the Letnev and Xxcha players exchanging their own trade agreements to make every turtle roll over in its shell, howling, "Archon Tau!" The public objective was to control Mecatol Rex for the entire strategy and action phases. The only points were the 2 for the Letnev from Imperial.



The second turn continued to involve a larger build-up of forces. The Hacan and Xxcha sent a cruiser and destroyer into the wormholes adjacent to Mecatol Rex, and the N'orr established a defensive ring in the direction of the Letnev player who used Warfare to sprint a fleet over to a system adjacent to Mecatol Rex. The Hacan began to be a thorn in the side of the Letnev, using an action card to hold some of the Letnev forces at Starpoint. Trade agreements were also established between the Hacan and Xxcha players and a second agreement was set up between the Letnev and N'orr. The public objective for this turn was to have planets with each of the three technology colors. This was scored by the Letnev, Xxcha, and N'orr, for scores of 3, 1, and 1 respectively. The Hacan used Imperial to take 2 points.



The third turn revealed the building antipathy between the Hacan and Letnev. The Letnev finished their race to Mecatol Rex and established control over it, seeking to hold it for this turn and the next. The Hacan arrived through a wormhole to drop the first of three fleets adjacent to the ancient imperial capital. The N'orr developed an actual fleet instead of mere carriers and began to eye the open Letnev flank, while the Xxcha snatched more systems and began to construct enormous fleets, utterly lacking in the aesthetic splendor that the kingdom is famous for. The public objective was to send 10 resources, completed only by the Letnev to move up to 4 while the Xxcha used Imperial to get to 3.



The fourth turn was when every sun went out in the cosmos. During a key strategy draw, the Letnev was able to take Initiative after the N'orr took Imperial, and then the Letnev took Diplomacy on the second draw. The Hacan player inexplicably took Trade while the Xxcha drew Warfare, leaving the N'orr to take Technology. The choice to forego Technology on this turn would be a crippling blow to the Emirates. The Letnev player chose to meet the Hacan threat and moved into the wormhole system for an attack. The Hacan player tried to play an action to retreat, but the Letnev sabotaged the action. In the subsequent firefight, the Meowshir's fleet was able to only land two hits before being completely eradicated. The Hacan player took his turn to counterattack, but lost again. The Xxcah continued to build fleets, establishing a large force of dreadnoughts and cruisers but not moving any carriers into range of Mecatol Rex. The N'orr began to expand towards the Letnev territories, a completely open flank. Once the Xxcha had used Warfare but remained outside of the system adjacent to Mecatol, the Letnev played Diplomacy against the N'orr. This allowed the Xxcha to refresh planets and build a final dreadnought to achieve his secret objective, moving up to 5 in points. Finally, the Xxcha used action cards to boost his dreadnoughts and destroy the Letnev forces in Mecatol Rex but was unable to bring any carriers to land ground forces there. A key political card that prevented combat was narrowly passed as a final strategy action. The public objective involved possessing three technologies of one color. The N'orr took Imperial for two points and used 10 resources to take another point. The Letnev had held Mecatol Rex, even after the Xxcha bombardment, so he scored one point there as well.



Turn 5 involved a holding action by three players as the Hacan, Letnev, and Xxcha merely tried to build up or maintain their possessions. The Hacan player chose Technology second instead of Speaker, allowing Imperial to skip over to the Xxcha on the next turn. The N'orr had successfully built up their tech to build war suns, and one began to move towards Mecatol Rex as the Xxcha landed. Points were scored as each player had three technology cards of one color. A political card also gave points to players, leaving the Letnves with 9, the Xxcha was 7, the N'orr with 5, and the Hacan with 3.



Turn 6 saw a final furious burst from the Xxcha, taking Imperial to move up to 9 points and tie the Letnev. The Letnev player moved fleets into Mecatol Rex and utterly destroyed the Xxcha forces, but the N'orr then flanked the Letnev dreadnoughts and landed ground forces. The new public objective was to control 5 planets, and while the Xxcha waited until the end to play it, the Letnev player's precedence (Trade over Warfare) led to him scoring a 10th point before the Xxcha, a Pyrrhic victory on turn 6. The N'orr player scowled as his hive established its hegemony over a capital he did not rule, the Hacan slunk back to the deserts, while the Xxcha glowered from the depths of their shells at the dark Letnev tide that had swept their eggs out to sea before they could hatch. A worthy end to a vicious final set of phases.

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Subudai (Pete) Khan
Australia
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Thanks Adrian, Enjoyed the read. Getting back into TI3 myself this far side of the Pacific pond.
 
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