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Subject: Games always end with just 2 - 4 VPs rss

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Guido Schmuelling
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Hello people,

we have now a couple of games under our belt and for some reason, all the games end with the "game ends" card instead of the victory point condition.
Our setup is the base game with the first expansion. We use the expansion set of strategy cards. As suggested, we use the expansion objective cards, an additional stage 2 objective card and reveal one public objective right away. Theoretically, one should win with 9 VPs, but this has never happened before. Usually, 2 - 3 VPs suffice if no one was able to fulfill their secret objective.
Is this common? Do we just play wrong? Do we just focus on objective cards to little?
Cheers
 
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Mikkel Basse Nielsen
Denmark
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3 thoughts spring to mind:

1. You don't at all focus enough on objectives. Usually any winning strategy I know focuses on aggressively pursuing objectives for a large part of the game.

2. You let the guy in the lead get strategy card number 8 too often.

3. You might still be using the base objectives in addition to the expansion ones.
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Patrick Murmann
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Hey Mikkel,

thanks for answering, I was also in the same playgroup, although this was my first game. Here are my thoughts to your replys.

1. it was kind of tough in the beginning to pursue the objectives as it was merely impossible to fulfil them (10 ressources e.g.) in the first 1-2 rounds.

2. The guy in the lead only once got card #8 (bureaucracy) and he won with 2 victory points in round 5. Nobody was able to achieve his secret objective, although many would have if he didnt finish the game in card 8.

3. We played with these strategy cards:
1 - Leadership
2 - Diplomacy II
3 - Assembly
4 - Production
5 - Trade II
6 - Warfare II
7 - Technology II
8 - Bureaucracy

since it was my first game, I for sure did not aggressively pursue the objectives but 9 victory points was kinda out of everyones reach in my opinion.
Cheers
 
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David Damerell
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halunke wrote:
2. The guy in the lead only once got card #8 (bureaucracy) and he won with 2 victory points in round 5. Nobody was able to achieve his secret objective, although many would have if he didnt finish the game in card 8.
This almost sounds like you were only letting people score objectives via Bureaucracy. Was that the case?

Also, since you should have 6 Stage I Objectives with one revealed at the start of the game, and since Bureaucracy reveals on average 1 per round, this was the shortest possible game, with Game Over on top of the 5 (yes, 5) Stage II cards and the player with Bureaucracy choosing to reveal it immediately.
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Mattias Elfström
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How many turns does the game last?
 
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Adam Lucas
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I second that it's probably requiring Bureaucracy to score. Anyone who still has control of all of the planets in their home system can claim one public and one secret objective during the status phase. If you do that then most games shouldn't last much more than ten rounds.
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Guido Schmuelling
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We did let people score VPs during the status phase as well.
The public objectives were just not achievable for some reason.
No one ever had 10 resources left over in the status phase because of the constant aggression and planet gain/loss.
In the same vain, no one ever had 4 TGs, 3 influence and 3 ressources left over, as no trades were happening either.
Winning an invasion battle was also not possible since no one ever left a ground forces standing somewhere except on their HS, anticipating that no one would ever score that particular objective.
The objective of winning a space battle with 3 ships involved was claimed of course - that was the 1 victory point almost anyone had.
Since the game just had 5 rounds and the first objective was the 10 ressource one, we only had 4 chances to fulfill an objective and all were only able to fulfill one basically. Maybe this was due to bad play or just bad setup of objectives. I can't really tell, as it was only my 3rd time playing, but the 9 Victory points seem super far out of reach in our group and we were just curious, if this is often times the case with bureaucracy or if you guys really get to 9 VPs from time to time.
We actually thought of a variant, were you mix the imperium rex card just with the bottom 2 cards instead of the bottom 4 cards.
 
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Adam Lucas
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Something isn't adding up right. Since this game has so much randomness and luck I could see it happen that something wonky happens, but repeatedly is downright odd.

Just by chance, was this an eight player game? Spending ten resources or influence shouldn't be too hard to manage one or the other unless your neighbours are on top of you right away.

Taking the trade strategy could help with that too. Trade goods can be spent for influence after all.
 
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Roger Reisinger
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Hi there,

As you know TI3 is one of those games where the scope of the game is so vast people house rules this/ or that to make the gameplay better for their group. I'd say if you have played several times and you are finding it difficult to complete objectives, or that the competitivenss of the game is suffering because of lack of focus on objectives, you might want to tweak a few things to fit your groups play style.

Here are a few suggestions:

- search for the "Imperial Bureaucracy" fan made strategy card and try it.

- play with artifacts, if your games need more interaction place them on highly contested planets like Rex, or valuable systems. If you want to avoid people turtling on artifacts place then in empty space sectors.

- cull the objective deck removing all " spend to gain VP'" variants ( in our games I split tier 1 objectives into 3 types : control/ attack/ technology and randomly draw 2 each, I then remove the worst and hardest to complete tier 2's and put the rex card on the very bottom of the deck ).

- Our variant for "Voice of the Council" is when a vote for voice is called, the faction with the most total influence gets the voice VP.

We play 6 players and our games generally last 8-9 hours and end in VP victory.
 
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Martin DeOlden
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It sounds like your group likes to fight and contest a lot in your games.
Use the Artifact tokens if you have them as these will give your gropu more VP's to fight over.
I would try to set up the Objective Deck with more war variable cards to keep in style with your groups way of playing or put together one that has no fighting to try and get your group to go after more VP's instead of fighting and force a play change. Then go back to a mix.
 
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CalicoDave
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I've played a few 6 player games and they have all come down to either a VP victory or someone is very close when the game ends (e.g. 8 or 9 points). One thing we do is play with the option, don't remember the name, that is in the main rulebook of playing with the public objective cards face up for the entire game. We also use artifacts. Very rarely does someone fulfill their private objective, though.
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Balazs Toth
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Silly question, but how do you allow to claim objectives? I mean a public objective can be claimed by every and any player if they meet the requirement for it. Thus an objective can be claimed by many players.
It is NOT like I claim one objective and nobody else can claim it. This is only the case for Preliminary and/or Secret objectives.
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Jonathan Challis
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schmuelle wrote:
because of the constant aggression and planet gain/loss.
Well that would be the problem then!

All of you bar the person that won were ill served by this. TI3 is not a game about war or combat. War pretty much shouldn't exist, and combat is a surgical tool to be deployed to gain you VP's. Combat for no real gain is often held as the biggest strategic mistake people make - if combat is actively *stopping* you gain VP's, then why the hell are you doing it?

If you have a group that wants to attack all the time, then honestly this is probably the wrong game for you - try something like StarCraft...
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Greg Pratt
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That really sounds odd. We've never had a game end with fewer than 6 points, and almost always it ends with 10 (we play to 10 with the variant strategy cards, as we use artifacts and the voice of the council).

No trades at all is very unusual. There is almost always some sort of trade worked out, even with the most aggressive games I've seen.

5 rounds and you pulled the Imperium Rex? That was a bit of a fluke - it would have to be the first of the stage II Objectives and the person with Bureaucracy would have to have been in the lead.

You mention bottom 4, take a look at the variant strategy cards section in SE - you're supposed to add an extra Stage II objective, which will reduce the chances of this happening a little.

It almost sounds like your group might be overbuilding on ships, which is a common mistake. Quite often the winner squeaks by with just barely enough forces to stem the invading hordes.
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David Damerell
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schmuelle wrote:
No one ever had 10 resources left over in the status phase because of the constant aggression and planet gain/loss.
In the same vain, no one ever had 4 TGs, 3 influence and 3 ressources left over, as no trades were happening either.
Winning an invasion battle was also not possible since no one ever left a ground forces standing somewhere except on their HS, anticipating that no one would ever score that particular objective.
Aha, this makes sense. The difficulty is that none of you - an easy mistake with novice players - were really playing for VP.

Suppose two of the players, neighbours, had agreed on a pact? (This would not be binding). Then each of them leaves a GF on the mutual border, and presto, a VP each. Then they start a trade agreement. Now each of them is richer, has less border to defend, and has TGs coming in.

One of those players is going to win, unless the other players also start to cooperate rather than fighting for the sake of fighting.
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Oliver
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In all my years I've never played a game where most if not all of the players got their trade agreements worked out every round. No matter what race, even if the hacan player was a jerk, everyone traded for most of the rounds of every game.
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Necessary Evil
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Your doing something wrong. Good players are scoring 1 vp per turn usually starting round to or at worst round 3.


Chances are you are still playing the game like a territory control game or wasting too much time building ships you don't actually need.


M
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Jeff S
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You might want to use the Age of Empire rule, where all objectives are revealed at the beginning of the game.

In my group's 27 or so games we've never not had someone hit 10 points and we usually go 6-7 rounds.
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Guido Schmuelling
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Wow,
thanks for all the replies,
I will update the results of our next game.
Cheers
 
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Guido Schmuelling
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OliverOil wrote:
In all my years I've never played a game where most if not all of the players got their trade agreements worked out every round. No matter what race, even if the hacan player was a jerk, everyone traded for most of the rounds of every game.
This really seems impossible in our group for some reason.
The guy taking Trade will only approve with Trade Agreements involving himself. The next round, one of the not involved players usually takes Trade and cancels the two agreements from the player, who took trade beforehand.
Maybe we are just a bit too cut throaty.. No one wants to grant another player anything ^^

On a side note, we did shuffle 4 Stage II Objectives with the Imperium Rex cards as suggested by the rules.
 
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Scott Lewis
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schmuelle wrote:
OliverOil wrote:
In all my years I've never played a game where most if not all of the players got their trade agreements worked out every round. No matter what race, even if the hacan player was a jerk, everyone traded for most of the rounds of every game.
This really seems impossible in our group for some reason.
The guy taking Trade will only approve with Trade Agreements involving himself. The next round, one of the not involved players usually takes Trade and cancels the two agreements from the player, who took trade beforehand.
So the guy who takes Trade second decides it's better to hurt two players than to benefit himself? Seems like an awful waste of taking Trade to me.

And if the Hacan are in play, they don't need the Trade person's OK anyway - they can trade with anyone without "permission" when the Trade card is activated.

I'm not sure this particular style of using Trade is "cutthroat" as much as it is "poor strategy". Denying other people trades isn't unheard of, but others taking it just to cancel the agreement seems pretty useless - I'd rather take almost any card than do that. The only time I'd use Trade I to break agreements is if I was completely shut out and every other player was trading, and then I might use it to cancel all of them. I'd never use it to cancel just one agreement.
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David Damerell
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schmuelle wrote:
Maybe we are just a bit too cut throaty.. No one wants to grant another player anything ^^
I think you are. Specifically, I don't mean that your style of play is one I dislike; I mean that a less cutthroat player would be more likely to win, and two less cutthroat players would run away with the game by cooperating until a final showdown.
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Guido Schmuelling
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damerell wrote:
schmuelle wrote:
Maybe we are just a bit too cut throaty.. No one wants to grant another player anything ^^
I think you are. Specifically, I don't mean that your style of play is one I dislike; I mean that a less cutthroat player would be more likely to win, and two less cutthroat players would run away with the game by cooperating until a final showdown.
That makes a whole lot of sense
 
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Dustin Shunta
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sigmazero13 wrote:
schmuelle wrote:
OliverOil wrote:
In all my years I've never played a game where most if not all of the players got their trade agreements worked out every round. No matter what race, even if the hacan player was a jerk, everyone traded for most of the rounds of every game.
This really seems impossible in our group for some reason.
The guy taking Trade will only approve with Trade Agreements involving himself. The next round, one of the not involved players usually takes Trade and cancels the two agreements from the player, who took trade beforehand.
So the guy who takes Trade second decides it's better to hurt two players than to benefit himself? Seems like an awful waste of taking Trade to me.

And if the Hacan are in play, they don't need the Trade person's OK anyway - they can trade with anyone without "permission" when the Trade card is activated.

I'm not sure this particular style of using Trade is "cutthroat" as much as it is "poor strategy". Denying other people trades isn't unheard of, but others taking it just to cancel the agreement seems pretty useless - I'd rather take almost any card than do that. The only time I'd use Trade I to break agreements is if I was completely shut out and every other player was trading, and then I might use it to cancel all of them. I'd never use it to cancel just one agreement.
I tend to agree with you.

The two instances I see breaking used is 1) threatening the break to get 1-2TG from the other players (sometimes they really need TG this round and are willing to pay you off not to do it); and 2) If you suspect someone has the preliminary objective for attacking a trade partner - there are a few telltale signs of this. Again - it might actually be used more as a threat to extract TG since spending opportunity cost to hurt one other player is probably not great strategy and ultimately is more helpful to your other opponents than it is to you.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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In our games TradeMaster makes his trades, and everyone else can if they each pay a tax - usually 1TG each, occasionally other deals or numbers.

Trades mostly get made, and rarely get broken by the Trade tile (more often by attacks)
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