Oh, America, what have you done.
It has been years since I played a marathon wargame of any kind (that being Axis & Allies) so I was pretty excited about this one.
John (the game's owner and the only one of us to have played before) had it set up when we arrived. We drew our races randomly and used a time-saving alternate rule that let us acquire some nearby planets without the burden of actually taking turns.
I drew the Hacan. Sean, on my left, played the defense and influence-oriented XXcha (henceforth known as the Turtle People, both for the art and for Sean's playing style). Matt, on my right, was one of the aggressive races (Jolnarr maybe? His dreadnoughts got +1 and cost 4 instead of 5), and across from me John drew the Letnev (embiggened fleet size, able to spend resources for temporary battle boosts). I had the ability to take trade goods from anyone who had more than 3, so my esteemed opponents simply spent theirs as they acquired them and I didn’t get a single one all game.
Trade was pretty uneventful. We all exchanged our trade cards in the first round and just kept them for the rest of the game (when one got broken because of an attack we’d just exchange them again right away).
John raced out the gate and captured Mecatol Rex the first turn, then added a space dock and proceeded to build a huge armada there with his large fleet size. He got a free point a turn off of that for four or five turns, and jumped out to a huge lead (6-3-2-2 at one point). His homeworld (which he did buff up some) was safe because he had the decidedly defensive Turtlefolk on one side and several red-bordered or empty tiles on the other. Of course, in taking and holding Rex he sacrificed his shot at gaining any significant resource-producing planets for most of the game.
The rest of us expanded quickly but avoided conflict, either because we're all timid gamers or because we were carefully taking our first toddling steps through the world of TI3. Sean the Turtleguy focused on action cards and defense, Matt had lots of tech and a potent fleet (small but packed with dreadnoughts and death stars), and I concentrated on acquiring as many planets as possible and building tons of ships. (Idle note: War suns are ****ing cool.)
Matt finally tried to relieve John of Mecatol Rex, but the dice gods took umbrage and smote Matt's fleet to the ground. I attacked the Rex next, catching them both by surprise with some fortuitous action cards and judicious use of the Warfare tile. John’s lack of resources finally caught up to him; he still had a huge fleet but no backup for miles around. Rather than risk getting knocked out of the game entirely he ran for the hills and left me with a sizable force on the Big Planet.
Halfway through the final round, the score was:
John-9 He had the lead but he’d been beaten up pretty badly.
Matt-8 Matt was in second with a decent shot at the 2 points he needed.
Eric-7 I was in third but I was guaranteed the last 3 points I needed.
Sean-6. I believe Sean was the only one who was out of the running.
Sadly for Matt and me, John had first shot at the Initiative tile and got to ten first in the Status phase. (To be fair, John would have crushed us except that the rest of us played hump-the-leader.)
Lessons I learned:
• I failed to appreciate how short the game really is (turnwise, I mean; it took 8 hours to play counting a few breaks), and I didn’t grasp the importance of the one-objective-per-turn rule. I believe I should have tried to get a victory point on the first turn; I spent the whole game playing catchup, getting one objective per turn even though I was eligible for 2 or 3 at a time.
• This also falls under “failing to appreciate how few turns there are”. I had built up my forces but not moved them, so when turns 7/8 rolled around I suddenly realized I was in large part too far from anything to have an impact. I took Mecatol Rex with a small fraction of my strength. I should have started moving them much earlier.
• I undervalued having a large fleet size limit. I should have invested more command counters in fleet size. I boned myself out of more than one attack because I couldn’t put more than four or five ships into one sector.
I'm sure I'll be much more aggressive and brimming with bloodlust in my sophomore outing. Oh yes, there will be a sequel, to my wife's potential dismay. (When I got home she asked if she was going to become a Twilight Imperium widow. ) Great game!
- Last edited Tue Apr 3, 2007 9:20 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:07 pm
Matt, on my right, was one of the aggressive races (Jolnarr maybe? His dreadnoughts got +1 and cost 4 instead of 5),
I beleive the race you were searching for is the L1Z1X. Jol-Nar is one of the least agressive races, being far more technologcal, and having -1 in all battles.