Steven C
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I just got the game and both expansions, (just 'cause, I've never even played before) and I've been hard at work trying to get everything sorted and into bags, boxes and bins. I was looking through the expansion's rule-books and I noticed entries on the replacements for some of the action, political and technology cards.

Now I'm wondering if I should just mix all of the expansion cards with the cards from the base set, or try to keep the rest of the expansion cards separate? I've already pulled the 2 'duplicate' racial tech cards, mostly 'cause I figure I'll probably never bother playing with one expansion's racial techs by themselves.
 
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Jarek W
Poland
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It's the same case as with other boardgames and expansions.
Should you begin with more complex game, mix them up.
If you want to learn the basics first, then keep the separation.
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Steve Williams
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Columbus
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The action and political cards are Errata fixes, definitely replace them with the expansion cards.

The Strategy cards; just jump to using the white expansion set. It's true that the Imperial Strategy Card will put a time limit on the length of the game, but that limit isn't going to be fast enough to alleviate the type of player that gets stressed out by TI3, and it's going to be a very unsatisfying ending for the type of player who enjoys TI3. And it will also be a wasted quarter-hour of your life explaining what those 8 strategy cards do, only to put them in the box and never use them again, starting over from scratch explaining the superior expansion strategy cards for your second game.

The technologies are worth adding the expansion materials. The uptick in complexity is irrelevant because the "tech-tree" is both extremely complex already and [rant] a huge trap that you shouldn't actually pay too much attention to. PC Strategy games have built in us this basic desire to "tech up" and find that sweet "goal" technology to build up to, but that is not true in Twilight Imperium. Technology is expensive. You will usually get only 1 technology per round. Technology that does not help you win the game is worse than worthless; it has negative value in that you spent resources and a command counter on it, when that could have been a fleet and a tactical action (which are much more likely to actively contribute towards acquiring Victory Points). In the base game, the only technology you need is XRD Transporters (Stasis Capsules are nice but not as essential, or can be a fine alternative). With both expansions added, the only other essential technology is Gravity Drive, assuming the board supports it. All other technologies are "Quality of Life" improvements that give you minor bonuses in various areas, which are nice, but not essential. Unless there are one or more public objectives out that require technology, you should not be going out of your way to acquire tech.[/rant]

To stop myself from further rambling, I'm just going to make my big suggestion for all the component types:

Systems: Mix them all in.
Races: Mix them all in [except Lazax, they are special scenario only]
Political, Action, Technology, and Objective cards: Mix them all in.
Preliminary Objectives: Skip for your first few games, but a great addition.
Strategy Cards: use the expansion set.
Racial Technology and Flagships: use them.
Tactical Retreats: use them.
Mechanized units: use them [with the understanding that they are not a "Ground Force", at all, for any reason, ever. They are a plastic unit that requires transport and can capture planets]
Leaders, Political Intrigue, Territorial Distant Suns, Final Frontier: Skip for your first few games, but try them some day
All other option rules: skip for now, skip forever.
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Ian Madsen
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Kearns
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You should follow the instructions for card replacements now.

As for mixing the decks, most of the expansion content is optional variants, so you can play with the expansions without adding most of their rules, so go ahead and mix the cards into their decks.

As you've never played before, and I assume you will be teaching a table of players who have never played before, so I strongly recommend against using optional rules, or at least limit yourself to only a few of the simple variants. Your first game will probably involve lots of rules referencing, so this will help limit that to the core rules.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Hungerford
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IncrediSteve wrote:
And it will also be a wasted quarter-hour of your life explaining what those 8 strategy cards do, only to put them in the box and never use them again,

Couldn't disagree more - we mostly use the original set.
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Steven C
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Oh yeah, I will not be using any of the optional modules for my first game (may even stay vanilla for the second, I dunno). I just wanted some opinions on the action, technology and political cards.


I'll also probably be using the original strategy cards for a while.
 
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