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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: 3-dimensional TI3 map rss

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alexander rietveld
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Wanna see something really geeky? Since TI3 is a space game, and space has 3 dimensions, I developed a 3 dimensional map. It's like packing oranges in a crate! Mathematically, I came up with a cuboctahedron-shape, 55 systems, 6 symetric home systems, 3 fields away from their neighbours, all home systems are 2 fields away from MR.
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Scott Lewis
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The idea is pretty cool, although there are two things that would give me pause:

1) There are a LOT of systems on that map, meaning that resources are going to be quite the glut. In my experience (though I know some disagree) in games where are there are tons of resources, the game turns into more of a "non-aggressive" game where everyone has plenty of resources and almost all their plastic on the board, and there are very few interesting and tough purchasing decisions.

2) With a 3D map like this, it drastically changes tactics, because now instead of only having to build a 2D wall, you'd have to build a more 3D blockade. The cost of this would be offset via #1, to some degree, but it could make the game drag on more as people spend more time trying to set up that blockade, and thus less time attacking each other.
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alexander rietveld
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Thanks a lot, very valid comments. Such a map would really be a "game-changer" in the literal sense.

Blockades in 3-dimensional space? Very hard to pull of, when you think of it. So that would indeed change the game.

My regular PBF-GM always makes maps for 6 players that have even more systems (normally with a 4th ring), and indeed this changes the nature of the game, though we still have plenty of battle action in our games. If resource glut is a consideration, there could be more empty systems built-in.

Battles would be stimulated in this map because, by average, players are closer to each other and to MR.
 
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Scott Lewis
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alex_R wrote:
Battles would be stimulated in this map because, by average, players are closer to each other and to MR.

This is something I'm not sure I agree with. Proximity itself doesn't encourage battles. There needs to be a reason to fight. If you have more space to expand to, there is less need to go to war.

What's more, because it's harder to protect your borders, it means that players may be less likely to want to draw out their forces to go on the attack. In the 2D game, going on the offensive can be risky because every ship you attack with is one less ship you have for defending your other border (as usually in 2D mode, you only have 2 borders to worry about most of the time). If you have to defend a more 3D border, each ship sent out to attack is going to have much more impact on your defensive reserves, especially since now you have multiple borders to try and secure. As such, you're going to see bigger defensive fleets, which in turn will lead to less common attacks, because the defensive fleets will just come in and crush them.
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alexander rietveld
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Again, very valid comments. I happen to have reasonable experience with large, rich maps (because of this preference of my PBF-GM). These games are usually done in round 6-8. You will not necessarily fight because you need the planets, but to beat up the neighbor who threatens to make it to the finish before you do. It is indeed a different game. Now the question is: is it a bad or a good difference? Playing it, one can discover for oneself...
 
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Scott Lewis
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I admit, I have limited experience with resource-rich maps, partly because in the few times I've tried them, I absolutely HATED them. I didn't feel like there were any interesting choices to make in production. It didn't affect our battles much, because everyone had big fleets, and since the game favors the defender, nobody had any reason to attack. Even when someone was winning, attacking would have little effect at that point.
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alexander rietveld
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...OK, then I think this map might not be for you...
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Lance Harrop
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There are a lot of ways to do 3D maps. I've played with them for years and the players I game with never ask for 2D.

I like this format you've done here, which is like a staggered honeycomb, precisely because it does give you more neighbors, which means more diplomacy, and because, if you think about it, it can be edgeless simply by adding layers and rings.

Also:

"The closed ends of the honeycomb cells are also an example of geometric efficiency, albeit three-dimensional and little-noticed. The ends are trihedral (i.e., composed of three planes) sections of rhombic dodecahedra, with the dihedral angles of all adjacent surfaces measuring 120°, the angle that minimizes surface area for a given volume. (The angle formed by the edges at the pyramidal apex, known as the tetrahedral angle, is approximately 109° 28' 16" (= arccos(−1/3)).)"
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Lance Harrop
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One thing to do is consider playing with the tiles face down at start. Not totally random but with enough resources near each homeworld to get a good start but spending time on exploration (a real missing 'X' of a 4X game).

You should also look for objectives that draw players in to the center rather then encourage dispersal.
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Martin DeOlden
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Been using the 3D style maps for years and love them (Original idea from Lance (leifr)). All players have to worry about every other player instead of just those to your immediate left and right. Makes fore a much more diplomatic game.

Sample map of some of the 3D maps.




I have more updated versions but have not posted them yet.
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alexander rietveld
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Thanks, really cool your maps :-) To me these look like curved surfaces in which you can return to your starting point by just going straight, am I right? They would not be space filling like the map I posted above. Our approaches do have some things in common though, like more connectivity and more proximity to more neighbors, as you mentioned. In my map, 4 of your 5 fellow player are direct neighbors, 3 fields away. only one is opposite, 4 fields away. Also MR is easily reachable for everybody. Indeed I believe this will make a more diplomatic game.
 
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Martin DeOlden
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The board connectors are in the small circles at the ends of the maps so that they act as a wrap (like unfolding a soccer ball). All neighbors including MR are 3 hexes away from each other so that all players are in range of each other and MR. Very Diplomatic game.
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alexander rietveld
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Thanks Martin. I understand your maps as hexagons on the curved surface of a planet (or a soccer ball), without any edges. My map can be seen as a volume filled with spherical systems, with edges.
 
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alexander rietveld
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I ran some statistics on the number of systems available per player on the official FFG maps, and they range between 6 1/6 (standard 6-map) and 9 1/3 (standard 3 player map). The 3-D map presented above has 9 1/9 systems per player, so it falls in that range of official FFG maps, on the upper side. Each and every map design of course influences game dynamics, I guess that's the point: each game being different. As said, if one would like to try this map, but worries about ressource abundancy, many empty or red border systems can be introduced to counteract.
 
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David Damerell
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alex_R wrote:
I ran some statistics on the number of systems available per player on the official FFG maps, and they range between 6 1/6 (standard 6-map) and 9 1/3 (standard 3 player map).


Yes. That's one of many things wrong with the 3-player game. I agree this can be fixed with system density (unlike a flat too-large map, everyone is at least close to each other) but I think the difficulty of blockades is also an issue.
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Scott Lewis
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alex_R wrote:
...OK, then I think this map might not be for you...

Very possibly I just mentioned my concerns as others like me might have them, but variants like this aren't going to please everyone
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