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James Thorne
New Zealand
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House rule: You gain planets refreshed rather than exhausted.

I’d like to use this house rule in the next TI game I host. My hope is that this house rule will speed up the early game and create more tension around combat for resources/influence and not just combat for victory points.

The house rule should:
• Provide more dynamic choices during the first two rounds of the game
• Incentivise more frequent combat and skirmishes
• Reduce turtling with massive fleets in just one or two systems
• Put pressure on alliances that keep completely undefended borders

I’d love to hear your opinions on this house rule.
 
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J Kaemmer
United States
Iowa City
Iowa
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Well you'd have to houserule Microtechnology too, and strong start races are now severely boosted. Yssaril most noteably will probably be unstoppable.
 
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Steve Williams
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I believe he means Nano Technology, since that is primarily the point of that tech. No one is going to buy it just to shut off Direct Hit.

In general I don't think this is a healthy change for the game. Turtling heavily is primarily a sign of new players or lack of familiarity with Combat. But gunboat diplomacy and threat of action is the bread and butter of TI3. It isn't a wargame, and attempts to make it so are generally misguided and not worth the effort when plenty of straightforward war games exist.
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Jonathan Challis
United Kingdom
Inkpen
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Jingo NZ wrote:

The house rule should:
• Provide more dynamic choices during the first two rounds of the game
• Incentivise more frequent combat and skirmishes
• Reduce turtling with massive fleets in just one or two systems
• Put pressure on alliances that keep completely undefended borders

I’d love to hear your opinions on this house rule.


The first turn is fairly predictable based on your race and starting galaxy (and this is why Distant Suns is a must), but I don't find the 2nd is at all.

Changes 2-4 that you are trying to create are negative and undesirable in my opinion. TI3 is a not a wargame, it's a cold war game. If you want something more action oriented there are much better games to be playing (and you aren't playing to the strengths of this one).

As noted above, some of the strongest races get stronger, and weakest races get weaker with this, just from the starting planets.

If you really wanted to speed up the early game (again I'd see this as negative) then just give everyone 4-5 Trade Good at the start.
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Necessary Evil
United States
Glen Arm
Maryland
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No this would break things.

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Andy Day

League City
Texas
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I like the rule. Good fun.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Thornton
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I think there's a reason that Nanotechnology is a mid-level tech, rather than one you can get right off the bat (even if some races can get it quicker than others).
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mikael mordai
Denmark
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Did you try simulated early turns?..
 
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Liam
Scotland
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Moved from General to Variants.
 
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James Thorne
New Zealand
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Thanks for the feedback. I don't like the idea of making already powerful races even more powerful.
You guys are saying that it is a feature of TI that you negotiate for borders rather than fight for them?

I love to tinker so I'm still looking for a house rule or two. I have another idea where players select a planet anywhere on the map and get a mech+gf there at the beginning of the game. Also thinking about custom secret objectives with a focus on controlling a number of planets to force people to think beyond their borders.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Jingo NZ wrote:
You guys are saying that it is a feature of TI that you negotiate for borders rather than fight for them?

I don't know if I'd go full out saying "negotiated RATHER THAN fight", but rather that this is just as much a politics/diplomacy/negotiation game as an outright fighting game. In fact, treating it as a fighting game is a good way to lose - you should only fight if it makes sense and that you have a good chance of coming out less damaged than the person you are attacking.

If you can negotiate a border, that ends up being more cost effective than doing it by force, so it is often a good option. But sometimes that doesn't work, so force is necessary.

I think I'd rephrase your quote to say it's a feature of TI that you can negotiate for your borders OR fight for them, as the game situation dictates and allows.
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David Damerell
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I don't have a way to fix it, but I do tend to feel it's too much a cold war; almost anything beyond the little dance of a skirmish that scores an objective tends to drag both fighting players down. The SE objectives don't fix this as much as one might like because players know this and resist the urge to escalate. The best you often get is an understanding that Mecatol Rex is a free-for-all.

TI1 didn't have this problem (objectives required you to hold large chunks of the board) but was much more prone to the problem of almost-elimination where a player has no realistic chance to win but isn't actually out (and should probably join a cooperative war against the leader, but will still only have a miniscule chance of winning by doing so). That sort of situation where playing to win obliges you to continue to play (and just dropping out is a kingmaker move, to boot) but it's a forlorn hope is miserable. [1] You can end up in that position in TI3 but you have to have really bobbled the game to that point to be so far behind on VP.

I say I don't have a way to fix it, but one thing I think helps are non-military means of aggression like the secondary of Diplomacy II.

[1] Unless, of course, you do win. I once took over a Discordia position in Illuminati after the original player walked away in disgust, and won, which was very satisfying.
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