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Jonathan Clee
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Hi all, last year for my buddies birthday we went to his lake house and played through all of Risk Legacy. We had from 7PM Friday Night, all of Saturday and most of Sunday. Literally all we do is play the game.

This year we are going to try Twilight Imperium and its expansions. None of us have played before but I've sent the rule books out and the 30 minute how to play video. So hopefully the 4 four of us don't go in too rough.

I have many questions pertaining to a groups first play through (I think with the time we have we'll be able to get two games in but these are questions strictly about our first run through)

I've been told to use the pre made Fantasy Flight 4 player map. To not use mercenaries and leaders and to not use the distant suns module. I do have a bunch more questions that I will list here.

1) Should we use the 2 strategic cards per player as the 3/4 player variant describes?

2) Should we play with Age of Empires? (although reading the rules for that already confuses me)

3) Random Races for first game or choose? And should we ban any specific races for a first game?

4) Use the Shattered Empires objective deck or combine the two if that is a thing? (my group would not mind an aggressive game, Game of Thrones is probably our most played board game).

5) Using preliminary objectives? I feel like this is probably a good thing for a first game as it offers an initial goal.

6) Which Strategy Card deck to use? I've read the 2nd one is superior but I dunno.

7) Political intrigue is something that interests me a lot and that uses 'Politics III' and 'Assembly II' and 'Shards' and I'm not sure what shards are, so is Political Intrigue worth it for a first game or save it?

8) Artifacts? I know I was advised against Distant Suns for a first game but the pre made 4 player map includes 2 face up Artifacts.

9) Voice of the council? It seems fun but also seems like a lot of power for one player in a 4 player game, if an alliance is formed and the game boils down to 2v2 then the voice would seem extremely powerful.

10) Wormhole Nexus, it sounds cool but it is not on the pre made 4 player map so I probably should leave it out first game?

11) Race Specific Tech and Flagships? The flavor seems like it would be a great addition.

12) Sabotage Runs? I think I'll leave this up to the group to decide, because the theme is awesome but it could make some very bitter people.

13) Facilities? Should we use them?

14) Mechanized Units? I haven't received the package with Shards in it yet so I'm not sure what these are, but hey, mechanized units just sounds cool.

15) Hopes End? Should we use it? I believe this is also on the Fantasy Flight pre made map.

16) Trade Stations? Should we use them? I also believe this too was on the pre made map.

17) This is more personal to my group and this yearly lake house birthday party. In between each game of Risk Legacy a loser was determined and a punishment dished out. Jump in a lake in VA at 2 AM in October. Go to Walmart at 4 AM and have the rest of the guys pick a Halloween costume for you to wear until you got home (I lucked out with a really comfortable prisoner's uniform). Things like this, but I'm not sure where to break the game up and decide a punishment and loser with TI3. I have Cockroach Poker and Pairs after asking around for a quick definitive loser game. Or we could roll a die for every VP or something and lowest loses. But the main question is when to throw these bets in? I don't want to derail the game but having essentially one or two punishments at the end the weekend won't be that much fun either. What would you recommend?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Richard Sampson
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Ann Arbor
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My advice would be keep modules to a minimum since you have never played. You will already be constantly looking stuff up so best to keep it simple as it will already be a very long game. That being said, there are a few things you should use to make the game run smoother.

1.) Use the double selection as per 3/4 rules

2.) Use a pre-made map. Feel free to include whatever is on there (Hope's End, Wormhole Nexus, etc.)

3.) Use the strategy card replacements from the first expansion

4.) Use Age of Empire module

5.) Do random races, but give everyone 2 or 3 and let them choose

6.) Print a tech tree summary for every player. There are several in the files here on BGG. I would say this is a MUST, and more important than most things I have listed.

7.) Ideally have everyone read the rules, at least for the base game

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Matthew Lockdall

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Heres my two cents I hope it helps.

The first game is bound to be a bit rough, we still have rules disputes and have played the game 20+ times.

1. Yes Play with 2 strategy cards.
2. No don't bother on your first game.
3. Up to the table some are more straight foward, but you won't break the game on your first play.
4. Just shuffle them all together.
5. Your intuition on this makes sense.
6.There are a lot of opinions on this subject. You will be fine with the base set, however my personal fav is:
1. Leadership
2. Diplomacy
3. Assembly II
4. Production
5. Trade III
6. Warfare
7. Technology II
8. Bureaucracy

7. Its personally one of my favorite parts of the game and assembly II really emphasizes the laws and the diplomacy. I say go for it.

8.artifacts are good and wont be bothersome.

9. This may distract on your first game.

10. If you are using the pre made map dont use the nexus.

11. Yes use the racial techs. You may not get them out, but they are fun. The flagships could be game changing for your first game.

12. Yes this will not be a bog deal. Crazy bad odds.
13yes
14 may be a bit much game one.
15yes
16yes

All the above just add a bit of flavor. Try to pick and chose. Facilities and trafe stations will just bring a few more trade goods into the game.

17. Twilight Imperium is a lot to bet on and i dont know when you would do it. I think rewarding the victor may be more appropraite than punsihing the 3 losers essentially. I think you could do it but I have no advice on when it would work.
 
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David Damerell
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Demos314 wrote:
1) Should we use the 2 strategic cards per player as the 3/4 player variant describes?

Yes. This is not an optional rule. (If some third party is reading this and is thinking of posting a platitude about how they're all optional in a sense, don't.)
I also strongly recommend the Shattered Empire strategy cards.
Quote:
9) Voice of the council? It seems fun but also seems like a lot of power for one player in a 4 player game, if an alliance is formed and the game boils down to 2v2 then the voice would seem extremely powerful.

It's not. It's a single VP and even if the game is otherwise 2v2, 3 should be able to agree to keep it out of the hands of the VP leader. I don't bother with it.
Quote:
12) Sabotage Runs? I think I'll leave this up to the group to decide, because the theme is awesome but it could make some very bitter people.

No. Pointless crapshoot.
Quote:
15) Hopes End? Should we use it? I believe this is also on the Fantasy Flight pre made map.

Personally, I use it, but as the only way of getting Shock Troops. The rule about rolling 10s in combat is too fiddly.
Quote:
16) Trade Stations? Should we use them? I also believe this too was on the pre made map.

Sure. They're no more difficult to deal with than planets.
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Thomas Robb
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If you have time before the "event," go through some of the previous threads about playing the first time here on the geek (there are many, just pick a few)

I have written a thread (a few years ago about setting up a game for first time players)

There are some suggestions/opinions/variants/ideas etc. about how to play this wonderful epic for the first time

One thing not often talked about is your play group. What do they like? Lots of strategy? Combat heavy games? Lots of interaction? Base your choices on the personalities of your group.

I even choose races ahead of time for new players.

Just some random thoughts.



 
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Starkiller
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You look like you are thinking of using a bunch of optional rules. I would keep that to a minimum, as every optional rule adds just a little bit more rules explanation and confusion. This is a great game, but even the base game can be overwhelming the first time. Don't make it more overwhelming.

That being said, do include a couple that you think your buddies would really like. If you have all weekend, you probably have enough time to play more than one game!

There are two times you have to be wary of the rules killing the fun in TI3. The first is before the game starts. If you take too long on the initial rules explanation, your buddies will be....less interested before you even start. You have to simultaneously be quick and thorough here. The rules explanation is almost an art into itself.
This guy took the idea of sending the rules out in bite-sized chunks:
Email rules explanation

This is how I explain the rules:
My rules explanation, covering everything vital but nothing extra

The second time you can have issues with rules killing the mood is during the game, when someone wants to do an unclear/optional rule. Suddenly the action stops dead as you explain exactly how this new thing works, and how it affects everything else. If this happens too much, the game will slowly have the life sucked out of it.

So, my advice is to use very few optional rules, as explained here:
A few good options to include, and a few you shouldn't.

On to your specific questions:

Demos314 wrote:
Hi all, last year for my buddies birthday we went to his lake house and played through all of Risk Legacy. We had from 7PM Friday Night, all of Saturday and most of Sunday. Literally all we do is play the game.

This year we are going to try Twilight Imperium and its expansions. None of us have played before but I've sent the rule books out and the 30 minute how to play video. So hopefully the 4 four of us don't go in too rough.

I have many questions pertaining to a groups first play through (I think with the time we have we'll be able to get two games in but these are questions strictly about our first run through)

This is one excellent reason to really limit the options on your first game. Add cool stuff into the second.
Demos314 wrote:
I've been told to use the pre made Fantasy Flight 4 player map. To not use mercenaries and leaders and to not use the distant suns module.

The problem with the premade maps is they include optional rules I do not recommend for your first game. You can switch them out for similar value systems, but now you are hunting through the system pile comparing things. It suddenly is not any quicker than building the map per the rules.
Premade map is fine, if you can set it up before they are ready to play. If all four of you are getting there at the same time, it really doesn't help much. Trying to build the map/find the matching systems while people are bouncing around ready to start is a pain.
If you have time to set up alone, you can also build your own map. Just make it mirror image of itself, so everyone is equal. This takes time, however.

Newbies can build the map. Just tell them resources are the important number. If the system has more than 2 resources, it's a great system. If it has 2, it's OK. And if it has less than 2, it is lame. Put lame systems by opponents, good ones by you. They will do fine.

Definitely do not use mercs or leaders. They add a bunch of time.

Honestly, if you are not super pressed for time, I would use Territorial Distant Suns. It doesn't add too much time, very little extra rules (just check the back of the rule sheet to see what that one does) and really spices up the first couple rounds. Highly recommended.
Demos314 wrote:
1) Should we use the 2 strategic cards per player as the 3/4 player variant describes?

This isn't an option. Yes, definitely. The game won't work terribly well otherwise.
Demos314 wrote:
2) Should we play with Age of Empires? (although reading the rules for that already confuses me)

I wouldn't.
Demos314 wrote:
3) Random Races for first game or choose?

Careful with the choosing option....they may both want the same race! (It happened to me. 3 players. Dumped the whole pile of races on the table "choose 1" ...and they both want Jol-Nar. Augh.) It honestly depends on you and your buddies.
The way I do it:
Deal all available races out to the players, even if some players have one more race than others. They now have 'right of first refusal' for those races. Any they aren't interested in go in the middle of the table. Players can choose from any race in their hand or on the table.
Generally, what happens is this:
anyone who wants a particular race will say so. Whoever has it in their hand, if they don't want it, will hand it over. Now there are a bunch or races on the table.
Those who are seriously looking at a couple races grab those up, will have those in hand, and drop the rest on the table. They will eventually come to a decision.
Now, almost all the races are on the table. The players who want a bunch of options now look things over and decide.
It actually works pretty well for my group. Structured enough to keep things moving, loose enough everyone generally gets what they want, and has priorities should there be any conflict between who gets which race.
Demos314 wrote:
And should we ban any specific races for a first game?

Yes. Arborec, Creuss, and Nekro Virus should not be played on anyone's first game. They play completely differently.
Yssaril and Naluu are maybe removes.
Demos314 wrote:
4) Use the Shattered Empires objective deck or combine the two if that is a thing? (my group would not mind an aggressive game, Game of Thrones is probably our most played board game).

Just use the SE deck. Combining them is a bad idea, there are many peaceful almost-duplicates.
Demos314 wrote:
5) Using preliminary objectives? I feel like this is probably a good thing for a first game as it offers an initial goal.

I would NOT do this. The secret objectives provide an initial goal. Preliminary objectives muddy up the waters just a bit, and can hurt players. If they can't get their 1VP Prelim Obj, they can't get their 2VP Secret Obj.
Demos314 wrote:
6) Which Strategy Card deck to use? I've read the 2nd one is superior but I dunno.

Definitely use number 2. Here is my in-depth explenation of why.
Demos314 wrote:
7) Political intrigue is something that interests me a lot and that uses 'Politics III' and 'Assembly II' and 'Shards' and I'm not sure what shards are, so is Political Intrigue worth it for a first game or save it?

Good lord, don't use this your first game. Adds a ton of time and rules, and you don't even know how to vote yet. I know I say to use stuff your are interested in, but this is a complicated, huge addition. Please don't for your first game.
Political Intrigue is aimed at players who want more stuff to trade and leverage. In addition, players need to not mind being shut out of a vote sometimes or even kicked out of politics entirely. You will probably need at least 2 games under your belt before you decide if your game group falls into that category.
Demos314 wrote:
8) Artifacts? I know I was advised against Distant Suns for a first game but the pre made 4 player map includes 2 face up Artifacts.

I wouldn't. Just one more rule to explain your first time. Second game, sure, if you want. Ignore them on the preset map, it's not vital. Set the map up and don't put out the artifacts.
Demos314 wrote:
9) Voice of the council? It seems fun but also seems like a lot of power for one player in a 4 player game, if an alliance is formed and the game boils down to 2v2 then the voice would seem extremely powerful.

It's not overwhelmingly powerful. But, again, one more ruleset. I would not use this your first game for that reason.
Demos314 wrote:
10) Wormhole Nexus, it sounds cool but it is not on the pre made 4 player map so I probably should leave it out first game?

This one has been mentioned many times. The Wormhole Nexus is the EASIEST thing to add. Zero extra rules, zero confusion on how it works, and a great addition to the game. Yes, use it. It works fine with the preset map too.
Demos314 wrote:
11) Race Specific Tech and Flagships? The flavor seems like it would be a great addition.

This is a tricky one. Lots of extra rules here, so normally I would say no, but they add so much to the race flavor. Usually, I compromise and use the race techs, but not flagships on player's first game.
Demos314 wrote:
12) Sabotage Runs? I think I'll leave this up to the group to decide, because the theme is awesome but it could make some very bitter people.

I wouldn't worry too much about bitter people. The odds are long. The theme is great, and frequently can make players super excited about the game. However, there are a lot of rules--but they don't usually come up. Here is how I do it:
Before the game starts, I mention the Trench Sabotage Runs, as much to generate excitement as anything else. I, however, refuse to explain how it works. I just say fighters can do a trench run on the war sun, and the odds are really long--I will explain more when it comes up.
Then, when it does come up, there is one thing you do not want to happen: a long rule explanation and then they decide not to do it. Boring. If they are unsure about doing it, just really stress the odds are long and it is usually economically smarter to not do it. This is usually enough to turn away an unsure player. However, if they are dead set on doing it for the cool factor, GREAT! Explain the rules and throw dice.
Demos314 wrote:
13) Facilities? Should we use them?

NO! More unnecessary rules for the first game.
Demos314 wrote:
14) Mechanized Units? I haven't received the package with Shards in it yet so I'm not sure what these are, but hey, mechanized units just sounds cool.

Tanks are always cool. So long as you know all the diferences and exceptions between these and GF units, go for it. The rules are mostly the same.
Demos314 wrote:
15) Hopes End? Should we use it? I believe this is also on the Fantasy Flight pre made map.

No, don't. DO NOT USE SHOCK TROOPS YOUR FIRST GAME. Wayyyyy tooo many more rules and exceptions to learn and keep track of. Just switch out the system for Capha. Alternatively, keep Hope's End, but tell everyone that you are not using the weird shock troop symbol, and you will not take time to explain why. (Long explanations are already too common, and they drain the excitement out of the game.)
Demos314 wrote:
16) Trade Stations? Should we use them? I also believe this too was on the pre made map.

I wouldn't. One more ruleset to explain. It's not too complicated...but the straw that broke the camel's back....
Just switch out the system in the preset map.
Demos314 wrote:
17) This is more personal to my group and this yearly lake house birthday party. In between each game of Risk Legacy a loser was determined and a punishment dished out. Jump in a lake in VA at 2 AM in October. Go to Walmart at 4 AM and have the rest of the guys pick a Halloween costume for you to wear until you got home (I lucked out with a really comfortable prisoner's uniform). Things like this, but I'm not sure where to break the game up and decide a punishment and loser with TI3. I have Cockroach Poker and Pairs after asking around for a quick definitive loser game. Or we could roll a die for every VP or something and lowest loses. But the main question is when to throw these bets in? I don't want to derail the game but having essentially one or two punishments at the end the weekend won't be that much fun either. What would you recommend?

Heh heh. Well, every two rounds would probably work just fine. A game has between 7-10 rounds, and that might be a nice break. I would just award it to the one with lowest VP, die roll to break ties.

Good luck!
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possum man
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Demos314 wrote:
1) Should we use the 2 strategic cards per player as the 3/4 player variant describes?


Yes. This isn't optional, just FYI.

Demos314 wrote:
2) Should we play with Age of Empires? (although reading the rules for that already confuses me)


Nope.

Demos314 wrote:
3) Random Races for first game or choose? And should we ban any specific races for a first game?


Choose races, and ban many. i would recommend playing with any combintation of Letnev, Sardakk Norr, Sol, Winnu, L1z1x, Hacan, Mentak.

Demos314 wrote:
4) Use the Shattered Empires objective deck or combine the two if that is a thing? (my group would not mind an aggressive game, Game of Thrones is probably our most played board game).


Don't mix them; use one or the other. If you want a slightly more aggressive game, use the SE ones.

Demos314 wrote:
5) Using preliminary objectives? I feel like this is probably a good thing for a first game as it offers an initial goal.


Sure, why not. A couple may need removing in 4-player as they are designed for a 6-player game. (For example, one needs you to control a planet adjacent to another player's homesystem. Fine in 6-player, VERY hard in 4-player).

Demos314 wrote:
6) Which Strategy Card deck to use? I've read the 2nd one is superior but I dunno.


Normally I would suggest using the base set, but in your particular circumstances use the SE set.

Demos314 wrote:
7) Political intrigue is something that interests me a lot and that uses 'Politics III' and 'Assembly II' and 'Shards' and I'm not sure what shards are, so is Political Intrigue worth it for a first game or save it?


Save it. For a first game, you want to try to minimise optional rules.

Demos314 wrote:
8) Artifacts? I know I was advised against Distant Suns for a first game but the pre made 4 player map includes 2 face up Artifacts.


Go for it.

Demos314 wrote:
9) Voice of the council? It seems fun but also seems like a lot of power for one player in a 4 player game, if an alliance is formed and the game boils down to 2v2 then the voice would seem extremely powerful.


Leave it.

Demos314 wrote:
10) Wormhole Nexus, it sounds cool but it is not on the pre made 4 player map so I probably should leave it out first game?


Either/or. It doesn't do that much.

Demos314 wrote:
11) Race Specific Tech and Flagships? The flavor seems like it would be a great addition.


It's a lot of optional rules, but they are very good. If you decide you're up for the challenge, then these are the rules to add in. But be wary of rules overload.

Demos314 wrote:
12) Sabotage Runs? I think I'll leave this up to the group to decide, because the theme is awesome but it could make some very bitter people.


Nah.

Demos314 wrote:
13) Facilities? Should we use them?


Nah.

Demos314 wrote:
14) Mechanized Units? I haven't received the package with Shards in it yet so I'm not sure what these are, but hey, mechanized units just sounds cool.


Nah.

Demos314 wrote:
15) Hopes End? Should we use it? I believe this is also on the Fantasy Flight pre made map.


Nah. And don't feel like you have to use a pre-made map.

Demos314 wrote:
16) Trade Stations? Should we use them? I also believe this too was on the pre made map.


Go for it, they're super simple.

 
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