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Subject: Noob space crumbs firefight rss

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guttedgeek
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I'm not a big fan of spending all day gaming...or rather all day playing the same game so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to play Twilight Imperium 3. Among all the good things I've heard about this game, I've also heard that its loooonnnng! That aside, I was keen to experience this game to see if it really lives up to the hype. The fact that I love SciFi and another mate owns the game and wants me to teach him probably had a fair part to play as well

Dave set-up the weekend well in advance to make sure he could get the players (and those of us with wives etc could schedule in a full day uninterrupted). User manuals and FAQs were circulated so we wouldn't be heading in cold. Originally planned for six, we ended up with four - Dave, Simon, Llywelyn and myself. I'm kinda glad it was four as there is a lot of stuff to manage in your play area and even with a couple of axillary tables, we only just fit.

Using the favoured SPG, I was first off the mark. Ouch - I always prefer to watch and match what the others are doing until I can find some sense in a game . Anyway, my noobieness showed through fairly quickly: Not only did I struggle to grasp my obscurely worded secret objective card but I also expanded too slowly, thinking that I needed a good home base defence system rather than conquering many worlds with nothing more than a transporter and a few ground troops. Oh well, lesson learned for next time!

An alliance was formed between myself and Llywelyn (which lasted to game end) and then the fireworks began. Simon's completely unprovoked attack on me set the scene for the rest of the game: Simon and I going head to head and Dave and Llywelyn getting on with expanding, meeting objectives and winning those blasted victory points (that so conveniently seemed to elude me).

The resolution of battles is well done with defenders having an opportunity to return fire on an attacker before removing destroyed ships from the board. If memory serves me correctly, one battle was won by myself even with significantly less firepower and lucky dice rolls (it probably helped that I had a race with +1 firepower, and fancy pants long range SBDs).

Point wise, Simon spent much time building forces, myself defending/battling back that the point race was between Dave and Llywelyn. Neither of them firing a single shot until the last turn and even then it was rather muted. Simon's strengthen & solidify approach saw the conquered Mecatol Rex buried under so much plastic, ships had to be removed a number of times to see what were hidden under them. Quite a sight!

Time flew by and the 5.5 hour game seemed like only a couple. There were certainly times when I was getting wary but it didn't seem to matter - there is enough going on in this game to keep you fully occupied. There is also a lot to remember - action cards that seemingly have no use can quickly become useful but you need to remember they're there. I didn't even get an opportunity to upgrade my technology whist the others were happily studying the tech-tree. Sadly no war suns this game. Just as well - those capable of building them would have just sat back and somehow turned them into VPs I'm sure

The home run came when Llywelyn scored his hidden objective with a sneaky little Ghost ship that while obviously a tempting target to Dave, seemed inconsequential and thus a waste of a move to destroy. I don't recall the final scores but I was last, Simon next and maybe a VP between Dave and Llywelyn's win.

Overall I look on this game as a combination of Axis & Allies, Puerto Rico and Settlers of Catan. One that I'd gladly play again. Battles are a side line rather than central theme and its possible that this may be one sided if someone decides to gang up on you. That said, it doesn't seem to detract from the game - indeed if you sit back, earn VPs and make peace not war then I don't think you will have as an enjoyable time with it. If you have the time, enjoy science fiction and euro games with a dash of die based battles then you ought to give this epic game a try.

Dave's final comment was that he'd like to play again later in the year. Although I'm hardly a formidable opponent, I'm certainly a willing one - bring it on!!!
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Hugh G. Rection
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I've got this game, but have yet to bring (or fit) it to the table. Your session report has me looking forward to my first play even more. Commence Ludicrous Speed!
 
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Matt
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guttedgeek wrote:
...one battle was won by myself even with significantly less firepower and lucky dice rolls


I don't believe there was any luck in it. You are the dice-rolling champion of the world.
 
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John Robert
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Thanks for this Colin. I've had this game inching towards the table for some time.

I've been trying to introduce my group to slightly heavier fare, and the multiple powers & victory paths in Puerto Rico went down so well that TI3 looked like a natural progression. Then after our last game of Antike, when someone got frustrated over being backed into a corner and ground down, it was beginning to look like any board-wargame was going to have a tough time getting to the table. shake

It's encouraging that someone can enjoy their first game of something this complex, while getting both attacked and outrun in the pursuit of VP's, and still be thoroughly up for another play!

Circulating the rules & FAQ's ahead of time sounds a good idea - I've tried circulating links to rules and reviews for several games - but I'd like to ask in the case of TI3-
How long did you spend reading them?
Was that long enough?
Did they make sense without the components at hand?

Thanks!
 
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guttedgeek
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wharekumera wrote:
I don't believe there was any luck in it. You are the dice-rolling champion of the world.

Don't you mean dice tumbling champion?
 
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guttedgeek
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LightningMage wrote:
It's encouraging that someone can enjoy their first game of something this complex, while getting both attacked and outrun in the pursuit of VP's, and still be thoroughly up for another play!


I'm just not that competitive - I tend to enjoy games for what they are. But we're all different and indeed I game with some people who if they don't win after the second game of something will refuse to play it ever again. In my opinion, they've missed the point but hey, its there loss! Thankfully I'm also part of a group that is completely the opposite - fair, patient and encouraging - they love to game as much as I do and its extremely refreshing to find that.

So yeah, TI3 has the potential to put people off: inevitably someone will get cornered and if their nature means they don't see it as part of the game, they'll likely never play again. If the players you can call on are limited, you may just have to accept this possibility and forge on regardless.

LightningMage wrote:
Circulating the rules & FAQ's ahead of time sounds a good idea - I've tried circulating links to rules and reviews for several games - but I'd like to ask in the case of TI3-
How long did you spend reading them?
Was that long enough?
Did they make sense without the components at hand?


Yep, Daves an organised chap and this worked out well. I read them through a couple of times and like most games, struggled to grasp it. I'm a kinesthetic learner so reading rules doesn't really help me until I can see and feel how it fits together. I printed them and took them with me and I found myself referring to them often for the finer points of the game. FFG sensibly include an index which makes hunting for that elusive detail in the heat of play nice and easy.

Thankfully the game uses mechanics from Puerto Rico and A&A which I've played so I grasped the basics more quickly than usual. Really I don't find the mechanics of this game difficult at all - but knowing how to play the game doesn't mean I can play the game if you know what I mean.

Dave the organizer hoped that TI3 would become something that would hit the table maybe once or twice a year. I think this is a perfect way to look at it and from my perspective its worthy of planning and putting time aside for. Hopefully he can encourage an additional player or two to join in on the fun.

Good luck and enjoy!
 
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