Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Ever 6-Player Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tyler Ram
Canada
flag msg tools
Or “How the Mentak Coalition Conquered the Galaxy”

I just got Twilight Imperium III this past Christmas. I had a chance to play a couple 4-player games earlier, and this was our first time trying it with the full 6 players. I had the most experience with the two 4-player games under my belt; one other player had been a part of a 4-player game with me and the rest of the players were new. Our group has mostly played Game of Thrones Second Edition, Axis & Allies and Risk, so we were looking for something new.

I had all the new players watch an instructional video prior and I also printed off Tech Trees for everyone. We started at 11AM and I made sure that everyone knew it would be a full day commitment. Having played long games like Axis & Allies before, everyone was comfortable and excited to take on a full day of Space-themed board gaming. After reading several threads on this forum on what to do for a first game, we decided to de-power the Imperial Strategy Card to only give 1 Victory Point for the Primary ability; we also decided to reduce the cost of activating the Technology Secondary to 6 resources instead of 8. All other rules of the base game remained the same with no expansions or extra modules.

I let the other 5 players randomly draw two races each and pick which one they’d prefer to play with after reading through both race sheets. I then chose two myself out of everyone else’s discards. My two options were the Barony of Letnev and the Mentak Coalition. I decided to go with the Space Pirates since I liked their starting fleet and thought I could take advantage of the Destroyer and Cruiser’s pre-combat ability. The other races and their positions were as follows: To my left was the Federation of Sol (Blue pieces), left of him was the Yssaril Tribes (Red pieces), to his left the Naalu Collective (Black pieces), to his left the Universities of Jol-Nar (Purple pieces) and finally to my right were the Emirates of Haccan (Yellow Pieces).

After dealing out secret objectives we began to create the galaxy. I was dealt a poor hand with only one system containing planets in it (thankfully it was a 2-planet system with a combined 5 resources). The Yssaril were first up and immediately put an empty space between myself and Mecatol Rex. I could tell that since I had the most experience in the game that everyone else would be gunning for me right away. After the galaxy had come together, I didn’t have a lot to complain about, I had my 2-planet system right next to me, a Nebula to defend myself in front of me and plenty of other systems that could be reached from two hexes away since my neighbors Sol and the Haccan placed planets nearby. My Secret Objective was “Merciless” meaning I had to destroy a neighbor’s last space dock. I acted like I was upset that I didn’t have a clear path to Mecatol Rex, but really, I was fine staying in my own corner of space until the time was right to strike.

Round 1 began and most things went as can be expected on a first turn with everyone trying to land troops on adjacent systems with planets. The Federation of Sol was the only race to head towards Mecatol Rex, while everyone else seemed to be moving around the outer rim. I upgraded my tech to get Sarween Tools so that I could use that precious extra resource. The Naalu were the trade masters of the round and I was able to make a deal with them and they decided they’d let me make a deal with Yssaril Tribes also. Alliances were already being made as the Jol-Nar and Haacan to my right were talking strategy together as well as the Naalu and the Yssaril Tribes on the other side of the galaxy. I made a deal with the Federation of Sol to my left saying that I wouldn’t hinder his voyage to Mecatol Rex as long as he didn’t cross over into my space.

I decided to try and stake my claim for more planets on Round 2, but without any XRD Transporters, I was only able to lay claim to the systems themselves and not land troops on the ground. I claimed a 1-planet system directly next to the Haacan’s home system with two of my Cruisers and now he was very aware of my intentions to invade his space. Sol kept heading towards Mecatol and had troops in the planets right beside it, but now had to worry about the Yssaril Tribes taking the planet directly beside their home territory. Across the galaxy, the Jol-Nar bought two techs in the same round and was then able to build War Suns which didn’t sit well with the Naalu Collective on their right. Both races began to prepare for war with each other. I had no interest in taking on a War Sun this early in the game, so when trade was played, I broke my deal with the Yssaril tribes to make a new deal with the Jol-Nar and hopefully insure that they weren’t coming after me, despite being aligned with the Haacan.



Round 3 featured the first battle of the day as the Jol-Nar sent their War Sun-led fleet against the Naalu Collective and their swarm of Fighters. A lesson was learned by all, as the Naalu had their racial ability combined with Cybernetics for their Fighters to hit on 7’s and were able to destroy the Jol-Nar War Sun along with the rest of their fleet. The Jol-Nar was decimated as they had thrown everything they had on the board into this battle and were now ripe for the slaughter. The Naalu, instead, showed pity and made an alliance with them. This didn’t sit well with the Haacan, who were also aligned with the Jol-Nar and I was able to take advantage by making a deal of my own with them. I’d vacate the system next to their Home System if they promised not to push any closer to my space beyond that. Our new found trust was sealed with a hand-shake, which caught the attention of the Federation of Sol on my left and planted a seed of paranoia.

Heading into Round 4, I had the lead in Victory points with two (1 from the Imperial Card and 1 from scoring a Public Objective). Sol, Yssaril and Jol-Nar were on the board with 1 point each and the Haacan and Naalu had yet to score any points. Sol made their move on Mecatol Rex landing a couple Ground troops, but only had a Cruiser and a Carrier to defend the System’s Space. Now that Haacan no longer had to worry about me, they used a wormhole to send a fleet directly next to Mecatol Rex, which also blocked the Naalu from the Capital system. The Jol-Nar gained some Political power this round, as they were elected to be allowed to steal a trade good from anyone with an active trade agreement. I didn’t spread out much as I already had a Victory Point waiting to be scored and bought the Stasis Pods Technology to keep my options open in case some planets became available.

In Round 5, the Federation of Sol surprised everyone, especially me, as they vacated Mecatol Rex without scoring any secret objectives and attacked a two planet system I controlled along their border in the third rim. Without any XRD Transporters, they were unable to send any carriers to take the planets, but they did destroy the small fleet I had in the system. The Haacan took this opportunity to take Mecatol Rex, but the system containing the wormhole they came from was quickly taken over by the Naalu and their Fighter swarm. Jol-Nar and Yssaril seemed to be remaining fairly inactive, but both scored Public Objectives this round. At this point, my Mentak Coalition was tied with Yssaril and Jol-Nar for 4 points, with Sol at 3 and Haacan and Naalu falling behind.

Things got busy in Round 6 as the Naalu took Mecatol Rex from the Haacan, I retook the system that Sol had attacked me in earlier and the Yssaril Tribes took control of a third worm-hole system. The political card was big as it could have destroyed all the units in Mecatol Rex, but instead it gave everyone two Technology advancements. This gave the Mentak and the Hacaan War Sun Technology and it gave the Naalu and Jol-Nar Advanced Fighters Technology. I immediately bought a War Sun and used the Warfare card to get it to my front line. The Jol-Nar had rebuilt their fleet and was now making their way closer to Mecatol Rex.

We knew the finish line was coming soon as Round 7 began; everybody was scrambling for Victory Points and the Imperial Card. The Naalu used an Action Card to remove Diplomacy from the round; they controlled Mecatol Rex, but were looking to fight someone else. The Yssaril Tribes kicked things off by taking over the Wormhole between the Hacaan and the Jol-Nar to control the final Wormhole in the Galaxy. I wanted no part of the Jol-Nar fleet and conceded a two-planet system close to Mecatol Rex instead of risking war in that system. The Haacan had pretty much thrown in the towel at this point, so I decided that his space docks would be the ideal ones to destroy to get my Secret Objective. I started by telling him we should have our War Suns fight each other for fun, knowing my carrier and fighters would provide enough fodder to survive the battle. It worked and I took the system without having him being too upset about it.



Heading into Round 8, the Yssaril Tribes were in the lead with 8 Victory Points being the only race to score their Secret Objective. My Mentak Coalition and the Jol-Nar were close behind with 6 each, followed by Sol and Naalu with 5 and 4; the Hacaan were completely out of it. I had accumulated 3 Signal Jamming Action cards that I placed in my home system and the two closest spots to ensure that the giant Naalu and Jol-Nar fleets wouldn’t be tempted to attack me. Luckily, Jol-Nar pulled out of my territory and attacked Mecatol Rex in what would be the biggest conflict of the evening. After a lot of dice rolling and Action Card playing, the Jol-Nar was successful in avenging their earlier defeat from Round 3 and took Mecatol Rex from the Naalu. When the Imperial Card was played, everyone except the Yssaril Tribe was happy to see that Imperium Rex had not ended the game; instead the new Public Objective was to control 10 planets outside of your home system.

My Mentak Coalition had 7 planets outside of my home system, and needed to destroy two more Hacaan space docks to complete the Secret Objective. I only had 1 ground troop to accompany my War Sun into the Hacaan’s home territory and destroy their original space dock, but was unable to control the other two planets there. Luckily the Jol-Nar had vacated the two planet system that was conquered from me last round and with only a Ground Force in each planet, I was able to take it back. Now the only thing left was to destroy the final Hacaan space dock, it would come down to a one on one battle between Ground troops. The Mentak forces wanted the victory more that day and were able to control the planet and destroy the Hacaan space dock. At the end of the round, the Mentak scored 2 points for controlling 10 planets outside their system and 2 more points for completing their Secret Objective to leap-frog the Yssaril Tribes and conquer the Galaxy!

All in all, I think the game was a big success and not just because I was able to pull off the win. Everyone had a great time and was looking forward to trying it out again. We’re hoping to get a game going once a month for the next little while. The game took about 10 hours to play; we’re hoping we can trim some of that time down once we are more accustomed to the rules and strategies.

We also hope to try some of the modules that come with the base game soon; Leaders and Distant Suns will probably be the first we try after we have a few games under our belts. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the two Expansions, so they are definitely on my radar, but it may be a while before I have a chance to get my hands on either of them.

Some things we’ll do differently for next time is increase the Technology secondary to 7 resources because towards the end of the game it seemed too easy to acquire. Jol-Nar pretty much had all but 4 possible Techs and Naalu and Mentak were not far behind. We also have to follow the rules closer as we didn’t realize that Advanced Fighters meant that Fighters count towards Fleet Supply, which would have changed the strength that Naalu and Jol-Nar were throwing around towards the end.

I hadn’t planned on doing a write-up at the time of the game, so most of this is from memory two days later and I may be off about some of the details. Next time I’ll take a couple notes each round and a picture of how the galaxy is looking. I may also try to write it from a third-person historical perspective. Hope you enjoyed the read!
12 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kuba W
Poland
Kraków
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You should reread the rules for sure. And then the FAQ and other sources. In this game there are always things that are easily omitted or misinterpreted and it happens also in our group, even after many plays.

For instance, you shouldn't have been able to place your Abyz/Fria (if I see right) to the left of your Home System if it was the only hex with planets in your starting hand. You would have placed an empty hex in the first ring and then mandatorily the system with planets in the second ring - you cannot place two empty hexes in a row unless you have no other choice.

Anyway, a good story.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just Another User
United States
Mundelein
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like a great game this time around!

Most TI3 veterans will tell you that the Shattered Empire expansion's strategy cards will greatly improve your experience; I tend to agree, as the benefits tend to be not quite so momentous, and the rough edges of the game seem to "smooth out" for me when using them. Try both and see what you think.

As far as Advanced Fighters, remember that they only count toward Fleet Supply limits if you don't have enough carrying capacity for them. Thus, for example if you have 1 War Sun (with no Ground Units loaded) and 7 Advanced Fighters in a system , you are at Fleet Supply 2 for that system. I don't know if this would have impacted your game or not?

I personally don't like using things like Distant Suns and Leaders (and Space Mines in SE). While they are fun to use and enhance the gaming experience (especially Leaders for me), they tend to bog the game down a little, as they add even more decisions to an already long and AP-prone game. But go ahead and try them once and see what your group thinks.

Congratulations on a successful TI3 day!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler Ram
Canada
flag msg tools
ptyx wrote:

For instance, you shouldn't have been able to place your Abyz/Fria (if I see right) to the left of your Home System if it was the only hex with planets in your starting hand. You would have placed an empty hex in the first ring and then mandatorily the system with planets in the second ring - you cannot place two empty hexes in a row unless you have no other choice.


You're right, I vaguely remember that rule but had completely forgotten about it until you mentioned it. Good to know for next time. That sounds pretty brutal for people dealt a hand of systems with only 1 with planets in it though.

oldfan wrote:
Sounds like a great game this time around!

Most TI3 veterans will tell you that the Shattered Empire expansion's strategy cards will greatly improve your experience; I tend to agree, as the benefits tend to be not quite so momentous, and the rough edges of the game seem to "smooth out" for me when using them. Try both and see what you think.

As far as Advanced Fighters, remember that they only count toward Fleet Supply limits if you don't have enough carrying capacity for them. Thus, for example if you have 1 War Sun (with no Ground Units loaded) and 7 Advanced Fighters in a system , you are at Fleet Supply 2 for that system. I don't know if this would have impacted your game or not?

I personally don't like using things like Distant Suns and Leaders (and Space Mines in SE). While they are fun to use and enhance the gaming experience (especially Leaders for me), they tend to bog the game down a little, as they add even more decisions to an already long and AP-prone game. But go ahead and try them once and see what your group thinks.

Congratulations on a successful TI3 day!


Thanks, I have read a lot on this site about how the Shattered Empire cards are much better, but we did want to give the base cards a shot as it was most people's first time playing. If I can't get my hands on a copy of Shattered Empire, I might just print out some replacement ones for a future game.

I don't think we're at the stage yet where we'll add Distant Suns or Leaders, but maybe after a few more games we'll try one of the two. I'm leaning towards trying Leaders first before Distant Suns.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hector Flores
United States
Round Rock
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Holy crap you have a ridiculous # of transformers!

Thanks for the writeup.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler Ram
Canada
flag msg tools
galvornman wrote:
Holy crap you have a ridiculous # of transformers!

Thanks for the writeup.


Thanks, I guess you checked out my photobucket page, I don't think there were any Transformers in the background of the pics I posted. I have about 400 on display and another 200 or so in storage.

Quick update, I've played a couple more 4 player games since this one with my wife and her two sisters. The 4 player dynamic is definitely very different from the 6 player one. Trade and Politics aren't quite as fun with less people.

I'm planning another 6 player game in a couple weeks. Everyone who played last time is back for more, except the guy who had Emirates of Hacan who said it had too many rules and was too complicated. I guess this game isn't for everyone.

Any suggestions on what to do when you have a mix of new players with (very little) experienced players?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.