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Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: No Variants in the base game? rss

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Hillel Wajsberg
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I've read the rules, and i'm surprised nobody here mentioned that there seems to be no optional components or rules in the base game...
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PK Levine
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Not strictly true. There is one optional rule: You can play to 14 VP instead of 10.

But otherwise, they seem to have made a decision with each variant: Either it's part of the canonical game now, or the components for it aren't even present in the core set.

That said, I expect the first expansion to be mostly optional components, rules, and variants that you can choose whether to add into your game.
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Alexander
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yeah, on the one hand more options are great. this way everyone can play however they want.

on the other hand too many optional rules just make the impression that the designer couldn't make up his mind. if a designer is confident about his game, he wouldn't introduce a bunch of optional rules.
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Hillel Wajsberg
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3rd edition was plenty confident AND included variants - I just hope they won't release a dozen of small-sized expansions (like Descent 2nd ed.) instead of medium-sized value-boxes like in 3rd.
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Becq
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Not many, no. But they do still have the longer game option (14 points rather than 10 points), and the promissory notes are presented as "advanced rules". And 3-5 player games (considered "optional rules" in TI3) are still there. The objective deck in TI4 is handled sort of like a hybrid between vanilla TI3 and Age of Empire. Distant Suns are conspicuously missing, as are leaders. And Sabotage Runs is missing, but could easily be houseruled.
 
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Scott Lewis
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I've noticed a trend with FFG games of late to have fewer "variant" options included, at least in the base game. There are still some, but they don't seem to be as prolific as before.
 
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Andy Day

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The lack of variant rules is one of the strikes against this game, in my book. But I still preordered it and will burn bridges to get it played.
 
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Scott Lewis
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The original base game only had a few things listed in the "Optional Rules" section:

- Three, Four, and Five Player games
This was technically listed as an option. TI4 obviously allows this as well.

- The Long War
TI4 supports this one.

- Age of Empire
Not included in TI4, but those who like it can easily adapt it into TI4.

- Distant Suns
Not included in TI4, but the design space for adding this is definitely there in the future, possibly in a modified form.

- Leaders
Not included in TI4.

- Sabotage Runs
Not included in TI4. To be honest, in all the years I played TI3, I don't know if I ever actually saw anyone do this. I wouldn't be surprised if the removal of this was intentional.


Sure, Leaders and Distant Suns for me would have been cool, but I would guess they will come in some form later. Sabotage Runs, I don't care about. Age of Empire can be fun, and if I wanted to use it now, I could without breaking the game.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Sabotage Run would work way better as an Action card or maybe even an Agenda card (War Sun Plans Leaked, anyone?).
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John Drake
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I never bothered to calculate it out, but it always seemed to me that one is better of *not* attempting a sabotage run. Why blow away your entire fighter screen *and* lose the opportunities to apply their hits somewhere? Perhaps I've just overlooked something, but isn't it easier to blow up a War Sun without a sabotage run than with?
 
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Hector Flores
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I might try a sabotage run if all I have are 3 fighters defending a spacedock while my opponent comes in with a warsun stocked with all the invading ground forces.

But yes, very situational and rare. I've probably seen only 2-3 seriously attempted and no successes.
 
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PK Levine
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sigmazero13 wrote:
The original base game only had a few things listed in the "Optional Rules" section:

- Three, Four, and Five Player games
This was technically listed as an option. TI4 obviously allows this as well.

- The Long War
TI4 supports this one.


Right. Even though these barely count as "variants," they do exist.

Quote:
- Age of Empire
Not included in TI4, but those who like it can easily adapt it into TI4.


I don't think you'd need to change anything here. Just flip over all 10 cards and add a glass bead or similar marker to count turns. If one wanted to keep the Imperium Rex flavor, I guess you could pack a d4 and then flip over five S1 objectives and d4+1 S2 objectives.

Quote:
- Distant Suns
Not included in TI4, but the design space for adding this is definitely there in the future, possibly in a modified form.


I'm under the impression that the interaction between Action Cards and planet Traits is going to cover a lot of what Distant Suns did, so I'm holding off to see if that's the case. If not, then yes, I expect to see this in an expansion -- or I'll just print out a fan set after it's had time to be playtested well.

Quote:
- Leaders
Not included in TI4.


And of all the things to leave out, this was a good call. It's my opinion that Leaders add too much complexity for too little gameplay gain -- but even if you disagree, it's clear that they added enough complexity that you never introduced them to newbies until they had the game down. I imagine they'll show up in an expansion.

Quote:
- Sabotage Runs
Not included in TI4. To be honest, in all the years I played TI3, I don't know if I ever actually saw anyone do this. I wouldn't be surprised if the removal of this was intentional.


Ugh, no kidding. Who used this on a regular basis? At best, it was a way to waste your fighters by trading one hopeless battle for an even more hopeless gamble.

If we want to add it back in, it's ridiculously easy to do so, but I hope it stays gone. I do like the idea of an Action Card that handles the idea, though -- a one-shot that uses similar rules, but with a higher chance of success. That'd be fun.
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Lance Harrop
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Who teaches their players about the Sabotage Run?

If you have any newbies, really, what's the point.

Explaining transfer actions was hard enough.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Basically, Sabotage Runs are a joke / Star Wars reference that isn't worth the easily-ignorable rules complexity it adds.
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Lou Lessing
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The way they present Promissory Notes is sort of like they're a variant rule that's on by default, I guess, and there's the 14-point victory track. There are no other variant rules and I think that's really sad. I think variant rules are sort of the soul of TI, it's one of the most easily customizable games in the world, and that's a big part of why I like it so much. You can still do a lot to it without any of the components they took out if you want to, but I miss the attitude TI3 had, like it actively wanted you to customize it to your group. I will miss them more in spirit than in practice, I didn't really use any of them unmodified, and I'll have no problem customizing TI4.
 
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Lance Harrop
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brisingre wrote:
The way they present Promissory Notes is sort of like they're a variant rule that's on by default, I guess, and there's the 14-point victory track. There are no other variant rules and I think that's really sad. I think variant rules are sort of the soul of TI, it's one of the most easily customizable games in the world, and that's a big part of why I like it so much. You can still do a lot to it without any of the components they took out if you want to, but I miss the attitude TI3 had, like it actively wanted you to customize it to your group. I will miss them more in spirit than in practice, I didn't really use any of them unmodified, and I'll have no problem customizing TI4.


I get the impression that TI4 is meant to be anti-variantion. It's like Christian and Corey want a canonical version of their game that everybody will play to the standard rules.

Remember that Flagships are a player proposed variant (heresy) that the church (FFG) adopted as doctrinal. Now they stand in the door of GENCON and pronounce "No More!".
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