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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Subtle changes to ISC rss

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Christoff Jordaan
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So if one were playing TI3 with the base game only (not using Age of Empire option) and wanted to break away from the Initiative/Imperial cycle while making only minimal changes to the effect of the card, which option would change it from being an auto-pick while still being an attractive option?

Option A(official):
-The ISC is only worth 1VP. (suggested to use with Age of Empire option)

Option B:
-The holder of the ISC may not qualify for a public or private objective during the status phase.

Option C:
-The holder of the ISC must spend X command counters from their strategy allocation to gain the 2VP. (for some value X)

Option D:
-The holder of the ISC must spend X influence to gain the 2VP. (for some value X)

On a side note, how long does the last round of the game take in comparison to the rest of the game (assuming the game ends with the "game over" card being drawn) and how likely is it that a player can be eliminated from the game if the other players knew that it was the last round?
 
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Steve Williams
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BITS FOR THE BITS GOD!
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I like Option B much more than the others, but feel it will only weaken the cycle rather than preventing it. I suggest a combination:

1 Point, +1 Point if controlling Mecatol Rex. Cannot claim Public Objectives this round (secret still possible).
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David Damerell
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Emerald Wolf wrote:
On a side note, how long does the last round of the game take in comparison to the rest of the game (assuming the game ends with the "game over" card being drawn) and how likely is it that a player can be eliminated from the game if the other players knew that it was the last round?


How long does the last round last? This may depend very radically on whether or not it comes down to the last Stage II Objective card. If it does, if the player whose turn it is to take Imperial is not ahead on VP (and the odds are that they are not) they will presumably delay it as long as possible while they carry out a last-ditch attempt to eliminate anyone ahead of them. However, by this point, the odds are good that Domination and/or Supremacy is out; there may be a bit of a last-minute bloodbath going on anyway. (Multiple players behind on VP might even collaborate to let Imperial go to one of them other than the player who took Initiative, one of them who can stall still longer.)

This is a bit unsatisfying since elimination is hard to do, yet if it looks like a victory at Imperium Rex is likely, it's desirable to try for it.

PS just use the expansion strategy cards, anyway - Bureaucracy produces what I think is a more interesting endgame because some players have some information on where Imperium Rex is (or isn't) in the deck, and because taking Assembly to take Bureaucracy next round is a strategic choice not the "Buggins' turn" of Initiative/Imperial.
 
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David Hammond
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I was mulling over this after seeing some changes added to 4th ed that really sit well with me.

I think somehow adding in the mechanic for MecRex is good... something like IncrediSteve mentioned above like:

Imperial: The player holding Mecatol Rex gains 1VP. Flip the next objective card. The player playing this card gains 1VP, and can not claim Public Objectives this turn.

Secondary: A player may spend one strategic marker to claim an additional Public Objective this turn (IIRC - I only play once a year - you can only claim one per round)
 
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Christoff Jordaan
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I like the idea of adding in a MecRex control check to the imperial card for added theme, though I'm also curious as to how overpowered the ISC is percieved to be. So if one had to quantify it by saying it costs X of something to use (command counters, resources, influence, goods), then at what point would you say it becomes a viable option to choose a different card?

So maybe a variation along the lines of:
-The holder of the ISC must spend X <thing> to gain 2VP. If they control Mecatol Rex they may ignore this cost.

damerell wrote:

How long does the last round last? This may depend very radically on whether or not it comes down to the last Stage II Objective card.


I ask mainly because it seems that if the players don't know that the next objective card flip will end the game (in the instance that it does) then they would have spent an entire round taking actions that in no way affects the players' standing score-wise and that it would be better to be able to end the game a turn earlier (unless of course the players want to try eliminating someone ahead of them on the score track).

damerell wrote:

PS just use the expansion strategy cards, anyway.


That sort of defeats the purpose of wanting to experience what the base game can provide sans the forced Initiative/Imperial choice and assumes one owns the expansion or is willing to play with custom components.
The reason for seeking only a subtle change to the rules is that it is hopefully easier to remember and adjust to.
 
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David Damerell
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Emerald Wolf wrote:
I ask mainly because it seems that if the players don't know that the next objective card flip will end the game (in the instance that it does) then they would have spent an entire round taking actions that in no way affects the players' standing score-wise

The old TI3 PBEM fix for this was "delayed Imperium Rex", where the final round is played out completely. This improves matters in that objective-chasing in the final round is worthwhile, but perhaps also is undesirable in that it can result in a final-round bloodbath in many games, not just in the small handful which go down to the last Stage II Objective.

Partly I think the answer is to use Artifacts, which put enough extra VP on the board that wins at Imperium Rex just don't come up that often.
damerell wrote:
PS just use the expansion strategy cards, anyway.

That sort of defeats the purpose of wanting to experience what the base game can provide sans the forced Initiative/Imperial choice and assumes one owns the expansion or is willing to play with custom components.[/q]
The second part seems a strange objection since "willing to play with custom components" is an utterly trivial assumption which is true of essentially everyone. I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend a procedure that required you to roll 3d6 on the basis that it assumes you can find 3d6.

(As to the first part, sure, I appreciate that people like to try to fix Imperial, although I don't see the point myself; that's why it's a short side note and not the main part of the message.)
 
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