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Subject: The Twlight Before Christmas rss

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James Brennan
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'twas the Twilight Before Christmas and All throughout space Came the spreading of Trade Goods By the One Furry Race.

Apologies if this is similar to existing threads but I was looking for some advice to help me out in a slight bind.

So one of my good friends picked up a copy of TI4 and I decided we'd try and get a game in before Christmas. We've all played TI3 at least once, most approaching half a dozen times. So I stick the feelers up in our Facebook gaming group praying that we'll be able to get decent numbers.

Rather unexpectedly there was an overwhelming response and we somehow ended up with 7 players. Not ideal since the game is long enough with 6 but what can you do? So all of a sudden TI4's out, which is a bit of a bummer for my mate. I can understand as I was really looking forward trying all the refinements and subtle changes myself.

Currently the only way to ensure everyone can play is for me to dig out my copy of TI3. I own both expansions (SE and Shards) which leaves me with a lot of options. I was wondering if anyone could advise on the following to ensure we have the best TI3 experience possible.

The board - set up one of the 7 players maps so the galaxy isn't too lopsided. Should save a bit of time as well as I can have it ready before everyone arrives.

Strategy cards - looking for a good balance. I don't mind mixing and matching sets.

Objectives - all revealed at the start or one per turn? I quite appreciate the ability to plan ahead so favour the former personally. Probably will include preliminary.

Units - swithering about mechanised units/shock troopers.

Action/politic decks - could either of these do with a trimming? We have found some of the politic cards to be underwhelming whilst others are absolutely game changing.

Distant suns - never used these but reluctant to as understand they can slow expansion if you get unlucky.

Flagships/racial techs - quite like these so probably will include both.

Leaders/council votey dudes (assassins and so forth) - probably leave these out unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Don't think I can't think of anything else at the moment but sure I'll have missed something. Would appreciate some insight from anyone who has experienced a 7 player game before. Cheers!


 
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Steve Williams
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Thin the political deck as found in this thread: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/674489/removing-politic...

My preferred TI3 Strategy Card set:

Leadership, with the Speaker Token slapped on (can't choose it if you already have the Speaker Token)
Diplomacy II
Politics
Production
Trade II
Warfare I
Technology II
Bureaucracy (errata the secondary to draw 2 Action Cards)

Mix both the base game and shattered empire sets together, but cut the base game card that cares about mecatol rex for an entire round, cut all 3-point objectives, and cut all "I Win the Game" objectives.

When building the objective deck, many players miss the fact that Bureaucracy is supposed to be played 5 stage II objectives in it. So the proper deck is 6 stage I's, 4 normal Stage II's, and Imperium Rex.

As for thinning the action card deck, I made this list a few years ago: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/847110/thinning-action-...

It's far less impactful than thinning the Political Card deck, but can help.
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David Damerell
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Quote:
Apologies if this is similar to existing threads

It strikes me that in all such threads I just end up writing bits of http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~damerell/games/ti3/ti3not... so I'm just going to link it and have done with it. Particularly relevantly, it has a sensible 7-player layout (if you want to otherwise generate the galaxy normally) and other material that addresses your questions.
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James Brennan
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Thanks for the help guys. Gonna thin the decks and choose suitable strategy cards. The second guide recommends the use of political intrigue so I'm considering that as well.
 
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David Damerell
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OriginalJambo wrote:
Thanks for the help guys. Gonna thin the decks and choose suitable strategy cards. The second guide recommends the use of political intrigue so I'm considering that as well.


NB I do not recommend thinning either deck, except the removal of the second expansion ACs with rules of the form "If such-and-such are not in play, this AC is just worth a Trade Good". Not every AC draw has to be brilliantly useful. PCs are better dealt with by (as I advocate) allowing players to eventually turn useless ones into TGs without incentivising players to turn almost all PCs into TGs and by ensuring the Assembly-resolving player sees a meaningful selection. It's better to keep the rarely-used Agendas in so they can be rarely seen, provided they aren't (as in RAW) seen just as often as the more meaningful ones; and I think it's entirely legitimate for (as is possible in my scheme) an Assembly-resolver low on votes to select an Agenda that isn't world-shaking.
 
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Steve Williams
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In TI4 I agree that some weak political cards are needed in the mix. But not with the way TI3 works. If you let players turn them into Trade Goods, ALL of them get turned into trade goods, and then you're just drawing them blind off the top.

Politics might not get taken every round, and when half the deck is eye rollingly irrelevant, there is no tension for spending influence. It becomes always correct to always buy as many counters as you can. It is much more exciting when the 3 or 4 cards that get voted on are dramatic game changers. Maybe if you play TI3 twice a weak it isn't big deal to have an entire game go by without any interesting political debate, but for as often as most people will get to play the raw deck with both expansions is unacceptably watered down.
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David Damerell
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IncrediSteve wrote:
In TI4 I agree that some weak political cards are needed in the mix. But not with the way TI3 works. If you let players turn them into Trade Goods, ALL of them get turned into trade goods


No, they don't, as explicitly mentioned in the post just above. When I say I'm not in favour of thinning the PC deck, that has to be seen as part of my package of suggestions to improve the political system.
 
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