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Subject: War Suns over Mecatol Rex: A Session Report rss

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Tommy Liles
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Setup:

Last Sunday, December 17, 2017, some friends and I gathered for a 5-player TI4 game. We selected races, with the following result (in seating order clockwise around the table):
--Muaat (Jason)
--L1Z1X (Alan)
--Yin (Justen) (+2 TG)
--Naalu (Cathy) (+4 TG)
--Mentak (Tom aka yours truly) (+2 TG) (Speaker)

We proceeded to build the universe, resulting in a curious map: the inner rings were mostly open space and hazards while the outer ring was a nearly unbroken ring of planets.

Overview by faction:

Mentak took technology the first two rounds, developing into Cruiser 2 and then developing toward Mentak Racial Techs, and then hardly bother with tech for the rest of the game. Realizing the futility of trying to pirate against psychic snake-women, I traded away my racial promissory for a song to the Naalu, essentially buying peace in exchange for not taking their money. In hindsight this was probably the best decision I could have made, especially considering the two-front war I ended up in, but we’ll get to that. My final piece of opening strategy was to send a small fleet of Cruiser 2s through Alpha Wormhole (“the A-Hole”) and set up shop on a strategically placed planet on the far side (“Planet A-Hole”). Planet A-Hole, in addition to guarding the A-Hole from hostile intrusions and serving as a forward base, was situated directly between the L1Z1X and the Yin, making me neighbors with both from turn one or two onwards, which brought in a lot of pillaging money.

Naalu, with my promissory in hand and the Yin headed off on other adventures (more on that later too) spread far and wide creating an incredible net of planets rich in influence and tech specialties, if not resources. At its greatest extent the Naalu Collective embraced a third of the universe, including nearly every all of Yin space. Naalu would quickly develop PDS 2 and proceed to deploy either all or nearly all of their space cannons on the board, creating a tangle that later would see four Plasma Scoring enhanced PDS’s firing at an invasion fleet.

Yin, sensing an opportunity, made a play for Mecatol Rex on turn three and held it until at least turn six, and racked up a truly concerning amount of victory point during that time. At the same time Yin developed their Implulse Cores, turning their destroyers into kamikaze bombers. Between the tar-pitting caused by the destroyers in space and further quagmires caused by their indoctrination ability planetside, several invasions by the Naalu and the L1Z1X fell short. The L1Z1X, fearful that their super dreadnaught fleet would be vulnerable to the direct hits cause by Impulse Core explosions and unable to transport masses of infantry whilst maintaining a fighter screen experienced a particularly great deal of difficulty dislodging Yin.

L1Z1X, gifted with a particularly-resource rich portion of the galaxy, shielded on one side by a massive asteroid field, with a strategic détente agreed upon with the Muaat and with the Yin more concerned about holding Mecatol Rex than securing the border, had a pretty good setup. L1Z1X built massive fleets of super-dreadnaughts and accompanying fighter-screens to create perhaps the most impressive fleet in the universe. Although not geographically near each other, the Mentak and the L1Z1X would become implacable foes from mid-game onwards. Over the course of play the super-dreadnaught fleets would effortlessly break the Mentak blockade over allied Muaat, menace Mecatol Rex, repel a fleet of Cruiser 2s sent by Mentak over from Planet A-Hole, and threaten the Mentak homeworld of Moll Primus itself. Nobody won a single space combat against the L1Z1X during the entire game.

Muaat, sharing that resource-rich portion of the galaxy and also benefiting from an informal peace treaty with the neighboring L1Z1X, was hampered by their impressive-yet-slow starting fleet it took them a while to get rolling. They remained initially distant from their Mentak neighbors who seemed to have their hands full harassing the Yin and L1ZIX. Eventually they would upgrade their War Suns, build another War Sun, and join the school of sharks threatening the beleaguered Yin on Mecatol Rex, only to break off into an incursion against the Mentak, then back to Mecatol Rex, which they would take, then breaking off again to fight with the Naalu, then to invade the Yin, and then finally back to Mecatol Rex after it had been conquered by the Mentak, where they would spark the climactic battle of the game.

Narrative of game:

The first several rounds saw the customary scramble for planets. The Yin ended this first stage of the game by claiming Mecatol Rex at the beginning of the third round. The Yin would go on to claim imperial 3 times and remained within striking distance of victory for the entire last half of the game. A curious standoff developed over Mecatol Rex. No less than three different fleets were within striking distance of the planet, and yet none could claim it for fear of being destroyed by the others. The L1Z1X had 2 fleets parked in orbit and each had more than enough dreadnoughts to take the planet, but had neglected to bring enough ground forces to hold it against an enemy invader. The Muaat were likewise situated. The Mentak, armed with a Greyfire Mutagen capable of stripping the Yin of their defenses, could have easily wiped out the Yin on Mecatol Rex but stood no reasonable chance against the others. Rather than get involved in Mecatol Rex, Naalu invaded the Yin homeworld of Darien. Although unable to take the planet, the Naalu would remain parked in Darien’s orbit for nearly a third of the game, remaining even after the Naalu and Yin had negotiated terms to withdraw (heartless snakes!).
The middle of the game came when the Muaat, fed up with the Mentak fleet parked in orbit over Mecatol Rex, invaded Mentak space with their War Suns. The Mentak fleet boasted its flagship and many cruisers but was quickly destroyed. They got as close as one sector from Moll Primus, but were held at bay by a large fleet of cruisers and dreadnaughts.

The Mentak, in retaliation for this invasion, invaded Muaat itself and blockaded the planet. Per the terms of their mutual defense pact, this obligated the L1Z1X to send one of its two fleets over Mecatol Rex to “liberate” Muaat. Again, the Mentak fleet over Muaat was impressive and boasted the newly-rechristened flagship the Fourth Moon which had been salvaged from the Muaat Flagship the Inferno, but again was easily crushed by the super dreadnaughts of the L1Z1X. In retaliation for this unprovoked assault, the Mentak sent their reserves from Planet A-Hole to destroy the L1Z1X’s remaining fleet near Mecatol Rex, leaving no large fleets near Mecatol Rex to check the Yin. Unable to decide who would get the fish, the sharks had decided instead to eat each other.

Meanwhile, the Naalu, delighted with this turn of events, decided to invade Mecatol Rex from the far side of a Gravity Anomaly. It didn’t go well but reduced the Yin to only a token presence on Mecatol Rex. Seeing the Yin's compromised state the Muaat doubled back from Mentak space, sparing Moll Primus, and conquered Mecatol Rex. After remaining there briefly, the War Suns turned toward the Naalu Collective, ultimately sending them near planet Darien at the Yin/Naalu border on the far end of the universe. Sensing an opportunity, the Mentak sent fragments of its remaining fleets to Mecatol Rex, conquered the few Muaat holding it, and began massing a fleet to defend Mecatol Rex. The end of this turn saw the Mentak at nine points, Yin, Naalu and L1Z1X at eight, and Muaat trailing at six.

Some tricky play during the agenda phase left the Mentak unable to claim the Imperial Strategy card in the next, and final, turn of the game. The Muaat seized what appeared to be their last chance and prepared to re-invade Mecatol Rex by sending their War Suns through the gravity anomaly. Unfortunately only one made it. Although the remaining War Sun put up a splendid fight and shot down many Mentak cruisers, it ultimately succumbed to the combined fire of nearly every Mentak ship left on the board. Upon destroying the War Sun, the Mentak played a secret objective (destroy their greatest ship) and gained victory point number ten. The rest of the table evaluated their positions and conceded they could not gain enough victory points to win the game. Game: Mentak Coalition.

Observations:

--The Mentak are not only quite good but are very much fun to play. That said I had to pick my battles and lost nearly every time a force of any strength came out to fight me. I was much more successful when I was able to isolate soft targets. Their racial tech is staggeringly good together. I want to play each of the other races but fear I may already be addicted to incredible amounts of wealth the Mentak get simply by waving their hand in the air. Their Ambush ability matters more in the first portion of the game but doesn't go very far in the end, once everyone has bigger fleets.

--The Muaat seemed to be hampered by their starting fleet. They did something interesting at the end where they’d keep Star Forging fighters as a stall tactic. The Muaat were nearly unbeatable everywhere they had their war suns, but extremely weak everywhere else.

--The L1Z1X have pretty good dreadnaughts but they are so slow, especially compared with prototype war sun 2s which move astonishingly fast. Even with upgraded speed it always seemed like the Dreads were a space too far away from anything cool.

--After nearly winning the game outright the Yin were forced to sit their and take it from a bunch of different players. Despite nearly winning, this wasn’t the best play experience for the Yin player. Their impulse cores and indoctrination were absolutely terrifying, however.

--The Muaat and L1Z1X proved to be honorable allies to each other, despite that arguably not being in either of their interests in the end.
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Justen Brown
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Hi. I was the Yin.

So my enlightened and objectively correct review after a resounding 2 plays, Twilight Imperium is an experience held up by a tentative contract between the players that all actions must be made with the goal of winning the game. At one point two players, believing they had no chance of winning, agreed to combine their military and "clean the board." It not only prolonged the game by preventing every other player from attempting to take Mecatol, it completely frustrated everyone else who absolutely had a chance of winning. And even in the end the scores were all within a point of each other between 9-7.

It was a miserable experience. By midway through the game I was reduced to taking my strategic action and passing. Rinse and repeat for the next four hours. I recognized some faults of my own in hindsight, I certainly should've drafted the construction action, but the late game objectives all assume you have an established force large enough to "control 5 technology planets." With no way for the game to end early (and I believe TI3 had a level 2 objective that just said "the game ends after this round") there is nothing worse than effectively being cut off from playing yet still forced to participate.

From a game design perspective I think there are some lessons Twilight Imperium could take from other games of this type. Here I Stand is another massive grand strategy game that will eat up a whole Saturday and can devolve into pointless land wars with fistfuls of dice. But Here I Stand allows a player to sue for peace, essentially forcing an enemy army back to their homeland with a little bonus for their conquest. It's a brilliant mechanism that rewards military might but allows a losing player to stay in the game. Considering Twilight Imperium is nearly 20 years old and prides itself on politics and diplomacy there should be more in-depth political actions. Blockade running? Suing for peace? Using another player's shipyard? I would love all of these features and the promissory cards are the perfect medium to enact them.

TI plays best as an exercise in pragmatism. It works phenomenally when every action is made towards the singular goal of scoring points, encouraging players to wheel and deal while making calculated military actions. TI falls apart completely when played with an Axis & Allies mindset of building up your plastic armies then getting upset when everyone is five points ahead of you. I look forward to the next game with lessons learned but I must admit I don't know if I can handle another sabotage.

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Adam Rogers
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I think the issue your group might face is that you seem to have a lot of cut throat players.

I have played a lot of games of TI3 and a couple of TI4 and I think the Homeworlds were only ever invaded if someone was on the brink of winning the game, even then it wasn't a King Making situation, just...hey your going to win, I am going to try and do this because I have no other choice.

Also, its really bad if you make yourself seem like the threat right out of the game. When you take Mecatol Rex all of a sudden everyone has to play around you scoring easy victory points, which usually means your going to get crushed/knee capped pretty hard. If possible wait as long as you can and bolster your defenses/prepare to cripple that players resources if they do take it. Even better grab the 1 victory pt, early but with a super small fleet and leave it available for someone else to try and take. Less of a target on your back for sure.

Every game we have played in my group, it is neck and neck until the end, and not once have we had it where there was 1 or 2 guys that were completely out of it. Its even better now in TI4 because of Secret Objectives. Most of our games end turn 5, 6 or 7 (about 5 1/2 hours game length.)
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Tommy Liles
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I think next game we may suggest random races. Our opponents come from an RTS heavy background and may have difficulty breaking the mindset.
 
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jaybeethree wrote:
Hi. I was the Yin.

So my enlightened and objectively correct review after a resounding 2 plays, Twilight Imperium is an experience held up by a tentative contract between the players that all actions must be made with the goal of winning the game. At one point two players, believing they had no chance of winning, agreed to combine their military and "clean the board." It not only prolonged the game by preventing every other player from attempting to take Mecatol, it completely frustrated everyone else who absolutely had a chance of winning. And even in the end the scores were all within a point of each other between 9-7.

It was a miserable experience. By midway through the game I was reduced to taking my strategic action and passing. Rinse and repeat for the next four hours. I recognized some faults of my own in hindsight, I certainly should've drafted the construction action, but the late game objectives all assume you have an established force large enough to "control 5 technology planets." With no way for the game to end early (and I believe TI3 had a level 2 objective that just said "the game ends after this round") there is nothing worse than effectively being cut off from playing yet still forced to participate.

From a game design perspective I think there are some lessons Twilight Imperium could take from other games of this type. Here I Stand is another massive grand strategy game that will eat up a whole Saturday and can devolve into pointless land wars with fistfuls of dice. But Here I Stand allows a player to sue for peace, essentially forcing an enemy army back to their homeland with a little bonus for their conquest. It's a brilliant mechanism that rewards military might but allows a losing player to stay in the game. Considering Twilight Imperium is nearly 20 years old and prides itself on politics and diplomacy there should be more in-depth political actions. Blockade running? Suing for peace? Using another player's shipyard? I would love all of these features and the promissory cards are the perfect medium to enact them.

TI plays best as an exercise in pragmatism. It works phenomenally when every action is made towards the singular goal of scoring points, encouraging players to wheel and deal while making calculated military actions. TI falls apart completely when played with an Axis & Allies mindset of building up your plastic armies then getting upset when everyone is five points ahead of you. I look forward to the next game with lessons learned but I must admit I don't know if I can handle another sabotage.



Two players throwing their game and prolonging the game just because "we can't win" is a problem with your play group, not the game. I would ask them to either not do that or simply not play TI with them.
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UnalignedMagi wrote:

Two players throwing their game and prolonging the game just because "we can't win" is a problem with your play group, not the game. I would ask them to either not do that or simply not play TI with them.


It is definitely both. TI4 is a freeform game that offers very few safeguards when it desperately needs them. Another end game condition is one, and having a political way to force someone out is another. TI4 has the rules built in to allow these things to happen, it's just not developed enough.
 
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For reference, the complained of activity is recounted in OP where I describe the Muaat invasion of Mentak space, and the counter invasion, and the counter attack to that, and the counter attack to that too.

Lately there's been some discussion on reddit and on these boards that TI3 & 4 turn the game into a points salad rather than an empire builder. While I prefer what we have now, it's interesting to consider that in TI2 launching a massive invasion to conquer a bunch of planets would be a game-winning strategy, but in TI3 & 4 it's borderline trolling unless there's some goals out there that supports the invasion.

This makes me think there's a small evolutionary blind-spot in TI3 & 4 as the design has grown to accommodate victory points as mechanism but not incorporated many safeguards against bad actors within the game. On the other hand, one could argue that the Diplomacy strategy card and some of the promissory notes would be sufficient and yet, perhaps not?

Justen and I are giving these folks another game but made it pretty clear they are not to do that in the future unless doing so helps them actually win. Hopefully the social contract is all we need, because there isn't a lot you can do in TI4 to otherwise check this behavior.
 
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This sounds like a great game. A lot of ebb and flow of power and points. It sounds like everyone had a legitimate shot at getting to 10 VPs, which seems rare in TI4 so far. The concerns raised about the game played are definitely valid, I can remember many TI games, and other boardgames, where I lost due to another player no longer playing to win. I can't think of an easy solution for that problem, other than to acknowledge it exists and treat it as part of the game. If I see someone falling way behind I am definitely offerring up my support for the throne and trying to trade ceasefires with them. If you watch players like that close enough you can hopefully mitigate the damage they can do and redirect it towards another player. This is definitely not solitaire. Does poker-reading opponents and trying to predict their actions feel like you are playing TI? It does to me. There's only one winner each game and everyone else will be butt-hurt by losing. I'm not going to lie, spending 7 hours playing a game and losing really hurts. All you can do is learn from the game you just played and then start a new game. But if you put down Twilight Imperium because of sub-optimal decisions made by other players, you will be missing out on one of the best board games around.
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There are Some Who Call Me... Tim
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jaybeethree wrote:
So my enlightened and objectively correct review after a resounding 2 plays, Twilight Imperium is an experience held up by a tentative contract between the players that all actions must be made with the goal of winning the game...

TI plays best as an exercise in pragmatism. It works phenomenally when every action is made towards the singular goal of scoring points, encouraging players to wheel and deal while making calculated military actions.


Wow. I could not disagree with this more. Twilight Imperium is an experience. Period. If there were some way to FORCE everyone to ONLY try to score points, it would lose almost all of its appeal for me. It's space opera. It's drama. It's more than just "I want to score points and win."

I have one friend who (when we let him) loves to play the Nekro Virus. And he plays them as he sees them - ruthless machines bent on destroying organic life. He doesn't much care about winning. Does it make it hard for the other players? YES. And that's part of the fun! I'm over here, the Barony of Letnev, trying to build a mighty empire, and here comes this... this virus spreading toward my planets. How can I deal with it while trying to take Mecatol Rex from those blasted Yssaril? It's a challenge. And more than that: it's a story.

Story beats structure. In my humble opinion.

"You must try to score points." Boring! If I want to play something where I'm just trying to score points, I'll play Catan. But if I want to play something where anything can happen, and it spins a great tale of empires dueling across the galaxy, then I'll play Twilight Imperium.
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Nobody is trying to force anybody to do anything, but nobody at our table thinks of TI4 as a story game. If we wanted a story game we'd play dnd or Arabian Nights.

I'd understand if they were role-playing. Like if Muaat went after Jol-Nar for no other reason than backstory, or if L1Z1X went after Nekro. These guys weren't doing that they just wanted to see how far their space fleets could make it. Hopefully they got it out of their system.
 
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Abednigo wrote:
I think the issue your group might face is that you seem to have a lot of cut throat players.


I'm not trying to call you out, but I'm getting extremely tired of hearing this justification for unsatisfying games. At some point it isn't the groups fault and the game has some underlying problems. Maybe these problems are impossible to fix, the open ended nature that allows dick moves also creates the fulfilling puzzle to solve. But it's annoying reading threads which have a dissatisfied player and a response is always "your group is bad".

On a personal note I'm a huge fan of blue techs. That +1 movement allows amazing flexibility and lots of endgame avenues towards VPs. Other players like getting PDS upgrades and sitting back. As long as they're within ~3vp and having fun I can't be mad at them. I think the game is far more fun with small fleet skirmishes and constant aggression, but if my neighbor forces me to invest multiple rounds of resources into fleet supply and GFs just to get through his PDS I can't be upset at him. The game allows it and he enjoys doing it.
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LordObsidian wrote:
Nobody is trying to force anybody to do anything, but nobody at our table thinks of TI4 as a story game. If we wanted a story game we'd play dnd or Arabian Nights.

I'd understand if they were role-playing. Like if Muaat went after Jol-Nar for no other reason than backstory, or if L1Z1X went after Nekro. These guys weren't doing that they just wanted to see how far their space fleets could make it. Hopefully they got it out of their system.


I don't put it in an RPG category, either. But sometimes games can involve more than just "I must score points."

I don't see "they just wanted to see how far their space fleets could make it" as a problem. I see it as part of the game. It might be frustrating for someone who just wants to score points and end the game, but for me, it's fun. A mad Sol admiral is carving a swath of destruction across the galaxy, just to see if he can? He thinks he's the reincarnation of Alexander the Great or something!

Games should be fun, not just point accumulation. Just my personal opinion.
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Finrodimus wrote:
LordObsidian wrote:
Nobody is trying to force anybody to do anything, but nobody at our table thinks of TI4 as a story game. If we wanted a story game we'd play dnd or Arabian Nights.

I'd understand if they were role-playing. Like if Muaat went after Jol-Nar for no other reason than backstory, or if L1Z1X went after Nekro. These guys weren't doing that they just wanted to see how far their space fleets could make it. Hopefully they got it out of their system.


I don't put it in an RPG category, either. But sometimes games can involve more than just "I must score points."

I don't see "they just wanted to see how far their space fleets could make it" as a problem. I see it as part of the game. It might be frustrating for someone who just wants to score points and end the game, but for me, it's fun. A mad Sol admiral is carving a swath of destruction across the galaxy, just to see if he can? He thinks he's the reincarnation of Alexander the Great or something!

Games should be fun, not just point accumulation. Just my personal opinion.


Couldn't agree more. If the game allows it then it is fine. I don't understand why some people play a freeform game like this and then limit their options.
 
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To win, you don’t just play the game, you have to play the players.
 
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Zacattackz wrote:
Abednigo wrote:
I think the issue your group might face is that you seem to have a lot of cut throat players.


I'm not trying to call you out, but I'm getting extremely tired of hearing this justification for unsatisfying games. At some point it isn't the groups fault and the game has some underlying problems. Maybe these problems are impossible to fix, the open ended nature that allows dick moves also creates the fulfilling puzzle to solve. But it's annoying reading threads which have a dissatisfied player and a response is always "your group is bad".

On a personal note I'm a huge fan of blue techs. That +1 movement allows amazing flexibility and lots of endgame avenues towards VPs. Other players like getting PDS upgrades and sitting back. As long as they're within ~3vp and having fun I can't be mad at them. I think the game is far more fun with small fleet skirmishes and constant aggression, but if my neighbor forces me to invest multiple rounds of resources into fleet supply and GFs just to get through his PDS I can't be upset at him. The game allows it and he enjoys doing it.
I see what you are saying, but let's be honest.

This is clearly a case of the group having shitty members.

They literally went out of their way to try to ruin the game for other people. No rhyme or reason. Just because why not.

Being in last place does not mean you are out of the game. There were plenty of TI4 games where I was 4-5 points behind in last and ended up either winning or close to it within 2 turns. You only truly have 0 chance when you give up. And even giving up isn't a reason to troll the rest of the players.

Hell, I'd be okay if someone decided they could't win and then troll the person who screwed them. But not what they did.

Hell, we have plenty of cutthroat players in our TI group, and they have never done that.

Honestly I get tired of people crapping on a game when the people they play with don't play right. This is a game about points, if someone says screw the points and trolls the table then that isn't the games fault.
 
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Severedeye wrote:
Zacattackz wrote:
Abednigo wrote:
I think the issue your group might face is that you seem to have a lot of cut throat players.


I'm not trying to call you out, but I'm getting extremely tired of hearing this justification for unsatisfying games. At some point it isn't the groups fault and the game has some underlying problems. Maybe these problems are impossible to fix, the open ended nature that allows dick moves also creates the fulfilling puzzle to solve. But it's annoying reading threads which have a dissatisfied player and a response is always "your group is bad".

On a personal note I'm a huge fan of blue techs. That +1 movement allows amazing flexibility and lots of endgame avenues towards VPs. Other players like getting PDS upgrades and sitting back. As long as they're within ~3vp and having fun I can't be mad at them. I think the game is far more fun with small fleet skirmishes and constant aggression, but if my neighbor forces me to invest multiple rounds of resources into fleet supply and GFs just to get through his PDS I can't be upset at him. The game allows it and he enjoys doing it.
I see what you are saying, but let's be honest.

This is clearly a case of the group having shitty members.

They literally went out of their way to try to ruin the game for other people. No rhyme or reason. Just because why not.

Being in last place does not mean you are out of the game. There were plenty of TI4 games where I was 4-5 points behind in last and ended up either winning or close to it within 2 turns. You only truly have 0 chance when you give up. And even giving up isn't a reason to troll the rest of the players.

Hell, I'd be okay if someone decided they could't win and then troll the person who screwed them. But not what they did.

Hell, we have plenty of cutthroat players in our TI group, and they have never done that.

Honestly I get tired of people crapping on a game when the people they play with don't play right. This is a game about points, if someone says screw the points and trolls the table then that isn't the games fault.


Well the game allows for that to happen. I wouldn't call it players fault either since they are breaking no rules. You might not like it but it is not wrong in a sense that it is not cheating.
 
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mAIOR wrote:
Severedeye wrote:
Zacattackz wrote:
Abednigo wrote:
I think the issue your group might face is that you seem to have a lot of cut throat players.


I'm not trying to call you out, but I'm getting extremely tired of hearing this justification for unsatisfying games. At some point it isn't the groups fault and the game has some underlying problems. Maybe these problems are impossible to fix, the open ended nature that allows dick moves also creates the fulfilling puzzle to solve. But it's annoying reading threads which have a dissatisfied player and a response is always "your group is bad".

On a personal note I'm a huge fan of blue techs. That +1 movement allows amazing flexibility and lots of endgame avenues towards VPs. Other players like getting PDS upgrades and sitting back. As long as they're within ~3vp and having fun I can't be mad at them. I think the game is far more fun with small fleet skirmishes and constant aggression, but if my neighbor forces me to invest multiple rounds of resources into fleet supply and GFs just to get through his PDS I can't be upset at him. The game allows it and he enjoys doing it.
I see what you are saying, but let's be honest.

This is clearly a case of the group having shitty members.

They literally went out of their way to try to ruin the game for other people. No rhyme or reason. Just because why not.

Being in last place does not mean you are out of the game. There were plenty of TI4 games where I was 4-5 points behind in last and ended up either winning or close to it within 2 turns. You only truly have 0 chance when you give up. And even giving up isn't a reason to troll the rest of the players.

Hell, I'd be okay if someone decided they could't win and then troll the person who screwed them. But not what they did.

Hell, we have plenty of cutthroat players in our TI group, and they have never done that.

Honestly I get tired of people crapping on a game when the people they play with don't play right. This is a game about points, if someone says screw the points and trolls the table then that isn't the games fault.


Well the game allows for that to happen. I wouldn't call it players fault either since they are breaking no rules. You might not like it but it is not wrong in a sense that it is not cheating.


Can you acknowledge that there's a distinction between legal play and the unique, unwritten social contract that each game group makes when they sit down to play? Because you're right, there's nothing illegal about the moves they made, and yet somehow the experience left a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

While I don't these players are bad, I think what they did was pretty annoying. If they did it again I'd probably just play TI4 with a different group.
 
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Miguel Batista
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LordObsidian wrote:

Can you acknowledge that there's a distinction between legal play and the unique, unwritten social contract that each game group makes when they sit down to play? Because you're right, there's nothing illegal about the moves they made, and yet somehow the experience left a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

While I don't these players are bad, I think what they did was pretty annoying. If they did it again I'd probably just play TI4 with a different group.


Of course I acknowledge that. I was merely pointing out that it is a valid criticism of the game since it allows for that. I haven't played nearly enough to form a very solid opinion if it is a good thing or not but it is a valid critic.
 
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mAIOR wrote:
Severedeye wrote:
Zacattackz wrote:
Abednigo wrote:
I think the issue your group might face is that you seem to have a lot of cut throat players.


I'm not trying to call you out, but I'm getting extremely tired of hearing this justification for unsatisfying games. At some point it isn't the groups fault and the game has some underlying problems. Maybe these problems are impossible to fix, the open ended nature that allows dick moves also creates the fulfilling puzzle to solve. But it's annoying reading threads which have a dissatisfied player and a response is always "your group is bad".

On a personal note I'm a huge fan of blue techs. That +1 movement allows amazing flexibility and lots of endgame avenues towards VPs. Other players like getting PDS upgrades and sitting back. As long as they're within ~3vp and having fun I can't be mad at them. I think the game is far more fun with small fleet skirmishes and constant aggression, but if my neighbor forces me to invest multiple rounds of resources into fleet supply and GFs just to get through his PDS I can't be upset at him. The game allows it and he enjoys doing it.
I see what you are saying, but let's be honest.

This is clearly a case of the group having shitty members.

They literally went out of their way to try to ruin the game for other people. No rhyme or reason. Just because why not.

Being in last place does not mean you are out of the game. There were plenty of TI4 games where I was 4-5 points behind in last and ended up either winning or close to it within 2 turns. You only truly have 0 chance when you give up. And even giving up isn't a reason to troll the rest of the players.

Hell, I'd be okay if someone decided they could't win and then troll the person who screwed them. But not what they did.

Hell, we have plenty of cutthroat players in our TI group, and they have never done that.

Honestly I get tired of people crapping on a game when the people they play with don't play right. This is a game about points, if someone says screw the points and trolls the table then that isn't the games fault.


Well the game allows for that to happen. I wouldn't call it players fault either since they are breaking no rules. You might not like it but it is not wrong in a sense that it is not cheating.
When did I ever say it was cheating or against the rules?

What I said was that it was against the point of the game.

Shooting teammates in most FPS games aren't against the rules, doesn't mean the players who do it aren't shitty people.

More examples? League of legends, supports who farm steal. Dead of winter, non traitors tanking crises. MMOs, healers who don't heal the party, or tanks who throw threat/hate onto the squishy players. Most games don't have rules against being a dick, because the rules are designed for people who want to play them as intended.

Once again, don't blame the game when people are going against the very point of the game to ruin it for others.
 
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Miguel Batista
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Severedeye wrote:
When did I ever say it was cheating or against the rules?

What I said was that it was against the point of the game.

Shooting teammates in most FPS games aren't against the rules, doesn't mean the players who do it aren't shitty people.

More examples? League of legends, supports who farm steal. Dead of winter, non traitors tanking crises. MMOs, healers who don't heal the party, or tanks who throw threat/hate onto the squishy players. Most games don't have rules against being a dick, because the rules are designed for people who want to play them as intended.

Once again, don't blame the game when people are going against the very point of the game to ruin it for others.


And I was disagreeing that it is against the point of the game. It might be for you but others might not see it that way. So who is right?

As I said, I haven't played nearly enough to have formed my own judgement but I don't have a problem with it in principle.
 
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