Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Possible to leave systems hidden until explored? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eric Jack
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My group has only played TI twice now, but we're already looking forward to many more plays. We've noticed that the 4th "X" is kind of missing from the game - Exploration. Is it possible to successfully house-rule the game so that all the system tiles are face down until you explore them?

Set up - Shuffle, deal and place tiles as normal. However, when placed, put them face-down.

When playing - When you activate a system, you get to flip the tile over and see what's there, as long as at least one ship travels to the system (the explorer). Since you know which systems are potentially hazardous or empty based on the red backs, you mitigate the risk of "wasting" an action.

You cannot travel through an unexplored system without first exploring it.

If you choose to explore a red tile hoping for an empty or navigable system as a shortcut, you run the risk of losing your exploratory ship if you lack the needed tech or jump into the supernova.

This adds back the missing exploration aspect of the game, and prevents a player from always occupying the "best" planets right off the bat.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Naz
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have actually started to play a game of TI4 this way!

We noticed very quickly that it is too brutal because of how valuable command counters were- no one wanted to give the table more information by spending their CC on a red system. So no one ever activated red systems, for the most part. We abandoned the game after round two, and decided if we ever wanted to play with more exploration again we would need a "Scanning" phase tacked onto the start of every Strategy card- you can turn over a hex that is adjacent to one of your ships, when you play the primary of your Srtategy card. We thought it would be better than getting to "scan" with each tactical action because it wouldn't cost you anything extra, it only happens one-two times a round, and adds a small amount of strategy to when you play your Strategy card.

Now we haven't gotten around to playing with those rules yet... but maybe sometime soon we will.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sander Stroom
Estonia
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
There won't be much exploration this way either because you will place the systems you know adjacent to your HS. And other players as well.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean D.
Canada
Langley
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting Variant.

We've played TI3 all face down completely random and one player had 6 2+ planet systems and another (me) had single junk planets. Not fun.

With placing them face down but knowing what you are placing adds some exploration I suppose. Does it improve the game enough to warrant the extra time spent? I wonder.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jack
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I suppose I could just buy Eclipse 2E when it comes out this year...

I suppose from a backstory aspect, it would make sense that all races know what the galaxy looks like. The galactic empire was huge and included all the races before its fall. After retreating to their home systems, the races are now making a push to capture the empire for themselves using the star charts and data they already had.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Captain Yellowbeard
United States
Winston-Salem
NC
flag msg tools
You're either born a pirate or not! It's in the blood...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My comments apply to my experience with TI3 but can be readily adapted to TI4.
I use an Android app called, "TI3 Pile Generator" which lets the GM set balanced piles of planets for each player.

Each player selects a planet pile blind of which planets or hazards it may include. The GM selects last. After selection players can review and build the galaxy as normal, just face down.

Homeworlds may be placed in any space within in the outer or middle galactic rings. The tiles nearest your homeworld may have been placed by someone else. You can explore by paying one Trade Good to "scan" an adjacent sector and peek privately. Or activate a system and jump blindly. If a blind jump encounters a hazard and the fleet doe not have the tech to enter the hex the hex is still activated and the players current action phase is complete.

The key is having balance planetary piles and the app really make that possible.

PS-Watching all the new fans experience this game are great. There are years of information on the TI3 forums and in the files section here at BGG that should be reviewed by new users of TI4.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julian Sanchez
United States
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
For reasons others have mentioned, this sounds like it would end up making the game a bit too much of a crapshoot given the relative scarcity of command counters in this game, and I assume it would lead to a whole bunch of additional rules complications that might not be obvious up front. The one that springs immediately to mind: I discover a wormhole! Woo! Now where’s the other end if I want to go through it? But I’m betting there are others. Also seems like it would drastically affect balance for factions whose play is centered on being highly mobile from the start. Creuss becomes basically unplayable; Saar becomes a hell of a lot harder; movement enhancing tech is virtually useless until round 3 or so...

A little less drastic, though with some of the same problems would be to start with only systems adjacent to home systems face up, and then when a system is activated, flip it *and one adjacent tile*.

Another alternative would be to just play with the old TI3 Distant Suns tokens to add the exploration angle... I can’t think of an obvious rules reason offhand you couldn’t just use them with TI4 with basically the same rules (and I suspect something similar may be part of an expansion for TI4 at some point).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Williams
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
BITS FOR THE BITS GOD!
badge
Staring in dumbfounded terror at Frans Raynor's neckbeard.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The 4th X for TI will presumably return whenever we get an expansion that brings back Distant Suns and other optional variants that were all cut from TI4.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lance Harrop
United States
Manassas
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played a face down version of TI3 over a hundred times.

The key was creating sets of 'home sector' tiles for each player to randomize and place face down around their home system, and a few other random tiles placed further out (super novas, Hope's End, wormholes usually). Of course I had a set with a lot of extra tiles (12 boxes of eighteen tiles each, including the home systems, hazards, MR etc.)

One of the keys was to give players 'peek' tokens to allow them to peek at a few of the tiles, any adjacent to were they had a ship.

I've tried the building a board once so far, and it lead to a very tight (both other players were trying to stop me) win for the Hacan. I'm not sure how much replayability the game will have with that kind of setup, but I'm going to try to play a few games with the rules first before adding things like 3D layouts and hidden tiles.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Captain Yellowbeard
United States
Winston-Salem
NC
flag msg tools
You're either born a pirate or not! It's in the blood...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Normative wrote:
The one that springs immediately to mind: I discover a wormhole! Woo! Now where’s the other end if I want to go through it?
Wormholes are unpredictable anomolies. We established that the paired wormhole opens exactly four (4) hexes opposite side of galaxy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Caviness
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Best way to make this work would probably be flipping any tiles adjacent to systems you move a ship into; not flipping the tile the the ship itself is moving into. So you would always have a 1 tile buffer zone around your stuff.

Example:
ABCD
A is your home system. B starts out flipped face up "explored". C and D would be face down "unexplored". When you move a ship to system B, system C would be explored. D would remain unexplored until you moved a ship into system C.

That eliminates the problem of running into unpasable tiles and the problem of red tiles not being explored.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean D.
Canada
Langley
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Caviness wrote:
Best way to make this work would probably be flipping any tiles adjacent to systems you move a ship into; not flipping the tile the the ship itself is moving into. So you would always have a 1 tile buffer zone around your stuff.

Example:
ABCD
A is your home system. B starts out flipped face up "explored". C and D would be face down "unexplored". When you move a ship to system B, system C would be explored. D would remain unexplored until you moved a ship into system C.

That eliminates the problem of running into unpasable tiles and the problem of red tiles not being explored.


So you have to have 2 tiles revealed adjacent to a tile to reveal it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Caviness
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
No. You reveal all tiles around you. That way you can see what is being moved into. Tiles 2 systems away would remain unexplored.
 
 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.