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Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition» Forums » General

Subject: [MAP5p] the Approaching rss

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Federico C.
Australia
Queensland
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So, i'm hosting a 5p game this Sunday with four completely new players, introducing them to the addict- i mean, to the wonder that is Twilight Imperium. Of course, this means that map building would likely descend into chaos and a level of balance that's compatible with the mental health of the Joker.

Thus, i went to build the 5p map from the l2p booklet, and looked down on the result.

I cringed.

Every player has about the same resources in their immediate expansion, yes, but everything else is up for grabs - planets with the same trait clumped together, tech specialties and production centers away from any contestation, influence values ranging from almost none to way too much, and other similar details - sure, perhaps newbies won't take too much advantage of it and the game will still be fun, but i can't shake the feel that it'll be a tad wonky.

So, i tried to do something myself. I've got a few days to refine it and rebalance it, so i thought a dozen heads are better than one.

Ladies, gentlemen, energy beings, plants and cyborgs, i present you,

The Approaching.

* The Approaching is a 5 player map built on a structure that does not require Trade Goods or other compensation for players.
* it guarantees a combined resource and influence value of 10 to starting positions, but varies from 2/8 to 7/3.
* It is built so that no player has immediate access to more than 3 planets with the same trait.
* it places known and advantageous systems in between other races to create focal conflict points.
* it includes both the supernova and the gravity rift.
* it is probably a tad wonky right now. Halp.
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Colin LaFleur
Canada
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Resources =/= Influence, resources are (generally) more important. A 7/3 starting position is far more powerful than a 2/8, so you should allow starting positions total value to dip down to 9, maybe 8, and up to 11, maybe 12, depending on how heavy towards resources or influence they are tipped.
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Martin Hendry
United Kingdom
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The leftmost position is an awful one to put someone in: any race that starts with only one carrier and/or that only has a single planet home system is in a lot of trouble with regards to production capacity. Each starting position should really have at least one two-planet system adjacent to their starting position: even the worst two planet system gives a player more options than a single planet system.

As others have said, resources and influence are not equal: I think you should worry less about the influence value of the systems and more about resources/double systems for all
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Maltuvion Irewood
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As others have pointed out, I would align the resources and influence values more; 2/8 is vastly inferior to 7/3, particularly now that agendas are not revealed until Mecatol Rex is taken.

I would furthermore consider printing and creating some additional tiles to give you more freedom in map building. I recently made an 8-player map, which, due to size, necessitated cannibalizing some 3rd edition tiles and remaking them to 4th edition size - it provided a lot more freedom in mapmaking, particularly since I could tailor the planet types of these new systems to balancing needs.

If you want to take a look at that 8-player map, which was also balanced with some of the goals you mention in mind, the thread was recently posted. It is made according to Star by Star mod from 3rd edition, meaning it is assymetrical, since our playgroup generally loathes pie-slice maps due to their lack of dynamic, interactivity, action and balance.

 
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Derek Jensen
United States
California
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Ediwir wrote:
So, i'm hosting a 5p game this Sunday with four completely new players, introducing them to the addict- i mean, to the wonder that is Twilight Imperium. Of course, this means that map building would likely descend into chaos and a level of balance that's compatible with the mental health of the Joker.

Thus, i went to build the 5p map from the l2p booklet, and looked down on the result.

I cringed.

Every player has about the same resources in their immediate expansion, yes, but everything else is up for grabs - planets with the same trait clumped together, tech specialties and production centers away from any contestation, influence values ranging from almost none to way too much, and other similar details - sure, perhaps newbies won't take too much advantage of it and the game will still be fun, but i can't shake the feel that it'll be a tad wonky.

So, i tried to do something myself. I've got a few days to refine it and rebalance it, so i thought a dozen heads are better than one.

Ladies, gentlemen, energy beings, plants and cyborgs, i present you,

The Approaching.

* The Approaching is a 5 player map built on a structure that does not require Trade Goods or other compensation for players.
* it guarantees a combined resource and influence value of 10 to starting positions, but varies from 2/8 to 7/3.
* It is built so that no player has immediate access to more than 3 planets with the same trait.
* it places known and advantageous systems in between other races to create focal conflict points.
* it includes both the supernova and the gravity rift.
* it is probably a tad wonky right now. Halp.



What is wrong with the normal way to setup the galaxy? I love this part of the game. It allows for politics long before colonization, and can setup alliances before the game for the political savvy. The only thing that I would change from traditional galaxy setup is revealing your race before the galaxy is built. You need to know who you are, but other players can take advantage of, say, the winning by putting a supernova in your way of mecatol rex.
 
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Steve Williams
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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While I like the direction this is going in, it still doesn't solve the 5 player map issue of players not being equidistant from one another. I'd rather see a map that embraces the asymmetry and gets crazy that one that tries to balance things. Imbalance is what makes TI games interesting, so that said I don't mind the R/I discrepancies, I'd just like to see the players a little closer together. No one should be 4 spaces away from their neighbors.
 
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