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Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition» Forums » Variants

Subject: The reason ships and/or tech are mostly Similar rss

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Clive Romeoxite
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After watching Space Lions, the documentary on TI4, it was intended that each race have their unique sculpts of their ships but it wasn't feasible in terms of costs.

Got me thinking that perhaps they could eventually unveil a 'Winchester' type race on an industrial planet where all ships and tech are produced and sold to other races for purposes. That could explain why all players are using the same pieces in game. Being able to mass produce and generate forces fast is their core advantage but also hinders their tech progress. Unit stats are generally weaker than the same pieces from other races due to the lack of unique race 'upgrades' after acquiring the raw ships from said race.

Just a random thought.
 
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Steve Arnold
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In the video they discuss the impractical nature of unique sculpts for each race; how the hell is someone to easily look at the board and know the ways all the units look for each race? Although I've never played with them, Eclipse seems like an easy fix because there are only three ships. In TI3 there would need to be sculpts for the 9 ships plus any expansions (like Mechanized units).

The plastic is meant to be representative, end of story.
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Judge ├četa
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cliverrr wrote:
...could explain why all players are using the same pieces in game.


that's something that bothers me too, I've always thought 'hey, I spent quite a bit on this game, and I wonder why they did it this way...'

As a game modder, I have taken opportunities to make things more unique and more dynamic than the box-ed variety the game comes with.

YinBro wrote:

...How the hell is someone to easily look at the board and know the ways all the units look for each race? Although I've never played with them, Eclipse seems like an easy fix because there are only three ships...


This is actually a very simple answer.

Classes:

War-sun
Flagship
Dreadnought
Carrier
Cruiser
Destroyer
Fighter

All these names are classes of ships.

all you have to do is define a standard of size and you can use any shape you wish.

I personally would use them in size order listed above. (yes, I realize I didn't mention planet-based units. because really, if you can't tell a ground force or a PDS from a ship, you may need to adjust your models, and spacedocks don't usually look like aerodynamic vessels.)

So, even though you may only have 6 colors in the base set, it might be cool to have each color cast from different molds, or better yet, to mold your own. I'm currently working on that actually.

Besides, if you need assistance recognizing the ships of a race... that's why ships have a FoF database! add some thematics, take a pic of one of each model when you're done and make an FoF chart. As long as you organize it the same way in each group, it should be easy to look at.
 
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Clayton Threadgill
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cliverrr wrote:
Got me thinking that perhaps they could eventually unveil a 'Winchester' type race on an industrial planet where all ships and tech are produced and sold to other races for purposes. That could explain why all players are using the same pieces in game. Being able to mass produce and generate forces fast is their core advantage but also hinders their tech progress. Unit stats are generally weaker than the same pieces from other races due to the lack of unique race 'upgrades' after acquiring the raw ships from said race.

Just a random thought.

In my head canon, it's because most tech is derived from Hylar discoveries in the pre-twilight imperial era. The units and techs unique to each race represent everything that they have discovered since the fall of the Lazax.

It would be cool to have unique sculpts for those special units, but then it would be impossible to match your color.
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Scott Lewis
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If you have 6 different colors, each with a different set of 7 unique sculpts, it could get very confusing. To differentiate sizes alone to make it easy to distinguish would be very tough, since scaling 7 different units that way would not be simple. Sure, you could tell the Dreadnoughts apart from the Fighters, but depending on the designs, Destroyers and Cruisers could be hard to tell apart.

Plus, that's assuming that every color uses the same sculpts for Infantry, PDS, and Space Docks, too; if you give each color unique sculpts then, it would just add to it.

That's not to say it couldn't be done, but for a board that can already get pretty cluttered with plastic units, having a consistent shape between colors, while may not as "thematically" cool, is much better mechanically.

Also, currently you can use the race sheets to see what the different sculpts look like to tell what kind of ship it is. This could not be done with different sculpts for each color, since you don't always match color up with faction. So even telling your OWN ship types would be a pain and would be especially tricky for new players. Having to constantly consult a separate chart (with 56 different units on it, again assuming you are just talking about the ships) would drag the game down considerably for new players.

Plus, while you talk about cost, there's no way they could have made 6 different sets of sculpts and have it cost the same amount of money.

Sometimes practicality does need to supersede "coolness".
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Frank Franco
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Starcraft pulled something similar off, as did forbidden stars.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Starcraft pulled something similar off, as did forbidden stars.

A fair point, although with Starcraft it was only 3 sets of unique units, and in that game the units themselves were quite different. IE, A Zergling, while roughly equivalent to a marine, was a different unit with different abilities. In TI-land, it would be multiple sculpts for what is essentially the same exact unit.

I can't speak for Forbidden Stars, though, so I'm not sure how it compares (though my understanding is it's more like Starcraft than TI).

But this is a fair point. I still think it wouldn't really add anything to TI4 other than "coolness factor" and cost.
 
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Clayton Threadgill
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Starcraft pulled something similar off, as did forbidden stars.

Those were pretty much the same game, weren't they?

Starcraft has different unit sculpted for each race you can play, though different factions within the same race use identical sculpts in different colors.
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Paul Schroeder

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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Starcraft pulled something similar off, as did forbidden stars.


Comparing this to Forbidden Stars is an apples to oranges comparison. In Forbidden stars, all unit types are completely asymmetrical (there aren't standard stats per type overall, but they are per type per race). This added complexity is counter balanced by there being far less races (and a lot less game outside of combat in general compared to TI). In addition, there can only be 4 total players in the game (I don't recommend more than 3) and the game mainly focuses on combat (and combat to get objectives).

TI has a lot more going on in the political realm, and I'd hate to think of how much you'd need to keep track of if TI had combat similar to FS. That would be a ridiculously long and complicated game that I might not even enjoy (and I do like my fair share of long and complicated games).

Overall, I see the point you were trying to make, but it doesn't seem like a good example. The games take an extremely different approach to game mechanics, and the FS system is a lot more conducive to unique units per race with their own stats.
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Steve Williams
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Burning Suns pulled it off by having each class of ship have the exact same length for all factions, but otherwise be distinct.

Problem is, I and other TI diehards would pay $400 for that many unique sculpts, but not enough people to justify the costs of the molds would buy it. It would be pure loss, and TI4 likely wouldn't get any expansions.

It should also be noted I backed Burning Suns 5 years ago and still don't have everything, to give an idea what a headache producing this many unique molds is.
 
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Judge ├četa
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IncrediSteve wrote:

...Problem is, I and other TI diehards would pay $400 for that many unique sculpts, but not enough people to justify the costs of the molds would buy it. It would be pure loss, and TI4 likely wouldn't get any expansions.


Or maybe they could release it as an STL file for a small fee and have you print them yourself?
 
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Maldus Alver

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Unique sculpts could be confusing. The only ship type that I think could be feasible as a unique sculpt is the flagship and really it would be just a different shape depending on color than race.

As for units I am looking at the modular designed unit upgrades and thinking what if say instead of just making a unit a better version why not have two options? Say you could go for faster speed, or for better attack value.

Example take the cruiser, one upgrade gives it speed 3 and GF capacity, the other improves weapons and gives sustain damage. You can only pick one or the other, which one would you pick.

I think the faster cruiser would have some great tricks with the range 3 and dropping forces on planets. Although some would say a cruiser that can take 2 hits and +1 to weapons is way better. (Okay, what if I gave the faster cruiser bombardment 8?)
 
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Maldus Alver

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Judge_l3eta wrote:
cliverrr wrote:
...could explain why all players are using the same pieces in game.


that's something that bothers me too, I've always thought 'hey, I spent quite a bit on this game, and I wonder why they did it this way...'

As a game modder, I have taken opportunities to make things more unique and more dynamic than the box-ed variety the game comes with.

YinBro wrote:

...How the hell is someone to easily look at the board and know the ways all the units look for each race? Although I've never played with them, Eclipse seems like an easy fix because there are only three ships...


This is actually a very simple answer.

Classes:

War-sun
Flagship
Dreadnought
Carrier
Cruiser
Destroyer
Fighter

All these names are classes of ships.

all you have to do is define a standard of size and you can use any shape you wish.

I personally would use them in size order listed above. (yes, I realize I didn't mention planet-based units. because really, if you can't tell a ground force or a PDS from a ship, you may need to adjust your models, and spacedocks don't usually look like aerodynamic vessels.)

So, even though you may only have 6 colors in the base set, it might be cool to have each color cast from different molds, or better yet, to mold your own. I'm currently working on that actually.

Besides, if you need assistance recognizing the ships of a race... that's why ships have a FoF database! add some thematics, take a pic of one of each model when you're done and make an FoF chart. As long as you organize it the same way in each group, it should be easy to look at.

They are mostly taken from the Battleship game with Destroyers being the smallest warship. Now a days the only thing larger than a Destroyer is an Aircraft Carrier. (Also why in Star Wars Star Destroyers are larger than Mon Calmari Star Cruisers)
 
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