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Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: TI 4.3 rss

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chris thatcher
United Kingdom
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Still got 3rd edition TI and its expansions?. Want to include some of it in your games (because FFG releasing a expansion does not seem to be a given), hopefully without too much rules additions (except the base systems of each module). Luckily most of the TI3 stuff slots right into TI4.

I love TI 4 and it is definately a smoother game than its predecessor, however i did miss some of the options in TI3 and wanted to add them.

Here's my perfect TI setup (YMMV).

TI 3 Action, Politics, Public Objective cards.

Just add to taste, personally i added most of them (Action, Politics, Public objectives) that wernt already reprinted in TI4. Most plug and play. I sleeve and i used the unused 3rd edition Cards as backs. I actually prefer the TI3 backs of the cards as they actually say what the deck is (better for teaching).

Public Objective Cards: I added 3 stage 1 and 2 from TI3. These are mostly more combat orientated which i appreciate. I also use these to indicate if a Distant Sun token is to be placed on the board (see below)

Regarding several of the Action cards. The merc cards i added and if they are played the player just draws/plays a merc (start at homeworld). I think there are only 2 merc cards (plus 2 that kill mercs) i use this as a way a couple of mercs may make it into the game, maybe not. I do not use the standard hiring mercs rules (ignore trade good cost), this is the only way they may appear in the game. I think they should be rare and I like the concept of not seeing everything every game (and no, im not worried by "balance").

Always loved these and for me essential. The only difficulty was that now 2 cards are voted on but there was a discussion in the TI3 forums about representatives with the TI3 "Neccessary Beurocracy" card (wich adds another card to vote on each round) and the reps work fine when voting on 2 cards. I think this makes the politics phase more fun and these kind of mini games i love FFG for and it all adds to the epic experience.
To make things clearer i put a green dot sticker on the reps whos abilities trigger on both votes and a red sticker on the reps whos ability only affects the first vote.

Can enter the game through a couple of action cards or the planet that produces them via my Final Frontier mod (see below)


I really like Distant Suns but i have to concede they maybe a bit much and maybe can slow the game too much. Final frontier tokens seem like a good compromise. Not many are on the board and thier effects are generally less harsh although i do love that a sun can burst into being or the 1 victory point from the space station. Easy to slot right into TI4.

I use the TI3 Sun, Gravity hexes to add to the board if those tokens come up.

I also made another mod in using the Final frontier tokens. IF the X is drawn i have the players shuffle and draw from a stack of TI3 hexes that contain the special planets from the expansions (Hopes End, and the other planets that give trade goods, fighters, troops, plus the ion storm, plus any other of the old expansion hexs you wish to include) mixed with several blank star hexes to make it a 50/50 draw (i do 5 blank space and 5 random other hexes). This way new planets/space station/ion storm may enter the game (thus utalising my old TI3 hexes).
The only issue here is that in TI3 the colors for influence and Resources were different. However the Reps use the same symbol so its fairly easy to explain to players). Again the overall idea here is variability, some games no new planets will come into the game, shock troops may make a entrance or not.

As stated above, full implementation can really slow the game down but i do like the concept of landing on a planet and flipping a token, just not every planet. I thought of a way to maybe add a few Distant Suns tokens to the game (i demand 4x in my TI!).

I added 3 of the TI 3 stage 1 and stage 2 objectives to the TI4 deck (using TI3 cards as backs). Those objectives are the more combat orientated ones that came in a TI expansion, I would have added just for the variety but i also added a Dot to each card (colored dot sticker). When a card with a dot is drawn on the status phase the speaker draws a random distant suns token and places it on a empty planet of his choice, not Mecatol. So at most 6 planets could have distant suns tokens but that would be very rare.

Again i just like the concept of not everyting will appear in every game.


I think this is a neccessary card in TI. Easy to re-add (i sleeved all the objectiove cards and used TI3 backs). We have it so it may come up after the 3rd stage 2 card (again adjust to taste). For us, i still want the game to play out and i think having Imperium Rex turn up too soon can feel deflating so we only use it maybe for the later part of game.


Leaders: No, way too fiddly and adds to much rules overhead.
Mercs: Only very limitedly obtainable by cards in the action deck.
Mechanised units: Nope. I dont like the idea that they are not on the player sheet etc. Also they did have thier issues in TI3 so ill happily exclude here.
Wormhole Nexus: I dont mind using it, it does just plug and play but i normally do not have enough space for it at the table!.
Artifacts: No, there are several VP things in the political deck, the space station in final frontiers etc. (Have in the box for a variant if wanted)
Facilities: No, there are some similar things in TI4 anyway.

And thats it. My perfect TI setup.

From a basic game play perspective i like that my Final Frontier and Distant Suns mods add a bit of involvement for the players. When pulling the X final frontier token the player shuffles a small stack of planet hexes and draws...who knows what..could be blank space, a space station, 3 planets! Feels like exploring,

When a Distant sun token is drawn the speaker places it on a empty world of his choice. Bribes and promises may ensue about where he places the token, strategically it may matter!

Little things, but as with the representatives it just adds to the grand experience that is TI. And really without to many rules additions.

I think this setup offers Huge variability and replayability, faster than TI3, means i can use my old stuff!, dont have to wait for a expansion from FFG, All fits in the box!

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