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Subject: StarCraft or Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition? rss

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Karington Hess
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I realize I may get a biased sample by posting this in the StarCraft forum but I dont care... I have been Searching for a good SciFi Game. I have been looking at both of these games anxiously wondering where I should spend my money. Here is what I am wondering.

1.Are the rules more complicated as opposed to TI3?

2. TI3 requires 3 players to play, is the 2 player version of StarCraft anygood?

3.How long does a 2/3/4 player game take in Starcraft the Boardgame?

4. what about TI3?

5. Which game has the faster learning curve?

6. Is the combat system of Starcraft that hard to learn?

7. Is the Dieless combat system of Starcraft better than the die system of TI3?

{Side Question} I have heard that the card combat system is similar to that of Cosmic encounter. Is this true?

I know that this is alot of information to ask but I want to know which game is going to be worth throwing a good $80 at.

Thank you for your time and responses.
 
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Artur Baginski
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Owning both games.


1) I would say SC is slightly less complicated. Less "fiddly".

2) If you are a beginner in this game, 2 player is great. Though,I don't know how this will develop in future, when the players are more experienced.

You can play TI3 with 2 players, too. There is a variant, but have no experience with it.

3) 2-player games can be very fast from 45min to 2 hours. (without rule explanation of course) Games with more players seem to take around 3-5 hours, so much less time as TI3. (sometimes TI3 can take only 3-4 hours when playing with 4 or less player, but with 6 or more it can easily take 8hours or more)

4) Hmm? TI3 is a game which depends very much on the "roleplay" and imagination of the players. When the L1z1xx are playing Borg-like and the other races play their roles, too, it's really great fun. But if you are sitting with boring players you will have the longest hours of your life before you. Well, thats my experience. The game itself isn't that great, sorry. It lives very much from it's epicness.

Also SC is much more focused on combat and direct conflict, while you can "dig yourself in" in TI3

5) I don't know. The order system of SC is very confusing at the beginning. The rest isn't that hard. But surely will take his time.

6)No, not really. Make an example and everyone will get it. At least my players did very fast.

7) I would say YES. But this is really very subjective. The dice give TI3 much randomness, which many people appropriate. But I like the clever system of SC much more. I love it.

Yeah, it's similiar to Cosmic encounter, but much much deeper, also you have more control and less luck.



Well in my case:
I will sell TI3 and I'm happy I got SC:tBG now.
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Neil Sorenson
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Starcraft is faster, easier to learn/play, less grim for newcomers vs. experts, and far less fiddly than Twilight Imperium.

BUT, if I had the time and an interested bunch of people, I'd choose Twilight Imperium as the game to spend the day playing. It's a full-blown "science fiction experience" with all the angles that go with it: combat, politics, betrayal, mystery, etc.

However, you might get far more play value out of Starcraft than TI3 based on the simple logistics of how often you'll be able to pull off a game of one vs. the other. So, that's a big factor.

If you really think that you can line up five other galactic schmoes who are willing to delve into Twilight Imperium (and commit to a whole day of play) than why not see if the bunch will each chip in $5 or $10 to offset the cost of the thing?
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Karington Hess
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Ok, I may go with StarCraft because It is difficult to find a large group of dedicated players willing to spend a day to play a good board game. Thanks for your input. I still welcome others opinion on this matter.
 
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Neil Sorenson
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1.Are the rules more complicated as opposed to TI3?

Twilight Imperium has about twice as many rules elements to keep track of during a normal game and far more "exceptions" due to racial abilities and special technologies, etc. There is far more bookkeeping and mental tracking to cover in a game of TI3.

2. TI3 requires 3 players to play, is the 2 player version of StarCraft anygood?

The 2-player Starcraft game is fast, vicious and still worth playing. It's rather like a quick deathmatch game.

3.How long does a 2/3/4 player game take in Starcraft the Boardgame?

I find that a 2-player game runs around 90 minutes and our first 5-player game was just shy of three hours (and that was with 3 totally new players who had not read the rules)


4. what about TI3?

A 3 player game of TI3 is easily going to hit the 3-4 hour mark and you can add about 70 minutes per player after that.

5. Which game has the faster learning curve?

Starcraft is much easier to learn since TI3 has a series of special orders that require a full explanation of before the game can begin, whereas Starcraft can literally be taught on-the-fly as the first turn begins.

6. Is the combat system of Starcraft that hard to learn?

It's a little weird and only bogs down when one player gets obsessive about trying to calculate ever possibility that his cards offer but it isn't particularly difficult.

7. Is the Dieless combat system of Starcraft better than the die system of TI3?

Nah, just different. One advantage that it offers is having technology effects built in rather than as secondary considerations that affect dice rolls.

{Side Question} I have heard that the card combat system is similar to that of Cosmic encounter. Is this true?

Somewhat... if you consider the technology effects to be a bit like Flares and Edicts that can override standard numbered combat cards.
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Have faith
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(I've played TI3 three times, and just one game of SC (2-player). But here are my two cents.)

My impression is that SC is shorter to play than TI3, with less to remember as far as rules. The game play itself in SC seems a little less complicated than TI3. Some of that depends on whether you have played the SC PC game - that will help you know which units do what, etc. - SC will feel more intuitive in that case.

TI3 is longer, on a more epic scale, with a larger board. It has less combat and more politics and economics. SC is more a straight sci fi build and fight game.

I was taught SC - I didn't read the full rules, just some summaries. I think learning SC just from the rules would be about as hard as learning TI3 just from reading the rules - fairly challenging but of course do-able.

To be honest, I don't remember the combat rules in TI3 very well - the games I was in didn't have tons of fighting. But as far as SC combat, I liked it. It's not complicated but it requires some decisionmaking.

No dice is nice, but SC does still have some randomness in the combat cards you draw. This shows the FFG influence - the combat seems to me to be the biggest "Ameritrashy" aspect of SC. ("Not that there's anything wrong with that.") If you like 100% control you might not like SC. The last battle in the game I played felt like luck played a significant role in who won. But the luck factor is still smaller than many other wargames/combat games. You still feel like your decisions matter, even though there is a little luck to keep things from being 100% predictible.

As I mentioned, I have played SC with 2 players and I thought it was very good. I can imagine it's even better with one or two more players, although that would add to the game length.

I personally like SC more than TI3. I like the fast pace and the plentiful combat. TI3 is a good game for people who like that type, but TI3 to me seems overly long with not usually much fighting. SC is the game I always wanted TI3 to be. I have enthusiastically given SC a 10 rating.

 
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N Burghardt
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We have both TI3 and SC. TI3 is easily our favorite game (of all games), but we did need to add some houserules to make it more combat driven and intense.

We like SC as the game does feel light and plays quickly. It is also MUCH easier to learn/teach as TI3 has tons of things to consider during play, but TI3 wins us over as our favorite strategy game.
 
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Alexander K.
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SC is definitely easier on players unfamiliar with the game and it is much more combat driven, besides it is a lot faster then TI3 as well, which is a major issue in my gaming group. All that said, i really like SC, as it is a great, but would play TI3 (my boardgame favorite) any time over it. However, only 4 people from my gaming group usually have time on the same day, which boils down to about 4-5 hours, so TI3 games are rather rare for me. SC fits such a timeframe perfectly, and is probably directed to more casual gaming groups.
 
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David Schemenaur
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I've played both games (TI3 about 8 times and SC 2 times with one being a 4 player and the other a 5 player)
and I have to say that while similar they are very different.

The first being that TI3 doesn't focus on combat very much (it focuses more on combat with the expansion) and has very fiddly and unbalanced units (fighters) that lead to more complicated rules like production limits on your planets and capacity (in an effort to hinder production of that unit) that tend to annoy oneself and it is VERY long at times. However, TI3 has a very epic feel and great diversity due to strategy cards, racial specials and allows the feeling of giant space battles. Unfortunately for Ti3 the epic feeling can easily never go into existence depending on who you play with.

Starcraft is VERY combat oriented so much so that you need to be actively attacking your opponents to prevent them from winning. Its rules are generally easier to learn (though the combat system may confuse some at first, but it really is a very good combat system) and has practically no weird rules that could have easily been avoided and it runs much shorter than Ti3. However, while playing Starcraft I never felt like I was playing an epic space game, which was mostly due to the focus on ground combat and the lack of super huge armadas. In addition it feels slightly more mechanical.

Overall, I like SC better, but I will still be pulling out Ti3 every once in a while just to get that epic experience.
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Steve e^(iπ)+1=0
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Get both. They will put hairs on your chest.


Hurmph - didn't realize skeletons had hair... or chests.
 
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Richard Sampson
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I have played both games, and I just want to say that SC plays really well with pretty much any number of players (I have played 2, 3, 4, and 5).

However, I have only been able to pull together three person games for TI3 and I think it is just a waste to play like that. Basically no one is near anyone for the first half of the game, and pretty much the person who gets to MecRex and has an objective for it wins since by the time anyone battles the game is nearly over. We even tried kicking the game up to 14 VPs and still didn't matter. People say you can fix some of this with the expansion, but that is another $40 added to the price of the base game.

One final note, the SC game itself is much nicer to me. I love the pieces of SC and the TI3 pieces seem like cheap models in comparison.
 
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