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Subject: What's the *best* 2 player variant? rss

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Enon Sci
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Note: I'm putting this in general since it's more of a request than a submission of a specific idea.

I just purchased Twilight Imperium 3 and plan to bring it to my game groups table in 3-5 weeks (we're backlogged and only play 1-2 times a week). In the interim I plan to read the rules and tease out something close to 100% understanding to make our initial game go smoothly.

To aid me in this endeavor I have a live in friend that has graciously offered his valuable time to aid in my play testing, but that only leaves us with two player. So, what is the best 2 player variant for people who haven't played the game in full? I'd rather avoid playing multiple races, and we're both mature enough to play the game non-aggressively (cooperatively, if you will) if that would aid in the experience.

Is there something inherent to the base rules that prohibits 2 players? Couldn't we just play the core rules on a smaller board (selecting 2 roles every turn and removing the ISC) and mentally fill in the blanks regarding the politics and diplomacy?

Again, these games are more for learning the rules than fun, but finding a variant that offered that as well would be ideal.
 
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Barry Figgins
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Note: I'm putting this in general since it's more of a request than a submission of a specific idea.

I just purchased Twilight Imperium 3 and plan to bring it to my game groups table in 3-5 weeks (we're backlogged and only play 1-2 times a week). In the interim I plan to read the rules and tease out something close to 100% understanding to make our initial game go smoothly.

To aid me in this endeavor I have a live in friend that has graciously offered his valuable time to aid in my play testing, but that only leaves us with two player. So, what is the best 2 player variant for people who haven't played the game in full? I'd rather avoid playing multiple races, and we're both mature enough to play the game non-aggressively (cooperatively, if you will) if that would aid in the experience.

Is there something inherent to the base rules that prohibits 2 players? Couldn't we just play the core rules on a smaller board (selecting 2 roles every turn and removing the ISC) and mentally fill in the blanks regarding the politics and diplomacy?

Again, these games are more for learning the rules than fun, but finding a variant that offered that as well would be ideal.


Well, you do lose a lot of the tactics of the game with two players. The choices of which places to reinforce are easy, since your enemy will be coming from one direction. Overall, though, it'd be fine, if you just want to learn the game.
 
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Enon Sci
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This skirts around my specific question above, but is there player interaction besides war? Neither of us are war gamers anyhow, so that aspect of the game play is insignificant (however, it will be explored when more players are present and when I purchase shattered empire).
 
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Sean Laurent
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Anarchosyn wrote:
So, what is the best 2 player variant for people who haven't played the game in full?


My girlfriend and I have played a handful of TI3 games using Stephan Wessels' variant:
http://www.preeminent.org/steve/games/ti3/ti3demo/2-player/h...

I would also recommend checking out some of the player aids available here on BGG.

Anarchosyn wrote:
This skirts around my specific question above, but is there player interaction besides war? Neither of us are war gamers anyhow, so that aspect of the game play is insignificant (however, it will be explored when more players are present and when I purchase shattered empire).


Frankly, war is not inevitable in TI3. While military might is certainly a major factor, it often functions as a deterrent. Really it depends on the particular players involved. We've played a few games with 6 players where the only space battles that occurred were due to competition for Mecatol Rex.

Regardless, the two player version definitely loses the effects of trade. And, if neither of you are the warmongering type, diplomacy will have little impact either.

Despite the downsides, playing a two-player variant is still an excellent way to get a handle on the basic game play before introducing it to a larger group.

-Sean
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Vangelis Bagiartakis
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Since as you say you are both mature players and can play cooperatively I would suggest adding 1 or 2 "dummy" players in your game so you can try to get an idea of how the game goes. I would suggest adding one player and you can interchange who controls him every turn. That way you will get a better idea of the game and the way voting and trading goes, and you will play with the full rules, not some variant.
 
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