Southend on sea
4 of us played Twilight IMperium last night, Dan who played last time, and 2 newbies. I had emailed FF having read on here what a good company they were for customer service asking aobut whether its possible to get the OOP ARmada upgrades or not, and they very kindly sent me the plasic pieces for nothing. Although there wasn't enoguh to cover everything, it was nice to have some 3d pieces, iun both games I've played so far there doesn't seem to be enoguh groundforces to cover the game, in plastic only had 4 flags. We assume there isn't a limit on amount of planets you can conquer so improvise, in this case going back to the cardboard pieces.
First complaint was it was an hour and half gone by the time we had the board set up and everyone's starting positions done, and explained the rules.
I had decided after last time that my strategyt would be to do a route of planets from my homeworlds to Metacol Rex and set of for their straight away, colonising as i went, this didn't work quite as planned when we built the map, just had one planet on the way. Thought if I can get there, put a spacedock there, then its an even distance to anywhere on the board to colonise, just build a carrier and groundforces and have fun. I had also installed a wormhole from my side of the board to the other for colonisation purposes, as the lad next to me had a hell of a lot fo planets to get through. ANd installed a supernova between me and dan on the other side, becuase I know he is an aggressive player.
Got to Metacol Rex ok, but just like last time I wondered how Dan had managed to expand his Empire so quickly, him and Joel had loads of planets, me and Nick only a couple. Turns out they've been playing it, move onto a Hex one movement, thne you immediately get all the planets on that Hex, even thoguh I had explained to them at the beginning its one movement from one planet to the next on the hex. Both lads who had doen this didn't want to change it, said its too late, now we are too far into the game, to have to change all this and strip it all away and work out where we were. SO we carried on all though I was annoyed, I couldn't win this game or the previosu one because for each planet I had colonised they had done 2, so 2 turns or so in I had 3 planets, Nick something similar, and they both had 5-6 planets each. No wonder they were wiping the floor with us.
Me and Dan both got an action card at the same time that let us go through the whole deck and pick the card we wanted. SO we split the deck in half and went through half each. Everyone seemed unhappy with this because of the amount of time it takes to go through all the cards and decide what you want, talk about downtime!
I played a card on Dan that meant he only collected half his income for a turn (wasn't the card I picked but one I drew). This was because I was annoyed that he had a massive Empire just because he was playing by different rules than me for the first hlaf of the game, and there was nothing I could do about it, and I thought he was going to win. This drew his wrath which meant next turn he destroyed Metacol Rex and all of my pieces on it with his action card, which left me severly crippled.
I then went and did some hot cross buns for them. When I got back was Told Joel had won (the other player with a big empire). Fair enough, how did he win exactly? We got to market place phase and Dan swapped him some stuff for influence. I reminded thme you can only trade coins and action cards (that kept miffing NIck saying 'what are you gonig to swap money for? here's my five can i have your five now?', kpet having to remind him you could offer credits for action cards). AS they were moaning it had been three and a half hours and they'd had enoguh, I said I didn't mind if they just wanted to say JOel won and wrap it up there, even if it was an illegal move. Joel said no I want to carry on a bit, he'd built an Empire and wanted the chance to use it. So it was political phase next, and I played a card that let me go through the political cards and choose one to activate, I picked one which meant everyone had to go down to 2 dreadnoughts (which is all I had). A bit of confusion other this card, do you still have to vote on it, or does it mean the rule on the card is law? I had shown dan my action card earlier and he had decided that the action meant it was automatically bought in and not voted on. SO when he questioned it I reminded him of this. SO he said fair enoguh. But as soon as he and Joel realised their big Empires would be downscaled through the loss of Dreadnoughts to the same size as the rest of us, they decided they had had enough of the game, so Joel was again declared winner and the game was over.
The outcome is I don't think any of them fancy it again, they feel it takes too long. The length was never an issue for me, it takes time to conquer planets and build empires and would like to play a proper game, which I feel I haven't because both times I've played mistakes have been made which I feel havew left me without a chacne of winning, bvecuase I have being developing at a slower rate than others, interpreting the rules as I saw them. The problem with the game is that there is too much bookkeeping, so you have to rely on others to work out there resources and influence correctly, because you haven't got enoguh time to double check everyone's, becuase the game takes so long as it is. SO its so easy for the game to be won by mismanagement.
I would like to play again , but its looking unlikely at this point.