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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

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L. B. M.
United States
Fairborn
Ohio
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My group played a 4-player game of Twilight Imperium last night with the following races:

L1Z1X
Naalu
Yssaril
Hacan

The Distant Suns option was used, but that was the only official variant (no ISC variants or Age of Empires). We did use a modified Strategy Phase for the first round, since the first player to choose is random on the first round, the person to that player's right often gets the short end of the stick for strategies. We selected our first strategy as normal, but for the second round of pick, we reversed the order, as is done for placing systems (so the order went 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1).

Due to luck and the modified section rules for the first round, the Naalu ended up with Initiative and Imperial. The Yssaril attacked L1Z1X in the round, starting a short war. The Hacan opened some strong Trade agreements, and the Naalu were able to colonize the system containing ABYZ to get some good production numbers very early.

In the second turn the Naalu took the Imperial strategy again. The Hacan took the Trade strategy, and raked in a large number of trade goods with it. The L1Z1X struck back at the Yssaril in a fierce space battle, and then attempted to take over the planet in question. The Yssaril ground forces bravely fought off the invaders, and the L1Z1X decided that discretion was indeed the better part of valor, and that was the end of the war between the two. The Yssaril continued to build forces in a line from their Home System toward Mecatol Rex. This kept the L1Z1X effectively penned in from one side. The Naalu colonized another strong (both in production and influence) system. While the Yssaril were exploring a system dead center between the Yssaril and the Hacan, L1Z1X ground forces were uncovered there, giving them an outpost deep in enemy territory.

In the third turn, L1Z1X took the Trade strategy and cancelled all trade agreements (there was some discussion about whether or not the "b" option of the Primary ability on the Trade strategy can cancel trade agreements for the Hacan as well, but the group feel was that it would). This slowed the Hacan down considerably. The L1Z1X were running out of habitable systems in their vicinity, as they had a great deal of empty space in their quadrant, so they decided to focus on research and move toward building War Suns. They also built a space dock in their outpost system, which made the Hacan quite nervous, and shifted their focus in that direction. The Naalu began to get more technologies, but was able to do so easily by using the secondary ability of the Technology Strategy, and so only ended up taking it once or twice.

In the fourth turn, the L1Z1X built a PDS on the outpost system, which sparked the Hacan to attack it. The Yssaril took Mecatol Rex, and began to build up units there (to fulfill their secret objective). The Hacan were not having much luck in expanding, as they kept encountering insurgents which due to either superior weaponry or zeal were able to eliminate virtually every landing force the Hacan sent, despite the overwhelming odds (at least three more Hacan forces than insurgents on several occasions).

The L1Z1X remained focused on Technology; the Yssaril were focused on meeting their secret objective; and the Hacan were keeping the L1Z1X from moving out from their outpost (which we found later that the L1Z1X had no intention of attacking or building out from that system - just to hold it) as well as trying to gain planets while being schooled by the insurgent forces. All of these factors shifted those players' focus away from the Naalu, who quietly and steadily gained enough victory points for the win.

In the last turn, the Yssaril and Hacan realized that the Naalu were going to win in this round (the L1Z1X had already been aware, but didn't have the resources to guarantee a stop). The Naalu had 9 VPs, and the means to claim two different Public Objectives, so the other three players would have needed to stop both of those objectives. The L1Z1X turned one of the planets needed for a technology specialty Public Objective back to a neutral planet, and the other players would have needed to take away enough planets to reduce the Naalu's available resource production below 10 to stop the other objective from being claimed.
 
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Loïc Boué
France
VITRY SUR SEINE
Val de Marne
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Re:Session Report
Interesting report, but I have some trouble to understand how your group play.

First, Naalu is allowed to take both the Imperial and Initiative cards (a 4 VP head start, I still fail to understand how it was possible, and the Naalu player should have pointed that to newbie players, in my opinion).

Then, he get technologies, and experienced players know that many public objectives are tech-oriented, and basically unstoppable by other players (4 different colors, 5 techs, 3 same colors, 9 techs).

Next, the "focus is shifted away from him", which seems to imply the others players were looking at the board, but not at the victory track at all...

And finally, the others players try to stop him when he is at 9 VPs, a basically pointless endeavor because he only has to hold off until the Imperial come back to him. The fact that you don't mention the VPs of the others seems to imply they were far behind, or they could have tried to reach for victory.

Basically, it seems to me that your style of play is completely unrelated to the victory conditions (except for the Naalu player who, obviously, won). Since you seem to had quite a good time with your game, you should really consider not playing with the 2 pts ISC, or/and fudge with the public and secret objectives to keep those who are "conquest-oriented".
In my group, we decided that each player would choose a public objective in turn, before shuffling them.
 
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L. B. M.
United States
Fairborn
Ohio
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Re:Session Report
Torc wrote:
Interesting report, but I have some trouble to understand how your group play.


I'll try to address your comments:

First, Naalu is allowed to take both the Imperial and Initiative cards (a 4 VP head start, I still fail to understand how it was possible, and the Naalu player should have pointed that to newbie players, in my opinion).

In this game, L1Z1X and Naalu were the more experienced players (at about 8 or 9 games each). Hacan and Yssaril each had about 4 games. Hacan and Naalu were both aware of the importance of taking Imperial and Initiave, and that if they didn't take one or both that Naalu would certainly take both. They were each trying a new overall strategy - as each were playing their race for the first time.

Then, he get technologies, and experienced players know that many public objectives are tech-oriented, and basically unstoppable by other players (4 different colors, 5 techs, 3 same colors, 9 techs).

I think that with Hacan and Yssaril focusing on their new strategy and abilities, they overlooked the importance of gaining tech for themselved and the consequences of their opponents gaining tech.

Next, the "focus is shifted away from him", which seems to imply the others players were looking at the board, but not at the victory track at all...

True. Hacan and Yssaril were not looking at the victory track at all. L1Z1X was aware of it, but not in a position to do anything about it. Naalu was playing such as to not draw attention to the victory track, in order to keep the opponents focused on battling one another. L1Z1X was aware of Naalu's strategy in this point, and chose to keep quiet.

And finally, the others players try to stop him when he is at 9 VPs, a basically pointless endeavor because he only has to hold off until the Imperial come back to him. The fact that you don't mention the VPs of the others seems to imply they were far behind, or they could have tried to reach for victory.

Yes, it was a case of too little too late. The next highest number of victory points was 5 (or six, I can't remember for sure).

Basically, it seems to me that your style of play is completely unrelated to the victory conditions (except for the Naalu player who, obviously, won). Since you seem to had quite a good time with your game, you should really consider not playing with the 2 pts ISC, or/and fudge with the public and secret objectives to keep those who are "conquest-oriented".
In my group, we decided that each player would choose a public objective in turn, before shuffling them.


We play with the 2 point ISC to limit the timeframe on the game (although this one lasted about 5 hours). We have normally played with the Age of Empires variant (all Public Objectives face up at the start), so with the standard rules in place, I think some of the players forgot the importance of the Public Objectives (out of sight - out of mind)

On your variant of each player selecting a Public Objective first, are all players eligible for it, or only the player who drew it? It sounds interesting, and we may try it.

Thanks for your comments!
 
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