Casey F
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I played my first three games of Twilight Imperium with 5 others who had moderate, to extensive board gaming experience.

I won my first three games.

My strategy boiled down to, "I will not take any action unless it leads to a victory point." I believe this simple strategy should be mastered, before concerning oneself with more complex strategies. Here is why this simple strategy can work:

First, TI3 has a lot going on that can overwhelm someone. You have to manage your resources. You have to build ships and troops, using those limited resources. You have to move them around the board following complex rules. You have to do all of this while paying attention to what others on the board are doing. "I will not take any action unless it leads to a victory point." By keeping this simple strategy in the back of your mind at all times, you can concentrate on those things you have direct control over.

Second, I believe that many beginning players (and some experienced) spend too much time worrying about space battles. Sure, space battles are an integral part of the game. However, there are a myriad of victory points that can be earned in this game with little to no fighting. Indeed, I have played games where the winner did not fight a single space battle.

I should mention that my three initial wins depended heavily on context. When I first joined the group, we primarily played Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones has lots, and lots of battling. I think the rest of the group viewed Twilight Imperium from a "Game of Thrones" paradigm. I recognized immediately that Twilight is a different type of game.

So, focus on the victory points, and know what victory points might turn up (read all objective cards before playing your first match).
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Edwin Priest
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Good advice.

I have noticed the same thing. All too often newcomers think of this as a territorial contol type wargame. They lose sight of the fact that battles should primary be used to get VPs or to try to slow down or stop the leader.

With regards to A Game of Thrones, another game I love, there is a lot of battling, but like TI3, battles need to have defined goals. You win by controlling and holding cities and strongholds, not by the battles per se.
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Fedor Syagin
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Nice point you make.
Totally agree with your approach if you going for the win.
I know it sounds strange but sometimes I realize by turn 3 that I don't feel like going for the win no matter what - and then I start playing for fun. I start doing thing that if possible can give me points but if not - as long as it's fun - I will go for it. I know I most likely won't win but at least I get a chance to get something memorable out of it.

Also the main reason I like expansion strategy cards (and I think most of the people around here) is they partially solve the problem that if you going for the win - you always going for imperial or for a way to get imperial and then everything else. For me it was always sad to be first and being force to take imperial because it's no fun. Yes it's 2 vp. Yes you have to do it, but then it felt like playing on autopilot.
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Casey F
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Yes, the expansion strategy cards make the game much more interesting. I always hated feeling forced to take card 8 (two victory points), and card 1 (initiative so that you can pick card 8 on your next turn) in the base game. Strategies 8 and 1 from the base game basically circle the board, and when you think about it, that means you have no freedom for other strategies for 20% of the game (assuming a game of 10 rounds) -- or 25% of the game if it is only 8 rounds.

I totally agree that, when it seems you won't win, to just start playing for fun and making memorable moves. I need to do that more often.
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Gene Griffith
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My group has only really just gotten started with this game (had it for years but didn't have people to play with til now, forced my friends to play finally so they'd stop being scared of the giant box =D) and i gotta say that getting rid of Imperial I for Imperial II has made the game much more enjoyable. SC choices are now made based on the situation and the Initiative card does just what it says - gives you the initiative for the turn and the ability to pick anything first next go around. It doesn't say "wait a turn then get 2 VP and watch everyone else make crazy amounts of units"

Definately recommend switching to this card if you can, or at least trying it out. Having to play with the objectives revealed also helps keep players focused on getting objective points since you can see what you can work towards - makes for somewhat closer games i think.
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Leif
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GMGriffith wrote:
It doesn't say "wait a turn then get 2 VP and watch everyone else make crazy amounts of units"

Definately recommend switching to this card if you can, or at least trying it out. Having to play with the objectives revealed also helps keep players focused on getting objective points since you can see what you can work towards - makes for somewhat closer games i think.


QFT. I recently played a game where I was introducing some other people to the game. I decided to use the original card to keep things more basic. But it really highlighted to me the need to get rid of the + 2 freebie VPs. The guy who won did the least in the game, simply because he wasn't distracted with other goals but getting that one card every chance he could.
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Mårten Cederholm
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I can't afford the expansions at the moment.
Is there any way to fix this thing?
Could I just make my own little note and replace Imperial I?
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Jon Y.
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MuRRe wrote:
I can't afford the expansions at the moment.
Is there any way to fix this thing?
Could I just make my own little note and replace Imperial I?


Yep - you can check out Imperial II on the FFG website: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm... (It's in the Shattered Empires rules, page 17).
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Garth Bowden
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I wrote my own #8 that says "receive 1 VP. Then players vote, with votes equal to their influence. The player who receives the most votes gets 1 VP. If there is a tie, you are the tie-breaker."
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