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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shards of the Throne» Forums » General

Subject: Beginner friendly race for nervous friend. rss

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Matthew Bestland
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Bridgeport
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So, we're planning on playing 6-player TI (shards of the throne for the first time!) this weekend, and we have two new people who just learned the game. One of the beginners is really nervous about playing with us because... well... we're extremely vicious, opportunistic, backstabby gamers (especially in TI). Therefore, we're trying to think of races they could play that are the most beginner friendly. Particularly, a race where "I can recover quickest and best from making a terrible mistake." as my friend put it. Obviously, Sol is one contender, since they have no real minuses, have average trade agreements, good start, and their ground force ability allows on-the-spot defense if they accidentally leave themselves open to a backstab. That takes care of one beginner.
We're still kind of stumped on the second race. Maybe the Hacan? Since their great trading allows them to forge semi-real alliances, and they don't need to depend on aggressive expansion allowing them to stay insular? Xxcha? For their diplomatic abilities and flagship make it easier for turtling? L1z1x, because of their slow, but steady progression, strong military, and straightforward build/play style? etc, etc.

Anyways, any suggestions would be nice.
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David desJardins
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Can't you just not take advantage of the mistakes a new player makes because they don't know the game as well as you do? That seems a lot more constructive.
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Mike Anastasia
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I would suggest either the Barony of Letnev or the Federation of Sol.

The Federation is great for the reasons you already saw.

The Barony has so much money that as long as you hold your home system, you can rebuild your forces. The only trick for a new player is to recognize that the abilities on the race sheet are not very important.

The Hacan are an OK choice, because they usually have enough money to do whatever they want even if they can't control a lot of territory, but because they rely on trade they are pretty vulnerable to being betrayed by a trading partner.

I also might suggest the Naalu - unlike many of the races, a new player can look at the Naalu race sheet, see what he should try to focus on (lots of fighters!), and actually be correct. Many of the races with more subtle abilities can get a new player into trouble if the player focuses only on using the race abilities.

I think the L1z1x are not a very good choice - because of their slow steady progress from [0.0.0] out into the galaxy, they take a very long time to recover if something goes wrong for them.
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You could nerf your own choices and play with the so called weaker races to slow the stronger players down.
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Scott Randolph
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I would highly recommend Federation of Sol. I would not recommend the Naalu Collective, it would be difficult for a new player to be forced to go first every round, rather than being able to watch other players and learn from them. Barony of Letnev is certainly another good choice for a new player, just be sure to remind them about the racial ability to exceed their fleet supply by one (easy to forget if you are new).

I would recommend the Sardakk N'Orr heartily for their simplicity, but rather lacklusterly for their horribly low to non-existent win percentage. (ie, they suck)

Good luck! Fantastic game!
(SFRR)
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Park Previs
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Letnev are a good choice because of the money, but i think that they are pretty boring.

Hacan are rich, but make sure that you point out that they should build at least two space docks in their home system (if not all three), to get the most out of sarween tools for each command counter spent.

if they can keep up with all the technology, i vote for the Jol-Nar. that is who we always give to the "new guy" at the table. gaining tecnology each round (or two each round), is fun. that -1 to combat rolls doesn't affect you for long. once they are blowing up fleets with warsuns in the third round or so, they won't care about that -1 anyway. however, if you are playing with distant suns, i would not give them the jol nar unless someone watches them closely and makes sure that they don't get all their ground forces destroyed in the first round.

i vote JOL NAR.
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Daniel Hammond
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Can't you just not take advantage of the mistakes a new player makes because they don't know the game as well as you do? That seems a lot more constructive.


Great advice! Whenever I play with new players I work hard to not let them make newbie mistakes. I even make recommendations when I see them doing sub-optimal moves, tell them why I think neglecting A or B to pursue C might hurt them later. I leave the choice to them and when they want to do C anyway I don't feel bad crushing them for it.

In larger player games like TI3 better to give them an overview and how best to utilize their racial abilities (best after they see their starting area) and what options they could pursue and how each helps them. It is certainly in the best interest of their non-neighbors not to let their neighbors crush them. Not sure why people invite people to try new games and then crush them based on their lack of experience.
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Bill Norton
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Sol is great as a new player race but not against aggressive players. They start with a pitiful fleet.

My choice would be L1Z1x. 4 starting techs and a nice home system.

My another choice would be Norr as they are easy to play(not win) and starting with DSC stops alot of early attacks.

Bill
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Jason Dunn
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I think Sol and Barony are best two choices, but I'm surprised that the Embers haven't been mentioned. They're not complex and they start out with a boobie!
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Kalle Palm
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I don't get why people always recomend Sol to new players. Is it because they are human? Sure the extra counter makes moving around easier, but I think Hacan is a better choice, based on the fact that they have economy however the board looks. The Jol-Nar suggestion based on it beeing more fun is probably a very good idea. If you're not a gamer ace you won't win your first TI.
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Brian Petersen
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Point out their mistake but don't take advantage of it. For a completely new player, Yssaril is a good race. They can skip-play-skip-play so they now how they should be moving. It's harder to backstab them. The only problem is, with all those ACs, new (and some experienced) players tend to get option paralysis and aren't sure how certain ACs work. Plus, an experienced player isn't using Yssaril =D.

Sol is easier for new players because by round 3-4 they should be getting 4 CCs per round plus whatever CCs they purchase. New players often try to take advantage of every secondary and every tech purchase without worrying about not having enough CCs for the next round.

Remove the 3 new races and Saar since their racial abilities are game mechanics breaking. If you let them play Universities, don't attack them until Round 4. It's not like they're going to win their first game.

L1z1x and Embers are good first races, as long as the players understand that their expensive first ships need fighter fodder and low cost high production fleets beat out high cost low production fleets more than 50% of the time. Point that out to Hacan and Jol-Nar getting space boobies too.
 
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Steve Williams
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I think Sol is a frequent recommendation because a common mistake for new players is to quickly use up their Command Counters, and Sol get extra which makes this a little less of a problem.

I also agree with leaving Naalu out of a new player game altogether, it adds a confusing layer to the turn order.
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Samuel C.
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You might even give them the ghosts. They won't have to worry about wormholes if they don't want - and have a second, perfectly safe, home world.
Also, the Hacan are good, because you won't want to go to war with them anyway. EDIT: because of their trade agreements
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David Gagner
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I disagree that Yssaril is a good choice for a beginner.
These guys get a ton of action cards and a new player can spend forever looking at them and never actually get to know the game itself.
If that beginner also is prone to AP, then Yssaril becomes an even worse choice.
He will look at his action cards, all 20+ of them, every time it comes around to his turn before deciding not to play any of them and just passing.
I would suggest Federation of Sol or Hacan as they are a lot more straight forward and you are able to focus on mechanics.
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Matthew Bestland
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Lol, the response in one day is phenomenal. I find the range of opinions both hilarious, enlightening, and giving me a serious case of analysis paralysis. We have mentioned over two thirds of the races in the game. Now, the Universities, Embers, and Barony seem like very feasible prospects. But... the Hacan and L1z1x still look good....
 
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Robert Nicewander
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If it helps at all, when I played solo three player to learn the rules I took Sol, Hacan and Sardak Nor. I figured those were the simplest races.

Yeah, Sardak are pretty suck, but it's his first game, he's likely not going to win anyway, right?

Also, I recommend taking it easy on new players. You do want them to play again don't you? I know if I get pounded on as a new player I don't have much interest in playing again, but maybe that's just me.
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Bill Norton
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Muaat is not always great because new player tend to overrate them and get them killed off early.

Letnev can be powerful be new players tend not to know how to play them.

Sol is always good as new players usually struggle with CC usage, but the starting fleet is weak.

Jolnar is fun but newer players tend to get all tech and not enough ships.

 
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Brandon Tank
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I think many of the races that have been suggested by this thread are new player friendly. Barony are good, Sol are good, Space Kittens are a solid choice.

Just make sure to offer good, objective advice to the new players on your table. The game is very complex and its really easy to get confused or lost in the depth of the mechanics.
 
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Henry Coleman
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The Mentak aren't a bad first choice either.
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Sebastian L.
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Maybe,...
if you play with total newbee´s, ignore the special ability´s. Start a small (let´s say 7 hexagons + 2-3 Homeworlds) game. Do 1 or 2 rounds only with the BASIC rules. How do ships move, what are there combat values etc., how is the order of play. When everybody is "in the gameflow",add the STRATEGY-Cards for a third round.

Then end the gameflow introduction. (If they are already familar with the rulebook, this should take less than one hour)

Now present the Races with one or two words about the special abilitys.
Let the newbees choose a race, other players random choise.(we use a black textile bag with one marker of each race)

Finaly explain other additions you would like to play like "distant sun", special characters, and so on.

Have fun,
and conquer the GALAXY!


http://hannover-boardgamers.frei-forum.com/
 
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Andrew
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IMO anything but Saar, Yin, Ghosts or Arborec is a good choice for a beginner.
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Scott Randolph
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I think the Yin Brotherhood are one of the most ingenious, and underrated Great Races in the game, and not too complex to play (other than forgetting to "flip" a planet, which extends your turn).
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Brian Petersen
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I just finished a game with 3 new players. We played with Preliminary Objectives and the base game strategy cards. It was very frustrating since the 6th player showed up an hour late after we had just finished explaining the rules to the other 2 new players and was very prone to Analysis Paralysis despite a pretty straight-forward decision of "Build this round so you can attack next round, attack this round before enemy builds or others go for MR, or build this round to defend your fleets." That player was Sol. Hacan nearly won because both Sol and Naalu ("experienced" player) retreated from systems adjacent to their HS to grant him his SO and didn't retaliate before the end of the round to prevent that victory condition.

The Xxcha were distracted by War Suns and Flagships and trying to take over 2 systems adjacent to MR for their preliminary. We tried to emphasize how many small fast ships are better than one big bomb, but it didn't sink in. He played it too much like a war game with a tech tree, which enraged me, the Jol-Nar sitting next to him and his Deep Space Cannons and my -2 first round. Their first 2 rounds sucked as they WON the roll, so they got stuck with Imperial instead of having Warfare as an option, and rightfully feared the L1z1x next to them round 2. Instead of attacking the L1z1x so they wouldn't have cruisers to attack whichever system he defends less, he moved out of one system to take over half of another. As soon as he did, L1z1x attacked the system he moved from to get his preliminary objective of invading a planet controlled by an enemy player.

Several times I had to point out that if they moved ALL of their ships into 1 system, I could take his HS with any pair of cruisers and GFs and be able to build a space mine there, get his nice shiny home planets untapped with no counterattack possible and I might just use Diplomacy next round. Both of my neighbors were guilty of weakly defended HS, but the combo of new players, terrible planets, and objectives involving tech, I was just 2 blobs that built a few things and got 2 techs every round.
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Matthew Bestland
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Thanks for everyone's input into my question. We've started our game, but I think this is a pretty good discussion topic, and wouldn't mind continuing to discuss it.

Anyways, we decided to let the two newbies choose the races they wanted to play from the pool of: Hacan, Sol, Barony, Muat, and L1Z1X. We explained what they were good at, and the usefulness of their basic abilities. One guy gunned straight for the Sol (it was the only picture with a gun in it) and the other beginner chose Barony. We decided to place the two newbies together so it would be easier for them. We also were very lenient in the universe building, putting the choiciest planets next to them. The only problem with putting a military newbie (barony) next to another newbie with plenty of choicey planets in-between them is that he quickly flexed his massive Barony muscles and started a surprisingly well-thought out war with Sol.Still, Sol was able to use his ability wisely, minimize his losses, and fulfill a few objectives to boot!
Anyways, we've finished the first half of the game, planning on continuing next week. Those two races seem to be fitting them pretty well, and the game as a whole has been pretty insane so far. I might just post a session report about this game later.

EDIT: Here's the session report for Part I, if anyone's interested.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/666671/shifting-borders-part...
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Casey F
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MatThePhat wrote:
One of the beginners is really nervous about playing with us


Embers of Muat. Starting with a War Sun should calm the newbie down.
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