Chris Larkin
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I was woefully out of the loop and knew this expansion was coming for months, but failed to notice it was released. I just so happened to be at my FLGS (The L is relative, it's about an hour away) and noticed it on the shelf and immediately snatched it up.

We got together for a 4 player game to try it out. We opted to not use the Mercenaries for this game, but we did use everything else I believe.

Our first impression was that the preliminary objectives weren't all that preliminary for all of us. One I think required a successful battle next to an opponents home tile, which in a 4 player game at least is not a quick thing to do. Mine was fairly simple I think, I just had to get all my dreadnoughts on the board which took about 2 or 3 rounds.

The space domain counters were fun, even though I lost a majority of said dreadnoughts in a supernova.

We enjoyed the council representatives a lot, although by the end of the game, all we all had left was our bodyguard's.

The promissory notes became the real issue everyone had in the end. The idea is great, and our group is famous for going back on verbal agreements, which in itself is great fun, but to be forced by the rules to maintain a promise sounded really great.

Near the end of the game, two of us were tied with 8 VP's, and the other two players were tied with 6. We had been playing for a long time as is normal with this game, but the other two players knew they had lost. As both were annoyed with the player tied with me for the lead due to earlier actions in the game (She went crazy for the artifacts and really invaded their empires without mercy) they both gave me the promissory note that allowed me to win with 1 less VP, thus ending the game right there.

I had a great time playing with the expansion as did everyone else, but I think we'll leave out the 1 less VP notes the next time we play with the new Assembly card to prevent such a lame victory in the future.

My two cents for what it's worth, and so far two big thumbs up from us for this expansion. I'm thrilled to have an excuse to pull out the TI3 box again.
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Nice angle for the review.

TI3 is prone to a bit of king making.
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Chris J Davis
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Cupcakus wrote:
I was woefully out of the loop and knew this expansion was coming for months, but failed to notice it was released. I just so happened to be at my FLGS (The L is relative, it's about an hour away) and noticed it on the shelf and immediately snatched it up.

We got together for a 4 player game to try it out. We opted to not use the Mercenaries for this game, but we did use everything else I believe.

Our first impression was that the preliminary objectives weren't all that preliminary for all of us. One I think required a successful battle next to an opponents home tile, which in a 4 player game at least is not a quick thing to do. Mine was fairly simple I think, I just had to get all my dreadnoughts on the board which took about 2 or 3 rounds.

The space domain counters were fun, even though I lost a majority of said dreadnoughts in a supernova.

We enjoyed the council representatives a lot, although by the end of the game, all we all had left was our bodyguard's.

The promissory notes became the real issue everyone had in the end. The idea is great, and our group is famous for going back on verbal agreements, which in itself is great fun, but to be forced by the rules to maintain a promise sounded really great.

Near the end of the game, two of us were tied with 8 VP's, and the other two players were tied with 6. We had been playing for a long time as is normal with this game, but the other two players knew they had lost. As both were annoyed with the player tied with me for the lead due to earlier actions in the game (She went crazy for the artifacts and really invaded their empires without mercy) they both gave me the promissory note that allowed me to win with 1 less VP, thus ending the game right there.

I had a great time playing with the expansion as did everyone else, but I think we'll leave out the 1 less VP notes the next time we play with the new Assembly card to prevent such a lame victory in the future.


Why not leave out those players instead?
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Actually, the kind of Kingmaking you describe is not only part of the game, but something players need to keep in mind.

If you are going to be merciless earlier in the game and attack players, you'd better be able to back it up, because if it comes down to those players having to help that person or another person, they're likely to pick the one who DIDN'T hose them earlier in the game.

That's just the way these kinds of games are. Attack only when needed, and be prepared to face the music later in the game (or make amends if you can). Diplomacy and Politics (not just the cards) are a big part of what makes TI3 more than just a fighting game.
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Brian Petersen
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In most gaming groups, that kind of kingmaking wouldn't be tolerated. Tolerated, but frowned upon, kingmaking is hindering the leader so much that the guy in second place wins, and moving ships in or out of the way of important systems. We avoid giving someone an instant win during the political phase, such as Elect Public Objective laws.

I'm also not sure if two players can offer a promissory note to the same player in the same round. If the way to vote was conflicting, the first one accepted would have precedence. It's superfluous for another player to offer another promissory note to get the same player to vote the same way. The unspoken agreement in our group is only to offer that promissory note if the vote will allow you to win before the person you offered it to.

I'm torn on the Preliminary Objectives, because all the ones I've gotten so far have been to attack people or claim planets, which can be done in the first couple turns without real preparation. However, other players have been getting the 3 yellow techs or 6 PDSs and pursued those blindly. Letnev paying to use the secondary of technology 3 times with only 20 units on the board is a bit perturbing.
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Neil Parker
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Actually, the kind of Kingmaking you describe is not only part of the game, but something players need to keep in mind.

If you are going to be merciless earlier in the game and attack players, you'd better be able to back it up, because if it comes down to those players having to help that person or another person, they're likely to pick the one who DIDN'T hose them earlier in the game.

That's just the way these kinds of games are. Attack only when needed, and be prepared to face the music later in the game (or make amends if you can). Diplomacy and Politics (not just the cards) are a big part of what makes TI3 more than just a fighting game.


Agreed. TI3 is not just about the cool races and their techs or strategy cards. Its about a number of players each trying to achieve objectives using on-board actions and off-board politics.

I've found TI3 to be a game where it really pays to form deals with one or two players at least. Even though players know that in order to win deals will get broken, if the deal is good enough the other players will often agree, thinking in turn of when and how to take advantage of it.

Psychology therefore plays its part with objectives being the primary focus. Attack when you have to and try to at least smooth it over where you can with diplomacy. Ive seen players be largely successful with aggression but the other players will often react if there is enough will to cooperate.
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Chris Larkin
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TomBoombs wrote:

I'm also not sure if two players can offer a promissory note to the same player in the same round. If the way to vote was conflicting, the first one accepted would have precedence. It's superfluous for another player to offer another promissory note to get the same player to vote the same way. The unspoken agreement in our group is only to offer that promissory note if the vote will allow you to win before the person you offered it to.


The agenda in question was to elect a player. That player lost all action cards, exhausted all planets, and something else I don't remember. At the time, I had the vast majority of the influence available for the vote, basically giving me control of who the victim would be. So I asked everyone to give me a promissory note and I would then decide from there. We didn't actually end the game until the status phase even though I instantly had enough VP to win right at that moment.
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Cupcakus wrote:

As both were annoyed with the player tied with me for the lead due to earlier actions in the game (She went crazy for the artifacts and really invaded their empires without mercy) they both gave me the promissory note that allowed me to win with 1 less VP, thus ending the game right there.

I had a great time playing with the expansion as did everyone else, but I think we'll leave out the 1 less VP notes the next time we play with the new Assembly card to prevent such a lame victory in the future.


This is an excellent use of the notes on their part. The other player paid for her unmerciful attack with both of the other players supporting you to be the new Emperor, providing you the win. It may have cut the action short, but it was a more political approach to guaranteeing victory. Players take the metagame and mesagame into account, being ruthless will only leave you in the dust.
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Brian Petersen
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That was improper use of the Promissory Note mechanic.

You requested that everyone OFFERED you a promissory note. When they offer it, they tell you which way to vote, and you decide whether to accept it and vote that way, or reject it and vote however you like. You may be OFFERED multiple Notes in one turn, but I don't think you may ACCEPT multiple Notes in the same turn, since the notes would either be conflicting, or the additional one is superfluous, since you already PROMISED to vote the way the second offerer asked, so he's paying you to do what you already MUST do.

I wouldn't have strung out the game past you having 10 VP equivalents. I've strung out games after being qualified to get 10 VPs, but I still wait til the status phase to give people the opportunity to take my HS.

You won that game if your initiative was lower than the leader and you could claim an objective, or if he couldn't claim a 2 pointer with a lower initiative than you.

In the "everyone should be trying to win" sort of way, players should have been offering a Promissory Note to get the leader to vote for himself while they take out his HS devil
 
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Interesting, I'll have to re-read that part of the rules. We played it in this case that each player gave me a note to not vote for them, as opposed to vote for a specific player. The player I did finally smite I did not take their note.
 
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Cupcakus wrote:
Interesting, I'll have to re-read that part of the rules. We played it in this case that each player gave me a note to not vote for them, as opposed to vote for a specific player. The player I did finally smite I did not take their note.


The players who give you notes must specify how they want you to vote. They cannot specify only how they do *not* want you to vote.
 
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Right, but can 4 different players give you a promissory note on vote to specify you vote their way, and it all be the same way? You are bound 4 times to vote the same way?
In this case, just to give you the Support card, so that you win?

It sounds legal, but I would say it isn't. If it is legal, I would house rule it so that you can only accept 1 promissory note per vote.
 
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Personally I dislike the new political stuff. The representatives eliminate a lot of the normal wheeling and dealing that we do, and waste more time and the notes are just a bad idea.

Having a rep killed and getting 0 votes really sucks.

Anything in the game that lets a player win by shortening the victory conditions is a bad idea.

I disagree with Scott a bit, in that while being a dick in a game should hurt you, it has to be harder to do than offering a VP to someone else on a vote that probably means nothing.

-M
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