Wim van Gruisen
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Never played TI3, but will do so later this month, together with three other newbies. I read a number of reviews and other posts, and got the general opinion that Shattered Empire makes the game more fun. And people point especially to the strategy cards of Shattered Empire.

Now I could replace the standard strategy cards with the ones from SE. But would it be wise to do so for a first game? Will the SE cards increase complexity? Will they make the game longer?

I look forward to your opinions on this.
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Frank Franco
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You'll get different answers on this one.
Me, I'd just play the game as is to start with. The expansion SC will make the game longer.
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Diz Hooper
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My impression of playing Twilight Imperium is that Shattered Empires will increase the amount of conflict. Resources are easier to get and fewer of the objective points are focused on Mecatol Rex, so it's easier to get points.

As for play time, I'd say it would be about the same, since the base game includes the Imperial Card that gives you two points for choosing it, which acts as a kind of game clock. Even if there isn't as much conflict going on, the game is still moving forward.
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Edwin Priest
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
You'll get different answers on this one.
Me, I'd just play the game as is to start with. The expansion SC will make the game longer.


I agree that there is a lot of controversy about which strategy cards are best. Our group plays exclusively with the cards from the expansion and think they are better without being more complicated, but that certainly is a matter of opinion.

I am not sure that the expansion cards necessarily make the game longer, with the exception of the removal of the original Imperial card which does act as a built in timer of sorts. Most folks however feel that this card is broken, or at least dislike it, and use the Imperial II or the Bureacracy card from the SE expansion instead.

My suggestion for your first game would be to use all of the original cards from the base game but substitute ISC II and use the Age of Empire variant. This variant also acts as a timer, and I find that having all of the objectives visible from the start is easier for newcomers.

Have fun.
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Michael Cohen
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I generally don't like the base set of cards, even with a fixed Imperial card.
The Shattered Empire cards are better. In the original set, there's no real substitute for the Production effect of building without activation.
I feel this is a definite flaw.
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Adam Mitchell
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I feel the expansion cards are far superior to the initial cards myself. If you do use the old cards, however, please make sure that EVERYONE understands that when you get to pick first you basically have to pick Imperial and when you pick second you have to pick the card which allows you to pick first next turn. Failure to do so will put you way behind in Victory points and if anyone is allowed to pick Imperial twice before it would naturally come around to him he gains a truly massive advantage. This essentially "mandated" picking is the primary reason I dislike the starting Strategy cards.
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possum man
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SE cards all the way. They're no more or less complicated than the base cards, but are more balanced and fit together more nicely as a group.
No contest.
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Martin Larouche
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Vandervecken wrote:
I generally don't like the base set of cards, even with a fixed Imperial card.
The Shattered Empire cards are better. In the original set, there's no real substitute for the Production effect of building without activation.
I feel this is a definite flaw.


This was Warfare I. Build in a stardock, remove activation token with Warfare... essentially similar to Production.

But the strategy cards from the first expansion are so much better than the original it's not even funny IMO.

"Initiative" was boring.

"Technology I" was too slow. Techs farther down the tech tree were never seeing play as they were too hard to reach, let alone have the time to actually use them.

"Imperial I", after having suffered a rage from a player who was refused his turn at taking the card and consequently lost the 7 hour game on the last turn because of a single action card that prevented him from taking the card we all said: "never again will we play with Imperial I".

"Warfare I", secondary is next to useless and the primary much too flexible it was used for anything BUT for actual warfare.

"Political I", was a good, fun card. But it is so boring when compared to Assembly. Assembly makes you have dialog with other players and can make choosing a political road to victory worth it if you have drawn the proper cards. Political I is way more random, making it much harder to follow a political route to victory.

"Diplomacy I", is completely useless in the first turns and much too powerful in the later turns. Diplomacy II, on the other hand, stays useful from the beginning to the end of the game.

"Trade I"... it's a tie as both are mostly boring to play. Trade has only recently become interesting to play, with the inclusion of Trade III in the latest expansion (thanks to the mercenaries).
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John Clark
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The SE strategy cards are a good, solid set. You can't really go wrong with them. After you play a game with them you can think about if you want to exchange some but you should start with the SE cards.
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another geek
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johnclark wrote:
The SE strategy cards are a good, solid set. You can't really go wrong with them. After you play a game with them you can think about if you want to exchange some but you should start with the SE cards.


agree. We started with original SCs and yesterday we played the SE SCs... no questions, the strategy cards from the addon are much better
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