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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 3 Players - 5h - 1 New, 1 Advanced, 1 Semi-New rss

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Kevin Streicher
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Full Rules, both Expansion, all variants
Trade III, Burocracy and Assembly II with Voice of the Council in play

NoxMortem(Advanced ~4 Plays), 8 VP, winner, Embers of Muaat
Wulfger (Semi-New second play, new to expansions), 0 VP, Nekro Virus
Zedd (New), 3VP, The Yssaril Tribes

The galaxy setup was extremely balanced, only 2 B wormholes and the wormholes nexus. One B was next to Nox/Embers of Muaat the other one exactly in the middle of Wulfger and Zedd. Fair in resources and special systems.

I forgot embers may pass supernovas and misplaced the supernova tile, but as you never know what other players might play it was kind of safer next to Wulfger anyhow.

Turn 2 Wulfger attacked Zedd to steal XRD Transporter tech. I had been speaker for several turns and therefore got Initiative+Diplomacy as a strong early combo. I did not often used the change CC->Destroyer/2 Fighters but used it in 2 turns for about 4-5 CC total. Especially in the last turn when i hoped to scare both others so they did not realize i was winning at the end of the round. Which totally worked.

Turn 3+ Zedd was focussed on defending his ~6 planets. He already used skip but did not use the action cards as strong and often as he would have been able to. He build 6 PDS and placed them in a way which was kind of incredible, i really considered it not to be worth to expand any further into his direction. Mecatol Rex had about 3 PDS in range (with Deep Space Cannon). I once used diplomacy to steal a planet he wanted to have but he never took it back. Too afraid of the early attack of the Nekro Virus and my 2 early War Suns. It was good he was afraid in the early game but he should have somehow overrun me in the later turns as he got Hopes End and stacked some Shock Troops on a planet on the border between him and me.

Wulfger was somehow trying to get new techs but did not attacked me in the early game. In turn 6 Zedd got a yellow artefakt, I got a distant sun token which allowed me to win with 1 victory point less. Also i got the "i spend 10 resources"-objective, Lazax Survivors, 1 VP for 4 different technologies, 1 VP for the preliminary controlling 2 systems adjacent to Mecatol Rex ( i chose to control 2 empty systems), 1 VP for spending 10 resources which was very easy with getting a lot of planets due to the early 2 war suns some luck with distant suns and not one attack against me and 2 VP for the secret objective "at least one non-fighter ship at each wormhole system".

Finally i managed it to 4 Victory points. My War Suns now had 3 Movement which is incredible and i chose to use burocracy 2 turns in a row for extra objectives. I was able to get 2 public objectives then in one turn raising my counter to 6. I already felt the power of a winner in my hand controlling nearly 2/3 of the galaxy. My open flank never had been attacked but once by the Nekro Virus even when i already had about 8 techs. He could definetly make a lot of techs attacking me and with a lot of i mean "the good ones" .

Last turn i thought i will try it the same way like in the turn before and use buerocracy to get a double objective round and win with 8 VP (-1 for the distant sun token -1 because of buerocracy).

"I control Mecatol Rex, ah and btw i won "

The big conclusion in my eyes had been:

People underestimated the Assembly II card. You really want to be speaker and you really want this initiative card. You do not want to have an war/aggressive/combat race to have tons of command counters especially not when they can use it for free units. Also there had not been any laws because when we had the assembly played it got canceled by an concilor and one time it just wasnt important.

Also they underestimated the power of breaking trade agreements. I had one with both players and had been the only one who got 4 trade goods out of the agreements.

Zedd lost his "-1 tech cost"-Mercenary. This may not happen. You dont want him to fight, you want him to give you this bonus.

The nekro virus really needs to steal as many techs as possible. Also you want to use high alert tokens to suicide bomb the hell out of big bulks of enemy ships with your mothership. Of course you want to take out at least ~15 resources to be worth it. 10+ might be good too but dont forget you not only paid resources to build and move and kill them.

You want to grab an undefended flank as fast as possible. Strike once and strike hard.

Diplomacy secondary is AMAZING! Really, especially when playing with distant suns its just amazing. Can't find more words for it.

Space mines and lot of ships have an amazing psychological effect against new players. They might not be worth it mathematically but players will be afraid until they find out all you got are 2 War Suns blocked because there is one little destroyer right in the wrong place.

On saturday both players will play against with me and maybe 2-3 more players and i am really excited for this game to see how they learned from all of their mistakes, which made this victory far to easy. I think the next game will be hell of a game.
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Markus
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NoxMortem wrote:
Full Rules, Both Expansion, all variants


Wow, that's something you don't see everyday. Well done! How did the new/semi-new players feel about playing with so much stuff right out of the gate?
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Kevin Streicher
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The new player did never use: Mech/Shock Troops (he stacked them with a refresh ability and i did not attacked him because of this but he never activly attacked) and never build space mines - but for the latter there was no need, because there was not much aggression/expansion, they would be interesting only if they first took one system from me and make it more difficult to take it back or to defend their own systems, which i was not interested at all because i purely focused on the objectives. No one of us ever build facilities, they are great but we always forget them. There will be a day when we will definetly build them - i just know.

He was not really overwhelmed as the most variants are something the experienced player just explains when it comes to them. Voice of the council, the artifacts, the new strategy cards, shock troops, leaders.

They of course did not take full use out of the variants but most of them where used at least once when there was a "need for them".

From my advanced point of view, the variants mostly make the game more not that much more complicated BECAUSE the following things were the errors the new player made (through the whole game

* Where to pick a CC from - Command/Strategic Allocation? This is the most common error in EVERY game i taught.
* You only can use tech advances/influence from not exhausted planets.
* Control a planet means "You got your unit/building/flags there" Control a system means "You control all planets in the system and got a non-fighter ship there". Ok, the second i also did not knew anymore and had to search it in the rules forum but found it really fast (first google entry as far as i remember). Second was especially important for the diplomacy secondary because we had a lot of "Planet controlled by A/neutral, ships from B" situations.

I would never recommend this if there is not one player who knows the rules but would always recommend it when there is. The main thing is, ok i definetly won this game because they were not that experienced, but they learned A LOT.

E.g. How to use mech for distant sun exploration (used by the semi-new player after me).

How to avoid distant sun tokens with diplomacy secondary (immediatly grasped by the new player).

How to get fast victory points with buerocracy and how important it is to fast fulfill the preliminary/secret and take planets from other players. In my eyes there are some preliminary/secret objectives which nearly become impossible at the end of the game (controlling a system next to a home-system) but they are easy in the early game. Also the aggression between the players can be still settled and you dont necessarly get a enemy for the whole game (which of course depends of your group)

What i would recommend to other players: Do never use the Nekro Virus or other races with game changing abilities for a not that experienced player. He has a real disadvantage if he does not use the stealing correct. Most players learning the game "copy" actions from experienced players and this is a great way to learn it and this just does not work with this race for the technologies. He stole 2 techs, but i was about 6-7 techs ahead and this is a really sick advantage (including the war sun technology i got from the beginning of the game, he never stole it).
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Brian Petersen
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My thoughts on some of the strategy here:
The -1 tech cost Merc is kind of useless. Unless you're Jol-Nar or buying your racial tech with the primary, he costs 1 TG to save 1 resource which you might not spend. He is profit only when Tech is chosen and Trade is not (in a 3 player game, that actually happens occasionally).

Assembly II in 3 player games: Anytime it was chosen, Nekro cannot vote, Yssaril are assassinated by Muatt if Yssaril isn't the Speaker. They still get one of 3 choices. New players don't know the power (and uselessness) of Political Cards.

VP track: Did you emphasize to the players the importance of VPs? In 4-5 rounds, Nekro didn't score a single VP, and players allowed you to choose B-cracy twice in a row (given, you probably chose it first a second time).

Nekro: Nekro probably had difficulty getting the mass he needed in order to steal techs. Both neighbors have PDS grids up and running. Stealing War Suns isn't great if you don't have the money for them. However, I'm guessing you had Micro/Nano, Automated Defense Turrets, Gravity Drive etc. which would have helped him significantly.
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Kevin Streicher
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Nekro did not vote but he can sent representatives and cancel the whole vote (which he did in a vote where i would almost 100% sure get a "this player needs -1 VP" which was very well done from him, seeing this objective the first time and playing the first time nekro and with the representatives rules).

Yes new players do not know the power and uselessness of PC but it is not that easy to show it to them when none come into play. You have to see this to get a real feeling for it.

VP track: Yes of course i did. The nekro just did not understood how amazing his flagship ability is until it was too late, he was focussed so hard on the player 3 and was trying to attack the Yssaril tribes, i had easy play. He had enough resources to build War Suns as the galaxy was really fair in planets and only i got the 1 War Sun advantage and ~10 extra resources for distant suns (2x4 1x2 which is really lucky an nothing else).

I did not had any PDS at all, Nekro and Yssaril build them. Nekro just was too afraid to sacrifice units for a tech, but he could have done it several times.

They just needed a full game to get the grasp of Assembly (picking who is speaker!) and how to steal tech (Nekro) and how to control who is able to do what in a game. This is not something you can teach before a game. Both players still had a great time.

I had no micro/nano but automated defense turrets and no gravity drive As i needed 1 tech from each color for one of the first VP i got the base techs (enviro/sarwen/war sun) and went for XRD/Stasis and later for Hylar V, Deep Space (+1 War Sun Movement!!!) and of course Magmus Reactor (War Sun costs 10 and +1 Movement again - this was sick!) I almost researched when possible, because when no one attacks you, you can spend every resource on techs and one War Sun with fighters can hold back some minor ships easily.

Also they really did not expect to end the game so fast. We played 4 hours with almost no VP and then in a few turns i went to 8. You really need to see how incredible fast it can go with burocracy, secret/preliminary and the one objective you can pick anyhow.

I really look forward to saturday when both players will meet me again. Even when they wont be fight me directly i expect them to warn the other players which will be an amazing time.

By the way, no i did not pick burocracy at first. Burocracy and assembly were the least picked Strategy Cards by the new players.
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Brian Petersen
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I'm not sure you're reading that objective right (unless I've not played with base-game objectives so much that I haven't seen it before).

There are 3 tech Public Objectives. One is "5 techs (any techs, including racials)". One if "5 techs of the same color". One is "at least one tech in each of 3 colors", so you had 1 red, 2 yellow, and needed 2 blue or 2 green, and another red. For Muatt, that means Deep Space Cannon, Stasis and Cybernetics, or AMD+XRD (or Gravity Drive, since you had wormholes (4 movement War Suns without any non-fighter escort)

I just find it hard to believe that in all those rounds, the Nekro didn't grab enough techs to score that objective at the bare minimum.

His flagship is very powerful, but can only work up to twice per round, and in a 3 player game, there's no way he can make it to a Home System.

When I teach new players the game, I warn them about some specific ACs/PCs.
ACs: Local Unrest. Unless you're Winnu, keep at least 2 GF (or 1 MU) on any planet you build a Space Dock on.
Flank Speed: +1 movement to all ships moving somewhere. Know that it's possible.
Cultural Crisis/Multiculturalism: Few pointers for that game what the best ability to copy/cancel is.
In the Silence of Space: Lets you do a sneak attack into a COMPLETELY UNPROTECTED space. Always leave 1 FF at minimum in your HS.
Signal Jamming: It's a dick.
Determine Policy: Which PCs are good, so they don't go through the whole dang deck.

PCs:
Communism: Only if Hacan are in play.
Sharing of Tech: TAs can be important for this. Sneak it in.
Mutiny: Start of game, +1 VP to everybody. End of game, trixxy.
Ancient Artifact: 50/50 of +2 techs to everybody, or eradicate all units in Mecatol and roll for splash damage in adjacent systems.
Lord of Mecatol Rex: MR owner +1 VP, eradicate all units in HS.
The one where either nobody can go to MR for the rest of the game, or it's the only place you can go for the round.
Opening/Closing the Wormholes: Self-explanatory.
Checks and Balances: Completely ruins the base game. Ultimate kingmaking in the final round.
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Kevin Streicher
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Edit: "I have technology advances in all 4 colors." I had 4 technologoies, 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow -> therefore it was legitimate to claim this objective. It is a base game objective.

What would have changed the game would have been if nekro would have taken mecatol rex with his flagship (-1 point) zedd would have taken the planet with the -1 VP to victory and if they would have taken the voice of the council from me. Without the 6 influence from mecatol it would have been much harder to win a vote.

Thank you for the list of the cards, i do not even know the cards so well that i would have been able to warn the other players about them.

"One is "at least one tech in each of 3 colors", so you had 1 red, 2 yellow, and needed 2 blue or 2 green, and another red."

I am not sure what you want to tell me about this. I would say for that one you need to have 3 techs and they need to be of different colors.
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Collis Jeppesen
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NoxMortem wrote:
Edit: "I have technology advances in all 4 colors." I had 4 technologoies, 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow -> therefore it was legitimate to claim this objective. It is a base game objective.

What would have changed the game would have been if nekro would have taken mecatol rex with his flagship (-1 point) zedd would have taken the planet with the -1 VP to victory and if they would have taken the voice of the council from me. Without the 6 influence from mecatol it would have been much harder to win a vote.

Thank you for the list of the cards, i do not even know the cards so well that i would have been able to warn the other players about them.

"One is "at least one tech in each of 3 colors", so you had 1 red, 2 yellow, and needed 2 blue or 2 green, and another red."

I am not sure what you want to tell me about this. I would say for that one you need to have 3 techs and they need to be of different colors.


I didn't think yellow counted as one of the tech colors required as it isn't a normally available tech color available on worlds. Just Red, Green and Blue count for tech color requirements on Objective cards.
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Brian Petersen
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I misquoted.

MORE than one.

Ah, base game objective. I don't play with those often, so it just hasn't cropped up before.

"I didn't think yellow counted as one of the tech colors required as it isn't a normally available tech color available on worlds. Just Red, Green and Blue count for tech color requirements on Objective cards."

Those are for the "tech specialty planet" objectives only. Base-game didn't have yellow tech specialty planets, but it did have yellow techs. So for Objectives requiring "one of each color tech specialty planets" required 3 planets, and now, Winnu HS, Semi-Lor, and the other yellow planet system from Shards do not count for that.

However, "one of each color tech" or "more than one of each of 3 color techs" counts yellow techs.

Nox:
I'm pretty sure that the "I control Mecatol Rex" objective refers to the planet, not the system. I could be wrong, though.
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Kevin Streicher
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All mecatol rex of course mean the Planet and we played it that way.
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