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Subject: I will never stop playing this game rss

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Samuel C.
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In a completely separate geeklist, one Fuzzydice82 said this about a posting of Twilight Imperium 3 questioning whether it is worth the time and money people put into it:

fuzzydice82 wrote:
Actually, this game was the exact game I had in mind when making the notes to this Geeklist to try to make sure it would be allowed. I've never played it, but I'm waiting for someone to convince me to get it

Alright, sir, here is my attempt. (note: all ratings are out of 5 stars. I have been playing games for about 2 years, have attended only local cons, and play this game about 4 times a year)


Rules

The rules are pretty standard Fantasy Flight. You will be awed by pretty pictures, and will learn the game very easily. You will not, however, understand any of the corner-cases, or rare combos that seem to contradict each other. Ah well, the FAQ is pretty filled out now.




Gameplay

The quickest way to explain the game is Axis and Allies meets Puerto Rico. Each player selects (clockwise) a role from the available strategy cards.

These include things like Diplomacy, Trade, and a personal favorite Political. These strategy tokens allow you to take a special power action once per round. When you do this action everyone else will have a shot at a lesser version of that power.
As a note - many people complain about the number 8 strategy as it gives you 2 of your 10 victory points upon use. While I rarely play with this tile (I use the expansion's variant tile). I think that this tile is very good if you do not have a long time to play. I have been blessed with friends who are willing to sink 8 hours into a game about 4 times a year, but if you can only swing 5-6 consider this tile (and you can always house-rule it a million ways from Tuesday if you really want).

Then, in order of the strategy tiles taken, each person does one action. Almost all actions require an action token (representation of time and effort). These will be important to use wisely, as you only get 2 for free each round. More can be obtained from strategy tiles and action cards, etc.

Actions include building ships, moving ships, attacking ships, attacking planets, wasting time (an oddly important factor in this game), and action cards, to name the most useful ones. Action cards can give you anything from free ground troops to causing insurrection on an enemy planet, causing they're starbase to blow up (boy does that card suck to have played on you). But none of the cards are overbalanced. Even the insurrection one can be mitigated with careful planning. Also, a fair percentage of cards are 'cancel your action card' cards, which can, you guessed it, cause daisies to grow on your home planet! (or cancel an enemy action card. One of those).

Gameplay continues until no one wants to/can do anything more. Then everyone can qualify for one and only one of the available goals. Initially these goals are worth 1 point each, and as the game progresses they can get as high as 3. Each player also has a secret goal they can qualify for here for an additional 2 points. These goals are almost all balanced, and often involve warfare (read as AWESOMENESS).

First one to 10 points wins! Or you can play to 14 for a longer game. You know, because who really needs sleep?

This way of playing means every action has a re-action. If you take your opponents planet, he can reinforce on his next turn. Turn order being determined by the strategies also works very well. Sometimes you will pass a chance at a free technology, just to go first.

Also, on the subject of Tech. - there are about 40 common techs in this game. Each race starts with 1-3 techs and can obtain them almost exclusively through the technology strategy tile. You will never get all the techs in a single game, and your Wars Suns (*cough*DeathStars*cough*) take a specific tech to even be constructed.

Overall: Very very good gameplay. My only complaint is that after you have passed play, you cannot do any actions RAW (Rules As Written). This can be changed with house rules, but still.




Price

The base game includes everything you need to have a great time - and the price mark is SO LOW for what you get! Lets put it this way:

Twilight Imperium 3 is currently 58 dollars on Amazon (free shipping):
http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Imperium-Third-Edition-Storag...

Descent 2 is currently 55 dollars on Amazon (also free shipping):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616611898/ref=ox_sc_act_ti...

Descent has 300 less minis and 150 less cards (I realize I am ignoring several things Descent also has, or has more of, but I'm speaking in hyperbole here. Bear with me).

I have never had a complaint about the plastic, the sculpts are awesome. The art in all parts of this game are out of this world (see what I did there?)! And the one mis-print that was in my particular printing of the first expansion was immediately fixed for free with a single email.


(A single player's load-out)

The expansions are lower in price, with very fair rates for the amount of things received. Every time I opened an expansion I thought "WOW! This is so much stuff!"



Community

The online community for this game is great! If you're looking for a print and play version of this with Stargate characters, you can find it. Custom planets? You can find them. (I prefer my personal print and play "planet in a minefield").

Also - if you ever have any questions they can be answered quickly, easily, kindly and clearly by the bgg group here. Most specifically, Scott Lewis (sigmazero13) pretty much lives on the forum, and is possibly the kindest BGG member I have ever interacted with.



Other/Overall

So what does this game do well? It has great deal-making. Taking people out of the room to make an alliance to kill the guy on the other side of the wormhole is an great part of the game. Back-stabbing that person next round is even better. I haven't played all the races yet, but most of them are pretty balanced. I would say of the 17 races (from all the expansions) I would say only 3 are forerunners and maybe 2 are lagging behind.

The customization in CRAZY. If you played this game with everything in the base game (long game excluded) - I would guess for new people you're looking at 2 hours a player. With all the expansions (maybe a review for some other time. Short version: As must-have as possible while being totally not required for a good time) you're looking at closer to 3, even with experienced players. If you play the game a fair amount, get good at explaining the rules, pick only your favorite 8 custom included variants, and do a few tricks to save on setup time you can easily get this game down to an hour per player (from box closed to box closed).

But that is one of the things that this game is not good at. It is not short. You will play all day. Also - you will have a fair amount of explaining first game-through. Just play RAW and you'll get through it, but it will take a bit.
Another thing it doesn't do well is low player count. You CAN play as low as 3. I will never play less than 4, and prefer 6-8 (base game only supports 6, expansions grow to 8). And because of the hex-based board 5 and 7 players is a touch wonky.
And, to be fair, the game can become boring if no one gets into it. If you all sit in your little pie-slice of the galaxy and never attack, never over-extend, never offend anyone... you will have a game of Eclipse (ba-doom ching). (I don't mind Eclipse but couldn't miss a jibe at it)




So to finish: never have I seen such a wonderful story-telling element in a board game. The feeling of watching your race get wiped off the map (happened to me twice), or of watching your death fleet control the middle planet of Mecatol Rex (oh yeah, the board is modular. Endless fun) while requiring a 'toll' from every passing player, or just being the space turtles - rulers of the galactic council. I cannot recommend this game highly enough. If you like story. If you like a-symmetric gameplay. If you like fun. Buy this game



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Scott Randolph
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While I do have my criticisms of the game, especially the base game; it remains the best Political/Economic/Warfare multi-player cut-throat style "box-o'toys" game I have ever played.
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James Webb
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I thought that the title of this review was a comment on the playing time...
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Barry Figgins
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Cool overview

You make a good point about the value of what you get in the box. I feel like TI3 is a bit of a labor of love for FFG, and they go all-out in making sure you get tons of stuff. When I pull out Twilight Imperium, I don't just set it up on a table - it transforms the table, with every component becoming part of a galactic story.

I was a little disappointed with Shards of the Throne, though. That expansion was a big box that contained moderate deck of new cards and a baggie of units. And when you realize that a majority of the cards are just the same thing reprinted 8 times for each color or 20 times for each race, there's just not that much in the box.

However, I'm not complaining. We're lucky to get Shards of the Throne, and Twilight Imperium players should expect to pay a premium for it. The market for Shards of the Throne is a subset of the market for Shattered Empire, which is a subset of Twilight Imperium, which is a subset of boardgamers, which is itself a pretty niche hobby.
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Captain Yellowbeard
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JonJacob wrote:
This is one of those games that nothing can replace for me. Eclipse tried... but it's not the same scope. What can compare to TI:3's huge box and play time?


Jacob, I'd like to introduce a game for you to investigate. I've purchased but not yet played Exodus: Proxima Centauri which has been called the child of TI3 and Eclipse. It appears mostly TI3 but manages research and technology upgrades like Eclipse. It was produced by NSKN Games and raised funds on Indiegogo.com Read their blog to get an understanding of the development of the game.

Here is a nice comparison of all three games: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/882021/versus-exodus-pro...

JonJacob wrote:
The time is a huge factor, not just in why people judge it negatively but also in why people judge it favorably. If you sit and play a game for 6 hours it's bound to stick with you longer. I remember every single game of TI:3 partly for that reason. None of the time is really wasted either as there is always something worth thinking about at a table of TI:3. Deals to be made, tactics and strategies to consider, units to buy, resources to acquire, politics to consider... the game in monstrous and few games out there are deserving of the time investment like TI:3 is.


I agree, every game of TI3 is an epic adventure. What makes the game memorable are the player interactions and watching the galaxy unfold and evolve turn by turn. It is like reading a great novel.

Albeit it is not for everyone, like some people cannot enjoy literature in the long form. There are people who enjoy the straightforward game play and comfort they find in eurogames and they will never try or like TI3.
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Neil Parker
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JonJacob wrote:
This is one of those games that nothing can replace for me.

The time is a huge factor, not just in why people judge it negatively but also in why people judge it favorably. If you sit and play a game for 6 hours it's bound to stick with you longer. I remember every single game of TI:3 partly for that reason. None of the time is really wasted either as there is always something worth thinking about at a table of TI:3. Deals to be made, tactics and strategies to consider, units to buy, resources to acquire, politics to consider... the game in monstrous and few games out there are deserving of the time investment like TI:3 is.



Agreed. The time is a big factor even with fans but you just have to book the day free - its not a game to rush or squeeze in with others. If you are thinking of buying it try to play a game first if you can with someone else's set. Its a reasonable amount of money for a boardgame + 2 expansions, but if you like the game and will get to play it even once a year i think its worth it. For me TI3 is an experience with the face-to-face aspect key for the game and for the social element.
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Martin Plourde
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I read that you had some of the misprint fixed for your game. I do have a 2005 edition that I bought in shrink just 6 months ago, with wrong values for PDS on race sheets, and some other erratas as well. I does not really bother me, but if FFG offer replacement I might give them a call.
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Samuel C.
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Martin518 wrote:
I read that you had some of the misprint fixed for your game. I do have a 2005 edition that I bought in shrink just 6 months ago, with wrong values for PDS on race sheets, and some other erratas as well. I does not really bother me, but if FFG offer replacement I might give them a call.


I don't think they replace the race sheets - my copy of the first expansion was missing a card and had two copies of another.
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Scott Lewis
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mathmagician wrote:
Martin518 wrote:
I read that you had some of the misprint fixed for your game. I do have a 2005 edition that I bought in shrink just 6 months ago, with wrong values for PDS on race sheets, and some other erratas as well. I does not really bother me, but if FFG offer replacement I might give them a call.


I don't think they replace the race sheets

I don't think they'll replace them if you got an old version, but I do think the newer printings of the base game had corrected sheets.

Quote:
my copy of the first expansion was missing a card and had two copies of another.

I think that was corrected in later printings as well. I'm not sure if they still offer the replacement program for the old printings.
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Starkiller
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mathmagician wrote:

Custom planets? You can find them. (I prefer my personal print and play "planet in a minefield").


Well, I can't. Find your 'planet in a mindfield' that is. Do you mind posting a link? I've looked on your profile & the images here.
Thanks!
 
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Brian Cox
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mathmagician wrote:
In a completely separate geeklist, one Fuzzydice82 said this about a posting of Twilight Imperium 3 questioning whether it is worth the time and money people put into it:

fuzzydice82 wrote:
Actually, this game was the exact game I had in mind when making the notes to this Geeklist to try to make sure it would be allowed. I've never played it, but I'm waiting for someone to convince me to get it

Alright, sir, here is my attempt.

Whoa! I've never had a review directed at me before. My sincerest apologies for not seeing this for a year and a half.

Samuel, you make an excellent case for this game, and I will always have respect for it (as I've since watched reviews and how to play demos, etc.), but Jacob hit the nail on the head above:

JonJacob wrote:
...I think what happens is that a lot of board gamers are older and have children. TI:3 is a young man's game as it requires time only a young man can afford...


Daughter number two is now 7 1/2 months old, and daughter number one will be 3 next month. I won't have a free 6 - 8 hours for over a decade. I will try my best to get them interested, but I suppose you can get back to me in 15 years to see if I was successful.

Edit: I left you some GeekGold to pick up the microbadge mb
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Jan Tuijp
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fuzzydice82 wrote:
Samuel, you make an excellent case for this game, and I will always have respect for it (as I've since watched reviews and how to play demos, etc.), but Jacob hit the nail on the head above:

JonJacob wrote:
...I think what happens is that a lot of board gamers are older and have children. TI:3 is a young man's game as it requires time only a young man can afford...


Daughter number two is now 7 1/2 months old, and daughter number one will be 3 next month. I won't have a free 6 - 8 hours for over a decade. I will try my best to get them interested, but I suppose you can get back to me in 15 years to see if I was successful.


Things will get better, though. My daughter is 6 and my son is 14 and I have just bought TI:3 and both expansions.

And you can make life even easier by carefully applying some brainwashing and conditioning. Potty-train your children into complex boardgames and eventually you'll be able to struck a bargain with your children where you buy the games and they'll explore the rules.

And they will thank you for it. cool

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