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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Does this game just end? rss

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Brandon Holmes
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I hate playing hours and hours of a game only to have someone announce with a flip of a card "oh look, I have 8 VP, I win". This can happen for instance in a game like Star Trek Fleet Captains where a player might build a star dock or something, and then announce they've won the game as it awarded them the point they needed to win. I think Star Fleet Captains is a great game but it just feels so anti-climatic when something like this happens. Even if I'm the guy that won it this way, I almost feel bad for winning in such an unfun fashion.

So can this happen? With the play time of this game I'd hate for this to be possible.
 
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Scott Lewis
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It can, but when players become more familiar with the game and the objectives, it becomes less "surprising" - players will know when others are within reach of winning and will be able to try and thwart them.
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Oliver
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Just comparing it to Fleet Captains which is 2 player, I think its much more tense because of the larger group and the amount of negotiation and politicking going on.
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Brandon Holmes
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I don't mean to compare it to Fleet Captains specifically. I just used that as my example as it was the first game in my collection I saw that suited my example of: a game that can end when a number of VP are reached (vs. games that end after a set number of turns or domination etc.).
 
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Diz Hooper
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It will just end. However, you'll see who is close to winning a turn or two out, so it won't be a surprise. You have some time to do something about it. I've seen many games where the person who was about to win ends up not being the winner.
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Henry Allen
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We always play with the objectives open (I think it is called the Age of Empires variant in the original rules). I think this helps some because you can see what is coming and when Imperium Rex will hit. I only played once with the objectives coming out of a deck and I found I really didn't like the ending triggered by that card coming out.
 
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Chris McGuire
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thdizzy wrote:
It will just end. However, you'll see who is close to winning a turn or two out, so it won't be a surprise. You have some time to do something about it. I've seen many games where the person who was about to win ends up not being the winner.


Of course, someone could be within a couple points of winning and then flip their Secret Objective card and win with that. You would have less chance of knowing that person was about to win than you would with being able to look at the available Public Objectives. Though if someone is a couple points away from winning, and no one else is, it's probably safe to assume they're a threat to win at any time and so they will often be ganged up on by the other players.
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Disgustipater
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I love the fact that the Imperium Rex (Game Over) card is hidden and you're not sure when it will show up. It forces you to always be planning and acquiring points. You always have to be thwarting other players when it gets close to the Stage II Objectives.
 
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Jim U
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I feel the same way. Twilight Imperium (TI) is a beautiful game, but I find it unsatisfying to win or lose because of the arbitrary criteria of randomly drawn mission cards.

It seems kind of unreal to me that a player who clearly dominates the game can have victory snatched from him because another player earned VP for doing something that would otherwise be inconsequential.

Here are some of the sources of victory points from TI objective cards:

• I successfully took control of my neighbor's planet that held his last Space Dock on the board (2VP)
• I control at least 4 planets with the same technology specialty (2VP)
• I now spend 20 influence (2VP)
• I have Technology Advances in all 4 colors (1VP)
• All three of my Space Docks are on the board (1VP)

You might consider Space Empires 4X (SE). It's another popular game of space conquest, but more of a simulation game compared to TI. In particular, SE has more realistic victory conditions; you win by outmaneuvering and dominating your opponents on the map, not because of contrived reasons like "building 3 space docks". The only reason you invest in shipyards in SE is because you want to build ships at a strategic location.
 
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Disgustipater
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jimu wrote:
It seems kind of unreal to me that a player who clearly dominates the game can have victory snatched from him because another player earned VP for doing something that would otherwise be inconsequential.

Here are some of the sources of victory points from TI objective cards:

• I successfully took control of my neighbor's planet that held his last Space Dock on the board (2VP)
• I control at least 4 planets with the same technology specialty (2VP)
• I now spend 20 influence (2VP)
• I have Technology Advances in all 4 colors (1VP)
• All three of my Space Docks are on the board (1VP)

If a player that was "dominating" gets passed by a player that was just completing an objective, they weren't dominating. And they obviously weren't playing very well.

You should be paying attention to what other people are doing. If you see a player that doesn't have one of these completed, you watch him to make sure he doesn't get it if it will give him the win.
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Jim U
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Disgustipater wrote:
If a player that was "dominating" gets passed by a player that was just completing an objective, they weren't dominating. And they obviously weren't playing very well.
I understand and agree with you.

I'm not disparaging TI3. It's just hard for me to suspend disbelief in the theme of a game when a doomed race on the verge of extinction can declare a win on an unrealistic game mechanic. I'm not suggesting VP's are a bad mechanic, just that they're not grounded in reality. TI3 is an abstract game, so it's cool.

Speaking to the OP's concern, when I win secret mission card games like TI3 and Nexus Ops, I don't always feel like I earned my win. :( It's not a big deal with short games like Nexus Ops, but TI3 takes many hours to play.

Just my opinion.
 
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Disgustipater
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The alternate Objective cards fron Shattered Empire are more conflict/interaction oriented, so maybe those would help mitigate your issues? Although it looks like you're not a fan of VPs in general.
 
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Andy Day

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Anti-climactic victories are hallmarks of many FFG big area control games games-TI, Warrior Knights, Game of Thrones, RuneWars.

We get around this in TI by hand-picking interesting objectives and throwing out the rest.
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Fedor Syagin
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jimu wrote:

I'm not disparaging TI3. It's just hard for me to suspend disbelief in the theme of a game when a doomed race on the verge of extinction can declare a win on an unrealistic game mechanic. I'm not suggesting VP's are a bad mechanic, just that they're not grounded in reality. TI3 is an abstract game, so it's cool.

Just my opinion.


This is problem of point based system in general. There are some ways around it - but not a single one is perfect.
If you want realism - you need to change the objective of the game.
Why would someone go all out to score something even if it's bring his race almost to extinction if that doesn't give him chance to win?
If objective of the game total map domination - that's one way. If there are 3 objectives (political, military, culture for example) victory that another way. Is it done in set number of turn or whoever achieve one of the objectives first win instantly?

Everytime someone say about unrealistic win in TI i want to find out what is the realistic win? I understand still have most point or win tie breaker - but tell me when do you feel like a person really won? he has huge army on the board? Control most galaxy?

I do sometimes want a more "epic ending" feeling but I can personally never really get a feeling what game goal should be like... I cannot even point out example in any other board game where it would be implemented.

Maybe have something similar to old civ - when every turn every race is scored on list of requirements and we see if it advanced or not...
IT's not really about tweaking objectives deck. It's more about replacing thing all together. I don't think I seen a good variant for that around - anyone can point to one?
 
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Jeff Lozito
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To answer your question, yes this can (and does) happen in TI3; that's the nature of the game. Keep in mind that in Twilight Imperium there are two distinct (but related) ways of winning: First to 10 (or 14) victory points; or player with the most victory points when the Imperium Rex card is revealed. Neither should come as a surprise, to an extent.

In most rounds people will claim objectives during the status phase to get VPs. When the objectives are public, it's always good to know which objectives your opponents can claim. If you see someone early in a round in a position to claim an objective, try to stop them before the round is done. There are secret ones they can get, and those are more difficult to predict. I've been on the receiving end of games where a person claimed a secret objective to win it all ... nothing to be done. But it's fine because in the next game, it could be me doing that very same thing.

The flipping over the Imperium Rex card to end the game can be anticlimactic ... but keep in mind that though the exact placement of the Imperium Rex card is a mystery, based on how the objective deck is created you know roughly where it will be. As a result, you'll know when you are approaching the end of the game and can plan accordingly. In addition if someone has 8 or 9 VPs, you'll also know that you're approaching the end of the game.

There are a few ways things we've done that you could consider: Firstly, we always play with all public objectives revealed from the start (age of empire variant, with the red tape bureaucracy variant tacked on for good measure). I just can't imaging playing TI3 without it. Secondly, we remove the Imperium Rex card and simply play first to 10 VPs. We're not big fans of the card and haven't ever missed it in our games. And because it's our game, we choose to play without it. No harm in a house rule.
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Kerrin 2
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Arachnode wrote:
There are a few ways things we've done that you could consider: Firstly, we always play with all public objectives revealed from the start (age of empire variant, with the red tape bureaucracy variant tacked on for good measure). I just can't imaging playing TI3 without it. Secondly, we remove the Imperium Rex card and simply play first to 10 VPs. We're not big fans of the card and haven't ever missed it in our games. And because it's our game, we choose to play without it. No harm in a house rule.

Pretty neat to see someone else plays this way. It's how we play. I was tickled when I discovered the Red Tape homebrew to the Age Of Empires variant.
 
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