Elan Morin Tedronai
Norway
Oslo
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Hi.

Some friends and I have played the base game once before, we spent about 10 hours but didn't finish (six n00bs), and this weekend we will have another go. This time we will have 2 of the previous n00bs (me and a friend), two brand new people who have read the rules and 2 veterans of the base only game. Due to a lot of suggestions that Shattered Empire have a better set of stragy cards, I have now bought it. But which combination should I go with?

For Strategy cards:
I am strongly considering doing the AoE variant (so we have more Public Objective cards at a time) and using the old strategy cards plus Imperial II.

OR: AoE with old strategycards but use all the II's (Trade II, Imperial II etc.).

OR: Using all the new startegy cards!

Other Shattered Empire goodies:
Shock Troops? - They sound fun, and doesn't really add much more to learn. Any reason to leave them out?

Space Mines? - Same as Shock troops, sound fun and easy to learn. Any reason to leave them out?

Preset maps:
Any recommendations of preset maps?
 
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Michi Kohlbacher
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Normally it's either Imperial Strategy II or the new strategy cards (the white ones) - I've never mixed them so far. But one of those two is a must, since Imperial Strategy I is way too strong and limits the players in the strategy phase.

I also like the race specific technologies since it allows to play the different races even more individual

Artifacts are really interessting, since the provide VPs that can be lost

But since it is just your second game and there are some playing their first round try to keep the game as simple as possible and try the variants in coming rounds to find out what you like.

 
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Necessary Evil
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Glen Arm
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Ok I will admit to being biased on this but I have played a lot of TI3 and run a tournament every year so I speak from some experience.

I strongly encourage you to use the new Strategy cards as is. Bureaucracy is excellent and having it in the game really make the game shine.

Everyone thinks that the AOE variant makes the game easier.IT DOES NOT. Having the objectives face up simple makes the game "solvable". I have found that having objectives come up one at a time focuses newer players in to completing one task as opposed to overwhelming them with too many options.

Additionally the foresight and selection of objectives options provided by the primary on that card give a good advantage that is completely missing from the base game. It also adds in a chance to bargain for that information (mis-information too)

Additionally with Strat II the game will also end quickly by someone coming from behind late (I personally can not stand this) I find Bureau forces players to establish a pace of completing objectives. There is a catchup mechanic (bureau its self) but it will not cause someone to come out of nowhere and win.

as to your other questions.

Shock Troops and Mines are easy enough to add with out complicating things. I suggest you use them.

the FFG Preset maps save time and provide a fair galaxy to teach people on. Also I usually put the artifacts (at least 2) in face up.

Also I encourage the use of leaders, They really help with the flavor of each race.

-M




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Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
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Add whichever strategy cards you want. I think they are pretty self explanatory and it won't confuse the new players because they would have to learn what the strategy cards do anyways, so you are not adding any more rules.

But, I would shy away from space mines and shock troopers or anything else that "adds" more rules. It is easy to forget about how it was to first learn this game, and the less amount of things they need to remember the easier it will be for them. Please don't forget about the noobs, why make the game more of a struggle to learn by adding things that don't need to be there?

Also, if you just explain the importance of each hex, I personally find it fun to let the players make the galaxy, it is one of the mechanics that I find brings people back to the game.
 
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Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
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malloc wrote:


Shock Troops and Mines are easy enough to add with out complicating things. I suggest you use them.

the FFG Preset maps save time and provide a fair galaxy to teach people on. Also I usually put the artifacts (at least 2) in face up.

Also I encourage the use of leaders, They really help with the flavor of each race.

-M


Even the smallest thing added, no matter how "easy" of a mechanic it is, is another thing to confuse new players. I don't know how many times I have been in a game where the person who put it together adds these "small" things that just confuse new players. I understand that you have played a lot of games and find these things trivial but I have seen many people get a bad taste in their mouth because it is just too many things for them to handle. Baby steps people, baby steps, and then maybe we can reduce the number of low ratings our precious game gets.
 
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Elan Morin Tedronai
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DeadMoney wrote:

Also, if you just explain the importance of each hex, I personally find it fun to let the players make the galaxy, it is one of the mechanics that I find brings people back to the game.


Initially I agree with you, I love random maps, however I feel we would need some houserules after what happened last. We were making the map as the game told us to, however it turned out that no one wanted to place any of their "good" hexes next to Mecatol, and wanted the planets closer to themselves. THis resulted in Mecatol being surrounded by an empty ring of hexes, leaving us much less incentive to go and grab Mecatol. I felt this hurt the gameplay as it reduced our need to confront each-other.

 
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JH
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DeadMoney wrote:
Baby steps people, baby steps, and then maybe we can reduce the number of low ratings our precious game gets.

It's in the top 30 here. I think it's doing just fine, ratings-wise.
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Joseph Cochran
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Morridini wrote:
Some friends and I have played the base game once before, we spent about 10 hours but didn't finish (six n00bs), and this weekend we will have another go. This time we will have 2 of the previous n00bs (me and a friend), two brand new people who have read the rules and 2 veterans of the base only game. Due to a lot of suggestions that Shattered Empire have a better set of stragy cards, I have now bought it. But which combination should I go with?


I, like others, would recommend the white strategies. Bureaucracy/Leadership/Assembly/Production are the ones you have to swap out: the others you could use I or II, but you might as well get the whole thing. As long as everyone understands that one of the perks of Bureaucracy is that you can do a SECOND VP objective when you choose its primary I think it provides a stronger play experience.

Switch out the Objective Decks to the new ones (you switch them: you do NOT mix them in). It is no additional rules and appears no different to new players, but the new ones encourage much more interaction and a better game than the original ones.

I also recommend Artefacts. They're dead simple to understand, they encourage interaction, and they help shorten the game as more points are out there.

As far as other options: you know the newbies in question, so you are really the best person to judge what they can handle.

The easiest and most fun ones to add are Racial Techs and the Wormhole Nexus.

Easy to add (but I wouldn't recommend except to really adept gamers) are Facilities, Space Mines, and Shock Troops, but it's VERY likely that everyone will forget about one or more of these during the course of play so they won't add much to the game unless one of the non-newbies capitalizes on them, and that can feel a bit of a cheat to someone who's having to absorb everything the first time.

I would not recommend Distant Suns, Custodians of Mecatol Rex, or Leaders for new players: all three add mental overhead that may already be too much.
 
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Joseph Cochran
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Morridini wrote:
Initially I agree with you, I love random maps, however I feel we would need some houserules after what happened last. We were making the map as the game told us to, however it turned out that no one wanted to place any of their "good" hexes next to Mecatol, and wanted the planets closer to themselves. THis resulted in Mecatol being surrounded by an empty ring of hexes, leaving us much less incentive to go and grab Mecatol. I felt this hurt the gameplay as it reduced our need to confront each-other.


One thing to make sure you do is to swap out the old Objective Cards for the new ones. As I mentioned in my previous post, they encourage far more interaction than the original ones do, regardless of the map. At least two people will end up needing to control Mecatol Rex for their 2VP, so there's that too.
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