Mike Zenflux
Finland
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Hi everyone! This is my first post on this forum.

I played my first game of TI3 yesterday and the political system didn't feel so great even when we used Political Intrigue and a slimmed Political deck. So I read about some other variants and now I combined some previous house rules together and added some of my groups ideas. So I don't own any of the ideas and they belong to their respected owners.

The idea is that politics is about small things and big things. Minor Political Agendas are thought as daily politics where decisions are made fast and Major Agendas as life changing where every vote counts. Sometimes minor changes can of course be a big change. This variant is meant to make politics happen more often, to be more appealing and more important.

Major agendas are voted as in rules but Minor agendas with one vote per player. I'm aware that this variant could possibly lengthen the game a bit, but maybe not too much. There are big VP scoring agendas in the Political deck and because of the slim Major deck they can pop up from there more often. And you should get the time to play this great game.

I have now 30 cards in the Major agenda deck and somewhat 40 in Minor agenda deck. Around 40 cards are trimmed out of the game. We'll see how it will work.



Here are the rules:

**playing this way, political cards may no longer be traded for Tgs**
**Set of Promissary Notes is altered**
**Political and Action cards that give the chance to pick Political cards mean 1 Major OR 1 Minor**
1) Decide around 30 Major political cards and around 40 Minor political cards and shuffle them to their own decks.
2) Each player gets 4 Political cards (PC) (2 Major, 2 Minor) at beginning of game.
3) All players reveal 1 Minor political agenda in the beginning of the Strategy
Phase, placed face-up in the common play area and marked
with a race flag. Each player may only have 1 agenda revealed
at a time. These may be changed in the beginning of each
Strategy Phase.

Card text for Assembly II (”Daily politics and big decicions”) -variant:
Primary Ability: Assembly of Councilors
Draw 2 Political Cards (1 Major, 1 Minor). Then:
1.
a) Take Speaker Token, then choose 2 Minor agendas to be voted on (neither your own, with 3-4 players choose 1 Agenda) AND choose a player to resolve 1 Major OR 1 Minor Political agenda from his hand. .
b) Give Speaker Token to any other player, then choose 1 Major agenda to be voted on from your hand AND choose 1 Minor agenda to be voted on or to be discarded.
2. Choose representatives
3. Resolve Spies
4. Bargaining and Promissary Notes
- Promissarry Notes can be given ONLY when executing the primary ability of Assembly II.
- Promissary Notes can be given one per agenda.
5. Resolve Major agenda
6. Resolve Minor agenda(s) and outcome of all votes

Secondary Ability: Rally Support

Spend 1 Command Counter from you Strategy Allocation area to draw 1 Action card, 1 Minor
Political Card and refresh 1 planet outside your home system.

How to vote?
Major: Base rules with the additions of Political Intrigue
Minor: Each player has 1 vote per agenda + his representative's possible bonus vote(s).
Player may discard PCs for two votes each.

Used promissary Notes:
1) Monetary Concession
- You can for ce me to give your Trade Goods. Play: During Strategy Phase (Card says: As Action. Ignore this)
2) Voting Concession.
- You can force me to vote in your favor.
3) Territorial Concession
- You can force me to retreat from space battle.
4) Cooperative Policy
- You can force me to use my strategy card as my next action. Play: Before my next action.
5) Arms reduction
- You may force me to scuttle ships of total resource value of at least 7 resources. Play: During the status phase.

Any thoughts?
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John Clark
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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Re: ”Daily politics and big decisions”: Politics variant
Welcome to the game of 'fix the political system in TI3'. I am a long-term player. There are many others.

The problem with the political side of TI3 is that it mostly has no effect on the game. Red techs cost +4? Who cares? Fighters get +1 to their rolls? Does not really matter. The only PCs which matter are those which directly give a VP. The rest are either too weak or just random roleplaying rubbish, designed for their 'coolness' - "remember when Joe played Ancient Artefact and blew up Mecatol Rex ... AWESOME!" Whatever.

I play TI3 to win, and have fun on the way. I never pick Assembly because it does not help me win - if I am picking Assembly then it means I must be way behind, and that's because the political cards in TI3 are the most obvious catch-up mechanic in the game. The player who is leading will never pick Assembly because he knows the vote will go against him, unless he can work things so he is the only one left with votes - e.g. by playing Yssaril. If you are coming last then the vote will usually advantage you.

I like the idea of having two or three votes for each play of Assembly - gets more interesting Laws out, and although most of the Laws are weak, if 10-15 are coming out per game (rather than 5 or 6) then that might actually make a little difference. I also agree with thinning the deck, since there are a lot of bad PCs - either over or under powered. There are LOT of underpowered PCs.

I am glad that you have not fallen into the trap of making Assembly 'better' by simply adding more bonus stuff to it, like getting 3 action cards or command counters. I would choose Assembly in that case, but only for the bonus stuff and not for the voting, which would be lame.

So I agree with your suggestions - get the PCs out there! They can play a fun part of the game and especially help the players behind catch up.

The spies and representatives are not worth playing with though.
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Mike Zenflux
Finland
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Re: ”Daily politics and big decisions”: Politics variant
Thank you for the feedback! I have tested this system now briefly with three players and the first feelings were that now politics do matter and timing for it is as important than any other stuff in the game .

Spies and stuff is more significant now when voting for several agendas and only with one base vote when voting for minor agendas. Do you want to maximize your votes or do you want to play it safe?

Next week the goal is to play with five or more. I edited the rules a bit and added the promissary notes used in the game.
 
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