Monday, March 23, 2015

Game Report: Twilight Imperium--6 Player Session

(Image: Cover art for Twilight Imperium 2nd Edition)

Earlier this month, several of us managed to assemble for a game of Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition--"TI3").

The Plan:

We had a window of opportunity to start a seven-player campaign on the one Saturday everyone had off. 

However--as you might already anticipating--our best-laid plans went awry just before game day.  Jason & Ken, who would be hosting, just returned from a military field exercise, so they couldn't get the game room cleaned in time.  The intention was to set up and play a few rounds, then leave the game out for subsequent game sessions.  Instead we ended up playing on the dining room table.

Meanwhile, Joe was on a business trip on the east coast.  Boston, MA, wasn't the only city affected by this winter's severe weather.  Joe's travel plans were delayed due to snow in Virginia, so Dallas, who was due to move within a couple of weeks, ran Joe's faction, then became co-conspirator when Joe arrived later, with his infant son to give his wife a break.

Making Theragan-aide from Theragan:

(Yes, I know I'm mixing sci-fi metaphors)

Despite these scheduling set-backs, we managed to pull off an enjoyable and interesting game session.  We got to the point where most of the planets were claimed, or in the process of being taken, but before any major conflict erupted between the major races.

Since the game couldn't remain on the dining room table, and this was newcomers Terry & Tom's first exposure to the TI3's intrigue and intricacies, we decided to consider this bout to be another playtest.

We hope to start the "real" 6-Player Larger Galaxy (with nearly a dozen more map tiles) campaign sometime next month.

In the meantime, here's the game report of our third playtest of TI3, along with a concocted plot device to explain the incomplete narrative...

(Note: Click on the following pictures for an enlarged "slide show" view, but go back to normal viewing to read the Concluding Commentary on Galactic Conquests at the end ).

Concluding Commentary on Galactic Conquests

I think our group may be finally getting the hang of this game.  Or at least we keep narrowing down our errors each time we play. 

The one thing most of us noticed is there seemed to be less Trade Goods being accumulated and circulated than in previous games.  I'm not sure what we did differently than in our past playtests.  Hopefully, we'll find during our next session.  On the credit side of the ledger, the reduced cash flow kept our forces down to more manageable levels.

Since we're still learning the nuances of galactic conquest, we used most of the expansion rules, with the exception of the following:  Artifacts, Mercenaries, and Representatives, along with sticking to the basic Strategy & Objective Cards.

The following rules were available, but didn't come into play:  Shock Troops and Space Mines, while no one had the technology and/or resources to build Flagships and War Suns.

One thing I overlooked, and I suspect most of my fellow players did too, were our race's special abilities.  As the Matriarch of the Naalu Collective, I overlooked having a strategic initiative of "0," meaning I could go first.  My only excuse was that I was busy setting up the game and being the rules referee throughout the session.

I don't remember anyone else utilizing their racial abilities, except for the Nekro Virus not participating in any Galactic Council get-togethers.  So it's important to remember:  Once you're assigned a race, read all the information there is on your Race Sheet.

Or better yet, do some homework before hand, by studying resource sites like Game Knight's Twilight Imperium Page.

May the Force be with you!

(Yes, I know I'm mixing sci-fi metaphors again).

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