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Flashback Friday - Twilight Imperium - Love it or hate it? Do you still play it?

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25 Jan 2019 00:00 #290656 by ubarose

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25 Jan 2019 09:23 #290657 by Jackwraith
Hm. I've played TI3 a few dozen times, albeit the majority of them have been on the wonderful website that someone set up years ago so that games could be played over weeks with participants from around the world (until said website was hacked and the database wiped out, because there's always at least one asshole in the crowd...) I was playing five different games of TI3 simultaneously at one point. I really enjoy the game. Would I still play it?

Probably not. If we had a day set aside to play one game, I'd pull out Here I Stand. If we had a day set aside to play 2 or 3 games, one of them would definitely be Star Trek: Ascendancy. If we still wanted a 4X-style game after that, I'd probably put Rising Sun or Cyclades or Assault of the Giants on the table. I think I've played enough TI3 to not be especially interested in picking up TI4 or in playing either of them over more recent stuff. I still like the game and if someone set up a day to specifically play it (whether 3 or 4), I wouldn't turn my nose up at it. But I don't find anything particularly compelling about it anymore.

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25 Jan 2019 10:33 #290663 by Legomancer
Never played any TI. I'm not great with 4x stuff as I have no head for long-term strategy and I can't keep track of all the stuff I need to. At best I'm just a speed bump to everyone else.

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25 Jan 2019 10:44 - 25 Jan 2019 10:45 #290664 by Josh Look
Not nearly as often as I’d like, but yes, I do make a point to try and play it as often as I can and sometimes I’m successful in doing so.

Twilight Imperium is my favorite game. It was not love at first sight, however. It is overwhelming, from a mechanics standpoint, an options for play standpoint, a time investment standpoint, and, perhaps the biggest barrier to entry, a skill standpoint. You are going to spend many, many hours losing this game, there is no way around that, and it’s easy to be turned off by that.

I credit my coming around to TI to the fact that I’ve gotten to play it with some folks who know it inside and out. Without them, I wouldn’t know what options work best for which kind of game, and most important, that this is not a game about sending my spaceships to go destroy your space ships. This is a game about taking someone aside, telling them that you’re about to do something that looks aggressive, and that they should let you do it for something in exchange. It’s sometimes a game about making those kinds of promises and sometimes it’s about breaking those promises. It’s a game about what I loved about games like Cosmic Encounter, Intrigue, and Dune but amplified to the Nth level. It’s an entirely different experience from those games, and for my money’s worth, a richer and more worthwhile experience. That experience HAS to be long, it HAS to be huge. Other games have tried to distill is down and it just isn’t the same.

With TI3 I always welcomed new players to my games. I wanted to be that person that was there for me when I was just starting out. The more people I could bring into the fold, the more I might get to play this wonderful game. With TI4, that’s less of a thing. As of now, it’s a greatest hits package. It’s leaner, more accessible and more forgiving, just a tiny bit faster, and yet it loses none of the game I fell for in the first place. I’ve heard some of my friends who are TI3 vets gripe that the new edition is too easy, but I don’t think that’s quite the case. It’s made so many quality of life improvements and has flipped the opinions of some folks I play with who weren’t huge fans of 3rd, so if it sees the table more often for those reasons, I’m in no position to complain. I can wait for whatever bits from 3rd that I miss (there aren’t many).

I’ve got a game lined up next Sunday as my annual “Do Anything But Watch the Super Bowl” party. Can’t wait.
Last edit: 25 Jan 2019 10:45 by Josh Look.
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25 Jan 2019 10:52 #290667 by Ah_Pook
I played 4 once and thought it was interesting mechanically but too long for me to ever want to play it again. I can see the appeal but it's not for me.

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25 Jan 2019 11:00 - 25 Jan 2019 11:01 #290668 by charlest
I enjoy TI4 quite a bit, but I wish it was a little more exciting. While there are some hugely dramatic moments, there's not a great drama to time ratio. By that, I mean there are large swathes of the game where people are slowly building up, spreading out, fiddling with their own expanding civilization.

If I had 6 players and we had at least 4 hours to game, I'd much rather play Dune at this point.
Last edit: 25 Jan 2019 11:01 by charlest.
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25 Jan 2019 11:06 #290669 by Shellhead
I have only played a few games of TI3. The complexity can feel overwhelming, and I usually stagger away from the end of the game with sensory overload. Overall, I like the game, but it is completely impossible to get on the table with my friends, so I can only play with strangers at the FFG Event Center.

The worst thing that I can say about TI3 is that it is essentially a very complex simulation of playing King of the Hill, where Mecatol Rex is the top of the dirtpile. Nearly half the available VP seem to require at least temporary control of Mecatol Rex. I wish that it was more like 25% of the VP, so that players could potentially pursue other strategies.

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25 Jan 2019 11:07 #290670 by WadeMonnig
TI is an event game for me. It rarely, if ever, pops up in the wild. Instead, you plan it out weeks in advance and, as such, rarely gets turned down...it would be like turning down Christmas.
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25 Jan 2019 11:20 #290672 by Gary Sax
re: Josh's post, yeah, Malloc does not like this edition at all because of the easy objectives.
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25 Jan 2019 13:02 #290679 by Count Orlok
TI3 (without expansions that I never played) was the best example of the disappointments of gaming. It looks great, it looks sprawling and immersive, it looks fun. However, I found that after the first few times learning the game (again, from my experience years and years ago), the game just isn't fun or well structured. I don't mind a long game, but I want that time to feel worthwhile, and not to be undone when someone ruins a fleet with an action card, flips over an anticlimatic victory condition, or plays the imperial role to win.

I think more and more of how many games seem so promising, but lose me in the actual experience. TI3 is perhaps the best example of that for me.
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25 Jan 2019 14:55 #290687 by LilRed
My taste in board games tend to grow towards lighter and shorter games, but even so I tend to play Twilight Imperium and Advanced Civ, 1-2 times a year without exception. It's an event and treated as such by our group. The purchase of TI:4 was a no brainer for me.

The rules to both games are not really that complex but the scope is epic which gives so much time for brilliant alliances, backstepping, battle or political events. I think within that lies it brilliance, and is also why Twilight Imperium Light will never really hold up. Or at least hasn't until now.
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25 Jan 2019 16:47 #290692 by Jarvis
This is still my favorite game (TI3, haven’t played TI4). None of lite versions even come close to replacing this for me.

I haven’t played it in a few years but that has been due to not having a group that plays long games like this rather than lack of interest in it.
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25 Jan 2019 17:23 #290693 by Deleted
TI2 is the only TI I’ve ever liked. It has the perfect blend of alliance, fuckery, and facebashing. I’d play if asked.

TI3 is garbage and I’ve never played TI4 (I think) all the way to the end because fuck TI.

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26 Jan 2019 06:05 #290707 by KingPut
Ti3 = LOVE IT, it's in my top 5 favorite games of all time. Ti4 = love it. We don't play it Ti as much as we did 5-10 years ago, there's just to many other big stupid games out there to try out and TI3 is no longer an official game at WBC. But I'm hoping we'll continue to play 3-4 times a year.
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26 Jan 2019 15:27 - 27 Jan 2019 06:18 #290720 by southernman
I'm a big TI3 fan, from the very first time I played it probably over a decade ago. I odn't get to play it nearly enough due to the composition of the gaming community that I'm aware of in my town - predominatly euro or medium length games. I did get a burst of a couple of games of TI4 a year or so ago when someone bought a copy and we had four or five people interested in playing it semi-regularly - but then he spoiled the party by going on a six month travel excursion with his son so it never happened.
I do intend to get it played once, hopefully twice, this year with my AT group of four, I just need to arrange getting a bigger table into my small room in my small house so the game experience isn't devalued by the lack of space.

Josh pretty much summed up how I feel about the game, although his comparision with CE and Dune shows he's on a different level to playing it to me - it's a combined experience that few other games can provide and is so engrossing that (as long as most players are up to speed with the game rules/mechanics) the time spent playing is barely noticeable. Other games like Eclipse and Star Trek Ascendancy may be good games (although not in the same league as TI3/4 in my opinion) they offer no where the same gameplay.

My TI3 + Shattered Empires will be one of the last boxes to leave my shelves.
Last edit: 27 Jan 2019 06:18 by southernman.

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