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493Re: [lbgc] TI3 session report and comments on variant strategy cards

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  • Allan Mertner
    Apr 29, 2008
      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your great summary - I absolutely concur that it wsas a
      very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday, and look forward to the next
      round. The new strategy cards did work better than the original ones,
      and I'm sure that just another 4 or 5 hours of play would have found
      us a winner :-)

      We also took a few pictures as the game progressed; when I get my
      camera opened, I'll post them to the web site for those that may be
      interested. The game and table gets very busy, and it all looks very
      complicated and colourful, but that is of course part of the charm...

      Thanks to everyone that could make it, and of course to Neil for both
      arranging it, cooking the lunch, and writing up the summary! :)

      Allan

      On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 10:38 AM, Neil Parker
      <vedantananda@...> wrote:
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      > Players: Allan – Letnev, Keith – Hacan, Stuart – Nualu, Dave – Muaat and
      > Neil – Jol-Nar.
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      >
      > We played using the variant strategy cards and as we were using the
      > Bureaucracy we didn't use Age of Empires (the victory target was set at 9
      > points) – and I think this worked well. Other rules used included: Shock
      > troops (little impact on this game) and other special systems, tactical
      > retreats (not used in game), race techs (which no-one developed). We also
      > had a standard start ie no simulated early turns. As we were 5 players we
      > used the rather awkward looking preset map.
      >
      >
      >
      > Summary of game. The game was very entertaining and everyone was successful
      > to some degree. As part of the standard planet grab Stuart opened with an
      > aggressive start against both his neighbours (Dave and Keith) (there was a
      > objective requiring victory in a space battle against at 3 ships so Stuart
      > can be justified in that respect), Allan and I had a tentative
      > non-aggression agreement and I had a more solid treaty agreement with Dave.
      > Following Stuart's opening gambit Keith retaliated leading to the
      > predictable yoyo of combat. Allan with the edge on me in the turn sequence
      > seized Hope's End and held it for the game – the planet was too strong to
      > attack. Dave and Keith fought back the Stuart tide, I wiped out using
      > Warfare strategy Allan's fleet off Hope's End without taking a casualty –
      > ending our excuse for a treaty, Stuart made the early in-roads to Mecatol
      > Rex with Dave and Allan also contesting the system – in the end it was Allan
      > who gained control and although he had stretched himself there he managed to
      > maintain his grip on it. Dave's slow war sun gained in speed and ventured
      > off towards Keith whilst using my war sun now in play I seized two of
      > Allan's planets next to his home system. Allan had captured one of Keith's
      > home planets, Keith was in a position to retake it, Dave took neighbouring
      > planets from both Stuart and me, although I seized the planet back to get
      > the victory point.
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      > Quite frankly there was a lot that went on and I've forgotten much of the
      > conversation and banter. We all generally kept up with the objectives – when
      > they were revealed and looking at the remaining objectives when we ended
      > revealed it would have still been closely contested. We ended after 5 turns
      > which took about 6 hours to play. In the end, Allan, Stuart and I had 4
      > points, Keith 3 and Dave 1 – (but his war suns were now ready). In terms of
      > board potential we were all fairly equal.
      >
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      > Overall a good natured and competitive game that ended in a tie – seemed
      > fair given the gameplay.
      >
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      > No-one trusted each other mind, Allan because he played the aggressive
      > Letnev, me because I had too much of an advantage in tech and my usual
      > stance of being friendly didn't wash especially with Allan, Keith because he
      > was the Ferengi and had a lot of trade goods, Dave because of his war sun
      > potential and Stuart because of his usual shrewd and aggressive `play for
      > the turn' stance. But I can honestly say it was probably the most enjoyable
      > of the 3 games I've played so far (although I enjoyed the previous two a lot
      > too) – ok so the game was a tie, but as a social gamer it is the quality of
      > the game I enjoy more, this game was competitive, everyone was in it and
      > everyone won good battles, made good moves and in addition to the social
      > aspect the other thing I really enjoyed was the use of the variant strategy
      > cards – I definitely prefer them to the original ones. The only thing about
      > the game I didn't like was the 5 player map.
      >
      >
      >
      > Strategy cards comparison
      >
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      >
      > Initiative v Leadership. Initiative lets you go first and you save one
      > spending command counters. Leadership gives you 3 free CCs and along with
      > every player up to another 3 at a cheaper cost of 2 influence – similar but
      > better than old Logistics.
      >
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      > Diplomacy v Diplomacy 2. The old diplomacy saw little use but gave a player
      > the option of preventing one other from attacking a system. The new one
      > gives an improved version affecting all players or the option to annex an
      > adjacent system – an option to all as an improved secondary. A card that was
      > generally picked to offset someone else picking Warfare with a useful
      > secondary option.
      >
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      > Political v Assembly. Old one you select a political card and get 3 actions
      > cards. The new one you get only 2 actions, but you then choose either to be
      > speaker and someone else to select a political card to vote on or vice
      > versa. In this version everyone starts with 2 political cards and the cards
      > can be spent as trade goods. One of the interesting consequences of this
      > card was in forcing another player to choose a political card to vote on
      > from his hand – these were not always helpful and as such were often spent
      > as trade goods. But I think the way this card is exercised could be very
      > interesting for a shrewd player.
      >
      >
      >
      > Logistics v Production. Logistics gave you 4 CCs but that has been
      > amalgamated into the Leadership card. Production gives you a build action
      > that either doesn't activate a system or can be used in a system already
      > activated. The secondary gives everyone a limited similar build – could be
      > very handy if you have to reinforce or where you need to activate the system
      > for a fleet move.
      >
      >
      >
      > Trade v Trade 2. Trade gave you trade goods or the option to cancel all
      > agreements. The new trade is very similar but I think better giving more
      > edge to the player selecting it and collecting trade goods doesn't cost a
      > command counter.
      >
      >
      >
      > Warfare v Warfare 2. Warfare gave you effective a free move or at least a
      > chance to recover a CC. The new Warfare allows a system to go on high alert
      > – giving combat and more crucially movement a +1 bonus – this is I think
      > better and it really gave other players food for thought when it was chosen.
      >
      >
      >
      > Technology v Tech 2. Similar except the new version allows potentially two
      > tech per player (one free and one costing 8 for the primary and one costing
      > 6 for the secondary) three for Jol-Nar – if you have the resources that it.
      >
      >
      >
      > Imperial v Bureaucracy. The much maligned Imperial was replaced by the
      > improved Imperial 2 which has been in turn replaced by the Bureaucracy card.
      > You still get the option of qualifying for more than one public objective –
      > capped at two with Bureacracy, but interestingly one of them can be gaining
      > before the status phase. An objective is then revealed in addition to extra
      > objectives per bonus counter.
      >
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      >
      > From my viewpoint, I found the variant strategy cards more flavourful and
      > `realistic'. It would be good to see how they operate in a 4 player game
      > when each player gets to pick a pair.
      >
      >
      >
      > This game continues to impress me. Every time I've played players get into
      > the spirit of the game. This game was superb for that with everyone
      > enthusiastic and contributing their own brands of `diplomacy'. I look
      > forward to another game and hopefully those who missed out will be available
      > too.
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