A periodic blog about Games, Books, Movies, Pop culture, Technology and whatever else I happen to feel like writing about...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter Gaming: Twilight Imperium 3, Princes of the Renaissance

The long weekend proved to be too much of a temptation, and Colin, Cim, Mike and Hendy were all up for a game of Twilight Imperium 3. And we really tried to get a full game in, but both Mike and Hendy had to bail after only 5 hours, so we did not manage to finish yet again. Mike was in a strong position, and he was ahead in points, but Hendy had built War Suns and was looking to spread some death and destruction. Colin and I, as always, were waiting to attack the losers, and Cim, while he had control of Mecatol Rex, was building a large home army to stave off my encircling forces.

Of course, we did not start right at noon either, and we did have to teach Hendy to play, but we were pretty efficient. But, Twilight Imperium 3 is a monster game in the true sense of the word, and it requires a significant time commitment.

One thing I noticed is the way that the board developed this time. Some players were very disadvantaged as to resource planets close to home. I am starting to think that players should be able to place the two hexes on either side of their home world at the same time as they place their home system, choosing them from their initially dealt hexes. This would give at least two accessible systems to each player, and could help to even out the resource distribution.

Another idea that I am toying with is to automatically give control of the planets on either side of the home system to the players, so that the first few turns can be more streamlined. The game really starts getting interesting once the neutral systems are all claimed, and I think that this could make the game move a bit faster without having too many negative impacts. It would also allow players to build a few more ships early on, which could help to fuel the pace of expansion.

Another idea that I am toying with is to change the proscription against placing two blank systems in a row slightly, so that two players cannot place blank systems one after another. In this way, there should be more planets in the centre of the map, which should make for more competition for resources, and give players a reason to expand towards Mecatol Rex.

I have to say, even though TI3 is a long game, it is very fun. The interactions, both on and off board, are very interesting, and you really do get a sense of the grand scope of space conquest.
When Mike and Hendy were on their way out, I asked Cim and Colin if they were interested in a game of Princes of the Renaissance. The look on Mike's face was priceless, and I could tell that he really wanted to play, but family requirements were more important that day.

After some steaks on the barbie, Cim, Colin and I tried to out maneuver each other in POTR. The game has some similarities to other titles, most specifically Goa, as it is primarily a game based on auctions for scarce resources which are represented by tiles. I do believe that there will be even more competition in a 4, 5 or 6 player game, but even the 3 player game was enjoyable.

Once everyone understood how the game was played and points were scored, we tried to be the best Condottierre we could be. Of course, that meant that many battles were heavily influenced by bribery, and some battles were not fought to win, but to lose. Bids were frozen, often at zero, and players took advantage of other players' lack of resources to get some very good deals. Which all goes to say that we had a great game, and we are definitely looking forward to our next session of Renaissance warmongering.

After Colin left for home, Cim and I kicked back for some Battlestar Galactica, as the end to a very good day of gaming.


Blogger Karen said...

I love it ... " ... Mike and Hendy had to bail after *only* five hours ..."

7:26 p.m.

Blogger Steven said...

I play twilight imperium as well.
I have like 5 regular players are the time.

- We should combine our efforts.


1:28 p.m.


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