Boardgaming in 2017!


Hey Tom, just thinking out loud here but I’d love to hear a podcast between you and the designer of Spirit Island. Just throwing it out there.


I don’t like it. The only variant worth playing is the full 6 player, and it’s heavily imbalanced. It feels like most of the time it’s just a 3 way contest between Greyjoy, Stark, and Baratheon. Martel and Tyrell can be kingmakers, but mostly spend all game in a standoff with each other, and Lannesters job is to just be quickly killed off by Greyjoy.

You need 6 players of equal skill/experience with some kind of meta-gaming going on to gang up on certain people, but it feels artificial because while you CAN move to check people early on, it’s a detriment to you since you’re not consolidating your position and someone who didn’t go after the leader is going to pull ahead of you (Stark COULD rush to Lannester’s defense at the start, but it’s way more in their favor to consolidate the north). Considering how long the game is though, that’s tons of hours to play enough games to reach that point and the fun payoff just isn’t there to justify it.

I’ve heard the new house cards in the expansion help balance it though, but I will never play the base game again.


Nobody’s talking about the announcement of Twilight Imperium 4th edition?

Looks like they’re streamlining a lot of things. More incentive for everyone to rush Mecatol Rex and hold it. No more trade contracts, can only trade with neighbors. Political agendas automatically happen every turn instead of relying on a strategy card. Upgraded ships are their own tech, tech requirements simplified. etc etc



I preordered it from a German retailer that had a discount (120€, taxes included, which is 30€ off)


I am a little bit tempted to buy Teilight Imperium but realistically, I’ll just never play it. I don’t know anybody who would play an 8 hour space conquest game with me. Hell I don’t know if I want to play that. Just stick to Rebellion I guess.


I’m hoping I can get a 3-4 people game done in 4 hours. that’s borderline doable, I think.


My buddy over at GenCon posted a picture of a huge stack of TI4 they are selling there. Color me interested but not with high expectations. TI3 is long and not good enough to justify the length in my opinion.


Well it’s doable if you’re already familiar with the systems and have played a fair amount already right? My understanding is that there’s a decent learning curve. I say that having not played any versions of TI myself, only read about them.


I think it boils down to AP and negotiation between players. The rules are simple and the turn and combat structure is more streamlined than, say, Forbidden Stars or Rebellion (Rebellion has less players but more actions per turn), which is easily playable in that time. If anything early games could be way quicker since people might get to the VP threshold sooner due to other players not figuring out how to counter some strategy.

I can see a bunch of super competitive players taking way longer, but the people I play with usually are competitive, but also mindful of the other people and the overall experience.


One thing is that the learn to play book for TI4 is MUCH simpler to learn or teach new players.


Yes, it’s really a very basic game core-rules wise. The learn to play is a FAR cry from the Rebellion learn to play, which is a mess and makes the game feel really complex.


Am I the only one who quickly burned out on Rebellion? None of the cool stuff is really worth bothering with and the game turns into the Empire running a stormtrooper taxi service with the Rebels suicide bombing the taxis (always build y-wings, never ever x-wings). A better title for the game would have been Vader: Taxi Dispatcher.

The deathstar is liability rather than an instrument of terror (it’s main use is as the biggest space taxi!).

The combat is clunky and badly in need of a 2nd edition streamlined rework.

My hopes that the expansion would solve some issues were dashed when it was revealed they were focusing on cramming Rogue One crap into my original trilogy.


In the games of TI3 I have played, the downtime is absolutely not worth the time when you are doing something.


I still like Rebellion and find it enjoyable to play but I haven’t played it that many times either. It’s also the only game of its type that I own, so if I’m in the mood to scratch that particular itch Rebellion is my only option. Been thinking about grabbing Forbidden Stars though.


Rebellion has a couple of things going for it for me.

1- The theme makes it easier to bring to the table in my circumstances.
2- It being 2 player only helps bringing it to the table.

Other than that, for me it does not devolve into a taxi service. As the empire I normally do one or two moves per round tops, and focus on a lot of politicking, probing and capturing of Rebel leaders so as to gain a long term advantage without leaving myself too vulnerable. You do get Rebels sometimes disrupting a system or two behind your lines, but as long as I have the probe card for those systems I do not care.

I only have 6 plays or so, so I’m not an expert, mind you, but I find it very fun and tense, except for the combat. I think it’s a pretty good but very involved design with a lot of mind games regarding which missions and strategies to defend against.

I think taking out tactics cards, using the tactic leader values for rerolls, and using the lightsaber die icon to block damage instead could make the combat faster and leaner, even if a bit more predictable (this is basically what the expansion does but without the expansion tactics cards).

Edit: @divedivedive Forbidden Stars is a great design, but it feels very different to Rebellion. There’s more of a tech curve and a boom economic strategy very reminiscent of RTS (which it’s trying to get the feel of). But everything feels much more impersonal than Rebellion, which feels, for lack of a better word, more epic and mindgamey.


Huh? I’m confused, does it take out the tactics cards or not?


It takes them out but it includes a new deck of tactics cards, of which you choose just one per combat round, I think, ala GoT -you need to use all of them before you can refresh-. Or at least that’s what I remember, might be slightly different. Otherwise it’s the rules mentioned above and they seem very sensible to speed up combat (it’s the constant drawing of cards that can make it overly long).

Ignoring these new tactic cards deck allows you to use the expansion combat rules in the regular game.


I spent a fair amount of time weighing between the two games and ultimately came down to Rebellion because a) everybody loves Star Wars and b) two player games are just going to get more play at my house. But lately I’ve been wondering how the other half live.


The only thing I didn’t like about Forbidden Stars was the warp storms. So easy for one player to be blocked and completely screwed over. It would have been different if controlling their movement was something you bid on, or given to the player in last place. But giving everyone equal control over them moving 1 space per turn made them relatively static. If one person was blocked by them, he was going to be blocked for several turns.

Was a fun game but I absolutely hated warp storms.


Most races have abilities to go around warp storms, and the last player going that turn gets the last call on which storm to move. You can get screwed, but that’s probably more than one other player going together against you, which is part of the multiplayer balancing of the game.