Which set of strategy cards do you prefer - the one from the basic set, the one form the Shattered Empire Expansion or a mixed one?
In our group, the choosing usually takes longer then two or three rounds of gameplay and the quarrels tend do be more vicious than most of the space battles during the game!
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I like to mix and match myself. Usually the cards I take from SE are Technology II (faster), maybe Trade II, and Imperial II. For the others I prefer the original strat cards.
eat, sleep, game.
First of all I would like to point you in the direction of the TI3 wiki. There are plenty of veterans over there who will go into great detail and length on their favorite SC or mix thereof and why they chose them. You might even get some people talking about the SCs they have created for the game.
Here are my general rules for SCs.
Imperial I: This card is just about the worst thing ever, It completely imbalances the game by allowing a player to simply score 2 VPs for choosing this SC.
Trade I: Trade II has improved on this card in just about every way possible.
Technology II: Unless you want a low technology game, this card is better than the Tech I card in my opinion. It makes technologies reasonably able to be purchased and with the racial technologies from the SE Expansion, this card is the only way to go.
If in doubt, just use the SE Expansion SCs. They are a lot more balanced than the originals and tend to keep turtling to a minimum.
My favorite SC combinations:
Set 1: SE SCs with Bureaucracy.
Set 2: Initiative, Diplomacy II, Political, Logistics, Trade II, Warfare I or II, Technology II, Bureaucracy (this tends to have smaller fleets due to no secondaries allowing the building of ships.
Set 3: Leadership, Assembly, Production, Trade II, Warfare II, Warfare I, Technology II, Bureaucracy. This favors large scale epic battles and aggressive strategies with both Warfare cards and Production in play along with no Diplomacy card.
Set 4 (8 players): Leadership, Diplomacy II, Assembly, Production, Trade II, Prospector*, Warfare II, Warfare I, Technology II, Bureaucracy. You could also exchange the Prospector* SC for the Logistics SC. (Note that you can also throw in a second Tech card, but this gives the Jol Nar quite a boost.)
*Player made card. (We usually just use the Imperial I SC to show this card since we never use it in normal games anyway.) Primary ability: Receive 1 AC, 1 CC and 1 TG. Secondary ability: None.
I'd be interested to hear some other folks' rationalizations and opinions for why a particular set of cards is the best, and what kind of game it tends to promote.
If I play with the normal Strategy Cards I prefer the expansion cards. For a mix and match I like to add in Warfare I or Technology I.
I mostly play with a custom set of Strategy cards nowadays that are a combination of all the cards to some extent with some other variants also added in.
Variant TI3 Files any can download on Mediafire:
I usually play with the SE cards, but sometimes with Imperial II. With four players I have also Warfare I in the game. I found the mechanics behind the SE cards more interesting.
My group defaults to the SE set. Occasionally we go back and play with the original set + Imp II. If we play with 8 players we play with Leadership, Dip II, Political, Assembly, Production, Trade II, Warfare II, Warfare I, Tech II, & Bureaucracy (with the slight change to Political that the primary is to just draw 3 cards and choose which one to vote on, and the Assembly Primary forces VotC to be played). We really love this option because we love the political game so much and Warfare I & Warfare II's primaries are completely different.
Recently I've had a yearning to go back and use the original set. But, I HATE Imp I and I don't like the idea of all the objectives face-up like with Imp II. Also, I like the idea of Mecatol being more important like with the old set, as in, someone will have to take #8 so that the next guy won't get a free point, or go after MR for the same reason. I am in the minority on these boards and like being able to use PC's as TG's (also as 2 votes, but that's another topic). So, here's my original set proposition:
Initiative, Dip, Logistics, Trade, Warfare & Tech remained unchanged (feel free to swap out for any of the #2's in that group).
Political; Primary-Draw 3 AC's. Then draw the top Political Card and resolve it. Resolve the Secondary, then place the top 3 Political cards into your hand. Select 1 from your hand to put on top of the deck and keep the others. Secondary-Spend 1 CC from Strategy to draw 1 AC & 1 PC.
Imperial III; Special-Immediately after placing a bonus token on this card, reveal the top card from the Objective Deck. Primary-Draw the top 2 cards from the Objective Deck. Place one face up in the common play area and the other on the top of the deck. Then choose either a or b: a)You may immediately claim one public objective that you qualify for. Also, if you control Mecatol Rex, immediately gain 1 VP. b)You may execute the secondary ability of this card with no CC cost. No other player may execute this secondary ability. Secondary-Same as Imp II.
The high points; Political's secondary gains a PC, which is good. Imperial III allows for 1 PO to be revealed each round and gives the person playing it flexibility.
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