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I own Starcraft and the Brood War expansion but not Twilight Imperium.
I have done research on both however. If you have played starcraft the pc game you will love the board game. All of the units and abilities are preserved quite impressively. The Brood War expansion makes the game twice as good, a must buy. Also, the game's abstract nauture makes the game incredibly strategy based and relies on chance almost not at all. There are no dice, only cards, but as you research and upgrade you will put more powerfull cards in your hand and a greater variety on units on the board. My games with four players usually take around 5 or 6 hours at a leisurly pace. It feels exactly like a real time strategy game when it comes to basebuilding, unit production, expansion, and fighting over resources... except now you actually have time to consider your move before getting rushed by zerglings.
I know Twilight Imperium takes a longer time to play. Both games have a TON of replay value. I konw both games have constructable boards that are different every time. Someone else will have to offer their opinion on Twilight though, as I've never played it.
They are two entirely different games, and they are both really, really great. StarCraft is more tactical, with single unit's strengths and weaknesses, fast paced and aggressive. TI3 is more strategic, with tech trees, expansion, fleet building, diplomacy, trade and full scale war. Also, it takes more time to play. Both are great games, though, so it depends on what style you prefer.
I've got both games (and have just ordered the Brood War expansion for Starcraft). I can echo and expand upon the above posters.
-Deep tech-tree which modifies just about every aspect of your ships and units
-Long term strategies, diplomacy, politics (voting on resolutions which affect the rules of the game)
-Luck comes into play when dice are used to resolve battles
-Interesting Strategy card mechanics
-Fight for control over sectors of space containing one or more planets
-Fairly impressive fleets possible (5-6 different ships, fighters and ground units)
-10 different races to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages - lots of replay
-3-6 players (rules for 2-8 players with the expansion)
-Very thematic abstraction of the computer game
-Tactics rule the day
-Combat decided by values on cards you play during battle.
-Luck comes into play in the initial draw of planets...can lead to imbalanced starting positions/resources
-Strategy comes into play during set-up (players build the game board and starting base position), and when players take turns placing their 4 orders for the turn
-Build buildings and upgrades to unlock the ability to produce different types of units
-3 species from the computer game, each with 2 factions
Well, I am a little biased having owned TI3 for a long time. I just acquired SC this week. I have played one game previous and another game tonight.
Playtimes: relatively similar
TI3: about 6 hours
SC: about 5-6 hours
Luck: I would say these are about even on how much you rely on luck. In both games the luck is mostly in the combat and initial planet setup.
SC: initial planets, event cards, and COMBAT DECK - very luck based
Tactics: I think TI3 has a slight edge here, but keep in mind I have only played 2 games of SC so I may not know all the small intricacies yet.
TI3: Unit strengths/weaknesses, political, resource usage
SC: Unit strength/weaknesses - BIG TIME, resource usage
Techs: Very different, still very interesting. TI3 is a little more strict in its tech paths. SC techs can alter the game more.
TI3: Tech paths
SC: Techs can turn battles, no tech paths
Player Numbers: As you add more players, I think SC might handle it better in terms of playtime. I have not yet played a SC game with more than 4 players. I have played 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 player TI3. I will say that 2-6 player TI3 is excellent. More starts pushing it.
Both games excel at 2 and 4 players. There are 2 player rules for TI3 with or without the expansion. You can find them at ti3wiki.org. (They are not official rules, but have been playtested over and over by much of the TI3 community and most people like them.
Both games lose a bit with 3 players because someone WILL be ganged up on. SC makes up for this with its scenarios.
Expanions: TI3 is 100% better with the expansion. Not so sure about SC.
TI3: Expansion fixes rule abuse of both a Strategy Card and fighter spamming.
SC: Not sure, but I enjoyed the new units. It definitely adds to the game. Have not used all the new rules yet.
Learning Curve: It took me about 6 games of TI3 to start picking up the intricacies of it. I can truthfully say that I am more lost in learning SC than I was with TI3.
SC: VERY High
In conclusion, I will go with my gut and say buy TI3 and the expansion if you have the cash. If you are not willing to dish out that much, you can find SC+Broodwars for $75 at https://store.3sdgames.com
I would say SC ! and have few comments regard Beren comparison (from my experience)
Play time :
SC - my the longest game in SC last 4h (with 4 players) with break for joint, for 1v1 game 3h is maximum time you need (including game set up). For me, play time is crusial thing, I can play one game with my companieros after work and get to home at reasonable time to take care my wife :-)
TI - 6h...no comment
SC - initial planets should be set up by all players carefully to eliminate disadvantages (in my opinion). There is also scenario game option. Getting combat card you want is another element of strategy (special attack + 5 cards, special research + 3 cards and you can have one on your hand)...I would say little luck and lots of skills
TI - When you use dice and have not luck then the best strategy will fail...
TI - Tech tree...but one tree and one type of ships for all races in universe.... :-/
SC - no tech tree, you build exactly what you need to response on enemy moves or just to surprise and take advantage over your opponent. Tree races but for each you have completely different units, tech and strategy
SC - I read rule book twice and in my third game we didn't use it at all. Knowing PC game allow players "enter" to game at first BG
Buy both, they are two of the best games out there.
I agree. Then your only remaining dilemma will be, "Hmm...which one should I play today?"
"If winning isn't important, then, Commander,…why keep score?" - Worf, ST:TNG episode #15, "11001001"
P.S., My favorite board game is StarCraft: The Board Game, but FFG has removed that option. Rrrrrrrr!!!
I love SC -tbg. Purchased the expansion as well, which, I feel is pretty much integral to SC. The Brood War expansion does strength the core game of SC considerably.
I have played TI3 and for me the only complaint is, I have yet to finish a game. I mean, it just goes on and on. I think it seems like a great game, but never having finished it to the end, has been the only reason I have not picked it up for myself. If I need to reserve a whole day to play, then this is something I just don't have time for.
I also have both games. To answer your question, I would ask you to assess the people you will be playing with.
If a pure battle game is what you are after, Starcraft is well and above the choice. The game is like the RTS game; love is in the explosions and rivers of blood. It is brutal and very confrontational. The one thing I will warn you about is the fact the game does require the commitment like some of the old grognard games I possess from the 70's and 80's. You have to be committed to playing the game quite a few times before you get the rules imbedded in your brain, let alone begin to grasp the flow of a game. Once you do you find a dynamic explosive nail-biting richly thematic game.
Twilight Imperium 3 is a lot easier to get into IMO. It is the ultimate macro-gaming experience. The battles are a lot more abstract compared to Starcraft with simple rolling of d10 die plus or minus action cards or technological advances. It is not a wargame! The game revolves around achieving objectives to win points and ultimately the game, so don't get hung up on warfare alone. This game has it all. I love it to death the more I play it. There is a very deep decision tree in every game where every plus involves a minus, but it comes down to your handling of your co-gamers, whether through war, subterfuge or peace. Action cards inject random rule-breaking powers. The hassle is that a lot of the time they aren't critical for you and using them against someone usually makes them an enemy (unless they attacked you first). I have seen this game won by a player who had 2 key systems under siege and 2 other players beating him down. He won the game by winning his objective points without need of military power. He won via industry and trade growth! It was something to witness.
So think about these issues. I appreciate both games with their expansions and own them all. I'll leave it up to you to decide. I know what my first choice would be. I choose TI3 because of the 4X (explore, expand, whatever) nature of the game and the people I play with enjoy it more than Starcraft. Starcraft demands more from its gamers but is richer as a strong military game.
Obi-Wan simply is who he is.
I have played only Starcraft, but someone on our czech forum posted differences between this two games and i think mostly what to buy first is:
- If you like SC pc game and liked it, buy SC
- SC have only 3(6) races, but playing them and their strategy is far more different from each other(units, abilities, strengths, weaknesses). TI have many races, but with a little difference between them (they have same units only some (dis)advantages are different).
- SC takes much less time to play with same number of players.
There are other aspects he wrote but i think this is the core ones ... its up to you than ... of course, reading the rules could also help ...or at best, try to play both games in some board game club ...
The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.
I have played only Starcraft but reading lots of comments about Twillight Imperium. i can say the main difference is about playing time. All the TI players who loved that game said that they played few times because it took 6-10 hours playing time. Starcraft will take between 1,30 and 5 hours depending on numbers of players . That sole reason makes Starcraft better for me because i can play Starcraft many times where i doubt i could play TI more than once a year.
Both games are great but Starcraft its about tactics and TI more about Strategic.
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