Not nearly as often as I’d like, but yes, I do make a point to try and play it as often as I can and sometimes I’m successful in doing so.
is my favorite game. It was not love at first sight, however. It is overwhelming, from a mechanics standpoint, an options for play standpoint, a time investment standpoint, and, perhaps the biggest barrier to entry, a skill standpoint. You are going to spend many, many hours losing this game, there is no way around that, and it’s easy to be turned off by that.
I credit my coming around to TI to the fact that I’ve gotten to play it with some folks who know it inside and out. Without them, I wouldn’t know what options work best for which kind of game, and most important, that this is not a game about sending my spaceships to go destroy your space ships. This is a game about taking someone aside, telling them that you’re about to do something that looks aggressive, and that they should let you do it for something in exchange. It’s sometimes a game about making those kinds of promises and sometimes it’s about breaking those promises. It’s a game about what I loved about games like Cosmic Encounter, Intrigue, and Dune but amplified to the Nth level. It’s an entirely different experience from those games, and for my money’s worth, a richer and more worthwhile experience. That experience HAS to be long, it HAS to be huge. Other games have tried to distill is down and it just isn’t the same.
With TI3 I always welcomed new players to my games. I wanted to be that person that was there for me when I was just starting out. The more people I could bring into the fold, the more I might get to play this wonderful game. With TI4, that’s less of a thing. As of now, it’s a greatest hits package. It’s leaner, more accessible and more forgiving, just a tiny bit faster, and yet it loses none of the game I fell for in the first place. I’ve heard some of my friends who are TI3 vets gripe that the new edition is too easy, but I don’t think that’s quite the case. It’s made so many quality of life improvements and has flipped the opinions of some folks I play with who weren’t huge fans of 3rd, so if it sees the table more often for those reasons, I’m in no position to complain. I can wait for whatever bits from 3rd that I miss (there aren’t many).
I’ve got a game lined up next Sunday as my annual “Do Anything But Watch the Super Bowl” party. Can’t wait.