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Federation & Empire vs. Twilight Imperium
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DorianGray
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 131
Location: Chevy Chase, MD

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Federation & Empire vs. Twilight Imperium Reply with quote

I know we have a tendency to completely shun other games on these forums in almost a "That guy is talking about a non-FC game in here? pfft, heretic... " but bear with me.

I have a feeling a lot of people here play FC and F&E and... that's it. I personally play a lot of wargames from GMT, or Clash of Arms games. Twilight Struggle and Paths of Glory are indisputable classics and people shunning them because they are not made by ADM is a shame, but recently I've played a similar space themed monster game Twilight Imperium (ranked 29th on BBG) and I was very very impressed. It had a savage combat resolution system and diplomacy along with a tech tree. !@!

I have not played F&E (ranked 2665th on BBG) but am hoping to at Origins, but from whats said on boardgamegeek F&E is really only for the hardest of hard core ADM loyalists. Its tendency to spawn hundreds of counters, take over 10 hours long, etc. I am hoping to join a group of some local players, but is it really that long?

I have no problems with monster games as long as they are elegant and worth it.

Anyone have experience playing these games and how do they compare? Since they both cost $60 - 80 plus dishing out $20 - $40 for the expansions, it is a significant decision.


Last edited by DorianGray on Sat May 02, 2009 8:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rick Smith
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 266
Location: Silver Spring, MD

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Re: Federation & Empire vs. Twilight Imperium Reply with quote

Are you always this antagonistic?

I mean, really:

DorianGray wrote:
I have no played F&E (ranked 2665th on BBG) but am hoping to at Origins, but from whats said on boardgamegeek F&E is really only for the hardest of hard core ADM loyalists.


And how many times are you going to spell ADB incorrectly, even after you've already caught and scolded yourself?

There are plenty of people that play other games on these boards, and plenty who actually talk about them here as well. For instance, if you go to the "What miniatures do you have in the works" thread, you'll find people talking about what Games Workshop models they're working on at the moment.
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
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Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I know we have a tendency to completely shun other games on these forums in almost a "That guy is talking about a non-FC game in here? pfft, heretic... "



I've heard of Twilight Empireum from a long time ago, but have never played it.

I think that the reason you do not see much conversation here on the Federation Commander forums about other games is because there is just so much going on with Federation Commander. With new "So-and-So Attacks" products, consolidated rulebooks, all kinds of miniatures, rules questions, home-brew house rule discussions, painting tips, write-ups about new scenarios, tactical tips, rules clarifications, etc., there is just so much to discuss about Amarillo Design Bureau products.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 4:10 am    Post subject: Re: Federation & Empire vs. Twilight Imperium Reply with quote

To take your points in order:
DorianGray wrote:
I know we have a tendency to completely shun other games on these forums in almost a "That guy is talking about a non-FC game in here? pfft, heretic... " but bear with me.
I have a feeling a lot of people here play FC and F&E and... that's it.

I have to take particular exception to that. I was fortunate enough to marry a gamer and we had 4 gamer-kids; two of whom have also married gamers... so we have a lot of gaming going on in our house / nuclear family.
In addition to all of the games of the SFU, I personally play, on a regular basis (and with a variety of players - many of whom do not play any of the SFU games):
Wooden Ships & Iron Men, Blue Max, Civilization, Civ: the Boardgame, Car Wars, Munchkin, Illuminati, D&D (2nd edition, 3.5, and 4th), Formula De', Robo Rally, Zombies, Wings of War, Wings of War II, Babylon 5 ACTA, and 1000 Blank White Cards, just to name a few. We also, on occasion break out Rise and Decline of the Third Reich, Tactics 2, Blitzkreig, Afrika Corps, or some other AH boardgame.
I also (until recently) played 40K, Necromunda, and Gorka Morka at our recently closed FLGS.
I own and am in the process of teaching a group to play AV:T, SITS, and Squadron Strike - and will pick-up Birds of Prey at Origins... along with no telling how many other game that strike my fancy.
And, one of our Battlegroup has Twilight Imperium and has had it nearly since it came out. She's a more ard-core gamer then I am (if that's possible) and she has only played it twice... cause she doesn't like it.
I don't usually dont bring up other games since this is the Fed Comm forum, but I certainly will not shy away from discussing any game I have knowledge of - if it comes up in another thread.

Quote:
I have no played F&E (ranked 2665th on BBG) but am hoping to at Origins, but from whats said on boardgamegeek F&E is really only for the hardest of hard core ADM loyalists. Its tendency to spawn hundreds of counters, take over 10 hours long, etc.

1) I will be at Origins... I'll be playing Fed & Empire... You are more than welcome to sit in for as long and detailed an explaation as you feel up to. In fact, the game is large enough for you to particpate in all weekend, should you so desire.
2) Not true. The game is detailed, involved, and certainly requires a more long-term line of thought than Fed Comm, or even SFB - but its not that difficult, especially if compared to something along the lines of Advanced Squad Leader or The Longest Day.
3) Again... not quite correct. The F&E game has several differnt scenarios ranging in complexity from Koval's Lightning 2 players, one front, a day or two to complete) to the Grand Campaign (7 empires - 8 if you bring the Tholians into it - 9 if there is an Orion player, and the whole Alpha octant.
The Grand Campaign can easily run into the 10's of thousands of counters (I know - I have about 25,000 and still run out of the commonly used units) and can last 2 to 3 hundred hours (or more) from start to finish.

Quote:
Anyone have experience playing these games and how do they compare? Since they both cost $60 - 80 it a significant decision.

I haven't played Twilight Imerium, but as previously stated - I do know two people who've played both Twilight Imperium and F&E. Both of them prefer F&E, but that's just their opinions. Your mileage may vary.
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DorianGray
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Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 131
Location: Chevy Chase, MD

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I stand corrected.

Assumptions always get me in trouble, but it was just that my own assumption - no need to get pissed about it. Sorry about ADM, AMD.. ADB. I need to remember that B. gah

I only assumed because in some earlier trends I felt I felt some hostility towards me when I mentioned other war games and other gaming companies.

Also I had no intent on being anagonistic, It is ranked 2660 something on BGG - though I feel that site is way too biased towards Euro-games.

Can someone give me a comparison? Is F&E a civilization building game or a pure war-game?
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Bolo_MK_XL
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your really want to discuss or watch the discussions for other games then the Legacy board has several links so you can do that ---

http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/messages/22715/22715.html?1241267317
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes it helps to look at the picture one has painted of himself to see what others see...
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DorianGray wrote:

Can someone give me a comparison? Is F&E a civilization building game or a pure war-game?


Again, this is my opinion (since that's the one that matters to me... Cool )
I have not played T:I, although several people have tried to get me to play it...
While I do not mind playing the Eurou-games type games (in fact, I own several of them)... Twilight Imperium strikes me as being more of a euro-gamethan a wargame. Sid Meir's Civilization: The Board Game is similar in feel. I love AH's Civilization, but Civ:tBG makes me feel more like I'm playing a video game than a real wargame. Maybe it's the 3D plastic pieces, or the bright shiny tokens and art work, or the tech cards that look like something from M:tG... if just isn't a faded map, 1/2 cardboard counters, and a Combat Resoulution Table needing nothing but a d6.

Back to the question: Federtion and Empire is a true war-game like components of civilization building included.
There is no tech tree. Yes, tech improves over time... but it's game turn driven. You can not modify or change the order or the speed in which new developments occur.
Combat is the most important part of the game. Yes, you can increase your empires economic capabilities by increasing it's size... but the universe is finite. All the planets are on the map at the start. There are no special resources to seek and exploit.

The whole purpose ofthe game is out-think and out-maneuver your opponent to receive an advantage large eough to win the game.
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Rick Smith
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 266
Location: Silver Spring, MD

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dorian - I have to apologize for being reactionary. But sometimes you word things in a way that seems very confrontational or insulting. Maybe this isn't your intention, but thinking things through before you start typing goes a long way in communicating with others.

There's two great things about the ADB forums: we're all here for the same reason - we're stoked on a bunch of great games AND, because we're all here for the same reason, we all treat each other with a great deal of respect.

That's why I keep coming back.

Anyway, enough. My apologies to you and everyone else for coming down on you.
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Godeke
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Twilight Imperium and Federation and Empire Reply with quote

I've been a lurker here, but I can say something about Federation and Empire, Twilight Imperium 3 (and 2 and 1) as I own them and their respective expansion(s).

My first question would be which version of Twilight Imperium you are thinking about?

The currently available Twilight Imperium 3 is what some might call a Wario, or a war game that borrows Eurogame ideas. It uses a Puerto Rico like action system, the amount of activity per turn is limited compared to traditional "move everything" war-games and at the end of the day it is a victory point system that marches to an inevitable end. (That end may be 6 hours away, but due to the accumulation of victory points the game can't stalemate). The empire building is streamlined to the point of abstraction, the political subsystem lacks some of the punch of the older Twilight Imperium games... but it is one of the best space empire games currently available, especially if you want a broader pool of players than the hard core war-gamer set.

The older Twilight Imperium games were much more conventional war/empire building games, with all the good and bad that goes with that. TI3 was really an attempt to bring the earlier system "up to modern standards", much as Federation Commander does with Star Fleet Battles. Many of the trade-offs are the same: detail gives way to abstraction. In most cases I would argue the abstraction is more successful.

And then you need to realize that the abstraction level of even the earlier Twilight Imperium games were much higher than Federation and Empire. While Twilight Imperium could still draw in the gamers who love space themes, Federation and Empire has a rule-set that makes it hard to present to all but the war-gamer, "simulationist" set. There are many edge cases, special rules, a myriad of building requirements and interlocking conditions that make it spectacular at what it sets out to do. What it sets out to do is to be a traditional war-game at the strategic-operational level, in a very cool settings. The scenario in a Twilight Imperium game is "a bunch of races are fighting for control of the empire, fill in your own details" while the scenarios in Federation and Empire are recreations of specific parts of the time-line.

The final analysis is simply that they are different beasts, each satisfying a different itch. The only true similarity is that they are space empire war games: even at the broad brush-stroke level the differences are night and day.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: TI3 vs F&E Reply with quote

Yeah, what he said!

Seriously, I too, have played both and prefer TI 1/2/3 to the F&E mainly because I do not have the time for F&E, which has always been a long drawn out campaign approach with horrendous details that you must keep track of. And, yes, that is my interpretation of the game from actual play. I like TI3 because you can play it out in about 3 to 4 hours and you have political, economic and military concerns, as well as backstabbing taking place simultaneous to your attempts to gain the Imperial throne. It actually reminds me of the Romulan situation.

Any ways, it depends on what you like and what you want to play. Right now, we have a FC campaign going in Battlegroup Acadiana and it will be most interesting to see what is going to happen, so no TI3 or F&E.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: TI3 vs F&E Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
...Right now, we have a FC campaign going in Battlegroup Acadiana and it will be most interesting to see what is going to happen...


the Orions will not play by the rules, and then they'll convince both other players that it would be in the Galaxies best interest for you and he to fight it out... to the Death! - then they'll swoop in and take on all the cripples, plasma-Ds a'flying... Wink
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Requete
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Joined: 15 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not played F&E, but I have played TI. Twilight Imperium is an interesting game, but it has several factors which may or may not put you off:

1. It is not a "conflict simulation"; it doesn't really simulate anything.
2. It is an Empire Builder, not a Wargame.
3. Conflict seems rare and optional; it is easy to "turtle" and build an impenetrable empire.
4. It takes a long time (6 hours, maybe more) to play.

From what I can see, F&E is a strategic wargame and a consim of the General War. TI is not a strategic wargame and not a consim; it is a strategy game of empire building that has some limited potential for space combat.
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DorianGray
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6 hours or more.

Sure, but F&E will take ... let's see ... about 50+. Very Happy
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DorianGray wrote:
Sure, but F&E will take ... let's see ... about 50+. Very Happy


If you can play F&E in 50 hours, I want to shake your hand.

Two years ago at Origins, we ran an Ironman General War campaign. Two full teams for each side working in 12 hour shifts and playing around the clock. We started at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday and played until 10:00 a.m. or so on Sunday. When everything was wrapped up and put away, we hadn't quite made it to the halfway point in the war.

We typically figure 250 hours to do all 36 turns.
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