Lets get together and explore, negotiate, ally, and backstab each other across the known galaxy! Game will start at noon sharp. By now most of you are used to the game and how we play it; new players will need to show up at least an hour earlier if you need to go over the rules (please let me know you will be arriving early) and of course our regulars are welcome to show up early as well. Be prepared for a long night, especially if we get a full 8 people! It is not uncommon for a bigger TI game to run in excess of ten to fifteen hours, but the experience is well worth it. This is about as Epic as it gets!
It will be fairly standard now to use most of the rules from both expansions to the game (it is a pain in the booty to de-integrate all the cards if not) so if you haven't played with Shattered or Shards expansions please familiarize yourself with them as the galaxy here gets pretty unmerciful. (Not to discourage new players--we are actually a very friendly and welcoming group and nobody here will attempt to take advantage of a newer players unfamiliarity with the rules--if you're doing something dumb we'll tell you before you do it.)
Our regulars know the house rules, but there are a few we like to make sure everyone knows:
This is a complicated game, and sometimes you forget something you meant to do, and that's OK. Go-backs are allowed as long as nothing is changed (no go-backs after dice are rolled or an opponent has invaded your planet and you go, 'Oh shit! I forgot to buy Ground Forces! Can I do that now?') However, if any player wishes to say a go-back is not OK, the go-back is not OK; that player just forfeits their right to any future go-backs of their own. Say 'no!' to someone else's forgetfulness carefully!
Cards and planets change hands fast and furious in this game; as such, we have always implemented a house rule involving planet ownership. If there is ANY question as to ownership of a planet, only TWO methods are used to prove ownership: Having forces on the planet (which is a duh) or having a control marker on the planet. POSSESSION OF THE PLANET CARD DOES NOT SIGNIFY OWNERSHIP. If there is a debate, and you have the card, but no troops or marker on the planet, YOU LOSE THE PLANET. Period. Planets change hands without the cards changing hands regularly. PUT A MARKER ON A PLANET WHEN YOU LEAVE IT OR YOU RISK LOSING IT. The only exception to this is in your home system. (Several players have already found that we enforce this rule, including me. No exceptions and no arguments. The control marker is YOUR responsibility.)
Fleet limits are a funny thing. If you violate your fleet limit and nobody catches you, you are OK. At any moment when anyone calls fleet limit, limits are applied; BUT! Fleet limits will NOT be applied retroactively. Thus, if you say, "You have too many ships in that system!" Fleet limit is applied. If you say, "You can't move to there cuz you would have had too many ships in the system you came from!" the fleet-limit-violater GOT AWAY WITH having too big a fleet. This prevents go-back arguments and also simulates blockade running and misinformation tactics. If you are concerned about someones fleet size, then make sure you monitor it. If it's too late once you notice they HAD too big a fleet LAST TURN, its TOO LATE.
Arguments happen, and nobody ever agrees. Rules arguments (as in all our games here) will be settled by a reasonable amount of discussion, followed by a table vote. Players are welcome to abstain from voting on rules. In case of an unclear vote, the rule will be settles by a simple even-or-odd, you-win-or-I-win die roll, die being thrown by a neutral third party. We will NOT spend hours searching through online FAQS, although we may reference them during the discussion and if both parties agree we may abide by online FAQ rulings IF CLEARLY STATED BY THE GAMES THREE DESIGNERS. The dice determine the fate of every piece on the board, and they will not let us down when determining the fate of rules, either. Once a rule has been decided for a session, it is locked in place for that session regardless of later revelations, but could potentially change for a different session. Nobody wants to remember how we ruled on that one crazy situation nine games ago. The dice don't lie, they just roll with it :) In case of an absolute rules deadlock, we will bring in my wife Lucy (who does not like TI) to hear the opposing sides and her rulings will be considered absolutely final. Believe me, y'all, she will HAPPILY rule against me if it wipes that smirk off my face.