So, we played our first game of Twilight Imperium. It was, as promised by the manufacturer, epic. We started getting set up around 14:00, and finished the game around 21:45, with another 15 minutes to clean up.
It was only our first game, but one player accumulated a massive VP lead via using diplomacy four times; the rest of the game ended up being mostly meaningless as a result. This was probably due to the rest of us not playing correctly around this mechanic, but my completely inexperienced opinion is that this should only reward a single VP instead of two. Considering public objectives were worth a VP and secret objectives 2 (and all of those required far more effort than picking a strategy)…
Anyway, the game is … epic. It borrows mechanics from a dozen games, and after one playthrough, I have no idea how to play a campaign. I don’t think it’s a game I could play well until I’ve played through dozens of games, and even with experienced players I doubt that could be done in less than 50-60 minutes per player. Unless it was the only thing I played for the next few years, I don’t think I’ll get good at it, and I like too many other games to be exclusive with this one.
After the TI3 game, we played Power Grid to do something a bit mindless and easy; this ended up being a very close 5-player game, a bit over an hour and a half, and nobody was more than a point or two off victory.