Okay, so RPGs aren’t my only interest. I love board games as well.
We’re going to do an off-schedule post, mostly out of excitement and partly so I don’t bump out another Using Skills post, to bring you an unboxing-in-pictures of the newest edition of Twilight Imperium.
If you’ve never heard of Twilight Imperium, let me give the skinny: it’s a table top board game made by Fantasy Flight Games about galactic conquest, politics, and strategy. You control a space-faring empire on a random board made of hexagonal tiles attempting to meet objectives that change every game. You involve yourself in trade, political drama and warfare with your fellow players in the course of meeting these objectives, attempting to become the supreme power in the galaxy. It’s a massive game that takes many hours, and it is my favorite board game of all time.
The game’s earlier editions were not without their problems. The 3rd edition was really a flawed masterpiece. Some clunky rules especially surrounding victory points and objectives made the game last a long time and then end abruptly before your master plan reached its climax. It is a bear to teach to new players, and has a reputation of being a marathon that challenges your gaming stamina. Still, I ate it up.
I haven’t yet played this new edition, but some of the new rules changes seem like they’re attempting to streamline it and make it flow better. When I get a chance to play I’ll be writing up a full review. For now, just enjoy the pretty pictures from this spectacular looking game. I apologize in advance for the variable quality of the pictures. My phone is pretty old and there are some blurries.
The game box and the pre-order bonuses.
As a pre-order bonus, I got a hardcover book that combined the three booklets in the box (The rules, the lore book, and the how to play book) as well as two art prints.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you can someday give this awesome game a chance. I am going to try and get this game played soon so that I can do a full review and see what exactly has changed from one edition to the next.
Anyway, I’ll see you on the regular schedule Tuesday for Using Skills. See ya!
Opening the box, greeted with cardboard and the usual Fantasy Flight catalog. Feels like coming home.
There are six of these strategy boards, corresponding to a piece color, that you place next to your species board in play. You place strategy tokens on these and use them to activate sectors and move things around on the board. Think of it like your command center. It also lists the actions and phases of the game. (Apologies for the blurry picture.)
One of the planet board tiles before being punched out. The symbol at the bottom left shows that this is a home-planet tile to one of the species you can play in the game. The numbers on the planet itself should be resources and influence. Resources representing the capability to produce resources to buy ships and things, while influence represents political and cultural power that can influence politics.
Everything in the box out in the open. Six different pouches of pieces each a different color; 8 decks of cards that are a mixture of action cards, technologies, political agendas, objectives, and planets (and others I might have missed); the three booklets, a stack of species playboards and a corresponding stack of strategy boards; and the giant stack of punchable cardboard that will include all of the tokens, board tiles, and victory point tracker; and 8 ten-sided dice.
The art inside the hardcover is fantastic, really setting the tone of epic space opera.
Another view of the play pieces. The war sun has a neat bottom piece that differentiates it a bit from the Death Star, the obvious inspiration for the giant battle-station.
An action card. These have a variety of different uses and adds a variability and spice to the game. Since you can’t see what action cards a player has until they play them, it makes it so nothing in the game is 100% certain.
The new play pieces have a very cool sculpt. From top to bottom: infantry, planetary defense system, fighter, destroyer, carrier, cruiser, dreadnought, and warsun. Not pictured because I forgot are space stations.
The central “engine” of the game revolves around these strategy tiles. At the beginning of a round you choose one and it tells you in what order you play and gives you abilities that influence how you can play the round.
Finally, some of the punched out board tiles. Here we see Jord, the home system of the terrans. There is an infantry piece on the planet as well as a PDS. A space station is attached to the planet and can produce ships. On a tile of empty space on the upper right is a dreadnought, one of the most powerful combat ships in the game. On the left is an asteroid field, inside which flies a cruiser which is more of a mid-range ship. In the 3rd edition you had to have a shield technology to be able to fly into an asteroid field.
My favorite alien species from the past edition was the Xxcha, a diplomatic turtle-like creature. Really neat to see them as bad ass soldiers here.
A closer look at their special abilities. Based on my knowledge of the previous edition, these abilities should prove a lot of fun. Giving them a way to quickly integrate unconquered systems should balance out their lack of war-centric abilities.
The species playboard lists your special racial abilities, your flagship and other ship attributes, and also has story and lore information on the back. Seen here is the Xxcha Kingdom, as mentioned before their abilities tend toward the diplomatic.