Twilight Imperium is a beyond fantastic board game, with all the depth, tactics, and strategy you could want. Even with all this said, there are some downsides, and the time to play it is not one of them.

Last Saturday was game night at the house, and while I meant to take a picture of the game board set up, it was an excellent game night with several twists and turns. Overall we had 8 scheduled to show which is a full table, with two cancelling at the last minute. This took us down to 6 players, and the one mistake we, I should say I made, was setting up the game board with an extra row, using the same number of tiles a 7-8 player games uses.

The Game
Twilight Imperium has an objective deck, with one public objective being flipped over a round. The deck is randomly created, so that in any game, you will not see the same objectives over and over. Also included are secret objectives and a preliminary secret objective for players to work through to get their points moving. The game is played to 10vps.

The Universe is set up with tiles, that players are dealt like a deck of cards. One at a time, the universe is created this way, and two games will never be the same. With 17 races to choose from, and so many optional rules, the game will never be the same twice.

Overall the games rules are rather complex for a board game (nothing as deep as 40k), but adds so much depth, it makes the game simply amazing. From Deep Space Exploration, Political Intrigue, driving technologies, and fantastic warships, there is no other game to date that matches it. Their are games that explore space, and fight space battles, but not one is as deep and rewarding.

The downside is the learning curve. Without people that have played the game, or know the rules really well, you are looking at spending a lot of time on a single game. The rules are available online, but getting someone to actually read those before the night of the game, seems somewhat daunting.

Highlights of Game Night
The games political intrigue created quite the showdown for the night, as in a single round, chaos took over, with representatives being assassinated, counter assassinated, and other heavy pushes on the agenda. For those that know the game, in a single round I handed out 4 promissory notes, one of which was rejected, and had my councilor assassinated. While I won that political battle, and saved my upcoming preliminary objective (victory point), the game moved on as the two new players (who teamed up from the beginning) began to expand their hold on the objectives.

A few fights started to filter in across the board, with no real strong military might dominating. I was able to create my races capital ship, and send it in to destroy the only Warsun on the board, so I was happy with that. In the end, we hit our time limit for the game. We ended up with 3 of us sitting at 4 victory points. Why did we only get that far? Well, two of our new players were completely new to the game, while one had only played the game in 2nd edition. So there was a strong learning curve on one side of the board. That was the only real downside of the game.

Looking ahead, next months game night is sitting at the first Saturday of the month. With the same players set to come, we should be looking at a much shorter learning curve. Anyone new of course, is on their own for reading the rules this time around. (Of course I will help, but not at game time).

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