Twilight Imperium

As I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, I am a board game aficionado.  I own a high number of chess variants and such along with several more modern games like Settlers of Catan, World in Flames and Twilight Imperium.  I recently finished a game of the last member of that list and I figured I would talk about how awesome the game was.  

The backstory of twilight imperium is fairly simple.  The galaxy was ruled for many years by a race of aliens called the Lazax.  They were generally benevolent though absolute in their authority.  Eventually however their strength faded and a rebellion wiped all of the lazax off the face of their home world Mechatol Rex.  Though the Lazax were gone, the beurocrasy and political structure that they had created remained.  All of the other races in the galaxy were now in a race to become the new rulers of the galaxy.

The goal of the game is to get 10 points, but these points are largely gained through completeing various objective cards, both public and secret.  These objectives might be military in nature or economic or political or scientific.  The game is wonderful in that it allows many kinds of play.  Their are a host of different space ships for those interested in conquest, but their is also a fairly large tech tree, a voting system in which ones political strength and politcs skills can allow new rules to be added to the game, and various methods of setting up trade agreements and improving economically.  Add this to the space exploration and planet conquering that occurs in the early game, and it becomes a game that has a ton of option as far as how to win and how to play.

Their are a bunch of different races, each of which has their own backstory, special powers, starting units, starting technologies and starting planets.  The choice of race also determines the value of your trade agreements along with netting you a special technology that only you can research.  The races include the Lion looking Merchant race the Hacan, and the Turtle diplomats, the Xxcha.  You can also play as humans, space vampires, the borg, space gypsies, bug people, a sentient disease and many many more.  

I won’t get into how turn order and such works, though from a game design perspective that is also fascinating, but suffice to say, the game is designed so that even though the game can take from 6 to 12 hours to play, individual turns are quick and you have choices to make and ships to buy fairly constantly.  

All in all the game is extremely well designed and fun.  It can be a bit of logistical nightmare to get enough people together enough times to actually finish a game, but its worth the effort, and is in general an all around good time.  


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