6 Apr 2015

Twilight Imperium - Table Top

On Saturday I had a few mates over.

What game is this? Picture by: Lady Bear
Mates (L-R)
Yasha, Pale Rider, Me, Doc, Ferris, Ontos, Wolf and Brother Bear
Ferris, Ontos, Pale Rider, Wolf, Doc, Yasha, and Brother Bear.

So a few mates is seven mates.

You see I needed to break in my new gaming table that I designed and built with Wolf. Now it's a 1/4" sunken table top that is 6'x4'. If you play a game of Infinity or Warmachine you're looking at a pair of sideboards with 1'x2' of space to place miniatures, dice, drinks, snacks, books and whatever else you want.

Yet I wanted a game that is traditionally hard to table. A game that is almost impossible to have every component on table and still be playable.

I wanted Twilight Imperium.

Twilight Imperium was created by Christian T. Pertersen. He co-designed the Game of Thrones board game, which today is one of the best boardgames of all time.  He is CEO and head of game design at Fantasy Flight Games. His company's first game published was Twilight Imperium.

How how big is this game?
Brother Bear placing a tile for building the Map
Foreground (L-R) Doc and Brother Bear
Background (L-R) Yasha, Pale Rider, Ferris, Ontos and Wolf

Well it's pretty large. In the eight player version, the galaxy is made up of hexagon tiles place in a circular template. The center tile is always Metacol Rex, outwards from the center is three rings of tiles unless you play the game with 7-8 players. Then you add a fourth ring of tiles.

When building the board for a 8 player game. You add the center tile and four random tiles. Then you hand out piles of 6 tiles to each player who will in turn place the tiles down one by one until the galaxy is built. Each player cannot place a tile into the larger ring until the smallest ring is complete.

My POV - Playing the Ghosts
Mates (L-R) Ontos and Wolf
Also as a rule (which we ignore) you cannot place red bordered tiles next to each other. Red Bordered Tiles are tiles that have difficulties. Ion Storms, Nebulas, Gravity Rifts, Asteroid Fields, and Super Novas... but we've never had any issues with putting two beside each other. Each player places their Home System in the final ring of tiles.

The Home System for each player is determined by the race that each player is playing. Each race has a Race Playcard that gives that races starting technology, forces, and special abilities.

The Race Playcard also has a spot for trade goods the in game currency and a place for the various command token areas that determine fleet size, command ability and to activate secondary abilities when players use their strategy cards.

Now I could on for pages, Twilight Imperium is a big game.

But the gent's at Shut Up and Sit Down do a better job.

Seriously these guys do a good job looking at explaining games. Check their shit out. Also they put Twilight Imperium at number 9 of the top 25 games of all time.

Let them explain the game in the video before I finish the post.

Last Round - Ferris vs Brother Bear
All attention was on the big fight
Mates (L-R) Yasha, Pale Rider, Ferris, Ontos, and Wolf
We had a great time playing TI. We picked up the game at 1015 and started playing at 1130. When 1730 started up Lady Bear remind me that she had a special dinner planned and was wondering when we'd be ending - it was 1830 when Turn 5... yes only Turn 5 ended.

I've only completed a few games but never have I ever completed an 8 player game. This is a challenge that requires focus, great players, and a bucket load of time. Lets say a weekend, a rainy weekend at a cottage where we stop after every turn to come up for air. Returning to the table as needed.

One day we will beat Twilight Imperium as 8 players with many of the special optional rules...

One day.

- Cheers.