This is Joshua Wehner's archaic Blog

Twilight Imperium

I played a bit of Twilight Imperium with Steve, Hans and Erik yesterday.

I had fun, but somewhat in spite of the game. Mmmm, that's not fair, I actually liked the game, but I didn't love the game.

It's gorgeous, that's for sure. Approximately 1 gajillion intricate cardboard pieces, 2.5 gajillion little plastic space ships, space docks and planetary defense systems, lots and lots of hexagonal planets/systems...

Erik had played before, more than once, I believe. We started around 2pm and finished the second full round 5 hours later. A full game can be expected to last 10 rounds.

I think my main issue, looking back, besides the overwhelming complexity, was that the path to achieving the general objectives ("obtain 10 victory points") wasn't fully revealed. That is, the victory point bestowing objectives reveal themselves slowly, over the course of the game. So, right now, you pursue technology or wealth or colonies somewhat aimlessly, because you can't know which, if any, of these things are going to be directly beneficial.

That's how it felt, anyway.

Still, I enjoyed getting somewhat lost in the setting. I found it immersive, in a good way, but then, I frequently respond that way to sci-fi games. (I largely prefer the sci-fi over the fantasy, but - perhaps because? - fantasy games seem much more common.)

Back in the day, my idea of a fun evening alone, was to fire up Master of Orion 2, cheat-code my way to the Stellar Converter and blast my pre-rocketry opponents' home planets into dust. Ahh, those were the days.

Um, anyway, I decided to try to chase the "War Sun" tech in Twilight Imperium, although I didn't get very close in two rounds of play.

Permalink • Posted in: gaming, reviewsComments (2)


Joshua Nov 7, 2006

1) Though it's actually somewhat recent (1st Ed 1998), TI harkens back to much older games - something like the SPI era. It would appear that their target market is more comfortable with that kind of suggested retail. And, this is the 3rd Ed, so they presume to have some kind of invested market.

2) Well, yes and no. There's definitely a "what do I do in this game?" problem, but the "at-a-glance" genre is clear: Space conquest, or 4X on a board. Flash back 8 years or so to the height of the StarCraft craze, and there'd definitely be some pull there for me.

Greg Hancock Aug 27, 2008

It is a great game but it does take about three full plays before you can say you know how to play or what each of the cards, counters, races and figures are for. GMDice