Twilight Imperium is, simply put, a science fiction based board game. The goal of Twilight Imperium is to eliminate all other players, and there are many paths to victory, but only one player will win the game.
Each player controls between two and six unique alien races that offer different play styles and strategies. Each race has their strengths and weaknesses as well as special abilities that can be used throughout the game.
Among the seventeen races available for play are “the Federation of Sol,” “the fearsome, machine gun-toting Barony of Letnev,” and “the graceful, psychic Yin Brotherhood.”
When setting up the game, players place their home system on one of sixteen locations on the map. These locations are home to various planets, which are used for producing units, science, culture, trade goods, activating special abilities and for determining who goes first in each round. Each player then takes turns placing their other home systems on any of the remaining unoccupied planets around the map.
Lead Your Troops To War
At its core Twilight Imperium is a war game. The science fiction setting allows for battles to take place in outer space. The board is modular, allowing the players to constantly add new systems and wormholes to the map leading from one system to another creating a unique galactic map each time it is played. There are two main types of units, warships and leaders . Warships have a variety of statistics including combat strength, command points, and hit points. The number of command points a ship has determines the maximum number of other ships that can be commanded by a leader or admiral attached to that unit. Leaders have a variety of statistics as well though these are focused mainly around science, culture, trade goods production, politics and special abilities.
The science fiction setting also allows science to play an important role in the game. Each player is given science points at the start of each round, with science points gained during the round based on what you control and where it is located. Science can be used to activate special abilities , upgrade units, or research technology.
Technology offers a variety of bonuses including science production , culture production , and combat upgrades.
Culture is another important aspect of the game. When a player first gains control of a planet they place one culture counter on it and receive one point for each other counter on the planet. Culture counters can be used to purchase trade goods, science, units, technology upgrades , activate special abilities , or commission science and culture ships . Trade goods can be used to activate special abilities , upgrade units, science, culture, or provide bonuses at the end of the game.
Each player receives an amount of politics tokens based on their political standing with other players at the beginning of each round. At this point each player may use some or all of their tokens to issue edicts . These are actions that provide immediate effects such as science, culture, or combat boosts. If a player has any secret objectives they may place one of these on the board at this time as well.
Combat is not played out with dice but rather through targeted spending of command points by players involved in a battle. When one player is attacked by another, they choose how many of their units will defend the planet. The attacker then does the same for any units that are attacking from outside the system. Each side spends command points equal to the number of units they have in play in order to attack. After this is done, both sides add up their combat strength and science (if any) and apply the results. If one side has a higher strength than the other, that player wins the battle and must remove an appropriate number of units from the defender’s control.
The battle is over at this point unless both sides played at least one science card in which case there is a science phase. In this phase science points are spent by both sides to activate science cards. This determines the science value of science ships for this battle. Each science card provides a science value which is added to the science value of any science ships involved in the combat. The side with higher total science wins, destroying any units that don’t have enough science to match the enemy’s total science.
After a round is over, players receive science points, command counter refresh, and income. Players must spend science points to activate science cards. Command counters are spent on the various types of actions in the game. Income is then provided based on controlling systems and trade goods. A new round then begins with players receiving more command counters, science points, trade goods, income, science cards, and secret objectives. All of these elements are replenished until one player has eight or more command counters . At this point the game ends at the end of that round with science points being spent to buy technology upgrades .
The Spacecraft Choices
There are three types of science ships in the game: research carriers , science vessels , and science battleships . Science battleships are pure science where science vessels allow science to be used for both science and culture while research carriers convert a combat victory into science points.
The game ends when there is only one player with command counters remaining, all other players having been eliminated. At this point the player with the most Command Counters and science points wins.
At the end of the science phase science ships have science added to them from science cards played in combat, science bonuses from technology upgrades , and their own science value which is determined by how many science symbols are on the ships.
No two games of Twilight Imperium are the same. Buy Twilight Imperium today for many exciting game nights with your family and friends.