Y Magazine

Board Game Review: Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)

The galaxy is yours to own and dominate but you need to brave complex, fearsome challenges of monstrous propositions. Ahmed Naji Arrar tries to craft and dominate the galaxy



The throne of the vast galaxy is on the line; Mecatol Rex, the central and most influential planet of the galaxy, is vacant; and the clans are ready to do the impossible to claim the throne and be the new masters of the galaxy.

This is not a sci-fi movie: it’s a galaxy in a box. Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) is a game of galactic conquest in which three to six players take on the role of one of 17 factions vying for galactic domination through military might and fire power, political manoeuvring and tactical expansion, strategic decisions, and economic bargaining.

Every faction offers a completely different play experience. Each player must play according to one’s strategy and constantly update, tweak and come up with new strategies based on opponent’s actions.

Expanding, producing more units, upgrading units and structures, researching new technologies, attacking and get attacked, trade, fulfil objectives, score points, vote for laws among the galactic councils, build alliances and indeed enemies, backstab others — all of this and more make TI4 a non-stopping rollercoaster of thrill, action and unpredictable journey until one player scores 10 victory points (14 VP for advanced game play) and gain the throne of the galaxy.

No two games of Twilight Imperium are ever identical. Starting from the phase of creating the galaxy (the board) from a total of 51 hexes, randomly selecting the factions, randomly revealing public and personal objectives… all of that is random until players engage themselves in an epic experience.

Each turn of TI4 consists of three phases and the fourth is added midway through the game. Players usually start with the Strategy Phase followed by the Action Phase, the Status Phase and, finally, the Agenda Phase where Mecatol Rex is occupied by one of the players announcing the formation of the galactic council.

The insane mechanics, the complex game play and tons of rules, the quality of components, the huge amount of tokens cards and pieces, the 24 learn-to-play guides all say one thing: this game is a monster.

Twilight Imperium 4 — the 4 to 10 hours, three to six +14 years players’ game — was designed by Dane Beltrami, Corey Konieczka and Christian T. Petersen. Art work by Scott Schomburg and published in 2017 by Fantasy Flight games with six other companies, it is recognised as one of the best board games in history.

 

Twilight Imperium 4

Gameplay: 4.6/5

Art Work: 4.0/5

Complexity: 4.5/5 (1 the least)