Twelve years after Twilight Imperium Third Editions's release, and after a great deal of recent speculation, Fantasy Flight Games has announced a 4th edition of Twilight Imperium!
So what is Twilight Imperium, you ask? It's an epic game of space conquest with exploration, war, space battles, crazy races with crazy powers, intimidation, bluffing, tech trees, modular expansions you can add or ditch as you like, and about a TON of plastic bits.
Here's the thing: I (Firestone), shouldn't like this game. At all. It has so many things I despise in these sort of games: bashing the leader, shifting alliances, broken promises, wildly imbalanced Objectives and Action cards, possibly broken elements (Advanced Fighters)--plus, the game takes a REALLY LONG TIME, even if you play with fast players.
Despite all of that, I love this game.
<---------In fact, my kids and I happened to be in the middle of a game when the announcement came down. We're still in the middle of that game. Because it takes a long time to play--and that's with only three players!
But enough about the old edition. What about the new one!
There aren't many details, but it appears the new edition will be a streamlined version, incorporating many of the best elements of the third edition base game and the two expansions. It also looks like they've added in rules to move the game along at a faster pace, which is good.
One of the best things is that they're including all 17 races in the base game, which will accommodate between 3 and 6 players. Since the third edition with expansions supported up to 8 players (and because this is Fantasy Flight), we can probably expect an expansion in the future. This means we might get even MORE cool races!
And these races aren't just slightly different variations. Each one truly plays differently. The feline Hacan are masters of trade, the humans of the Federation of Sol are experts at ground combat. The Universities of Jol-Nar can race down the tech tree. And the cunning Yssaril Tribes can delay their turns, waiting to strike until you can't do anything about it. And that's only four of them. A great deal of the fun for me is learning how best to play one of the races. You have to combine your own tendencies with the racial abilities if you hope to win.
Other changes include a less-restrictive tech tree. In third edition, you had to have specific techs to move on to other, higher techs. Now, techs will simply require two Warfare techs, or Cybernetic techs, rather than specific ones. This should move the game along and open up cool techs earlier.
One of the biggest rumored changes is in Politics. An Agenda phase happens at the end of every turn once Mecatol Rex has been claimed. Everyone gets to refresh their planets for this, so no more deciding if you're spending a planet for resources to build or influence to vote. (Again, speeding things along.)
One thing that appears unchanged is combat. You might like that or hate it. I'm fine with it.
Overall, every rumored (and verified) change seems entirely reasonable. I trust Fantasy Flight, and I can't wait to see how this new edition of a FUN game plays. What about you? Are you excited? Hesitant? Couldn't care less about Twilight Imperium? Let us know! And thanks for reading!