Monday, September 29, 2014

Game Report: Twilight Imperium, 4-Player Session

The Galactic Council convenes.
Game Set Up:

A few weekends ago, four of us got together to play Twilight Imperium.  My friend Joe & I played it a couple times before:  The last time being a 3-player session with Dallas, who couldn't make this time around.  Newcomers to "The Galactic Council" were:  Jason and Ken.

Since our Twilight Triumvirate game, I re-read the rules a third time in order to avoid our previous errors.  But during the set up, Joe discovered we did the Public Objective Cards wrong.  These cards, which help players earn victory points, are suppose to be laid out as they become available due to political action.  The first player who can claim it, along with spending the necessary resources, gets the points.  In our last game, the cards were handed to the player who initiated the political action.

 One of the great features of Twilight Imperium is the random set-up.  From the map, to the Political Action Cards, to the races themselves, it's guaranteed that no two games will be alike.

Our "4-Player Galaxy" looked like this:

Starting forces and initial positions of the four major races.
The major races vying for power this time around were--

The Yssaril Tribes (Joe):

The Federation of Sol (Jason):

The Clan of Saar (me):

The Winnu (Ken):

Conquest of the Galaxy:

Here's a pictorial history of how the Yssaril, Humans, Saar and Winnu carved-up the galaxy among them...

The Winnu invasion force is repulsed at New Albion, while the troops landing on Starpoint succumb to some form of biohazard.

The Yssaril peacefully annexes Garbozia, but the inhabitants of Saudor put up a fight.

While the Yssaril conduct mop-up operations on Saudor, the Saar annex Belatrix and gain control of the trading post Tsion.

Federation troops stumble across a lost colony of Lazax, the former overlords of the galaxy, believed to be extinct.  This discovery gives Federation Councilors a significant amount of clout in the Galactic Council.  

The Yssaril discovered additional wealth on Primor.

Lodor, along with the nearby wormhole is annexed by the Yssaril.

The Federation advances on Tar'Mann.  Meanwhile, the Winnu are still mustering-up a task force to reclaim New Albion and Starpoint.

Vespin-II (I think) is annexed by the Yssaril.

The Winnu finally mobilize and acquire Gral and it's wealth, but discover lethal doses of radiation on Centauri.

The Saar gain new wealth on Hope's End along with the planet's extensive shock troop training facility.

Vega Minor is peacefully annexed by the Federation, but the inhabitants of nearby Vega Major put up a fight.

Vega Major is captured by the Federation.

The Saar advance on Arinam and Meer, but are unable to initiate an invasion due to command & control, as well as logistical issues.  A task force remains on station at Wormhole Alpha, which leads to Lodor--in Yssaril territory.

A Yssaril cruiser enters the Lesab System, and remains in orbit.

A Yssaril carrier group plunges down the Cormund Gravity Rift, to find a hostile reception.

The Federation make another anthropological discovery.  This time a lost colony of Humans.

Thanks to conducting a fighter reconnaissance, the Saar task force directs the bulk of its troops against Meer.  Arinam is annexed without incident, however, Meer proves to be a tough nut to crack.

The entire Saar invasion force is defeated by the Meerians.

While the Saar lick their wounds, the Winnu seize El'Nath, but of course, not without a fight.

Meer is finally subdued by a second Saar invasion force.
Not wanting to provoke the Winnu, the Saar remain at Hope's End, raising shock troops, while the Winnu subdue the Centaurians. 

A Federation dreadnought task force moves out of the Sol System.
Another Sol task force discovers Wellon to be the terminus of Wormhole Beta, the galaxy's shortest--and most useless--wormhole.

The Winnu return to New Albion and Starpoint.  New Albion is invaded while Starpoint is cleansed of bio-toxins.

The Yssaril cede Lesab to the Saar, which is peacefully annexed.
At this point, only Mecatol Rex remained unclaimed. The stage was now set for a galactic-wide conflict.

End Notes:

We had to end our game at this point, which took an hour to set up and five hours to play.  Fighting only occurred between the space-faring races and the indigenous forces resisting invasion.  Although interplanetary war would have broken out if we had the time to play even just one more turn.

Applying the rules properly slowed things down a bit in terms of how many actions a player can take per turn and how much he can produce.  This can be frustrating at times, but it does provide players with a steady game pace, a less cluttered game board, and an increased awareness of using political and economic power to gain victory points.

Twilight Imperium is not for anyone who likes their games fast & bloody.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you still played it wrong??

Public Objectives are either laid face up at start (Age of Empires variant) or hidden and revealed via a Strategy card. However, multiple players can claim the same objectives (otherwise it would be impossible to get to 10VP). You claim objectives at the end of each round (after everyone passes) and you can only claim one objective.

Assuming you are playing with Imperial I (and not the improved Imperial II).

Ted Henkle said...

Hey, sorry for the long delay in responding. I didn't see your comment until recently. We're still playing with Version I Objective Cards. We played another game a couple weeks ago, that I'm getting ready to write a post, but we didn't get very far.