Twilight Imperium: A Complicated Mess, or a Brilliantly Crafted Universe?

You control the fate of an entire species. Everything relies on the battles you fight, and the alliances you forge. Will you battle your way to victory across the galaxy, or will you manipulate your way to a political victory? Your allies will call on your help, will you answer? These are the choices you must face when playing Twilight Imperium.

Twilight Imperium is a strategy heavy board game consisting of many races, and endless tactical possibilities. The game is set in a customizable galaxy where the players fight it out politically, economically, and militarily for the ultimate victory. With endless replay ability, and tons of customization options, the game really brings a new story every time you play. The only question you are left as a player is, ‘How the hell do I play this game?’

Twilight Imperium is the prime example of a game that is a life commitment. This is not a bad thing by any means. Once you, as a player, learn all of the games nuances you can enjoy one of the most beautifully crafted board games ever produced. Twilight Imperium includes intense senatorial meetings with allow players to negotiate laws and backstab each other. After the players establish their laws they are left to forge alliances and build their civilization. Technology research is essential for any chance of victory on the battlefield or when acquiring one of the hundreds of creatively difficult objectives.

The main problem probably already stands out to you. The games takes many playthroughs to even begin to fully grasp. Every stage is essentially a new game in its own. And that is the problem; there are eight given stages outside of the movement, construction and warfare on the basic board. It is something that took me personal over four hours to learn well enough just to start playing. It was not until my third playthrough that I stopped frequently asking questions. Even the owner of the game who had been playing for years had to look up rules frequently. Does this mean the game is overly complicated? Is it just too much for any one game to be realistically played by a large group of people, especially when they are all trying to learn the game? I say no, not at all.

Twilight Imperium is difficult to play at times. That is undeniable, but it is still an incredibly fun game. The complexity of the game gives it so much character. As a player you look forward to every stage of the game. You begin to hate the other players, and get jealous of their achievements. The game rewards you for plotting and backstabbing. In the end you will relish in your victories and weep over your many defeats.

A more technical look at Twilight Imperium is even more impressive than the overall gameplay. The figures are crafted beautifully, with a very diverse selection of units and upgrades. Because it is a space-based game, of course you select ships and planets to control. Depending on your starting race you will be given a specific home world to start on. From there you must build your empire and claim your victory.

The lore behind the game is expansive and very well put together. Each species is given a set backstory with grand leaders to act as your peoples’ figureheads. The species range from standard humanoids to ghost energy based societies. This adds a whole new level of enjoyment to the game as you begin to understand the people you control and their advantages and disadvantages. It will captivate your imagination as you delve deeper into your new society and create their legacy. It is truly on par with commonly known sci-fi universes like Star Trek.

It may be hard to learn, and you may become frustrated while learning, but the pay off is worth the energy. You will truly partake in controlling a massively functioning universe with working economies and political structures. You will build relationships with other well-crafted, immersive societies. Just make sure you have at least four hours straight to commit to the game. That is the minimum amount of time for a victory to be possibly achieved.

Twilight Imperium Art.
Twilight Imperium Art.

Twilight Imperium Art2 Twilight Imperium Pieces.

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