Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Twilight Imperium - First Look

By: Dozer

This post is very late - the holiday season and the run up to a new calendar year of work have prevented me from putting anything up. 

So I was able to play some Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition, and it was awesome.

Doc, Ontos, Wolf, Longsword, and myself pulled into Doc's flat and started setting up. By the time everyone was in the room, it was 1020. Ontos has spilled Longsword's Tim Horton's coffee (a sin in Canada to some) and we slowly took our time setting up ensuring that we would not miss a step while building the game. We got into the first round by the time it was 1050. Passing out snacks, familiarising yourself to the pieces, and picking a race were the longest part of the setup. The game played very well. We could had finished the game around 1640.

I played a second game two weeks later. With Burns and three other awesome players. We were delayed with life and puppies but in the end we still played a five player game in about 6 and a half hours. Four of the five players had not yet played this edition of the game and two of them had never played any edition of Twilight Imperium, and we still had to pull pin early but by only a round.

First Impressions - 

The box is big and bright. The updated art is top shelf even though I miss some of the more iconic pieces from the last edition. The pieces look chintzy until you compare them to the older pieces and then you can see the augmented level of detail and quality per piece.

Full of detail as Burns looses his home system
Components -

The player boards and the accompanying technology cards are easy to navigate and plan your races development and advancement. Little details like the reference chart which also includes the rules for the various anomalies in space very handy. The tiles are clear and the different coloured backs are awesome for set up.

The player boards can be played left or right of the race board. A nice touch and a small one that few companies fail to think about. The sinister players will feel welcome here.

Rules -

I have to say this is Twilight Imperium but you spend more time within the game, playing it instead of hashing through the rules. The streamlined rules are all awesome and very well laid out. The new alphabetical heading format for larger rulesets is very well suited here.

I like small things where there is no longer any confusion on stages of combat and pre-combat abilities. I love the new Agenda Phase that only becomes available once a player takes Metacol Rex. I also love the feel of having to use influence instead of military might to unlock the former center of the Imperium.

The technology upgrades is the best change to the game. The new systems removes the flow chart of technology in favour of a simple prerequisite mechanic. It also seems to be easier to get technology in this edition.

The changes to the strategy cards are refreshing. Construction was a large change but it became quickly clear why building PDS and Space Docks are a strategic action and not part of a simple build. The Imperial card is a breath of fresh air and supports the new feel that surrounds the taking of Metacol Rex and claiming secret objectives.

L-R: Wolf, Longsword, Ontos, and Doc
Plotting my end
Lastly the new objective claiming rules are much simpler and very well designed. I found myself picking harder to claim objectives instead of working on the easy ones that I also qualified for because I had the number of required technology. 

Gameplay -

"One of my best games of Twilight Imperium and it was the first with this edition. This has set the bar high for future games. This edition was needed and it was well done."
- Burns

Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition has a new flow to it. I've had every player who's played the last edition summarise their feelings and they each give a similar answer; smoother.

The rules support this new flow of game. I spent more time playing the game instead of looking up rules and that even with the first game where we had to look up a lot of rules.

The gameplay makes sense and that common sense pushes rule questions aside and avoids stepping away from the game. I was never bored waiting for my turn.

I do miss the Distance Suns optional rules where you discover a thing at each planet. Yet my first game we all agreed that because it was missing we were playing a faster paced game without a turn or two to build up an exploration fleet. Turn one was gobble up those nearby systems. I hope it shows up with some changes in the next expansion. They can take a few examples from Scythe or Star Trek: Ascendancy regarding exploration and narrative cards that would bump Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition into something even better.

Final Thoughts - 

This is now my favorite game.

This felt more like a strategy game. It was without things like generals, admirals, and diplomats but I would like to see with this new look and feel to Twilight Imperium if those types of rules could be included. Some sort of racial tech that required an influence cost and gave passive racial abilities.

I would also like to see the races have a bit more diverse technology but I feel that this could be a slippery slope for some of the races. Each race was there and unique but I wanted more of a difference between each one. This feeling is a very minor one but it's still there and it's from years of living in this setting playing now three editions of this game.

Lastly I was familiar with many of the systems in the game and I found myself looking for some of the systems that came out in the last edition. I really hope they bring more of them out with the next expansion.

Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition is a great game. I'm looking forward to my next game.

- Cheers

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

My plans for 2018's Table - Dozer

By: Dozer

With the new year upon us I've asked the rest of the contributors about their plans for the table in 2018. 

For me 2018 will be a big year of change and working on things that worked out over the last couple of years. My job is changing, my other job is evolving, my family has grown with another nephew, and I still have about 3-4 months of travel due. I have a new house on the way and all the joy that comes with it. We also can't forget all the new games that will be released and played.

Makes 2018 a year of hope for a guy like me.

It will be busy but it also looks awesome.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Enjoy the end of 2017

From all of us here who contribute to the Canadian Tabletop Gamer enjoy the end of year festivities and I hope 2018 treats you well.

We've been doing this for eight months with many ups and downs. The end of year is a time of contemplation.

During the holidays we hope you all get some down time get to spend some of that down time with friends and family at the table.

- See you next year.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Twilight Imperium - Unboxing

By: Dozer

Twilight Imperium has a new edition.

I was at GENCON 50 when they showed it off. Where they let people play it and later on buy it.

It looked awesome. I waited in line and by the time I got into the Fantasy Flight games booth proper someone had bought their last copy.

Yet I knew I would get it. Twilight Imperium has shaped all board game experiences since I played it. All great games are not just great by themselves. Instead they challenge the everyone. They challenge the industry to do better and go bigger, they demand more of their players, and the experience is so defining that it shapes all other game experiences.

So I picked it up when I got back from Toronto. I was sick all week and I stopped by Out of the Box and there it was. The owner offered me at no extra cost a poster and the deluxe rule book plus the 15% off from the Black Friday sales.

So I picked it up.

Now lets go look inside and see what's new with this beast.