Twilight Imperium – So this is what they mean by Epic

I was lucky to have my schedule work out this weekend so that I could have the opportunity to play the classic epic game Twilight Imperium – Third Edition. Now, the only other game that I have played that could be considered a 4x game is Starcraft.  So when I was told that this game was also 4x, I thought I had a good idea what to expect and I couldn't have been more wrong. Don't get me wrong, this was a great afternoon and night of gaming, but I didn't realize just how intense this would be. Marty was also with me and we have planned to do a 4x show on the podcast, so I am glad we got to experience this session together. 

Now, not going into how to play the game or anything like that, but just going to reflect on the 8+ hour experience and what I did right to prepare/play the game and what I did wrong. 

What I did right:

  • I read the rules, well sort of. I made it half way through the rules because I believed I could get a quick handle on the game while we played. I knew playing the first time, the strategy would not be there, that comes in the second game when you play something this long.
  • I allowed enough time to play it. I was counting on six hours but added two more to the schedule and glad I did.
  • I had no expectations on this game. I wasn't going in thinking I was going to love it or hate it. I was looking forward to just the experience of playing.
  • I brought light snacks and plenty of Diet Coke. Didn't need anything heavy here, my wits were going to be challenged enough.
  • I didn't have moments of analysis paralysis during the game. I knew I couldn't overthink this game because I didn't have the background.
  • I finished respectfully with 6 Victory Points, I think.

What I did wrong:

  • I didn't read the rules completely. I thought I would get the general idea by watching the play progress, but there were a few key rules I wish I had a better handle on before playing.
  • I didn't watch any youtube videos before playing. I should have taken the time to view at least the Dice Tower video.
  • I thought I understood what a 4x game was since I played Starcraft, yeah right.
  • Should have gone out to BoardGameGeek and downloaded some helpful guides. Normally I do this, but the volume scared me away and that should have clued me in that I was in over my head.
  • I shouldn't have turtled, should have been more aggressive. I think that is the problem when I play these games, I wait to long before making a move.
  • I should have asked more questions about the planets in the game so I could have developed a better strategy when placing them at the start. I didn't realize just how poor my planets were.
  • I placed the supernova on my side of the board, what was I thinking, not like we needed to use it to go back in time.

Closing thoughts, it was a great experience and glad the group that we had was very social and understanding of one another as we tackled this complex game. I will say, not sure I could walk away from this game and come back to it and pick up where we left off. This is one I think that if we start it, we finish it. 

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