Bunker Project Log

05 Oct

Twilight Imperium – Part 0: When will this game ever end?

Yesterday I went through the setup, but I broke my rule dictating that I must describe victory conditions first, so I am backtracking.

The only scoring metric for the game is the “victory point”. (Some day, I am going to try to find one of these, and describe what they look like. They must be pretty awesome because it seems that every friggin game is based on collecting them.)

The main game is played to 10, although there are ways to short-circuit this and finish the game sooner. There is also a variant called “The Long War” that plays to 14. I won’t be playing that one for… a while. Victory points are counted on the victory point track.

victory track

There are three ways to get victory points. Either complete a Secret objective, a Public objective, or use the Primary ability of the “Imperial” Strategy. (More on using the strategies in Part 2!) With the exception of the Secret Objectives, the Imperial strategy must be involved. Objectives are not revealed without the Imperial strategy being invoked.

The Imperial Strategy

The Imperial Strategy

Each player gets one secret objective. They generally have two victory points.

Secret Objective

In addition, all players can get points from the Public Objective Cards. The main game has ten of these cards in a deck on the play area. Six of them are Stage I objectives. These are fairly easy to achieve, usually relating to amassing generic resources.?These grant one victory point.?The other four are Stage II objectives which are more complex, requiring players to own a?occupy planets,?or develop technologies.?These usually grant two points. Included with the Stage II objectives is the “Imperium Rex” card, which ends the game immediately.

The Imperium Rex card is revealed

As the “Imperial” Strategy is activated, the top card in the objective stack is revealed. Thus, the game begins with no objectives at all, and builds turn by turn thereafter (assuming that the Imperial strategy is played often.) If no player chooses the Imperial strategy during a given round, no new objective is revealed.

Near the beginning…

Near the beginning

As each player fulfills the objectives, a chit is placed on the corresponding card.

Near the end…

Almost Done

As you can see in the picture above, the “Supremacy” Objective, if completed, grants victory to the player, regardless of points. Since there are nine different Stage II Objective cards, and the main game gives you three possibles, your game may not have this card at all.

It should be noted that the player using the Imperial strategy automatically gets two victory points. This means that the game could end by the beginning of the fifth turn if the same player picked the imperial strategy each time. So, if you don’t like the game and want to end it soon, you know what to do!

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