Bunker Project Log

14 Oct

Midnight Imperium?

Gangrene's eye view

Mrs. G suggested calling it Midnight Imperium, but the game went until almost 2am.

Markus O’Reallyus was the first to arrive, followed soon by MrRed5. Turbo Taxi ensued. ‘Twas okay, but not as rockin as it usually is. Once VitaminZ appeared, Mrs. G had to be roused from her ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep. We began at 8:30pm.

The beginning


I had sorted all the bits and laid as much out as I could beforehand. We had each drawn our races from a hat earlier in the week, and everyone had a chance to read their cards to familiarise themselves with their race. I handed out a pre-randomized set of six system hexes to each player, and we commenced placing. Since no one really knew why they were placing things where they were, it was more or less strategyless.

And then came the explanation of the rules. Contrary to popular belief, Twilight Imperium is not that complicated. There are three very distinct phases in each turn, with the first taking about 5 minutes, and the third taking about two. The second phase is the longest, but it also has a clear set of things to do. The part that takes explaining are the Strategy Cards. There are eight of them, and they are all very different. I went through each one, and by the third, there was yawning, by the sixth, eyes were watering. By the eighth, I thought everyone was going to get up and leave. Why they didn’t, I don’t know, but I was relieved when things started rolling.

The first turn took at least two hours. All I remember from it was that I had pulled the Trade Strategy card. This card allows the bearer to initiate trade negotiations, and officiate them. What is funny is, I had read the text on this card several hundred times, and explained it a few. In all cases I said, “I don’t know why you would dissallow a trade.” Until, of course, I actually experienced it. The creeps at the table had managed to trade with everyone, except me. When I discovered this, I basically pulled the first dick move of the night and said “screw you guys, I’m not allowing anything between you until I get my two.” (I may have used some less family friendly English, but you get the idea.)

The second turn was faster, probably an hour and 15 minutes. We were figuring things out and getting a little more comfortable with the game. Vitamin Z had pulled the Political Strategy, and found an awesome law for us to ratify: “Free Trade”. This law was straight up golden. It gave each player an extra Trade Good each time Trade took place. Unfortunately, the trade incident from the previous turn bit us all. Mrs. G was the only one of us who did not have an active trade agreement, and using the racial power of her race, the Xxcha, she killed the law dead and forced us to draw another. The one that came up next “Colonization Licensing” was a real mofo. This would force each player to pay resources every time they captured a new planet. Needless to say, we killed it.

By the third turn, we were firing on all cylinders, but we were tired. It was now about 12:30 and Mrs G had to bail out. We had all grown adept at moving our stuff around. We had had an actual space battle (poor little space bugs of MrRed5 suffered at hands of Vitamin Z’s reptile chicks.) And, I had managed to take Mecatol Rex in a move that shocked even myself. It was just getting good!

In the end, Markus was up to five victory points, having drawn the Imperial card twice (and totally screwing with Mrs. G’s end the game quickly strategy.) We talked about saving state, but the loss of Mrs. G unbalanced the game too much, and the alternative was starting a fresh game actually knowing what we are doing.

Near the end


As long as the game was, it didn’t seem it. I never felt bored, and I think those of us of the more nerdly sex were into it. I asked Mrs. G what she remembered about the game, and her answer was, “the dip, the salsa, and that I took the pie out too early.” In other words, it wasn’t her cup o tea.

Will we ever play it again? Will it ever be played at a Bunker party? Will anyone be interested in it after this writeup? That remains to be seen. Bunker regulars speak out in the comments, and I will make sure it is available on Bunker Party night, or maybe… Twilight Imperium Friday!

3 Responses to “Midnight Imperium?”

  1. 1
    Markus O'Reallyus Says:

    I liked it. I feel that there was a lot of unexplored territory. Red and Z’s battle was pretty cool because Red was the waring race and even drew the battle strategy card once or twice yet Z was the victor of the only space battle fought. He was, however, in pending doom as I was poised to send in a fleet with my PDSs that fire into neighboring colonies!!!

    My hat is off to the game makers though. I don’t know how the first two editions stack up to the one we played but I feel like they did a good job of saving aspects of the game until later rounds. Like the war sun. It wasn’t even until the beginning of the third round that I realized how kick ass it was and it would have been at least another two before I could have brought one out.

    Anyways, it was a great game. I want to play it again even with new players in hopes we find someone else who will commit a full 36 hours to finishing a complete game.

  2. 2
    Jayjian Says:

    From someone that used to play month long games of risk in highschool and likes civilization games this one looks like it has some potential.

    I am not sure I would have the focus for it at a bunker party (I have BIADD bunker induced attention deficit disorder) , but as a dedicated night(s) game I think this would rock.

  3. 3
    VitaminZ Says:

    An all day affair on a Saturday or Sunday would be ideal, I doubt I would be that interested in playing during a bunker party however. Either that, or several sessions where we actually do write down everything.

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