Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition - Rules Introduction Pt 1

From as far back as I can remember, I have always dreamt of controlling a star-spanning empire; the political intrigues, military battles, the conquests. Twilight Imperium Third Edition (TI3 for short) delivers that not on a computer screen but with face-to-face human adversaries in a good all day (or night) tabletop session. A great way to spend a weekend. ;-)

You can get the rulebook from the Fantasy Flight Games website. It takes about half an hour or so to go through the rules.

Its not too difficult to imagine some folks who need to turn up for a session on the morrow and need a quick run-down before the game. What I intend to do here is to cover in 2 short parts the basics of the game, enough to get anyone started.

I will not talk about game setup for that is easily covered during the actual session since there is little to actually 'learn'.

Objective of the GameThe objective of the game is to be the first to accumulate 10 victory points by achieving objectives. Objectives consist of both public and secret ones are varied, most are expansionist in nature, others are about strategic control. Victory points here are an abstract representation of your progress in control and influence in the Twilight Empire.

Game Rounds

TI3 is played in rounds and each round consists of the following 3 phases:

1) The Strategy Phase
2) The Action Phase
3) The Status Phase

If after the status phase no player has claimed victory then simply begin with the Strategy Phase again. And thus the game continues until someone wins.

The Strategy Phase

There are eight Strategy Cards and during the Strategy Phase, each player will choose one card starting with the Player who is Speaker then proceeding in a clockwise manner. The eight Strategy Cards are: Warfare, Political, Trade,Initiative, Imperial, Logistics, Diplomacy and Technology.

Each of these cards confers a strategy in one area, wise choice of cards is an important part of the game.

The order of play is also determined by the Strategy Cards each have a number. So for example the player with Initiative will go first while he who chose Imperial will go last.

Once everyone has chosen a card, (in the case of a 4 player variant, 2 cards), the Strategy phase is over and you can proceed on to the next phase, the Action Phase.

This concludes Part 1 of my Introduction to the TI3 rules. Part 2 will cover the Action and Status phase.


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