Tonight, I got home from work to find that the UPS driver had delivered my copy of the epic space opera board game Twilight Imperium!
In 1995, I went to Boston University for the summer before college to participate in the PROMYS program for mathematically talented high school students. While I was there staying in a dorm with other students, I first encountered an involved war board game in the shape of Axis and Allies. I was enthralled even though we only managed to get through three quarters of a game that one night that we tried to play. Since then, these sorts of epic battle games have always been something that I’ve hoped to gather friends together to enjoy, but in practice, I’ve managed to do so on once in a blue moon.
A few years ago, we got introduced to the world of German board games by some friends and since then we’ve begun acquiring more board games and have taken up the practice of having people over or visiting the home of friends for an evening of gaming fairly regularly. In addition to party games and multi-player strategy games, we’ve also acquired a large scale war board game or two along the way. My wife and I have only managed to play these maybe a handful of times a year, but they are a lot of fun. Our first such game was the Cold War game called Twilight Struggle. A year later we purchased War of the Ring – a game that truly captured our imaginations.
When visiting game stores over the last two years, two games in particular caught my attention and I kept hoping to decide to get them. One was a World War I simulation called Paths of Glory that I picked up over the Christmas break and have yet to try. While its basic rules are fairly easy to understand – it has a swarm of exceptions that seem rather daunting to learn and after walking through two example turns – Melinda and I decided to hold off on trying for the actual game until I could be fairly confident of my knowledge of the rules.
The other game was the massive and epic Twilight Imperium. While I have heard repeatedly that it is a huge game that takes a long time to play, every reviewer has also stressed how amazing it is and indicated that the game play makes up for the length. I’m looking forward to trying it out, but I will have to be patient as unlike War of the Rings or Paths of Glory or Twilight Struggle, this game requires at least three players.
One of the aspects of Twilight Imperium that really intrigues me is the fact that players can acquire political points as they acquire territory and that one of the parts of a turn is a political phase where players can draw from a deck of law cards and propose new laws that change the rules of the games and that then players with political points have to debate and vote on the proposed law.
Here’s to finding a few brave souls who’d like to join us for a possibly six hour game some weekend!