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After Action Report: My First Game of Twilight Imperium 4th Edition

Twilight Imperium 4th Edition
After Action Report
19th January 2019

Players
Neeber (Host) - The Xxcha Kingdom
Chris - The Universities of Jol-nar
George - The Federation of Sol
Thomas - The Emirates of Hacan
Matt - The Barony of Letnev
Mav - The Sardakk N'orr

Overview
Space. The Final Frontier.

Or more specifically Neebers Dining Room Table. Six new comers to the game of Twilight Imperium came together for our first epic encounter with this legendary game. All versed in many games of Diplomacy, Tactics and Warfare but never in an intergalactic setting and with so much to learn. Weeks of preparation by myself was all done in the hopes of making this super important first impression game run as smoothly as possible. The excellent rules explanation by RTFM[1] went on at 10.30am and at 11am we kicked off the first of many rounds with a strict 10 hour time limit set.

Turn 1

A galaxy awaited the 6 factions and with rules still being clarified and strategies still being worked out we set out to capture some planets and understand the strategy cards. After 90 minutes of questions and moves under our belt finally the game was starting to make sense. Most notably the Emirates of Hacan got off to a blistering start trading with anyone that would be willing to take their trade goods, which was just about everyone.

With consolidating of positions most vital in the early game no one scored any points but rather setting themselves up for later turns.

Turn 2

The second turn of the game was more or less the same as the first turn. Borders and Areas where now established and the players started realising how little resources they had in their galactic fleets. Production went through the roof as players started to work on "defensive" armadas to fortify and strengthen their positions in the galaxy.

The Universities of Jol-nar flexed some diplomatic power having picked the Trade Strategy Card, anyone that would want a refill of commodities would have to trade with him on their turn in the lead up. Trade Goods were at a premium and many took up the offer, except the Xxcha Kingdom and the Federation of Sol. An unspoken alliance was brewing between the 2 factions but little did they know, a secret handshake between two others was also made.

Turn 3

Trading, Production, Strategy, Smack Talk, rinse and repeat. Having left the Beta Wormhole unguarded the Universities of Jol-nar trusted a carrier and single infantry unit into the Xxcha Kingdoms space and the first exchange of planets took place. With the final unoccupied planets now scooped up by the Sardakk N'orr and the Barony of Letnev there was no more space for friendly movements.

The Xxcha rushed a lone carrier and diplomat to Mecatol Rex. Dusting off the throne, preparing the snacks and sending out the invitations for the first Agenda Phase of the game. Meanwhile the Barony and Sardakk both looked poise to strike out anyway in the galaxy.

Alliances were now to be tested. Enemies were to be measured. This galaxy was about to see who everyone truly was.

After 25 minutes of arguing we finally came to an agreement on 2 different laws. The most important one was to allow the galaxy to build War Suns WITHOUT meeting any of the tech requirements, effectively neutralising the advantage Chris has by holding his thumb on the Red Button. The galaxy breathed some relief.

Turn 4

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Democracy. Doesn't. Work. Diplomacy in space, might as well be a mud wrestling tournament it was that messy. The Universities of Jol-nar for their first action simply repealed our most hotly contested law, once again giving them the only War Suns in the galaxy. To make matters worse.

FIRST. BLOOD.

It took 4 rounds but after nearly 5 hours of trash talk the human at the table hit with a pre-emptive strike at the nerds. The Federation of Sol fearing the mounting pressure from the Universities of Jol-nar decided to strike first flying 3 Dreadnoughts with a fighter platoon into the system next to the Jol-nar home planets. The success of this action was condemned by the Jol-nar people and revenge was sworn. As proof, the second War Sun of the game was constructed with the guns aimed solely at Sol, the home planet of the Federation.

Turn 5

The Barony of Letnev made their big move. Using their racial ability to bring a massive armada into the home system of the Xxcha Kingdom particularly mirroring the back story of both characters. The 6 - 2 dreadnaught advantage made sure the system went under blockade, but the people of Xxcha held strong on the planets pushing Letnev invaders back to the ships.

The Xxcha took 2 more losses. One on Mecatol Rex to the Emirates of Hacan and one next to his home system. The world was closing in around the Xxcha and their slim lead was not certain going forward.

The Sardakk N'orr flexed some metal muscle pushing the Federation of Sol off the Beta wormhole and splitting the forces of the Emirates of Hacan. With time running out the final turn was going to heat up.

Turn 6 (Final Turn)

Betrayal!

The Emirates of Hacan had been passive all game but sensing a win, struck at a weakened Barony of Letnev. The look on Matt's face said it all. Too far behind to win, he was going to make Thomas pay for this outrage. Leaving the Xxcha to lick their wounds the Barony of Letnev made an incursion into the Space Lion Alpha Wormhole stronghold. It didn't go well for the Barony, they would return to their home broken and battered.

The Sardakk N'orr realising they have waited far too late to strike decided to hit the Federation of Sol in a bid to slow his Victory Point income. It didn't go well for the Sardakk, they found themselves not having enough points to secured the throne.

This left 4 factions within a 1 point of each other. Support for the Throne promissory notes were traded between the Federation of Sol and the Xxcha but also the Universities of Jol-nar and the Emirates of Hacan. This kept everyone close and the final position would come down to who could execute their plans correctly. Someone slipped.

After 10 hours of game, Thomas played his last turn with an idea to get 2 VP and the win. However, he hesitated. Changing his plans at the last moment to take 2 planets from a weakened Sardakk N'orr. It wasn't enough. After review of his original plan he would have scored 2 VP cards and the win but the war of attrition had taken its toll.

Final Scores + Thoughts

With the 10 hour time limit cap reached and scores now locked in, the initiative order was the determining factor.

Anthony - 6
George - 6
Thomas - 5
Chris - 5
Matt - 2
Mav - 2

Wow. Absolute, Wow.

I wish I could give our game more credit and detail then my relatively crap writing skills will allow me to convey but everything I had heard and researched certainly was shown to be true. The Diplomacy was great, the tension was thick and the memories shall last for a long time. The game is slow paced, yes, however I found myself engaged for the entire game and the first 4 hours didn't even feel like 2.

Upon review EVERYONE has said they would play again so I am very excited to play again with more experience under my belt.

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IT Goon by Day. Gamer, Nerd and Father by Night. Anthony (Neeber) Glynn is the founder, owner, IT guy, designer, engineer, cook, baker and everything else of NeeberTV. He loves to create online content and share his experiences with other people. There is rarely a time you won't see him chasing new and wondrous experiences whether in the real life or online.