15 August 2017
Space strategy epic’s third edition released back in 2005
That didn’t take long: mere hours after the fourth edition of Twilight Imperium was accidentally leaked, Fantasy Flight officially announced the next instalment in the legendary space strategy series.
The first full evolution since 2005’s third edition and arriving six years after the last expansion for the game, 2011’s Shards of the Throne, Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition returns to galactic hub Mecatol Rex as players take control of one of 17 (seventeen!) different spacefaring civilisations and engage in political manipulation, interplanetary trade and economy, and all-out space warfare in pursuit of becoming the galaxy’s most formidable powerhouse.
Fantasy Flight is calling fourth edition the most refined version of the two-decade-old behemoth yet – its website claims the infamously lengthy game will take between four and eight hours to play which, if accurate, is a good bit quicker than the often 12-hour matches embarked upon by fans.
There’s a number of changes from third edition detailed as part of the announcement, including the removal of trade contracts and replacement of tech trees with a more streamlined system that seemingly makes keeping track of the prerequisites needed to upgrade easier. Elsewhere, PDS units and space docks are no longer built like typical units, but instead using a specific construction card.
Perhaps most notably, the politics phase is no longer triggered by the politics strategy card – instead, the agenda phase now happens at the end of every round once Mecatol Rex is claimed. What’s more, planets now completely refresh for the agenda phase, meaning they can be used for both resources and influence – instead of players needing to choose between them, as in previous versions.
Twilight Imperium will be another monster of a box, packing in 354 miniatures, 450 cards, 700 tokens, the 51 galaxy tiles used to generate the randomised setting and more, including elements from third edition’s two expansions.
It’ll come with a price tag befitting its enormous status: $150, or about £116 here in the UK. It’s currently planned for a release in the last quarter of 2017, so after more than a decade of waiting, it might be out sooner than you think.