Top 10 Board Games Like TWILIGHT IMPERIUM - cutlassboardgame.com

Top 10 Board Games Like TWILIGHT IMPERIUM

Legendary Tactics
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Every board gamer needs to play Twilight Imperium 4th edition at least once. But if you don’t have time to get this to the table or if you’re interested in a lighter version of TI4, you might consider looking at some of these other 10 games that share some of the same mechanics, feel, or themes with Twilight Imperium.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played a game and said, ah, that reminds me of Twilight Imperium. If you’ve had this experience, slap the name of that game down in the comments. Here are the top 10 games that remind me of Twilight Imperium.
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=Chapters=
0:00 10 Games Like T.I.
0:40 #1 Twilight Imperium Light
1:11 #2 Strategy Cards
2:09 #3 Variable Player Powers
2:47 #4 4X – Exploration
3:38 #5 4X – Expansion
4:10 #6 4X – Exploitation
4:55 #7 4X -Extermination
5:37 #8 Expansive Space Opera
6:26 #9 Player Relationships
6:57 #10 Spirit

45 Comments

  1. You miss

    BURNING SUNS

    Great 4x game like Ti4

  2. Game of Thrones 2nd edition is very close to TI considering the game systems and complexity.

  3. It seems like you utterly and completely forgot about FORBIDDEN STARS.

  4. Exodus: Proxima Centauri is "Twilight Imperium Lite" for me, especially with the "Edge of Extinction" expansion. The Dice Tower crew had Sam Healey try different games (including Eclipse), claiming each one was "T.I. Lite", but the only one that actually hit the mark for Sam was Exodus.

  5. Loved the original 1980's Cosmic Encounter and we played it all the expansions at once ! My favorite alien was The Sniveller. He had the POWER TO WHINE. If he was lacking some resource, say no Attack Number cards or none higher than certain number, most tokens in the warp, etc. he could whine (must be a truthful statement) , "I don't have resource X. Will someone give me resource X? One player may give The Sniveller said resource which MUST be used, but if no one volunteers ALL PLAYERS MUST discard the requested resource. MWAH HA HA HA!

  6. This video (and comments) cost me a lot of money. Such an informative video! Relating specific mechanics to individual games is fantastic!

  7. How about Dune? It's also a sci fi game and has very asymmetric factions.

  8. There is no substitute. Like it or not, there is no other game that does what TI do as well as TI does it.

  9. One underrated game you didn't mention is Runewars (2010). 4 different races with very different gameplay. You have the card system like in TI but it's individual for each play. Rounds are broken up into 4 turns (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) with some cool mechanics like armies being able to cross lakes during Winter but not any other season.

  10. Cry Havoc was such a great game. I really hated that it came and went so fast.

  11. The closest game I've played to TI4 is Star Trek Ascendancy, it ticks all the same boxes.

  12. Exodus Proxima Centari is an excellent TI4-Light game.

  13. For me it should mention a game that I like even more than TI – Runewars. Lose some politics but have more immersion and epicness. In Runewars I have a feeling that I am a general and part of the story being told.

  14. My 'go to' space conquest game is Star Trek Ascendancy. Multiple races, all with their own unique capabilities, technologies, and some even have special victory conditions. Lots of miniatures, and the universe sets up differently every game, enhancing re-playability. Watch out for the Ferengi however. They are sneaky little capitalists and can win through trade alone! Qapla'!

  15. I have not played it yet but actually bought Alien Artifacts on its premise of being a very condensed 4X game.
    One of those days it is going to be put to the test.

  16. I was surprised that you didn't give a nod to Stellar Conquest (1975), one of the first, if not the first 4x sci-fi board game. Also, an honorable mention should go to TSR's Star Probe (1975)/Star Empires: game of Galactic Conquest (1977). Let's see how many claim to have played at least one turn of Star Empires. Finally, how could we forget the influence of Game Designer's Workshop and it's many sci-fi space combat games. I played the original Triplanetary to death and still have my original copy.

  17. TI:3 took the strategy cards mechanics from Puerto Rico, Christian Petersen wrote this in the editor notes of TI:3.

  18. um, excuse me, I believe it should be "It's not just a board game, it's a lifestyle…"

  19. I disagree with the very first sentence, and I love TI. Not everyone has the brainpower or the interest to play it.

  20. TI reminds me of this other game…I think it’s called Risk?

    Please set your scarcasm sensors to “stun”.

  21. No love for the original Dune? With the possible exception of SW Rebellion, Dune is the most TI-like game there is.

    Edit: Also remembered Root. While much shorter than TI, I find it very close in terms of asymmetrical factions and lots of negotiation.

  22. I'm a big fan of Hegemonic. It's a 4x game of humanity expanding into and colonizing a new galaxy. It's a more 'euro' approach to things than TI, but it has a charm all its own. The player boards hold your pieces in little recessed pockets, and the pieces look fantastic. Industrial complexes are gian cubes, Political embassies are domes, and Military outposts are pyramids that can stack.

    Each type of building has strengths and weaknesses, and can attack either of the others (or another player's same-type building) based on the cards you choose to use during each of the three action rounds each game Turn. The game also features a rather nice "ticking clock" in that there's a pile of sector tiles, and when the pool runs out the game is over.

    The interesting thing is that scoring takes place at the end of every game Turn, and points are awarded for majority and minority control of each galaxy board, plus the galactic core. So you could turtle and fill up your 'home' sector but you'd be losing out on the points for not expanding into new areas. Even just being present gets you a point, so no reason not to expand.

    Add in technology cards that serve as both boosts to your capabilities, AND as cards that assist in combat, and you have a fun, think-y little strategy game that plays in about a third of the time of TI.

  23. Starcraft 2 – best command system, less random with small card decks – with out dices, etc.

  24. Haven't checked in a while, is there a conversion kit to get 3rd to 4th edition yet? Otherwise I'll stick with my older edition then.

  25. I'm glad you mentioned Scythe as the first time I played it, it felt like a compacted TI experience. Not in the mechanics of the game, but in the feel of it being a material and military race against the other forces where you can't go all out aggressive, but need to pick just a few key battles to win before the game end conditions will strike. The fact that the control of the central hex can be the key to victory also brings a commonality to the two games.

    Another good civ light game to look at is Tempus which is an excellent example of Martin Wallace design and underrated by people who wanted a civ large rather than a civ small experience.

  26. I can not imagine 4x world without Heroes of Land Air & Sea. Absolute must if you can't play TI4 on regular basis. Gamelyn games !

  27. I would add Forbidden Stars to the mix, sadly out of print.

    But before the new Eclipse version came around I thought of it as the TI Lite experience, still feels more epic than Eclipse.

    Clash of Cultures is actually Civilization the boardgame haha it implemented the videogame better thatn the licensed product. Not a TI experience though.

  28. Runewars is very much like Twilight Imperium only set in fantasy.

  29. TI3 "borrowed" from Puerto Rico (not the other way around). Also, New Frontiers is a "reboot" of Puerto Rico, now in space.

  30. With TI4 at the top of the chain, I see Eclipse and Xia: legends of a drift system to be the top three 4x space experiences…

  31. Can I suggest Age of Galaxy, Eclipse & TI4 in Tiny Epic format, so good

  32. The games on this list NOT LIKE TI4:
    Puerto Rico
    Cosmic Encounter
    Scythe
    Civilization: New Dawn
    Cry Havoc
    Rebellion
    Diplomacy
    Clash of Cultures (Although the closest on this list)

  33. Cosmic Encounters came out in 1977, so I think it beat Twilight Imperium by 20 years to the punch. 😉

  34. Probably Space Empires 4X, Eclipse, Exodus Proxima Centauri and Hegemonic. Some might find Eclipse too euro. Not Xia, because that's a sandbox style space sim. That game has way more in common with Merchants and Marauders.

  35. We sold back TI4 and much prefer Eclipse because it is MUCH SHORTER so we can play it much more often!

  36. Between TI4 and Eclipse, there is Star Trek Ascendancy. It even has an original way it handles star systems.

  37. I just think the title was missleading.

    I expected to get good suggestion of games that actually are like TI not that just one specific aspect reminds you of TI.
    Good video but it really was not what the title suggested.

  38. if you like these type of games you should really check x4 foundations pc game, its a strategy, entrepeneur, space trucker, rpg, space pew pew, fleet management, crew builder, industry developer, spaceship upgrading, quests and campaigns around the galaxy, etc. its wide as a planet and deep as an ocean

  39. Another one, which gives me the overall Ti4 feel (with a small bit of "Master of Orion"-touch) is the relatively unknown "The Silver River".

  40. Struggle of Empires captures most of what Twilight Imperium does in about 3 hours. It is set in 1700 to 1800 and does everything that TI does except for the Explore aspect even though TI doesn't really explore until you get the POK expansion. Struggle of Empires! Great game!

  41. SpaceCorp by GMT is another fun exploration/race game

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