News for April 2011
Heavy Firepower 26
A preview of Shards of the Throne, the upcoming Twilight Imperium expansion
Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition | Published 26 April 2011

As the war for the galaxy continues, the great races will stop at nothing to claim dominance. Massive Flagships patrol the stars, symbols of their creators’ might and defenders of their interests. On the surfaces of dozens of planets, cutting edge Mechanized Units carry out a never-ending ground war for the resources to sustain their military operations. As the galaxy’s leaders become desperate for anything that will help them gain an advantage, they turn to a last resort: opportunistic mercenaries loyal to no one but themselves. The echoes of a fractured empire resound throughout the stars, but only one race will muster the strength to unite it again.

Shards of the Throne, the upcoming expansion for Twilight Imperium, will soon make your battles for galactic supremacy more epic than ever before. In our last preview, we looked at the optional rules for added political intrigue, and we saw how your choice of a political representative can make all the difference in your dealings with the Galactic Council. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the new military units arriving in this versatile expansion, including the lowlife Mercenaries who sell their services to the highest bidder.

On the surface and in the stars

Shards of the Throne features two exciting new units to help you claim the empire. With pieces included in all eight colors (even the grey and orange pieces necessary for compatibility with the Shattered Empire expansion), Mechanized Units and Flagships will bring new strategic options to the war.

Mechanized Units function very much like Ground Forces, but provide a good deal more survivability. Like Ground Forces, they may be transported during the Planetary Landings step and used to control planets. Unlike Ground Forces, these defensive powerhouses have the “sustain damage” ability, allowing them to absorb a single hit before being destroyed!

Flagships, powerful starships with a variety of benefits, represent the pinnacle of a race’s technological abilities. But use yours wisely: not only can each player have only one in use at a time, but every Flagship is different, and has abilities that further differentiate the unique play styles of each of the great races. All Flagships also have varying values for Battle, Movement, and Capacity. The Federation of Sol’s Genesis I, for example, excels at transporting Ground Forces, but its limited movement and below-average Battle rating can leave those forces vulnerable.

To the highest bidder

The new Trade III Strategy Card is designed to replace the Trade or Trade II Strategy Cards, and it brings Mercenaries to your galactic struggle. These freelance captains can lend their skills to your ground forces or your fleet, for a price – the Trade III Strategy Card also requires that each player employing mercenaries pay one Trade Good to keep each Mercenary. But what will you get for your money?

Mercenaries have their combat values, movement, and unique special abilities printed on their individual cards, and their matching double-sided tokens indicate whether they are in space or on a planet’s surface. Their offensive power can be added to that of your other forces when they participate in a Space Battle or Invasion, but a Mercenary cannot defend your claim to a planet alone – if ever it is the only unit on a planet, that planet reverts to normal.

But these cunning captains haven’t survived the war this long by being reckless. All Mercenaries have a new ability called Evasion, a number that represents their ability to avoid incoming attacks. When a player assigns a hit to a Mercenary, he must roll a die. Only on a roll of less than that Mercenary’s Evasion value is the attack successful. Likewise, a Mercenary’s loyalty to his own wallet means he’ll never put himself in harms way just to be a hero. When assigning hits, players must destroy their own units before damaging these self-serving scum!

A leaderless empire is crumbling beneath the weight of ambition and greed. Who will fill the void left by the ill-fated Lazax? Keep checking back for more, and look for Shards of the Throne on store shelves later this quarter!

Twilight Imperium is a board game of galactic politics, trade, and warfare. 3-6 players each control an acclaimed civilization, vying for galactic supremacy through any means necessary.  Each civilization provides an entirely different experience with their own individual abilities and play styles. Are you ready for another Age of Twilight?

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Comments (26)

mathias999
Published: 7/14/2011 7:30:07 AM
#26

i have it and I play it :) and  I have one word : AWSOOOOOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

mathias999
Published: 5/2/2011 5:02:08 AM
#25

muuuuuuuaaaaaaaa!  but flagships are builds in spaceport with special advanced technology? or we have it on start of the game?

PCichigo
Published: 4/30/2011 2:19:40 PM
#24

Answer : Fnoffen

Well, I also think that the Tank should be able to sustain 1 bombardment also.
But, in the main Rulebook, it's clearly state that "bombard enemy Ground Force" only.
So...I don't know that what FFG will do about this tank in this case also.

Fnoffen
Published: 4/29/2011 8:03:24 AM
#23

On another note: The Mechanized Units Sustain Damage ability would naturally be applied to bombardment as well I hope?

Fnoffen
Published: 4/29/2011 12:35:38 AM
#22

Like previous commenters I must say that I really hope that Trade III will be tweaked. Definitley add back that the active player must allow new agreements. Perhaps also tweak it to the effect that the secondary ability could be used BEFORE you actually gain the TG's from the new trade agreements (obviously the Emirates of Hacan would be immune to the secondary as per normal). Otherwise the secondary is rather pointless and only gives you one TG for one CC. A bad trade if ever I've seen one...

Torquato
Published: 4/28/2011 1:53:50 PM
#21

Are any new rules to trade agreements? Otherwise the Trade III secondary shown in the picture is pointless. The players can simply reforge their trade agreement the next time Trade III primary comes up and will get their trade goods nevertheless, as neither approval by the active player nor having an agreement in place before Trade III primary is played are required. 

Dayne
Published: 4/28/2011 11:40:22 AM
#20

Second Cyber_Urza's request...

I would like to see a replacement fot the orange deck tech card to.

 

So Sol flagship is GF Flagship...Although I am an XXcha fan Cant wait to see Letnev and L1z1X flagship's....

XD

Cyber_Urza
Published: 4/28/2011 2:42:19 AM
#19

This is going to be exciting! Can't wait for this expansion to come out.  One thing that would be cool if they would include an extra card to replace the printing error for those who didn't get the opportunity to replace it.

Ajax-Hesh 60563.3791.34321.B
Published: 4/27/2011 3:50:41 PM
#18

Seems not..

Uhm..

blarknob
Published: 4/27/2011 3:44:56 PM
#17

Does the player activating trade 3 have to approve new trade agreements?

blarknob
Published: 4/27/2011 3:44:01 PM
#16

So does the player activating trade 3 have to approve the new trade agreements?

Grahamtastic
Published: 4/27/2011 2:00:20 PM
#15

Keep in might the unlimited troop capacity is just for the Federation of Sol's flagship. Each is unique in its own way.

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