News for May 2011
From the Depths of Space 21
A preview of Shards of the Throne, the upcoming Twilight Imperium expansion
Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition | Published 17 May 2011

As the great races of the galaxy clash amongst the stars, mysterious forces watch from a distance, waiting for their chance to join the fray. First, they may seek representation in the Galactic Council, approaching under a banner of peace. But as their ambitions grow, so too will their fleets. Soon, the ever-spreading Arborec, ethereal Ghosts of Creuss, and calculating Nekro Virus will reveal their true agendas: total galactic domination.

Shards of the Throne, the expansion for Twilight Imperium, will be on store shelves next week. Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen the double-dealing of the Political Intrigue option, the increased firepower of new Mechanized Units and Mercenaries, and even the complete game rules. Today, let’s take a look at the three new races joining the fight (including their special abilities and race-specific technologies), as well as some of the new Action cards that will soon be at your disposal.

New Races, Old Ambitions

The Arborec are a species of intelligent plantlike entities that collectively make up their own sentient ecosystem, and this remarkable advantage allows them a tight control over their ground forces.

Worlds inhabited by the Arborec tend to be lush and verdant environments, and aggressors unlucky enough to be fighting a ground war against them quickly find themselves combating the jungle itself. Arborec reinforcements can sprout up like weeds, rapidly surrounding interlopers. Their technology upgrade, Spore Acceleration, only serves to expedite their takeover of any planet they target.

The so-called Ghosts of Creuss only recently emerged from the depths of the Shaleri anomaly, an area of space blamed for so many unexplained events (including disappearances) that it’s spoken of in hushed tones by many a superstitious spacefarer. The Creuss themselves are in fact ethereal beings of energy and light, who wear massive metal frames carved with strange runes. Though seemingly benign, their off-putting behavior and mysterious origins prompt suspicion from nearly every other race.

Their apparent mastery of energy gives the Ghosts of Creuss an unsettling degree of control over Wormholes, and unwitting enemy ships have been known to suddenly find themselves at the mercy of a Creuss fleet that’s appeared from nowhere. Slave Wormhole Generator is a technology upgrade that ensures remarkable mobility to this mysterious, ethereal race.

The coolly lethal Nekro Virus was the product of an experiment by an extremist faction within the technology-obsessed L1z1x Mindnet. Seeking to perfect the L1z1x form, the faction’s leader pursued the perfect blend of biology and machine... then he lost control. Now, the entity known as the Nekro Virus has one goal: the utter elimination of all organic matter.

Although its inhumane, calculating persona limits its influence in galactic politics, the Nekro Virus is adept at quickly altering its programming. When the Nekro Virus destroys an adversary, it can assimilate that victim’s knowledge into its databanks. And with its Valefar Assimilator technology upgrade, the Nekro Virus can even copy any alien technology it observes.

Actions and Reactions

Injecting even more surprise tactics into your Twilight Imperium experience, Shards of the Throne delivers 34 new Action cards, some of which incorporate the new Mechanized Unit, Mercenary, and Political Intrigue options.

Geomagnetic Mines, for example, are potent explosives designed to debilitate opposing Mechanized Units. Or, If an opponent angers one of his Mercenaries with a failure to pay, you can “encourage” that disgruntled hireling to exact revenge with The Hand that Takes. Prefer less violent tactics? Give a Moving Speech on the Council floor to limit the potential voting power of your rivals! Better still, each of these versatile Action cards serves a dual purpose; if you’re not playing with the option that utilizes them, you can always spend these cards as Trade Goods.

Look for Shards of the Throne at your local retailer next week, and prepare for a new Age of Twilight!

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 (21)

Published: 7/11/2011 1:39:38 PM

arborec.   does ground forces production of one.. then two, mean, per groundforce? or does it imply all your groundforces on a planet have said production together be it one groundforce or twenty?

and if its the latter id say i have no issues with groundforces building ships, pds or mech units.

as for virus. i do think its important albet rarely what tech you are "shadow" purchasing b4 u convert it to your 3 command counters. like if u have every red tech. then you cant use red tech planets to make it cheeper. same with some action cards. skipping a prereq is useless but cheeper tech is simply cheeper or free CC.

Published: 6/8/2011 2:24:09 AM

The Arborec are a ground force specific race, I think they assumed we would know hey were talking about GFs when naming the race abilities and techs.  Why would they build ships out of plants? HOW, would they build ships out of palnts?  They are a Cellulose based lifeform but it doesn't give them some magical ability to manipulate cellulose.  Would be plain Silly.  It's for GFs only.

Published: 5/23/2011 10:05:37 PM

And lastly about the Ghosts: Racial Ability #3 + Nexus tile... I think that the problem is clear. I'd suggest that the Nexus tile is an exception to this ability.

I have to strongly disagree.  I see no problem whatsoever; just remember not to let the Ghosts occupy the Wormhole Nexus, because no other player will ever be able to take it back from them. 

Published: 5/21/2011 8:43:45 PM

And lastly about the Ghosts: Racial Ability #3 + Nexus tile... I think that the problem is clear. I'd suggest that the Nexus tile is an exception to this ability.

Published: 5/21/2011 8:41:29 PM

Another thing that's not very clear is the restriction of the Nekro Virus to purchase technologies through any other way except of copying techs by destroying enemy units. If the Nekro Virus could purchase a tech he may buy 3 CCs instead. It's all clear to this point.

But what if he uses a card that alowshim to buy a technology of a specifc colour for fewer resources (for example "Corporate Sponsorship": you may purchase a green tech for 4 fewer resources). Is it that he can say "at this point I would purchase a green technology, so I spend so many resources (normally 6 - 4 =2) or is he not allowed at all to use such cards, or to "try to purchase" a technology of a specific colour to get benefits of any kind?

More important, can he spend fewer resources when using the secondary ability of the Technology SC if he has unexhausted planets with the right tech specialty?

Published: 5/21/2011 8:25:47 PM

1) I think that the only confusing thing that needs to be FAQ'd is the build capacity of the Arborec. As I read their abilities it was clear to me that it meant that GFs can only build GFs (what would be the only way of building them). But it is nowhere stated that they may not build ships as well, or PDS.

2) And I think that the restriction of these GFs (they may not build in the same round they moved) is a bit inaccurate, since GFs don't actually "move" but are transported and/or land on planets. I think it should state "if they participated in a planetary landing sequence in the same activation" (this doesn't implicate an invasion combat).

It surely is possible to build with GFs that you got through the action card "Advanced Reinforcements", since you wouldn't have activated the system or "moved" with these GFs.

the first point is the real question. I think that the second one is clear.

Tarnis Phoenix
Published: 5/21/2011 7:37:23 PM


What needs to be FAQ'd?

Published: 5/19/2011 3:39:36 AM

We need get a new FAQ of Shard of Throne lol

Published: 5/18/2011 9:29:44 PM

Wow.... the Arborec and Virus seem so unbelievably scary. Not broken, per se, just.... scary.

Got to wonder though, the 1 build capacity means that (except at space docks) Arborec will be building GF and fighters at 1 resource a piece (unless they get their racial, of course). No wonder the racial costs 5 resources.

But I can't wait to see the Ghosts in action, their abilities feel like the kind you have to see used to truly understand their implications.

Only thing I'm scared of is the one-dimensionalness of the Virus. I see everyone basically viewing them as a threat from turn 1 (After all, aggression is programmed into them), meaning everyone hates the virus and unites occasionally to push back the common threat. Tough to be that player and convince your opponents to fight each other more than you. Also tough to be the guys next to the Virus. The above is, all in all, hilariously awesome!

Published: 5/18/2011 7:58:06 PM

 @Broken If thats the case, I can only assume its 1-2 or capacity for all grounds as a whole, not stacked for each unit.  The problems I have is that the card stops "ground forces" from being built at the space dock, which tells me only grounds forces can be built on the planet. Thats the trade off. Second, the ability allows you to build on the planet which only ground forces can be. Also, lets say you have enemy ships in your system. Normally, your space dock would be blockaded from building. If what you say is right, you could build space units and fight ships in your system because the building is not with a space dock. That doesnt seem right. I only see space docks producing space units. Thoughts? 

Published: 5/18/2011 7:16:43 PM

Look for Shards of the Throne at your local retailer next week, and prepare for a new Age of Twilight!

Is this true? Is the release next week?! I sure hope that's not a typo..........

Published: 5/18/2011 6:30:00 PM

I'm actually a bit more worried about the Ghosts. Should their first wormhole ability read "for the purposes of movement" like all the other wormhole rules? Right now it shirks the usual wording and ends up working for the likes of the diplomacy card, transfer actions and all sorts of crazy stuff.

Is this an intended effect of their racial ability or an oversight?

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