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Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings Expansion Announced

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Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings Expansion Announced

Game Information

Players
3 - 8
MSRP $
99.95

Release Schedule Information

Release Date
There Will Be Games

For the first time in years, a massive wealth of new content arrives for Twilight Imperium with the Prophecy of Kings expansion, bringing additional content to nearly every part of the game. 

Two additional players can now join the galactic struggle, bringing the total player count up to eight. With seven never-before-seen factions and 40 new system and hyperfine tiles, there’s more to fight over than ever before.

The game’s existing factions also have plenty to gain from Prophecy of Kings with the introduction of 74 leaders and new mech units. New promissory notes, relics, exploration card. action cards, agenda cards, objective cards, and much, much more, make this an expansion that can’t be missed for any Twilight Imperium player.

  • Expands player count to 8
  • 7 new factions
  • 2 new leaders for every faction
  • New Mech Units for planetary battles

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Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312610 30 Jul 2020 12:25
Because I have a lot of time on my hands, I've learned a lot about TI4 and high level play. I'm super curious if they're going to jolt the meta by redesigning some of the absolutely objectively garbage factions and tech and such (Winnu), the tourney meta sounds really weird. Or if they're just adding stuff? TI has had a lot of (good) expansions that also fix core problems and balance with the game that has revealed itself, so I think is pretty exciting for people into this game.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312650 30 Jul 2020 20:49
Been waiting for this announcement for like a month since it was leaked and couldn't confirm if it was fake or not . I'm both excited for it and also extremely curious/nervous about how 7 new races will change the meta that's been around for the last 9 years. I think 4th edition is great, and I've played it several dozen times. As much as all the new stuff sounds cool, I'm not sure I want to throw a bunch of extra overhead onto the game. The potential added time is not an issue for me, it's mostly an issue of adding even more facets to all the shit I already have to keep track of in a game. But I liked a lot of this stuff in their 3rd Edition analogues, so maybe it wont matter.

I'm confused about how I feel, I think. I'll definitely be getting it though.
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #312651 30 Jul 2020 21:30
So, just out of curiosity: What is the meta? You say "9 years", which I assume means because all of the races from TI3 are in TI4, right? So nothing really changed in the new version to make any of them function any better? Gary says the Winnu are trash (which they kinda were in TI3.) Nothing in the game function to make them viable or, say, slow down the Nekro?
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312652 30 Jul 2020 21:38
Factions were tweaked in 4th, but are largely similar to their 3rd Ed counterparts. Maybe meta isn't the right word. Just the familiarity of how each race interacts with each other race. It is kind of exciting though to throw a bunch of new races in the mix that people haven't played to death.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312655 30 Jul 2020 22:20

Jackwraith wrote: So, just out of curiosity: What is the meta? You say "9 years", which I assume means because all of the races from TI3 are in TI4, right? So nothing really changed in the new version to make any of them function any better? Gary says the Winnu are trash (which they kinda were in TI3.) Nothing in the game function to make them viable or, say, slow down the Nekro?


Yeah, TI3 and 4 are pretty close but FFG's design crew tried to make TI4 better balanced. They supposedly did a pretty good job but sort of messed up with a few factions---which is natural.

The community is deep on TI4, esp on tabletop simulator. People have planned and known openings like chess (more variance than that but you take my point), and some factions are known to be strong contenders (Sol, Jol Nar) and some are known to be kind of trash that you don't generally play in a tourney game except as an insult/challenge (esp Winnu, Sardak Norr aren't supposed to be very good, Xxcha). There are win rate statistics and all sorts of stuff for thousands of games. See here:

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1c2fGqedk...LSRUKaKdo/edit#gid=0

These numbers aren't WAYYYYY off probably because there is self balancing at the table (28% win rate for top, down to 14% for Sardakk Norr) but the number of plays also is very telling about strength too---Winnu are so trash they are only played in *2%* of games even though of that tiny number of games they do ok. It's possible that they are only selected by really good players as a handicap, which might help explain why their win rate is ok.

It's one of these games that I have really enjoyed getting versed in, watching streams in the background, etc in but have no interest in playing unless I have a group of 4-5 friends who love it---it's a titanic box so I'm good hanging back unless this did happen. Like, if we got a group of fun casual in my town or here on discord with people I like I might buy the game and start playing on tabletop but there's no way I'd play with strangers or the community at large. Played at the high or tourney level, the game is very much like chess in that there are expected moves and there can be annoyance when you play outside of accepted efficient play because it fucks with other people's decisions.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312659 30 Jul 2020 23:22
I found this comment to be pretty amusing:
"The 'buff' for Winnu is the seven new factions. That means less chance of randomly picking them."
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #312661 31 Jul 2020 00:11
I remember the problem with the Sardak in TI3 was the fact that they started with only one carrier. That gimped their opening something fierce, especially if the map was set up so that they had to more than one space to the next nearest system. OTOH, if they were left to do their own thing for a while, they could build up a fleet and a network of PDS that was just devastating. Of course, no one let them do their own thing...

But those numbers for the Winnu (miserable pick rate, decent win rate) are the hallmarks of a "specialist." Using Heroes of the Storm as an example, Genji and Medivh have miniscule pick rates because their skill floor is so high (i.e. it's difficult to 'git gud' with them.) But in the hands of skilled/experienced players, they can be devastating. People often wonder why this or that buff isn't made to them and it's because, in top level play, they're ferocious and they'd be dominant if they were strengthened. I guess it's open to speculation as to whether that's the case with the Winnu, but their abilities are so tied to MR that it seems more like they were simply added as the "story faction", since they really don't have any advantage away from the one world that most players of the game really want to seize, for a variety of reasons.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312662 31 Jul 2020 00:23

Jackwraith wrote: I guess it's open to speculation as to whether that's the case with the Winnu, but their abilities are so tied to MR that it seems more like they were simply added as the "story faction", since they really don't have any advantage away from the one world that most players of the game really want to seize, for a variety of reasons.


Yeah, if someone else manages to take Mecatol Rex before them, which isn't difficult given their crappy starting units/tech, their abilities are basically negated (don't have to pay the 6 Influence to take a fresh Rex, and they can put a PDS and Space Dock on the planet when they take Mecatol). They aren't likely to take it from someone who already has control of it. They are effectively a race with no abilities.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #312663 31 Jul 2020 08:55
So, speaking as a guy that does formal testing as part of my job, getting a TI expansion right should be easier than other games, because there is such a strong player base to test in. Has this thing been knocking around, being tested by the guys that have 50+ plays in? It seems to me TI has a really deep source of knowledge to draw from for IV&V.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312664 31 Jul 2020 09:36
A bunch of the new components are re-worked ideas from 3rd Edition that never made it into 4th, so hopefully they were able to refine them like they did for the base game stuff. I'm particularly excited about a bunch of new objectives.

There seemed to be some experience people in the reddit thread implying they were playtesters and deliberately pushed the idea of the leaked image being a fake. The image popped up back in March (?) on the Discord and was dismissed as a fake. It doesn't appear the leak made it out of the Discord community the first time, which really surprises me. I didn't hear about it back then, but only when it resurfaced a month ago on reddit and BGG.

Edit - The lead developer of the TI4 stuff seems somewhat active in the online community, so hopefully that would lead to more thorough playtesting options.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312669 31 Jul 2020 11:23

Sagrilarus wrote: So, speaking as a guy that does formal testing as part of my job, getting a TI expansion right should be easier than other games, because there is such a strong player base to test in. Has this thing been knocking around, being tested by the guys that have 50+ plays in? It seems to me TI has a really deep source of knowledge to draw from for IV&V.


This is all anecdotal from watching streams and listening to podcasts, but one of the main design guys on this is pretty involved in the community, watches tournies, and releases ideas for fixes. So I think yes.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312683 31 Jul 2020 17:52
More info: www.twitch.tv/videos/696491793

Guy on the left is very involved in the community.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312689 31 Jul 2020 21:29
Finally got to watch this. I take back everything I said. I'm super excited for all of it. ALL OF IT.

Dane specifically said the expansion is designed to be used as a whole and not as separate modules, which is nice, so as not to have fragmented rule sets when playing with different groups.

Nice of them to include hyperlane tiles. Glad I procrastinated in making my own.

The codex thing seems really interesting. Introducing variant cards for fun and scenarios on a regular basis should really change things up.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312690 31 Jul 2020 21:37
It's good right?

Do you play TI:4 online? I'm tempted to put it on my gift list.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312691 31 Jul 2020 22:03
I haven't played online. I'm kind of scared to. Partially due to never having played the TTS module and it seems like there's some scripting I don't understand, and I would most likely be playing with people who play online all the time and wouldn't have time for a TI4 module noob like me.

Those are just excuses though. The Root Discord was super welcoming to a newcomer, I'm sure the TI4 Discord is similar.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312705 01 Aug 2020 15:42
I'd be willing to play with you---I've never played before so I'd have to learn the rules. We would need probably 2 more, obviously.

It'd probably have to be multiple sessions?
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312706 01 Aug 2020 18:00
Yeah, I'd be down for that. I'll see about messing around with the module to get a feel for it. I could even do some short tutorial sessions for people if they want a rundown before getting into a real game. For anyone interested in learning the game, if you don't feel like trying to read the whole rulebook, I'd recommend, at the very least, reading the rules for the Tactical Action (page 13 of the Learn to Play book), which is 75% of what you do in the game.

I just listened to the Space Cats Peace Turtles podcast with Dane (lead designer) that talked about the expansion and revealed one of the new races for the first time. He said there's a bunch of Agenda cards (the politics cards) that you just straight up remove from the deck with the new expansion because they were badly implemented in the first place. Specifically the Elect Planet cards, which always were kind of throw away Agendas. A lot of their effects have been repurposed for the exploration cards. You don't usually see stuff just removed because it didn't work. I like it.

As an addendum answer to Sag's question, there is an Action card in the base game called Confusing Legal Text that is frequently played wrong by newer players because the wording is confusing (not deliberately), and it has been a running joke on the podcast. They revealed a new Action card called Confounding Legal Text with basically does the opposite of the original card. One of the hosts said he felt like this was a troll aimed specifically at them, and Dane said, "You'd be 80% to 99% correct in that assumption." This episode was recorded weeks ago, so the hosts have been privy to the expansion info for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if they had some input (playtest or otherwise) in the development.
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #312708 01 Aug 2020 19:29
That Agenda thing is crazy. The political system has never worked well, but was improved with the 2nd expansion for TI3 that at least added the representatives. But no one really liked the Elect Planet/Leader/Messiah stuff in TI3, to say nothing of TI4. One of the more positive things I heard about the new edition was that the political segment was actually pertinent to the game, rather than just an add-on. This sounds like they didn't change much at all.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312709 01 Aug 2020 19:46
The main change was in TI3 the Political phase only happened when someone selected the Politics Strategy card, which wasn't often. In TI4, the Political phase (renamed Agenda Phase) now happens at the end of every round after someone takes Mecatol for the first time. In addition to Veto Actions cards, they added Riders, where in lieu of voting, you predict the outcome, and if you are correct, you get some benefit. This actually can have a big impact on how people vote if they don't want you getting the bonus.
The main problem is still the actual stuff you are voting on. A lot of agendas are forgettable and people just don't care about the outcome. Maybe you can't have every single vote be a huge, game changing issue? Must be hard to balance between boring and too swingy.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312713 01 Aug 2020 21:55
I can plow through just about any rulebook if I know I'm likely to play. I've watched enough that I have a reasonable sense of the flow of play.

The codex seems to have some big changes---sort of a brave move to admit there are problems in the game and here are some hotfixes if you want them.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312715 01 Aug 2020 22:06
The two previously released omega techs will definitely be permanent replacements for me. I haven't really looked closely at the stuff in the codex yet.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312716 01 Aug 2020 22:23
I'll futz around with it too, I'll read the rulebook if I have some time.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312718 02 Aug 2020 01:37
I watched a tutorial video and I think I have a handle on most of the scripting stuff, so we should be good to go for the most part.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #312724 02 Aug 2020 16:24
Ok. I'll read the rules so I'm at least familiar this week (I think they're online), you'll probably need to be patient with me thought.

I listened to the SCPT podcast you mentioned. It was a fun interview. One of the things that really jumped out to me was a connect to another game I've been wanting to play for awhile. So they're talking to the designer and he basically says that he wanted to give people more things to trade and negotiate over with the expansion---powers, relics, etc other stuff that you can sell, buy, and trade in deals.

It super triggered my memory of the interview with the guy who designed Sidereal Confluence. Sidereal Confluence as originally constituted was a full bodied space 4x like TI:4, with war, a map, units, etc. But the designer kept distilling and distilling the game down to get it shorter and more playable and at one point decided that the most interesting part of the whole thing was the trades, sales and deals in the game so he got rid of the map and armed conflict entirely! Looking at high level TI:4 play, you can totally see this. The most consequential thing is the metadealing, since most people understand the strengths and weaknesses of the factions, what they can do, what the most efficient responses to everything are. This totally connected those two games in a way that I hadn't before, because I found the Sidereal designer's road to that game kind of idiosyncratic until I learned more about TI:4.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #312731 02 Aug 2020 19:14

Gary Sax wrote: I'll read the rules so I'm at least familiar this week (I think they're online)

Learn To Play
Rules Reference

Since they have them scripted in the module, I figured we'd use the pre-made learn to play maps. I set up a save file for 3 players, but if we are lucky enough to get 4, it's easy enough to do on the fly.