Twilight Imperium: The Brotherhood of Yin

From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse

Racial Ability:

  • When attacker, roll a die before ground combat. On 5+, enemy loses one GF and you gain one
  • Before the second round of space battle, you may discard a Cruiser or Destroyer to immediately inflict one hit on any enemy ship
  • Once per round, as an action, reverse the resource and influence value of any planet for the rest of the round

Starting Techs:

  • Hylar V Assault Laser
  • Automated Defense Turrets

Leaders: Agent, Admiral, Diplomat

Representative 1: Imar Yissadar (S)  +0. Assassinate. If bodyguard, he and spy are killed.

Representative 2: Talla Darator (C)  +4. If assassinated, Spy’s owner must abstain.

Representative 3: Rhal Darish (C)   +3. If you give a Promissory Note this turn, receive 3TG from supply.

Racial Tech 1: Fanaticism (4)  Use your racial ability twice each ground combat.

Racial Tech 2: Yin Spinner (2)  Build one free GF each time you build units at your Space Dock. The free GF does not count toward production limit.

Starting Units:

  • 4 GF
  • 2 Carriers
  • 1 Destroyer
  • 4 Fighters

Trade Agreements:  1,1

Homesystem:  Darien (2/4)

Flagship: Van Hauge (10 / 5×2 / 1 / 4)   Your GF units in this system may participate in Space Battles as if they were Fighters.


The Brotherhood of Yin consists of cloned and genetically altered individuals, engaged fanatically in an all-binding religion. They are nearly unbeatable in ground battles throughout most of the game and can convert any infidels with ease.  Unfortunately, their measures of convincing them are somewhat limited.

Let’s have a look at their first racial ability. On a roll of 5+ before any ground combat, one enemy GF is converted to your side. This wins 90% of the ground battles in TI3 for you (those it doesn’t are obviously the ones with the big stacks of GF, but they are resolved by bombarding in most cases anyway). You can fly with a minimum force through the backyard of a player and conquer planet after planet, and your force can actually grow in the process! Provided he doesn’t interfere, of course.

The second racial ability is one that is underrated more often than not. By sacrificing a Cruiser or Destroyer in the second round of combat, the Yin can inflict a hit on any enemy ship of their choosing. Naturally, there can only be one target for an ability that mighty: a full packed transporter. Make sure before combat that the enemy make clear which GF and Fighters are on which Carrier and blow up the fullest. Never is it more important to divide attacking forces over several Carriers than when fighting Yin. The downside of this of course is that you have to hold until the second round – so you can only go kamikaze if the fleets are roughly the same size since it’s not an option if you are wiped out in round one. Just think of destroying that one Cruiser last.

The last racial ability allows the Yin as an action to reverse influence and resource value of any one planet once per round, best indicated by putting a flag token on said planet. This is what makes their homeworld at least a bit worthwhile. It really shines in case of systems like Arinam/Meer or, of course, Mecatol Rex, since you can reach building limits in these systems like no one else and are not dependent on the same systems as everybody else to build.

The Yin racial tech is a no-brainer should you ever expect to land on enemy planets, and who doesn’t? It will give you two convert dice rolls instead of one, even more weighing the scales in your favor. With your racial tech researches, you will be the bane of everyone who engages you on the ground. It’s really the only GF-concerning racial tech worth buying. Your second racial tech, the “Yin Spinner”, allows you to build large amounts of Ground Forces. You will have a similar number to Sol, without their stalling ability, granted. If you think about getting this tech, do so early – otherwise it won’t pay off.

The homesystem of the Yin, Darien, sucks. Its values are comparable to Jord of the Federation of Sol, but to reach them, you have to sacrifice your racial ability every round which soon becomes more useful at other systems. In the beginning, you have no other choice though. Make the best out of Darien and watch for more juicy systems out there.

The starting forces of Yin make up for the shitty HS, on the other hand. You have two Carriers to guarantee quick expansion and the GF to use them. One Destroyer and 4 Fighters allow you to protect this expansion well. And never miss the opportunity for a very aggressive opening move if the opportunity presents itself: your initial Destroyer can go on a suicide mission after an enemy Carrier very fast; any Fighter escort will be vaporized by the Automated Defense Turrets, and the chances are good that the Carrier won’t hit the Destroyer and will itself be destroyed by a Kamikaze maneuver – boom, enemy crippled at the cost of one resource. You can repeat this move later on and use your Destroyers as hunter-seeker missiles for weakly-protected Carriers.

Your starting techs encourage this aggressive attitude. You start with Hylar V Assault Laser and Automated Defense Turrets (the latter essential for aggressive Destroyer maneuvers). You lack, however, economic techs and of course the green and blue tree. XRD transports are essential so your Carriers can keep up with the Cruisers and Destroyers your force will mainly consist of.

The leaders of Yin are mediocre. The Agent and the Admiral are nice to have, but the latter won’t have a long life, considering the tendency to suicide missions the Yin have. The Diplomat at least will protect a vital planet, which is always nice, but don’t count the Yin leaders in as an active factor. You spread them out in the beginning and then they will sit in place for most of the game.

The Representatives of the Yin are ok. Their spy gives the possibility to even kill an enemy bodyguard, which can be valuable and makes them kind of a wild card, while the others are forgettable in their effects, mostly.

The Flagship “Van Hauge”, on the other hand, is just great. It allows you to strike two flies with one stroke: you don’t need to build Fighters, ever, and can instead use your Ground Forces for it (which you might get for free with the Yin Spinner anyway), and the survivors may then land, convert other Ground Forces and therefore bolster them up again. That’s one nice stampede you can start there.



8 thoughts on “Twilight Imperium: The Brotherhood of Yin

  1. ” And never miss the opportunity for a very aggressive opening move if the opportunity presents itself: your initial Destroyer can go on a suicide mission after an enemy Carrier very fast;”

    Would the defender not announce withdrawal before the first round of combat, therefore withdraw after the first round, denying the suicide attack?

  2. No, because after a player has declared withdrawal there’s one more attack for the attacking side, to see if the initial player has succeeded in evading safely.

  3. If the defender declares a retreat before the first round then they will be gone before the second round.

  4. in that case they will need to spend a CC to withdraw, or have a handily activated system nearby (which, at least the way I expand, is suboptimal)

  5. I always thought these guys were one of the worst races in the game. They’re in the running with the Xxcha for single weakest race in the game. The 2nd carrier is the only thing keeping them from that title. If you’re playing with leaders though – which gives Xxcha 2 diplomats – then they ARE the weakest race.

    Their planet flip ability isn’t as useful as it sounds. It CAN be used to stall or turn a high influence planet into a production center, but it’s a double edged sword in that you’re delayed a turn from building. If you need to defend the system ASAP or a smart player activates the Production primary before you flip, you’re screwed. And like the article says, if you use the flip to turn a high influence planet into resources, you now have the worst home system in the game.

    The early kamikaze into a carrier is way too iffy to count on. After that, the ability is almost useless if you don’t have a Direct Hit card, using it to blow up a dreadnaut or warsun.

    Their ground forces abilities are completely useless if you’re playing with mechanized units, which you probably will be since you’re obviously playing with an expansion. Even without mech units, the ability is more powerful in theory than it is in practice (the problem is overcoming enemy fleets, not their ground forces). Their racial techs stink for this reason (think of all the ground forces you’d have to build to make Yin Spinners worth it).

    Their flagship is another ability that sounds more impressive than it ends up being in practice. 10 resources for a 5×2 combat, 4 capacity, 1 movement ship?

    The cherry on top of their weaksauce sundae is their starting techs. It’s another thing that looks more impressive than it ends up being. Automated Turrets is a situational counter more than it is an automatic pick like Hylar. So you’re left with Hylar as the only really useful starting tech and Yin are one of the only races in the game that don’t start with a single prerequisite tech for one of the mandatory movement speed techs (XRD, Stasis Capsules, or Gravity Drive). I have never seen a player win a game without one of those techs and Yin are screwed in that race. I’d go so far as to say they get the worst starting tech of any race in the game (which is insane when you look at a race like L1z1x who get a ton of great starting tech on top of their other bonuses).

    -Crap homeworld
    -Worst starting tech in the game
    -Majority of special abilities completely useless if mech units are being used
    -Fleet special ability only useful in an extremely situational first round scenario.

  6. Yin tech is not bad per say, just overtly specialized. Yin start with the two techs that allow maximized fighter screen dismantling. which gives them a edge that is only beaten by the Nor with ADT.

    Part of it really goes into how the board is played, and Yin can strongarm races and players that are dependent on fighters.

    They are shafted in the basic utility department. Give them stasis capsules to start with and they would immediantly have a wider threat range.
    Yin just is not easy to play.

  7. Not sure where one gets the idea that the Yin lose a turn from flipping planets. The card clearly says what the power is. Place a control marker on an unexhausted the planet as an action. It does not say Exhaust the planet.

  8. The individual means it cost you an action to flip the values. This can create a problem if the enemy is pressing you. Example, your picket ship is eliminated on an opponent turn, thus exposing your system with a space dock to a subsequent follow on attack (they have breached your perimeter). Now you must build on the system with the lower production value and hope it is enough since you can’t take the action to flip the values and build before you suffer an attack on your opponents subsequent turn.

Comments are closed.