In a Twilight Imperium 4 game I was afraid of a player and proposed the following deal in my turn: You don't attack me for two turns and at the end of your second turn I give you 2 trade goods.

Then another player said that I had to give the trade goods immediately and that this had to be a non-binding deal so that he could betray me. Is that correct?

1 Answer 1


Looking at the rules here

Frequently, players will negotiate transactions that go beyond a simple exchange of goods. These transactions are called deals. For example, the active player might move his ships into a system that contains another player’s PDS, at which point the active player might offer the owner of that PDS a trade good to refrain from using the “Space Cannon” ability. Because the effect can be resolved immediately, this deal is a binding deal. When a deal is binding, a player must honor his end of the bargain. In the previous example, if the owner of the PDS agrees to this deal and takes the trade good, he cannot fire his PDS as this would violate their agreement.

Not all deals are binding, however. For example, a player might offer another player a trade good to attack a specific player during a later turn. Because the effect cannot be resolved immediately, this deal is a non-binding deal. The player who was given the trade good, despite the terms of the deal, is not required to honor his end of the bargain and may fulfill or ignore the deal as he chooses.

So to clarify if both parts of a deal can be carried out immediately then a deal is binding.

You proposed giving a player goods if they don't attack you for two turns. Looking at the example in the rules this is very similar to giving a player good to attack another player in a later turn. The rules say this is a non binding deal as the goods are being paid straight away.

The key phrase here is "Because the effect can be resolved, immediately, this deal is a binding deal". If you didn't have any goods and said "I have no goods now but if you dont attack me for two turns then I will offer goods in future", then that wouldn't be able to be resolved immediately.

I think if this was my friend group we would play where you both have a non-binding agreement as that seems more fun. You could promise to pay goods, and go back on this. They could decide if you wont give goods now we will either keep promise for to turns or just attack you anyway.

However the example in the rules is clear and if a part of a deal can be carried out immediately then it should be and the other part is non-binding.

  • 3
    I disagree that part of the deal can be carried out in this case. The offer isn’t “I give you a good,” which is something that can be carried out now. The offer is “I give you a good in 2 turns”. That offer is impossible to carry out immediately.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 1:58
  • That’s what I felt when I read the questions. And certainty how I want to want to play this type of game. My interpretation of the example though was that if they had goods they had to use them straight away. I accept I may be wrong and perhaps a more authoritarian source like the designer might be needed. Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 17:32

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