Race for the Galaxy 5th Expansion – Xeno Invasion

race for the galaxy

Game designer Tom Lehmann posted information about an upcoming Race for the Galaxy expansion from Rio Grande Games.

Xeno Invasion is the 3rd RFTG arc. Like AA, it is a single expansion that works with just the base set.

RFTG:XI depicts the galaxy under attack by waves of violently xenophobic aliens, dubbed the Xenos. XI adds Xeno military worlds (worlds conquered and occupied by them), specific military vs. Xenos, and a new keyword, ANTI-XENO.

While AA can be played by those new to RFTG, XI is aimed at intermediate players.

RFTG:XI has 51 game cards (our largest expansion yet) that you can just add to the base set and start playing. XI also offers an optional Invasion Game, with Produce: Repair and invasion cards, a repulse track, bunkers, and various counters.

The Invasion game adds 2 new ways the game can end: by either repulsing or falling to the Xenos. In Produce, players can repair damaged worlds and donate goods to the war effort (earning VPs). This makes Produce far more interesting. Players can also earn VP awards by defeating their share of the Xeno attackers and having the highest military vs Xenos, while they lose the use of damaged worlds that they fail to defend (until they are repaired).

The Xeno attacks take place at the end of each round, starting with round 3, and typically take less than 30 seconds to resolve, so that players can immediately return to selecting their actions for the next round.

To provide a good proportion of the new Xeno worlds, keyword, and powers, XI is not compatible with the other expansion arcs. The ability to add new keywords and play concepts allows me to depict new stories without them becoming lost due to dilution or turning into complete luck-fests.

RFTG:XI went into final testing late last fall. We adjusted one mechanic that testers found awkward, tweaked a couple of cards, and turned in it a few months later. We then spent over a month working out what the Xenos would actually look like with the art team — there are so many war-like aliens in movies, books, and computer games that it is hard to come up with a good visual concept that works and is sufficiently different!

I’ve oked sketches for roughly half the cards so far. The illustrators are hard at work turning those sketches into finished artwork and preparing new sketches.

After that, we have layout and proofing, then it goes to our foreign partners for translation, and then printing/production/shipping. Each of those steps takes 1-2 months, depending on the artists’ other projects, speed of translations, printer schedules, and Europe’s long vacations. So, we’re looking at probably 6-8 months before it comes out. Ideally, we’ll make Xmas 2014 in the US, but we’ll see. As Jay says, it will be ready when it’s ready…