4x

Epic, 4X space games like Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition are loved for their grandness and scale. However, even players who love 4X games (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) struggle to get them to the table because of their time commitment and complexity.

The Final Flicktier by Gabe Barrett is hoping to scratch that 4X itch in just an hour of gameplay while upping the fun factor by bringing in dexterity as you flick your spaceships (dice) throughout the galaxy.

The Final Flicktier is a 4X style space game with dice flicking at its core. Players will take on the role of unique factions all vying for control of the galaxy. They’ll flick their spaceships (dice) around the board in order to explore new planets, build structures, harvest resources, and attack other factions. The player with the most victory points at the end wins.

The game is easy to learn and emphasizes finesse flicking over brute strength. Two beautifully illustrated neoprene mats are your playing and flicking surfaces. The base game comes with four space faring factions. Each faction gets its own set of ships which are represented by different sided dice ranging from traditional D6 up to a D12.

Check out the live Kickstarter campaign and see if The Final Flicktier is a journey you are ready to embark upon.

Eclipse has been one of the stand out 4x games since its release in 2011, consistently rating in the top three of the type and always within the top 100 games on BoardGameGeek. Its closest peer within the class, Twilight Imperium, was released in 1997 but has benefitted from 4 major revisions since that time.  Eclipse has had several expansions, but no revisions since its release.  No more!  An new Kickstarter from Kolossal Games has been opened that will update and expand the original version to create Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy.

“Second Dawn”, as the name might indicate, will go well beyond an update or minor revision and is therefore being billed as a game of it’s own.  It will have game play and art that will be familiar to fans, but will include an extensive number of revisions to streamline play. The producers have kindly posted a list of the revisions to the game for long time fans that want to consider upgrading.

Just some of the components. Head to the KS to see them all at the various pledge levels

The Kickstarter includes quite the array of deluxe components, including special trays to organize play, and a larger number of modeled ships and minis than the original version.  There is also a Galactic Counselor level pledge that will provide additional upgrades for those  who are ready to make the investment.  Language throughout the page indicates that the offering is a ‘retail version’ of the game. At this time nothing  indicates any Kickstarter exclusives but that could always. It looks like those not ready to fire the plasma cannons will still be able to get the game retail some day.

Visit the Kickstarter page and Kolossal Games for more information.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new age: a new age of Twilight.  Twilight Imperium, that is, in the form of a fourth edition of the epic 4x space strategy game that has been loved and celebrated in the gaming industry for many years.  This new edition celebrates 20 years of this epic space opera board game of expansion, diplomacy, and war to control the galaxy, best explained in this excerpt from the official release:

For twenty years, the custom space operas created by Twilight Imperium have thrilled gamers like nothing else. Now, Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition builds on the grand space opera found in previous editions while streamlining rules and putting player interaction center stage…Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition aims to be the most complete version of the game ever printed. Seventeen playable races are included in the game, offering a wide variety of starting faction options. Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition brings a galactic space opera to your table, and no two games will ever be the same.

This new version of the game will include 350 plastic units, 51 system tiles, 561 command and control tokens, 80 action cards, 50 agenda cards, 40 objective cards, 59 planet cards, 184 technology and technology upgrade cards, 41 promissory note cards, and much more.

TI veterans will likely be asking (as I did!) what the main differences are between TI3 and TI4.  Some of the main changes include a stunning new graphic design and layout, but with the same great and familiar artwork flavor.  Additionally, changes will be seen in game mechanisms such as Trade, Technology, PDS Units, Space Docks, Politics, and the Imperial Strategy Card, to name a few.  FFG has anticipated the question of specific changes to the game in their product description, which can be read here.

The game is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2017.  To read the entire article that announces the new version of the game, click here.

 

Orcs, Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves are preparing for an upcoming war, but only one faction can emerge victorious – who will it be?

Scott Almes, the designer of the Tiny Epic series, presents a 4X style wargame for 2-4 players (5-6 with at least one Faction Pack addon) that takes 30 minutes per player to play. During the course of a round, players will be able to select two actions, some of which can be copied by others. Throughout the game, players will expand their territories, build or upgrade units and structures, and compete with other factions at land, air, and sea for valuable resources and exploration tokens. The inevitable combat is resolved in a luckless fashion: during a battle, players pick one Tactic Card from their deck (everyone starts with the same one) and add the value of that card to the strength of their army. There are 4 end-game conditions that correspond to each of the 4Xs, and when any of these are triggered, one more round will be played.

The base pledge for the game includes 80 miniatures (3 heroes, 5 warriors, and 12 peons for each of the four factions) and 32 cardboard constructs such as towers or aircrafts. Apart from an option to have the hero miniatures pre-painted, there are also faction addons available, each of them bringing two more factions into the game.

The release is anticipated in March 2018. If you are interested, you can learn more about the game on its Kickstarter campaign page.

event-horizon

Some very exciting news from NSKN games was announced today! The next expansion in their, very popular, “Exodus” line-up has been announced: Event Horizon. Exodus: Proxima Centauri was a very popular and exciting 4x game released in 2012. It earned a Dice Tower Seal of Excellence (review found here) and was followed with a huge big-box expansion called Exodus: Edge of Extinction (review found here). Well Event Horizon promises to please both old fans and newcomers alike.

Event Horizon is fully enjoyable with the base game of Exodus: Proxima Centauri, or along with Edge of Extinction, the previously released first expansion for Exodus. Even though all ten modules therein are compatible with one another and can be used together, each represents a new or enhanced experience. While some modules integrate seamlessly, others will surprise and engage you in brand new modes of play.

To find out more about the upcoming release you can read the entire press release here. You can also visit their web site here  or follow them on Twitter here.

embers of the forsaken board

Far Off Games is currently running a Kickstarter project to fund the first expansion for their 2014 “sandbox-style” science-fiction game, Xia: Legends of a Drift System.  The base game won multiple awards in 2014 including several Golden Geek awards, Dice Tower awards, and was a Meeples’ Choice nominee.  In this new expansion, entitled Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star, the universe of Xia expands with pre-painted miniatures, new sectors and new missions in this 1-5 player sandbox-style space adventure.

Some of the features of this new expansion include:

  • a new Event deck featuring an even more dynamic and changing universe
  • a new Cargo Pod and Armor Plating outfits
  • dangerous comets and Ice Asteroids
  • new sector types
  • a complete solo campaign with unique goals, objectives and progression
  • new beautifully sculpted and pre-painted starships
  • all new mission types
  • gravitational anomalies and black holes
  • manage your trade routes with the Economy Board

This project has already met its goal and will fund on June 21, 2016.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page.

From the Publisher

Eagle-Gryphon Games is proud to announce Glenn Drover’s Empires: Galactic Rebellion, the sequel to the hit Empires: Age of Discovery, coming to Kickstarter Saturday, December 12.

In the game, players will take on the role of leader one a rebel faction.  Players will recruit and train specialists, scientists to help you develop technologies, smugglers to build trade networks, diplomats to sway Senate decisions, Heroes to conduct covert missions, and Troopers to fight your battles across the galaxy.

Empires: Galactic Rebellion contains over 400 highly-detailed miniatures including 8 Capital Ship Fleet sculpts, 100 coins, and more.

When looking at the idea of a sequel to Age of Discovery, I wanted to create a game that would be familiar to fans of the original game, but was a unique game experience. The theme allowed for a new starting point and suggested many new mechanics that could make the game very different and interesting. The galactic senate, the imperial military (planet-side troops and fleets), covert missions, and lots more conflict (as you would expect in a Space Opera-Galactic Rebellion type game) make for a new experience that’s also tremendous fun,” says Glenn Drover, designer of Empires: Galactic Rebellion.

Watch for the release of the Kickstarter on December 12, 2015.

asmodee

Asmodee Editions has four new upcoming games to announce, including three from Matagot.

Cardline: Dinosaurs

Compatible with the Cardline Animals series, Dinosaurs features a whole new set of 110 cards to test your knowledge of these behemoths as you attempt to rid your hand of cards.  As you play cards, you must correctly answer questions themed around dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.

A copy of the game includes:

  • 110 Unique cards
  • 1 Rule book
  • 1 Tin

Cardline: Dinosaurs is for 2-8 players ages 7 and up and plays in 15 minutes.  For more information on this game, visit the game’s page here.

Barony

On the outskirts of the Empire, the tension is palatable: in the race for power, your struggles take on more and more challenging proportions.

Designed by Marc André (Splendor), and illustrated by Ismaël Pommaz (Archipelago), Barony is a game in which players assume the role of one of four barons who, with their armies of knights, must colonize the most rich and fertile lands and defend them against the opposing barons.  Each player strives to climb the stairs of power with the ultimate goal of becoming the new king.

The game is played by first randomly creating the board for varied play each time.  Each turn, players will only choose one action from six possible actions, allowing for fast game play.  These six actions are Train, Move, Rally, Build Village, New City, and Gain Title.  Players will train knights, capture territories, and build upon various types of terrain that affect the types of resources gained.  As players trade off different resources, they will gain titles, and the first player to attain the title of Duke triggers the end of the game.  The player with the most points at the end of the game become king and is crowned the winner.

The game contains:

  • 36 Territory tiles
  • 1 Scoreboard
  • 80 Resource tokens
  • 1 First Player token
  • 112 Wooden Pawns:
    • 28 knights
    • 20 cities
    • 8 strongholds
    • 56 villages
  • 1 Score counter
  • 1 Player Reference sheet and rules

Barony is for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and plays in 45 minutes.  The game is scheduled to be available to the public in May of 2015.  For more information, visit the Barony game page on Matagot’s website, or the game’s page on Board Game Geek.

Metal Adventures

Become a Space Pirate and attain Honor, Glory, and Wealth by exploring the Universe in a quest for victory.  Metal Adventures is a game of exploration, challenges, alliances, and epic battles in this sci-fi card and dice game.

The game box contains:

  • 1 Game board
  • 6 Astrolabes
  • 132 Cards
    • -6 Players ships
    • -34 Near space
    • -34 Deep space
    • -18 Trophies
    • -24 Improvement
    • -16 Help
  • 50 Galactic credits
  • 8 Dice
  • 1 Rule booklet

Metal Adventures is for 3-6 players ages 14 and up and has a play time of 45-60 minutes.  For more information, see the game’s page here.

Ultimate Warriorz

The Tribal Rumble is about to begin, and only the strongest warrior will be named chief of the legendary End of the World Island: the Ultimate Warrior!

Players will each select a unique warrior and then, either individually or in teams, will duke it out in an arena using a hand of action cards.  Using four characteristics of melee attack, ranged attack, speed, and initiative, players will select their action cards in secret and then reveal their moves based on initiative.  Dice affect the outcome of various attacks, and different attacks have different strengths and weaknesses.  Magical items also play a role in helping players achieve victory in the arena.

The game box includes:

  • 8 Ultimate Warriorz characters
  • 8 Warriorz sheets
  • 64 Action cards
  • 74 Life points/Popularity points tokens
  • 1 Skull token for Baobab
  • 2 Electroshock tokens for Burdock
  • 8 Lucky Charm tokens
  • 4 Wall pieces with columns
  • 1 Rounds trail
  • 1 Rounds counter
  • 6 Dice
  • 1 Rule book

Ultimate Warriorz is a for 2-8 players ages 8 and up and plays in 30 minutes.  For more information, visit the game’s page here.

big game theory banner

Explore. Expand. Exploit. Exterminate. A 4X gamer’s favorite things. Designer Oliver Kiley (Hegemonic) conducts a very in-depth examination into the pitfalls of 4X design. Mostly discussing the video game 4X experience, many of his points can be rolled over to analog games.

This basic premise of large-scale empires fighting for resource control to fuel a military domination struggle creates some fundamental challenges for 4X game design…As I see it, the challenges are inter-related, but stem from a set of relatively simple issues.

Image Courtesy of http://www.big-game-theory.com/

Image Courtesy of http://www.big-game-theory.com/

The post covers the unsatisfying end game of many 4X scenarios when you have to wipe up an often far-flung lingering opposition after your empire has reached a obvious and unassailable level of advancement. As well as the challenge behind how to balance a multi-player game and keep things interesting once one player has “snowballed” past the point of any hope of challenge. Plus, how do you manage your empire once your cities are as numerous as the stars?

The result of unchecked snowballing is that, for many in 4X games, matches are decided by “one big battle.” The player with the biggest production and military advantage presses the attack and corners a defender. If they are able to stack the odds in their favor in advance, winning a key fight is often a foregone conclusion. And once the bulk of the defenders army is destroyed the aggressor just “steamrolls” their way to an inevitable victory, with their forces uncontested as they take over the opposing empire.

Going beyond the unsatisfactory solution of buffoonish, inefficient AI “governors” , Kiley finds the best solutions lie in working to create a swift closure to a winning game, as well as create alternate goals to allow multiple avenues of victory beyond raw numerical superiority. He also details some game designs that go so far as to radically reinvent the 4X concept.

The post is an extremely fascinating read and you can check it out on his Big Game Theory blog right here. You can also check out Kiley’s earlier study of the 4X experience “A Failure to End” here.

 

nova cry 2

Originally funded in 2012, Nova Cry is a card-driven space 4X game by designer Steven Lykowski. After reclaiming the rights from a third party that failed to publish the original, Nova Cry is back with an updated version and an expansion.

nova cry 3

In Nova Cry, player draft cards to build their personal task forces consisting of a captain, crew, weapons, and a ship. From there, it’s a race to 15 victory points through a variety of varying objectives.

“Will you explore creature-infested planets? Race an opponent to an undiscovered planet? Challenge another captain to a duel? It’s all up to as you carve out a strategic path to victory in this remarkable universe of heroes, villains, and awe-inspiring spaceships.”

nova cry 4

Players explore planets by rolling dice against a Discovery Table, leverage their crew through the use of action cards, and do battle with one another through careful resource management.

Nova Cry supports 2-6 players and plays in approximately 30 minutes. If you’re interested in this game of space conquest, check out the Kickstarter page for all the details and a breakdown of the pledge levels.