4X game

In many Eastern cultures, the Milky Way galaxy is known as The Silver River, which is the setting of this full-featured 4X game. It’s designed for 2-4 players who play as one of the 8 civilizations, who each have their own strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. The Silver River is designed by Nate Bivins (known for Sundae Split), and Robert Burke (co-designer of Draco Magi). Expect the game to play in 90-160 mins, depending on the number of players.

There are 4 Ages where players complete public and personal objectives, build wonders, do domestic investments, and other smaller tasks to gain accomplishments which translate into Victory Points. There is also an anomaly at Sagittarius A where deadly, moon-sized monsters can emerge which need to be taken down.

Pledge levels are available for the core game by itself, or the core game and the expansion which increases the player count to 5 and adds 2 new races and upgraded components. The Kickstarter project is currently at around 50% of its funding goal, will end on Friday, April 5th, 2019, with project fulfillment expected in January of 2020. You can see a preview and live-play-through recently done by the Dice Tower team for more information.

Greenbrier Games is releasing a new 4X-style game, Helios Expanse, that plays in under 60 minutes. The play experience was crafted to be as satisfying for the traditional 4X gamer as it is for the casual gamer. During gameplay, players program their card actions in advance then play them out each round. In addition, the game was created with the goal of being teachable in less than five minutes.

Helios Expanse puts players in control of an interstellar civilization where they must compete for galactic supremacy. Explore the board using movement, expand empires by colonizing planets, exploit advantages by moving up the technology track and exterminate competitors by moving up the military track. The first player to colonize the most planets is the supreme ruler of the universe!


• 60 min / 3-5 Players / 14+ years
• 4X gameplay experience in less than 60 minutes
• Easy to teach
• Action / Movement Programming
• Area Control / Area Influence
• Hand Management
• Variable Powers
• Scaleable Game Board

Earlier in 2018 Greenbrier Games ran a Kickstarter campaign for Helios Expanse so more information about the game is available there. The game is planned for retail release in March 2019.

War for Indagar, by Happy Gorilla Game Studio, is a lightweight, fast, 4X strategy board game set in the fantasy world of Indagar. The game, currently on Kickstarter, includes four distinct factions, 12 detailed, 32 mm scale miniatures and everything else needed for 2-4 players ages 10+, along with an engaging AI. Players need to manage resources and heroes and use special abilities to exploit a randomly generated board and find a path to victory.

The game board is randomly generated, consisting of tiles placed in a specific layout depending on the number of players. This gives the game a great level of replayability.

Players select powerful heroes to represent their faction armies, choose unique strategies to tailor their gameplay, and use spells and abilities to gain control over the battlefield, make their way to the center of the land and — ultimately — control the Spirit Well.

Gameplay starts with the heroes. Each player activates one hero then turn passes to the bad guys. Monsters, which are driven by scripts, activate between each player’s turn. Once all heroes have been activated the game turn ends. During a turn, players can move to explore, build outposts, use resources to power up and fight enemy heroes or monster.

“Script driven monsters do mean things like burning outposts, attacking heroes and some even blow up the world.”

Players earn Primacy Points by killing commanders, collecting spirits, building outposts, leveling up heroes and activating strategies. The first player to 10 Primacy Points or the player with the most Primacy Points earned in 10 turns wins.

The game has funded and Happy Gorilla Games is currently working on translating the game to various languages as well as making solo rules. The Kickstarter campaign runs until October 22 and is currently moving towards a range of exciting stretch goals (including monster minis).

Exodus: Proxima Centauri was designed by Agnieszka Kopera and Andrei Novac, and released in 2012 by NSKN Games. Both Sam and Tom listed it in their Top 10 Space Games of 2018.

Now the game is being released in a digital form on Steam on August 17th, 2018.

“And so the Exodus began… after a war that lasted only 83 days, Earth has been reduced to a nuclear wasteland. Nine factions fled the planet in search of a new home among the stars. Only six survived the journey before encountering the Centaurians, an advanced alien race, who guided the remains of humanity to safety in the Proxima Centauri star system. Now each faction vies for control, exploiting resources and Centaurian technologies, and battling each other to become the leader of the next chapter for the human race.” [source]

Players take control of one of 6 factions and try to grow their empire. The game progresses through a series of turns where players seek to take control of planets and resources, sometimes through direct confrontation. Exodus Proxima: Centauri is a 4x game which includes elements of eXploration, eXtermination, eXploitation, and eXpansion.

The digital game, developed by Offworld Games, will be available on Windows and Mac systems via the Steam store with fairly low system requirements.

Related: The Dice Tower videos and podcasts featuring Exodus Proxima: Centauri

ODAM Publishing and designer John Borgese have started a fund raiser for the fantasy 4X game Laruna: Age of Kingdoms on Kickstarter. Set in the fantasy world of the RPG Dreamscape: Laruna, 2-6 players each pick one of six asymmetric rulers, starting in one of six unique kingdoms. Each Kingdom has its own economy, and each territory controlled by a player contributes its own type of unit, including knights, giants, wisps, warlocks, furies and many more. Kingdom and resource management takes place on the Kingdom mat, where players need to balance population, which allows more workers on the mat, with stability, which dictates where the workers can and cannot go. Additional resources include gold, food, magic, garrison, command and of course the favor of the gods. Laruna is a true 4X game, allowing territory expansion and control, exploration of ports and gates, complex diplomacy and trade, as well as complete war. The Kickstarter includes over 70 miniatures varying from 35mm to 100mm, tiles, meeples, dice, tokens, and  over 200 cards.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Laruna: Age of Kingdoms continues through March 2, and the game is expected to deliver in March 2019. For more details, including a preliminary rulebook, check out the Kickstarter here.

Eclipse is a highly popular 4X game, sitting comfortably at number 21 on the BoardGameGeek’s ranking for ALL GAMES, and carries an impressive rating of 8 out of 10.  But just because it’s doing well doesn’t mean it couldn’t be improved, and that is what Lautapelit.fi is going to do.  In 2018 they will be releasing Eclipse 2.0 with lots of improvements and upgrades like:

• New graphic design, maintaining the acclaimed symbology of the 1st edition
• Introductory short story by award winning science fiction novelist Johanna Sinisalo, providing rich background for the world of Eclipse
• Full line of Ship Pack 1 miniatures
• New miniatures for ancients, GCDS, orbitals and more
• Custom made plastic inlays
• Custom combat dice
• Fine tuned game play

So if your current edition is getting worn out or you just want the latest and greatest, be on the lookout for it in 2018.  You can read the press release below for more info.

20 October 2017 – Lautapelit.fi is proud to announce that Eclipse, the multiple award winning grail game of the 4-X genre, is about to get a serious overhaul.

How can the best be made better? Since the launch of Eclipse in 2011, the game has had a wide and inspiring fan community that has actively provided feedback to us and the designers both directly as well as through on-line communities. The 2nd edition is a response to those hopes and wishes with no effort withheld.

The upgraded edition of Eclipse will include, among others:
• New graphic design, maintaining the acclaimed symbology of the 1st edition
• Introductory short story by award winning science fiction novelist Johanna Sinisalo, providing rich background for the world of Eclipse
• Full line of Ship Pack 1 miniatures
• New miniatures for ancients, GCDS, orbitals and more
• Custom made plastic inlays
• Custom combat dice
• Fine tuned game play

The second edition will be available to players around the world in 2018 once the game has been crafted to perfection.

Downfall is the latest game being published by Tasty Minstrel Games as well as the latest in their line of Deluxified games.  Downfall is a 4X game where you are trying to survive in the post apocalyptic wasteland that is the year 2213 where nearly all of the planet’s population has died.  You will have to gather resources, build bunkers and airships, combat other factions, and explore the wasteland in order to survive.  Actions in this game will be done through card drafting and each card has a major action and a minor action, with major actions being things like gather, build, command, research, and war.

Gather and build are pretty self explanatory, command is how you will get your people around the board, research improves your major actions with technology cards, and war initiates battles between groups.  You will be doing these actions, taking over parts of the board, gathering resources for building or feeding your people, and trying to keep the radiation at bay in order to score points.  Each round has you drawing event cards with differing effects, and from time to time you will draw winter cards which will have negative effects as well as move the game timer along.  Once the timer reaches the end you will total up your points and to see who is the winner.

As per the other deluxified Kickstarters you have two options, the retail version or the deluxified version.  In the deluxified version you get things like wooden bits instead of punchboards, minis for the your leaders and airships, metal radiation tokens, and bigger hexes to make things easier to move around.  The long and short of it is you will be getting a blinged out game for an increased price.  You can check out more information, and back for one of the two versions, on the Kickstarter page.

4X games historically have been very long affairs, with Twilight Imperium 4 being one of the best examples of a 4X game, while also exemplifying how long these games can take.  So finding a game that can give a good 4X experience in a shorter time frame is something a lot of people have been looking for, and Stellar Leap hopes to do just that.

A 4X game is a game which consists of the four Xs, or eXs, of eXterminate, eXplore, eXpand, and eXploit.  In this game you will be doing just that, trying to become the most pretigious race in the whole galaxy.  On your turn you will roll two dice, which can be manipulated in a number of ways, which determines what planets will pay out resources to the owners.  From there you take two actions on your turn which can include exploring space to discover new planets, expand your influence and empire onto those planets, using exploited resources to upgrade your empire, and take over areas occupied by other players by exterminating them.  The game promises to be as aggressive or as laid back as the players want it to be based on their own play styles, as the missions and objectives in the game don’t directly force conflicts.  Another interesting aspect is that there is asymmetry in the game with different abilities given to each race of the game.  As the game unfolds there will be events popping up that trigger good effects, bad effects, or just shakes things up.  It’s these events that are the timer for the game because once six of those events are out, the game ends, and whoever has the most points from accomplished missions and their secret trait, wins the game.

The game itself looks pretty good, and with a play time of only 20 minutes per player, aims to deliver on a 4X experience within a good time from.  Check out the Kickstarter page for more information and to pledge for your own copy.

Fantasy Flight Games is keeping up with their tradition of huge last minute GenCon announcements, and the focus this time is Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn. The latest in the award winning Civilization series, Civilization: A New Dawn is being developed by James Kniffen, a powerhouse of the Fantasy Flight machine and developer on past hits Forbidden Stars, Star Wars: Armada, and the recent New Angeles. This newest edition to the Civilization franchise looks fantastic, with great art and beautiful components. Players build up the world with large hex grid map tiles, and try to conquer using one of the 8 starting leaders. Leaders start with a certain set of focus cards, showing technologies they start with, and off of which they can further develop. Expect the deep game play and branched development Civilization always brings.

Civilization: A New Dawn is due for release in Q4 2017. You can drool over this new edition in the press release here.

Originally published by Placentia Games and Post Scriptum and funded on Kickstarter, Kepler 3042 has now been picked up by Renegade Games Studios and looking at an Essen release this year. This new version will maintain all of the original game’s rules with only a few clarifications added, but will feature all new artwork by Kwanchai Moriya (who recently produced the captivating art for Flip Ships). Up to 4 pioneers will compete against one another, exploring, colonizing, and developing their way to victory. As further explained in Renegade Games’ press release:

 “You must carefully manage your resources as you colonize, exploit, and terraform the planets of the Milky Way, developing critical technologies along the way. Each round, you choose which action to perform and which bonuses to activate to further your goals. The nation with the most victory points at the end will be remembered by history as the greatest explorers in the galaxy!”

With Renegade Games producing quality light and medium weight games over the past few years, this step into a heavier 4X style game is a nice addition to their repertoire and the new art is a definite improvement. The advantage for them is that the game is already pretty well tested and positively reviewed, now with just enough polish to make the game really attractive to those that missed out on the original printing.  If you are interested in learning more about Kepler 3042, feel free to check out the previous edition’s campaign page and visit Renegade Games Studios’ website for more information on the new edition.