Friday, March 9, 2012

Boardgames Night: Space Empires

Thursday night at the local boardgames club introduced me to Space Empires, a game designed by Jim Krohn and published recently (2011) by GMT. I had a grand time.

SE combines many tried and true gaming concepts: exploration, colonization and expansion, research and development, fleet production. I found nothing terribly new here, but the whole package is elegant, easy to master and good fun.

We had four players, the maximum number allowed, and while we didn't finish it within three hours, we had a decent result. I had to choose what research paths I would take to develop my fleet, and was helped by the fact that other players started fighting first, so I could see what technologies they had chosen and were using on each other. One nice feature of the game is that as new technologies come on line, subsequent versions of ships produced have those advantages. So, the destroyers you encountered on turn 3 will probably be not nearly as capable and scary as the destroyers you meet on turn 7. It helps to keep one's eyes open to track what other players are doing.

A very clever game. The map is attractive, with oversize stellar hexes to accommodate various smaller counters representing ships, bases, merchant fleets, etc. Lots of replayability value since the various star systems that one explores and discovers are randomized each game. I would happily play this again.

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  1. Padre, you're spreading too much? Recent posts includes lots of tabletop wargames and now science fiction... don't fall in the trap

  2. Hadn't heard about this game at all, sounds like a blast....with beer!

  3. Annibal: honestly I worry more about my waistline spreading too much than I do about my gaming interests. Mind you I did spend part of my day off today painting figures so I guess it all balances out. The nice ing about a board game is that it allows me to try a period or setting like space fleets or NATO vs Commies without having all the figures, terrain, etc. mind you, if you next hear me say that I am buying little fleets of miniature ships, then please stage an sintervention on my behalf!

    1. every once in a while I get the urge to buy some Ground Zero fleets... then I remember playing SF with the guys and the mood passes!


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