Connexion avec identifiant, mot de passe et durée de la session
While I was visiting my in-laws for the holidays, I had the opportunity to meet with Ryan, the game designer, and play a game of Empires of the Void with him. Joining us was his wife, Malorie, and his brother, Brandon, giving us a full 4-player game experience.I was the Collective 5, a machine race that gets extra credits each turn, but has a major diplomacy penalty. Ryan was the Parasites of Sreech, a race which has a special ship type with which to infest planets. Brandon was the 7th Academy of Eegh, which gets bonuses when buying tech, and Malorie played the Narkani Alliance, who have an ability to get extra moves by paying credits.We all started off by expanding early. Ryan used his race ship to quickly spread his infestation across the galaxy. By infesting a planet, he gets the special ability of the planet (but nothing else). This let him quickly get access to the Black Hole ship, a very powerful adversary.I was fairly successful conquering a few planets. I didn’t have the right cards to really try diplomacy, especially with my penalty to doing so, so I had to just conquer them outright, forgoeing the ability. Brandon did much the same early on. Malorie tried a more diplomatic approach with her nearby systems, but had miserable luck, missing her needed roll by 1 or 2 in most cases.Not too far into the game, a wormhole appeared that connected my planet with the central planet Pyrious. This allowed me to quickly take Pyrious, which is worth a lot of Victory Points. It also gave me a good central stronghold in the galaxy. Brandon began threatening Malorie’s border, and Ryan continued to infest planets and build up a nasty fleet of Black Hole ships.All the while we were all steadily building our techs. I was in somewhat of a bind, as some of the techs I wanted needed resources that I didn’t have. However, I really like the interplayer mechanic of trade, allowing you to use a resource another player controls with permission (usually by paying some sort of compensation, like credits or cards). This allowed me to get some important techs to help me defend myself.Malorie eventually broke through her bad luck streak, and started marching towards my planets. Ryan attacked Pyrious, but I retreated before I lost too many ships, and shortly thereafter I brought in a rather large fleet to retake it, which allowed me to hold it the rest of the game. I also acquired the Starbase technology to put a base there, so I could build some units there and help fortify it even further.Towards the end of the game, all 4 players were involved in some level of warfare with their neighbors. Ryan marched in towards my homeworld, taking some of my key planets, and Malorie took a few as well. Even Brandon swooped in with a ship to threated my homeworld. Ryan was also chipping away at Brandon’s boundaries, and Malorie and Brandon had some skirmishes in their sector.At the end, I drove Ryan and Malorie out of some key planets, and abandoned one of my worlds to protect my home world from Brandon’s little threat. Stupidly, I left another planet undefended instead, and he jumped on it and took it from me.In the end, Brandon pulled out a victory. I don’t remember the exact scores (I should have written them down), but it was a very fun game.As part of this preview, I wanted to review some of the aspects of the game that really caught my attention, and to me help set it apart from other current space empire games.* The bargaining with other players was a very interesting mechanic. Many techs require you to get certain resources, and I like how you can “use” other players resources through negotiation; no matter how the galaxy is set up, you aren’t really completely hosed in that regard.* The choice between outright conquest or diplomatic annexation on planets was very interesting. You definitely have to make a choice. Conquest is definitely easier, but by doing so, you also miss out on some powerful abilities. Also, diplomatic annexation provides you with “influence”, which can net you bonus points during the scoring rounds. Brandon used this with great effect.* The technology choices are very interesting. There are a few that you almost need to get (one in particular that lets you move all your ships for 2 actions), but even then, there are still lots of choices, and you have to decide WHEN to get those “must-have” techs.* The ship logistical planning lead to some interesting games. Ships can normally move through each other with no problem, meaning you can’t just set up a picket line and expect to hold your empire. You need defenses within and throughout the empire as well. Being able to have large fleets requires you to make good use of your ships abilities (the Diplomat can carry groups of weaker ships), as well as making good use of the “move all ships” tech. However, there is a tech which gives your Starcruisers the ability to “block” other ships, and near the end of the game (a tad late, I think), I was able to use this by blocking off some key routes to my systems to keep last-minute invasions from decimating me.* I liked the dual-use cards. You could use the cards to peacefully annex planets, or you could use them for certain powers on the card. This flexibility made them very useful, even when you had no nearby planets that matched a certain culture type. There was one type that gave an extra Move action that was often used for the power, although Brandon kept wanting to collect it for diplomatic reasons.* The map layout is tight and compact, but not oppressively so. You have enough to expand, but it doesn’t take long before you start butting heads with other players.Overall, it was a very exciting game. My only regret is I only had the chance to play it once. I am definitely looking forward to seeing this one released, as it will be a great addition to my game library. Even owning Twilight Imperium and Eclipse doesn’t detract from that - there is definitely enough in Empires of the Void to make it different and worth playing in it’s own right.
Colis reçu et déballé, test ce week-end et on pourra y jouer bientôt à la salle pour le comparer à Eclipse