As Marshal of the interstellar fleet, it is your duty to oversee the colonization of nearby regions of the galaxy and thereby ensure the perpetuation of your people at any cost. But your race is not alone in its aspirations for dominance of the cosmos, or in having the power to realize that goal. Races hailing from various star systems venture out in all directions. Many paths are dead ends, but some sectors have sizable deposits of rare minerals that can be refined into the precious fuel crystals that drive your space fleets onward. Soon, a trail of colonies leads out from your homeworld, and soon the races venture into the same cosmic regions. Don’t get too attached to your fleets or interstellar empire, because tides can and will turn quickly. Only you can determine the fate of your people: interstellar conquest or infinite servitude.
is a light strategy war game on a galactic scale. 2-6 players can expect around 30-45 minutes per player, so 2 players can often power through a game in about an hour. The 6 player game is kept short by combining into 3 teams of 2 where the teammates execute their turns simultaneously.
Variable game board. There are 6 races to choose from, each with its own strengths. Although the jump lanes that connect the sectors forming the galactic map are printed on the game boards, each sector location is covered by a different card from the sector deck each game.
Sectors are drawn from the deck and placed as the players explore the galaxy, so you never know what you're going to get...unless you do some scouting with your fighter squads or happen to have some telepaths on board your ship (telepaths are handy that way). Some of the sector cards are identical and therefore also create a "bridge" which is a unique adjacency in addition to the normal jump lanes. All this makes for a very different board every time.
Moving your space fleet around is straight forward. Each ship can move 1 sector per turn, plus 1 extra sector per turn per engine MOD. Your space ships are modular in design, both from a gameplay and a literal perspective. You physically insert engines, extra guns, and fighter squads into holes in the space ships. We call these MODs.
Combat is simple but tense. Add up your firepower present at the battle site and then toss in a d6 roll. The opponent does the same. Compare the two totals, and the winner keeps the sector in question while the loser retreats and loses a ship from his fleet.
While the game is a conquest type game, it ends immediately when one player conquers any homeworld, so there's no eliminated player stuck waiting around for the game to finish.
Conquest cards are the soul of the game. The deck of 120 cards gives tons of gotcha moments, and serious replay value. They allow you to do all sorts of fun things:
- Modify the firepower of your sector or your ship
- Boost fuel crystal production (the economy of the game)
- Steal or stop opponent's cards
- Cheat the dice
- Wipe out a whole sector
- Even influence battles your forces are not involved in, adding an element of table-talking diplomacy to the game