Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Sunday Miscellanea - Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015)

I've now played Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015) a few times since early October and still haven't tried it with the Tiny Epic Galaxies: Satellites & Super Weapons Mini Expansion (2015).  I am interested but it plays very well without it and hasn't yet lost it's shine.  This time we played with four players and the final scores tend to be fairly close or at 30 points.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
A thirty-minute game of galactic conquest, Tiny Epic Galaxies is driven by an exciting dice-rolling mechanism that rewards thoughtful programming of the results. Players control a home galaxy and a fleet of space ships. As players upgrade their galaxies, they gain access to more ships and more dice.
Each turn, a player rolls a set of dice; how many dice are rolled is determined by the level of that player's galaxy. Each side of the six-sided die represents a different type of action: Movement, Colony Action, Harvest from Culture Planets, Harvest from Energy Planets, Improve an Economic Influence, and Improve a Diplomatic Influence.
After the roll, the player sorts the results of the roll (one selective re-roll is allowed) and organizes the dice in a desired activation order. Each die, in order, is then resolved and the results are immediate, which allows the player to pull-off unseen combos and surprise other players. Other players have the option to copy other player's a cost!
As players expand their galaxy by colonizing other planets through economic and diplomatic influence, they gain victory points AND the special powers brought in by those planets! In addition to galaxy upgrades, effective resource management provides luck-mitigating options that can sway the game in a calculated player's favor.
Whoever achieves the most points from acquiring planets and upgrading their personal galaxy wins!

This is definitely a very fast game that folks can slip into an hour here and there.  This game is very good at keeping everyone constantly involved in the game by allowing players to follow actions by paying for and repeating those actions.  But because this is happening on everyone's turn and some planets can cause further cascade effects, there is a real danger for some players to be overwhelmed.  However, after playing a few times, there needs to be fairly strict adherence to the rule about players getting only a brief moment to decide if they wish to follow another player's action.  We've only seen slight trouble with this but we all know some players for whom analysis paralysis is a struggle.  It helps if the player whose turn is currently going directs the other players to respond or, possibly, if there is a house rule that the current player need only pause and allow the others to chime in if they are definitely following.  It's a tricky business balancing the incentive for fast play with allowing slower players time to catch up.  But half-hour long games that take two hours can get old very quickly.  Fortunately, we can knock this one off in less than an hour and if we play two, the second always goes much more quickly.

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