Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Sunday Miscellanea - Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015)

I squeezed a couple more games into 2015 in the middle of December that I haven't had the chance to write up until now.  So, let's clear the decks for 2016 by discussing the game I probably played most in 2015, Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015).  Although my opponents have both been gaming for less than a couple of years, they are thoughtful, skilled players who aren't shy about employing subtle and/or aggressive strategies, as suits their purpose.  I do not underestimate Al or Laura when gaming with them.  We played a couple of games of TEG at the December Lake Geneva Games Gameday and they were fast and furious.

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! 

Al had not played before, so we taught him the game even as we brushed up on a couple of the rules for ourselves.  When you play as many games as we do, and often with similar mechanics and themes, sometimes there can be a bit of rules confusion.  We keep that to a minimum with a few minutes of back and forth with the rules in hand for reference.  This time with TEG was every bit as fun as previous times and still felt fresh because of the variety of planets.  It's strange how the combination of planet powers can produce a different game so many times but that's the superpower of this game: replayability.  Even with a new player and a rusty one, the two games went swiftly and came down to a difference in points no greater than the secret mission VPs.  I continue to be enamored by this game and have yet to try it with the expansion.

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