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Welcome to the world of Empacta Skies. Here, the citizens, long for the days where everyone, not just the wealthy , can ditch their masks to breathe the precious air that they call their home.
In the two player game Ahead in the Clouds, each player takes on the role of an industrialist. Players will collect dust particles from the air & water vapor from the clouds. Players will then be able to convert these resources into hydrogen & oxygen.
As players convert resources they will be able to fulfill contracts. The more contracts that are filled the better the chance a player will have to win the game.
Ahead in the Clouds is a wallet game from Button Shy Games. The smooth game design is by Daniel Newman & the fantastic artwork comes from Bryan Fischer. This is an eighteen card, two player game for players twelve to adult, & it may take close to twenty minutes to play.
Each player will start with one of the Habitats. Each of the Habitats has a large red or blue meeple to label which player is which color. The Habitats act as a bridge between buildings. Habitats give a resource to the owner when crossed by the opposing player. One side gives a water resource, while the other gives a stone resource. Then each player will receive four different resource tracking card s. These cards will have a “0” at the bottom.
After each player takes their Habitat, the Dust Reclaimer, Vapor Condenser, Hydro Splitter, along with the Magic Portal & Bank buildings will be placed in the center of the play area. Since each card has two sides, each card should be randomly placed on one side or the other.
The Blimp & Contract card are to be placed to the side of the play area. A marker will be placed on the space labeled “1” on the Blimp. All remaining markers will be left next to the Contract card.
The first player will start play with two actions, instead of three. As players play through Ahead in the Clouds they will take three actions. Each action can be taken multiple times.
On a turn a player may Activate a building. A building that is connected to that player’s habitat may be activated. The player activating this building can take or convert the resource shown on the card. If an opposing player travels through an opponents habitat, that opponent may take the resource on that card. If an activated building has a swirl symbol on it, that building will be flipped to its alternate side.
Players may Disconnect a building on their turn. That player will detach a building from their habitat. If the building is attached to an opponents habitat, their connection stays.
The third action a player can take is a Cloudburst action. This breaks the entire network connection apart. That player may then choose up to one card with a swirl on it & flip it to its opposite side.
At any time during a player’s turn they are allowed, without using any actions, to connect a building or to fulfill contracts.
When a player connects a building, they will connect it to any open space on their habitat. Players may move their habitat along with any buildings connected to their habitat. Players may only connect buildings to their habitat, they may not affect the connections that an opponent has. And buildings can only connect to habitats & not to each other.
When a player fulfills a contract, the player fulfilling the contract will place a marker over the contract. This contract may not be fulfilled again.
During certain rounds of the game, players must pay resources to the Blimp. These can be any resources that a player has. If a player can not pay the Blimp, then they must give back one of their fulfilled contracts.
At the end of playing eight rounds, players will compare how many completed contracts that each have filled. The player with the most filled contracts wins the game. If there is a tie, players will compare resources. The player with the most resources will win the tie.
I do love a good euro game. I have played dozens over the years & Ahead in the Clouds is a cool mini version of a euro. It has everything a player would want with a limited number of actions & resource collection.
Ahead in the Clouds will be available to gamers via a Kickstarter project by Button Shy Games on October 4th through October 15th. So everyone will have a chance to pick up a copy of Ahead in the Clouds.
Now the regular version of Ahead in the Clouds will not come with any type of markers. So Button Shy Games recommends using coins, heads for one player & tails for the other. I have tons of extra components so I grabbed nine wooden cubes, four of one color, four of another color, & a separate third color cube as a round marker for the Blimp. Button Shy Games is going to offer markers for Ahead in the Clouds as a special tier for their Kickstarter project.
Button Shy games has some great micro games & Ahead in the Clouds is definitely a game to get. I recommend picking this one up when it hits Kickstarter.
So get ready to convert some resources, fulfill some contracts, & Game On!