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Galactic Overlords: A Space Empire Strategy Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: An excursion into deep space rss

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Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Although anything involving a journey into space really can't be defined as an excursion, I would say that a two and a half hour board game adventuring into the subject could be defined that way.

Galactic Overlords is my good friend Tom's passionate attempt at a space themed game design. I can attest he put in many hours of rule writing, component creation and play testing. I have played several versions of this soon to be classic game and I can safely say it gets better with each playing.

On Sunday three of us sat down to play. My friend Stephen had played an earlier version so he was eager to give it a go. Tom went through a rules explanation to bring Stephen up to speed. We played a more basic version of G-O eliminating some of the more advanced elements like spies, diplomacy and some of the more advanced techs, like specific race abilities.

The game started with several turns of exploration for each of us. Stephen ventured out into some galaxies more forgiving to set up some colonies and increase his resource production. Tom went for a more difficult galaxy thinking the reward would be greater despite the potential for losing valuable ships in his fleet due to hazards. Tom's first endeavor was successful, so I tried the same approach. Problem was my initial fleet was weaker than Tom's and I took a beating from asteroids or some other crazy space malady!

As the game progressed Tom and Stephen were getting closer to each other and both were building up formidable fleets through successful exploration and advancement in technologies. Since my early endeavors set me back a step I was a little more careful about approaching systems under their control. Despite my early troubles I did start to pick up some victory points in exploration which at least kept me viable in the game. I was hoping to watch the two of them slug it out and allow me sneak away with a peaceful victory. Toward the final rounds of the game, Stephen decided it was time for war and attacked Tom. The two fleets were loaded, but Stephen had a leader which gave him extra hits (through a random dice roll) that he could apply to Tom's fleet. Tom had the edge in tactics while Stephen had the edge in weapons technology. The difference was Stephen's leader. He sent Tom retreating back to his home world with his alien tail between his legs. Not to be outdone, Tom counter attacked on his next turn, but Stephen was able to thwart him down once again. G-O awards aggression though by giving players victory points for attacking. Each time a fleet attacks whether victorious or not you gain 2 VP's for your fleet. The problem is if your fleet gets wiped out, so does your VP's. Many times discretion becomes the better part of valor and it makes more sense to protect your fleet and its collected VP's then to press on for the destruction of the enemy.

The biggest battles took place in the final rounds of play so the game had the epic feel of a book or movie building to a climactic ending. I lost out because I was too reluctant to get into the fray. My ships were no match for my opponents, so I opted to keep exploring to cash in on artifacts and other various VP collection amenities. Stephen was able to edge out Tom to become the supreme Galactic Overlord!

I really hope to see this game published some day. Tom has really put his heart and soul into it. There are a lot of balancing mechanisms to the game play, so no one feels completely out of the competition. So, until then, if you're ever in the southeastern NC area be sure to look us up to get a game of G-O on the table!

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Tom Pensyl
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Serene and stately, the Aurochs are natural diplomats.
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Nice write up Chris. Next time maybe you won't be so eager to go into the bad zone with only cruisers in your fleet.
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Patrick Bunch

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I look forward to playing this some day as well. Looks like fun, and I'm a sucker for 4X games!!
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