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Subject: Overview of Galactic Domination and from Where it Came rss

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Nick Witchey
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This was posted previously in the general forums. However, it would be useful to post here now that the GD game has been accepted by BGG.

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My two daughters (7 and 11) has the last week off from school due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday (November 27, 2014). Unfortunately, they chose to spend their days watching YouTube instead of doing something constructive. In order to break them out of the YouTube spell, I challenged them to design a "spaceship combat" game that we could all play. Surprisingly, both of them took up the challenge. They used lots of game bits we had lying around the house including extra Axis and Allies pieces, dice, ceramic square tiles, Fimo(R) tokens I made a long time ago, and other various tokens. In six hours, they created and play tested a game they called Galactic Domination. I was quite impressed with the game design, although not completely balanced, it had several interesting features.

Galactic Domination is a “conquer the galaxy game” where all players fight to occupy all planets on the board. Player’s conquer planets by fighting each other as a function of their supply chains. I thought that this was a particularly clever idea.

The board comprises a 10 x 10 grid of tiles with 15 planets placed randomly on the grid. Three of the planets have established non-player races existing on them.

Each player chooses a starting position on one of the remaining 12 planets, preferably at the edge of the grid.

Each player has a race where each race includes initial starting resources of metal, money, and people. For example, the Brendal’s start with 2 people, but have 3 money and 3 metals while the Gazoff start with 3 people, 2 metals, and 3 money. On the start of the player’s turn, they increase their money and metal by the amount associated with their race.

A player has two actions on their turn selected from a set of available possible actions. The available actions include: generate one person, build a ship, move a ship, attack, or trade with a non-player race. The player can also move people along a chain of planets or ships for free as long as the chain is unbroken.

Generating a new person does not cost any resources. The person can be placed anywhere in the players empire as long as there is a supply chain to the spot from an occupied planet. Thus the person token can be placed on a planet already having a person, on a troop transport, on a mother ship, or other location on a populated chain.

There are three types of ships that can be built: a mother ship (one per race), a fighter, and a troop transport. The mother ship costs three people (2 crew and one carried troop), three money, and three metals. The mother ship can build other types of ships. The fighter costs one person (pilot), one metal, and two money. The fighter does not support movement of people. The transport costs two people (one pilot, one troop), two metals, and two money. The troop remains with the transport. Transports also support movement of people along a chain. The fighter and transport, when built, are placed adjacent to a mother ship in one of the neighboring 8 squares.

Movement is a bit random. A player rolls a d6 to determine a number of movement points. A roll of 1 or 2 represents 1 movement point; a rolls of 3 or 4 represent 2 movement points; and a rolls of 5 or 6 represents 3 movement points. The movement points can be assigned to any ships. The ships can move to any of the ship’s 8 adjacent squares if they are empty. Only one ship can exist in a square at a time. A ship cannot move through another player’s ship. Thus, players can create blockades if they have sufficient ships.

If a player moves one of their pieces (e.g., people, ship, etc.) into a neighboring square to one of the non-player races, then the non-player race reacts to the player. A d6 is rolled to determine the reaction. A roll of 1 or 2 indicates that the non-player race allies with the active player. A roll of 3 or 4 indicates the active player has a choice of allying with the race or attacking the race. A roll of 5 or 6 indicates that the race is hostile and attacks the player.

Attacking is straight forward. Both players roll a d6. They add the result to ALL people in the supply chain, including the crew of any ships in the chain. The higher result wins. When a tie occurs, both players re-roll. Thus, the supply chains become very important and need to be protected. This can generate an automatic win for a player that has significantly more people in their supply chain. We will likely change this in the future. Allied non-player races also include their numbers in a supply chain, but do not contribute to the victory condition.

Trades can only occur between a player and a non-player race that is allied with the active player. There is only a single trade: spend five money to get a person from the non-player race that can be added to your supply chain.

The first person to occupy all 15 planets wins the game.

There are a couple of other points of interest:

Moving diagonally is allowed.
People can move from one planet to an adjacent planet for free.
If a player conquers a non-player race, then the player gets the race’s supply of ships and allows the player to create a second mother ship.
An allied race allows for increasing strength quickly relative to non-allied players, but do not contribute to the victory conditions.

Interestingly, the game plays fairly well because players generally develop similarly sized supply lines at the same time. However, if one player can break the supply chain of another player, then the losing player suffers greatly and will likely lose the game.

My first play through with the girls took about 60 minutes. My oldest daughter won the game and crushed both of us.
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Kai Scheuer
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You might want to introduce your daughters to the concept of hexes.

A bigger hex with a border length of 6 hexes gives you something between 90 and 100 hexes you can distribute randomly.

If you want to, feel free to use this downloadable file to craft some:

Diceland - Per Aspera Ad Astra

Any chance we are seeing the rules to this masterpiece soon?



Thank you and kind regards,
Kai
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Nick Witchey
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Thanks!

We discussed the use of hexes, with their advantages and disadvantages. For the time being we are going to stick with squares for several reasons. First, they are easy to cut out. Second, a grid allows for diagonal movement through an unprotected supply chain. Third, squares keep true to the girls original idea.

Now, having said all that, the girls are interested experimenting with variants of the game to see how it works. So future versions might likely move to hexes.

FWIW, the square tiles can be used to create a "hex" by just staggering the columns of the grid relative to each other by half a square.

The rules and PnP files should be available shortly.
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