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Subject: Looking for Space themed games. rss

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Zac B.
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I'm getting Galaxy Trucker. I have Cosmic Encounter and BSG and am getting Space Empires. I'm looking for something more in line with Galaxy Trucker which seems to be a little quicker and easier to get people into.

I really like a strong theme. I've heard good things about race for the galaxy but it seems like an engine building game and I'm not so keen on those.

Ideally, 2-4 players, 2 hours, heavy space theme. Thanks!
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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Nuff said.
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Julian Clarke
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1969 Themed on Project Apollo but makes it a 6 country space race
Kosmonauts The only game I know where I start the rules intro with "Is everyone familiar with Newton's 1st law of motion?"
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Chris Hayes
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I believe Alien Frontiers fits your needs.
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Pasi Ojala
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Katana622 wrote:
Ideally, 2-4 players, 2 hours, heavy space theme. Thanks!


Has theme (especially with expansions), easy to get into.

Core Worlds: 2-5 players (~90min with 3, ~120min with Galactic Orders).

Core Worlds has deck building, resource management (actions, energy, cards), and anticipating your opponents. CW combines the theme with the game mechanisms perfectly. You draft cards into your deck from a common pool, but it takes actions and energy (generated by your worlds), which you also need to deploy troops into your warzone before they can attack and conquer new worlds. So, there is planning and preparation involved, which to me feels very thematic. You don't know exactly which worlds and units come up each round (except in the last round), so you have to be flexible.

There's a sense of progression, because you have 5 separate decks for the 10 rounds of the game. Generally you can afford the cards that become available unlike in some other deckbuilding games. The cards are mainly unique. If you play with 2 or 3 players, it takes a few games to see all of them.

You never have quite enough resources to do everything that you'd like, you have choices to make, and there is no clear best choice (except maybe the final rounds). The last worlds you reach are the Core Worlds that give the most bonus points, but you should not depend solely on those.

Each starting deck has a unique Hero, with their own special effect. The starting decks are also made more varied by a pre-game draft in which you replace one ground and one fleet unit with cards from a common pool.

You always have a different game. There is no direct conflict between players, but due to the common pool you have to keep an eye on what the other players are likely to do, and be faster than them.

The expansion Galactic Orders adds a 6th starting deck with another hero, more units, worlds, tactic cards, and events that help you in the early game and hinder you in the later stages. You also get ways to work around your energy and action limitations and you cycle through the cards in your deck faster. It makes a great game even better (but a little longer, around 120min with 3 players).

You can start playing the game without emphasizing the deck building aspect, and start to search for synergies and trim your deck more when you learn the game.

A second expansion Revolution is currently shipping to pre-orderers (Oct 2014), and it adds more story through Heroic Tactics for both the starting heroes and the heroes who you might draft during the game. You also get more Advancements (Galactic Orders comes with only one) with various special effects.
 
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Steve B
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Katana622 wrote:
I'm getting Galaxy Trucker. I have Cosmic Encounter and BSG and am getting Space Empires. I'm looking for something more in line with Galaxy Trucker which seems to be a little quicker and easier to get people into.

I really like a strong theme. I've heard good things about race for the galaxy but it seems like an engine building game and I'm not so keen on those.

Ideally, 2-4 players, 2 hours, heavy space theme. Thanks!


Space Alert is generally considered one of the greatest space games and in fact you said you wanted one in line with Galaxy Trucker. Space Alert is by the same designer (Vlaada, one of the best in the world today) and is set in the same "world" as Galaxy Trucker. You will immediately recognize the comedy and art work.

I only play Space Alert with my girlfriend so we both control the Android characters as well. It is EXCELLENT fun! It is even better with 4 players but don't let the neigh-sayers put you off with their views on the 2 player game.

The only problem is the game plays in about 30 minutes, not the 2 hours you want. Just like Galaxy Trucker, it has a timer. There is the real time part which takes 10 minutes, then the "other" part which takes about 20 mins. The good thing though is that with the amount of thinking and chaos involved, it feels like you just ran a marathon afterwards!
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Gary Lynch
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Xia: Legends of a Drift System

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Another vote for Xia. Also, Firefly, especially if you were into the show.
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Ahsan Rasul
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Another vote for Xia and firefly.

Also may I suggest space cadets dice duel for some crazy manic quick gaming, it's 4 player minimum, though I think the die fighter expansion can be played 2 player.
 
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Steve B
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Keep in mind Xia is a 3-5 player game although it might work with 2 just like space alert
 
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Martin Larouche
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It's an oldie and hard to find, but Starship Catan.

It's the only Catan game i can still stomach. You have a ship you send to explore and get colonies and trading posts, fight pirates, complete missions and get resources to upgrade your ship.

A 4X game at it's core that takes only 45 to 60 minutes.

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William Korner
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Firefly
Alien Frontiers
Level 7 Omega Protocol
Star Wars Imperial Assault
Star Wars X-Wing
Twilight Imperium
Ascending Empires

 
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Alexandre Cesar Nass
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:


+1 for Xia: Legends of a Drift System! Amazing theme, cool mechanics, nice miniatures and the best ever Kickstarter!
 
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Chris
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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, where you will be forced to drift aimlessly farther into the vast, empty abyss of space until a lack of food, water and oxygen causes you to succumb to Death's cold embrace.
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bradelli wrote:
Keep in mind Xia is a 3-5 player game although it might work with 2 just like space alert
Not tried it myself yet, but it is supposed to be just fine with 2. Better with more, but you've 3 automated ships flying around and all sorts of things that stop it purely being a 1 vs 1 experience.
 
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deedob wrote:
It's an oldie and hard to find, but Starship Catan.

It's the only Catan game i can still stomach. You have a ship you send to explore and get colonies and trading posts, fight pirates, complete missions and get resources to upgrade your ship.

A 4X game at it's core that takes only 45 to 60 minutes.

Nice one, I thought I was the only person still playing it (from time to time, that is).

Firefly: The Game (the expansion is said to be excellent)
Merchant of Venus (second edition)
Xia: Legends of a Drift System

It's not that easy really finding a similar game to Galaxy Trucker with its interesting and wild mix of mechanisms, but I think these 4 will provide (more or less) the 4X aspects you are looking for.
 
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Jeff Lozito
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A couple of my personal favorites, that would (potentially) fit the bill:

Alien Frontiers: Worker placement, with dice as workers. Base game plays 2-4 (5 with the expansion). Lots of great Sci-Fi references and shout-outs. Has always felt very thematic, and has very little in the way of engine building.

Among the Stars: Card Drafting. Plays 2-4 (Up to 6 with an expansion), and is very quick (a little longer than 7 Wonders). Amazing artwork, but nowhere near as thematic as others I've put on this list. Very little in the way of engine building.

Xia: Space adventure game. You can play as an honest merchant, a smuggler, a pirate, a mercenary ... it's a true sandbox board games, in space! Easily one of the most thematic feeling of all the games on this list. Plays 3-5, buy as others have said, there's nothing to stop you from playing with as few as 2.

Star Wars X-Wing: The financial investment can be high (though you can get away with just the core set); but so is the payoff (especially if you're a Star Wars fan, but it's not a requirement). It is a light miniatures game, so you have to be all right with that, but you cannot argue with how this game just oozes theme. Being a tactical miniatures game of destroying your opponent, there's pretty much no engine building to be found.

Eclipse: 4X space-themed empire builder. Plays 2-6. Great blend of European design and American storytelling. Part civilization building, part resource management. Quite thematic IMO. Plays a little long at first, but quicker as you learn the game. The main downside, based on your criteria, is that there is a heavy engine-building component through the planets you conquer and getting a good income of science, money, and resources to do what you need to do. It never bothers me, but I know it's a source of complaint with a lot of other BGG'ers. I love it, but proceed with caution.

Nexus Ops: More 'Sci-Fi' themed than 'Space' themed, but I love this game and feel it's worth pointing out. It's a fast and furious game of area control, where you're basically at your oppenents' throats from the second or third turn of the game. Plays 2-4 in 90 minutes.

Twilight Imperium: Space Opera. Plays 3-6 (Up to 8 with an expansion). TI3, with it's length (plan a full day!) and player count, doesn't at all match your criteria, but it's worth mentioning anyway. Probably the most thematic game I've ever played. More an experience than a game, it's worth your while if you have the chance to get it on the table.

Star Trek: Fleet Captains: Only played it once, but it was fun. Everything in the game feels very 'Star Trek', and so in that way it hits the mark of being thematic. Definitely not my favorite on this list, but I did quite enjoy my one play of it.
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Stephen Berry
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A new game that out is called Galaxy of Trian. It has similar mechanics to Carcassonne (but in space and with ships to move around).
 
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Adrian Hague
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The hardcore option is, of course High Frontier
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Zac B.
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Hey guys thanks for all the really great suggestions. I'm putting a lot of them on my list! I decided to go for it and am over nighting Xia! I'll break it in tomorrow with my brothers and cousin. Thanks a lot and I'm excited for it.
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Brook Gentlestream
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I just picked up The Battle at Kemble's Cascade, and found it delightful. So far I've only played with two players, but I'm very eager to get it to the table over the holidays. It's lot more of a tactical "thinking" game than the artwork would suggest.

One of my favorite space-themed card games is Race for the Galaxy. It's got a bit of a learning curve, so its better if you regularly game with the same people. The game just drips with theme, but its more of the sort of sci-fi themes you might find from novels and such - featuring powerful megacorps, the exploitation of low-tech worlds, experiments on uplifted races, finding caches of weapons or alien artifacts, etc. Gameplay wise, it's a role-selection tableu-building game about scoring the most victory points.

I'm really hoping to try Core Worlds and Starship Catan one day.

 
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kai fai wong
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Star Realms
Space Cadets
 
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Jordan Fraser
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Quantum is a great, accessible space themed game. It's quite easy to teach (roughly in line with Galaxy Trucker). Sometimes it gets labelled abstract, but I find it to be quite thematic. It also scales well from 2-4 and plays in about an hour.
 
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Tiny Epic Galaxies is coming to kickstarter in early jan. If you like games from the Tiny Epic family, which made great fillers and is portable to bring around as well, you should enjoy this one too.
 
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Peter Wilson
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About 1975 we used to play a space game. It was old then! I have been trying to identify it for a while now. I wonder if anyone recalls the name. The board was clear plastic squares. You had a hand of cards such a 1 back 2 sideways 3 forward which moved your rocket. each round a roller was turned and the graphics beneath the clear plastic moved. Various points were scored for 'landing' on planets. The game ended when the last roll of the board was made. A big comet swept down the board at the end dealing out destruction.

Any one recall this? It was lots of fun.
 
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Joe Fatula
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You might find Leaving Earth interesting...
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