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Glen Drover's Empires: Galactic Rebellion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Empires: Galactic Rebellion reviewed rss

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Wim Tavenier
Netherlands
Zaandam
Noord Holland
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I am a big fan of big American games with massive armies that can take up whole Sundays to play. Medium sized game (timewise) are to me often great or not worth it at all. Galactic Rebellion is a medium sized game and will take you about three hours to play, depending on the number of players, of course. Let's see in what category they fall in!

First of all, the miniatures look great and you can easily spot what type of character each one is on the board. The massive, black Sentinels stand out as scary guardians of the Empire. The board is colourful and again, it is easy to quickly find the different areas you need. The cards look a bit eighties sci-fi, but perhaps that was intended. I'm not saying it's a bad thing.

If you have played Age of Empires III/Empires: Age of Discoveries you will feel right at home with this game. It is very similar and the first thing i thought was ' Is this AoE3 in space?'. That is true to some extend. All the things that worked well in AoE3 are in this one. The two main phases for example. Worker placement and then going through all the stages, like warfare, initiative and specialization. This works really great and what got me to buy AoE3 all those years ago. There were some minor flaws in that game however, or could have work better. Those things are not in Gal. Reb. It is all improved and each and every worker you have to place is not a no-brainer. Competing for covert missions and not winning, doesn't mean you lose your invested workers. Only the executer of the mission loses his workers. Same with the Senate. If you don't have the highest bid, you don't lose your workers (and puts you in a better position to win it the next round). So that makes it more balanced and always worthwhile to put your workers in these boxes.

During the midgame victory point count, we notieced that is was mostly balanced between the players, all the time. No really big differences. Which is what makes it interesting till the end. But the really big surprise comes right at the end. Galactic War breaks out, where all remaining sentinels attack the rebel factions! On each planet the remainign sentinels there start attacking the biggest faction there! So when you are in the lead that mostly a good thing, but in the final round it pays to have one rebel less then your opponents. Because this battle will go on until either the rebel faction or the sentinels are destroyed. Then, if there are sentinels left they attack the number two faction on that planet, etc. We had planets that were completely wiped out after the attack, planets where the balance of power shifted to the previously number two there, and planets where the number one faction easily killed off the sentinels. And since the planets are a big part of the available victory points, this can have a real impact on the score. We found ourselves making deals in turns 6 and 7 for shooting sentinels, and not eachother through the warfare box.

All in all I really love this game. It has a couple of major pluses:
- every player is always involved, never a time which is only interesting for just one player
- winners don't win with a massive difference. It is always close, so that way stays interesting till the end.
- Galactic War! A unique feature that works really, really well.
- It simply looks great.

Flaws/things to improve:
- Everything is sturdy, except the cards. They are a bit thin. (I have to come up with something...)

I haven't played the expansion yet, I do own it. But I wanted to see how this game plays without and then after a couple of games play with the expansion.

I score this game an 8. A big 8. Like 8 1/2.
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Björn Fink
Germany
Münster
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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I looked at it in Essen and just thought, why take a loooot of cash to overproduce a game and dont hire a good grafic designer. The typo, the pictures, the board...all looks awful amateurish. Thats what i dont understand when it comes to Eagle/Gryphon Games...they overproduce their games but dont hire good grafic designers...Triassic Terror for instance...i think on the turn overview board there are 5 different typos in 4 different sizes...not even a designer in the first semester would do something like this...shake
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Matt Smith
United States
Orion
Michigan
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To the OP: What expansion are you referring to?
 
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Galen
United States
Austin
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xbjoernx wrote:
I looked at it in Essen and just thought, why take a loooot of cash to overproduce a game and dont hire a good grafic designer. The typo, the pictures, the board...all looks awful amateurish. Thats what i dont understand when it comes to Eagle/Gryphon Games...they overproduce their games but dont hire good grafic designers...Triassic Terror for instance...i think on the turn overview board there are 5 different typos in 4 different sizes...not even a designer in the first semester would do something like this...shake


Not only that, Empires Age of Discovery had a beautiful board and some solid graphic design. This feels like a step back.
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Matt Smith
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Orion
Michigan
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galeninjapan wrote:
xbjoernx wrote:
I looked at it in Essen and just thought, why take a loooot of cash to overproduce a game and dont hire a good grafic designer. The typo, the pictures, the board...all looks awful amateurish. Thats what i dont understand when it comes to Eagle/Gryphon Games...they overproduce their games but dont hire good grafic designers...Triassic Terror for instance...i think on the turn overview board there are 5 different typos in 4 different sizes...not even a designer in the first semester would do something like this...shake


Not only that, Empires Age of Discovery had a beautiful board and some solid graphic design. This feels like a step back.

So far I've seen comments both for and against the artwork and graphic design. Since art is a very personal/emotional thing, I don't put any stock into what others think about the artwork in a game. I like the art, and think it fits the stated objective of evoking 1980's sci-fi. But I certainly don't expect anyone to change their opinion of the art based on my views.

Graphic design can affect game play, so it's more important in my book. From what I've seen so far, the graphic design is consistent and easy to read/discern. I'll have my copy in hand tomorrow, and will be able to better assess how easy it is to see everything from across a table. If I can discern text and symbols upside down and sideways from across the table, then the graphic design is good in my opinion.
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