Daniel Kiprijanovski
Macedonia
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Galactic Warlords: Battle for Dominion is card-drafting, tableau bulding, area control board game, for 2-4 players, that takes place in a war ridden sci-fi universe. It's designed by Babis Giannios with the art of "The Micho" and miniatures art and design by The Mico and Francesco Orru , developed and published by Archona games.

Overview and Theme
In the game you take the role of the world's Warlords, where after a long period of prosperity in the Galaxy's united planets, followed by a civil war, you rise from the common people, with power and army and the potential to dominate the Galaxy once again. Will you reunite the Galaxy and restore it's glory from the old days? Or will you make your mark in it's war history and conquer savagely as much as you can?


After playing around 10-15 games of the prototype so far, here are my thoughts of the forthcoming game:

MECHANICS

The main engine of the game are the cards from the "Mercenary Deck". Every turn, you draft your mercenaries, that contain a specific number of actions (2-3 actions) which are nicely marked on the card, as well as the potential to use the cards with it's special side-symbols to unlock more powerful actions. The cards give you a number of choices when drafting, and aligning them into your tableau. The decisions are based on whether you want to deploy units on the planets on the board, or do different actions to bolster your troops, or decimate your opponent(s).

To play card's actions, you need to play that card on your tableau, which you do every turn, making it the engine of the game. In such a way you deploy troops in strategic targets (planets) on the map with the idea of controlling them in the long-run as they score you points at the end of the game. But fool yourself not, as you will be challenged at almost every corner of the galaxy, as other warlords often want your planets, as you want theirs. There is A TON of back and forward combat included in the battle for planet domination, but the area control is not the only thing you can focus on.

Some mercenaries give you more troops, whereas others give you more actions, special cards and even hurt your opponents in different ways. They kill off their mercenaries that score them points, they decimate their troops through orbital bombardment, they subterfuge (steal) actions from opponent's cards and even steal their mercenaries or what have you.

Review

So, this game looks like a card-drafting area control, with not as many choices in the sheer number of actions, but their combinations, and the different ways of scoring and end - game scenarios make the game deep and strategic, that both war gamers and strategy players will enjoy.
The game may end in various ways, by either finishing first in the war track, or depleting the mercenary deck, or even getting a 4 mercenary from the same faction (from out of 6 different factions in the game).
Every invasion advances you on the war track, and the game gives you that opportunity to thrive in points, through war, or you can choose a more "wise" and pacifistic path of conquering planets without much war, to win with faction mercenaries and planet control points. And then also, there is the caveat of the commanders and base ships, every warlord's Right Hand, that move around systems, and score you bonus points, while unlocking powerful actions to bolster your troops and help you in war.

Galactic Warlords: Battle for Dominion, provides you with many different strategies that can get you to different way of winning, with plenty of tactical choices and decisions along the way.

The art, and the graphic design of the game, as well as the sculptures look to be a state of the art. The inspiration from "The Micho" clearly pictures the war ridden planets, the factions and the mercenaries from various races throughout the galaxies. The cards are easy to learn, you'll need not more than a game or 2 to get comfortable with the symbols and the different combinations of chaining powers of the cards in the game. Playing the game, feels like you really are this strategic and wise Warlord who needs to outthink the opponent and be brave to take on challenges and conquer the planets. That feeling is intensified by the looks of the game and the art.
The miniatures and the nice add-ons of custom dice just add to the quality of the art and production that is to be expected from the game.

Final Thoughts

Me personally, being a gamer that likes both strategic and war games, but not necessarily LOVES playing only these types of games, I find this game first of all - A LOT of fun, and then very challenging. It gives you tons of opportunities in strategy and tactics, and you are never bored as you are thinking even during other player's turns having your 3 mercenaries in hand and spectating the actions the opponents take. So you will conquer a lot, you will lose some planets and troops but you will always have the opportunities to get back, avenge, or sometimes even, peacefully take out strategic planets to become the most glorious Warlord of them all.
So never forget that in war, especially a GALACTIC ONE, every way you choose, may be the correct one, if you play it out wisely.

Daniel Kiprijanovski, a.k.a TheGrimDestiny
" Always Remember to have fun playing "

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Bon Voyage, Stel!
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Thanks for the insightful review Daniel,
glad that you're still having fun after so many games :)
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Daniel Kiprijanovski
Macedonia
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It is a game with a nice replay ability due to the diversity of combinations between cards. Just read today that there will be even more cards into the stretch goals added so it will for sure have even more.
I can't wait for the hard copy of this one - my game group is into area control combat games

Cheers!
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