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Subject: 2-player variant for Micro Space Empire rss

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Queen Carlotta
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I don't see any reasons one couldn't turn this fun little solitaire into a 2 player (or possibly even 2+ player) game.

I think the changes to make are fairly obvious:

Print out two sets of event cards and tracking sheets instead of one, replace the Invasion Forces with other cards (make one of those the neutral Peace & Quiet).
A two player game might benefit from slightly longer gameplay - especially when you play with the following Space Battles rules -, so just add some more cards to the event pile.

Gameplay is essentialy the same as in the solitaire with one exception: Instead of having some nondescript alien empire show up on your doorstep, the players try to capture each other's systems in addition to conquering new unaligned ones.

- You may launch an attack against your opponent's system as soon as you have at least 1 Military Strength. Treat your fleet as a "Small Invasion Force" with +1 added to your die roll. If you fail to conquer reduce your Military Strength by 1.

To discourage the players from attacking each other all the time and encourage the more common sense/thematic gameplay of explore first, attack later, the following variant should do the trick:



Epic Battles in Space!

To make attacking other player's systems more risky and costly, give the defender the option to intercept the intruding forces and play out the invasion over more than one turn:

- To launch an invasion the player has to have enough Military Strength accumulated - 1 MS for a small Invasion Force, 2 MS for a large one.

1) The attacker announces his arrival with an Invasion Force card. The defender then may choose to intercept with his own ships (again an Invasion Force card) if he has enough Military Strength.

>>If there is no interception attempt, the invader can attack and try to conquer the target system in the same turn.

Defender gets the first shot, rolls his die and adds the bonus of the card (disregarding the year 2 card text). The same goes for the attacker. Higher roll + bonus wins the battle. If the defeated force was a small IF the card is removed and MS is reduced by 1. If it was a large IF it gets replaced with a small IF card and the MS is reduced by 1 as well.

2) If the invader has a force left after this space battle he can then move in and try to conquer the system in the next turn. This battle gets played out like usual, the invader rolls against the card value of the system, if he fails he has to reduce his MS.

If the invader moves in with a large IF and gets defeated in the first attempt he replaces the card with the small IF and can try again next turn (Don't forget to reduce your MS for every lost battle).
That way an invasion can take up to three turns. If that seems too long you can just use the base game rules that allow you to defeat the invader with your planetary resistance in one turn no matter the size of the force. For a defeated large IF the invader then has to reduce his MS by 2.

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Now, I haven't tried this variant yet but I'll be printing out a second set of cards soon. This game is so light and easy that I hope to convince even some boardgaming celibate friends to give it a shot.

Cheers to Robert Bartelli for designing such a nice and small empire building game!

---
edit: just realised that half of my post was missing - didn't see that when I submittedmodest hope it goes through now.
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G Allen
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Awesome. I love the ideas. I made up two copies when I saw this. Haven't played it yet, but will soon.

A question though:

If you replace the IF cards with other cards, how do you then "announce an invasion" with an IF card? I love the concept, but I'm not quite positive on how the mechanic properly works.
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Queen Carlotta
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Let's see - yes, that could have been worded better...

The players receive the IF cards at the start of the game - they are removed from the Event deck and placed in the players' hands. Now, as that thins out the Event deck (shortens the game), they need to be "replaced" (in the Event deck) by other cards.
That's all there is to it...

Then, my proposal was, to give the players some more turns to add some more cards from the second print to the Event deck.


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I remember after posting that variant noticing some issue was left unresolved... Might have to get back to you after le weekend.
You guessed it - I never actually tried the two player game face-to-face.
 
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