Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Space Empires: 4X» Forums » Variants

Subject: Robot Galaxy 6-Player Variant rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Marcus Young
Australia
flag msg tools
I am still waiting for my copy of the game to arrive, but I have been learning how to play the game with the aid of the rules, scenario book and other material posted here and on the GMT site. Then, to help with the interminable wait I decided to create a 6-player variant with symmetrical starting positions, scope for diplomacy and alliances, and a back-story to explain the situation. After all, it is implausible enough that 2-4 nearby yet separate civilisations simultaneously develop FTL travel without imagining 6 civilisations doing the same, and there is also the odd interstellar geography (neat blocks of friendly and unfriendly space and an impassable map-board edge) to explain. I know that back-story is wasted for some people, but for me it aids in enjoyment of a game.

Anyway, my variant is set in a dwarf galaxy, and played on a map board which represents the whole galaxy. The mapboard is pictured below:



These are the rules:

Robot Galaxy 6-Player Variant


This is a 6-player variant for Space Empires 4x. It aims at providing a balanced 6-player game, scope for diplomacy, a larger board, and a back-story for the rivalry of 6 fledgling powers.

History
Legend tells of a time countless aeons ago when in a dying galaxy the resources of 6 proud space-faring races were pooled together to build a single enormous colony ship capable of transporting the genetic stock of all 6 races across the void of intergalactic space to a new galaxy in which life could flourish once more. The target was a tiny dwarf galaxy only 100 parsecs across, being the closest group of stars of having planets capable of supporting life. In order to survive the centuries the journey might take, the ship was crewed by intelligent robots, who were programmed not only to guide the ship to its destination by to keep the peace between the 6 races during the early colonisation of the new galaxy.

The ship arrived safely and a new, self-sufficient homeworld was found for each of the 6 races, and the gene banks were soon producing a burgeoning population on each. The robots established their own world, built ships required to clear the required section of space of hostile aliens and to keep the peace between the 6 races, and had soon conquered the entire dwarf galaxy. They designated 6 zones as “home systems”, one for each of the colonist races, ensured that each contained equal resources, and terraformed 8 planets in each zone to make them ready for colonisation. Between each pair of home systems, a region of space was left untamed by the robots to form a buffer between the colonists’ domains.

At that point the 6 races colonists considered themselves ready to take over the colonisation process, but the robots considered the time was not ripe and refused to relinquish their role as paternalistic peacekeepers. The robots kept each of the races confined to its home world, allowed them each only a handful of ships to mine their own solar-systems, and starved them of the advanced space-faring technology that would have allowed them to challenge the other races (and the robots themselves) for dominance. This state of affairs lasted for more than a century before fail-safes built into the robots by their original designers triggered. Most of the robots deactivated themselves as a result, but the fail-safes were faulty in some units, resulting in there being a number of robot ships still out in space trying to continue their role as galactic police.

The news of the deactivation of the robots quickly spread across the galaxy by hyperspace radio. Each of the 6 races then scrambled to deploy its tiny fleet to maximum advantage, as the race was no on as to who would succeed the robots in domination of known space.

Regions of the Galaxy
The galaxy is only 100 parsecs across. A map is provided, divided into hexes each 4 parsecs across. Working from the outside in, the regions of the galaxy are as follows:

1. The Outer Rim
At the fringes of the galaxy is a zone 8 parsecs across known as the Outer Rim. Although there are no stars in the Outer Rim capable of sustaining life, there are hydrogen clouds which can be used to refuel transiting ships. The only things of interest in this zone, however, are the special anomalies known as “warp points”, each of which is linked through a fourth special dimension to a point precisely on the opposite side of the galaxy. As all these warp points are known to be in perfectly symmetrical pairs, when one is found it is possible to immediately deduce the existence and location of the second.
Whenever an Outer Rim hex is first explored, roll on this table to discover what is there

Outer Rim Table
1- A Warp Point is placed in this hex and a linked Warp Point is placed on the hex at the opposite point in the galaxy.
2-10- Nothing . Both the hex and its opposite are now considered both explored and empty.

2. The Home Systems
The Home Systems for the 6 races are each 26 hexes in extent and have the standard counter mix distributed between those hexes.

3. Deep Space
Between the Home Systems lies the Deep Space zones deliberately left hazardous by the robots in order to deter aggression between the colonists. Whenever a Deep Space hex is first explored, roll on the following table to find what is encountered:

Deep Space Table
1- Nebula
2- Asteroids
3- Black Hole
4- Mineral 5
5- Mineral 10
6- Barren Planet with Aliens as per standard rules.
7- Danger!
8- Danger!
9- Danger!
10- Roll again: 1-4 Lost in Space; 5-7 Space Wreck; 8-10 Supernova.

4. The Forbidden Zone
The Forbidden Zone is the region in the centre of the galaxy in which the robots established a security perimeter around their base planet, Robot Prime, in which all sentient biological life was prohibited, and which was heavily patrolled by the robot fleet. Although most robot ships have self-destructed, some have survived to drift inertly through space, whilst others remain crewed as fully-functional, ready to destroy any ship that hazards the Forbidden Zone. The functional robot ships behave as Doomsday Machines as per the standard (ie not the solo) rules, except that they will not stray outside the region of the Forbidden Zone and Robot Prime, and they will not attempt to destroy Robot Prime but rather will fire on any colony established on that planet as per the usual rules of ships firing on colonies.

Whenever a Forbidden Zone hex is first explored, roll on the following table to find what is encountered:

Forbidden Zone Table
1- Doomsday Machine
2- Doomsday Machine
3- Doomsday Machine
4- Space Wreck
5- Space Wreck
6- Space Wreck
7- Danger!
8- Danger!
9- Danger!
10- Danger!

5. Robot Prime
Robot Prime is the former robot base. When the fails-safes triggered, almost all the infrastructure on the planet was destroyed, but there are still enough functioning artefacts to make the planet a goldmine for fossicking scientists. The planet is fully capable of supporting life, and thus counts as a regular (ie non-barren) planet for colonisation purposes. A colony on Robot Prime is as per the standard colony rules, except that due to the available technological relics the colonists can roll on the Space Wreck table every Economic Phase after their colony ship lands for technological upgrade as per the Space Wreck rules. As a result, Robot Prime is a very valuable planet in terms of colonisation, although the hazards of the Forbidden Zone and the likelihood of stiff competition from other races may make it difficult to hold.

Diplomacy
There are 3 attitudes each pair of races can have with respect each other: Hostile, Neutral and Alliance. All the races start as Hostile, which functions as per the standard rules for interaction between empires (ie if the forces share a hex they fight). Neutral means that neither race can move into any hex occupied by the other in such a way that combat would result between the two races (and if the two races start occupying the same hex the first player to move must move away). Alliance is as per Blood Brothers in the Scenario Book.

There is a new Diplomacy Phase inserted into the Sequence of Play immediately before each Economic Phase. During the Diplomacy Phase any two players can mutually announce that their two races have changed to a new diplomatic attitude. Although normally relations must be done by way of mutual announcement, a downgrading of relations by one level (ie Allied to Neutral or Neutral to Hostile) can be done by either player announcing the change unilaterally. All diplomatic changes must be announced publically during the Diplomacy Phase. A player may respond to another announcement by announcing a further diplomatic change, even if it is contrary to a change the player previously announced in the same phase (although a player cannot unilaterally downgrade relations by more than 1 level per Diplomatic Phase).

Notes
Obviously a new board is required to play, but as Space Empires boards are little more than a bunch of blank hexes, the board would not be too difficult to make. Alternatively the game could be played on-line with Cyberboard or similar. An interesting possibility would be a play-by-email version run by a referee with order sent in secretly and simultaneous movement.

If playing on a physical board, the players would need counters from 2 box sets.

16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Dwarf Galaxy 6-Player Variant
Very well done. Good job.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Burns
United States
Centennial
CO
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Dwarf Galaxy 6-Player Variant
Very cool.

But we have a problem! My expansion, found here that I released last week, is also called Dwarf Galaxy! I'm sure it's a coincidence, but we probably need to change one of the variants to another name. I'm open to suggestions.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marc Q
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Burn the land and boil the sea...
badge
You can't take the sky from me...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Dwarf Galaxy 6-Player Variant
In honour of the Emmy, I recommend that we rename this one "Tyrion Galaxy"...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcus Young
Australia
flag msg tools
There was certainly no conscious copying of the name, but it is probably a case of my unconsiously plagiarising your title (although hopefully none of your actual content).

To fix the problem as I am the second in time I have changed the name on mine to "Robot Galaxy" and have gone back and edited my opening post accordingly.

Sorry!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Marcus, good stuff. Please continue to post feedback here as you playtest it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If playing with less than 6 players do you envision a different set up where players are more spread out or just some of the empty player spots replaced with deep space counters?

Also, I like the idea of Robot Prime being more valuable, especially to hold it. It might not be a bad idea to give a player a tech upgrade each turn that he has a colony on it.

For a shorter game you can even make the holding of Robot Prime the victory condition. Get a 5 CP colony on it to win. Although that does not guarantee a short game as I can see people getting knocked off that planet often. Still it is an interesting dynamic. You can't guard the planet too heavily and risk someone conquering your homeworld.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcus Young
Australia
flag msg tools
I do not anticipate a playtest anytime soon- at present I am still anxiously awaiting receipt of the one set I pre-ordered from an online distributor before I can actually play the game for the first time.

There is already a rule about rolling for upgrade as per the Space Wreck rules every ecanomic phase for possession of Robot Prime, and I thought that this in addition to the world being a non-barren planet would make it highly prized.

I agree with Jim's comments about rules for a shorter game.

I had never considered playing with less than 6 players. Thinking about it now, there are various possibilities:

2-player: This would work either with players each taking 2 or 3 of the 6 races, or if the players simply selected 1 each (possibly but not necessarily on opposite sides of the board) and the other starting positions were left unplayed but full of the usual interstellar goodies (with the homeworld being just another, regular planet).

3-player: Each player could take 2 races. The diplomacy rules should be taken out for this version to make it slightly harder for 2 of the players to gang up against the third (a common dynamic in three player games of anything). Alternatively every second starting position could be left unplayed (as per the notes above).

4-player: Provided the 2 unplayed positions were opposite one another, the starting situations of all players would still be symmetrical and the game thus a balanced one.

5-player: Simply eliminating one of the 6 positions would not work well as the races immedaiely on each side would then be strongly advantaged. One could balance the game, however, by giving all players free resources at the start and having them bid for the order in which starting positions were selected.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Jim
United Kingdom
Kendal
Cumbria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi, I'm just wondering if this got much playtesting? It'd be great to have a 6p version.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.