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Ascending Empires» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Another great sci-fi 4X in my collection rss

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Adam
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Being an avid fan of the 4X genre, I was delighted to receive my copy of Ascending Empires a few days ago. I admit that I was a bit weary about the complaints of the warping game board, but I decided that the prospect of exploring, expanding, exploiting and exterminating was far too important to me to give up the opportunity to try this highly rated game.

After spending some time sorting through the pieces and placing the stickers on everything, I started piecing the board together. The manual implies that the corner pieces are interchangeable. However, while they do appear to be physically identical in shape and size, some of the graphics on these corner pieces specifically coincide with certain areas of the map and so it took me a little while to get them all in the right places. I may wind up marking the bottoms as a reminder of which corner pieces go with which quadrants. My board game pieces did not come to me warped, though I did notice that they bend fairly easily. I initially wound up with some raised areas that seemed they would interfere with flicking, but after a little bending here, and a little bending there, I was able to get the board to sit pretty flat on the table.

Much to my surprise my wife agreed to play my first game of AE with me (she isn’t a big fan of sci-fi themed games). The rules are very simple and straight forward which is a major plus since she hates long and drawn out rule explanations. After a 5 minute explanation we were ready to start playing.

I personally couldn’t wait to start flicking my ships around. My wife thought it was a silly concept at first but as the game progressed we both started to get really into it. She had a little difficulty grasping the concept of launching and landing at first, which allowed me to get 3 of the 4 technologies before she did. It wasn’t long before we were attacking each others ships and planets. She destroyed a good deal of my ships (she even took out my battleship at one point) and planets, and the VP chips dwindled down very quickly. However, I ended up with most of them because I had been the first to develop just about every level of technology, plus I got the 3 quadrant bonus at the end. The whole game lasted maybe 45-60 minutes. The end score was my 39 to her 24, which I attribute mostly to the fact that she didn’t build all of her research facilities. Overall it was a really fun game. Right now I feel like I want to play it over and over. I hope that feeling lasts because good 4x games are a rarity! This one is going on the shelf right next to Galactic Emperor.
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