My daughter, a couple of friends and I got a chance to play this at Gencon last night. Eric from Break From Reality Games sat down and showed us how to play. He was very enthusiastic, the game we played was a prototype. He was hoping to have a real copy in his hands to use, but his printer was not yet ready.
The game play has 5 phases and my friend Paul was the start player. We skipped the Research phase the first round as none of us could afford it. Each of us did the Fleet phase and everyone chose Explore which cost a single resource. Paul drew a nice planet that had 3 Assets, he colonized it and dropped off some population there. I drew a nebula that if you had a ship there reduced the cost of researching by 2. My daughter drew empty space....and received some good teasing about that. Finally Sandy went and she also pulled a planet. Her planet did not have many assets but did have some nice technology tie in.
The next phase was management, but none of us could afford additional ships yet or had researched technologies to sell. So we went to the revenue phase. Paul received 6 revenue and the rest of use 3 as we did not have planets that provided us income as of yet. The final phase was to bid for turn order, which at the beginning of the game was not very important.
So we picked up the hang of it and continued to play. Paul was earning quite a bit of money each time, but the rest of us were able to research some decent technologies and sell them in the manage phase so soon Paul's revenue stream did not seem so great.
We were unable to finish the game within our session but were close. I finally pulled some technologies that tied in well with my planets. We all purchased 3 ships, and a few of us franchised others colonies to steal away revenue. The extra ships really helped later in the game, but researching really made all the difference both for additional money and for the abilities.
The end scoring was pretty close with everyone but I managed to pull out a win, however had we finished the game I may not have.
We really enjoyed this game and I am glad I had Kickstarted it. Eric asked me at the end why I chose to kickstart and what I think is important when choosing a product to back.
A great first play and I look forward to playing again.