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Space Empires: 4X» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A review not a rulebook overview rss

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Dan Rivera
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Space Empires 4X : An space 4X (eXplore, eXpand,eXploit,eXterminate) game squarely in the war game sphere.

First off I will not go into the rules of the game here. They have been restated numerous times with considerably more skill, clarity and precision then I would be able to in other posts on this site so what I will do is answer the questions I normally ask someone when I’m about to play or buy a game for the first time.


Conclusion (for those not wanting to read the whole thing): A great easy to learn civ/war game that plays as well solo as it does with more players.

How many players can play? 1 -4: The game has a very robust and fun solitaire game built in and is worth buying for that alone if you’re a solitaire gamer, but is just as fun with 2,3, and 4.

What is the quality of the components (bang for the buck)? Well worth the asking price. You get a ton of chits and production sheets, more on that in a moment, and a beautiful mounted board with big hexes that allow all the chits to be placed without too much overcrowding as well as well written rulebook and scenario book. My only complaint and it’s a minor one is the above mentioned production sheets. While I understand why they are there and personally can’t think of a way around them I still don’t like writing stuff down on a piece of paper to keep track of things while playing a game. That being said the game ships with plenty of pieces and also the rulebook has the sheet on the back to make for easy copying to make more a nice touch BTW.

How easy is it to learn? Very Easy. The rule book is precise and very easy to read. It is written in the standard legalese style used by most war games so people who tend to only play euro games should be aware of that. This being said I picked up the rules really quickly and was playing the entire game with advanced rules with minimum rules look ups.

How long does it take? 3 hours – A lot longer: The game is scenario driven so the time it takes really does depend on the scenario your playing the small 2 player game can be done in about 2 hours or a little bit more but the giant 2 player scenarios or 3 and 4 player scenarios wil take longer.

What itch does this scratch? 4 X game and also space war game. Make no mistake this is not a game of victory points it’s a game of conquest.

What is the replay value? Great. With the random placement of home and deep space tiles this game should play different everytime

Does this game reward skill or is it a pure luck fest? It rewards skill but with the dice and luck of discovery making a difference. You can get screwed early by no finding any planets to colonize but usually this is mitigate by finding minerals to mine.

In Conclusion: I really enjoy Space Empires 4X and can’t wait for the expansion to come out Im going to buy the expansion soonest. It is an easily accessible space civilization game with easy to learn rules and just the right amount of decision points. You feel like your decision matter in a meaningful way and your choices are the reason you won or loss not a random die roll. There are a few little issues I have with it. I wish the counters while perfectly acceptable were closer to Conflict of Heroes size and thickness instead of standard war game fare. I also wish that there was a way to keep track of your upgrades and costs besides the production sheets but as I’ve said above I can’t see how this could be done. I would recommend this game for anyone who wants a civilization war game that you can play in a relatively small amount of time or looking for a space war game or even a euro game player looking to take his first steps into the war game realm due to its very simple rule sets. I would not recommend this to people who are looking for a civ game that can be won by VP or by tech upgrades or looking for a game played in under an hour. I can’t emphasis this enough this is at heart a war game you are not going to win by having the most enlightened civilization you’re going to win by conquering your opponent so if you’re looking for a not conflict only civ game look somewhere else.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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coyotelaughs wrote:
I really enjoy Space Empires 4X and can’t wait for the expansion to come out.

You mean Space Empires: Close Encounters? No need to wait; go buy one.
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Dan Rivera
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Wow Didnt realize it was out. Time to go shopping
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Philipp Ottensamer
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Loving SEX4 so far, but is the expansion worth it?

Btw. very good and precise review!
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Alex H.
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Twyker wrote:
Loving SEX4 so far, but is the expansion worth it?


The expansion makes the game a lot better, IMO. More options, more variety, a few minor fixes (e.g. mines and sweepers) and overall more fun.
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Dan Rivera
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I will reply to your post in the same way I've replied to others who have had similar complaints about my review style. I believe there is a place on this site for short concise reviews that give an opinion without getting overly verbose. I have played this game many of times and I don't write reviews with a few exception until I have. I see no value in explaining game play since as I state in the opening I'm very bad at doing so. I can however answer some standard question I ask my friends before I play a game. I believe this review style accomplishes this goal. Results may vary of course.
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Jimbo Hale
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To be short and to the point, since that was the whole point of the review, I liked your review. I have read several other reviews of this game but yours is the review that has gotten me excited about playing this game (which I do own but have not yet played) and I fully support your review style. There is room on this site for long in depth review and short to the point reviews, can't we all just be friends?
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Apex
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You know what?

Y'all are right! Mr. Rogers has the right of it.



I know you can do better, but I respect that you tried and wrote anything at all. Have a GG
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Nobody likes a review that recites the essence of the rulebook.

However, a game review that does not explain how the game is played - to at least some essential degree - is less a review and more an impression, much like one finds on online shopping websites, about the latest piece of electronic equipment. That's fine, but "review" and "impression" are not synonymous. (I disagree with Lee's assessment, that "rules overviews are different to reviews, and should be a different category". I think Lee is trying to take the proper elements of a review, and break them out into different types of reviews, and I think that's a mistake that only serves to compound the problem we already have.)

Someone who reads a review is, more often than not, a person who does not know the game. Instead of giving them any information that they can use, you've only told them that what they're looking for can only be found in other reviews, and oh, by the way, you liked the game.

You can't really be blamed, as BGG does next to nothing to reward a quality review, so invariably the site ends up with a majority of its reviews being...something less.
 
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Giles Pritchard
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Perfect review. Just the sort of thing I like to read. I normally read the intro and the conclusion to most reviews and leave the middle part out - but this structure works really well and is easy to reference with the leading questions you pose. Thanks for a consise review.

Cheers,
Giles
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Clinton Coddington
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Well, this does it, I'm getting Space Empires: 4X. I've been thinking for far too long about which 4X game to finally purchase and this short review has pushed me to decide.
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