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Author Topic: Space Exploration type Board Games  (Read 2079 times)
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USMC Kato
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« on: December 13, 2012, 11:54:50 PM »

Does anyone here have any suggestions about any Space exploration type board games? I'll be having 4-6 guests over for the Christmas break and would like to try something new.  In the past we would usually play the old Pictionary, Trivial pursuit type stuff but now I would love to try something new and bold.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 02:16:07 AM »

Take a look at Eclipse. It takes a while and has many fiddly bits, but its the pinnacle of space games at the moment.
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 03:05:55 AM »

You'd really have to be more specific on what degree of difficulty you're looking for before I could make a clear recommendation. If by "new and bold" you mean something with a good degree of difficulty and challenge, the 3 big hitters for that genre are Eclipse, Twilight Imperium 3rd Ed and Space Empires 4x. They're all 4x (eXplore, eXploit, eXpand & eXterminate) space, strategy games, but each takes a slightly different approach to the genre. Being 4x games they're all competitive and are all considered medium or heavier in gaming difficulty. IMO all 3 of them are excellent games and well worth your time.

If you're looking for something easier and less competitive / more cooperative, I'd recommend checking out Space Alert or Battlestar Galactica, although neither of those is really strong on exploration.  If you want something even lighter
and don't mind card games, Race for the Galaxy and Galaxy Trucker are both very good games. Every game I've mentioned is playable with 4 players, albeit Space Empires 4x is better played with 2 teams of 2, Battlestar Galactic is best played with 5 and Twilight Imperium with 6.
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 07:23:58 AM »

Eclipse is considered to be one of the best board games available right now, period! Space exploration is a core part of the game as each player hurries to map out and claim as much of the galaxy as he can before the other players can do the same. Then they use the results of this to build up their empire. This game takes roughly 30-60 minutes per player, which is considered short.

For a more thematic and epic game, go for Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, but expect to use a long time playing through it the first few times. At least one hour per player. If you want something that feels more like a space opera than Eclipse's somewhat more clinical approach, this is what you want. Both games are highly praised.

These are the two main contenders in this genre and the only two you should consider for a first purchase, unless what you're asking for is actually something completely different.
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 01:47:19 PM »

People have also been raving about Star Trek: Fleet Captains, if the theme works for you.
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 02:35:14 PM »

I own Fleet Captains.  I love Fleet Captains.  But it's not a strategy game.  It's a thematic, storytelling game really.  No 4x4 gameplay.  Also, unless you sink a pretty penny into it for the base game and the expansion, it's a 2 player game.  And even with the Romulan expansion, it's 3 player at most.  They SAY you can play more, but you're doing teams at that point and the game becomes considerably less fun.

I've played Eclipse 3 or 4 times.  It's good and would probably fit the bill.  But in my opinion, Eclipse may be a bit daunting for non-board gamers not used to standard board gaming conventions.  I would personally recommend Alien Frontiers for a great, easy to learn game.  It's not a space exploration game per se, but it is a space themed game with fantastic gameplay that will take about 10 minutes to teach.  It plays up to 4, but there's a cheap mini expansion called Factions that you can buy that will add a 5th player.

If you want a party game that will have your guest alternately laughing and screaming at each other throughout the night, I humbly submit the suggestion for Battlestar Galactica.  It will take all 6 of your guests.  It's a game in which you suspect someone of being the enemy, but you never really know for sure until they reveal themselves.  It NEVER fails to please.

edit:  whoops, didn't see that Kronovan suggested BSG already.  Great minds think alike!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 02:37:06 PM by hepcat » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 04:33:49 PM »

He didn't ask for a strategy game, just exploration.  And from what I understand, ST:FC fits that bill.  I didn't realize the limitation on number of players, though.
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hepcat
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »

Sorry, I saw the suggestions for Eclipse and Twilight Imperium and just assumed strategy.  My mistake.

And just to reiterate, I love Fleet Captains.  The limitation being that it really is a 2 player game (3 if you drop the extra cash for the expansion).

Personally, I would strongly suggest Battlestar Galactica if Kato's going to have up to 6 folks and they're new to board games.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 05:07:16 PM by hepcat » Logged

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USMC Kato
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 07:09:27 PM »

Strategy works! I'm going to check these all out. Thanks guys
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WorkingMike
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 07:17:06 PM »

Eclipse is the new standard for what you are looking for. Avoid Space Empires, it's pretty much bookkeeping in space. We've played it twice and I doubt there will be a 3rd time.

Two other suggestions that are perhaps a bit easier to get into, but may not exactly fit the bill. They re-released Merchant of Venus and it's a long time favorite of mine. I haven't played the FFG version, but I'm sure it's up to their usual standards. Core World is a deckbuilding game, more combat than exploration, but it's amazingly fun and well balanced.

I haven't played Terra Prime, but i've heard wonderful things about it.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 06:21:49 PM »

Eclipse is now out for the IPad and it's really, really good. If you dig the boardgame you will love it on your tablet.
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