Lords of The Stars Space 4x board game.
A tabletop space game with handmade graphics and my personal design. By now this project is the most constantly updated, renewed and improved one amoung all other tabletop games i have designed.
Name: to be determened (offer your suggestions in the forums!)
Type: Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate tabletop turn-based space game
Forum link: this site`s forums
IndieGoGo campaign for this game: updated at 15th of March, 2013
Date started: somewhere in 2009
Status: being constantly updated, currently preparing for printing
Maing goals: create an alternative space x4 game with heavy focus on exploration, economy and technologies. Something in the middle of such games as Eclipse and Twilight Empires. A somewhat cheaper alternative.
NOTE! An IndieGoGo campaign was recently launched to gather support for this game. If you are willing to contribute - please follow the link shown above. If you are just a passer by - please leave a comment there or spread the word about this campaign. BTW, the 'updates' section of that campaign will contain more fresh information about the game than what can be found here. Thanks in advance for all supporters!
- 7 races with unique abilities;
- a flexible techtree of 32 techs divided by levels that forces players to pick techs in the cost of losing other advances of the same level;
- fully explorable galaxy map with various bad, good or neutral encounters;
- 40 systems divided by 4 star types (red, orange, white and blue) and 8 Deep Space systems that contain nebulaes or black holes acting as obstacles;
- various enemies guarding rich systems;
- food/resources/research/construction colony specialisations;
- 4 ship types with different stats, fighters, troops and buildable stations (mines, missile bases, radar stations);
- random missions available for all players to complete;
- a system of random events happening to every one player each turn;
- a system of ship customisation by various lootable, buyable and achievable space ship modules.
History of the game.
Originaly this project was a port of PC Master of Orion 2 game into tabletop format for home usage only. It used graphics taken directly from the game - races, ships, cards, heroes etc.
Today this is a brand new game having most of the gameplay heavily refined (mainly with a focus to make it faster). It uses new hand made graphics, new races, ships, planets and other stuff.
Board consists of several rings of hexes around a homeworld of the Ancient race (guarded by a powerful Sentinel). Each hex has two sides - one is a star that is used when the board is generated to give players a hint of what may be in this system; the second side is a system itself. It can contain nothing or 1-3 bodies ranging from asteroids to terran planets. When player first arrives in any system - he turns the hex and gets a random encounter card for it.
There are also nebulaes and black holes in the game that also remain a mystery to players until the game board is finished. Once its done and right before the game begins - those hexes are turned up showing their true nature. A nice wall of nebulaes or a well placed black hole can seriously limit travel and provide natural defences for peaceful gamers.
The game is labeled X4 and that means that exploration is a major part of it. Players start with the whole galaxy being placed in front of them, but mysteries it hides are yet to be discovered.
Random events come in three variants. Anomalies - an infrastructure in the form of subterrenian farms, deep core mines, ruins left behind by mysteriously gone Ancients or a super rare resource deposit that grants its owner an empire-wide bonus. The second encounter type is the most common one - it happens in most of the systems and most of the time grants either a one-time bonus (uncovered data base of the Ancients, or their maps or a husk of a ship abandoned long ago that can be repaired or scrapped) or as something consumable like ship debris that can be used to hurry any production or a leader willing to serve for his saviors. The third encounter type is a bad one - its either a monster or a band of raiders or an Ancient automated ship lurking in the system. Each enemy grants a bonus for defeating it, so players can turn bad encounters into somethin valueable in later game.
Another major part of the game. Each turn a player who`s is labeled 'the first player' for this turn (this status moves cloackwise from player to player each turn) takes one AGN card (Galactic News Agency, in Russian Agency is the first word, so that why its AGN) and reads it to other players.
Events are totaly random. It can be a major tech breakthrough granting you a research boost or a disaster that turns one of your colony into useles rock for some turns or a galaxy-wide collapse of hyperspace freezing all ships in place. This random system ensures that players await their turn to take AGN cards both with terror and curiosity.
No space game can live without ships. In this game i`m using a set of tokens for players` ships. Its cheaper than making ships from plastic and its somewhat easier to handle. Plus all ship sets (currently 4) are unique and using graphics from my other project (Ironclads for Starsector).
There are 5 types of ships: fighters that have bonuses against battleships and are difficult to take down, destroyers that are good against fighters, cruisers that are used for assault roles (carrying before-combat one-shot torpedoes to weaken enemy fleets and before-invasion one-shot bombs to soften planet defences), mighty battleships that are equally good at taking down fleets and supporting invasions, transports to carry troops/fighters and colonists.
A major role in ship`s effectiveness is given to a module system. Each player can get access to various modules (either by random encounters or events or by assaulting other players, or simply by buying them for quite a sum of resources). Modules improve various stats (as show onBlur that picture - an extra shot in combat and a bonus +2 to Torpedo accuracy). There a plenty of modules in game that can give a unique ability to a ship, or allow it to carry troops/fighters, or make them command and control ships that provide bonuses to the whole fleet.
Turns are divided into three parts: 'first player' switch and AGN events, players turns (one by one), space and ground battles.
Each player moves after the previous one has completed his turn. There is no initiative in the game, but a clockwise sequence starting from the 'first player' for this turn. This system allows for random events to be equally redistributed between all players. It also allows for some daring moves like assaulting the player who finished his turn at his weak spot knowing that he can`t react to this move.
Being the first to move is beneficial if you have conflicting unexplored systems or need to finish a research project/construct something before other players. Or simply because the amount of good events is slightly larger than bad ones. But on the other hand being first means that you need to foresee the other players` moves and prevent them from surprise attack you.
There are 4 types of colony specialisations in the game: agricultural used for producing food that is needed to support colonies on dead worlds, industial that are used to harvest resources from the planets, research that generate research points and construction docks that are used to produce ships.
Each colony (except for construction ones) uses planet resources. Planets come into 3 types - terran capable of producing food and having large populations, dead (Mars/Moon/Pluto type) planets with good resource base, but otherwise quite bad and extreme worlds like Mercury that are very rich in minerals, but require special tech to be colonised. There is also another type of celestial bodies - asteroids. Players can put a mine there to harvest extra resources or set up a missile base/listenning post to boost system defences.
Each harvested resource can be used for ship construction at capital or construction colony or for training troops. Resources are generated only for the current turn with no stock piling.
Fleet size is limited by fleet command points. These are generated by each colony and listening posts. Each ship costs some FPs to field on the map. Its 1 FP for DE and TRN, 2 FPs for CR and 4 FPs for BB. There is a cap on fleet points that players can have - it was made to prevent players from building "stacks of doom" and focus on particular fleet setups and ship customisation to fulfill their goals.
Players can`t start flying all around the board once they get their ships constructed. There are two limits for ship movement in the game - speed and fuel.
Fuel determines how far player`s ships can travel from his colonies and remote stations. This is 1 hex by base (meaning that ships can travel only into neighbouring systems), but can rise to 2-3-4 and even become unlimited by research, modules and action cards.
Speed means how many systems a ship can travel per turn (being all the time inside the fuel range). This also can rise to some great values, but never will become unlimited.
Traveling into enemy controlled systems or in nebulaes always sets speed to 0 for the remainder of the turn, so no runs through enemy space to one-turn jump to his capital.
The main goal is to be first to gain a certain number of victory points.
Victory points are accumulated by various things. You get a VP for each colony under your control, for hunting down lurking monsters, for completing missions, for capturing other players` colonies, for winning at random AGN ratings etc.