Greeting, Commanders!

Today we’re happy to announce our game, Fractal: Beyond the Void, coming to Kickstarter in the second half of 2021. In the coming months, we, the development team, will regularly post here to share with you our ideas, concepts and core mechanics, and to show you what our vision is for the 4X genre moving forward.

Each post will address a different aspect of the game and we’ll provide community-driven discussions around the mechanics and content.

Before we begin we want to thank all the people of the BGG community, Facebook Groups, professional playtest companies and people who approached us to provide invaluable and unconditional help, ideas and support.
You are the beating heart of Fractal and we can’t wait for all of you to play the game!

The World of Fractal

Fractal is a living, breathing world, with a story-driven legacy campaign: the Aftermath (more on that in a while). As you play, you’ll discover a deep and rich lore spanning millennia, and featuring cosmic Gods, fallen empires and warring civilizations.

Eons have passed since the final days of the Federation, a long slumber in the inescapable clutches of time. The ancient empires have been shattered, their fragments scattered to the cosmic winds, seeding the galaxy with tales and stories of a once great legacy.
One planet, one civilization, the guiding principle of the federation. Words of supposed wisdom to fight the blackness of the void and the terrors of the unknown. A foolish attempt to rule over infinity. But they forgot that there is no escaping entropy, and in their hubris, selfishness and shortsightedness, doomed themselves.
As their planets turned to dust, they found themselves rulers of emptiness and the Federation was consumed by the sudden hunger of a thousand empires of the void.
And yet on these forgotten worlds decimated by war and famine, something is stirring again. Reborn species, awaken swarms and emergent consciousnesses, all looking up to the stars to reclaim what was once theirs: peace and war, prosperity and decadence, enlightenment and ignorance, order and chaos, the endless cycle.
Their legacy.

4X Redefined

One question we asked ourselves was : what can we bring to the 4X genre that hasn’t already been done before? We wanted, above all else, to offer an experience that was fresh, that would embrace the genre while trying to push it forward and be uncompromising in our desire to experiment.

So what makes Fractal a new experience?

True Asymmetry of Factions

Asymmetry is an often overblown term in boardgaming. A lot of games represent the difference of factions as a simple modification of the initial position or of their resources, or a simple discard of a given rule or tweak upon it.

In Fractal, we tried to push the asymmetry as far as possible without compromising the balance of each faction. The core idea was complexity through simplicity. In other words, how a simple change, yet deeply rooted in the core mechanics, could affect the overall balance, feel and theme of a given faction without shoehorning it into a predetermined path (Military, Imperial, Scientific, Exploration, Influence, etc).

Each faction has three different points of asymmetry: their innate abilities, political philosophies and battle masteries.

The innate ability offers unique, diverse and powerful effects. Some factions control the attrition, others reinforce production, manipulate technology, start with a secret of the galaxy and much more.

The initial political philosophy determines the starting colony and units as well as the available policy cards that the faction starts with. Each Faction has access to different types of philosophies during the setup of the game based on their natural predispositions.

Finally, the battle mastery confers a particular combat style and/or ability that allows the player to control some specific aspect of the conflict resolution.

When taken together, these three mechanics create a fully modular, completely customizable and entirely asymmetrical experience.

AFTERMATH: During the legacy campaign, players will unlock secrets about their factions, granting new political philosophies and battle masteries to reflect their journey beyond the void. And who knows, some might even evolve new innate abilities…

Combat system

One of the early decisions was to completely remove dice from the game. In Fractal, you’ll never lose a battle because of bad luck. Instead, the combat system was devised as an intense game of bluff, deception and deduction based on tactic cards. 

The players must decide which stance their army will take (orbital vs ground, defensive vs offensive, flanking or retreat, etc.) and reveal tactic cards one by one, resolving the consequences in an initiative-base turn-order. 

The effects of the tactics cards depend on the amount and types of units that your army has in a contested sector, and can be upgraded with powerful military technologies to further enhance their abilities. 

This system makes each battle a mini game of intimidation, bluff, analysis of combat patterns and deduction to counter your opponent, take him by surprise or cripple his offensive before it can even begin. 

AFTERMATH: New technologies, new battle masteries for the factions and new tactic upgrades allow you to push your armies to their limit and to feel the weight of your own evolution.

Living game

The game contains various mechanics and components whose purpose is to create a universe in flux, so players are forced to adapt to the game instead of mindlessly playing the same strategy over and over again. 

The first mechanic revolves around the objective cards. Two cards are joined together (with one revealed at the halfway point of the game) to create the scoring conditions for the entire game. There are 5 different types of victory points in the game, and with the living objectives, you’ll be forced to adapt to the game in order to score. 

The second mechanic is the galaxy setup. Each map is made up of different sectors, some containing events: obstacles, anomalies or living galaxies, making each game a different and unique puzzle to solve. Exploring and expanding are no longer an automated, thoughtless process, but a true test of a player’s resourcefulness, cunning and boldness. 

The third mechanic is called the Utopian sector. At the center of the map, this unique sector, chosen amongst several, represents a planet exceptionally rich in resources or containing ruins of the old federation, artifacts or echoes of the past. This sector is crucial for the efficient generation of victory points for the game, and confers various bonuses to the player with enough skill to control it in the galactic fight.

AFTERMATH: By exploring the secrets of the void, you’ll unlock new events for the galaxy and powerful new utopian sectors that will change the rules of the galaxy.

Beyond 4X - The Aftermath

In Fractal: Beyond the Void, we refer to the legacy system as the Aftermath. It is a story-driven, dynamic campaign that represents the changing state of the galaxy throughout the various gaming sessions.

Each new step of the campaign will deeply alter the content and mechanics of the game, introducing new variant rules, new scenarios (Solo, Coop, Team, 1 vs ALL) and other modifications of the core elements (Faction extinction & unlock, new components, rules alteration, meta components, etc.)

But the unique aspect of the Aftermath is that the game is still a competitive affair, and at the end of the campaign, there can only be one winner. One player, who will shape the future of the universe through their actions and victories, and who knows, maybe unlock the secrets of the void.

And while some effects are permanent (more on that in a later post), the campaign is fully replayable, nothing is destroyed, nothing is lost, and 100% of the content can be unlocked. 

Moreover, every unlocked scenario is free to be played separately, considerably expanding the possibilities of the already substantial core game. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of ruling as a galactic dictator (1 vs ALL Scenario) or of dealing with an endless swarm of enemies while protecting a mysterious alien structure (Coop defense), or maybe playing in an age of progress where conflict is obsolete and where technology and economic growth are the keys to victory.

All that and much more is possible in the Aftermath, and players are free to explore the story to uncover the hidden secrets and forgotten lore of the universe, facing terrible moral dilemmas along the way and shaping the fate of the cosmos…

Thank you for reading, if you want to learn more, stay tuned to the BGG forum where we’ll post regular updates. 

You can also join our Facebook community where we’ll create community-driven content among other fun activities:


And if you already can’t wait for the KS campaign, don’t forget to follow us on Kickstarter, so you don’t miss the launch: