Greeting, Commanders!

Today we’re going to discuss the management of civilizations with an overview of the empire board.

Empire Board


There are 4 tracks on the board: imperial, productive, scientific and military, which directly affect the engine of a player’s civilization (detailed below), overall determining the potential of their empire. 

These tracks each contain four slots, three of which are covered at the start of the game by colony tokens. Anytime a player colonizes a sector, a new slot is freed, along with the effect hidden underneath, which reinforces that player’s engine (there are other ways to free slots besides colonization, allowing tall rather than wide empires, but this is more advanced and out of the scope of this overview). 

The initial state of an empire is quite weak and not cost-efficient in the slightest, and upgrading the engine through colonization is of the utmost importance in the early game. Players will therefore have to decide whether they want to specialize their empires in one or two tracks, or build a more versatile engine. As a result, one of the most important decision players will face is which colonies to build first. 

But it’s not a simple matter of choice. Not all sectors are suitable for every colony type, and most are locked behind galactic events (anomalies and obstacles), preventing colonization until explored and resolved. As a result, building the desired engine will require planning and efficient use of all the empire’s resources (for example, units may need to be sacrificed to explore a sector and solve an obstacle, weakening your military might).

It’s also worth noting that each faction starts with a different colony on the starting sector, representing the initial advantage of every empire at the beginning of the game. 

Let’s have a look at each track in details.

The tracks


The imperial track represents an empire’s political power and government capacity. Each uncovered slot increases its influence and capacity to bring order. Influence is crucial to trigger government actions and score imperial victory points. Order is represented in game by the number of space units that can be moved during a single Advance basic action (see Chronicles #5), greatly increasing the flexibility of an empire’s armies and units on the board.

Additionally, when a player reaches the end of the imperial track, they unlock the ability to play an additional action card during the action phase, which gives them a better tempo, and more flexibility and control over the timing of the entire phase.

 

The productive track represents an empire’s capacity to generate energy and resources. Each uncovered slot increases the number of credits gained during the income phase. Credits are required to execute the basic actions of the game (Advance, Colonize, Recruit, Research). 

An empire with more credits has more options, and an overall greater action capacity and flexibility.

 

The scientific track represents an empire’s technological development. Each uncovered slot increases the number of science tokens a player gains when performing the research action, which are used to develop new technologies, greatly reinforcing a variety of aspects of their empire. 

This track also improves the efficiency of space units, allowing them to move farther with each Advance action (the number of traveled sectors increases with each level), which can be used for efficient exploration, colonization or to redeploy units very quickly on the board. 

 

Finally, the military track represents the military discipline, training and infrastructure of an empire. Each uncovered slot increases the number of units that can be recruited with the Recruit basic action, and unlocks new units (Mech and Warship), along with specific tactic cards tied to these units. 

By reaching the end of this track, factions can also unlock the Elite version of their masteries, greatly improving their military might. 

 

Taken together, these tracks introduce some euro-lite management to the game while still tying it to highly thematic options (colonization, exploration, event solving and combat).

Thank you for reading, we’ll introduce the other factions in the coming months, so stay tuned to BGG for more in-depth look. 

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