We played a 6 person game. Ronni (Lazax Empire), Ivan (Magen Protectorate), Mathias (Qi’kai Industries), Glenn (Papacy of D’Arzaire), Frede (Crian Admiralty) and Alexander (Cloudkin of Anarra).
The galaxy set-up created a rather balanced and fair board. Everyone had been dealt 1 empty planet system, 1 redborder, and 3 planet tiles (1 with 2 planets and 2 with 1 planet)
The players all read the special abilities of the race aloud, but not the representatives’ abilities at this time.
During the first round everyone took planets surround them with more or less luck, the Cloudkin did experience some trouble with Distant Suns’ counters in Lazar and Sakulag. The Crian Admiralty had Production and moved 2 spaces and took control of a 1 planet system adjacent to Mecatol Rex and then produced to take the 2 planet system in front of him, which gave him 2 free space docks with the Distant Suns’ counters! Quite alarming, and lucky.
The second round saw more expansion, and the first public objective being turned – spending 3 command counters from Strategy Allocation/Command pool. Magen Protectorate started their “build a ditch” and produced several PDS units and focused on PDS technology. Qi’Kai industries were pressed by the Crian Admiralty, who focused on bringing his Dreadnoughts on the board. Lazax Empire enjoyed a rather peaceful expansion, but found a Supernova in an empty tile, and thus made the border with the Cloudkin VERY secure – Gravity Rift, Super Nova and Asteroid Field, which the Lazax with no Antimass Deflectors could not penetrate now. This brought respite to a slightly troubled Cloudkin.
Third and Fourth round saw wars between the Crian Admiralty, Cloudkin , Qi’Kai and Papacy. People started getting some of their racial technologies, and Mecatol Rex was taken by the Crian, who fulfilled his Primary and then Secret objective over 2 rounds. At 6 Victory points everybody jumped him with ships, action cards etc., and he was hampered quite a lot. Cloudkin commented on his flagship’s ability to sacrifice itself and turning into a Nebula – that this would be hard, cause the redbordered systems were so spread, that it was nearly impossible.
Qi’kai could rebuild some after the Crian Admiralty had been set back, and gained some ground, but remained last in Victory Points. Ancient Artefact political law was voted on and everybody got technology, not what we had hoped for, as the Crian had a sizeable fleet at MEcatol Rex. He moved it out and started harassing The Papacy and the Cloudkin with it.
Finally Qi’kai entered the Crian homesystem with a Carrier and 1 GF and fought a Destroyer, which died. Qi’kai could then take the defenseless homesystem, marking a sharp and abrupt stop to the Crian expansion.
During the Fifth round, the Lazax attacked an Artefact world of the Cloudkin with a large fleet containing their flagship to gain a victory point for invading a planet with a GF on it. In the meantime the Magen protectorate had gotten Warsuns and destroyed a small Lazax fleet with a Warsun with small retinue.
The sixth round saw the Lazax make a bold attack into The Magen area surviving a hail of PDS fire and taking Lodor. Also the Lazax took Lazar and Sakulag from the Cloudkin, and could claim the Secret objective of being “Threatening” and win with 10 points. (We had previously passed a law giving all players 2 victory points – leading to a shorter game)
All in all the players found the races balanced with small tweaks needed.
Papacy of D’Arzaire: Suggested a little better race technologies, as he was not particularly interested in buying his. Counter-suggestion was to add a larger AC hand to one of the racial technologies, as he had to discard often from his racial ability gained AC cards (having also bought Neural Motivators). Was also suggested that the AC gained could maybe be the top AC turned and take effect if it was Space Battle related. This was deemed maybe too weak.
Crian Admiralty: Nothing seemed wrong or too strong/too weak. The Crian was very strong the first two rounds, but this was also due to very good Distant Suns’ counters.
Qi’Kai: Was not utilized with their stronger Destroyers. Seemed to lack just a little ‘Oomph’. Nothing was suggested, but they might need a little extra special ability or something.
Magen Protectorate: Was commented on as lacking a little incentive to go into the Galaxy. Also that their PDS units might be able to gain a bonus from racial tech which allowed them to become ships. They didn’t need more power, but maybe a slightly more aggressive focus.
Lazax Empire: Their political racial ability was not bought, and could not be commented on. Though the winning race, the win was not due to them having too strong abilities, merely good fortune and no major space battles to annihilate their fleet until the last round. Was found to be balanced.
Cloudkin of Anarra: Their problem was getting the whole Nebula system into play. The player did place his Nebula Token from his special ability so he gained control of it for some of the game, but he never bought the Flagship and created more Nebula. A cheaper and weaker Flagship was suggested to make it feasible to make more Nebulas. Or a Flagship that moved around with a Nebula. This player was leading in victory points for 2 rounds though, so he did not exactly have a bad game.