Sunday, March 27, 2005

Board Game Party Results - I'm going to buy Empyrean Inc.

Awesome! We had about 20 people show up at the clubhouse for boardgames, including several new people. I taught Citadels, learned Goa, learned Empyrean Inc., which I played twice, and played Formel Fun.

Please add Empyrean Inc. and Formel Fun to my list of wanted games. Empyrean Inc. is a trading game that the Main Man, Kevin Nunn calls, "All the good parts of Settlers without any of the bad parts." Why do I love Kevin? 1. Because he's almost always right. 2. He's testing another set of prototypes now. 3. Once he has enough of something, he gives his extras away.

Goa, I dunno-ah. We played a 4-player game, and I can see how people would like it. The auctions are kinda like Medici, and the advance-your-abilities card is deliciously complex. There wasn't enough player interaction for me, and I had literally NO clue what to do with my turns at first. I still won, by 7 points or so, which is a reasonable approximation of a beatdown. I did some smart things in the auction phase, and I guess I must have avoided doing too-dumb things in the action phases. The players were hardcore auction guys and Puerto Rico badasses.

Empyrean, Inc. is the Kaja and Phil Foglio game of wacky space trading. There are three commodity stacks (purple, green, and yellow), a stack of planets, and a stack of action cards. Every turn, your home planet makes 3 commodities, say, Green, Green, Purple. So you draw 2 green cards, and 1 purple. In each color, there are 4 types of commodity. You'd like to get lots of one kind, and lay them down to corner the market. Different planets are turned up, and you can purchase them either by paying specifically their price (e.g. 2 Soybeans and 1 Robot) or by using 2-of-a-kind or 3-of-a-kind matches (say, you have 2 Soybeans and 2 Purple Hyperdrives, which substitute for 1 Purple Robot; alternately, you pay 2 Soybeans and 3 Yellow Tritiums, since you're substituting Yellow cards for the Purple Robot, you must do a 3-to-1 substitution).

Oh, yeah, and whoever's got the fewest cards gets to draw a card from each player with more than one planet. So, you can either stay small, and try to be efficient, or get big and empty your hand.

The action cards are 2/3 Hurt-Somebody and 1/3 utility cards. All the utility cards give one, maybe 2 cards back, and you have to spend 1 of each commodity color to get them. Awesome! Or not.

You can, and should, buy it directly from the Foglios' website, Studio Foglio: to give them the most money possible.


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