Third edition, with the Shattered Empire expansion set.
Ranked # 27
3-6 players (3-8 with expansion)
Age 12 and up
240 minutes play time
Rated 7.81 out of 10 stars (8.62 with expansion)
Learning curve: Intense. This is not a game you can pick up by playing like I prefer – there are many rules that definitely need to be explained in full prior to playing, and some that need to be mentioned a few times throughout the game just because there are so many. It will take a full game or three to really get how to play.
Re-playability: There are many different parts of the game that will change up each session. The board itself is built each time with hexagon pieces; the type of player changes giving you different advantages or disadvantages; and there are different roles to take each round. In addition, there are cards: technologies you can buy to advance in different paths, political cards and trade agreements, public and private objectives, and action cards. No two games would ever be the same.
My personal thoughts: I usually like games that have lots of little pieces (this one had plastic ships, all kinds of different cards, and a slew of cardboard chips), but this one seemed a little daunting having so many. I also did not want to play this game because I do not like long games, nor do I like strategy warfare games. (Four hours is about my limit, but being that this was a new game for two of us, I knew it would take longer.) But Boy really wanted to play it so Adam, Tofer, and I were sucked in. Perhaps had we all wanted to play it as much as Boy, my thoughts would be different but I did not like the game. I do strongly feel it deserves another chance, however, but I am unwilling to give it one any time soon. Like I said, it is not my style of game to start with. Let’s just say that Adam and I were very, very frustrated as the hours dragged on. The rules were not explained well enough to start, or some had been left out, or some where misunderstood, or some were never mentioned again until it was too late (this is the fault of no one really, since Boy and Tofer had only played it once themselves and were still new, and Adam and I weren’t really doing our part to ask questions since our frustrations turned to apathy). But yet again, I won. So should I really complain? 🙂