Forces of Balance by Viktor Peter and Richard Amann, published by Mindclash Games, is an expansion to Cerebria and requires the base game to play. Forces of Balance allows you to add an additional one or two players to the game, providing an additional side to the forces of bliss and gloom in the base game.
Forces of Balance Expansion
In the box you get two spirit boards representing the spirits of reason and intuition, and two beautifully designed standees depicting the two emotions. The spirit boards are double-sided allowing for two levels of difficulty the second side increasing the asymmetry of the game.
You get a team balance board where your ambition (an in-game currency), your team aspirations (objectives) and your intentions (scoring opportunities) are recorded. You have 16 balance emotion cards and six strong emotions which play in the same way as the base game, in that they are placed on the board to increase control of specific areas or realms on the board and the frontiers which are vital in gaining control, completing your aspirations and in reducing cost of actions.
You have all the vibe tokens needed to upgrade your actions and the balance fragments used to score during the he and illustrate who has control of the mind you are battling over. There is also an additional score wheel as the other two are on the main game board.
The emotions cards are all either neutrality or discipline illustrating how balance seeks to provide the mid-point between the two extremes present in the base game. However, each different emotion card has different powers. However, the powers trigger when leaving rather than entering play. Balance emotion cards can have either bliss or gloom essence markers placed on it. So, when you play your emotion cards you will need to work out which essence to place to ensure you are working towards balancing out the two forces, whilst they of course are trying to gain majority control.
In the main game the teams are working to win both their team and a shared aspiration. It is the same when playing with the Forces of Balance Expansion, you win the shared objective if the forces of bliss and gloom are tied. You also have your own set of special aspirations that you work towards each round. Depending on your success when scoring occurs (this happens when the willpower in game currency have been removed from the origin) you can place either a minor or major fragment on the tower in the centre of the origin.
This is used in end game scoring to see who has control of the mind of Cerebria. For the forces of balance to win, they need to have completed as many of their individual intentions, providing in game scoring and bonuses as they move round their score wheel, whilst adding as many fragments to the origin which are added to your score at the end of the game. The team with the greatest score at the end of the game gains control of the mind.
Final Thoughts on the Forces of Balance Expansion
If you have Cerebria, the Forces of Balance Expansion is a great addition allowing the game greater depth, a new challenge and obviously allowing you to share this amazing and challenging game with a higher number of players. The concept fits well with the theme and the artwork, as with the base game is beautiful and the combination of the colour schemes makes the game even more eye catching.
The rules explain the small changes needed to the base game to incorporate the new side making this an easy addition and step up to the base game.
So, who will win in the battle for supremacy in the mind of Cerebria, will it be bliss, gloom or will the forces of balance prevail and bring neutrality, discipline and peace to this mind?