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Galactic Warlords Kickstarter Preview

Galactic Warlords Kickstarter

Galactic Warlords was a game I came across when I was looking through Board Game Geek at the games ‘The Mico’ had worked on as his art really appeals to me. After seeing this I reached out to the guys over at Archona Games to do an article on it.

I was greeted with the opportunity to play-test and review a pre-production copy and this is what the below will be based on. The rules are not 100% final and may change slightly.

Galactic Warlords - The Game

Galactic Warlords is set in a galactic era where one of the powerful federations has fallen and thrown the region in to a massive conflict. The warlords have taken advantage of their weakened state and along with outside help they have started to battle for control.

Galactic Warlords is a card-driven game where you must use tactical choices to play cards to gain power. Each ‘Mercenary card’ grants you a bonus like ground troops and recon. You use these bonus skills to take control of the planets and at the end of the game you will score points depending on missions completed during the game. The player with the most points is the winner and now controls the Galaxy.

Galactic Warlords - How To Play

Set up of the game is easy and takes no time at all:

  1. Each player chooses a colour, takes the units of that colour, places them on the side of the board in a designated area called the reserve. You then take the ‘Base’ board of the colour and place it next to the main galaxy board.
  2. Take and shuffle the planet tiles, place them face-down in the sectors on the board, then reveal the middle row sector planets.
  3. Take and shuffle the Support card deck, and deal one face-down card to each player. Take and shuffle the Missions deck and deal two face-down to each player as well.
  4. Take the mercenary card deck, separate the cards marked with two in the lower right corner, shuffle the cards and deal five to each player. (the two stands for a two player game, there are cards with three and four and these are added at this player count)
  5. Place all the corresponding player markers on their starting spaces (Power track, Reputation track).
  6. Place the corresponding markers on the Planet Devastation Track.
  7. Each player discards two cards which are shuffled back into the Mercenary deck.

That’s it you are set up and ready to fight for control of the galaxy are you ready?

Galactic Warlords - Playing the game

The game lasts on average eight rounds and during the rounds each player takes turns during these turns you have mandatory and optional actions. I won’t go in to great detail as these will be shown on the Kickstarter page/rule book but I will give a brief run through below:

  • Recall units from the board.
  • Play a mercenary card and gain its assets.
  • Mercenary actions phase where you resolve an action on the card from step one (deploy troops, kill an opposing troop and more) and/or play Support cards.
  • Recover your units on your base board (move them one step toward your Base space).
  • Hire a mercenary from the market.

Once all players have done the above you move on to round two and continue to do so until one of the several game end conditions are met:

  • When the last card of the Mercenary deck is drawn/drafted players have one more turn to play.
  • A player plays his fourth Mercenary with the same mission as the other three Mercenaries in his Command Area.
  • A player reaches the last space on the Reputation Track.#

Final Thoughts

I have played Galactic Warlords over 10 times now, at various player counts and with different groups, and have always had fun. The theme is very well illustrated by The Mico and this does make you feel like you are battling space creatures and the like.

The game is helped by a quick setup and little downtime between turns. The two player rules are the best for player interaction as even when it’s not your turn the opposing player can influence what your troops can do (kill them or move them) meaning you always feel involved.

The gameplay itself is very fun and quick with only a few choices to make on your turn but the game has a sense of urgency about it where you feel like you could win or lose at any given time, this leads to strategic card selection.

The iconography on the cards is easy to learn and after a few plays you will know what each icon means/does with ease. At first I thought this game would be simple with little or no choice and even reading the rules did not change this however after you and your opponent’s learn the rules 100% there is a hidden depth to the game that surprised us all.

This is a game that plays well has a theme that is represented throughout (not just bolted on) and will sit well with fans of space genre games. It would happily sit on my shelf and get a fair amount of table time. Look out for this game when it hits Kickstarter on June 15.